Roy Hodgson was confirmed as West Brom manager yesterday after suffering a torrid time at Liverpool. The 63-year-old will be looking to get his managerial career back on track and, to do that, he’s going to need these five players.
The Nigerian striker had an explosive start to his Premier League career as he scored an 81st-minute winner against Sunderland on his debut after he signed for £1 million from Lokomotiv Moscow back in August 2010. Odemwingie, who has made 49 appearances for his country and scored 9 goals, is just shy of 6ft. tall and it is his physical presence, as well his speed and finishing ability, that makes him a threat to all defences. The 29-year-old can also play out wide on the right wing and likes to come inside across the back-line and he is the current top goalscorer for the Baggies, with nine goals in eight League appearances. If Hodgson is to play a 4-5-1 formation, which he did at Fulham and Liverpool most frequently, then Odemwingie would be the perfect lone-striker.
When Hodgson guided Fulham to the Europa League final in the 2009/2010 season, he had wingers who could deliver a pin-point cross from both wings. Irishman Damien Duff was the main man on the left and, on the right, either Clint Dempsey or Simon Davies were used. Chris Brunt, then, is an ideal player for Hodgson. The 26-year-old Northern Ireland international has made the most assists this season for West Brom (8) and his ability to play in ever position across midfield will be of great use to Hodgson. Brunt has been found on both wings this season and his pace, technique and ability on a dead ball situation will be of huge use to Hodgson. Brunt has been found playing in an attacking midfield role for West Brom this season but it is out on the wings where he is most effective.
Another technical and determined player, Jerome Thomas should be able to forge an understanding with Brunt, meaning that Brunt and the Arsenal academy graduate could be seen switching wings to confuse full-backs this season. Thomas’ five assists and two goals this campaign make him a great source of creativity and his pace will terrify defences all over the country. Thomas has made every one of his twenty appearances on the left-wing this season, but his ability to cut inside and use his favoured right foot means that he will probably be used on both wings under Hodgson.
At Fulham, Hodgson used a variety of central midfielders, from the likes of Danny Murphy, Chris Baird, Jonathan Greening and Dickson Etuhu. In Mulumbu, Hodgson has an athletic, strong and powerful defensive midfielder who will sit in front of the defence and allow those in front of him to attack at will. Mulumbu also likes to roam forward at times and his two goals this season, against Blackpool and Fulham, show that the French-born Congolese 24-year-old can suit a variety of roles. Mulumbu has been sent off twice this campaign (against Manchester City and Everton) but Hodgson’s teams are well known for having an excellent disciplinary record – only one player (Kagiso Dikgacoi) was sent off in the League for Fulham in Hodgson’s last year in charge.
Since Scharner joined Wigan in 2006, the Austrian international has been known as one of the most versatile players in the League. The 30-year-old can play at centre-back or at centre-midfield, as well as at full-back. While Scharner may not be the most gifted of players in terms of ability, his versatility and box-to-box attitude should be well utilised by Hodgson for the remainder of this season. Scharner’s skill in the air also makes him a threat at corners, shown by the fact that both his goals this season have been headers. Scharner was mainly used as a central-midfielder by Roberto Di Matteo but, under Hodgson, the former-Austria Wien defender could find himself played more defensively, possibly as a roaming centre-back.
This article originally appeared on sports website Sports Haze but is now unavailable due to the site closing down.
Picture from nicksarebi