Roy Hodgson was almost becoming Ireland boss in 2007

Football - England Press Conference - Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Republic of Ireland - 6/6/15 England manager Roy Hodgson during the press conference Action Images via Reuters / Lee Smith Livepic

England boss Roy Hodgson almost became manager of the Republic of Ireland in 2007, revealed by Don Howe. Hodgson almost took charge of the Republic of Ireland before joining Fulham eight years ago. Working with Don Givens and Ray Houghton, Howe was tasked with identifying a successor to Steve Staunton eight years ago, a role which eventually went to Giovanni Trapattoni following Hodgson’s move to Fulham.

Hodgson’s England face the Republic on Sunday, but he could have succeeded Steve Staunton as Irish coach in 2007. It is only the second time the teams have played each other since the game in 1995 which was abandoned due to crowd disturbances. “Roy was close, very close, to taking charge,” said Howe, who was part of a task force to find the new manager. “Everything seemed to be on target but just as it looked like coming together, Fulham came in and snapped him up.”

Hodgson will be in the England dug-out for Sunday’s game against the Republic in Dublin. “He knows all about management and coaching at the highest level, he knows what is needed for tournament football and he was the ideal fit.I arranged a meeting between Roy, myself and the others working for the FAI. I couldn’t blame them or Roy, it was a great opportunity for him and it was a huge success for both manager and club.”

Hodgson, 67, took Fulham to the Europa League final in 2010 and later managed Liverpool and West Brom before being appointed England boss in May 2012. For the upcoming match, Hodgson will field a strong England side in Dublin, captained by Wayne Rooney, with one eye on next Sunday’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Slovenia.

Hodgson has managed sixteen different teams in eight countries since he started his coaching career 1976. Other clubs that Hodgson has managed include Inter Milan, Blackburn Rovers, Malmö FF, Grasshoppers, FC Copenhagen, Udinese, Fulham, Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion. In 2012, Hodgson was appointed as manager of the England national team.

Roy Hodgson has appealed to England’s travelling fans not to provoke the home support at the Aviva Stadium as his team play their first fixture in the Republic of Ireland since crowd trouble forced the abandonment of a friendly between the countries two decades ago.Efforts to prevent trouble at the fixture in Dublin will extend to fans who are the subject of banning orders having to report to their local police stations in England at kick-off time.

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