Watford appoints veteran manager Roy Hodgson, former England boss, as Claudio Ranieri replacement

Watford hired former England manager Roy Hodgson after sacking Claudio Ranieri on Monday.

Hodgson most recently managed Crystal Palace for four seasons, leaving after a 2020-21 season that saw the club seal a 14th-place finish.

As it stands, Watford sit 19th in the Premier League, two points from safety with two games in hand over 17th-place Norwich, and having played two more games than 20th-place Burnley. .

Roy Hodgson’s career so far

One of the most traveled managers in English football, Hodgson is best known for taking charge of England for a four-year spell that included Euro 2012, the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016.

He has also held managerial positions at clubs such as Liverpool, Fulham and West Brom, while also managing Udinese, Copenhagen and Inter Milan, the latter on an interim basis.

Hodgson’s highlights include reaching the Europa League final with Inter and Fulham, winning Premier League Manager of the Year with Fulham in 2008-09, winning LMA Manager of the Year with Fulham in 2009-10 and Premier League Manager of the Month four times. .

The 74-year-old, who becomes Watford’s third manager of the season, has also managed Finland, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates at international level.

PL players in World Cup qualification

More recently, Hodgson managed Crystal Palace for four seasons, finishing safely mid-table in each, only leaving at the end of the season after the expiry of his four-year contract. Hodgson was generally well received by fans during his tenure at Selhurst Park, with minimal investment from the board during his time there.


What lies ahead at Watford for Hodgson

Hodgson replaces Claudio Ranieri, who lasted just 3 1/2 months and 14 games before being fired. The Italian manager won just two games at Vicarage Road and starts with the Hornets in 19th place, two points from safety. His tenure was catastrophic as the club fell back in almost every phase of the game, especially defensively.

The most recent loss, a resounding 3-0 loss to Norwich City, was extremely damaging, with the result that Norwich vaulted Watford to safety and left the Hornets in the relegation zone. The Hornets conceded two goals to American forward Josh Sargent, who had yet to score a single goal in the Premier League.

Hodgson’s staff will include assistant Ray Lewington, who managed the Hornets from 2002 to 2005. Lewington has been an assistant manager alongside Hodgson since their days at Fulham, moving with Hodgson to his stops in England and Crystal Palace.

Watford have just returned to the Premier League this season after spending a year in the Champoinship. The club’s first game with Hodgson in charge will be on 5 February against relegation rivals Burnley, another hugely critical game in the fight against relegation. A loss in that match would see Watford drop to the bottom of the table.

Fortunately for Watford, Hodgson allowed himself the international break to acclimatize to the team and coaching staff.