fulham boss defends stars

Roy Hodgson: Players not always to blame

September 23, 2009
By Soccernet staff

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson has some sympathy with under-fire Manchester City strikers Emmanuel Adebayor and Craig Bellamy.

Craig Bellamy
EmpicsCraig Bellamy is no stranger to controversy.

Hodgson believes it is unrealistic to expect footballers to behave like saints all the time, particularly when passions run high and the adrenaline is flowing.

Adebayor has been charged with inflammatory behaviour after running the length of the field to celebrate a goal against Arsenal in front of former supporters who had taunted him all match; while Bellamy received a warning from the Football Association for clashing with a Manchester United supporter, who ran on the pitch at Old Trafford after Sunday's pulsating derby.

Hodgson said: ''How saintly can we expect players to behave in the face of sometimes quite unnecessary provocation?

''We have had the debate a lot lately with Adebayor. Everyone seems to be taking the line that there is no justification, that players have to be bigger than that, which I quite understand. But on the other hand is it right the players sometimes take the abuse they do?

''It really is a very complicated subject and views on it are polarised. We all learn that you have to turn the other cheek and that you have got to be above it all - but it is easier said than done.

''It is something we preach to the players but it is an emotional game and players' adrenaline is at a very high level. Fans who run on the pitch should be wary. They are not allowed there so you are breaking the rules the moment you run on. You are asking for trouble.

''If you don't want that situation to happen it is very simple - stay where you should be and leave the players alone to play the game.''