How well do you know Roy Hodgson?

Ahead of England's opener, here are TEN little-known facts about the new manager - and opinions on him from the BBC's Euro 2012 pundits

imagenotavailable1

1. He’s a keen consumer of quality literature, with Philip Roth, John Updike, Milan Kundera and Hermann Hesse among those on his bulging shelf.

Advertisement

2. The son of a Croydon bus driver, at grammar school he was, according to fellow pupils, a ‘snazzy dresser’ who listened to Timi Yuro when everyone else was into the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

3. He’s a fan of Otis Redding, Jackson Browne, Puccini and Bizet, but if you joined Roy for a late-night sing-song his favoured number would be Me and Bobby McGee by Kris Kristofferson. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BG2kq-4dM98

4. Roy can accompany himself on harmonica.  

5. He’s fluent in Norwegian, Swedish, German and Italian. He can chat away happily in Danish, French and Finnish, too. Lots of “ten facts about Roy” articles claim he can speak Japanese, but we’re not sure when he would have learnt it.

6. He’s not always mild-mannered: a famous incident during his time at Inter Milan found him grabbing the club’s own press officer by the lapels and pinning him to a wall after a match.

7. If England win the Euros, Roy is unlikely to go on a celebratory bender. He celebrated Fulham’s miraculous last-day escape from relegation in 2008 by going home for a pot of tea and a good read.

8. He was one of three men on the shortlist for the England job in 2000. When the FA chose Sven-Goran Eriksson, Hodgson took over at the struggling FC Copenhagen instead. They immediately won the Danish league.

9. At the 1994 World Cup Roy managed the Swiss, inspiring them to over-perform and reach the last 16. Meanwhile, many of the players who’d helped Roy’s Malmo side win five Swedish titles in the 80s were now in the Swedish team, who also did brilliantly to finish third. So Roy was, and is, a legend in both countries.

10. Want to take the mickey out of his (mild) speech impediment? “Woy” couldn’t give a monkey’s. “If that’s the worst that’s going to happen to me [as England manager],” he told Football Focus this month, “I’ll swallow it.”

THE VERDICT ON ROY: 

Jamie Carragher: “People think of Roy Hodgson as that nice ‘good old Uncle Roy’ fella. But I’ve seen him lose his temper in the dressing room.”

Roy Keane: “Roy has managed Inter Milan twice with players like Ronaldo, Patrick Viera and Paul Ince, so egos won’t be a problem to him.” 

Advertisement

David James: “Fabio Capello knew everything, told everyone he knew everything and told those who didn’t agree with him that he was right. The way Roy runs his ship will make a difference.”