Nobody really believed Roy Hodgson had retired, and now he’s back.
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Hodgson, 74, is the new Watford manager on a short-term contract until the end of the 2021-22 season, becoming their third manager of the 2021-22 season.
The veteran coach left Crystal Palace last summer as many believed that was the end of his long and varied managerial career. Now he’s set to replace Claudio Ranieri, who was fired on Monday after just 13 Premier League games in charge.
Watford sit in the relegation zone but are just two points from safety and have two games in-hand on 17th place Norwich City, who they lost 3-0 to last Friday.
Veteran boss to save Watford?
Watford announced Hodgson on Tuesday as well as his longtime assistant Ray Lewington, himself a former Watford manager.
Hodgson will become Watford’s 15th permanent manager since the Pozzo family took charge of the club in 2012. That is an average of nearly two new managers a season. Remarkable.
That hire and fire ’em approach has worked, for the most part, as Watford have spent six of the last eight seasons in the Premier League and the newly-promoted side are still in with a chance of staying up this season.
Is this a good fit?
In theory, yes. Hodgson is a master at setting teams up to be tough to beat and Watford must improve defensively. He would’ve known all there is to know about the club’s history not just from his career but from Lewington’s tenure at Vicarage Road.
Going forward they have plenty of quality attackers in Ismaila Sarr, Emmanuel Dennis, Josh King and Cucho Hernandez, but they just can’t give themselves a platform to win games. If Hodgson can work his defensive magic, Watford will be tough to break down and dangerous on the break.
Hodgson will become the oldest-ever manager in the Premier League and it will be his 17th different club as his incredible 46-year coaching career continues.