When Roy beat Harry

Adam McDonnellAssociate Director of Political and Social Research
Hannah ThompsonYouGovLabs and UK Public Opinion Website Editor
May 06, 2012, 9:00 AM UTC

England manager rivalry: 43% British football fans say Hodgson 'not right for job', 28% say he is

West Bromwich Albion manager Roy Hodgson may have been the Football Association's favourite, but less than one in five Britons interested in football picked him as their first choice for the job, our poll (taken just before the FA confirmed Hodgson in his new role) has revealed.

Similarly, a significant number says that the FA made the 'wrong choice' in considering Hodgson for the position.

On Tuesday, Roy Hodgson became the 13th permanent manager of the England football team, after Fabio Capello resigned from the position in February amid the John Terry captaincy scandal.

The West Brom manager beat bookies' favourite and Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp to the top job in English football, but our poll finds that the interested public is unconvinced about whether Roy is the right man to lead England to the Euros and beyond.

  • Just 14% of people who said they were 'interested in football' thought that Roy Hogdson should replace Capello, compared to 34% who said Redknapp was the best man for the job
  • 43% of interested people said that Hodgson was the 'wrong choice', versus 28% who said that he was the 'right choice'

What about Euro 2012?

When it comes to England's predicted performance in upcoming tournament Euro 2012, the majority of football fans feel that the team will only progress as far as the quarter finals with Hodgson at the helm.

  • 67% of Britons interested in football reckon that a Hodgson-managed England will go as far as the quarter finals
  • While 12% say the team will make it to the semis
  • And 12% think that England won't qualify from the group stages
  • Just 1% apiece think that the team will either make it to the final or win Euro 2012

This is markedly different from what the same respondents said when asked to imagine Harry Redknapp as manager.

  • In that case, 41% thought England would make it to the quarter finals
  • 32% thought the team would make it to the semis
  • 8% thought a Redknapp-managed squad could take it to the final
  • While 6% thought a team with Redknapp in charge could get to the final

In recent times, England certainly has a track record for ending tournaments at the quarter-final stage or earlier ‒ the last time England surpassed the level in a major event was at the 1996 European Championships, which saw Terry Venables’s men secure third place on home soil after succumbing to a German semi-final defeat on penalties.

Will England warm to Roy?

Our poll was conducted on Monday 30th April, just after the FA released the news that they had approached Hodgson, but before his official appointment on Tuesday, meaning our results show the public’s immediate response to the idea of Hodgson as manager.

On a wider note, The FA's decision reportedly came as a surprise to many fans, and these results suggest initial reluctance to back Hodgson, from a nation that assumed Redknapp would get the job.

With Euro 2012 just around the corner, Roy Hodgson arguably has a small window of chance to become accepted by likely -sceptical fans, and beat off any lingering doubts that he is the overall right man for the job.

See the survey details and full results here