Roy Hodgson has called on his England stars to follow the example
of Britain's Olympians and become better role models for their
With the London Games coming to a close on Sunday and the Premier
League season getting underway next weekend, it won't be long
before football is back in the headlines and England manager
Hodgson wants to see his players feted in the same way as
Britain's Olympic heroes.
The likes of Ben Ainslie, Bradley Wiggins, Mo Farah and Jessica
Ennis have been embraced by the British public after delivering
victories just as notable for the atheletes' grace and dignity as
their gold medals.
But in contrast, English football spent much of the close-season
tainted by the ugly revelations from John Terry's successful
court battle to prove he wasn't guilty of racially abusing QPR's
Anton Ferdinand in a Premier League clash last October.
The fall-out from the case has continued with Chelsea and England
defender Terry and Ferdinand's brother Rio, the Manchester United
defender, both charged by the Football Association.
After so much negative publicity, Hodgson, whose side face Italy
in a friendly in Berne on Wednesday, knows there is extra
responsibility on his players to emulate the Olympic spirit that
has captivated the world for the past two weeks.
"I'd love to tap into the whole Olympic atmosphere," Hodgson said
"I've been really impressed by our athletes in how they have won
medals and embraced their victory.
"It's been very refreshing to see talented people showing a good
face to the nation and the world.
"I was pleased with the way the England players behaved and
conducted themselves during Euro 2012.
"Now the Olympics have really shown us the way to go so there is
now an extra burden of responsibility on our players to make sure
they are good role models and professionals in the way they speak
to the nation as our athletes have done."