LONDON // Roy Hodgson was handed a swift chance to re-establish his reputation when West Bromwich Albion hired him as coach in the hope that he can save them from relegation from the Premier League.
Hodgson, 63, was sacked by Liverpool last month after just six months with the five-time European champions, but West Brom apparently believe England's 2010 manager of the year is capable of repeating his 2008 feat of saving Fulham from relegation.
Hodgson signed a contract until the end of next season, filling the vacancy created last week when the club relieved Roberto Di Matteo of his duties after a run of 13 defeats in 18 games.
Di Matteo, 40, was hired by the freshly relegated West Brom in June 2009. The former Italy midfielder led the team back to the top flight immediately but, after just two defeats in their first nine Premier League games, West Brom have won only three times.
Chris Hughton, whose Newcastle United side beat West Brom to last season's League Championship title, was sacked in December and had been widely reported as the leading contender to replace Di Matteo. West Brom instead opted for the experience of Hodgson, the former Inter Milan manager who has coached in seven countries and led three national teams, including the UAE's for two years from 2002 until 2004.
He joined Fulham midway through the 2007/08 season and led the small west London club to safety with four wins from their last five games.
The following season he guided Fulham to their best Premier League finish, seventh, and was voted manager of the year for last season by the League Managers Association for taking the Cottagers to the Europa League final, where they lost to Atletico Madrid.
Hodgson will take over after today's Premier League home match against last-place West Ham, with Michael Appleton, the temporary coach, leading the team.