Roy Hodgson: A Premature Assessment Perhaps?
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If we are to be honest, most of us were passing judgment on Roy Hodgson before he'd even been appointed as Liverpool manager, as soon as his name had been thrown into the pot in fact. Much like today, there were many saying, "let's give the man a chance." Personally, I believed that there was only one natural appointment that could be made, the one that wasn't, a decision that I believe we could rue for a few years yet. King Kenny Dalglish. Maybe it's for this reason that I may be being biased, but I don't think so...
When Hodgson was officially appointed, I wasn't optimistic but at least it was a much needed fresh start. It would've been difficult to provide a valid reason for my scepticism as Hodgson had achieved so much with so little at Fulham, thus seemingly a perfect fit. But my gut feeling was not a positive one. My main concern was, does he have what it takes to carry a club like Liverpool? And before a ball had even been kicked, he gave us a glimpse of the probable answer... No. Unless Hodgson quickly changes his ways, that answer is going to be set in stone sooner than he realises.
Prior to his first competitive game against the minnows from Macedonia, Hodgson seemed to be trying to get his excuse in early should Liverpool lose at Rabotnicki, by effectively implying that the players he had at hand were not good enough. These players included David Amoo, Nathan Eccleston, Stephen Darby and Jay Spearing, highly talented and very promising "youngsters" who have come through The Academy. What these players needed to hear was, "we have some tremendous young talent who will give Rabotnicki a run for their money tonight. They are the future of this club and it will be their chance to push for regular first team places this season".
Then, following the savaging (and I've used much stronger descriptive in private conversations with friends) by Manchester City, Hodgson in his post match analysis said that the result was not a fair reflection of the game. Maybe he was inferring that it should have been that weekend's fourth 6-0 result, but I doubt it. The immediate question that came to mind was, if you can't see the problem, how can you possibly solve it?
And then there are his comments before this weekend's dismal performance against Birmingham. Why Hodgson felt it necessary to publicly speak out about the ownership problem and comment that it would be difficult to achieve success before the club is sold is beyond me. Well actually it's not. It would be safe to assume that he is again covering his backside in the event that we have another poor season. The ownership problems are already well documented and cannot be influenced by the manager. What can be influenced by the manager is team morale and performances on the field and this is what Hodgson needs to focus on utterly and completely and strive to ensure that the team does too. It is what he was appointed to do, to achieve results with "scarce resources". Having said that, this is the team that ran Manchester United a close second not centuries ago. Unless, heaven forbid, player wages are not being paid, ownership issues should not even be up for discussion at the footballing level.
Nobody is expecting Hodgson to work miracles. But I for one want Hodgson to realise, and soon, like now, that Liverpool is not about Roy Hodgson. Roy Hodgson is a good manager and doesn't need to make excuses. It is not becoming of a great Liverpool manager, which is what we are desperately in need of. There's still a chance...
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