FEW, if any, managers currently plying their trade in British football have a more varied CV than Roy Hodgson – 16 teams in eight countries, the kind of travel schedule that makes Marco Polo look like a stay-at-home.
His is a story of have football boots – and foreign phrase-book – will travel.
Hodgson would be called the ultimate mercenary manager – if he was a foreigner!
Now he can add another title to that lengthy voyage of discovery – that of England manager.
The FA feel they still need him now he’s 64, and though Sir Alex Ferguson has won more trophies and enjoyed more success, even the grand master of the English game, some of whose shine was rubbed off at the Etihad on Monday, cannot remotely match the sheer breadth of experience that Hodgson boasts.
His track record runs the full gamut of international and club football at European level – Switzerland, Finland and Inter Milan among them – and it is unrivalled in its depth.
But is he the man for the job?
Or is it Hobson’s – sorry – Hodgson’s Choice?
Or a case of Buggins’ – or Muggin’s – Turn?
It is a tricky one, and you would get polarised answers if, say, you asked a Blackburn Rovers fan and then a Fulham supporter.
At Ewood he could be deemed a flop, but at Fulham he was a spectacular success – but then all managers have their ups and downs.
He should not be judged on his time at Liverpool – he was never universally accepted by either the spectators or the media, and he was certainly not given a chance, with the looming presence of ‘King’ Kenny Dalglish always evident.
What has to be said is Hodgson is certainly a cost-effective choice.
Compensation to West Brom is not an issue, but it would have been – a big one – had England pinned their colours on Harry Redknapp at Tottenham Hotspur.
But then England have thrown money at the job in the past – £6 million a year to the last incumbent Fabio Capello – and it has not paid off.
However, it has to be said that Hodgson is not a charismatic figure and there has been much talk that there is no ‘wow’ factor attached to this impending appointment, coming as he does from a rather unappealing, and small, list of candidates.
One suspects, though, that Hodgson does not have a great deal of homework to catch up on prior to this summer’s European Championships – it is stored up there in his considerable soccer brain already.
And a look at Hodgson’s record shows that he is better as manager of teams that can be called under-dogs, a term that applies most definitely to England at Euro 2012, no matter whoever was in charge.