SussexBaggie speaks… Life after Roy
By Site Editor
Updated Wednesday, 2nd May 2012
Tom Harper discusses Hodgson's exit
Despite playing out an entertaining 0-0 draw against Aston Villa on Saturday, this has barely been spoken about by Albion fans over an eventful few days.
The story which has been dominating our attention is the news which has seen Roy Hodgson confirmed as the new England manager.
This has not come as much of a surprise to me, as our form since the resignation of Fabio Capello in February would not have gone unnoticed within the Football Association, and this is without even considering the wealth of experience Hodgson has across all levels of the game.
It has also been confirmed that Hodgson will remain in charge of the club for our remaining two league fixtures away to Bolton Wanderers and at home to Arsenal, giving us an opportunity to give him the send-off he deserves after the brilliant work he has done at the club since being appointed last February.
However, the most important thing from an Albion perspective now is where exactly does Hodgson’s departure at the end of this season leave us as a club?
There is absolutely no doubt that we will be a far more attractive potential employer to any managers we approach with a view to replacing Hodgson than we were just 14 months ago, when we were involved in a relegation battle and appeared to be heading back to the Championship.
It must also be considered that our two most recent former managers (if we include Hodgson) will be managing Chelsea in the Champions League final this season, with the other taking the national team to the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine this summer.
The appointment Jeremy Peace and Dan Ashworth will have to make over the next few weeks is probably one of the most important managerial appointments in the club’s recent history, as appointing someone with the experience to carry on Hodgson’s good work is crucial if we are to build on the last couple of seasons.
My first choice for the job would be Chris Hughton, who was interviewed by Peace before Hodgson was appointed last year. Although Hughton could take Birmingham City back to the Premier League through the play-offs, it appears that their financial problems are not completely behind them and the stability of Albion in comparison may tempt Hughton to make the short journey across the Midlands to The Hawthorns, should we give him the opportunity to do so.
There will be plenty of names linked with the job over the next few weeks, and some of the more interesting names I have seen mentioned so far include Michael Laudrup, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Gus Poyet.
Based on the track record of Peace and Ashworth when it comes to selecting new managers, we can certainly be confident that they will pick the right person to succeed Hodgson and continue his excellent work at the club.
It has emerged since it became clear that Hodgson was taking the England job that the fancy dress theme for the game at Bolton on Sunday will be England flags to honour Hodgson, with Hodgson masks and shirts also being suggested by people on various sites.
I think this is an excellent idea, so it would be good if anyone reading this who is making the journey to the Reebok Stadium on Sunday is able to honour Hodgson in one of the ways mentioned above to show him just how much we appreciate the work he has done here.
The game itself won’t be easy, but hopefully the players will be keen to give Hodgson the send-off he deserves by putting in a good performance and picking up a positive result!
Who would you like to take over from Hodgson at the Hawthorns hot-seat? Have your say here at Baggies Banter.