Earlier this week, Crystal Palace defender Mamadou Sakho ruffled some feathers when he expressed his desire to play Champions League football when speaking to French outlet RMC Sport.
Although Sakho publicly discussed leaving Palace, Roy Hodgson’s measured response to his centre-half’s comments was a breath of fresh air.
It would have been easy for the Eagles manager to be frustrated at Sakho’s open display of ambition, yet Hodgson took a diplomatic stance that reveals his man-management skills.
In comments reported by football.london, Hodgson refused to criticise the Frenchman and reiterated that he was aware of no bids directed toward Sakho.
“So I don’t pay too much attentions to these stories that come out of international camps because they’re all biased in a certain direction,” Hodgson told football.london. “We know that Mamadou is committed here, we know we have that commitment for as long as he stays here.”
By focusing on Sakho’s current status at the club and reaffirming his commitment to the cause, Hodgson deftly handled a potentially hazardous situation and de-escalated a possible conflict.
In an era when explosive comments can often turn into a crisis at club level, Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson refreshingly showed maturity when dealing with Mamadou Sakho’s public display of ambition.