At the age of 74, Hodgson – who began his coaching career when Harold Wilson was Chancellor – has agreed a short-term deal at Vicarage Road to save the struggling Hornets from relegation, and he shows no signs of losing. Enjoy the challenge.
Image: Alan Cozzi)
Roy Hodgson chose Sir Elton John’s first solo No.1 as his favorite hit from Rocket Man’s comeback catalog and new song Watford The boss admits: “There is no sacrifice here.”
When it rains on the stair bars at Turf Moor on Saturday, during his maiden excursion with the Hornets, aged 74, he may be forced to revise his mellow views.
And the former England manager faces a high order – not least the signing of Burnley’s 6ft 6in Wout Weghorst – to save Watford from relegation.
But as Hodgson admits, he simply couldn’t resist a final crusade, seven months after he bowed to Crystal Palaceappearance is entering its twilight years after a 45-year coaching career that began when Harold Wilson was Prime Minister.
He wasn’t actively looking for an encore in digging when Hornets owner Gino Pozzo handed Claudio Ranieri to the pushchair and sent in his SOS last week.
“I wasn’t clever with the lyrics (Sacrifice),” insisted Hodgson, who has agreed a short-term contract until the end of the season with one simple task: Keep Sir Elton’s beloved Watford at home. Premier League.
“There’s nothing like the situation I find myself in – it’s just a song I like. I don’t expect any calls from Watford, or anyone else for that matter.
“I thought it would be easier for me to resist, but I would never refuse it because it’s the siren of the mermaid when the sailor passes by on his ship. It’s unexpected but I very happy arrived.
“Whether this is a case of the heart ruling the head, we’ll find out. Something that comes up quickly like this is the question ‘Will it be fun? And I can do a good job.’ Are not?’
“The answer was yes, so I jumped into the deep end. I can only hope that jumping in at the bottom of the abyss won’t see me drown. “
Hodgson, mermaid, sailor and drowning man may sound like a call for marine rescue, but Hodgson has seen enough on the training ground in nine days with his new team to believe they can. to dry land from the shipwreck during Ranieri’s 112-day reign.
Like Graham Taylor, another former England coach and Vicarage Road’s unrivaled patron saint, Hodgson was unscathed by the bitterness after his Three Lions reign ended.
Taylor returned to Watford and added two more promotions to his job after England, and Hodgson admitted about four years in charge of the national team: “It was a strange time.
“Between tournaments it went pretty well. Going into the 2014 World Cup it was a lot younger, a lot more excited and the results were very good… then, of course, the tournament that came, we lost a couple of games and suddenly it was. really happen. It’s a time of disaster.
“Then you have a similar squad until 2016 and we were actually pretty confident going into 2016, thinking this might be our moment, but then Iceland blew it all away.
“I am lucky that I was a little older that I could have a little more insight into it, but it was painful for sure and I definitely took a while before I regained my balance. ”