Soccer-Watford Appoint Former England Coach Hodgson As Manager

LONDON:Watford have named former England and Liverpool coach Roy Hodgson as manager the day after sacking Claudio Ranieri following Friday’s 3-0 home drubbing by fellow strugglers Norwich City, the Premier League club said.

Hodgson has been brought in to keep Watford in the top flight, a task he achieved for four seasons in a row with Crystal Palace, the last team he managed.

“Watford FC is delighted to confirm the appointment of Roy Hodgson as the club’s manager,” the club said in a statement on Tuesday.

“The ex-England national team boss is joined by his trusted assistant Ray Lewington, who managed the Hornets so admirably from 2002 until 2005.

“Hodgson and Lewington begin preparations immediately for Watford’s next Premier League fixture, away to Burnley on Saturday Feb. 5.”

Ranieri was sacked nL1N2U41W3 on Monday after just over three months in charge following a dreadful run of results which has left the club in the Premier League’s relegation zone.

The 70-year-old Ranieri took charge in October after Xisco Munoz parted ways with the club just seven league games into the season and with the team in 14th place.

Watford, promoted to the top flight last season, are now second-bottom on 14 points from 20 games after seven defeats and a draw in their last eight matches. They are two points behind Norwich in the safety zone, albeit with two games in hand.

Watford are the well-travelled Hodgson’s 17th club in a 46-year coaching career. He has also managed four national teams, including England.

Hodgson’s coaching career began in 1976 in Sweden and he has since managed the likes of Inter Milan, Malmo, Blackburn Rovers, Liverpool, West Bromwich Albion, Fulham and Switzerland.

The 74-year-old led England to the Euro 2012 Championship and the 2014 World Cup, but left after they were knocked out of Euro 2016 by Iceland in the first knockout round.

While Hodgson has not won any silverware in England, he took Fulham to the Europa League final in 2010.

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