Roy Hodgson: Watford set to appoint former England boss as new head coach on deal until end of season

Former Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson set to return to the Premier League as Watford head coach; Hodgson set to sign a deal at Vicarage Road until the end of the season; Hodgson's Watford future assessed at end of season; at 74 years old he will become the oldest ever Premier League manager

Watford are set to appoint Roy Hodgson
Image: Watford are set to appoint Roy Hodgson

Watford are set to appoint former England boss Roy Hodgson as their new head coach on a deal until the end of the season.

Hodgson is set to replace Claudio Ranieri, who was sacked on Monday after three-and-a-half months in charge, with Watford 19th in the table, two points from safety.

Hodgson is expected to sign a short-term deal until the end of the season, when all parties will assess his future. Sky Sports News understands that Hodgson's deal is 'easily extendable'.

The Englishman, who has been out of work since leaving Crystal Palace at the end of last season, arrived at Watford's training ground on Tuesday morning to complete the deal.

Watford's players are due to arrive for training at midday and it is expected that Hodgson will take training if the paperwork is sorted out in time.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

EXCLUSIVE: Former Watford manager Claudio Ranieri says Watford can survive relegation and praises Roy Hodgson

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Norwich's win vs Watford

Ranieri also arrived at the Watford training on Tuesday morning to collect his belongings and speaking exclusively to Sky Sports News before he left, he said: "I can only say good luck to everyone at Watford - to the fans, to the board, to everyone."

Asked if he was given enough time to make his mark, he added: "That is football. But I believe with new players, Watford can be safe and also [arriving] is a fantastic manager. I wish all the best".

Also See:

At 74 years old, Hodgson will be the oldest ever manager in the Premier League, while the job at Watford will be the 17th different club he has managed in a 46-year managerial career.

Hodgson has worked with the Pozzo family before during a short stint with Udinese in 2001 which ended with his dismissal following 17 matches, but he has always retained good relations with the Italian owners.

Hodgson will succeed Ranieri, who had failed to turn around the team's fortunes since being appointed in October. The Hornets dropped into the Premier League relegation zone for the first time this season after Friday's 3-0 home defeat to fellow strugglers Norwich.

No wins, no clean sheets, no discipline - Watford struggles

Watford are without a win in nine games in all competitions (D1 L8), their longest run without a victory since December 2013 (10).

Norwich enjoyed their biggest margin of victory in a Premier League match since beating West Brom 4-0 in May 2013, and their biggest away from home in the division since September 1993, a 5-1 win at Everton.

Watford have now gone 30 Premier League games without a clean sheet (since a 3-0 win v Liverpool in February 2020), with only West Brom enduring a longer such run in the history of the competition (34 in 2011; Blackburn in 2012 and Wolves in 2012 both also on 30).

Since the start of 2016-17, only Arsenal (19) have picked up more Premier League red cards than Watford (18).

Under Ranieri, Watford lost seven of their last eight league matches. Their most recent victory was the 4-1 defeat of Manchester United in November at Vicarage Road.

Ranieri's departure means Watford have now sacked five head coaches since the exit of Javi Gracia in September 2019.

Quique Sanchez Flores, Nigel Pearson, Vladimir Ivic, Munoz and Ranieri have all left the club during that 28-month period, while Hayden Mullins has also had two spells as caretaker in that time.

If appointed, Hodgson will become the Pozzo family's 15th permanent manager since they completed their takeover of Watford in June 2012.

Watford head coach exits since Pozzo family's takeover in June 2012

  • Sean Dyche - June 2011 to July 2012
  • Gianfranco Zola - July 2012 to December 2013
  • Giuseppe Sannino - December 2013 to August 2014
  • Oscar Garcia - September 2014 to September 2014
  • Billy McKinlay - September 2014 to October 2014
  • Slavisa Jokanovic - October 2014 to June 2015
  • Quique Sanchez Flores - June 2015 to May 2016
  • Walter Mazzarri - July 2016 to May 2017
  • Marco Silva - May 2017 to January 2018
  • Javi Gracia - January 2018 to September 2019
  • Quique Sanchez Flores - September 2019 to December 2019
  • Nigel Pearson - December 2019 to July 2020
  • Vladimir Ivic - August 2020 to December 2020
  • Xisco Munoz - December 2020 to October 2021
  • Claudio Ranieri - October 2021 to January 2022

When is Hodgson's first game if he is appointed?

Watford travel to Turf Moor to face Burnley on Saturday, February 5 at 6pm in their re-arranged fixture.

Why have Watford gone for Hodgson?

Sky Sports News reporter Gary Cotterill:

"Roy Hodgson is a safe pair of hands and has all the experience in the world. This will be his 22nd job in a 45-year career. He worked miracles at Crystal Palace back in 2017.

"When he arrived, they were 0-0-7 - they'd lost their licence to thrill! It was seven defeats from seven games, but in the end they managed to finish 11th in the Premier League and he did a similar job at Fulham.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Gary Cotterill updates us on Watford's imminent signing of former England boss Roy Hodgson as their new head coach on a deal until the end of the season

"He's a very experienced manager having also been at Inter Milan, Liverpool and England of course. He's clearly still got a hunger to show he can operate at the top level even at his age.

"He left Palace through his own decision, but as he told Sky Sports News last week, he still has a hunger and believes he can turn things around. Maybe he caught the ear of the Watford owner off the back of what he told Sky last week!

"He's already been down to the training ground, having signed some paperwork on Monday."

Follow the January transfer window with Sky Sports

Who will be on the move in January?

The January transfer window opens on Saturday January 1, 2022 and closes at 11pm on Monday January 31.

Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports' digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.

Follow Watford with Sky Sports

Follow every Watford game in the Premier League this season with our live blogs on the Sky Sports website and app, and watch match highlights for free shortly after full-time.

Want the Watford latest? Bookmark our Watford news page, check out Watford's fixtures and Watford's latest results, watch Watford goals and video, keep track of the Premier League table and see which Watford games are coming up live on Sky Sports.

Get all this and more - including notifications sent straight to your phone - by downloading the Sky Sports Scores app and setting Watford as your favourite team.

Hear the best Premier League reaction and expert analysis with the Essential Football and Gary Neville podcasts, keep up-to-date with our dedicated Transfer Centre, follow the Sky Sports social accounts on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, and find out how to get Sky Sports.

Win £250,000 with Super 6!

Win £250,000 with Super 6!

Another Saturday, another chance to win £250,000 with Super 6. Play for free, entries by 3pm.

Win £250,000 with Super 6!

Win £250,000 with Super 6!

Another Saturday, another chance to win £250,000 with Super 6. Play for free, entries by 3pm.

Around Sky