Rob Edwards confirmed to replace Roy Hodgson as Watford suffer relegation
Watford Football Club have announced Rob Edwards will take over at Roy Hodgson at the end of this season.
This announcement follows Edward’s departure from Forest Green Rovers, whom he recently led to the League Two title.
Watford will be relegated at the end of the 2021/22 season after recording just six wins and amassing just 23 points in 36 games.
Only Norwich City are below them but with nine points between the London club and the two sides in 17th and 18th place – Burnley and Leeds United – Watford have sadly secured the path no club wants to take on the road back to the Championship.
A statement released on the Hornets’ website read: “Watford Football Club is delighted to confirm the appointment of Rob Edwards as its new head coach, effective upon the conclusion of the current 2021/22 season.
“Rob had a contractual provision allowing him to leave Forest Green Rovers at any time to discuss employment opportunities at other clubs and the Hornets are pleased to confirm our discussions concluded today.”
However, Edwards’ soon-to-be ex-club wasn’t quite so thrilled with the news.
Forest Green owner Dale Vince told BBC Sport: “It takes a bit of the shine off when you win the promotion. If there’s karma in football, they’ll languish in the championship and we’ll see them there in a few years.
“(Edwards) said he was told by Watford and his agent to keep it a secret from Forest Green, which I think is pretty bad of them. It’s bad of Rob and he knows it.
“I thought I knew him better as a person.”
Who is Rob Edwards and what will he bring to Watford?
Rob Edwards playing career
Edwards started his professional career at Aston Villa in 1999 but was subsequently loaned out to Crystal Palace and Derby County.
In 2004, after just eight games for the Villans, it was announced the centre-back could leave and he signed for Wolverhampton Wanderers soon after.
A torn ankle ligament prevented Edwards from playing much in his first season, but during his four-year tenure at Molineux, Edwards made over 100 appearances.
After his Wolves spell, Edwards joined Blackpool, signing a two-year deal for an undisclosed fee and captaining the side for the 2008 season.
He continued playing for Blackpool in 2011, playing his first Premier League game since the 2002/03 season.
In the final years of his playing career, Edwards signed with Norwich City on loan, Barnsley and both Fleetwood Town and Shrewsbury Town on loan.
Injury ended Edward’s playing career, but not after he played 15 games for Wales.
Edwards announced his retirement from football aged just 30.
Rob Edwards, leadership career
Edwards began his managerial career with his former side, Wolves, as their Under-18s coach before becoming their interim manager in 2016.
From there he moved to his hometown club AFC Telford United before returning to Molineux to play against their Under-23 squad.
He has also coached England Under-16s and signed for Forest Green Rovers in 2021.
The coach has an overall win rate of 42.45% in his managerial career to date.
With his youngest side Forest Green, Edwards had a winning record of 24 wins and 19 draws in 53 games.
Rob Edwards Honors
The aforementioned second tier title was his first honor as a manager.
In his brief football managerial career, Edwards was named EFL League Two Manager of the Month three times and EFL League Two Manager of the Season once, due to his work with Forest Green Rovers.
What is Rob Edwards’ management style like?
Many players have praised Edwards and his leadership abilities. He has a very open attitude towards his players, which has led to increased confidence in his team.
Forest Green’s Matty Stevens said of his manager: “The most important thing is trust. With Mark Cooper (former Rovers manager) I felt that if I hadn’t scored by half-time I could be sent off. I felt pressure.
“I’ve never seen a manager put so much trust in me. Working with Rob and his assistant Richie (Kyle) was brilliant.
“The boys love them – and that gives us all so much confidence.”