BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Roy Hodgson’s 40-plus years in football management is perfect proof of his managerial credentials.
Eagles goalkeeping coach Dean Kiely, who also worked in the same capacity with the 71-year-old at West Brom, is well-placed to discuss his strengths.
Hodgson became the oldest boss in Premier League history when he took charge of Saturday’s 4-1 win at Leicester City, surpassing the record held by Sir Bobby Robson.
“In this day and age, people want to shout about what they are doing and how they have re-invented the wheel and almost make people look at them,” Kiely told the South London Press. “Roy is a million miles from that.
“I hear a lot of opinions on teams – who should play and why they should play – by people that don’t see one minute of a training session. Monday to Friday, all Roy wants to do is get out on the grass and effect the players, team and shape. Keep drilling in a way to play which arguably – at Fulham, West Brom, England and Crystal Palace – has worked really, really well.
“Certainly at Crystal Palace, Fulham and West Brom he took a gifted group of players and moulded them into a very good shape and system. That’s what Roy continues to do. He doesn’t use his press conferences to profess to the world how it shouldn’t be done or how he does it. He doesn’t want a media spin.”
Kiely left Preston to take on his current role at Palace in January 2018. He recalled: “Roy phoned me and said Martun Margetson is moving on with Sam Allardyce – would you like to fill the vacancy? I was there in a shot, because of what he did at West Brom.
“In terms of learning in coaching, he was the one manager where I wrote everything down. Even when he doesn’t know it, he is imparting wisdom. His longevity suggests he has been doing it right, and he’s been doing it right for a very long time. If you talk to the players, wherever he has been, I think they’ll give you such a glowing reference about Roy Hodgson and how he has effected them.”
Kiely has had no time out of the game – his shift from playing to coaching being seamless.
He took over as the Baggies’ goalkeeping coach when Joe Corrigan retired. Initially he did the role while still being registered as a player. Kiely has fancied a crack at management himself.
“I’m not breaching anyone’s confidence here but over the years I have offered my services indirectly and unofficially to Charlton – to get nothing back from them,” he said.
“Could I go and be manager of Bury? It’s something I’d really like to do. If I’m being honest, I don’t think I’m a big enough name – a sexy enough option to do that.
“Is it something I’d like to do? Absolutely. I’ve been around in what I class as the best league and worked with the best. I’d like to think I’ve got lots of attributes that would make that successful.
“That’s not saying I’ve got one eye on doing that. I’m perfectly happy with my lot. I’m focusing 100 per cent on giving everything at this moment in time to Crystal Palace.”