Roy Hodgson still waiting for apology from Sam Allardyce
Everton manager was recorded by undercover reporters calling Palace boss ‘Woy’
Roy Hodgson takes his Crystal Palace side to Goodison Park on Saturday. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/Getty
Roy Hodgson has admitted his relationship with Sam Allardyce has been wrecked after his successor as England manager was filmed mocking him, making remarks he found insulting and for which he has not had a personal apology.
Allardyce, whose Everton welcome Hodgson’s Crystal Palace to Goodison Park on Saturday, was caught on camera in September 2016 calling his predecessor “Woy” during conversations with undercover reporters, and suggesting he would be no use as a public speaker because “he’d send them all to sleep, he hasn’t got the personality”. He went on to suggest that Hodgson had been “too indecisive” as England succumbed to defeat against Iceland at Euro 2016.
The newspaper sting cost Allardyce his job as national coach after one game, prompting him to issue an apology for his conduct in a statement relayed through the Football Association after his mutually agreed departure. It contained a reference to Allardyce regretting “my comments with regard to other individuals”, but there was no mention of Hodgson by name.
Although Hodgson could accept the footballing criticisms of events in Nice, it is understood he took particular offence to the personal nature of Allardyce’s comments about his speech. Asked if he had received a private apology, Hodgson merely offered “No”. When pushed as to whether the remarks had disappointed him, he added: “Do you like being insulted? No, not particularly. Did it bother me? I didn’t lose any sleep over it. My relationship with him before I always thought was good. Now I would expect it to be less good.”
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Allardyce, who went on to enjoy a successful six-month stint in charge of Palace last season before resigning in May after retaining the club’s top-flight status, is apparently intent upon addressing the issue on Saturday. “I’ll hopefully speak to him at the game,” he said. “A lot of time has passed since that unfortunate situation. I did [try to call Hodgson] once, but didn’t get through.
“I never apologised personally because I never got hold of him, but when it came out I did publicly. More than once. If you are going to do something like that I prefer it to be private, but I’ve never had the opportunity privately to talk about it which would be better than a conversation on the phone. Hopefully he is fine with it.”
Yet any belated attempt by Allardyce to apologise will fall on deaf ears. “No, it’s far too late,” Hodgson said. “It has gone. It belongs to the distant past. In jobs like I am doing at the moment, when you are the manager of a Premier League club, you live very much in the ultimate present and the future. I’m not interested.”
Palace will travel to Merseyside three points clear of the relegation zone and denied nine senior players through injury, with Wilfried Zaha facing a month out after straining knee ligaments. The winger consulted a specialist this week and, although the problem does not require surgery, will miss at least four top-flight games. They have not won a league game without Zaha since September 2016. “But the good news is he’s a very quick healer,” said Hodgson. “He’s not out for the rest of the season. He’ll be back.”
There is no interest in securing the former Arsenal and Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri, who left the Turkish club Antalyaspor on transfer deadline day. But, with Julián Speroni on crutches and set to consult a specialist over his own ligament damage in four weeks’ time, Palace may enter the market for a goalkeeper.