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Hodgson named new England manager

ESPN staff
May 1, 2012 « Davydenko felled by Farah in Munich | Chartbeat test »

The Football Association has confirmed Roy Hodgson as the new England manager.

The West Bromwich Albion manager, who has also coached Inter Milan, Fulham and Liverpool, has agreed a four-year deal to coach the Three Lions - succeeding Fabio Capello after the Italian resigned from his post in February.

"The Football Association is delighted to announce the appointment of Roy Hodgson as England manager," an FA statement read. "Joining from West Bromwich Albion, Hodgson has agreed a four-year deal to become the full-time manager of the Three Lions."

With two games remaining of the current Premier League season, the FA has allowed the 64-year-old to take charge of the Baggies for those final fixtures - against Bolton and Arsenal - before taking on his new role on a full-time basis.

"I suppose it's a very proud day. I'm a very proud man to be offered the chance to manage my country," Hodgson said in his opening remarks to the media. "I think England always have to go into tournaments to win them because we are a major footballing nation. Obviously this is going to be a bit more difficult than normal, because the manager who qualified the team is not here.

"My job is to win them [the players] over. I like to think, with my CV and experience, that I won't have a problem doing that."

Hodgson was evasive when asked about whether John Terry and Rio Ferdinand can play together in the same team considering their current personal animosity, or whether Steven Gerrard - a player he managed at Liverpool - is in pole position to be the national team captain.

However, he was happy to confirm that Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney will be in his squad for Euro 2012, despite a two-game ban that will mean he misses much of the group stage.

Hodgson emerged as the FA's sole target for the position on Sunday, with the former Liverpool boss previously open about his willingness to manage his country should the opportunity arise.

Tottenham's Harry Redknapp had been considered the favourite for the role, but the FA targeted Hodgson due to his international experience, as he has overseen positions with Finland, Switzerland and United Arab Emirates. He is the first full-time England manager to have prior international management experience.

FA chairman David Bernstein, who revealed that he settled on Hodgson as his lead candidate for the post about a month ago, said that the appointment had the complete backing of the FA's board.

He denied suggestions that Hodgson's contract situation - his deal at West Brom was due to expire this summer - improved his standing in the eyes of the FA, which has previously paid vast salaries to the likes of Capello and Sven-Goran Eriksson.

"He could walk into any training ground across the world and command respect," Bernstein said. "We had unanimous agreement on the appointment. We were driven purely by the desire to get the best person possible ... it was not driven by financial considerations."

When asked about Redknapp's candidacy, he added: "I'm not going to discuss any other manager, or any other name."

Stuart Pearce had been in caretaker charge of the country following Capello's departure in February, with the Under-21 coach taking the reins for England's 3-2 friendly loss against Netherlands in March.

Hodgson, who becomes the 13th England manager in history, will now begin his preparations for England's Euro 2012 campaign - where they face Ukraine, Sweden and France in Group D - ahead of friendly matches versus Norway and Belgium.

His CV is varied - he has won eight league titles around the globe in a career that has also taken in spells at Blackburn Rovers, Grasshoppers and FC Copenhagen. He is also the only English manager currently working in the Premier League to have won the League Managers Association manager of the year award.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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