Roy Hodgson claims the presence of Kenny Dalglish at Liverpool during his time at the club meant it "wasn't easy" managing the Anfield side.
Speaking before the visit of his old club to The Hawthorns, Hodgson said Dalglish's achievements loomed large over his six-month tenure, and were made more pertinent by the fact he was appointed at the expense of the former Scottish international.
"It's difficult to compete with icons," he said. "I came to the right club, perhaps I didn't come at the right time because Kenny did make it clear at that time that he wanted the job."
He added: "The people who were making the decisions at that time decided to go for me, and as a result that left Kenny in a difficult position because he is one who wanted the job.
"So when things didn't go well, having him in the background wasn't easy and wouldn't have been easy for any coach."
However, Hodgson added this scenario was by no means exclusive to Liverpool.
He said: "That happens at virtually every football club, to be quite honest. There's always someone in the wings who's a little bit of an icon and who's ready to take over if the results don't go that way."