Roy Hodgson – The Right Man for LFC

Posted: June 9, 2010 by Rob McDonald in Liverpool FC, Manager Talk
Tags: , , ,

After running his critical eye over the main runners for the vacant Liverpool job, Rob McDonald takes a closer look at why Roy Hodgson is, in his opinion, the right man.

This isn’t going to garner me any popularity, and a lot of people will probably be angry after having read this but Roy Hodgson, should he come in, is about the right level for Liverpool Football Club. Only in the next couple of seasons will fans realise how far Rafael Benitez stretched us beyond our means.

When Gerard Houllier succeeded Roy Evans in 1998 we found a coach away from the boot room and it brought a fresh perspective to the club and was the first step to our being continentalised (forgive my invention of a word) and the first time the modern evolutions of the game were being adapted to by the club and it showed. Only then did we begin to look like a team who could compete at any level in any competition (beyond the odd domestic cup run in the 1990’s) with Houllier bringing in players from all over Europe and adapting our game tactically to succeed in the way the game was developing.

We all know how the Houllier reign ended, with him being paranoid about the press and the fans and effectively sealing his own demise before then in the Summer of 2002 with the ineffective signings he made. But we’d made the first steps into the new generation of football and, for all his negatives, David Moores really showed a great fortitude in securing Rafael Benitez as manager in 2004, knowing he was the best candidate to take us forward, even with the limited resources he could offer. And now in 2010 with Benitez gone we are left with the vacuum left behind.

Hodgson is a very astute manager, and he has coached in many different leagues so will provide a good experienced backbone to a club that desperately needs steadying on the field. This is important as Benitez fought his hardest to get LFC running his way, which I happen to think was the right way for the club, but the constant fighting behind the scenes and the lack of investment that caused such ire amongst the squad and Benitez himself tarnished what was possible. That’s not to say I expect Hodgson to be financed to the hilt, or even at all, but he is less likely to fight for the money. Although this is a negative in many respects, it is a positive in terms of the current economic climate of the club and the state of the club behind the scenes also.

As the squad is picked apart by Europe’s elite over the Summer we will see that extent of the slide we’ll now go on. Reliable sources all over the city are saying that Torres, Mascherano, Kuyt, Gerrard and Benayoun could all be out of the door by the end of the summer and with RBS reportedly getting antsy about their loans their is a strong chance that this money won’t be recouped by the club, but instead by our creditors. The squad assembled by Benitez in his tenure at the club is un-precedented, considering the lack of financial clout –  apart from the first summer of the owners – the club has. Players of this pedigree were attracted to a club that was proving itself successful primarily down to the astuteness of its manager and his resilience in getting the money necessary to secure the players needed to take the club forward, in the first instance from the bumbling Rick Parry and secondly to get money from Gillett and Hicks who, well we all know about.

Many fans are calling for a return to the boot-room in Dalglish being re-instated, but it was exactly this logic of trying to stick to the old methods that lead us to such mediocrity in the 1990’s. The game has changed irrevocably from the last time we won the title under Kenny Dalglish in 1990 with a squad primarily built of British players. And although, my heart says that if Dalglish came in, he could do it again, my mind knows this is probably folly and is one of the key problems in the culture around the club: the expectation of success as well as a constant yearning for the old days, even now on the back of one of the clubs most successful periods in the last 20 years.

Sadly, I believe facing up the reality that we’ve been punching above our rightful weight for the last 5-6 years under Benitez is the only way we’re going to understand how we’re going to end up with a manager of the calibre, with no disrespect to him, of Roy Hodgson and the fact that we’re actually considering Dalglish as a solution really shows what a quagmire we are in. Were we the club we believe us to be, we’d be able to attract any number of the European elite, but the sad fact is, we can’t.

  1. mcdonaldtaf says:

    Thanks again to Rob for this, producing some good interesting posts.

    My thoughts: Now Dalglish has thrown his hat into the ring it shouldn’t be Hodgson in my opinion. The pressure will be too great for a manager who does not have the ‘profile’ or record when things start going against us. Not everything is going to go our way; especially with a squad who’s value will no doubt drop again this summer. He simply won’t be able to take the pressure which will be created, I can hear the chants now!

    So it should either be Dalglish with, as Paul Tomkins has suggested on his site, an ‘up to speed’ backroom team or a manager with a high enough profile and record which will diffuse some of the pressures created.

    Some are romantically talking about the boot room days and it scares me to think of Dalglish surrounding himself with faces of old. That way lies madness!

    Which high profile managers are available and want the post… god only knows.

    So I guess… Kenny, with some provisos about his backroom team!

  2. jon mairs says:

    So true, we must stop thinking with our hearts and think with our heads, Kenny Dalglish was and still is one of my footballing heros, I would love him as our manager, but it is just what we don’t need right now. We need someone new to the club and Roy Hodgson is the ideal candidate. Shanks set up Paisley for glory, let’s just hope Benitez has set up our next manager for great success to come.

  3. robmcburger says:

    Roy Hodgson seems likely to be made manager with Kenny Daglish taking up a stronger role in the background, which is the best of both worlds. We get the influence and experience of Daglish but someone with the tactical nous of the modern game. Gerrard is reputedly happy with the appointment, should it happen. Kuyt has given a statement saying he owes the club and I’d imagine a similar thing to come from Torres. The only player who’ll leave will be Mascherano, sadly he’s probably one of our most important.

  4. LennyB says:

    When you look at the candidates being put forward I have to agree with you and look no further than Roy Hodgson, the man has served his time in Scandinavia, Italy and England with some success although his Blackburn days were not successful because he was given little time to go to the toilet never mind put his feet under the table. Another plus for Hodgson is his knowledge of the European game, I don’t know much about his record on the mainland but you never hear about him being a disaster so I shall take that has a plus. Looking at Kenny I hope he do not take the job even if it’s offered, I know he was successful here and he won trophy’s but he had a lot of help from the boot-room which back in 85 were still there in part, today time has moved on the game has changed and given a choice between Hodgson and Kenny I would take Hodgson over Kenny in the modern era.

  5. Bren says:

    An article that talks sense. Most Liverpool fans on the net are expressing an irrational and immature disgust at the prospect of Hodgson, and I can’t understand it.

    Most really hate the prospect of getting Roy Hodgson…

    – despite the fact that no other top manager is realistically an option,
    – despite the fact that he would be on a short-term contract and could easily be let go if needed,
    – despite the fact he brings the best out of his players, including the poor ones,
    – despite the fact that he has a good rapport with the press,
    – despite the fact that he has bags of experience,
    – despite the fact that he’s overachieved in almost every role he’s had
    – despite the fact that he’s tactically astute,
    – despite the face that he’s a very intelligent and all-round good bloke.

    I like Kenny, but it would be soul-destroying if he failed, or had to leave the club.

    Hodgson for me all the way.

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