Tag Archives: roy hodgson

Is that it for Big Sam?

England manager Sam Allardyce is under serious pressure right now having been filmed giving advice to undercover Telegraph reporters posing as Far East businessmen on how to “get around rules” about third-party ownership of players. The 61-year-old said it was “not a problem” to bypass the rules which in 2008 were banned by his employer, the FA.

He spoken about knowing agents that were “doing it all the time”, the former Sunderland manager, talked about a deal for which he would be paid £400,000 a year to address investors in a firm that wanted to buy footballers in Singapore or Hong Kong around four times over the year.

Big Sam also mocked his predecessor Roy Hodgson, calling him “Woy”, and also spoke negatively about his assistant Gary Neville in the secret recordings. Allardyce also criticised the England players in the Euros, but personally I see little problem with that as it’s merely an opinion – and one that many England fans share.

Having only been in charge for England after one game, it’s safe to say his future as England manager is in jeopardy. The FA requested a full transcript of the meetings with the undercover reporters.

Stand by for further updates.


Follow Rob Smith on Twitter (@robsmithireland)

We’re no longer part of Jack’s army

On Monday, Aston Villa’s hot prospect Jack Grealish announced that he will give his allegiance to England, should he be called up to their senior squad.

In a short statement, he announced that “It was not an easy decision to make as Ireland has a special place to me through my family. However, I have decided to represent the country of my birth.”

The news will come as a disappointment to Ireland fans, as he represented the Boys In Green on almost 20 occasions from under-17 to under-21 level. He is also known to tweet the more-than-occasional shamrock emoji as well as the popular #COYBIG hashtag. That very well may change now.


Grealish now joins the likes of Wayne Rooney, Martin Keown and Paul Gascoigne, and will don the white shirt of England instead of the green of Ireland. Good luck to him.

Ireland have benefited plenty of times in the past with English born players via the so-called “granny rule”. Names like Aldridge, Kilbane, Cascarino, McCarthy, Lawrenson, Sheedy, Hughton have all played a massive part over the years. Even in our squad now, Scottish born-and-bred players like McGeady and McCarthy would be considered star players for the Tartan Army had they not have pledged to the sacred green shirt.


There’s also some players that could have been a huge benefit to our Northern Irish neighbours such as Wilson, McClean and Gibson until they declared themselves for the Republic. Hull City’s Alex Bruce did the opposite recently.

So, in short, Ireland fans can be disappointed. But we can’t complain. When it comes down to it, I’d much rather have a player who felt Irish and loves playing for Ireland rather than one who would much rather be wearing an England shirt. So perhaps it’s best Jack Grealish does play for the country of his birth if that’s where his heart lies. As a season ticket holder for the Republic of Ireland myself, I can only wish him well.


Follow Rob Smith on Twitter (@robsmithireland)



Wilshire wants England for the English

Jack Wilshere has landed himself in a spot of bother as he stated this week that he believes naturalised English players should not be allowed play for the English national team.

It all started with the news that England boss Roy Hodgson was monitoring the progress of Manchester United starlet Adnan Januzaj – who himself is eligble to play for Belgium, Albania and Serbia. If he remains uncapped at international level and becomes a naturalised English citizen, Hodgson is definitely interested. Wilshire, on the other hand, wasn’t too keen on the idea.

“If you’ve lived in England for five years, for me, it doesn’t make you English,” said the Arsenal star. “If I went to Spain and lived there for five years, I’m not going to play for Spain”.

Tell that to Marcos Senna.

Then yesterday England’s South African-born cricketer Kevin Pieterson questioned Wilshere’s comments on Twitter. “Interested to know how you define foreigner … ? Would that include me, Strauss, Trott, Prior, Justin Rose, Froome, Mo Farah?”.

Wilshere responded: “With all due respect Mr Pietersen, the question was about football! Cricket, cycling, athletics is not my field.”

Pietersen then replied: “Same difference … It’s about representing your country! IN ANY SPORT!”

It’s an interesting topic. There’s a difference between playing for a country for the sake of international football and playing for pride and the country itself.

Indeed there has historically been some fantastic talent of naturalised players such as the great Alfredo di Stefano, Laszlo Kubala, Patrick Vieira, Lukas Podolski, Marcel Desailly, Eduardo, Deco and Kevin Kuranyi have all excelled for their new country at international level over the years.

England, like ourselves, is a very proud nation. And I have no doubt that many will agree with Wilshire. But if Januzaj becomes a naturalised citizen, feels English and wishes to represent England, then surely he should be given a chance if good enough?

What do you think? Let Rob Smith know on Twitter (@robsmithireland)

Hodgson for England?

The FA announced on their website, that they have made an approach to West Brom to make Roy Hodgson the next England manager. Yes – Roy Hodgson – not ‘Arry Redknapp. Here is the statement in full:

West Bromwich Albion have today granted permission for The FA to speak with Roy Hodgson regarding the position of England Manager.

This follows an approach from FA Chairman David Bernstein to West Bromwich Albion Chairman Jeremy Peace.

David Bernstein said: “I’m grateful to Jeremy and all at West Bromwich Albion for their co-operation in allowing us to approach Roy, who I have since spoken with. Roy is the only manager we have approached and we remain on course to make an appointment within the timescale we set-out soon after Fabio Capello’s departure. Further conversations will now take place with Roy and my Club England colleagues before any further announcements can be made.”

The 64-year old’s contract at WBA expires on 30 June, negating the need to pay his club any compensation. That would not have been the case with Redknapp – who was highly speculated by the press to fill the role. He would have cost the FA upwards of £8m to secure from Spurs. Was money the motivation for the FA to chase Hodgson instead of the hugely popular ‘Arry? Possibly.

However, it’s not the first time the FA have looked at Hogdson for the England job. In 2000, he was one of three candidates for the role. Eventually it was won by Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Hodgson may not be the most popular choice amongst England fans, but he is a no-nonsense coach with a great mind for the game. An old school manager that lists Inter Milan, Liverpool, Fulham, Udinese, Blackburn, Switzerland and Finland to name but a few on his managerial CV.

England to win the Euros? Il Trap will never allow it.

The best (and worst) of 2010/2011

Well, the football season is coming to a close. Unless you follow the MLS or the Airtricity League, of course. Let’s look at some of the best and worst of the past nine months.

1. The return of the King: OK, Roy Hodgson was never the right choice for the Liverpool job, in my opinion. Liverpool had won only one league game between the start of the season and the end of October. They were within eye-shot of the relegation places. Oh dear. Goodbye Hodgson. Hello…who? Mourinho? Rijkaard? Hiddink? No no…a club legend that hasn’t managed a club since 2000: Kenny Dalglish. The result? Great football, great league results and a respectable league finish in the higher half of the table. Long live the King.

2. Pep’s Barça kills José’s Real: Last November as blogged, I missed the opportunity to watch Cast play a reformation gig in Liverpool’s o2 Academy in order to watch el clásico in a bar across the street. The result was a match that will go down in history for a long time. Barcelona beat Real Madrid 5-0 at the Camp Nou. To Madridistas this was unthinkable given they have The Special One as coach.  To culés (Barça fans) this was a result that will be talked about for decades to come. I love Cast, but I’m glad I missed them to witness this.

3. Ibra’s kung-fu celebration: When most players win Serie A, they celebrate…sing, cheer, dance. Not Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He’s tried to roundhouse kick team-mate Antonio Cassano.
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/6GOy3ScY_Kw" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]
4. A city united with trophies: For years at Old Trafford, Manchester United fans flew a flag showing the amount of years Man City had gone without winning a trophy, updating it every year. Not any more. The same day United had won the Premier League was the same day City won the FA Cup. I’d say the bars around central Manchester had a busy one.

5. Bibotelli: Speaking of City, who can forget this moment of genius from Mario Balotelli? At least Edin Dzeko seen the funny side of it.

6. The return of Dortmund: Bayern Munich have long been the dominating team in the Bundesliga. This season they were ten whole points behind winners Borussia Dortmund. Jurgen Klopp’s men have had a remarkable season winning every game except for their five losses and six draws. And they won it well playing fantastic football. So much so that Dortmund had the 2nd highest average attendance in world football this season, just behind Barcelona.

7. The good, the bad & the ugly: The season seen some memorable finishes. Like this: a good goal. Or this: a spectacular own goal. And I don’t know how this wasn’t a goal.