Home Dice Why Watford rolled the dice to try and salvage their season – The Athletic

Why Watford rolled the dice to try and salvage their season – The Athletic


Roy Hodgson returned home to south-west London late Monday evening after a whirlwind day. By 9.30pm the Watford hierarchy had made their appeal and talks to bring the 74-year-old out of retirement had ended in a deal, with only the final paperwork to be signed on Tuesday before the official announcement was made.

It is known that potential managers – including another former international boss – were preparing to apply for the job when Claudio Ranieri’s sacking was announced, but soon realized it was too late. Watford, once again, had acted quickly. Ranieri out, Roy in. Come on.

Behind the scenes, as talks progressed, the club’s hierarchy sought the opinion of trusted associates on Hodgson. The feedback they got boosted their confidence in their decision-making.

The former England boss had already been mooted as an option for Watford and now seemed like the right time. Hodgson is known to have been interested in taking on advisory roles at clubs since leaving Crystal Palace at the end of last season, but is now back in a bona fide relegation.

Ensuring Ray Lewington – Watford manager from 2002 to 2005 – was on board was also key.

“They are a double act. They work so well in tandem and it will be fantastic dates,” a source familiar with the situation told The Athletic. “They will connect with the players but also give them the kick they need.”

Lewington is relishing the opportunity to return to one of his former clubs.