Sam Allardyce Exclusive: Hodgson Should Focus On Defensive Recruits
Welcome Offer banners Welcome Offer banners

Sam Allardyce Exclusive: Hodgson Should Focus On Defensive Recruits

Former England boss Sam Allardyce believes that Roy Hodgson's first task as Watford manager must be to improve the Hornets' leaky defence. The Hertfordshire side have not kept a Premier League clean sheet since February 29, 2020 – a shock 3-0 win over Liverpool, who won the title that season. That result was registered under Nigel Pearson, before Hayden Mullins (as a caretaker), Vladimir Ivic, Xisco Munoz and Claudio Ranieri all departed without achieving a top-flight shutout. And Hodgson will have to work fast to save the relegation-threatened outfit, according to Allardyce, since managers are rarely afforded much time to make their mark.


Hodgson Needs To Make Quick Decisions

Speaking exclusively to Genting, he said: “As a manager, you’ve got to be ready to go into a job, because the short-term policy of a manager turning a club around is the most difficult policy of all. 

“There is no time to waste and the decisions that you make have to be made quickly, especially with the transfer window closing.

“Roy will need to find out very quickly what he has at his disposal and whether or not he has any players with injuries. 

“Now, the board at Watford might think that they have enough in the squad to stay in the league, but after a day or two, he may have to go to the board and advise them what reinforcements are required to avoid relegation.

“There are two things that he will need to get right. If you're at the bottom, the first thing you have to stop is goals going in. 

“Forget playing out from the back – every manager from Pep Guardiola down to Sean Dyche wants clean sheets. We all strive for clean sheets. 

“Obviously, when your team has possession, we look at creativity and we look at goalscoring ability. And if you’ve got goalscoring ability and a good defensive structure, you will start getting out of trouble. 

“It’s not easy to implement overnight when you come in as a manager – the Watford players will be used to playing the way they’ve been playing and used to conceding goals – it's very difficult to get your point across and stop it.  

“And of course, structured defending is about continual practice on the training ground, which is limited. It's what you have to do and then you start on the right foot and you start getting out of trouble. 

“The transfer window in January is the most difficult, but for a relegation-threatened side, it’s imperative to bring in new players.”

Morale And Confidence

When asked how he would approach the task were he in Hodgson’s place, Allardyce explained the importance of morale and confidence, in turning a club’s fortunes around.

He continued: “To the board, I would be saying at some stage, ‘I need to entice my players. If we turn the corner and start getting results, let's reward them with warm weather training.’ 

“At every club I've managed, that break has always been one of the most important things and has paid dividends at the end of the season. 

“The mental and physical relief – recharging the batteries – building team spirit, it has always been imperative for me and very important. 

“But prior to that, of course, it is steering clear of injuries. It is looking at your backroom staff. Having your best players on the field as much as you possibly can. 

“Staying fit, being disciplined on the field as well as off the field, not getting sent off or getting bookings. 

“Your time [as a manager] is running out from the first minute you go into the job – you’ve only got four months, and four months is a very, very short period of time in football.

“No doubt the board at Watford will think they've got enough, because they’ve spent money and they've gone through two managers now – and while they’ve turned out some quite surprising and good results, it's all about consistency. 

“I think that repetition and organisation allows players to become consistent. Sometimes they're not that keen on it, sometimes it gets a little boring. 

“But when you pull up the stats and when you show what's needed, then it's clear as the nose on your face, that we have to turn this around by doing this and making improvements in these areas. 

“If all those improvements increase by just a small percentage, when you put them all together, you start getting where you need to go, and then you build confidence. This is one of the major factors – how do you build confidence? 

“As the manager, you're responsible for getting the players’ confidence back, getting them to enjoy training and to enjoy or look forward to playing. The only way to ultimately improve confidence is by getting results.”




Genting Casino is a leading global casino brand. We provide a premium online casino experience with our huge selection of online slots and live casino games. Genting has been recognized many times for its work in creating fun, safe gaming experiences winning multiple industry awards during its 50 years in business. 

V: 1.38.0 All rights reserved. August 2021