Writer: S Wilton
Date:Friday February 11 2011
Roy Hodgson left Liverpool just five weeks ago having endured a torrid six months in charge. After 35 years as a Manager he must have wondered what was happening to him, he was hardly given a chance to stamp his personality on a Liverpool squad that was the poorest one that I have seen in nearly 40 years.
Who would forgive him for wanting to take a rest from the game after the abuse he received at the hands of the Liverpool fans who had been so uncharitable to him in his short time in charge. Instead he has chosen to take on one of the biggest challenges of his career in keeping the Baggies up. If he does that it will rank amongst one of his biggest achievements in the game and it will fully justify Chairman Jeremy Peace's decision to replace Roberto Di Matteo.
Hodgson was sold on the idea of taking over at Albion by the vision and enthusiasm shown by Peace and Sporting and Technical Director, Dan Ashworth. Hodgson's experience and organisational ability will be fully tested in the remainder of the season with the Baggies needing at least another five wins to maintain their Premier League status.
Hodgson said: 'It was not my intention to return to Barclays Premier League football this quickly but I was so impressed by the way the chairman and the sporting and technical director sold the project to me that I was very happy to accept the offer.
I am delighted that a club of West Bromwich Albion's stature has given me the opportunity to help them in their quest to retain their Premier League status and to build for the future'.
Jeremy Peace was delighted to get his man: 'At such a vital stage of the season, we felt it was important we identified and appointed the right man as quickly as possible. Roy emerged as the outstanding and unanimous choice of the football club board and we are delighted to have appointed our number one target. We believe his vast experience and knowledge of the game is exactly what we need for the challenge we face, both in the short and long term.
However, as Roy has stated, the club's immediate focus is offering Michael, Keith Downing, Dean Kiely and the players all the support they need as they prepare to face West Ham.
We're very grateful for the way Michael has taken over the reins this week. He has fully justified our faith in him.'
Hodgson has signed an initial 18 month contract and it is hoped that he is able to groom Michael Appleton to take the reins after that period. The club is very keen to have its own succession plan in place and Appleton is seen as an integral part of the long term future of West Bromwich Albion.
Good luck Roy let's hope that your time at West Brom is a successful one.
Date:Friday February 11 2011
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