Roy Hodgson reveals he was in 'semi-retirement' before Mohamed Al-Fayed persuaded him to become Fulham manager

Hodgson was about to become 'presidential adviser' to Internazionale owner Massimo Moratti before taking the Fulham job that lead to being named England manager

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The Independent Online

Roy Hodgson has revealed he was in 'semi-retirement' in 2007 when Mohamed Al-Fayed persuaded him to forgo the post of 'presidential adviser' to then-Internazionale owner Massimo Moratti and take on the task of keeping Fulham in the Premier League.

Hodgson not only kept Fulham up, he took them to the final of the Europa League. Further posts at Liverpool and West Brom followed before, as he said "here I am eight years later in the biggest job in the country". The England manager, 68 years old but not, he said, "feeling anything like that, added: "That taught me not to make any decisions about my future, I prefer to see what develops."

The same applies to his team. Hodgson said he has names in mind for the European Championships in France next summer, but the vagaries of form and fitness are such they a pencilled in, not inked.

 

One player whose recent England career illustrates the problems is Daniel Sturridge who has been plagued by muscle injuries since breaking down in training with England at the start of the season. That prompted a public exchange with Brendan Rodgers who, at the time, was under pressure at Anfield after a slow start to Liverpool's campaign.

Hodgson said as far he was concerned that was all in the past and he was looking forward to Sturridge's return. "My relationship with Brendan is the same as it is with every other coach," he said. " I get on well with all the coaches. He said a few things about Daniel's injury, I accepted that, it didn't bother me.

"I've never really had a working relationship with him, I work with the players. Some managers I know better than others, some I speak to, some I don't, I don't have a clear cut policy on that."

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Hodgson admits he was in 'semi-retirement' in 2007

"It was unfortunate Daniel got injured when he did and we were sorry about that but he has had a few injuries since. Is that down to England and the way we work? I don't think so.

"Having him back will be great as long as he is playing well, I have a few weeks yet (before naming the squad to play Lithuania and Italy next month) but I have always said Daniel has the talent we are looking for and I am delighted he is not suffering his muscle problems any more.

"If he needs a special programme we will take it into account, the medical team will know if if he does as they are in contact with the Liverpool people and I will know that as I will speak to Daniel when he arrives."

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