He must have had both hands in the drinks cabinet before last night's group match in Donbass.
Hodgson was as adventurous as a sailor on the rum and on shore leave. He was expected to park the bus. Instead, he picked boy racers.
He reached the safe destination of a satisfying draw without too many moments of alarm. Hodgson, at 64 the oldest manager to lead England into an international championship, displayed a mature caution when placing Steven Gerrard and Scott Parker in front of a traditional England back four.
However, the composition of his front three was so unexpected, almost reckless that one suspected that Hodgson might have been sipping from the mini-bar as he made his final selection. The absence from the starting line-up of Andy Carroll surprised those who believed the Liverpool striker was certain to play in place of the suspended Wayne Rooney. Instead, Hodgson opted for pace, guile and promise in the shape of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Danny Welbeck and Ashley Young.
At 18, Oxlade-Chamberlain was playing for Southampton a year ago and has only started 12 games for Arsenal. His introduction was the most blatant sign that Uncle Roy can be a dreamer as well as a pragmatist. For Welbeck it was his first start in a competitive match for England.
Both were destined not to mark their inclusion with spectacular performances. Unfortunately, the Arsenal player could only offer the hint of a threat rather than the certainty of problems for the French defence. Welbeck, too, flitted about at pace, showing good technique but never quite finding the space or the opportunity to frank his promise with something more substantial.
It was Young, not youth, who unnerved France but it was traditional values that both saw England profit and then concede.
An opening match in a group can blunt the enterprise of teams who are only too aware that a draw can have substantial consolations. England and France did not conspire to create a myriad of opportunities but there was enough in both the approach of both teams, and the contrast between them, to create an interesting if not spellbinding contest.
England sought to use pace on the break and should have been rewarded when Young found James Milner, who rounded Hugo Lloris but could not find the net. They were rewarded with a goal so English that the action replay should have been served with roast beef. Gerrard whipped a free-kick to the back post and Joleon Lescott smacked it in with his head.
France could, and should, have equalised but a similar situation ended innocuously when Alou Diarra headed over. Their equaliser, though, spoke to the over-riding theme of the night. The English could not keep possession. The French side could. This created pressure and then almost inevitably led to a goal.
In the face of relentless French interpassing in front of them, England slipped so deep that the commentary should have been conducted by Jacques Cousteau (anyone, anyone rather than Clive Tidddily) and they paid the price.
A penalty area full of defenders and midfielders tends to create room at the edge of the area. Franck Ribery was thus allowed to take a pass inside the box, turn and lay off to Samir Nasri who cracked the ball past Joe Hart. This was the end of the matter as far as as the scoreline was concerned with just 39 minutes on the clock. But the theme continued for the rest of the match. England shuffled two banks of defenders in front of a French side who could hold on to the ball but found it difficult to make that penetrating pass. Hart fielded shots from outside the area with some comfort though he was grateful of a deflection to avert the danger from a Yohan Cabaye volley.
However, Hodgson's masterplan worked, even though his bolder selections of Welbeck and Oxlade-Chamberlain left the field early to be replaced by Jermaine Defoe and Theo Walcott. The musketeers of France were thus faced with the yeomen of England. Any rapier thrust was nullifed by a smothering, willing English defence.
Hodgson's major strength is his ability to organise teams who are not in possession of the ball. This trait was more than useful last night. For all the precocity of Oxlade-Chamberlain and Welbeck, for all the intelligence of Young, this was a point England won further back in the team.
Hodgson may have gambled up front without tangible reward but his reliance on experience paid a dividend. The back four may have retreated but were never over-run. John Terry also avoided the sort of error that would have placed dreadful pressure on his manager. The workmanlike quality of such as Milner and Scott Parker maintained its value as France could never fully find a devastating rhythm.
There is still work to be done in the group before England can progress. But this was a decent start. Uncle Roy will not be in celebratory mood. But the hotel mini-bar may just be a miniature or two light as Hodgson toasts a point well made.