Key Fine Print in the Roy Hodgson Announcement

Roy Hodgson
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Most football fans are familiar with the Watford hierarchy’s tendency to frequently sack head coaches, a method that has been successful for them at some points, but detrimental at others. Claudio Ranieri was the latest victim of the axe, and an experienced man came in to replace him. However, the announcement of Roy Hodgson was unique for Watford for a major, influential reason.

Watford Announce Roy Hodgson With Notable Title

Roy Hodgson Confirmed as New Watford Boss

Just one day after sacking Ranieri officially, the Hornets confirmed the arrival of Hodgson to take his place. The 74-year-old steps in to replace the “Tinkerman” despite stepping away from the Crystal Palace dugout last summer.

The owning family of Watford are familiar with the Englishman, as he managed sister-club Udinese in 2001. The experienced tactician also spent notable time in the dugouts for the England national team, Liverpool, West Bromwich Albion, Fulham, Blackburn Rovers, and Inter Milan, among several others.

Club Makes Key Distinction in Announcement

Even though the semantics of contracts may seem trivial to most, the difference between “head coach” and “manager” in football is a large one. Head coaches tend to have less authority than a manager, mainly focused on training alone. A manager has more control over everyday affairs, including transfers and overseeing staff members.

In recent memory, Watford have only ever announced head coaches, with Gino Pozzo, Scott Duxbury, and (since August 2020) Cristiano Giaretta of the club’s hierarchy fulfilling most roles that would be considered “managerial.” Most, if not all, player recruitment was done by the ownership, with head coaches having virtually no say in the players who the transfer budget would be spent on. Thus, head coaches had to work with what they were given, not what they wanted/needed.

For example, the four men in the dugout for Watford prior to Hodgson were announced as “head coaches” (Ranieri, Xisco Munoz, Vladimir Ivic, and Nigel Pearson). Contrastingly, Hodgson was the first person in many years to be deemed “manager” of Watford Football Club. He is assisted by former Watford boss Ray Lewington.

Whether or not the key distinction will be noticeable to supporters remains to be seen: potential transfers and staff restructuring will be the main tellers of whether he truly has the increased role his job title suggests. Regardless, the ownership bringing in a “manager” instead of a “head coach” is a notable occurrence.

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