Hodgson word of the day and the curious handshaking problems in football at the moment

Roy’s back on form:

“I think one of the players had a bit of a fight with a picture and unfortunately won.”

Hodgson added: “There was a slight contretemps at the end of the game with the player being upset with one of their players not wanting to shake hands and he was a bit emotional.

“I am pretty certain that a team that plays with so much heart and determination as Stoke will probably forgive us for breaking a picture.

“We will happily pay for [any damage] but I hope it will not take the gloss off what I think was a very good performance.”

Stoke boss Tony Pulis was critical of Olsson’s antics and said: “Olsson smashed some memorabilia and that is very disappointing when it happens.

He added: “If you can’t control yourself by not smashing someone else’s property because someone refuses to shake your hand, that is not an excuse.

“That has been paid for by this club and he has no right to break things like that.”

Comedy all around.   “He has no right to break things like that.”   Indeed not.

Interestingly, the BBC has removed the “contretemps” paragraph now.    Had Hodgson used the word while at Liverpool he’d doubtlessly have been accused of alienating the fans with pretentious southern-speak, just another example of how he doesn’t “get” them.

Also, what is it with hand-shaking at the moment?    I quite liked what Mark Hughes did at City on Sunday:   I once read that baseball managers get themselves thrown out of games for arguing with umpires not because they think it will do them any good, but to establish some energy into the team, a sense of “us against them”;  Hughes (like Jose Mourinho) seems quite good at this.   He shows a steel, a passion, suggesting that his team won’t be walked all over by “the man”, whoever that man might be.     It’s a bit silly, and it’s not like the team’s lack of outward shows of passion held us back under Hodgson, but it does add a certain something to the side.

(random and delicate excursion:  Sidwell and Etuhu:  ginger white man hurtles around looking very busy; laid back appearing black man is more languid but doesn’t obviously let us down – how much do these outward appearances colour our perceptions of their work on the field?)

16 thoughts on “Hodgson word of the day and the curious handshaking problems in football at the moment

  1. I get the feeling that Roy is back in his element and happy, I hope he keeps West Brom up, should be an interesting end to the season.

    As for your final point, talk about can of worms!

    Personally, and I am not just saying this, the fact that Sidwell is white and Etuhu is black has literally never crossed my mind. I can see your argument but I am not sure there is much of one. Sidwell has a superior range of passing but Etuhu this season has been far from languid. Definitely being told to get forward more by Hughes and I have enjoyed his runs which showcase his often forgotten pace. Unfortunately Etuhu seems to not be the most technical of player so cannot capitalise on his increased forward activity. With Zamora back, expect Etuhu to get forward more though as Bobby can actually hold up the ball – it could be fun!

    1. not an argument, I’m just asking. I don’t think this is an issue in particular either, but it certainly does happen (think of Seol). There was once a survey among American baseball players asking who was the hardest working player in the league, and who was the most naturally talented. As I recall, all the nominated ‘hard workers’ were white, all the nominated ‘naturals’ were black. So these biases do exist, although it demeans both players’ contributions to suggest that this is a big issue at Fulham (and I hope I haven’t done so).

      1. While I recognise that perceptions of race can cloud judgement, I really don’t think this is a consideration here. Rather isn’t this the big dog/small dog, lennie and george, paradigm that has existed since time immemorial? Sidwell, as the smaller man, has to yap around biting ankles to make himself notice. Etuhu just has to rock up and let people run into him. You saw that at Man City. Against a team that plays through the middle with man mountains like Yaya Toure (who buy the way has likely never been thought of as not hardworking), Etuhu was an absolute necessity. To my mind, there was no way we would’ve got anything out of the game without him there. But against a smaller teams that like to spread it about, live Villa, someone like Sidwell is more useful.

      2. If you ever get a chance, be sure to watch season 2, episode 3 of the (hilarious comedy) The League. They basically discuss how, at least here in America, race affects how we, fans and media alike, perceive and subsequently stereotype a player or coach; i.e. a white player is always “scrappy”, a black coach is always “a class act”. I guess an apt footy comparison would be how African teams always have “raw talent”.

        When the reality may be something quite different.

        Oh, and yes, Rich, you are quite correct about baseball coaches purposefully getting tossed. Sometimes they do it because they got hosed on a call or two, but most other times because they want to send a message to their team. It happened quite a bit last season for Orioles’ manager Dave Trembley when he began to be living on borrowed time.

        1. As a baseball fanatic, I’ll tell you that the majority of the time a manager gets himself tossed is to fire up his team during a game and to show his players he’s got their back. It’s a much more appropriate display to go after an umpire in full view than to eviscerate the team or go “Ra-Ra” in the dugout. You don’t often see a manager get tossed when a baseball team is in good form.

          Baseball managers know what it takes to get tossed so it’s often a calculated effort, with the rare exception of an extremely temperamental sort, of course.

          1. I give you Earl Weaver v. Bill Haller, the paradigmatic example of a manager using an ejection to motivate the team and, for that matter, the crowd. Listen for the swell of cheers each time he turns back for another go at the poor umpire.

            1. Ah wow, thanks for that, Charles – it was actually Weaver I had in mind when writing that. I’ve shifted 90% of my baseball books over the years, but Weaver On Strategy remains.

  2. I was dragged to Stamford Bridge once for a Chelsea v Boro FA cup tie and Steve McClaren purposely got inflamed about something in order to get a reaction – but I think the reaction he was after was from the away supporters who were stationed just next to the away dug out. It worked anyway.

    Sidwell/Etuhu – I personally see a small/big man alternating in the same position.

  3. I thought Roy sounded like his old self in that post match interview. Maybe I’m imagining things but it seems he’s more at home at West Brom than he ever was at Liverpool. I hope they stay up and we have a chance to show him our thanks (whilst stuffing his team!) next season.

  4. The previous week Roy said “Every draw is either a win or a loss”. Now I know what he meant, but its that type of statement that I suspect would put the scousers offside. I don’t wish Roy any malice, but neither do I wish him any particular luck at West Brom. He made a stupid decision in leaving Fulham for Liverpool, and I don’t believe he will manage at the very highest level again. And if he stays at West Brom, it will only be 2-3 years before he gets bored and moves on, like he did with us.

  5. Reference Sidwell and Etuhu. These are two physically different players playing two distinctly different approaches to the same positions. This is what is so great about football. In American football, no one gets on the field unless they are required weight and size and speed. But in the real football, the size and weight are irrelevant. The technique, skill, and approach may be different (as in the case of Etuhu and Sidwell) for the same position, but get similar results. This is even more interesting when the various players are put together as a team to compliment each other’s skills. Sidwell provides more pace and energy, Etuhu is more domination and calm (take your pick depending on the opponent and the situation). This is why the manager is so important in EPL.

    1. This brings us back to baseball.

      Exhibit A: Randy “The Big Unit” Johnson

      Exhibit B: “Tiny” Tim Lincecum

      Both multiple Cy Young winners.

  6. Hi Y’all. Thinking about Sidwell/Etuhu … I’d say it has to be horses for courses and that applies to just about the entire team. I think the only four players who shuld be ‘etched’ into the squad at the moment are Schwarzer, Hughes, Hangeland & Murphy. Everyone else should be picked on who we are playing and what our style will be. IE Right back could be Baird, Kelly or Pantsil. Left back could be Salcido or Baird. Midfield could be anything from Davies, Duff, Etuhu, Sidwell and Dempsey. I really see us as having a 15 man first choice team with a second string of Kelly, Greening, Stockdale and at the moment Gera. I think the players have top accept that they may not be picked to start every week as the squad system dictates the best players for a particular game need to start. This can lead to problems if players think they should start every game… thoughts?

    1. Except that success tends to go with stability. Frequent rotation makes it harder to instill the familiarity with each other, the intuitive ‘knowing what the guy next to you is likely to do’, the understanding of your role etc., that a stable first 11 will develop.

      1. There’s also the danger that the FA might fine you for playing a “weakened side” like they did to Blackpool.

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