Blake backs his ex-boss Hodgson for England job.
FORMER Wales international Nathan Blake believes Roy Hodgson is the perfect man to take England forward.
In a move that was greeted with surprised by many, 64-year-old Hodgson is on the verge of being announced as England's new boss after a four-meeting with the FA yesterday.
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp had been widely tipped to take the top job, but West Brom chief Hodgson is now expected to lead the national side into Euro 2012. Cardiff City legend Blake, who in October 1998 was signed from Bolton for pounds 4.5m by Hodgson when he was in charge at Blackburn, insists the former Fulham supremo has all the tools to succeed in a position that attracts searing scrutiny from so many quarters.
"I think Roy would be a fantastic appointment by England," said Blake.
"I believe from the candidates being touted for the job he is definitely the best around.
"Tactically, he is superb from a player's perspective, and he's vastly experienced which you are going to need in a job like the England one.
"As a coach he was one of the best I ever worked with on the training ground, meticulous in his preparation and planning and at the same time a real gentleman.
"It was 15 years ago I played under him, so I can imagine he is three or four times better a manager now than he was back then."
Hodgson is vastly experienced at club and international level. He has had spells in charge of Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates and Finland.
At club level he was in charge for two spells at Italian giants Inter Milan as well as in the Premiers League at Blackburn, Fulham, an ill-fated tenure at Liverpool and now West Brom.
While he will be given no leeway at all by the critics should he fail in the England hot-seat Blake believes Hodgson has what it takes to handle it.
"Roy has definitely got the temperament to handle the pressure," said Blake.
"Unlike perhaps in the past for England, he will put the focus very much back on the players rather than the manager himself.
"I think England have tried everything in recent years, with foreign managers in particular, and it has not really worked.
"I don't think there will be any problem with respect when it comes to the England players.
"Roy is used to dealing with big-name players and everything surrounding that. He's been at Inter Milan, one of the biggest clubs in the world.
"What I do hope is that the press and England supporters give him a chance because I don't think he was really given a fair crack of the whip at Liverpool at all."
It is anticipated Hodgson will complete the Premier League season with West Brom before taking charge for England''s two pre-Euro 2012 friendlies, against Norway in Oslo on May 26 and Belgium for his first game at Wembley, seven days later.
* Roy Hodgson arrives at Wembley yesterday ahead of talks over the vacant England job. Nathan Blake is pictured below
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|Publication:||Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)|
|Date:||May 1, 2012|
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