Leading Article: Hoddle must go - and here's the real reason
Monday 01 February 1999
Others in the "Hoddle Must Go" camp, though, argue that Mr Hoddle's beliefs do in fact impinge on his ability as England manager. As the holder of power over his players, he could put undesirable pressure on individuals to go along with his strange ideas. Not all of them would be as robust as the player who agreed to see Mr Hoddle's faith healer, Eileen Drury, and who replied, when she started circling him and asked him what he wanted: "A short back and sides, please." Just as in the case of politicians, it turns out to be a little more difficult than it first appears to draw a clear dividing line between the privacy of home, family and church and the accountability of public office.
But what if, however wacky Mr Hoddle's beliefs seem to the majority, he had turned out to be an inspirational leader whose players found some aspect of Hoddle-Druryism helped calm their nerves when taking penalties? Then he would be feted as the latest in a long line of great English eccentrics, with the dark underside of his beliefs regarded as an unfortunate price worth paying.
Hoddle should go, then, but not primarily because of his tactlessness and dissembling. He should go, ultimately, because he is not a good enough manager and the England team is not - and has not been - playing as well as it could.
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 2 Antonio Martin shooting: Mayor says there should be 'no comparison' to Ferguson
- 3 Antonio Martin shooting: Police and protesters clash over teenager's death just five miles from Ferguson, Missouri
- 4 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
- 5 Northern Lights in the UK: Stunning Aurora Borealis illuminates Northumberland sky on Christmas Eve
Cruel Woman in Black prank sees cinema-goers terrified by movie poster - watch their reactions
Best underrated Christmas movies: From Trading Places to While You Were Sleeping
Game of Thrones season five: First preview clip shows a beardy Tyrion, a moody Cersei and a distressed Arya
Christmas TV guide 2014: The best shows to watch from Doctor Who to Downton Abbey
Merry Xmas Everybody: Slade tops 'most-streamed' Spotify Christmas tunes of 2014
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever