Sweat, rep­e­ti­tion and r Hodg­son could be the

The Guardian - Sport - - Football - Roy’s road to the Palace

Park and the Hawthorns, Hodg­son took over a group of play­ers at West Brom who were cry­ing out for lead­er­ship and a more prag­matic ap­proach. Rud­der­less un­der Roberto Di Mat­teo, who ran a laid­back regime, they had lost 13 out of 18 matches and had failed to keep a clean sheet for six months when Hodg­son rocked up.

West Brom turned to Hodg­son be­cause he was seen as a safe pair of hands who could give a strug­gling team some di­rec­tion. The trans­fer win­dow had closed, which meant Di Mat­teo’s suc­ces­sor would have to make the best of what­ever he in­her­ited. Dan Ash­worth, who was the tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor at the time, was con­fi­dent Hodg­son would thrive in that sit­u­a­tion be­cause of his de­sire to be out on the train­ing ground ev­ery day.

What­ever any­one thinks of Hodg­son, that sort of thing is his forte. “If there are prob­lems in the team in terms of or­gan­i­sa­tion and struc­ture, Roy will get down to work at them straight away,” says Terry Burton, who worked along­side Keith Down­ing on the back-room staff at West Brom and laughs as he re­calls how the two of them were left “fight­ing to get the cones to put out” be­cause Hodg­son was so hands on.

It was all about the play­ers know­ing their jobs with and with­out the ball and ev­ery­thing Hodg­son did on the train­ing pitch had that in mind. “Some peo­ple are ses­sion coaches and some are team coaches,” Burton says. “Ses­sion coaches will put on a pass­ing drill or a pos­ses­sion prac­tice while team coaches will coach a func­tion of the

Black­burn 1997-98

63 22 18 23 Rovers fin­ished sixth in the Premier League and qual­i­fied for the Uefa Cup in Hodg­son’s first sea­son in charge but things quickly un­rav­elled and by Novem­ber he had been sacked with his side bot­tom of the ta­ble

Ful­ham 2007-10

128 50 32 46 Hodg­son led Ful­ham to a mirac­u­lous es­cape and then a sev­enth-place fin­ish be­fore guid­ing them to the first ma­jor Euro­pean fi­nal in the club’s 130-year his­tory, where they lost 2-1 against Atlético Madrid

Liver­pool 2010-11

31 13 9 9 Ap­pointed ahead of Kenny Dal­glish, Hodg­son ad­mit­ted his side could be in a rel­e­ga­tion bat­tle when de­feat by Black­pool left them third bot­tom af­ter seven games. Re­sults im­proved but by Jan­uary Hodg­son was gone

West Brom 2011-12


54 20 13 21 Guided the team to safety af­ter Jan­uary ar­rival and an im­pres­sive 10th-place fin­ish the fol­low­ing sea­son proved good enough for Hodg­son to be named Eng­land man­ager


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