Can Roy Hodgson Keep Watford in the Premier League?

Liam Bewsher

Can Roy Hodgson Keep Watford in the Premier League?

Following the sacking of Claudio Ranieri, it has recently emerged that Watford have appointed former England manager Roy Hodgson to try and secure them a place in next season’s Premier League.

At present, Watford are 19th in the top-flight, just two points behind 17th placed Norwich City following their 3-0 home loss to the Canaries on Friday night, which turned out to be the final straw for the Hornets board with the Italian.

Next Premier League Manager to Leave

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ROY HODGSON TO BE NEXT PREMIER LEAGUE MANAGER TO LEAVE 2021/22 @ 10/1

Hodgson’s History of Keeping Clubs in the PL

Hodgson’s experience at the helm of the Hornets could be vital having taken 22 jobs across his career, especially having done solid jobs at the likes of Crystal Palace, West Bromwich Albion and in his second role in England’s top-flight back in the 2007/08 campaign with Fulham.

The Cottagers were two points from safety in late December 2007 and had won just two Premier League games all season at the time he took charge, but, things didn’t immediately get better, as he managed just nine points from his first 13 matches, before going on a sensational run in the last five league fixtures of the campaign, scoring 12 points, completing the great escape.

The 74-year-old left Fulham at the end of the 2009/10 season having stabilised the Craven Cottage club’s position in England’s top-flight and shortly after their UEFA Cup final loss to Atletico Madrid to manage Liverpool, before being sacked by the Anfield club after just six months, however, it didn’t take long for him to find a new job.

Just one month after his exit from Anfield, Hodgson took the reins at West Brom, finding the Baggies above the relegation zone on goal difference in mid-February 2011, following the end of Roberto Di Matteo’s reign which had seen them lose 13 of their last 18 matches under the former Chelsea coach.

Despite the Hawthorns’ clubs position looking bleak in the table, Hodgson inspired them to five wins and five draws from their remaining 12 matches, overseeing a steady rise to 11th in the table, their highest position in the top-flight for nearly 30 years. Like Fulham, he consolidated the Baggies place in the Premier League and left the club for the England job for their Euro 2012 campaign.

Following England’s failure at Euro 2016, Hodgson found himself back in club management at the start of the 2017/18 season, taking over his boyhood club Crystal Palace. At the start of that season, the Eagles had been managed by Frank De Boer who had lost his first four league matches in charge, without seeing his side score a single goal.

Hodgson took over and lost his first three fixtures in charge, meaning that Palace didn’t have a point to their name from seven matches, no team had survived in the Premier League from this position, however, yet again, the 74-year-old former Inter Milan coach lead the Selhurst Park club to an 11th place finish and gave them a steady platform for progression when he eventually left at the end of last season, which Patrick Vieira has built from.

Premier League to Stay up Tips

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WATFORD AVOID RELEGATION IN THE 2021/22 PREMIER LEAGUE @ 9/4

How Will Hodgson Tactically Setup his Side?

Watford have a similar profile to that of Crystal Palace in terms of the player profiles, as they have quick forwards with a lot of flair, as well as pacey full-backs, experienced centre-backs and an energetic midfield, meaning that their personnel would likely fit into Hodgson’s system.

The Englishman predominantly used a 4-4-2 setup in his later years in management, priding his team on defensive organisation, using a compact low defensive block, as well as utilising their pace through the likes of Wilfried Zaha and Jordan Ayew to counter-attack, something that Emmanuel Dennis, Josh King and Ismaila Sarr have an abundance of.

Palace were well known for having a direct passing style which significantly contributed to having quick counter-attacks, which again is something that Watford could use to devastating effect and potentially climb their way out of the bottom three to safety.

To Finish Higher Than Tips

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WATFORD TO FINISH HIGHER THAN BURNLEY IN THE 2021/22 PREMIER LEAGUE SEASON @ 6/5

What Does This Appointment Mean for Sides Around Them in the PL Table?

This appointment could well be bad news for sides around Watford in the table if Hodgson can replicate his former successes in previous relegation battles once again.

The Hornets arguably have a better squad than the likes of Burnley, Norwich and potentially Newcastle on paper pre any new signings that the Magpies might make, but, they need to do the hardest part in football themselves, which is winning football matches.

With Everton currently on the slide and sitting just five points ahead of Watford, there is also a distinct possibility that the Toffees could find themselves in a relegation battle this campaign, especially if they fail to appoint an adequate replacement for Rafael Benitez who was sacked after winning just five of his 19 league matches in charge of the Goodison Park club.

Premier League Relegation Odds

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BURNLEY, EVERTON & NORWICH ALL TO BE RELEGATED @ 20/1


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