Roy Hodgson on 45 years in football management - It's good to talk

By Alex HowellBBC Sport
Roy Hodgson
Hodgson's last match at Selhurst Park took place on Wednesday in front of 6,500 fans

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson says trying to speak to every single one of his players every day has helped him succeed in football management.

The former England boss stepped away from the game after a 45-year career when the Premier League season ended on Sunday.

And he said having close relationships with his players has been key.

"You can't get away from the fact that an important aspect is you need to speak to players," Hodgson said.

The 73-year-old, who has been Palace manger since 2017, began his managerial career 45 years ago with Swedish side Halmstads.

He has managed 16 clubs in eight countries, including Liverpool, Inter Milan (twice) and Udinese, as well as the Switzerland, United Arab Emirates and Finland national sides.

But he says a simple piece of advice from former England assistant manager Tord Grip, who preceded Hodgson at Swedish club Malmo, set him up for the rest of his career.

"I learned many many years ago - one of the things that Tord Grip said to me when I first went to Malmo, I'd not thought about it before." said Hodgson.

"I said to him once 'what was your philosophy then?'

"He said: 'One thing I used to do was to try and make sure I spoke to every player every day and sometimes it was only a brief conversation and it might not even have had to do with football.

"I thought that was very very clever, very good. So, I took that very much on board and it's something I've tried to follow.

"Now I'm not saying I was 100% successful, but I think that's an interesting philosophy and it's something I believe that Ray [Lewington] and I tried to carry on."

Ray Lewington has worked with Hodgson for the last eight years at England and Crystal Palace. And the former Fulham manager believes having the correct people around him has allowed him to adapt and work for the past 45 years.

"I think I'd be very fortunate I've always had good people around me, people that I can lean on, take advice from, use as a sounding board. Before him [Lewington] there were always people I felt like that who could keep giving me some sort of sense of perspective.

"And keep reminding me really, this is the way it is and this is the job that needs to be done and if you want to stay relevant, if you want stay in it, these are things you must learn to live with and deal with them and find answers to.

"I'm lucky in the sense that both Ray and I, my wife of course, the people who have been close, we don't live in the past. We don't consistently compare. We don't say well it was different then or better then.

"We try very hard to say what's required, what's happening? But whatever you do don't start believing that other eras and other times were necessarily better."

Top Stories

Elsewhere on the BBC