Hodgson concedes England role's attention is not a job perk


England manager Roy Hodgson admits it is difficult to enjoy the attention that comes along with his role.

Hodgson took the national team reins shortly before this summer's European Championship and has had to contend with the lengthy discussion that surrounded his omission of Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand from his squad.

A lacklustre showing in the tournament also saw Hodgson receive criticism in some quarters, with England battling into the quarter-finals but then losing on penalties to Italy after an uninspiring goalless draw.

Day out: Roy Hodgson went to watch the cricket

Day out: Roy Hodgson went to watch the cricket

And Hodgson said: 'I don't know how much I enjoy it. I enjoy the job of being the England national team manager and I accept the things that go with that.

'I certainly don't seek out the cameras but I know they're going to follow me and I have to learn to live with it.

'I'm sure I will get caught out on many occasions doing something I shouldn't!'

Hodgson was speaking on BBC Radio's Test Match Special broadcast from the Oval, where he was watching England's cricketers take on South Africa, and contrasted the situation in football to cricket's central contract system.

'We can never get away from the fact we as a national (football) team don't pay the players,' he said.

'They play for the honour of representing their country, and their money and livelihood comes from the clubs.

Scrutiny: Hodgson says it is difficult to enjoy all of the attention

Scrutiny: Hodgson says it is difficult to enjoy all of the attention

'Which master do you serve, the one you want to because you want to play for your country or the one who pays your wages?

'It hasn't been a problem so far, the clubs have been very co-operative and there have been no problems with players.

'I've been party to it with Switzerland and Finland, situations where clubs have an important game coming up and would rather their player stay with them rather than risk injury.

'It's better now FIFA have these dates where the club game is closed down for 10 days. They're doing everything they can to ensure the clubs don't suffer from loaning their players out.'

And he insists international football retains its importance to both players and spectators.

'The players do value it,' Hodgson said. 'On the evidence of the Euros, the commitment is first-class.

'Twenty-two million people in England tuned in to see our game against Italy - it's been suggested the national team is not viewed as being as important as the Champions League but more people watched our match than the Champions League final.'

Chat: Hodgson speaks with Test Match Special presenter Jonathan Agnew

Chat: Hodgson speaks with Test Match Special presenter Jonathan Agnew

Almost as much discussed as Hodgson's jettisoning of Ferdinand was Great Britain coach Stuart Pearce's decision not to select David Beckham for the Olympics.

But Hodgson said: 'Stuart was given the autonomy to select his team, it was his decision that David would not be a part of it and it wouldn't be appropriate for me to be involved in any comments towards that.

'I'm sure the decision has been debated pretty thoroughly but I've not been a part of it.'

There was an unfortunate slip of the tongue when, after acknowledging that 'several of the players might be of interest to me in the national team', he went on to refer to the combined team as 'England'.

'It should be a very good event, the England group is a very interesting one,' he said.

'It's a very good competition because it's open to the top professionals, that's very different to the old days.'