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Roy Hodgson at 74 and back in the Premier League with Watford: why would he accept this position?

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Image for Roy Hodgson at 74 and back in the Premier League with Watford: why would he accept this position?

When news broke that Roy Hodgson was to be the man to replace Claudio Ranieri at Watford, you automatically feared for the likeable 74-year-old given how ruthless the Hornets hierarchy can be. Hodgson, after all, is one of the good guys in the world of football and a man that has carried himself with distinction over the course of a long and successful career. Joining Watford, however, is the epitome of the proverbial poison chalice for any manager and you have to wonder why a man like Hodgson would put his reputation on the line by agreeing to this arrangement.

Many fans have an idea why: the 74-year-old is simply addicted to football and wanted another shot at managing in the world’s best league. Indeed, there was a feeling that Hodgson wasn’t quite as done as he said he was when he announced his retirement at the end of the 2020/2021 season and that if an opportunity did arise, he would come back in an instant. It did take a bit of downtime in Mallorca to get the fire burning again, but when the call came in from Watford owner Gino Pozzo, Hodgson was prepared to put the Balearics aside indefinitely and head back to England.

As briefly touched on, Hodgson returns to the Premier League with the prospect of his reputation taking a hit when you consider Watford’s track record of hiring and firing. Almost no one leaves Vicarage Road with their reputation enhanced and for Hodgson, he is putting a great deal on the line given how successful he was at Crystal Palace before retiring. In other words, he left when he was at the top and still having fun, but returns with a fairly good chance that we will remember his last job by being prematurely sacked by Watford.

It is, after all, miracles that the hierarchy expects given that the Hornets are currently priced at odds of 2/7 to be relegated. Furthermore, if you study any football bet of the day involving Watford, you will see they are automatically priced to lose in most cases. It is probably at this point that you’ve taken a deep sigh and said under your breath, ‘Oh Roy, just what have you got yourself into.’

You can’t help but fear for the former England manager as he walks into the lion’s den but then again, it’s worth keeping in mind that the 74-year-old is an experienced operator who knows exactly what he’s doing.

In addition to that, and having worked under Pozzo at Udinese in 2001 when he was manager, Hodgson may have a bit more credit in the bank in the sense that no bridges were burnt when he left. This could buy him a little longer if results don’t initially go for him and, of course, it doesn’t hurt that Hodgson is fluent in Italian, meaning that he can converse freely with the owners in their own tongue.

Apart from that, the 74-year-old is very much on his own as he takes up one of the most results-oriented football jobs in the world. Good luck, Roy, you will need it.

Image from: unsplash.com

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