Roy Hodgson criticises petition to ban Tom Cleverley from finals








4 March 2014
Last updated at
22:35













England boss Roy Hodgson has defended Tom Cleverley after an online petition was set up calling for the Manchester United midfielder to be banned from selection for his World Cup squad.

The petition, which accuses Cleverley of “inept” displays, has gained over 10,000 signatures since it was posted.

Hodgson, who has included the 24-year-old in Wednesday’s squad to face Denmark, said: “It doesn’t impress me.

“He deserves to be in this 30-man group. He’s done an awful lot of good.”

Cleverley has been part of a Manchester United side which has struggled in manager David Moyes’s first season in charge and sit seventh in the Premier League table.

But Hodgson said: “I don’t think it’s correct people should single out one player for Manchester United’s lack of success this season.

“I would like to think that I’m not going to have the England team selected in the future by petitions from various people who are holding it against one person for a team’s lack of success.

“You can’t expect a football coach to have any sympathy with it.”

While Hodgson is adamant Cleverley warrants his place in the party to face Denmark at Wembley, he added he can offer no guarantees the midfielder will be make his final party for this summer’s finals in Brazil.

He added: “Whether he’ll make the 23 or not will of course depend on a lot of things, not least of all how he does in the next couple of months.

“But that doesn’t just apply to Tom Cleverley, that applies to a good many players. I’m disappointed that Tom, as a sensitive young man, has got to bear that burden.

“But I know one thing – he will come through it and when he does come through it and Manchester United start winning again and he’s starting to get praise for his performances, he’ll be stronger for it.”







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Theo Walcott loss is England World Cup blow – Roy Hodgson








7 January 2014
Last updated at
18:14













England coach Roy Hodgson says losing Arsenal winger Theo Walcott for the World Cup is a blow.

Walcott, 24, is to have surgery after suffering a

cruciate knee ligament damage

against Tottenham on Saturday, with the Gunners stating he will be out for “at least six months”.

“It is such a shame that we have lost a player of his calibre for the World Cup,” Hodgson told

the FA’s website. 

“It is a blow for him personally, and for both Arsenal and England.”

Walcott picked up the injury late in the Gunners’ 2-0 FA Cup win over their north London rivals when he appeared to catch his studs in the turf as he raced back to make a defensive tackle.

He was carried off on a stretcher, but seemed in high spirits when

making a gesture of the scoreline to the Spurs fans

inside the Emirates Stadium.

Hodgson, 66, added: “Having worked with him for two years as England manager I know the character he has, and I know he will come back even stronger from this setback.”

However, a leading expert in sports rehabilitation has told BBC Radio 5 live that Arsenal have been premature in dismissing the player’s chances of playing at Brazil 2014.

“They’ve put an unnecessary timeframe on it now,” said Michael Davison, who runs a Fifa medical centre of excellence in London.


“You have opportunity to undertake surgery, and then think about the motivation of the player and look at early weeks of rehab before actually making decision whether he can or cannot go.”

Former Premier League player Danny Higginbotham, who had the same injury while playing for Stoke, said the England international could be risking his career if he came back too early.

“Forget the World Cup,” the 35-year-old Altrincham player told BBC Sport.

“He’s a young lad with at about 10 more years of playing time – why risk something like that?”

The current Gibraltar international added: “Theo should concentrate on getting his rehab right and make sure he’s in a good position for pre-season so that he can be ready for next campaign.

“He should put the World Cup to the back of his mind and everybody involved should tell him the same. To me it’s unrealistic.”

Higginbotham suffered his anterior cruciate ligament injury in April 2011 while playing for the Potters against Chelsea although he was keen to play in the club’s FA Cup semi-final against Bolton two weeks later.

He added: “I asked the doctor whether he could give me an injection so I could play. He looked at me and responded, ‘what did you say?’

“I did get back into things after five months, but I didn’t feel the same when I returned. However, you have to take into consideration that I was 32. Theo has time on his side.”

Higginbotham said the rehabilitation process, after the impending operation in London, will be mentally taxing for Walcott, who was a non-playing squad member for the 2006 World Cup and then omitted from the squad for the 2010 finals.

“The issue is the fight with yourself in rehab,” he continued.

“You become really good friends with the physio, but also end up falling out with the physio.

“They become a punchbag for you. It’s a mentally draining time. You do the same monotonous things day in, day out.”







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Roy Hodgson: England spirit ‘outstanding’ despite row

7 November 2013 Last updated at 17:16 GMT

Roy Hodgson said the mood in the England squad is “outstanding” as he tried to move on from the “space-monkey” joke that triggered a race row.

The England manager, 66, was criticised in some quarters after telling the joke about a monkey and an astronaut at half-time in October’s World Cup qualifier against Poland.

But he insisted: “I’ve rarely worked with a club side with a better spirit.

“It was an innocent remark which has been misconstrued.”

Continue reading the main story

It’s happened and if you are asking if I’m happy it’s happened then, no, I am not

Roy Hodgson England manager

Hodgson was reported  to have told the joke when trying to explain to right-back Chris Smalling that he needed to pass the ball to winger Andros Townsend more often.

The journalist who broke the story said that at least one England player had been upset  by the joke, but former Liverpool and Inter Milan manager Hodgson is not convinced the incident was made public by a member of his squad.

“No-one has yet proved to me that it came from the dressing room,” he said.

“I am disappointed about [the story coming out], of course, but it is over as far as I am concerned.

“My thoughts are purely on these two matches [the Wembley friendlies against Chile on 15 November and Germany on 19 November] and the World Cup matches ahead.”

But Hodgson admitted the story had been an unwelcome distraction.

“It’s happened and if you are asking if I’m happy it’s happened then, no, I am not,” he said.

“Have I learned these days that something said so innocently can be so badly misconstrued and cause as much pain as it did to so many people? Yes, I have learned that lesson.”

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Roy Hodgson: Andros Townsend says joke was a compliment

18 October 2013 Last updated at 12:47 GMT

Andros Townsend has described Roy Hodgson’s comment that prompted a race row as a “compliment”.

England boss Hodgson was criticised for referring to a joke about a monkey and an astronaut at half-time in Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier against Poland.

Hodgson was trying to encourage right-back Chris Smalling to pass to Townsend, 22, more often.

“The manager just told the players to give the ball to me so that’s a compliment,” said the Tottenham winger.

“Everyone should be focusing on England qualifying for Brazil – not on negative silly news.”

The joke, the exact wording of which is still unclear, revolves around an astronaut and a monkey on a space mission. The monkey performs all the tasks requested by mission control, with the punchline being that the astronaut’s only role is to feed the monkey.

It came during Townsend’s second game for England, after he had scored on his debut in the 4-1 win over Montenegro.

“It’s a dream come true to play for your country,” said Townsend, who was speaking to BBC Sport news correspondent Natalie Pirks at a Spurs event to highlight breast cancer awareness. 

“I had the perfect debut really, scoring a goal and getting man of the match, but I couldn’t let it get to me or get big-headed as we had to concentrate on the next game.

“It’s only now after the games are done that I’ve realised how big it was for the country.”

Hodgson said on Friday that he and the players were angry that the comment had overshadowed England’s qualification to the World Cup in Brazil next year.

“Joy is short-lived in this job,” he told the Daily Mail. 

“The players are as angry about this as I am.

“We have just had a successful period and, although I wouldn’t suggest we intend to rest on our laurels, I think we have earned the right to enjoy the fruits of our labours. Instead we get this.”

Anti-racism campaigners Kick It Out had called for the Football Association to investigate the comments, but it considered the matter closed on Thursday after the governing body released a statement in support of Hodgson.

“Roy Hodgson is a man of the highest integrity, an honourable man who is doing a great job with the England team,” said FA chairman Greg Dyke.

“He has fully explained to us what he said and the point he was making to the players in the dressing room at half-time on Tuesday night. He has also explained the context in which he made his remarks.”

However, another campaign group has sent a formal complaint to the FA in which it calls for an independent investigation into the issue.

In the four-page complaint, Race for Sport, an off-shoot of the Society for Black Lawyers, says the decision to consider the matter closed is “unacceptable”. It also demands “cultural intelligence” training for Hodgson and all football managers.

England striker Wayne Rooney showed his support for 66-year-old Hodgson on Twitter   and via his personal website.  “To try and pin some form of label on him is absolutely ridiculous,” he said.

“Roy spoke to Andros straight away and he took no offence whatsoever. Hopefully that’s now the end of the matter.”

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Roy Hodgson eyeing Saints stars – Mauricio Pochettino

16 August 2013 Last updated at 11:16 GMT

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino says England boss Roy Hodgson is eyeing up more of his English players after striker Rickie Lambert’s goal-scoring international debut on Wednesday.

Lambert, 31, scored with his first touch as England beat Scotland 3-2.

Pochettino told BBC Radio Solent he spoke with Hodgson before Saturday’s 4-3 friendly win over Real Sociedad.

“He didn’t just ask about Lambert he asked about other players so it shows that they are in contention,” he said.

Southampton have Nathaniel Clyne and Luke Shaw in the Under-21s while James Ward Prowse plays for England U19s.

Captain Adam Lallana has been called up to the senior squad but is yet to play while Jack Cork and Jay Rodriguez are another two of Southampton’s talented young Englishman.

Pochettino admitted being full of pride at Lambert’s goal on Wednesday and said it was well deserved after years of being overlooked.

“It’s a great satisfaction for everyone and we are all pleased and happy for him,” he said.

“He’s been a great professional throughout his entire career, and what a way to cap it off by getting an international goal.

“Everyone involved at Southampton is proud of him.”

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Wayne Rooney’s ‘mind is fine’ – Roy Hodgson

12 August 2013 Last updated at 13:37 GMT

England v Scotland

  • Venue: Wembley Stadium
  • Date: Wednesday, 14 August
  • Kick-off: 20:00 BST

Coverage: Live text commentary on the BBC Sport website, live radio commentary on BBC Radio 5 live

England manager Roy Hodgson expects Wayne Rooney to put his club troubles aside to possibly start in Wednesday’s friendly against Scotland.

There has been intense speculation about Rooney’s future at Manchester United and the 27-year-old has missed most of pre-season with injury.

“His mind is fine,” said Hodgson. “He can compartmentalise club and country, which I expect from all players.

“Players cannot bring their club problems to England.”

He added: “If there were any problems with England, they cannot take them back to their clubs. It is two separate identities.

“I expect players, when they come here [to join up with England] to be fully focused on playing for England.”

More to follow

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Gary Lineker: Roy Hodgson won’t be pleased by TV games

11 July 2013 Last updated at 15:22 GMT

Former England captain Gary Lineker believes national boss Roy Hodgson will not be happy after the early season televised fixtures were announced.

The Match of the Day presenter says the Premier League schedule does not help England’s World Cup qualifying bid.

Arsenal, Liverpool, Man Utd and Spurs play  five days before an England game.

“Bet Roy Hodgson is not overly chuffed with SkySports selection of TV games before England’s vital games. Predictable, but sad,” Lineker tweeted. 

“I’m not being critical of SkySports. There is no reason why they should be interested in England. The Premier League though should be.”

The 52-year-old, who scored 48 goals in 80 international matches, believes the fixture schedule should have avoided big matches before Brazil 2014 qualifying games.

Liverpool now face Manchester United on Sunday, 1 September – the same day as the north London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham – with England hosting Moldova on Friday, 6 September.

The list of possible England candidates who could play at Anfield includes Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard, Glen Johnson and Daniel Sturridge, while Manchester United’s contingent features Wayne Rooney, Phil Jones, Tom Cleverley, Ashley Young, Chris Smalling, Danny Welbeck, Michael Carrick and Wilfried Zaha.

Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Kieran Gibbs plus Tottenham’s Kyle Walker, Scott Parker, Michael Dawson, Aaron Lennon and Jermain Defoe are also potential call-ups.

Despite the scheduling, England players will have five days’ preparation – one more than Fifa regulations require – for the game against Moldova at Wembley. They then face Ukraine in Kiev on 10 September.

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Everton coach Chris Woods on England 6-0 San Marino | FATV

http://www.youtube.com/v/7ZuwUxWqeHI?version=3&f=videos&app=youtube_gdata Highlights to the following 2 games will be exclusively live on FATV from midnight Friday 12th October 2012 England v San Marino World Cup Qualifier England v Serbia U21s Euro Play-off Subscribe to the official YouTube channel of the England football team featuring exclusive news, match highlights and more at www.youtube.com To find out more about the England team log on to: www.thefa.com Become a fan of England on Facebook at www.facebook.com And follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com

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Everton coach Chris Woods on England 6-0 San Marino | FATV