West Brom boss Roy Hodgson has told Andre Villas-Boas that the only way is down from his current job as Chelsea manager.
Speaking ahead of West Brom’s clash with the Blues on Saturday, the Baggies boss suggested he found it difficult to see how, having landed such an important position at such a young age, Villas-Boas will continue to find long-term employment at the highest level.
Hodgson himself has been a manager for over 35 years, including spells at Inter Milan, Udinese and the Swiss national side, as well as a return to Premier League management with Fulham and Liverpool more recently, and the 64-year-old was keen to reveal the secrets of such a long managerial career.
“It was probably a good grounding for me and probably did help me still to be working and enjoying my life today,” Hodgson said.
“Because I do think it’s not easy to go downwards if you’ve been at the very top. You want to stay at that level.”
“It’s not easy to go down and take jobs at much lower levels afterwards.”
“Realistically speaking, look at the average tenure of clubs and you’re going to need quite a lot of clubs if you’re going to work for 35 years.”
“It’s been okay for me, I’ve been lucky and enjoyed it. But I don’t know that I would be pushing people as early as possible into top managerial positions if their aim is to have a 35-year career.”
Looking back at his own struggle to make it in the world of management, Hodgson said that it was hard to compare himself to the Chelsea boss considering the level of achievement the Portuguese coach had already enjoyed.
“I was doing [management] at a club in Sweden [Halmstad] that no-one had ever heard of. The players were part-time professionals, I wasn’t doing it at Porto and Chelsea,” he continued.
“I’m not making a comparison between myself and Villas-Boas because he’s been in the Champions League and is working for one of the most prestigious clubs in Europe and just left one of the most prestigious clubs in Europe.”
“What I am comparing is the fact that I am the last person to start talking about someone’s age when I at the age of 33, had already won two championships in Sweden.”
“I’m really happy with the career I’ve had, I suppose to some extent I had those long periods which were not at a lower level as such, but in Switzerland or Sweden, just not the Premier League.”