Watford ask Hodgson, 74, to keep them up

AAPAP
Roy Hodgson is back in Premier League management at the age of 74 joining struggling Watford.
Camera IconRoy Hodgson is back in Premier League management at the age of 74 joining struggling Watford. Credit: AP

Watford have hired Roy Hodgson with the brief to save them from Premier League relegation at the age of 74.

The former England coach was hired on Tuesday, replacing another septuagenarian, Claudio Ranieri, who was fired after 14 matches in charge.

He will be joined at Vicarage Road by assistant Ray Lewington, who managed the Hornets from 2002 until 2005.

Having slipped into the bottom three for the first time this season Watford turned to Hodgson, another of world soccer's most experienced managers.

He has been out of work since leaving Crystal Palace at the end of last season, when he said it was time to step away from "the rigours of top-flight Premier League football" after 45 years of coaching and to spend time with his family.

But the league's oldest-ever manager just couldn't stay away.

Watford are two points from safety but with two games in hand over the team in the last survival spot, Norwich, which handed Ranieri's team a 3-0 beating on Friday that proved to be the end for the Italian.

Hodgson is Watford's third manager of the season, continuing the revolving-door policy at the club under its owner, Italian businessman Gino Pozzo. Ranieri had been Watford's 15th permanent manager in the last 10 years.

Hodgson has experience in staving off relegation having previously steered Fulham, West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace out of danger.

He also has experience of the Pozzos having coached Udinese, also owned by the family, in 2001. He was fired after six months with the team ninth in Serie A.

Watford are the 17th club Hodgson has managed in a 46-year coaching career. He has also overseen four national teams including England from 2013-2016.

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