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Roy Hodgson Race Fiasco: Much To Do About Nothing

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Roy Hodgson has been forced to apologise following a half time team-talk that was taken out of context

Paul Gilham

I really wasn't going to comment on this as it seemed like such a non-story. However throughout the day it has become apparent that this situation has taken on a life of it's own with it the talk of the town, as well trending on twitter for hours this morning.

So here is the background:

Roy Hodgson gave a half-time teamtalk that included a reference to an old NASA joke in relation to the astronaut feeding the monkeys who went into space. The idea being that the Monkey was doing such a good job, the sole job of the astronaut is to feed the monkey.

The context:

It's half-time and England are leading 1-0. Andros Townsend is causing the Polish defense all kinds of problems going forward, he has hit the cross bar and forced a terrific save, but he's not seeing enough of the ball. So the message to Chris Smalling the England fullback is to get the ball to Townsend, because he is doing everything right and that's the best chance of success.

Put the two together:

People often put analogies into explanations, it makes it easier to understand and it keeps things fresh. Roy Hodgson was merely saying that it was Smalling's job to get the ball to Andros Townsend. He used the NASA joke as a reference. Had it been Wayne Rooney who was causing all kinds of problems, Roy would have used the same reference but it wouldn't even be talked about. However because the word "monkey" is placed in a sentence in reference to a black English player, all of a sudden race is immediately brought into it.

The fallout:

Naturally the trashy tabloids like The Sun and The Mirror ran with this story as front page material. A simple miscommunication is now front page worthy news. Roy Hodgson has apologised for his "gaff", although in my humble opinion he didn't need to. Andros Townsend has come out and said that no offense was meant and none was taken and he doesn't know what the fuss is about. It seems one England player wasn't too happy and that's why he leaked it to the press, a terrible idea after such a positive weekend. Had this player had a problem with what was said, he should have spoken directly to Roy. Why he thought the best way to deal with it was to leak it to the press is anyone's guess.

Case closed.