ROY HODGSON HAS been appointed as England manager after agreeing a four-year contract with the
The 64-year-old West Bromwich Albion manager signed a four-year deal, taking him through to the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016, the Football Association said.
“It is the most important job in English football … and a privilege to take the job,” said Hodgson, who will leave West Brom at the end of the season on 13 May to lead England into the Euros in Poland and Ukraine.
He succeeds Fabio Capello, who quit in February in a dispute with the FA after John Terry was stripped of the captaincy.
The FA overlooked the favorite, Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp, to hire a manager who has won eight league titles in two countries with three clubs and coached the national teams of Switzerland, Finland and the United Arab Emirates.
“Let’s hope we can get everybody behind us and make certain that we work as a team and help the team get the results everyone in England expects and wants,” Hodgson said.
Hodgson has had stints in club soccer in England, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland and Italy, where he was twice in charge of Inter Milan.
“His knowledge of international football is unquestionable,” FA chairman David Bernstein said. England have a friendly against Norway in Oslo on 26 May and a home match against Belgium a week later before a 23-man squad heads to the Euro 2012 base in Krakow, Poland.
England’s group stage opener is against France on June 11 in Donetsk, Ukraine, followed by matches against Sweden and Ukraine.
Hodgson was able to rebuild his reputation at West Brom after a stormy six months at Liverpool blemished his record. Hodgson’s lowest points at Liverpool, where he was jeered by fans, should prepare him for the demands and intensity faced in the pressure-packed England job where expectations exceed reality for a team without a major title since the 1966 World Cup.
He was somewhat of a surprise choice after Redknapp was overlooked for the job. The Spurs boss could not match Hodgson’s international experience as he becomes the first England coach to be appointed after previously leading another national team.
He has coached Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates and Finland, making him one of the most-traveled coaches England has produced. After impressing domestically in Switzerland, he earned the national team job there while still barely known in his homeland.
The Swiss had not reached a major tournament since 1966, but Hodgson took them to the 1994 World Cup and also the 1996 European Championship, where they went out in the first round but did manage a 1-1 draw with host England.
Switzerland’s World Cup run and its success in Euro 96 qualifying landed Hodgson a job in 1995 at Inter Milan, where he reached the UEFA Cup final in 1997, before departing for Blackburn.
He coached Grasshoppers, FC Copenhagen, Udinese, the UAE and Viking FK before taking unheralded Finland to the brink of qualification for the 2008 European Championship. Hodgson finally made his mark in his homeland with Fulham, the small west London club. He took over during the 2007-08 season and guided the club to its best finish of seventh the following year.
He was voted manager of the year in 2010 by his fellow professionals for taking Fulham to the Europa League final, earning him a top job in England for the first time at Liverpool.
But Hodgson endured a miserable six months at Anfield before being fired amid fan discontent.
West Brom handed him a swift chance to move on from the Liverpool debacle and kept it in the Premier League. West Brom are 10th in the standings with two matches to go this season.
Ireland’s Stephen Reid, who agreed a two-year contract extension with the club this morning, and Northern Ireland striker Chris Brunt were among the first West Brom players to congratulate Hodgson on Twitter.
Rob Harris, AP