When Roy Hodgson took over as manager of Liverpool football club from Rafa Benitez, it is fair to say the majority of fans were under whelmed. Whilst some fans felt he deserved a chance to prove himself, many others felt he was not up to the task of shouldering the legacy of Shankly, Paisley and Dalglish. Roy made an early declaration after enduring a shaky start, asking the fans not to draw any conclusions until Liverpool were at least ten premier league games into the season. This seemed like a reasonable request as it gave him a chance to show the fans a little bit of what he could do with the squad, and an opportunity to win over some of his doubters.
First of all I think it’s only fair to say that the majority of Liverpool fans were not expecting miracles; most fans did not expect Roy to walk in, transform the club and suddenly take Liverpool back into the mix for the title. Liverpool fans are far more intelligent than that. What Liverpool fans expected however were signs of improvement. Liverpool fans expected to see the team slowly begin to show some of the potential that they know their team possess, and once again start to play the kind of football that has been scarce since the season Liverpool finished second to Manchester United. This would take time, of course, but fans expected little signs and indications that Roy was able to do this and the 10 games he asked for was his opportunity to lay down his marker.
Now with 13 games of the Barclay’s Premier League season gone, it is fair to say that Roy has failed to convince a large section of the fans. Although the league position Liverpool currently occupy (11th) is not a disaster at this stage of the season, the football that has been on show coupled with the rumblings coming out of the club about unhappy players has only served to further convince those who were already sceptical about Roy Hodgson, that he is not the man to lead Liverpool football club forwards under its new ownership.
This week Roy claimed that fans needed to give him more time, “38 to 55” games, in order to really judge him and his work at the club. This caused more outrage amongst those fans who already want him out (a poll carried out by anfieldroad.com shows that out of 1,305 fans who have so far voted, 94% want him gone now) and with the cries for the return of Kenny Dalglish getting louder, it is now probably a matter of when not if Roy Hodgson leaves Liverpool.
Roy Hodgson’s success at Fulham can not be underestimated and he will forever be applauded for his achievements there but I feel with Liverpool he has lost his uphill battle already. Liverpool football club has always been a special club and one of those clubs whose fan base expect certain things from their manager. Roy’s constant media blunders perhaps paint the picture of a man who has failed to grasp the scale of the club he is at and how proud the people are of it. For me the owners need to make a quick decision on Roy’s future as this season represents an opportunity to right the wrongs of last season.
With Tottenham being in the Champions League and seemingly failing to deal with the mental fatigue of playing a big game midweek and a regular league game at the weekend, and Manchester City infighting and undermining their manager, there is a very real chance for Liverpool to place themselves back into the top four. I fully expect Tottenham to eventually begin to cope with the transition from the Champions League to the Premier League and Manchester City look like they are preparing to rid themselves of the trouble makers in their squad in January.
This means that the opportunity Liverpool have of gaining ground on these two clubs (or even passing them on points) is quickly fading and the owners must realise the benefits of attempting to rebuild a Champions League club in the summer as opposed to one still playing in the Europa League. Sacking managers is never an easy decision but sometimes situations call for forthright actions to be taken in order to allow both parties to move forwards. Liverpool need a young manager with fresh idea’s who is able to bring the kind of football the fans clearly crave. Roy Hodgson is a thoroughly decent man who finds himself in a bad situation that he needs to be relieved of.
It is up to NESV to make the decision and make it quick because allowing this situation to fester on for a whole season will do a lot more harm than good.