Roy Hodgson turning the air blue? It's good to know the England manager has a pulse after all


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The Independent Football

The eff word? Expletives? Yes, Roy Hodgson pleads guilty. Unapologetically so. He even swears in front of the missus. At last we are seeing vital signs from an England coach thought too cautious and dull. Here is a bloke that gets angry, that dishes it out, that stands his corner. Hooray.

Hodgson's acerbic indignation at the line of questioning over England's shot stats gave us all a giggle, a post-match morsel on which to nibble. There was little else to get excited about after another prosaic night's work by this England team.

The ire was still burning when England returned to training on Friday, Hodgson giving the players plenty of sewer invective during a lacklustre drill. This is surely what we want from a national coach, zero tolerance of half-hearted, mediocrity. And there was a word or two for the more delicate ears among those who chronicle his fortunes.

"Expletives. You are scraping the bottom of the barrel to say something negative there. I'm a football coach. Up to the age of 25 I played and worked in England. I played non-league with dockers. Every other word was a swear word. They didn't even know they were swearing.

"If you want to get something written down: 'We are very, very annoyed and morally offended when Hodgson as England manager uses a swear word. We insist in future he never does it again.' Then I'll never swear in your company again.

"I thought we were mature enough people to understand that a swear word which I thought was probably used at the right time would not send you into a fit of moral indignation. But if that is what you want then we will do it."

There were hints against Italy in the World Cup and also in the final 20 minutes against Norway at Wembley that England have a pulse.

It is good to know that Hodgson does, too.