Ged Scott believes the timing of his Molineux exit says much about the former England manager...
There can't be many football managers with the sense of stage presence to announce their resignation an hour before England play in a World Cup quarter final. Then again, there aren't too many football managers with the arrogance of Glenn Hoddle.
About as many as have managed England in a World Cup quarter-final, in fact. For Hoddle to have quit as manager of Wolverhampton Wanderers, in the way he did at 3pm on Saturday, said much about the size of his own ego and about his obsession with the past.
Did he seriously think that all eyes were on England v Portugal in Gelsenkirchen and that nobody would notice? In political terms, that it was a good day to 'bury a story'? Pull the other one.
This is a man who has enough media savvy to know exactly what he is doing, thanks to his past experiences in crossing swords with what used to be known as Fleet Street.
Hoddle possesses an understandable preoccupation with what is written about him, which dates back to the infamous comments that cost him the England manager's job.
It is now seven-and-a-half years, just seven months after his England side had bowed out of a World Cup on penalties, since Hoddle reluctantly left the only job he ever really thought was good enough for him. He has never got over it.
Since then, he has also managed Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur, walking out on the former to join his first love at White Hart Lane. He has spent the last 19 months holding down the same role with Wolves but it is his stubborn refusal to admit he did anything wrong that still haunts him.
In Hoddle's time at Molineux, the subject of his England days invariably remained a closed book.
On the rare occasions he was asked questions at press conferences, making valid comparisons with subsequent events compared to his time in charge, he would refuse to comment, only to then talk freely when a certain television company (who pay him to work for them) asked the same questions.
The most obvious comparison was when revelations surfaced over Sven-Goran Eriksson's job-hunting exploits, a story that forced the England manager into announcing that he would step down as soon as the plane had touched down in this country following the World Cup.
The media outcry provoked by Eriksson's entrapment had Hoddle inviting comparisons with his own hounding out of office.
"I never said them things I said", was his most memorable one-liner but the journalist concerned would tell you that everything was said exactly as Hoddle said it and that, more to the point, he had already said much the same thing in a less-publicised radio interview the previous year.
That steadfast refusal to admit he was wrong was the subject of by far the longest interview given by Hoddle prior to Wolves' visit to Plymouth Argyle in April.
The piece barely mentioned Wolves and, if Hoddle could be accused of taking his eye off the ball in that respect, it was hardly surprising when his team did the same later that afternoon and succumbed to their worst defeat of the season.
By then, the seeds were sown, as far as Hoddle's popularity was concerned. Wolves fans, sceptical about the appointment of another former England manager at Molineux, were always apathetic about the curious manner of his arrival, remaining mistrustful of the short-term contract he had signed, clearly with a view to something better coming along.
Only briefly, when Wolves finished the 2004-05 Coca-Cola Championship season on fire, playing some great football and picking up 13 points over their final five games, were they taken in.
Hoddle did then make the comparatively quick decision to stop on, signing a rolling one-year contract. The Wolves fans were not the only ones who sat back in anticipation, expecting automatic promotion but a promising start had begun to sour even before injuries started to take their toll. By the end of last season, it was clear that most of Wolverhampton wanted him gone.
Hoddle did well enough in terms of selling himself to the Wolves board to be invited to stay on, having made it clear that he was prepared to work with a substantially reduced budget. But, whether it is the loss of nine players so far this summer, or the fact that there is no sign of any replacements despite the sale of Joleon Lescott to Everton for what seems way above market value at £5 million, Hoddle has clearly now changed his mind.
"I feel that my expectations and the club's expectations have drifted too far apart in recent weeks," said Hoddle. "This decision has been made early in pre-season for the benefit of the club."
What exactly Hoddle means by 'early', more than two months after last season ended and in the week his side are flying off to training camp in Spain, is anyone's guess. To the bafflement of the fans, however, Wolves chief executive Jez Moxey has not given up on his man just yet.
"I had an unexpected call from Glenn, who told me he was resigning with immediate effect. I asked him to reconsider but he said his mind was made up. However, he did agree to meet with me on Monday and we will issue a further statement in due course," said Moxey.
If Saturday afternoon's events were just Hoddle's rather extravagant way of prising open the Molineux coffers by forcing the board to give him some real money to spend, then good luck to him. After all, resignations can be rescinded.
But, judging by the mood in Wolverhampton on Saturday night, Hoddle has gone. He goes without even earning the accolade of being the longest-serving former England manager at Molineux. Graham Taylor outlasted him on that front by just 23 days. ..SUPL: