West Bromwich hand Hodgson a rapid return to the dugout

Roy Hodgson had 16 different jobs in his first 31 years in management, only two of them in England.

This week he will take up his third post in as many years in his native country when he succeeds Roberto Di Matteo at West Bromwich Albion. It seems the wanderer has returned home.

Hodgson's brief will be the same as it was at Fulham three years ago: retain Premier League status. Ostensibly the task appears much easier. Fulham were in dire trouble when Hodgson took up the reins and slipped deeper into the mire as the team struggled to adapt from Lawrie Sanchez's direct style of football to Hodgson's possession-based one. At the Hawthorns he inherits a team which is yet to drop into the relegation zone this season and already plays a passing game. However, Albion have won one and lost eight of their last 10 games and last kept a clean sheet in August, against Leyton Orient.

That should change under Hodgson who specialises in making teams hard to beat, something which did not find favour at Liverpool, who he joined from Fulham in the summer after steering the London club to the final of the Uefa Cup. That earned him legendary status at Craven Cottage, albeit slightly soured by his departure, but expectations are much higher at Anfield. Hodgson's inability to produce either consistent results, or attractive performances, meant he quickly lost favour with the supporters. Injuries to Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher, and the disaffection of Fernando Torres, were dismissed by a fan base still pining for Rafael Benitez and with an instinctive preference for Kenny Dalglish who had also applied for the post. After a very difficult six months the 63-year-old was fired.

That was five weeks ago and Hodgson, who has signed a contract at West Bromwich to June 2012, said: "It was not my intention to return this quickly but I was so impressed by the way the chairman [Jeremy Peace] and [sporting & technical director] Dan Ashworth sold the project to me that I was very happy to accept the offer."

The mention of Ashworth is significant. One of Hodgson's attractions to Peace is his preparedness to work alongside an executive with Ashworth's recruitment brief, and experience of doing so.

Peace said: "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. 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."

Hodgson's first match will be next Sunday, against their local rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers. Albion's match against West Ham United today will be overseen by the coach Michael Appleton.

While Albion expect to have Marek Cech and Graham Dorrans available after groin and ankle problems, West Ham have more injury concerns with the news that last month's signing Robbie Keane could be out until April. Their vice-chairman, Karren Brady, said yesterday, "It might not be as long as six weeks, but it may be longer." She added of Keane, who scored on his debut at Blackpool: "We brought him in to make a difference and he already has done."

With James Tomkins and Matthew Upson doubtful, and Danny Gabbidon injured, Avram Grant may have only two fit centre-halves, Manuel da Costa and Winston Reid.

News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
News
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Sport
Robbie Savage will not face a driving ban
football'Mr Marmite' faced the possibility of a 28-day ban
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
voices
Life and Style
Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries were putting themselves at risk of tinnitus and, in extreme cases, irreversible hearing loss
health Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries are at risk of tinnitus
News
It was only when he left his post Tony Blair's director of communications that Alastair Campbell has published books
people The most notorious spin doctor in UK politics has reinvented himself
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in ‘I Am Michael’
filmJustin Kelly's latest film tells the story of a man who 'healed' his homosexuality and turned to God
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Public Service Broadcasting are going it alone
music
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower