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

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


Watford have hired former England manager Roy Hodgson after dismissing 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 things stand, Watford sits 19th in the Premier League, two points from safety with two games in hand on 17th-placed Norwich, and having played two games more than 20th-placed Burnley.

Roy Hodgson’s career so far

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

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He’s also taken managerial positions at clubs like 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 both 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 manager, who becomes Watford’s third boss of the season, has also led Finland, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates at international level.

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

What looms at Watford for Hodgson

Hodgson replaces Claudio Ranieri, who lasted just three-and-a-half months and 14 games before being dismissed. The Italian coach won just two matches at Vicarage Road, and departs with the Hornets sitting 19th, two points adrift of safety. His tenure was catastrophic, as the club regressed in almost every phase of the game, especially defensively.

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The most recent loss, a resounding 3-0 defeat to Norwich City, was extremely damaging, with the result seeing Norwich leap Watford into safety and dropping the Hornets into the relegation zone. The Hornets conceded twice to American striker Josh Sargent, who had not yet scored a single Premier League goal.

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

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

Thankfully for Watford, Hodgson afforded the international break to acclimate himself to the squad and staff.