Press hand Hodgson chalice that definitely isn't poisoned, oh no

With the FA naming Uncle Roy as the new England manager, Back of the Net's John Foster has been to speak to some folks who are definitely 100% behind the new man and aren't upset their mate missed out in the slightest, so whoever told you that is a big, fat fibber...

West Bromwich Albion boss Roy Hodgson was yesterday announced as the new England manager, having agreed a four-year deal with the Football Association to take charge of the national chalice.

Hodgson, 64, spoke of his excitement at being appointed, and dismissed suggestions that the chalice, a vessel forged by Stanley Rous from the molten embers of Excalibur and inlaid with three ruby lions by Sir Alf Ramsey himself, may be spiked with deadly toxins.

The assembled media were quick to agree, ridiculing any suggestion that by merely touching the chalice, Hodgson was bringing a terrible curse upon himself and his loved ones.

“There is no truth to the suggestion that the press might already be looking to get rid of Roy,” said a Daily Mail columnist, while squeezing drops of an unidentified green liquid into the chalice.

“We back him one hundred and ten percent, regardless of how he deals with the press, the scrutiny that comes with the job, and an unexplained bout of hydrargyria.”

Hodgson succeeds Fabio Capello, who was forced from the role in February after contracting hypervitaminosis after speaking to journalists. Capello’s predecessor, Steve McClaren, stepped down after mysteriously ingesting large quantities of arsenic at a media event, while Sven-Göran Eriksson was forced to quit after reacting badly to a plate of fugu at a press dinner.

The job also proved too much for the immune systems of Graham Taylor (acute radiation sickness), Kevin Keegan (attacked by fire ants), Glenn Hoddle (stigmata), and Bobby Robson (surfeit of peaches).

But the press pack was united in insisting that it was wrong to think too hard about the chequered history of the chalice, with all English media outlets looking forward to exchanging barbs with the ex-Switzerland boss, so long as the barbs were not over-scrutinised by toxicologists.

“It’s not fair to criticise him before he’s even started work,” commented a reporter from The Daily Star, while slipping on a pair of surgical gloves. “But rest assured we’ll be right behind him all the way, watching his every move.”

“He deserves time to show he’s the right man for the job, and prove that the pundits, the press, the journalists, and especially the media are all wrong in anticipating a total disaster,” the scribe added, carefully loading a poison dart into a blowpipe.

“We’ll be on his back the whole time. Sorry, did I say ‘on his back’? I meant ‘right behind him’. Which is just where we want him.”

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