Roy Hodgson's farewell press conference quickly turned into a humiliating car crash
Roy Hodgson has insisted that if the England players were unhappy with his management at Euro 2016, they kept it hidden from him after he was questioned on reports of discontent among the senior squad members the day after his resignation as England manager.
Reports emerged of the senior players among the England squad losing faith in Hodgson in the build-up to the 2-1 defeat by Iceland that sent them crashing out of the European Championship, with Hodgson announcing his resignation minutes after the full-time whistle.
Initially, Hodgson rejected the opportunity to speak to the media and answer their questions, with Football Association chairman Martin Glenn due to appear instead. However, Hodgson performed a late U-turn, and instead of travelling back to England with the players, he appeared alongside Glenn at England’s Chantilly base.
However, it was clear that Hodgson had no desire to be there, as he repeatedly questioned why it was necessary to face the media having issued a statement to them the night before.
"I don't really know what I am doing here, I thought my statement last night was sufficient,” Hodgson said. “I'm no longer the England manager, my time has gone, but I was told it was important that I appear here.
"I guess that is partly because people are smarting from the defeat last night that saw us leave the tournament. I suppose someone has to stand and take the slings and arrows that come with it.
"My emotions are obvious ones. I am really disappointed. I didn't see the defeat coming. Nothing in the first three games here gave me any indication that we would play as poorly as we did.
"Unfortunately, they are one-off events. If one of those one-off events you don't turn up, even an opponent that are not entirely fancied like Iceland can beat you. That is what happened.
"I am still recovering from that. I am still fragile. It wasn't a good night, for anybody, because we wanted to stay in this tournament and do well. We believed if we could get to the quarter-final we would go beyond that. We go home as losers and we retain that wretched record of losing a tournament in the knockout stages."
Asked if he ever sensed that the players had lost faith in his abilities to lead them at Euro 2016 – with the decision to pick Raheem Sterling ahead of Adam Lallana for the Iceland defeat a particular talking point, Hodgson did not deny the claim, though he did admit that he was not aware of any unrest.
“What is said in the dressing room should stay in the dressing room,” he added. “I certainly never got that impression. If it was true they disguised it very well from me and the coaching staff.
"We had no indication from the players that they were anything but behind what we were doing, behind the game plans that we had. They tried hard to execute them.
"In the game against Slovakia we dominated the game from start to finish and all we could be accused of from a critical point of view was that we didn't take our chances."
Hodgson did admit though that he did not see the poor performance in the last-16 loss coming, and neither did the players.
"It is too early to say (regrets)," he said. "It certainly is the wrong day for me to be talking about it because emotions are too raw.
"Hindsight does always serve the purpose of putting you in the right and if you don't have it you find yourself very often in the wrong.
"I don't think before last night's game the performances had given me any real cause for concern, other than us not taking our chances.
"I didn't see, and neither did the players, the sort of performance we gave last night that saw us knocked out. Iceland were possibly the better team on the night despite us having the best of possession."
While Hodgson addressed the media, Wayne Rooney issued a statement to the Press Association to deny all reports of frustration among the players at Hodgson’s decisions.
Rooney said: "In response to recent media reports, I'd like to say that is completely untrue.
"On behalf of the players, we completely supported the England manager but we understand his reasons for stepping down.
"We had absolute faith in the build-up and throughout the tournament."
(© Independent News Service)