Following successful stints with Fulham and West Brom – and earlier international careers managing across Europe – Roy Hodgson was named yesterday as the new England manager (Mirror)

Just one day into his England managerial tenure, then, Roy Hodgson has already received the most damning condemnation possible – public backing from Sven-Goran Eriksson.

The Swede, talking to BBC Sport, spoke of Hodgson’s “huge experience of international football” and expressed his beliefs that the West Brom boss will “do a good job” with the England side.

“I thought, like everyone else, that Harry Redknapp should take it,” Eriksson said. ” But when I think about it, it’s not a surprise. Roy is English, first of all; and he has huge experience of international football, so I think it’s a good choice.

“[Hodgson is] very organised, he knows his football, he will organise the team, he’s been very successful in many countries. He will do a good job.”

Eriksson’s backing comes the day after Hodgson admitted he “wasn’t everybody’s first choice” for the England hotseat – often described as the biggest job in football – but hoped that people would get behind him for Euro 2012. And his “good friend” Sven certainly believes that Hodgson is worth giving a chance.

“He’s a good man. He has charisma, of course he has, and he has huge experience of football, he has worked in many countries. He will deal with this job in a very good way.” This sentiment was echoed by the overlooked Redknapp, who called Hodgson a “great guy”, on Sunday.

On the day a controversial headline in The Sun drew a backlash from the FA and from many eager to ignore Hodgson’s unfortunate speech impediment, I’d like to throw my own support behind the rather weightier sentiments of his peers. Hodgson has always struck me as an exceptionally honest and committed man – who can forget one postgame interview late in his first half-season in charge at Fulham, when Roy was in tears at the prospect of failing to avoid relegation with a club he’d only known five minutes. Two years later, Hodgson had that same Fulham side in the final of the Europa League.

He managed Switzerland to the last 16 of the 1994 World Cup – before they flooded their team with eastern European talent and became a decent side. He’s managed Inter Milan – twice. This is not some clueless halfwit whose speech patterns are betraying some sort of fundamental stupidity. Hodgson is one of the most well-travelled English coaches at his level and has the scars – and the trophies – to prove it. He is a determined competitor whose sides are very hard to break down and work exceptionally hard for their manager. That, above all else, is a trait the new England boss needed to inspire in his players.

Of course, none of that matters. All that will matter for Hodgson over the next three months is results. If England don’t advance from the group stage in Poland and Ukraine, probably if they don’t reach the final four at least, Hodgson will be cast as a failure and the FA will be crucified over their decision not to even approach Redknapp, a man who has enjoyed massive financial backing to achieve his success at Tottenham and has not a day’s experience of international football. Like it or not, Hodgson faces a very public trial this summer. His battle to win hearts and minds in the meantime, regardless of how successful it is, will matter little come July.

Before we all get too stressed out about England’s impending doom, however, here’s a little video to calm your minds, brought to my attention by my good friend Tom. Words won’t really do it justice.

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