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Hodgson left to walk alone

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Phil McNulty | 12:22 UK time, Saturday, 8 January 2011

When Roy Hodgson sang "You'll Never Walk Alone" on his final Anfield appearance as Liverpool manager against Bolton Wanderers, he may have been too wrapped up in his own perilous position to appreciate the irony.

If ever a man walked alone and out of tune with Anfield's anthem it was Hodgson - an invisible presence to The Kop for most of his Liverpool reign and deserted by so many of his players in his hours of need.

The only time Hodgson attracted attention was when Liverpool's supporters demanded his removal or the return of Kenny Dalglish to the managerial chair the 63-year-old has occupied so uncomfortably since July.

Hodgson's departure from Anfield by mutual consent marks the low point of a steep decline in fortunes for the man named manager of the year at the end of last season and touted as a prime candidate to replace England coach Fabio Capello had he left after the South African World Cup debacle.

Hodgson was feted by his peers only seven months ago as he stood proudly in Hamburg's Nordbank Arena after taking Fulham to the Europa League final, only to lose to Atletico Madrid.

A few weeks before he was afforded the rare accolade of being applauded into Craven Cottage's press room by the media after the semi-final win against Hamburg.

It was against this backdrop that Liverpool's board made an understandable decision to hand him the reins as Rafael Benitez's replacement, a safe pair of hands to see the club through a transitional period and an imminent change of ownership.

Roy Hodgson

Roy Hodgson left Fulham in the summer to move to Anfield. Pic: Getty

Little did Hodgson realise when he strolled into the Anfield sunshine in July to be paraded as Liverpool manager that the appointment he described as "the pinnacle" of his long career would be laced with poison.

Hodgson was greeted with ominous indifference by Liverpool's supporters, a sign of things to come as he failed to capture their imagination and establish a connection with a fanbase that likes to think it has a unique bond with their managers. It is a connection he failed to make.

He was on the back foot when Dalglish, one of the most iconic figures in Liverpool history, declared his interest in the post only to be unceremoniously ignored by the club's hierarchy in favour of Hodgson. The spectre of the Scot has hung over Hodgson through every bad performance, his name never far from the lips of fans unimpressed by the new man at the helm and Dalglish has now been put in charge for the rest of the season.

The sceptics might have been won over by a fast start, but even that was denied him when what should have been a deserved opening day win against Arsenal was wrecked by the normally reliable goalkeeper Pepe Reina's injury-time own goal.

Hodgson leaves Liverpool with indelible scars on a reputation that was glowing upon his Anfield arrival - but to suggest this has been solely his own work does him a grave injustice.

He inherited an unbalanced and poor quality squad from Benitez, top heavy with mediocrity and over-reliant on a small group of high-class operators. The festering ownership issue and the acrimonious farewells of Tom Hicks and George Gillett did not help his cause.

Hodgson also had to deal with the messy departure of Javier Mascherano to Barcelona, thrust upon him in the hours before an away loss at Manchester City that set the tone for so many miserable Liverpool showings on their travels this season.

And as Liverpool's season turned sour, he was robbed of Steven Gerrard when he was injured on England duty and Jamie Carragher for three months after he suffered a shoulder injury at Tottenham.

Hodgson faced a major reconstruction of Liverpool's playing staff when he took over. It is something he performed with limited success.

Instead of weeding out the chaff he only succeeded in adding to it. Raul Meireles apart, the signings of Joe Cole, Christian Poulsen and Paul Konchesky have been failures. Indeed the last two names are making a compelling case for inclusion in the Black Museum of Liverpool signings, and there has been stiff competition for places in recent times.

And performances so bad they might almost be treated as landmarks, such as Anfield losses to Northampton Town in the Carling Cup and newly-promoted Blackpool in the Premier League, saw Hodgson lost forever in the eyes of many Liverpool supporters.

Those fans were alienated in such numbers, almost to the point of mutiny, that Hodgson could only survive via the sort of results Liverpool in their current guise never looked remotely like achieving. There is little doubt an online petition demanding his sacking will have been swollen by mischief-makers as it reached 19,000 signatures - but the underlying revolt among Anfield's regulars could not be dismissed or ignored.

More significant votes were cast with feet, as only 35,000 came to Anfield for the New Year's Day win against Bolton and swathes of empty spaces were seen in the visitors' section, almost unheard of in recent history, for Liverpool's defeat at Blackburn on Wednesday.

As the dust settles on this unhappy and unfulfilling chapter in Liverpool's history, it would be wrong to heap all the blame on Hodgson's shoulders as he departs. Yes, he has been guilty of poor management but plenty of Liverpool's players had a hand in his downfall.

Carragher and Gerrard's performances and attitude never wavered despite Hodgson's reign crumbling around them, but even the impeccable Reina showed signs of strain while Fernando Torres was a shadow of himself under Hodgson.

Torres helped provide a rare highlight for Hodgson with two goals that beat Chelsea, but too often he has cut a sullen and disaffected sight, at odds with the world and with seemingly little appetite to lift himself out of his slump. The body language screamed out his discontent and too many times when his manager needed him he was not to be found.

The Spaniard can rightly point to poor service and lack of quality support, but missed chances at Spurs and Newcastle and disappearing acts elsewhere have also tarnished the status of the striker who once rivalled Gerrard as Anfield's golden boy.

Hodgson was critical of Glen Johnson's performances earlier this season, but the England defender did little to prove his manager wrong and has given scant return on Benitez's exorbitant £18m investment.

The manager's sure touch and experience also deserted him at vital moments as he failed to deliver the messages Liverpool fans wanted to hear. Such messages might be regarded as immaterial at most clubs but they are essential, it seems, at Anfield.

Hodgson should not have been expected to undergo a personality transformation on his appointment at Liverpool but there was little doubt that he missed chances to stamp his authority on affairs and make his mark in the minds of supporters.

I was at Old Trafford when he tamely declined to defend Torres in the face of criticism from Sir Alex Ferguson and when Liverpool fans departed Goodison Park in fury after being outplayed by Everton, Hodgson was in denial as he attempted to apply gloss to a desperate display.

Hodgson's perceived criticism of a lack of support from Liverpool's followers after an abject home defeat against Wolves was the act of a man penning his managerial suicide note. It was this game, and its aftermath, that ultimately proved the last straw for Fenway Sports Group.

For a character of such vast and cosmopolitan experience, he looked strangely out of his depth from an early stage at Anfield. Even spells at Inter Milan, it appeared, had not prepared him for the pressure, scrutiny and analysis of every spoken word that is part of the package as Liverpool manager.

He was never likely to be part of FSG's long-term plans once they completed their takeover, but there was no desire for an early change of manager and there was a genuine realisation and understanding that Hodgson had taken charge of a deteriorating team.

John W. Henry was always going to appoint a younger and more progressive coach to work under his new director of football strategy Damien Comolli in time, but results, performances and perceptions hastened Hodgson's demise dramatically.

There will be sympathy for Hodgson, a proud and decent man who has worked tirelessly but in vain to turn Liverpool around, but brutal reality dictates this was the only decision FSG could take - even if it was quicker than they would have liked.

In some respects, Hodgson's departure may come as a blessed relief as managing Liverpool appeared to have become a miserable, debilitating experience. He still has enough credit in the bank to attract offers from elsewhere when he wishes to resume his managerial career - but there will be few days at Liverpool that he will ever look back on with affection.

Comments

Page 1 of 9

  • Comment number 1.

    Sad story, but time will tell if this is a sensible.

    Roy got it all wrong, though. However, how much blame can you put on him? Too many duds in the squad!

  • Comment number 2.

    So much for his rallying cry yesterday (an article which the bbc seem to have removed)!

    The liverpool fans finally get what they wanted, they didn't want hodgson, the players it seem didn't want to play and the fans didn't want to watch, why? Because they'd rather dream of glories past than the future!

    The way he was treated from day 1 by the fans was a discrage, they bought this on themselves and I hope they truely get what they deserve for ruining the career of a great guy (if not great manager) and that is yet more years of mediocraty!

  • Comment number 3.

    I would be delighted to have Hodgson at the Villa. He could do a job there dealing with players and a club who are aware of their proper level and potential rather than trying to cope with the mass merseyside delusion that Liverpool are still the club they were in the 70s and 80s causing a level of expectation well beyond the club's capabilities.

  • Comment number 4.

    His results show Roy deserved to be sacked, but in my view, it was RAFA who was at thought. The current Liverpool team is certainly not of a calibre I would expect and I feel this is all down to Rafa's reign.

    Roy Never stood a chance!

    Though seeing a team as big as liverpool do so badly just shows it can happen to any team under poor management.

  • Comment number 5.

    More than 8 of the players who beat REAL MADRID 4 nil just 18 months ago were in the recent matches against BLACKBURN AND BOLTON, so I dont know what you are talking about Phil, when you say he inherited a poor squad.

    Rafa Benitez was the best thing to happen to the club since Dalglish himself. Why is the mass media so xenophobic?

    Why didnt the LMA come out last season when Benitez was getting massacred and why didnt the media turn on Hodgson this season when he produced even worse results than Rafa?

    Hodgson is not a bad manager, just the wrong one for Liverpool. The first thing everyone says is that he is a nice guy - well, as the saying goes, nice guys always finish last.

    YNWA

  • Comment number 6.

    Roy is a brilliant manager with players who don't realise how good they are. Obviously he's had a big problem with inflated egos. I'm sure a few would-be up and coming teams would want to snap him up quickly. England spring to mind ;-)

  • Comment number 7.

    Newcastle fan in peace.
    I'm torn between blaming the players - their lack of effort was astonishing - and blaming Hodgson for failing to motivate them, and for bringing in only one decent signing who was frequently played out of position.

    Hodgson, however, will walk into another job. I doubt he'd go back to Fulham even if they did sack Hughes, but West Ham and Villa could both be looking for a new manager in a few weeks and he did accomplish a near-impossible task a couple of seasons ago to keep Fulham up.

  • Comment number 8.

    Stop piping up about the bad squad he inherited. He come with a claim that he could get more out of the players already at the club. He has failed miserably.

  • Comment number 9.

    Phil, what about Comolli's position as director of football? Does not the director of football identify the players, for the manager to coach?

  • Comment number 10.

    Hodgson is a decent bloke and a good manager, but he was never of the right class to be in charge of a club as big as Liverpool. The pressure was too much for him, and he couldn't handle the dressing room. At a time when Liverpool needed rebuilding, he just added more mediocre players to the mix and still no strength in depth, especially on the wings and up front.

    Hopefully Liverpool will get a good manager in and take them back to a position where they ought to be. They're still a massive club, and deserve to be fighting it out for at least champions league places. But they need time and investment, and quite an overhaul to be competitive once more.

    As for Hodgson, i hope his reputation hasn't been too damaged, but i think enough damade has been done. He's shown he is a good manager in the past, but not at a big club unfortunately. What he did at fulham shouldn't be forgotten and he deserves another chance with an EPL club, just not one with the stature of Liverpool as he's proved he's not a big enough character for a job that size.

  • Comment number 11.

    Looking at the future of Liverpool, I'm curious to see if Dalglish will stay as a manager after the end of the season or whether he will step back, leaving the task of moving Liverpool forward to someone else. He's widely respected and, in my opinion, is the best man for Liverpool's future.

    Having said that and taking into account some gossip columns, I'm curious to see if Owen Coyle is lined up for the summer. What a wonderful opportunity would that be to see the reaction of Bolton fans, with the memories of their reactions of the kind 'Bolton are a bigger club than Burnley' still fresh in memory.

    Liverpool fans have been pitiful, petiful and mind-tiring after the Hodgson appointment. Let's see what the future holds for them, now, with the man of their choice in the helm of their club.

  • Comment number 12.

    Roy was never going to do well at Liverpool following Benitez. The club is a mess and he lacked the character, charisma and understanding to get the club through that period.

    I think King Kenny will reunite the fans and the club. Even if he has been out of the game for a while their is no one better to bring the club together and give LFC some pride back even if it is just till the end of the season. He will inspire the players and remind LFC who it is. Long Live King Ken.

  • Comment number 13.

    Roy did a great job a Fulham, and took on a squad which was doing terribly under Rafa. Liverpool's devolution dramatically started after that stellar season when, despite reaching their peak, they got pipped to the title by Man U. It was always going to be a Herculean task for anyone to hoist Liverpool out of their current doldrums. Daglish too will need a freshened up squad to be able to erase the malaise at Anfield. However, time will tell, and that may also depend on how much time Daglish is given.

  • Comment number 14.

    Phil,
    There is no evidence that American owners "get" British football. There is not one club in a better position, playing-wise AND financially, now than when US owners bought their cute plaything.
    Dalglish may well turn things round at Anfield but you'd have to bet against it unless he has unlimited funds to play with in the next 3 1/2 weeks. Then, who gets to pick up the pieces?
    What works in Boston won't work at Anfield anytime soon.
    Start preparing your next blog now.

  • Comment number 15.

    Too many poor players, a decent manager, but lacking charisma, change of ownership. I'm afraid the job of Liverpool manager was a poisoned chalice. Poor Roy did himself no favours, the players need to look at themselves (again!). Seven wins in 20 games speaks for itself. I'm not sure Kenny is the right choice though. Let's see what happens tomorrow.

    #2 - laughingdevil - what's a discrage? Is that a word you have just made up? The vast majority of Liverpool fans did not want Hodgson - would you? He did nothing in his time at Anfield to justify his appointment.

  • Comment number 16.

    yea great blog phil, this liverpool post is the biggest poison chalice in football. Fans who expect champions league, and a squad that is so saturated in mediocrity the top half will appear to be a significant achievement. There is a long term project needed at liverpool, and I feel desperately sorry for Hodgson that he has been sacked for a quick fix replacement. There is no quick fix. This is an appointment that the liverpool fans will consider to be the return of the messiah. However, just like Hodgson, I would be incredibly surprised if he does not leave with his tail between his legs; not because he is a good enough manager, like his predecessor his reputation convinces one and all he is, but because the current squad cannot hope to achieve the delusional heights that the kop and more importantly the board expect, because history plants the false idea that liverpool have a divine right to be up there with the best.

  • Comment number 17.

    Bad decision to hire a manager based on winning League manager of the year award. If the board had researched his record they'd have seen that: he has never successfully managed a big team in a big league; he has a shocking away record (was bad at fulham, has been bad for years). Most Liverpool fans didn't think he was up to the job and we were right! It was a big mistake, he was making excuses from day one and lacked courage in everything he said. I wish him luck but glad to see him go.

  • Comment number 18.

    As an LFC fan of 25 years, much as though I admire Roy for many qualities he has shown throughout his career, his time at Anfield has been a mutual disaster for fans and him too Im sure, so it was only a matter of time til this inevitable conclusion was reached.

    Benitez left him mediocre players (to put it mildly) of Benitezsignings still at Anfield only Reina and Torres have the deserving pedigree to wear the LFC shirt.

    However Roy made mistakes most notably with woeful signings and unattractive football.

    It is also true that players have let him down most notably Torres, playing badly can be forgiven but showing a lack of interest and desire while wearing the Liverbird is unforgivable in my opinion. Genius though he can be, better players have worked their socks off while playing for the club. Hopefully Kenny (who knows a thing or two about playing up front )can regalvanize Torres back to his fearsome best.
    I hope Kenny stops the rot and is given the money needed to offset the poor signings of our last 2 managers).

  • Comment number 19.

    NOT 'mutual consent' Phil. This was a sacking, the LMA statement confirms this. Hodgson was happy to carry on, and I believe he should have been given until the end of NEXT season. This was a mess create by Benitez (who for some reason the fans love) NOT Hicks and Gillett.

    Agree with PongoWaringBoots, Liverpool still living in the past. Getting Dalglish and Rush in proves this! Why not go the whole way and get Candy appliances on the shirt too!? Hahaha...

    Obviously Liverpool will be lifted for the game at Old Trafford but what happens if Liverpool happen to have a good second half of the season, no doubt the fans will want him to stay. Hodgson wasn't treated properly by a football club steeped in tradition (and proud of it) plain and simple. Liverpool are no different to Chelsea or Man City anymore.

    Six months ago Hodgson was the best manager in England, I personally didn't think he was up to the job but know he deserved more time given his credentials and as person. He seems a genuinely decent man so for the most 'decorated' english club to behave like this is a joke!

  • Comment number 20.

    ***** SANITY AT LONG LAST *****

    Now we can really forget about Hicks & Gillette and their baggage and look forward to our glorious future.

    "DALGLISH"

    Going back to my life now..over and out!

    ...now where did I put that 1986 Adidas Stadium Coat?

  • Comment number 21.

    Hodgeson took Fulham to a Europa League Final and finished mid table. Liverpool are their way to a Europa Leauge Final and will finish mid table.

    What more did you expect?

    If he was a young aspiring manager you might have expected more. There was only ever one result with Hodgeson.

  • Comment number 22.

    I really don't think the sacking of Hodgson is going to change Liverpool's fortunes at all this season. It will be interesting to see the reaction of the fans if Dalglish fails to turn results around. Will they turn on him also? - doubtful, but hopefully it will prove that this ridiculous assault on all football managers just doesn't bring success. You'd expect Liverpool to maybe do well for the first 2 or 3 games under Dalglish, as all players seem to step up for a new manager initially, but after that they will probably regress to standards similar to the present, if not lower.

  • Comment number 23.

    You can say what you all want but CHANGE was needed. Time will tell if kenny is the right choice. I expect more fight from these players now.

    YNWA

  • Comment number 24.

    No manager with his away record should ever be put in charge of a top club. He was found out and he lost a lot of sympathy with some of his bizarre press conferences. He was a man under pressure from day one and he just didn't deal with it. Konchesky and Poulsen were terrible signings yet he chose to focus on his past record. On close examination, it just doesn't stand up. If NESV had been in charge in the summer he would have never been appointed. Dalglish will rightfully have the respect of the fans for what he's done for the club. Roy never had it.

  • Comment number 25.

    Nothing but a comedy of errors at Anfield.
    Speaking of comedy, why not bring Ian Holloway over from the seaside?
    He can start a new era in the Boot Room, with Jimmy Tarbrush, Ken Dodd, Tom O'Connor, Stan Boardman and the Geermans,Mr. Etc Etc....
    Because Liverpool, You're Wrong!

  • Comment number 26.

    Anyone who says 'Roy was not to blame', 'The players are awful' and most annoyingly of all 'its rafas fault' should have tried going to, or watching a full Liverpool match this season. They have been extremely poor, Benitez had a bad season last season, but nothing compared to the depths of benality Roy reached with a similar squad this season. He was negative (more negative than benitez, which was many journalist and pundits main criticism of benitez), disorganised and lacked any invention. Surely most of you would agree that however poor Liverpool's current squad is, it is better than Stoke, Newcastle, Bolton and Blackburn's (man for man) all of who are currently above Liverpool in the table. Roy has no-one to blame but himself. His negativity, both on and off the pitch, his odd team selections and his poor buys.

  • Comment number 27.

    I feel sorry for Roy, he did inherit a mediocre squad but he also got a lot of players who simply could not be bothered. Take away Gerrard, Torres and Reina (the 3 quality players) plus Carra and Kuyt and the rest would not feature in the squad of many top teams, maybe Cole if fit. But then you get Torres half fit, Gerrard injured and you then have a team that thinks they should be at the top with 1 good player (the keeper). You cant win PL games loike that. Occasionaly there were flashes of decent play and good team work but too many thought that they only need to do that once every few weeks instead of everygame. Once Comolli joined Roy was gone, I really dont understand why clubs employ people like Comolli who have very little footbal knowledge but cause unrest everywhere they go.
    Good Luck in the future Roy, Right man, Right place very much wrong time

  • Comment number 28.

    Time will tell, what sort of job Hodgson did and the quality of the squad. I feel sorry for Hodgson as a man he always came across as decent, but as a manager of a club with big ambitions, he was out of his depth. Liverpool shot themselves in the foot when they failed to get Daglish in at the start. I hope Kenny turns it round because I want these bias journalist to eat there words in regard to the squad, which though is not grea,t it's better than where it is. YNWA

  • Comment number 29.

    Typical media rubbish in support of press friendly Hodgson.

    1. He has an abysmal away record;
    2. His team setup is all about rigid formations and defence;
    3. He did not motivate the players and alienated many;
    4. His signings have been poor;
    5. His half time talks have frequently led to Liverpool playing worse in the second half;
    6. His formations give possession away to other teams;
    7. His use of Torres has been awful - Torres spends every game with his back to goal, and his only goals have come from rare through balls;
    8. Benitez's 'poor squad' had more World Cup players than any other in the Premier League;
    9. The same poor squad finished 2nd in the league the year before;
    10. And 8 out of 11 players who played awfully against Wolves hammered Real Madrid last season, using a different formation and approach;
    11. His substitutions have been geared at time wasting rather than changing a game;
    12. His mental attitude has been to steal a win or secure a draw;
    13. His approach to Liverpool has been consistently to play them as underdogs scrapping for points, which demoralises the players;
    14. His tactical approach has been consistently shown as outdated.

    Quite simply, Hodgson's quote after losing to Everton sums up Hodgson's negative approach, "If we play like that then we will win more than we lose"

    I dont think Dalglish is the answer, but Hodgson sadly blamed everything else (players, fans, owners, players again, opposition, fixture list) and NEVER said, "I got it wrong".

  • Comment number 30.

    Having watched, listened to, and read most of Hodgesons statements etc since he took over, I can only say that he came across as a bit dim and I'm not surprised he's gone.

    Like the timing as well. Start King Kenny off with a match he's expected to lose.

  • Comment number 31.

    so when king kenny fails, what then?

  • Comment number 32.

    I think you've got it about right.

    Roy was out of his depth, got it wrong tactically (especially away from home), seemed to permanently have his foot in his mouth, and made two ridiculous signings in Poulsen and Konchesky.

    BUT he didn't really have much luck either, from Pepe's howler v Arsenal and Mascherano going on strike through to Carragher's injury and the subsequent mess the defence has been in since.

    And yes, it was a substandard squad he inherited (although, Meireles aside, Roy did nothing to improve it). I really wish fellow Liverpool fans would stop denying Rafa's culpability in all of this - it really isn't Roy's fault that Johnson is a £17m defender who can't defend, that Torres hasn't looked like he can be arsed for 18 months, or that the still sorely missed Alonso was replaced with an injured player. Rafa did a great job for many years, but Liverpool were barely less awful last season than they have been so far this season.

    But however the blame should be apportioned, Kenny is the man to move us forward again.

  • Comment number 33.

    is there any chance of getting rid of sammy lee as well? He cant be doing anything right. his past two bosses have lost the team surely some blame is on him as well?

  • Comment number 34.

    #15, thanks, I know i've won an argument when people start picking up on typos!

    The Livepool so called fans are the problem! You are right the fans never wanted him, they wanted the has been in the board room, and they made that known, the players knew the manager wasn't wanted and they didn't want to play for him either so didn't play.

    You want to see how REAL fans behave? Look what happened at newcastle, they wanted the "hero" shearer after relegation, the got Houghton, did they have a 6 month sulk? NO they got behind him and the team and they shot back to the PL! That is how fans act.

    The Kop are just like kids who didn't get the toy they wanted for christmas so smashed the one they got, you deserve your current league position and you deserve relegation you bunch of ungrateful children!

  • Comment number 35.

    Looking at the future of Liverpool, I'm curious to see if Dalglish will stay as a manager after the end of the season or whether he will step back, leaving the task of moving Liverpool forward to someone else. He's widely respected and, in my opinion, is the best man for Liverpool's future.

    The problem is that if he doesn't, but stays at the club, then it is a poison pill for every future manager while he is there - any time a bad run of results comes along, the headlines and the fans will be speculating about Dalglish taking over. The only workable option the owners have is to keep him until he fails - and very clearly - otherwise no future manager of the team is going to have any stability or chance to build a winning team.

  • Comment number 36.

    I think Roy should of gone. He has made too many mistakes for the owners to give him any money to spend in the window.

    I have to disagree with blaming the lack of money and board room shinnanigans for his failures. All these problems have been well documented and Roy wasn't going into this job blind, he knew the constraints. And has made a mess of it. The only decent signing he made he put out of position half the time. And dont forget he was willing to pay up to £10m for carlton cole in the summer! He backed himself to do a job under said circumstances and he hasn't.

    I also think its a tad unfair to blame torres for the decline. If you look at Reinas distribution from last year, gone are the roll out to full backs and building up the pitch. Its booted up the pitch everytime and Torres isn't that kind of player. Also, if Torres is struggling to regain match fitness, its not a sensible move to make him a lone front man.His best games this season have been when its been 442 and he has had the support of Kuyt/Ngog upfront. And despite being so proflific with Gerrard behind him, Roy seems insistant that gerrard stays deep and becomes a quarter back for the team.

    His defence is also a shambles, where defence and organisation were his forte a Fulham he seems to have forgotten how to do it. carragher has been a joke he's the gary neville of Liverpool (maybe not quite that bad!) His legs have gone and he's no fullback. I don't understand when they have a talented youngester such as Kelly and he never plays him, plus he has alienated Agger too!

  • Comment number 37.

    Deservedly sacked. His team lost to:

    - Blackpool
    - Everton
    - Stoke
    - Newcastle
    - Wolves
    - Blackburn

    If liverpool had won just the above it would be in second place right now with games in hand. Roy can't blame anyone but himself for those results. Nor the draws with wigan, sunderland and birmingham.

  • Comment number 38.

    2. At 12:45pm on 08 Jan 2011, laughingdevil wrote:

    So much for his rallying cry yesterday (an article which the bbc seem to have removed)!

    The liverpool fans finally get what they wanted, they didn't want hodgson, the players it seem didn't want to play and the fans didn't want to watch, why? Because they'd rather dream of glories past than the future!

    The way he was treated from day 1 by the fans was a discrage, they bought this on themselves and I hope they truely get what they deserve for ruining the career of a great guy (if not great manager) and that is yet more years of mediocraty!

    _________________________________________________________________________
    An illiterate Man U fan who can't use spell check and contradicts himself. Par for the course.

  • Comment number 39.

    Such a pity that Roy's advisers hadn't done a bit of research on this one. The Liverpool supporters are a clique of people who trust' or more importantly believe in', only their own. They are their own worst enemies and this disgusting attitude towards Roy will deter many good Managers from joining them. Long may they rot in the lower reaches.

  • Comment number 40.

    The disgraceful Liverpool fans finally get their wish and long may the clubs mediocre results continue, beginning with the cup tie at Old Trafford tomorrow afternoon.

  • Comment number 41.

    Liverpool are the new Newcastle. Discuss.

  • Comment number 42.

    Darn - along with every other supporter who has the popcorn out watching Liverpool go from bad to worse I was praying that Rafa would come back. He was too good to be true especially in the transfer market where my cat could have bought better. Dalglish might actually do an ok job even though that squad has mid table finish written all over it.

  • Comment number 43.

    Without doubt the squad Hodgson inherited was the main cause of this problem. That said, Roy did himself no favours in being able to perform beyond those boundaries. Hodgson is still a good manager, it just never worked for him on this occasion.

    What I cannot understand is the Liverpool fans wanting Dalgliesh to be manager. He has shown more than once that he cannot handle the pressure and folds at the slightest breeze. Irrespective of how he performed as a player, in management he cannot handle the pressure and has to wander off to play golf to maintain his sanity.

    What we are seeing is the demise of a once great club without the finances to change that around. Benitez has a big hand as to the position they now find themselves, but that is not going to help to get out of this mess. Liverpool have to try and consolidate just to be an established middle order club now, any greater aim could easily see the unthinkable happening.

  • Comment number 44.

    I dont think Dalglish is the answer, but Hodgson sadly blamed everything else (players, fans, owners, players again, opposition, fixture list) and NEVER said, "I got it wrong".
    ---------------

    best comment

  • Comment number 45.

    Roy was way out of his depth, the pathetic new players he brought in got him off to a bad start - then came the truly awful matches and results. Bottom line is - that sqauad of players are far better than their current position.

    I wish Kenny D the best of luck for his 2nd term - he is really going to need it!

  • Comment number 46.

    He inherited an unbalanced and poor quality squad from Benitez, top heavy with mediocrity and over-reliant on a small group of high-class operators.

    ----------------------------------------------------
    Here we go, the BBC and Sky party line trotted out, with no thought whats so ever.

    Is Liverpoool's squad worse than Bolton, Sunderland, Stoke,Newcastle, Blackburn?

    There was more Liverpool players at the World Cup than any other prem team. Maybe if the 'Gentleman' like you journos sycophantically call him didn't slate players, the fans and the very promising young-uns then maybe he may have got more out of them. Couple that with boring negativity and a penchant for blaming everyone and anyone else, you may well appreciate why this appointment was a disaster waiting to happen.

    Ask yoursel Phil, why the squad isn't so good? Try doing some research into Liverpool's transfer policy for the last few windows? It's called having to balance the books so the squad was unlikely to get any better was it? You seemed to think it was good enough to win the League last year so what does that tell you? It tells me that now you're jumping on a band wagon!

  • Comment number 47.

    How do you manage to keep your job Phil? It seems to be a minor miracle on the basis of your consistently dull and mediocre output

  • Comment number 48.

    How did you get this job Phil? It was obvious that when Hodgson was announced that he would only bring us down. You can't know your football too well.

  • Comment number 49.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 50.

    @cookiebunk

    Yes, Liverpool fans only believe in their own, people like Gerrard Houllier (who was of course a historic Liverpool player) and Rafa Benitez (who grew up in the boot room). (For the slow, they were new managers who arrived from outside Liverpool).

    The reality is that Liverpool fans know what they are talking about and will take a good player or manager to heart and long admire them. Look at Houllier's misjudged return to Anfield.

    Sadly, a little bit of humbleness from Rot Hodgson would have done him good - rather than blame everything else and never himself for anything!

  • Comment number 51.

    @laughingdevil, I'm pretty sure Hodgson was the architect of his own downfall with signings like Konchesky and Poulsen, I don't think fans have "ruined his career" as you put it.

  • Comment number 52.

    "And while Hodgson's arrival may get a muted response in some quarters, Liverpool's current reality makes him the perfect appointment."

    "And, crucially in Liverpool's financial state, Hodgson has shown a sure touch when working the markets without the aid of a plentiful budget and without complaint."

    "It ranks alongside Inter Milan as the biggest job in Hodgson's career - but his work at Fulham alone suggests he is up to the task."

    Okay, Phil I think you should admit you were wrong. However... I am willing to give you some leeway. In all honesty, I think Roy was never given the time and walked into a club that has a gigantic hubris of self-entitlement. I think Liverpool could well have appointed a triumvirate of Mourinho, Ferguson and the Ghost of Brian Clough and still be in the same predicament they are now.

    Sacking a manager after six months and then hastily installing a former club legend to placate the fans? NESV seem to be taking their cue-cards from Newcastle. And had it not been for the amazing work of Chris Houghton that would have ended in complete disaster.

    Liverpool are an average club right now. The only way they will they succeed over the next 12 months is if Rangnick comes in and brings Dietmar Hopp's checkbook with him.

  • Comment number 53.

    I just think that Hodgson was never given a chance. Liverpool supporters are a bit like Newcastle supporters a couple of years ago, they think they are still a club capable of ruling the premier league. Well they are not and unlike Newcastle who now know this, Liverpool have a lot to learn. BUT it is not the has beens like Daglish or Houllier at Villa, who are in no way in touch with the modern game, going to change these clubs or do any better than Hodgson. Good luck Roy. I thought you would eventually have done a good steady job given time..

  • Comment number 54.

    Q. How can a manager so highly praised become bad this quickly?
    A. He can't!

    Now, I have to nail my flag to the mast and say that I am a Fulham supporter and, therefore, have a huge soft spot for Roy. To say that I was somewhat annoyed that Liverpool took him off of us would be an understatement.

    To me, this is the first thing I've seen that hits the nail on the head about this sad affair - well done Phil! For once I don't see the nonsense written by so many rabid Liverpool fans (and former players) who clearly never wanted Roy in the first place but wanted some fairytale return of the prodigal Dalglish. If any manager has been wished to fail by a club's own supporters this is it. Well, you've got King Kenny now so the next few months will show us whether this turns Liverpool's season around. I suspect it will not!

    Don't get me wrong, Roy has made mistakes. But the critscism of his signings really is absurd. When he signed Joe Cole I don't think there was a person on the planet who would have said this was a mistake. Konchesky was one of our most consistent players last year and when you think about some of the attackers he played against (in the Europa League) that is some compliment. The fact that these 2 have not performed this year is hardly Roy's fault.

    Perhaps the saddest thing of all is that Roy may end his career with this debacle rather than with the memory of Fulham's Europa League run last year and the ultimate accolade of being voted manager of the year by his peers.

  • Comment number 55.

    the mess left behind by Benitez and Liverpool's previous owners are there to see

    This great club is going to have to accept that a massive rebuilding plan where Liverpool may not be challenging for honours

    Unfortunately the mediocre performances of players most signed from Benitez's time has cost Hodgson his job

    Only really Reina, Gerrard , Carrager and Maureles should be excused


    Whether Liverpool can return to the glory days remains to be seen after all it is 20 years now since they won the title and Manchester United look ever more likely to take their record

  • Comment number 56.

    I haven't read all of this so apologies if I repeat anyhting earlier but, am I alone in wondering why Liverpool fans consider Kenny Dalglish to be a good manager? How has Henry been persuaded to say Dalglish is 'the third of our great managers? Which one has been cast aside - Shankly, Paisley or Fagan?

    But back to King Kenny; in my mind he is a root cause of Liverpool's demise! Inherited a team and did nothing with it. It grew old on his watch and, when the writing was on the wall, he packed his bag and pootered off.

    Celtic? Was that proof of a good manager?

    Newcastle? Ditto?

    And what was the proof when he was Liverpool manager last time? Er.....very little in a full analysis.

    Please don't get me wrong, he was a fantastic player - but so was Roy Keane. Roy just didn't happen to fall into the United manager's job when he stopped playing and get to be the 'champion' of an already great team....and then do nothing with it.

    Not a wind up, all IMOH

  • Comment number 57.

    Surely King Kenny is the missing piece of the jigsaw. Bring Back Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen then the glory days will be back!!

    YMCA

  • Comment number 58.

    Liverpool turn into Newcastle before our eyes. Am i incorrect in remembering that King Kenny walked out on Liverpool many years ago as he couldnt hack the pressure and scrutiny? Has he been watching these Liverpool players play?
    I'm on 30k a year in a job i dont really like but even i would say no to Liverpool

  • Comment number 59.

    It is not nice to see a formerly "great" club in decline, but it has been coming for a major reliance on a few core players, and when they failed or were injured there was not anyone to step up to the mark and take there place.
    The debate can go on if it was Rafa or Roy who brought this on, but I personally think that in some respects the Liverpool fans should take some of the blame. The belief that success is a right, admittedly after many years of success, puts pressure on any manager coming into the club, and the fans are very quick to criticise and demand removal of someone that has a proven track record as a manager, but ok this time may have been the wrong person for the Liverpool role.
    Without being given time, no manager will be able to help Liverpool rebuild, taking a step backwards in going for Kenny, I do not also believe is the right step, time will tell.
    Man City prove that all the money in the world can get you near the top, but until you can build all that raw talent into a team you will not consistantly be at the top.
    Liverpool need to step back, admit they may have a couple of lean years to rebuild and come back stronger than they are now, but without patience, then any manager taking over is on a "hiding to nothing"

  • Comment number 60.

    I feel really sorry for Roy Hodgson as a person that things have not worked out but as a Liverpool fan I am pleased with the decsion.

    Roy has not been able to motivate the team and has gradually came out with more and more strange excuses after every set of dropped points.

    My two moments that summed it for Roy was the annoying face rubbing a few days after he did it at Newcastle when he did it during the Utrecht match. Yes it was a poor performance but in picking a load of youngsters and backup players what more did he expect. We all know there has been no strength in depth for at least three seasons.

    Secondly was his comment a couple of months ago that because Liverpool are on TV a lot it means teams know how Liverpool play so makes it harder. If thats the case Man Utd should be no problem to play against as they are on twice a week but have still not lost this season.

    I don't dislike Roy and wish him well wherever he ends up but this job was too big at his age and limited experience of handling bigger egos

  • Comment number 61.

    When you walk through a storm
    Hold your head up high
    And don't be afraid of the dark
    -----
    And at the first storm, the scourses panicked, not a single head was held high.
    Sorry Roy, you deserve a better club

  • Comment number 62.

    some of the stuff on here is unbelievable. Liverpool are a massive club because of their history!! we are the most successful club in British football, that is why we expect so much!!

    as for Hodgson, there is sympathy for him, but he knows the score in football. if we were top he would take all the plaudits, but we are not, so he had to be criticised and eventually replaced. if we could sack the palyers as well, then half the team would be gone, but we can't, the buck stopped with Hodgson.

    Liverpool were shocking, but the fact is he didn't try anything new or radical. same teams, same formations, same style. it wasn't working!! poor perfomances, poor results! so why didn't he try something different??

    Not sure about Dalglish but let's hope we see some improvement.

  • Comment number 63.

    Feel very sorry for Hodgson--his players played rubbish and the fans gave him no support whatsoever. Stop living in the past Liverpool and face reality--that there is a new hierachy of English clubs and YOU AREN'T IN IT.

  • Comment number 64.

    Liverpools decline started when Dalglish bottled the task of rebuilding the team in 1991.
    I dont think he has the capability to rebuild the poor team left by Benitez.
    Perhaps the board are having a quiet word with Martin o Neill.

  • Comment number 65.

    Phil,

    I think you have been reasonable here - I would point to an earlier poster who rightly stated that 8 of the team that thrashed Real and Man Utd in 2009 and made Liverpool Premiership runners up that year - when we could and should even have won it - played at Bolton and Blackburn. So that might well point to his motivational skills. Also, his treatment of Agger, our best all round defender has been shocking. Frankly, if I saw 2 donkeys in Skrtel and Kyrgyakos in defence at my expense I would be going ballistic.

    The other thing is Hodgson's style of football and the players he has to get to play that style. It is very conservative but could be acceptable if it got results. Which it has not - the worst of both worlds. Benitez seemingly got the team playing at a higher level because they suited his style and it made more use of Gerrard and Torres - our best players. I like Merieles but Poulsen and Konchesky are unequivocally poor signings.

    As for tomorrow against our greatest rivals - if the players cannot go out there, hunt them down and give 150% for the greatest player to wear the Liver bird, then they are not fit to play for Liverpool and should be shipped out immediately because they will have shown they have no passion for the club or pride in its history, when they have a large part of that history there in the flesh and managing them. End of. If I were gifted and lucky enough to be playing tomorrow, I would be bouncing off the walls in anticipation of pulling on that shirt and going out there to take the fight to Utd in the FA Cup under Kenny Dalglish! In the long term, if Dalglish does well for the rest of the season, why not? If not, then Frank Rijkaard or Martin O'Neill or Guus Hiddink must be brought in. Nothing less will do, if we wish our club to get back to the top. Otherwise, it will be mediocrity all the way...

  • Comment number 66.

    I can't help it, but even after the shocking away performances and the multitude of PR gaffes he has made, I still feel sorry for Roy.

    He inherited an almighty mess after Benitez. Some Liverpool fans still refuse to accept this was Benitez's making, but it was. He left us with so much bilge, so as to make the players Houllier left behind look like Barcelona.

    He came at the wrong time with the ownership changing hands, and the fact Dalglish wanted the job in the summer never really gave him a chance. Once most of his signings tanked, he was dead meat.

    Good luck for the future Roy. It just wasn't to be at Anfield.

  • Comment number 67.

    LFC90 wrote:
    @laughingdevil, I'm pretty sure Hodgson was the architect of his own downfall with signings like Konchesky and Poulsen, I don't think fans have "ruined his career" as you put it.
    ................................................................

    You make this sound as if the budget and attraction of Liverpool at that stage could bring far better players to the club? Reality is that was not the case, just looking for improvement over the dross existing. This was a big rebuilding job for anyone. Without the finance to buy your way out you are dabbling in the bargain basement section with hope and a prayer.

  • Comment number 68.

    Sad to see another journalist lining up to pin the blame for Roy's under-performance on Benitez. Let me spell it out - excepting the significant loss of Alonso (replaced by Aquilani, who Hodgson decided to let go) and Mascherano (replaced by Meireles), this is a very similar squad to the one that finished second two seasons ago. The media trope that it is a 'poor squad' is nonsense. The English media who to a man cheered Hodgson into the job need to come to the terms with the fact that he performed almost exactly to previous form - winning around one in every three, consistently capitulating away from home and showing very little tactical creativity.

    As for Gerrard and Carragher never letting their performaces or attitude slip ... surely you can't be serious? Carragher's performances have often been very poor and Gerrard's attitude has stunk for years now.

  • Comment number 69.

    i don't get the complaints about what he said about the fans' lack of support - he was right, where was this 'famous' anfield support for hodgson? oh yes, now i remember, they're still back in the 1970's.

  • Comment number 70.

    Phil, you claim "He inherited an unbalanced and poor quality squad from Benitez, top heavy with mediocrity and over-reliant on a small group of high-class operators.."

    yet predicted on the eve of 09/10 that the same poor squad would win the title - http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/philmcnulty/2009/08/chelsea_and_manchester_united.html

    It is also worth noting that many of those criticising the Liverpool fans for lofty expectations were belittling Benitez during a time when he was delivering regular top 4 finishes and strong Champions League performances because he was 'never going to win the league'

    While it is clear that Benitez was flawed and has to take some responsibility for Liverpool's decline, blaming him for Roy's underperformance, in every facet of his job, is grossly unfair

  • Comment number 71.

    Phil, You are ,like many of your colleagues guilty of lazy journalism. The squad he inherited may well have been unbalanced but it is not of poor quality.The players become poor quality when they are played in the wrong position or the tactics don't suit them.
    The unbalancing is thanks to the previous owners turning Liverpool into a selling club in order to finance their debt. Hence the non replacement of Alonso who had one great year and several good ones and the non acquisition of quality back up to Torres once Crouch left.
    So far as the tactics are concerned the errors are legion.Reina asked to kick long instead of passing the ball. Johnson told not to come over the half way line. The top rated (statistically)Premier League left back sent out on loan and replaced by a donkey. (Take a look at the comparison between them in the matches against Wolves this year and last). Gerrard played in central midfield when he has no defensive discipline - take another look at Blackburn's first goal .Meireles played on the right of midfield. Torres asked to play as a battering ram striker. Only ever receiving the ball in the air and with his back to goal. No wonder he looks dispirited and fed up, the football he is being asked to play is a throwback to the 1970s.
    None of this should have come as a surprise to the people who appointed him but they were as guilty as David Moores in not doing their research.
    I can only hope that the feelgood factor of Kenny's return will be enough to stop the rot. If Roy had continued there is no doubt in my mind that we would have been relegated - a feat he managed at Blackburn with Brian Kidd's help.Hopefully we will at least avoid that disaster.

  • Comment number 72.

    The Liverpool fans wanted a 'big name' manager despite the fact the team had done nothing to warrant one for half a decade nor had the kind of resources such a manager likes.

    At least the club have a good match in Dalglish. His glory days are past too.

    With a poor squad, little chance of decent investment, and a much tougher EPL this season, I don't see him doing too well.

    The only bright side I can see is that Dalglish is such a legend, even the current Liverpool squad couldn't tarnish him that much

  • Comment number 73.

    34. At 1:09pm on 08 Jan 2011, laughingdevil wrote:
    #15, thanks, I know i've won an argument when people start picking up on typos!

    The Livepool so called fans are the problem! You are right the fans never wanted him, they wanted the has been in the board room, and they made that known, the players knew the manager wasn't wanted and they didn't want to play for him either so didn't play.

    You want to see how REAL fans behave? Look what happened at newcastle, they wanted the "hero" shearer after relegation, the got Houghton, did they have a 6 month sulk? NO they got behind him and the team and they shot back to the PL! That is how fans act.

    The Kop are just like kids who didn't get the toy they wanted for christmas so smashed the one they got, you deserve your current league position and you deserve relegation you bunch of ungrateful children!

    ==================================================

    Apart from it being the fans' fault - which is a stupendously stupid argument - I don't really see what your point is. The vast majority of fans did not want Hodgson as manager - he did nothing to endear himself to the fans during his time there. He is a decent bloke who was completely out of his depth. We don't want a decent bloke, we want a manager with a bit of charisma who can manage, who can inspire and motivate players, who is tactically astute. What is wrong with that? What have we got to be grateful for by the way? A club which at the moment is going nowhere fast - yeah right - great. When fans pay good money to watch their team they have a right to be critical.

    Anyway - haven't you got homework you should be doing?

  • Comment number 74.

    Seen this all before. Big Sam never liked by fans. King Kev comes in....

  • Comment number 75.

    The two comments in Phil's blog that sealed his fate IMO where his reaction to a very poor showing at Goodison by claiming its was a good performance when it clearly was not. the other being the final nail last week when after an inept performance by a team with 9 current internationals in it, his main response was to criticise the fans for venting their frustration.
    I'm a Rafa fan but I can admit that after Alonso was lost we have quickly gone backwards. However, the media never liked Rafa but adored Roy so unfortunately the headlines have more favourable towards Roy despite the performances being much poorer than last season. The man seems genuine in his approach and attitude but he seemed to believe that the approach that succeeded with Fulham (win at home, hope to do something in away games) is not appropriate for a team which should be challenging for higher reaches of the EPL. The comments from other fans from other clubs is not surprising but any comment from Newcastle fans who have had how many managers in last 10 years and are the epitomy of short term and reactionary is laughable.

  • Comment number 76.

    Roy Hodgson surely can not be totally at fault for the position of Liverpool FC, players have a large part to play. In fact as a long time supporter of Liverpool, I have been amazed at the fighting behind the scenes. Liverpool FC are in my opinion the losers in this sad state of affairs, Roy Hodgson has proven his ability over many years. I do remember this very same thing happening at Blackburn, when the so called player power helped Roy get the sack. We have I am afraid going to have to stop this sort of abuse. Half pint millionaires I call them, not fit to lace the boots of former players. Hopefully Kenny will sort the problems out, but as we have seen in the passed Kenny also has a tendency to go when it gets tough, but who can blame him.

  • Comment number 77.

    Roy stepped in a barker's egg when he took the Liverpool job. He'll be glad to have scraped it of his shoe now I should imagine.

    Hope they get what they deserve, and "King" Kenny can finish off the long, slow death he started by resting on the laurels of Paisley and Fagan and not bothering to build for their future.

  • Comment number 78.

    I may be naive and about football managers coming from NZ where football isn't exactly a national passion. But I love it.
    My gripe? Why the hell do all these managers keep getting the sack when it is the disgraceful performances of players that are the prblem.
    They are on ridiculous money yet Torres performances have been a disgrace. When there was talk of him leaving over summer I was freaking out, but now? He can go, what difference will it make? Sell him and use the £ to buy someone or two that might give a dam rather than sulking around the pitch.
    And can they hurry up and get rid of Glen Johnson, Rafa paid £18m for him? What a joke

  • Comment number 79.

    "He inherited an unbalanced and poor quality squad from Benitez"

    With the exception of Alonso, this is pretty much the squad YOU tipped to win the premiership Mr McNulty.

    Your ignorance is breathtaking.

  • Comment number 80.

    Just like to say as a Liverpool supporter that I think it was best for everyone involved that Roy Hodgson has gone as it was plainly obvious that it was just never going to work. Though I do feel the man was genuinely never given a chance from the start and did take over an average squad. The sooner fans realise that we are no longer a succesful side and it is time for a new start the better. Only then will we stop being a laughing stock to other supporters who quite rightly deride us at times. I hope the appointment of Dalglish is succesful although this too smacks of living in the past. I'd like to wish Roy all the best in the future and feel some of the comments knocking about on social networking sites that I have seen lately have been too personal, downright malicious and in some cases absolutlely disgusting about this generally likeable and decent man.

    YNWA

  • Comment number 81.

    I would just like to say that I do not believe that the team is full of mediocre individuals. There are some who are not worthy. However, individual players are only as good as the teamwork and comradery they work towards as a team. Every team has players who are not world class but when they play well together with a plan and drive they can acheive anything. Man Utd prove this constantly (O Shea, Brown, Park,Carrick, Valencia - all players who are bettered by playing in the team they do and with the attitude that team has) I'm sorry but stat for stat Lucas, Babel, Cole, Agger, Skrtel, Aurelio, Maxi, Kuyt and co are far superior to players from most mid level teams. What Hodgson failed to do was to develop the kind of atmosphere where such players felt part of a solid unit.

    I fear now that such a feeling cannot again be acheived with certain players in the Liverpool camp, even under Kenny. We need talented young players with something to prove to come in and a new team spirit to be created. Attempts to revive the spirit that Rafa gave us for a few wonderful seasons are futile.

    Hodgson did not look like he had the ability to spot the sort of talent that would spark such a renaissance so it is right he goes and any funds go to Kenny, the man who best embodys the Anfield spirit. However Hodgson is not a bad manager at all..just not the right one for LFC. I wanted him to leave but that was not a knee jerk reaction to the idea that LFC should be competing for the title as so many say but as a considered notion that it would be best for both parties. Kenny has a hell of a job to do and undoubtedly there will be short term problems. The point is that long term he has the capacities to make LFC progress. Anyone who expects miracles will be sorely disappointed and we should all realise that but some consistency, tenacity and unity is called for in the mean time and Kenny is the man to make that happen.

    All the bst Roy...i'm truly sorry it didnt work out

  • Comment number 82.

    How terrible for the poor Liverpool fans to have a manager that rubs his face!

    Perhaps these pathetic comments explain your once great club's current problems in a nutshell.

    And, as for the support for Rafa, he was such a success for Internazionale, wasn't he. Perhaps you should re-sign him now that he's unemployed.

  • Comment number 83.

    I'm pretty sick of hearing from Liverpool fans that they sent more players to the world cup than any other team. The truth of it is that they sent more players to warm the bench to the world cup than any other team!!

    Hodgson inherited a squad that was fairly mediocre with a couple of stars thrown into the mix. This is really no beter than any mid table team and this is where they currently find themselves. All those fans saying 2 years ago we beat Madrid and 8 players are still in the team etc. This team is 2 years older and have lost some of the key players like Alonso and Mascherano!! This squad is now no where near as good as that team and thats why the decline has set in.

  • Comment number 84.


    Deservedly sacked. His team lost to:

    - Blackpool
    - Everton
    - Stoke
    - Newcastle
    - Wolves
    - Blackburn

    ========================================
    Er... Liverpool's squad isn't any better.....

    I only hope "The King" doesn't do his reputation further damage and lastly, has "The King" taken over because in JB's words Liverpool couldn't get anyone better...

  • Comment number 85.

    With Hodgson's abysmal away record at Fulham it was unlikely he would ever succeed at a top four club where success away from home is the essence of a good campaign.

  • Comment number 86.

    What *will* be funny is when the results fail to improve under Dalgleish and the 'Pool fans will be left scratching their heads as to why their hero couldn't do any better with this squad than his predecessor.

  • Comment number 87.

    Am I the only one who is starting to find this infuriating? First of all, I'm not a supporter of any Premiership side, so this is a relatively unbiased view. So many managers come under scrutiny after just short spells of poor form. I was disgusted at Chris Hughton's and Allardyce's sackings earlier this year. Both managers performing above expectations, yet not being given the credit of their hard work.

    Now onto Hodgson. It is unquestionable that Hodgson is a more than capable manager, and his track record shows that, so why do people still so wholeheartedly blame him for Liverpool's abysmal performance. There are lots of cogs in the chains of a football team and although the managers is a key one, the chain should still be operatable without him. Why has nobody vented their frustration at Liverpool's players. You could have the most competent manager in the world leading a team, but if the players don't have the basic skills and attitudes required to acheive their expectations then there is nothing the manager can do. If you were to put Jose Mourinho in charge of Hereford United, would they get promoted? No. Would they get promoted within the next 5 years? Probably not. Why, because they haven't got the foundations to do so. It is time for the hypocritical and ignorant Liverpool fans to realise that they don't have the finances to mount a serious title challenge or even a Champions League place. Sacking a manager after mere months is a pointless and will get the club nowhere. If the fans and board weren't so impatient, the manager should have the time to mould the club around his preferred style of play and bring in the players required.

    Now, I know you'll say that Hodgson was weak in the transfer market, but that simply isn't the case. Joe Cole is a very good signing, and when fit, arguably one of the best players in the country. Meireles is a world class player. Konchesky is debatable, but on his budget, is not unreasonable.

    When are fans and boards going to realise that performances cannot be fully attributed to the manager alone. I'd say a team's performance is 25% managerial influence, 50% player influence and 25% luck. Knee-jerk decisions when removing managers is wrong and disgraceful. I'm fully aware "it's part of the job", but should it be? Also, sacking Keane a day before the biggest game of his managerial career is simply unfair and wrong, and I'm a Norwich fan.

  • Comment number 88.

    Try my football quiz at http://jackbradshaw.blogspot.com/

  • Comment number 89.

    Why are people critising Liverpool fans for being right? He was not up to it. Fact!

    Excuses, excuses the guy failed and it was down to bad management pure and simple.

    What makes me laugh is how come after six months of poor results for Liverpool its still Rafa's fault, but Fulham are not doing so well and nobody including Mark Hughes is blaming Hodgson for that?

    He still had a dig about not being his team when resigning! He needs to man up and take responsibility.

    And to all these idiot posters peddling the same rubbish that they have copied and pasted from the Sun and Mail websites should do some proper research and really look at Hodgson's record for how mediocre it really is especially at the only 3 big jobs he had at Inter Milan, Blackburn and now Liverpool.

  • Comment number 90.

    Roy turned many fans against him by saying He couldn't stop Torres from going to MU when MU stopped Heinze going in the other direction, that angered my a lot.

    He didn't get enough time, but to be fair no managers do in the premiership apart from Wenger. Arsenal have underachieved for a long long time and waiting for the new rules to give them an advantage financially is just wishful thinking.

    City, spending as they have have improved many times faster than Chelsea who spent similar amounts but took far longer to become a threat.

    I still maintain Rafa should not have been sacked. He is a good coach with more success than almost all premiersip managers, a bad season with a very underperforming team, but like Roy, he shot himself in the foot a few times gobbing off, but as a coach, he is a really good one, better than Fergie by a long way, ever since Queros left MU they have not played quality footy and survive on the great defence and solo efforts and it works in a sub standard English league, MU would be nowhere in the spansih league if you just dropped that team in to it with the squad and coach they have.

    Thanks for trying Roy, you did a cracking job with Finland and Fulham before LFC and I am fairly certain you would have turned things around but only over a 4 year period and we would have been relegated and still may be.


    I wont pretend to know MU CHe or Ars inside out and comment on hte intricacies of their teams so please MU fans stop pretending you know anything at all about Englands most successful team, you dont, even though you may win the league this year by default, terrible as MU are everyone else is far worse this season

  • Comment number 91.

    Liverpool fans seem to be unsure who to blame.

    I can see a very compelling case that Benitez was to blame, and I cannot understand how Liverpool fans can point to "diabolical" signings from Hodgson.

    He has purchased 4 players, Merieles, who has been very good, and Joe cole who everyone Lauded as "world beater" (as a chelsea fan, he is far from being a world beater) and has made 2 other signings, Konchesky, who would be a good squad player of a left back, i.e someone who you say, ok he won't win me the league but he wouldn't get liverpool relegated.
    Poulsen is exactly the same, he offers an option when the star players aren't available.

    Liverpool fans are very fickle if they think that these 4 signings compared to the awful signings of Benitez make Hodgsen a bad manager.

    By the way, what happened to noble glorious liverpool, who never sack managers? History is changing, catch up Liverpool

  • Comment number 92.

    Poor Mr Hodgson never seemed as comfortable as he was at Fulham.
    And the poor displays of players, did him no help.At times, I wondered where were Torres, Gerard, Kuyt and Johnson. Liverpool did not deserve Mr H.

  • Comment number 93.

    The hilarious thing now would be for Dalglish to go on an even worse run and have the fans chanting "Da- wait a minute."

  • Comment number 94.

    Well this decision has sorted my next hour out- A trip to the bookies to place a cheeky £5 bet on Liverpool being relegated. If the previous Manager of the Year can only manage Liverpool to so far, then how will someone who hasn't managed in a long time do any better.

    It is so painfully evident that their squad isn't as good as most Liverpool fans seem to think. The League has tightened, whilst even the promoted sides are having a good attempt at staying up. Liverpool being relegated would be a nice outcome seeing how poorly Hodgson has been treated and the deluded manner in which Liverpool fans have called for Dalglish to come in.

  • Comment number 95.

    Roy was selected for death row when the crimes were committed by others. The EPL is frankly looking VERY tired and indeed tedious. I for one have watched zero footie this season, partly to avoid the soap opera of X factor managers.

  • Comment number 96.

    Hodgson was a failure from day one, the man is inept on the sidelines, inept in the media room and his career bears all the hallmarks associated with that of a career loser.

    Never again must Anfield be used as a proving ground for the next Soho Square screw up.

    As long as England blames the foreigner and rewards domestic mediocrity, England will never win anything on the international stage.

    Where was the respect for Capello? Where was the flowing tributes to a man whose star striker in Wayne Rooney had cut such a sullen figure through the campaign? Where was the flowery articles when Capello lost Ferdinand? Where were the diatribes questioning and probing the selfish abuse that "Slur" Alex Ferguson heaped on Wayne Rooney, forcing him to play games with a bad ankle that ultimately sent Wayne Rooney to South Africa a disheveled shadow of his formerly great self???? Where was the sympathy then??

  • Comment number 97.

    /29 - The list is a good one.

    Hodgson may be mediocre when it comes to getting results and his tactics are 30 years out of date. But he's top drawer at spin. He's done a Mandelson in getting all the journos to peddle the 'poor quality squad' myth.

    There's no denying the same group of players were doing much better last season. Wait and see how poor that squad is now Dalglish has his opportunity.

    Hodgson set his teams up to be narrow, in straight lines and to drop off the ball. The players have not put the effort in because they have been ordered not to press the ball.

    He favoured the more agricultural defenders (Konchesky, Skrtel, Kyrgiakos and Carragher) who are not comfortable in possession and will always hoof if pressed, thus ceding possession.

    His transfer decisons have been baffling - Benayoun out replaced by Cole, Insua out replaced by Konchesky, Aquilani out replaced by Poulsen, Riera out replaced by Meireles.

    Riera had burnt his bridges and had to go but in each case the replacement is inferior to the departing player. That's no way to rebuild a team.

  • Comment number 98.

    I dont think it matters who is in charge, the squad is so poor that Liverpools position in the league is a fair reflection of the squad.

  • Comment number 99.

    I think it's ridiculous that Liverpool's fans and the media to an extent hold up this view of 'You'll Never Walk Alone, The Kop, Anfield' Liverpool as some sort of sacred realm. They'll say that Roy never 'understood' the club and it's different... yeah, like every club is different. They've got 3 useful players; one's a goalkeeper, one is over-rated and past his best and one simply doesn't want to be there.

    The fact is Liverpool aren't a 'special' club that the media seems to think they are. They are no different from any other club, every club has passionate fans, it's exactly like the Newcastle situation where it took a well-mannered man from London to turn things round. Liverpool have appointed a manager who hasn't managed in years just because he has a history at the club. Blinkered nostalgia's never gonna win you a football match.

  • Comment number 100.

    Such a humble and fine man who is undeniably a fantastic manager. You only have to look at what he had done at Fulham to see his credentials, there is a direct correlation to his departure and their slide down the table.

    Furthermore, this Liverpool team is one of the worst in recent memory. It is hardly a wonder that he couldn't get the results. No manager in the world would have turned this dire team around. I just sincerely hope that Liverpool have not ruined a great manager's career.

 

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