by Noel Draper

Right then Mr Roy. I have waited for at least a month to say what I am about to say. I have watched your press conferences. I even watched the friendly game at the weekend which is something I have rarely done in recent times. Let’s be honest here, I wish I hadn’t now. Oh Roy, where do I start?

You see Roy, I was dead against Harry and his media circus taking control of mine, and your, countries national team. In my eyes he had done absolutely nothing to warrant the elevation above club football management seeing as his record was very poor. One cup win and several clubs in administration for all of his years of effort didn’t, at least in my eyes, justify all the media hype that surrounded his candidacy.

You were hardly mentioned were you Roy? In fact I don’t ever remember seeing your name spoken about at all. This was very clever seeing as you have always considered the England job as the highest job in football and have never hidden your feelings. A dark horse Roy. Well done. Your appointment shocked a few people though didn’t it? Even though you have international managerial experience with Switzerland and Finland in Europe and the UAE a bit further afield you sort of snuck in under the radar didn’t you?

At first, in my head Roy, this was pleasing to me. I was happy that the one person I didn’t want to get the job, didn’t. I was happy that the media, who for so long had been promoting a man as the “people’s choice” when he was, in fact, far from it, seemed to have their noses rubbed in it a little bit. You did this Roy, for which I am grateful.

I then sat down and watched your first press conference. I’ll be honest here Roy, you didn’t really fill me with enthusiasm. Sorry, but you didn’t. For someone who has wanted the position since he took over in management you didn’t look, how shall I say this, that bothered? I was expecting a bit more if I’m being honest. Still, you are a coach with vast experience, something that Harry isn’t, wasn’t, and never will be, which is what the national team needed.

So Roy, I looked forward to the squad announcement with excitement, which believe me, I hadn’t for a number of years. I looked forward to a bright new start. With you Roy. We have, as I am sure you are aware, a few older players who have never lived up to their billing. These obviously needed to be replaced, maybe not all of them, but at least a couple just to show that you were going to move England into the right direction. A more youthful direction. It worked for Germany as I am sure you are aware.

To say I was a bit disappointed is a slight understatement. I was very disappointed. You see Roy, what you had done was stick to the same old players but with a few “old boys” for comfort thrown in. Sure, you muttered on about certain players and how they would fit your “system” but the rest of the footballing world were a little bemused. Maybe picking a winger who went a whole season without scoring or providing an assist wasn’t your brightest thought? Having only one real right back also seemed a bit weird but hey, you are the boss now Roy and I’m sure you have your reasons.

Still, there was a friendly to look forward to against the old enemy, Norway. To celebrate this fact I bought a few bottles of ale and settled down on Saturday to watch it. Sorry Roy but I’m going to have to be honest again here, I switched over to watch the Eurovision after around 20 minutes. Yes we had scored, but this was due to a battering ram and a poor piece of defending rather than skill and flowing football. It seemed very…erm…samey Roy. I did switch back for a while during the second half  but once again watching a load of half wits trying to sing one note properly seemed better entertainment. Sorry but it was.

Forgive me for being honest again Roy but the after match press conference didn’t fill me with confidence either. You mumble a bit don’t you. You also back track, talk yourself into cul-de-sacs and mutter standard football cliches with gay abandon. I was disappointed again. It was a poor performance, much like on the pitch.

You then announce your squad. No surprises. No shocks. No additional right back. No chance. Sorry Roy but that’s my opinion.

The biggest disappointment for me though is that there is a big part of my brain that wishes the FA hadn’t been so safe in appointing you and had gone for the crazy maverick that was Harry Redknapp.

Sorry Roy.