Football: New attack on Hoddle

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The Independent Online
GLENN HODDLE came under renewed attack yesterday for the comments he made in his forthcoming World Cup book.

Gordon Taylor, the chairman of the Professional Footballers' Association, criticised the England coach for having his priorities wrong in writing his controversial World Cup diary. He was not convinced by the England coach's explanation for writing the book after Hoddle claimed on Friday night that he had tried to put the record straight on issues such as Paul Gascoigne's omission from the squad for France 98.

Taylor was also sceptical about Hoddle's attack on the contentious headlines used on the book's serialisation in a daily newspaper. "People in football know that they [newspapers] pay more if it is controversial," Taylor said. "I am not saying his judgement has been clouded, but it could easily have been by doing a book for private financial gain. The whole object of the exercise was to manage the England team and win the World Cup for England."

Mark Lawrenson, the former Liverpool defender, thinks Hoddle will still be judged on results rather than his book. "When all is said and done the England coach will be worried about results for Euro 2000," he said on BBC Radio 5 Live. "The only thing is maybe when the players speak to Glenn Hoddle they will be very wary of what they say and do in front of him.

"I think it is daft. I can't understand why they wanted to write a book in the first place. England were successful at the World Cup, so what was the point of it? Glenn Hoddle's judgement in writing the book is seriously clouded and there was always going to be a fuss."

Hoddle meets his England squad, which does not include Gascoigne, for the first time since the serialisation of the book when they assemble today to begin their preparations for the European Championship qualifying campaign.

The Football Association's director of public affairs, David Davies, who has defended his own role in helping to produce the controversial World Cup diary, said: "By definition, when the players come together, Glenn meets the players. It is a matter for him as to what he talks to them about."

Peter Corrigan, page 8

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