Roy Hodgson: Watford appoint former England boss as new manager on deal until end of season

Watford have appointed former England boss Roy Hodgson as their new manager on a deal until the end of the season. Hodgson replaces Claudio Ranieri, who was sacked on Monday after three-and-a-half mon

Roy Hodgson: Watford appoint former England boss as new manager on deal until end of season

Watford have appointed former England boss Roy Hodgson as their new manager on a deal until the end of the season.

Hodgson replaces Claudio Ranieri, who was sacked on Monday after three-and-a-half months in charge, with Watford 19th in the table, two points from safety.

The Englishman has been out of work since leaving Crystal Palace at the end of last season.

All parties will assess Hodgson's future at Watford at the end of the current campaign.

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At 74 years old, he is the oldest-ever manager in the Premier League, while the job at Watford is the 17th different club he has managed in a 46-year managerial career.

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Hodgson was pictured arriving at Watford on Tuesday

Hodgson succeeds Ranieri, who had failed to turn around the team's fortunes since being appointed in October. The Hornets dropped into the Premier League relegation zone for the first time this season after Friday's 3-0 home defeat to fellow strugglers Norwich.

No wins, no clean sheets, no discipline - Watford struggles

Watford are without a win in nine games in all competitions (D1 L8), their longest run without a victory since December 2013 (10).

Norwich enjoyed their biggest margin of victory in a Premier League match since beating West Brom 4-0 in May 2013, and their biggest away from home in the division since September 1993, a 5-1 win at Everton.

Watford have now gone 30 Premier League games without a clean sheet (since a 3-0 win v Liverpool in February 2020), with only West Brom enduring a longer such run in the history of the competition (34 in 2011; Blackburn in 2012 and Wolves in 2012 both also on 30).

Since the start of 2016-17, only Arsenal (19) have picked up more Premier League red cards than Watford (18).

Asked about his future after the loss to the Canaries, the former Leicester and Chelsea manager said: "I don't go away. I want to continue because I am a fighter. I've never given up in my career."

Under Ranieri, Watford lost seven of their last eight league matches. Their most recent victory was the 4-1 defeat of Manchester United in November at Vicarage Road.

Ranieri's departure means Watford have now sacked five head coaches since the exit of Javi Gracia in September 2019.

Quique Sanchez Flores, Nigel Pearson, Vladimir Ivic, Munoz and Ranieri have all left the club during that 28-month period, while Hayden Mullins has also had two spells as caretaker in that time.

Hodgson becomes the Pozzo family's 15th permanent manager since they completed their takeover of Watford in June 2012.

Watford head coach exits since Pozzo family's takeover in June 2012

  • Sean Dyche - June 2011 to July 2012
  • Gianfranco Zola - July 2012 to December 2013
  • Giuseppe Sannino - December 2013 to August 2014
  • Oscar Garcia - September 2014 to September 2014
  • Billy McKinlay - September 2014 to October 2014
  • Slavisa Jokanovic - October 2014 to June 2015
  • Quique Sanchez Flores - June 2015 to May 2016
  • Walter Mazzarri - July 2016 to May 2017
  • Marco Silva - May 2017 to January 2018
  • Javi Gracia - January 2018 to September 2019
  • Quique Sanchez Flores - September 2019 to December 2019
  • Nigel Pearson - December 2019 to July 2020
  • Vladimir Ivic - August 2020 to December 2020
  • Xisco Munoz - December 2020 to October 2021
  • Claudio Ranieri - October 2021 to January 2022

When is Hodgson's first game?

Watford travel to Turf Moor to face Burnley on Saturday, February 5 at 6pm in their re-arranged fixture.

Why have Watford gone for Hodgson?

Sky Sports News reporter Gary Cotterill:

"Roy Hodgson is a safe pair of hands and has all the experience in the world. This will be his 22nd job in a 46-year career. He worked miracles at Crystal Palace back in 2017.

"When he arrived, they were 0-0-7 - they'd lost their licence to thrill! It was seven defeats from seven games, but in the end they managed to finish 11th in the Premier League and he did a similar job at Fulham.

"He's a very experienced manager having also been at Inter Milan, Liverpool and England of course. He's clearly still got a hunger to show he can operate at the top level even at his age.

"He left Palace through his own decision, but as he told Sky Sports News last week, he still has a hunger and believes he can turn things around. Maybe he caught the ear of the Watford owner off the back of what he told Sky last week!

"He's already been down to the training ground, having signed some paperwork on Monday."

'Hodgson a great appointment for Watford'

Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson...

"I think it's a good appointment, I really do. I think they need to steady the ship, they've got to stop leaking goals left, right and centre.

"What Roy brings is experience. He doesn't mind playing 11 players at the back and the crowd booing like mad, as long as he gets a point. That's what they need at the moment.

"Some people might say they need someone younger who's going to come in and be flamboyant - no, they've had that and they've been getting battered everywhere they go.

"They've got every chance of staying out of trouble now."

'Roy & Ray need a reaction from the players'

Roy and Ray
Image: Ray Lewington (L) succeeded Gianluca Vialli as Watford manager in 2002

Hodgson will be joined at Vicarage Road by his trusted assistant Ray Lewington, who had a spell as Watford manager almost 20 years ago.

Chair of Watford supporters' group ESEA Hornets, Alan Lau, says the experienced pair will need to get an instant reaction from the players if Watford are to preserve their Premier League status.

"Roy Hodgson is a good fit for us given our current predicament. He has vast experience of working in the Premier League, with a good track record, and he has also worked with the Pozzo family before," Lau told Sky Sports News.

"It's also great that he has a former Watford manager alongside him [as assistant manager] in Ray Lewington, who was in charge at Vicarage Road when we were arguably in a more precarious situation than we are in just at the moment.

"It is vital that Roy and Ray get a reaction from the players to give us the best chance of staying in the Premier League."

Claudio Ranieri has vowed to fight on at Watford
Image: Claudio Ranieri was sacked on Monday

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