12 May 2013 07:30

PLUS - The fear associated with Sir Alex Ferguson's touchline presence and why nobody can blame Wayne Rooney for clarifying his future

Overlooked: Glenn Hoddle is widely hailed as an excellent coach Overlooked: Glenn Hoddle is widely hailed as an excellent coach

Reuters

It goes without saying, but we all know why ­­experienced operators such as George Graham and Ron Atkinson have not been considered for managerial positions in recent years.

But why Glenn Hoddle never seems to get a shout has become a source of bafflement.

In his book a couple of years ago, Gary Neville detailed some of Hoddle’s more bizarre practices during his England ­tenure, the employment of Eileen Drewery just one of them.

But even Neville ­conceded: “If ­only he (Hoddle) had the man-management skills to go with his ­undoubted ­footballing ­intelligence. He was a very good coach who wanted England to play the right way.”

Hoddle’s pre and post-England spells at ­Swindon, Chelsea, ­Southampton, Tottenham and Wolves ­produced mixed results. But of 532 games as a ­manager, ­Hoddle lost 167.

A half-decent record.

At 55, Hoddle should be in his managerial prime.

Maybe he has made it clear he doesn’t want to return to the dugout.

But another job, Everton, came up this week and Hoddle’s name was not even mentioned.

It’s hard to know why.

I am sure Sir Alex Ferguson would not want reflections on his 26 years at Old Trafford to be completely sugar-coated.

His undermining of officials, for example, seems to have been airbrushed from history. But there is no doubt he will go down as the most remarkable ­manager in English club football.

During a conversation with the Footballer of the Year the other night, Gareth Bale told me he ­believed some teams were ­intimidated by ­Ferguson’s mere presence on the touchline.

Sir Alex Ferguson Presence: Gareth Bale says Sir Alex Ferguson's touchline appearance could scare other teams

Getty

 

If true, that is astonishing. And it gives you an idea of the enormity of the job facing David Moyes. He is an excellent choice but with David Gill also departed, United have ­undergone a ­dramatic hierarchical overhaul.

That will make them ­vulnerable. And that is why the next Premier League ­season promises to be more gripping than the one coming to an end next Sunday.

If Wayne Rooney went to see Sir Alex Ferguson recently for clarification over his future, who could blame him?

Used in various positions over the park, Rooney was left out of the starting line-up for Manchester United’s most important game of the season.

And under Ferguson, there was the ­prospect of England’s main striker – the focal attacking point – operating in midfield for his club.

Rooney could keep quiet and count his two hundred grand a week. That is what a lot of fans will be telling him to do.

But the fact he appears concerned ­purely about his footballing role must surely be positive, not a negative.

Amid the fallout from the sport’s biggest story in decades, Stiliyan Petrov’s moving and ­dignified retirement from football went a little under the radar.

Sir Alex has retired but he won’t be lost to the game. Let’s hope the same applies to Stan.

Filed under: Euro 2012

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