Roy Hodgson named English manager on four-year deal
The English FA on Tuesday named West Bromwich Albion's Roy Hodgson as coach of the national football team, overlooking the favourite candidate, Tottenham's Harry Redknapp. The four-year deal covers the Euro 2012 and 2016 campaigns.
AP - Roy Hodgson was hired as England’s oldest national team coach Tuesday, six weeks before the European Championship.
The Football Association said the 64-year-old West Bromwich Albion manager signed a four-year deal, taking him through to the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016.
“It is the most important job in English football ... and a privilege to take the job,” Hodgson said.
He will leave West Brom at the end of the season on May 13 to lead England into the Euros in Poland and Ukraine.
He succeeds Fabio Capello, the Italian who quit in February in a dispute with the FA after John Terry was stripped of the captaincy.
The FA overlooked the favorite, Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp, to hire a manager who has won eight league titles in two countries with three clubs and coached the national teams of Switzerland, Finland and the United Arab Emirates.
“Let’s hope we can get everybody behind us and make certain that we work as a team and help the team get the results everyone in England expects and wants,” Hodgson said.
Hodgson has had spells in club football in England, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland and Italy, where he was twice in charge of Inter Milan.
“His knowledge of international football is unquestionable,” FA chairman David Bernstein said.
England has a friendly against Norway in Oslo on May 26 and a home fixture against Belgium a week later before a 23-man squad heads to the Euro 2012 base in Krakow, Poland.
England’s group stage opener is against France on June 11 in Donetsk, Ukraine, followed by matches against Sweden and Ukraine.
Hodgson was able to rebuild his reputation at West Brom after a stormy six-month spell at Liverpool blemished his widely lauded record.
Hodgson’s lowest points at Liverpool, where he was jeered by fans, should have prepared him for the demands and intensity faced in the pressure-packed England job where expectations exceed reality for a team without a major title since the 1966 World Cup.
Hodgson was somewhat of a surprise choice after Redknapp was overlooked for the job.
Redknapp could not match Hodgson’s international experience as he becomes the first England coach to be appointed after previously leading another national team.
Hodgson has coached Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates and Finland, making him one of the best traveled coaches England has produced.
After impressing domestically in Switzerland, he earned the national team job there while still barely known in his homeland.
The Swiss had not reached a major tournament since 1966, but Hodgson took them to the 1994 World Cup and also the 1996 European Championship, where they went out in the first round but did manage a creditable 1-1 draw with host England.
Switzerland’s World Cup run and its success in Euro 96 qualifying landed Hodgson a job in 1995 at Inter Milan, where he reached the UEFA Cup final in 1997, before departing for Blackburn.
He coached Grasshoppers, FC Copenhagen, Udinese, the UAE and Viking FK before taking unheralded Finland to the brink of qualification for the 2008 European Championship.
Hodgson finally made his mark in his homeland with Fulham, the small west London club. He took over during the 2007-08 season and guided the club to its best ever finish of seventh place the following year.
He was voted manager of the year in 2010 by his fellow professionals for taking Fulham to the Europa League final, earning him a top job in England for the first time at Liverpool.
But Hodgson endured a miserable six months at Anfield before being fired amid fan discontent.
West Brom handed him a swift chance to move on from the Liverpool debacle and he repaid the club’s faith by keeping the club in the Premier League. West Brom is 10th in the standings with two matches to go this season.
Hodgson’s coaching career began in Sweden in 1976.
Aside from a brief stint with Bristol City, he stayed 14 years in Sweden until 1990. After winning the Swedish championship with Halmstad and Malmo, Hodgson moved to Switzerland’s Neuchatel Xamax and then the national team.