CST Blog

CST Breakfast with Roy Hodgson

9 May 2014

England football manager Roy Hodgson was the guest speaker at a fundraising breakfast today for CST, held at the Arts Club in Central London.

The room was packed full as attendees were warmly welcomed by CST’s Northern Regional Chairman Michael Edelson, who explained the valuable work against antisemitism performed by CST for the UK Jewish community.

Roy Hodgson was then interviewed by Geoff Shreeves of Sky Sports, before taking questions from the audience that included some friendly advice on what tactics England ought to employ at the forthcoming World Cup in Brazil.

England’s 23 man World Cup squad is due to be announced on Monday 12 May, and Mr Hodgson resisted much pressure from Mr Shreeves to reveal who would be in it. He did speak admiringly of Raheem Sterling, but remained utterly impassive when Mr Shreeves mischievously replied “that’s one we know is in, 22 to go”. When asked “can you actually enjoy being England manager?”, Mr Hodgson answered that the key lay in managing expectations, with too low being bad for morale and too high putting unreasonable pressure on the team. Mr Hodgson added that it was to England’s advantage that no-one believes they can win, but they are a better team than people think.

Mr Hodgson spoke of his Auschwitz visit with the England team during Euro 2012 in Poland. He said it had been the idea of the FA’s then Chairman, David Bernstein, but he was interested to go along with it. It had been a very moving time for Mr Hodgson and the team. Before this, two Auschwitz survivors has spoken to the team at their pre-tournament England base, The Grove. Footballers usually have a short attention span but Mr Hodgson was surprised that the players’ attention was captured and they kept asking questions even after the session was finished. In Poland the team was split: some went to Auschwitz and others to the Schindler factory. Some of the players in the latter group asked to also visit Auschwitz but unfortunately this could not be arranged.

Mr Hodgson’s motto is “do your job, be happy and let the birds sing”.

CST sincerely thanks Mr Hodgson for having been such a gracious and interesting guest speaker at our charitable event.

We wish him and the England team every success at the forthcoming World Cup.

(Photo below: Roy Hodgson and Geoff Shreeves.)

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