England coach, Roy Hodgson has sparked controversy in the UK after defending Jamie Vardy over diving during the weekend game between Leicester city and West Ham.
This comes after Vardy was charged for improper conduct following his reaction after he was red carded.Vardy is claimed to have said assaultive and violent words to the referee and the FA are looking into the matter in which Vardy’s ban could be extended and it wouldn’t be good for Roy Hodgson who would want all his players to be active for their clubs ahead of EURO 2016
“Vardy got sent off at the weekend, but once again I will go out on a limb,’ said Hodgson. ‘I don’t see that. I don’t see that as a dive. I think he was unbalanced. I don’t think it was a penalty either. I think he was unbalanced, running at that speed.I think there was a very slight contact with the defender, who was trying to cover. I think he went down because he was unbalanced. I don’t think he was trying to dive.But of course all the pundits I hear say he was trying to dive, “look how he dived”. I don’t see it. For me I wouldn’t blame him for that. I sympathise with him. I think he was very, very unlucky”.
ALSO READ: 7 Interesting Facts About John Mikel Obi
However, Hodgson was sympathetic, arguing that Leicester’s leading goalscorer had ‘reacted like sometimes human beings react’.”When you get sent off for something where he obviously feels like I feel there is no doubt he is of that opinion – he has had to swallow the fact that he has been made to leave the field. Then, of course, he has reacted like sometimes human beings react”.He hasn’t just said to the ref, “that is all right, I understand”, shake hands and “have a good game”. He has called him a few names. But he is a human being and that can happen”.
“Players are players. You take everything that the player brings with him. You take Wayne Rooney. He, by my recollection, was pretty hot-headed and got himself into scrapes on the field. But you take what the player brings”.One of the accusations after we lost to Uruguay was that England aren’t streetwise enough,’ he said. ‘That’s another interesting topic which you could talk for ages about because how do you make people streetwise if they don’t grow up on the street?’We’re English. We’re brought up in England; English schools, English culture and English parents. We’re not from the back streets of Uruguay or Colombia or whatever. I don’t know what you can do as a coach to suddenly to make them that way. The same applies here, obviously”.Our players (in France) will know that discipline is very, very important. Our players will have it drummed into them that they must keep their cool, “don’t lose your temper, don’t run the risk that they are going to upset you and get you sent off”. We tell them all those things.But what if it happens? People make it sound so simple, that all you have to do is tell them, for me to go round to every player and give a lecture saying “listen boys, we don’t want anything like this happening”.Just imagine it’s the 89th minute of the game, you get sent off, look what would happen to us. They would nod very wisely, none of them would disagree, they would all say: “don’t worry, we won’t do it. You’re right.” But then it still happens”.
For all that Hodgson is still very much enjoying his job. Indeed he reiterated his desire to continue after the Euros and match Walter Winterbottom in becoming only the second England manager to lead the team at four tournaments in this case the World Cup in Russia in 2018 and what for Hodgson would be a fifth in total.
He said “If they want me, it is as simple as that.I think I have tried to say all along – and nothing has really changed – if the FA want me and the mood in the country is that they would like me to stay then I am of course more than happy to stay. But I don’t want to be clawing onto a job when I get the feeling that people don’t want me to have the job. I suppose that comes down to what the Euros brings and how people feel after it.I would like to think we have learned a lot from the two previous tournaments we have been at. I would like to think going forward and preparing for this one, it has put us in a slightly better position.But everything really depends on the night. It is a bit like rehearsals for a play. Rehearsals might have been fantastic, but on the opening night everyone forgets their lines or the play, in some others way, is a disaster. That is where all the judgement is.That said I don’t think that the team and the group of players we have got now will, in any way, let myself, the coaching staff or the country down.I fully believe they will go there and perform at the level we think they can perform at and we have seen they can perform at.I think we will be well prepared for this tournament. The players will have a certain freshness about them”.
Hodgson was speaking at an England/FA media briefing ahead of the Euro 2016 finals.