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Hodgson takes charge of Liverpool as manager

Article Published: Thursday 1 July 2010

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Fulham boss Roy Hodgson was named on Thursday as the new manager of Liverpool, signing a three-year contract on Merseyside, the Premier League club said.

"The 62-year-old former Fulham, Inter Milan and Switzerland manager has agreed terms with the club on a three-year contract and becomes the 18th manager in our history," the club said in a statement.

It added that Hodgson would begin his management duties as early as Thursday by overseeing the first day of pre-season training at the club.

Hodgson takes over from Rafael Benitez, who quit Anfield last month after a disappointing season saw them finish seventh in the table.

"This is the biggest job in club football and I'm honoured to be taking on the role of manager of Britain's most successful football club," said Hodgson.

"I look forward to meeting the players and the supporters and getting down to work at (Liverpool's training ground) Melwood." Manager of the year Hodgson joins Liverpool after a successful spell at Fulham, guiding their Premier League rivals to the final of the Europa Cup in May.

Hodgson was Liverpool's first choice despite a host of other names being mentioned and media reports said it cost Liverpool two million pounds to win the release of the Englishman from his contract at Craven Cottage.

Hodgson, named by his fellow league managers as manager of the year, had been linked with England after their disappointing World Cup campaign under Fabio Capello, but negotiations were already at an advanced stage with the Merseysiders who moved to close the deal with speed.

His first task at his new club will be to persuade the likes of captain Steven Gerrard and star striker Fernando Torres that they can have a successful future under his tenure.

The pair, along with Argentinian midfielder Javier Mascherano, are the three big names who have all been linked with moves away this summer, although the uncertainty over who would be manager and the ongoing sale by co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett have led to speculation there could be a mass exodus.

Hodgson has less than a month to get to know his players and prepare them for a Europa League third qualifying round first-leg tie on July 29.

He is at least familiar with the prospect, having guided Fulham from that starting point all the way to the final this season, eventually losing to Atletico Madrid.

The former Switzerland manager then has to begin the task of strengthening a squad which is severely lacking strength in depth.

However, with the club in debt to the tune of 350 million pounds, he will be severely retricted in terms of spending power.

Even so his priority is to find a left-back, as Emiliano Insua is the only specialist in the first-team squad, and much-needed support for Torres in attack.




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