If the success of a manager was calculated in terms of quantity and not quality, Roy Hodgson would probably be the best in the business. In a career now spanning 40 years, Hodgson has been at the head of 19 different teams across the globe. He’s made from the humble beginnings of Carshalton Athletic all the way to the vertigo-inducing heights of Liverpool F.C and back again.
So, it’s only to be expected that in such an illustrious involvement in the sport, karma would have Hodgson see his share of low points as well as the high. A brief period at Liverpool earlier this season could definitely come under the list titled ‘Low’, but Merseyside is a thing of the past, as the Londoner now looks set to work his magic at West Bromwich Albion.
Having only made it six months into a three-year contract, Roy Hodgson was fired as manager of Liverpool and it’s a secret to nobody that his time there was forgettable. However, the decorated manager himself has recently stated that for the entirety of his Liverpool reign, Kenny Dalglish was somewhat of a burden to him. He’s also said that competition for the spot as manager was the main reason he was perhaps too aware of Dalglish’s presence. It was always clear that the Scot wanted the manager role himself, and that added unnecessary pressure for Hodgson.
That being said, if there were ever any thirst for retribution against a team that Roy Hodgson perhaps felt slightly betrayed by, it was certainly fulfilled in Saturdays’ match. Liverpool came to the Hawthorns with high hopes and enjoying a very good run of form as well as having 45 points to their tally. They left on the same standing. Martin Skrtel probably thought he’d given his team the win when he headed home in the 50th minute, but defensive inconsistencies allowed Chris Brunt to blast home two penalties and earned West Brom a deserved three points.
So, the story goes that Hodgson does the exact opposite to that which he did at Liverpool, and continues a very surprising, but nonetheless impressive unbeaten run in the West Midlands. The Baggies have accumulated nine points from a possible 18 since the takeover of Hodgson in early February. Now while this statistic may not sound very impressive, the theory goes that if you can win your home games and draw your matches away, your Premier League survival is assured. Considering one of only two discrepancies West Brom have committed in regards to this rule of thumb is a draw against Arsenal in Birmingham, I’d say they’re sticking to it pretty well.
Along with Liverpool, some of the bigger teams Hodgson has on his CV are Blackburn and Internazionale as well as international experience with the likes of Finland and Switzerland. It’s back in London where Hodgson most recently displayed his potential for great managing however.
In a two year stint with the South London club, Roy Hodgson turned around a pattern of bottom-half table finishes and led the team to European standards and a Europa League final. For this reason, and his failure to perform when under the spotlight at Liverpool, the argument could be made that this particular manager just isn’t meant for teams with established names. Renovations might just have to remain a specialization for Hodgson, and at West Bromwich Albion, there is room for improvement and more. The Baggies have developed a habit of inconsistency in the top flight, and as such earned the ‘yo-yo’ title in regards to relegation and it could be the multi-lingual Hodgson to disassociate such a term from the club.
In retrospect, Hodgson could look back at his achievements over the past 40 years and surely be proud. Getting a name for repairing teams may not be a manager’s first choice but it’s better than not having a name at all. It’s very common for people to say “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, but for Roy Hodgson, I think it’s best if he does.