Mid-Day Ticker: West Brom hires Hodgson, La Liga strike looms and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

A mere five days after sacking Roberto Di Matteo, West Bromwich Albion hired former Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson as manager of the relegation-threatened club.

Hodgson, 63, takes over a West Brom club that has plummeted in the Premier League table after a promising start and now sits 17th, kept out of the relegation zone by goal difference alone. The Baggies have suffered 13 defeats in their previous 18 games after flirting with European places in the fall.

Hodgson will hope to rehabilitate his severely damanged reputation after a disastrous seven months in charge of Liverpool. The former Fulham boss, who was voted Manager of the Year last season, was let go last month and will be installed after West Brom's weekend clash with bottom-dwellers West Ham United. Interim coach Michael Appleton, who voiced his own desire for the job, will lead West Brom on Saturday.

Here are some more stories to get you through to the weekend:

SPANISH CLUBS THREATEN APRIL STRIKE

Spanish clubs are threatening to strike during the first weekend of April over a dispute involving television broadcast rights. The clubs want to abolish a rule that requires at least one La Liga match be broadcast on free television.

If the strike were to go ahead, the matches would not be canceled but instead postponed one week with the end of the season being pushed to June. The head of the Spanish Professional League wants the rule abandoned before the start of the 2012-2013 season.

WEST HAM GETS OLYMPIC STADIUM

After the Olympic Stadium in London serves its purpose for the 2012 Summer Games, it will be inhabited by West Ham United, whose bid has reportedly been chosen over that of Tottenham.

The vote to award the stadium to West Ham, conducted by the Olympic Park Legacy Company, was unanimous.

Tottenham had partnered with entertainment giant AEG in hopes of securing the rights to the stadium.

REDKNAPP TO STAND TRIAL FOR TAX EVASION

Harry Redknapp will stand trial over the summer for charges of tax evasion that date back to the manager's time with Portsmouth. The current Tottenham manager is charged with two counts of evasion totaling around $64,000. Standing trial with Redknapp in July is former Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric.

PUYOL DOUBTFUL FOR ARSENAL CLASH

Barcelona will likely be without captain Carles Puyol when the 2009 European champions face off against Arsenal in the Round of 16 of the Champions League this coming week.

Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola said Puyol, who has not played since Jan. 22, is a near certainty to miss Barcelona's trip the Emirates. The 32-year-old defender has been struggling with fitness since he picked up an injury just after Christmas.

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What do you think of today's developments? Think Hodgson can succeed at West Brom? Can you see the Spanish clubs really striking? Are you happy or disappointed that West Ham got the Olympic Stadium? Could the absence of Puyol set up a potential shock in the Champions League next week?

Share your thoughts below.

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13 Responses to Mid-Day Ticker: West Brom hires Hodgson, La Liga strike looms and more

  1. Looks like Abidal will slide into CB and Maxwell will deputize at LB. Definitely provides some much needed hope before the clash. Really wish Nasri/Vermaelen weren’t out but you’ve gotta play the hand your dealt.

    Now all I have to look forward to is Cesc’s Barcelona DNA!!!

  2. Paul C says:

    WBA will be a nice fit for Hodgson. I actually felt bad for the guy while he was at Liverpool, he was just in over his head.

  3. Great fit for a man who made his name as a relegation fighter (at least with FFC). Do your thang Hodgie (and not the “your thang” you did in Liverpool; the other kind – where you inspire mediocre players to greatness. That one).

  4. wiger toods says:

    Are they striking because they want more games on free TV or NO games on free TV? Its unclear to me and the link is incorrect.

  5. CSD says:

    After a meeting in Madrid on Friday, the LFP, which represents first and second division clubs, said it wanted the rule dropped for the start of the 2012-13 season so clubs were in a stronger position to negotiate rights with TV companies.

    The free matches would not necessarily be stopped entirely but the LFP wanted the obligation to show them to be dropped, president Jose Luis Astiazaran said at a news conference.

  6. David says:

    Not sure West Brom needed to sack their manager but I think Roy is a good fit none the less if the players will play for him. Nicky Shorey played for Fulham last year so he will know Roy’s training methods. He tried to get Paul Scharner to Fulham for awhile too. They don’t seem to have to much trouble scoring goals but they leak almost 2 a game. Roy can fix that.

  7. Jack says:

    I was in the group who hated Hodgson at Liverpool–nothing against the guy himself, I just don’t think he knew how to deal with having a bunch of very skilled attacking players.

    However. I think that West Brom will be a good fit for him. His talent seems to be squeezing every bit of potential out of mid-table players, and that should serve West Brom very well.

  8. KFree says:

    In need of some education… i dont get why hodgson is better able to get a group of underrated players to win as a unit, but when blessed with players of above average skill – he cant handle it. logic says, hodgson should be able to get more wins with more skill. now he’s going to a squad with less talent, and he’s supposed to win more? what am i missing?

    on another note, are there any first time head coaches currently employed in the PL?

  9. matt in detroit says:

    The league is going to strike because of a rule that “ONE” game has to be on free television.

    Yeah, that will be popular with the fans. Great public relations.

  10. David says:

    Because more skilled player don’t want to play his style. He likes players to stay in position and keep a strict shape, 4-4-2. He also likes disapline, aka no reds and a minimum of yellows. His style is defend first and as a team, clear the ball out at every opportunity. Basicially it is a team oriented approach with little creative freedom. If the team buy into it, like Fulham, you can do great things. If they don’t buy into in like Liverpool then you lose. The players wouldn’t play for him because they were bored and selfish. Players on lower wages and ego’s don’t have that problem.

  11. AAA says:

    The La Liga link opens the West Brom story

  12. TimN says:

    I wouldn’t say he was “in over his head.” Hodgson is old school, knows the game as well as anyone, has certainly been around the block, and has managed other big clubs like Inter.

    I think what he was “in over” was unrealistic expectations. Liverpool across the board is not as talented as they have been in years past. Compare them to ManU player for player…it’s not even close. As well, I think Torres was already unhappy before Hodgson arrived, and was likely already planning a January transfer, so I don’t think he was getting Torres’ full effort.

    Another point, I think it is simply RIDICULOUS to fire a guy who has only been there for 6 months. That’s not any reasonable amount of time to build the club with the kind of players he would want.