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Hodgson takes chance of redemption

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Phil McNulty | 12:12 UK time, Friday, 11 February 2011

Roy Hodgson has taken just 34 days to recover from the damage a short and traumatic reign at Liverpool inflicted on his reputation and is now ready to repair both his own standing and West Bromwich Albion's season.

When Hodgson secured his first Premier League win as Liverpool manager against the Baggies at Anfield in late August, he could hardly have imagined that, less than six months later, he would be handed the task of navigating them away from relegation.

And yet this is where Hodgson stands now, succeeding Roberto di Matteo at The Hawthorns after a fruitless spell at Liverpool that often amounted to little more than an exercise in public torture.

Hodgson, 63, has not been given the job on the basis of his time at Anfield - and it would be an injustice to define a competetent career by those six months of failure - but on the evidence of his work at Fulham.

When West Bromwich Albion's board decided to dispense with Di Matteo's services last Sunday, the increasing prospect of another swift return to the Championship will have been at the forefront of their thoughts.


Roy Hodgson endured a miserable time as Anfield manager

Also in their minds will have been Hodgson's reputation, pre-Anfield at least, as a mature, steadying hand on the tiller and a man who has proved he can engineer a miracle escape of the sort he accomplished after being appointed at Fulham in December 2007.

Hodgson does not yet need a miracle at West Brom, even though they currently only avoid the Premier League's bottom three on goal difference, but he needs to make a speedy impact after a season that started with such optimism under Di Matteo went into decline with 13 defeats in 18 games.

West Brom will want him to bring all his experience to bear to reverse this dangerous trend and they will be getting a manager with points to prove after the wounds he suffered at Liverpool.

As someone - and there were plenty of others - who felt Hodgson suited Liverpool's current circumstances at the time of his appointment, it was a shock to see at close quarters how quickly it became clear he was ill-suited and uncomfortable in the job.

Despite experience at Inter Milan, he struggled to come to terms with the size, profile and attention paid to every word and deed of a Liverpool manager.

At The Hawthorns the spotlight will not be as intense, the microscope not focused as unforgivingly, and this may make West Bromwich Albion a better fit for a manager who clearly feels he still has much to offer.

Hodgson will presumably start with a better approval rating than he did at Anfield, where his appointment as successor to Rafael Benitez was greeted with, at best, indifference. Many Liverpool fans expected better, despite the uncertainty surrounding the club's future ownership and Hodgson's appointment was regarded as low in profile and ambition.

He will also benefit from not being appointed ahead of any legendary figures in the history of The Hawthorns. Once Hodgson was given the Liverpool job ahead of Kenny Dalglish, there was the ever-present shadow of the Scot hanging over every defeat and poor performance.

And so it proved when the home defeat against Blackpool was played out against the backdrop of chants from The Kop for Dalglish's return. If Liverpool's supporters wanted ammunition they could use to demand the reappointment of Dalglish, Hodgson gave them plenty with other home defeats against Northampton Town and Wolves. The pressure soon became unbearable.

It is hard, however, to imagine Albion's fans demanding the reappointment of Ron Atkinson or the return of Gary Megson should they be slipping to a loss early in Hodgson's reign.

On the training ground, he may find Albion's workmanlike and less naturally gifted players more receptive to his repetive drills than some of Liverpool's stellar performers who perhaps wanted more variety and imagination in their work.

It worked for Hodgson at Fulham where the careers of players such as Bobby Zamora, Damien Duff and Danny Murphy were revitalised on a journey of discovery that led to last season's Europa League final.

And in the interests of balance, it is only right to point out that Hodgson was not the sole engineer of his eventual downfall at Liverpool.

He will point to circumstances conspiring against him, where he was robbed of key midfielder Javier Mascherano early in his reign and - something which became very clear in the aftermath of his move to Chelsea - he was working without the full attention of his superstar striker Fernando Torres.

He was criticised (with justification) for the signings on Christian Poulsen, Joe Cole and, in particular, Paul Konchesky but even his fiercest critics at Anfield may just be feeling a little more generous towards him for leaving Raul Meireles for them to remember him by.

Hodgson's reign at Liverpool will not be recalled with any affection by anyone involved and Anfield's history will unquestionably be cruel on his work, but his past suggests there is sound logic behind his latest appointment.

It was only last summer he was named manager of the year by his peers and would have been a prime candidate to replace Fabio Capello had he left his job as England coach.

This is not just a rebuilding process for West Brom, it also applies to Hodgson. He is entering the final phase of his career and as someone who guards his reputation jealously he will not want the Liverpool experience to be his lasting impression on the Premier League.

West Bromwich Albion will hope to be the beneficiaries of this motivation.

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Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Good signing for WBA

  • Comment number 2.

    I think Hodgson has the potential to do well at WBA, it suits his style more. He is suited to a team with milder aspirations, although i think WBA's players are more suited to Hughton's style as opposedto Hodgson's long ball.

    As for why he failed at Liverpool, the reasons are many, and my in depth views are here

    http://upper90magazine.wordpress.com/2010/12/16/roy-hodgson-how-to-lose-games-and-alienate-people/

  • Comment number 3.

    Hi Phil,

    i believe that you are right in your assertion that Roy will be a success at West Brom. However, I also believe that Di Matteo is one of the rising stars of managers, who may yet go all the way to the top. I think that Baggies were punching over their weight for a while. So, although in the short term, I have Baggies as certains to go down this year, then i believe they will bounce straight back up next year and then to stay in the Premier League.

    Roy is a nice person and a good manager who works best behind the limelight, but at LFC you are in the media glare all the time. I hope he has a good time at West Brom (as long as he loses against LFC).

  • Comment number 4.

    This is a good appointment for WBA and I wish Hodgson good luck. He deserves it after the shameful lack of support he was given by the fans at Liverpool.

  • Comment number 5.

    "...He was criticised (with justification) for the signings on Christian Poulsen, Joe Cole and, in particular, Paul Konchesky..."

    Let's not beat on Poulsen too much here. Under Kenny, he's gone some way to repairing his reputation amongst the fans with his excellent 50 yard slide-rule pass to set up Meireles' assist on the first goal against Wolves and a chance against Everton. In his last match (vs chelsea) he came on late and despite all the talk of him being "too old" to effectively function as a DM/anchor man, he looked like he was playing with a motivation and desire that might previously have been lacking. With any luck, Cole will get the same Dalglish reboot in time to play an important part in Europe. Konchesky just seems to have bombed spectacularly, I don't think anyone will want to hold onto him.

  • Comment number 6.

    I do hope dear old Woy can keep the Boing Boing Baggies up.Hopefully Di Matteo will get another opportunity.

  • Comment number 7.

    Whilst you defend Uncle Woy for signing Mereilles (The one decent player he brought in!) You neglect to mention that he constantly played him out of position.

  • Comment number 8.

    Now Woy is Baggies boss perhaps he would like to spend millions buying all the garbage (Joe Cole, Poulson, Konchesky, Jones) that he has lumbered Liverpool with?

  • Comment number 9.

    Good read I don't agree with all of it but it isn't bad

    The demeanour points are definitely valid but I also agree with Phil that once the fans knew that Kenny had a pplied and been turned down he never had a chance at Anfield but it should be different at West Brom

    http://adampsb.blogspot.com/2011/01/how-i-learned-to-hate-rock-n-roll.html

  • Comment number 10.

    I feel sorry for Baggies fans replacing a talented young manager with a dinosaur.

  • Comment number 11.

    Oh dear.

    No more away wins for West Brom then.

  • Comment number 12.

    Yes Phil,

    A lot of the English media thought that Uncle Woy would do well at Liverpool, however those of us with more than two brain cells knew it would be a complete disaster. English managers are not good enough for the top jobs. The legend that is Bobby Robson was the last quality English manager.

  • Comment number 13.

    JamTay you seem a bit bitter about Hodgson we all thought you were an Arsenal fa. Kopnchesky wasn't a good signing but the others may still prove to be. Di Matteo is a bright talent but his sides lacked defensive organisation something which Hodgson's Fulham side always had. Given his next 4 matches are all against teams at the bottom free-flowing football isn't West Brom's main priority but wouild be nice to see if they survive

  • Comment number 14.

    As a West Brom fan i was dismayed at the sacking of DiMatteo, thought he had done a decent job and few people seem to realise that our decline in results seemed to coincide with the loss of upto at one point 6 first choice defenders through injury.

    However, whats done is done, i would probably of preffered houghton, but if Woy can keep us up thats good :).

    As for even mentioning Megson, that is low Phil, never liked him and was glad to see him go.

  • Comment number 15.

    #12 That is a bit insulting as there are some good English managers still around. Terry Venables was decent, Glenn Hoddle and Harry Redknapp are also decent.

    There are also some good upcoming talents like Eddie Howe, Paul Ince, Lee Clark, Ian Holloway, Simon Grayson, Nigel Adkins and Dean Holdsworth are all doing excllent jobs with their clubs.

    Admittedly Harry and Steve Mclaren are the only ones to win a trophy recently but to say there hasn't been a decent English manager in a decade is untrue and if these managers are given opportunities at the right time that will be proven but unless clubs get past the hire and fire mentality it won't happen

  • Comment number 16.

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

  • Comment number 17.

    Naming Megson is a bit unfair Bolton fans never liked him either and I guess Ipswich fans were relieved when they got Jewell instead of him. He is as unwelcome as a keyboard in an Indie band at some clubs

    http://adampsb.blogspot.com/2011/01/how-i-learned-to-hate-rock-n-roll.html

  • Comment number 18.

    To JamTay1...a "dinosaur" who took Fulham to the Europa League Final last season. I am not attempting to portray his time at Liverpool as anything other than awful, but as I have said I think it would be unfair to judge his whole career on six months.

    To BaggieMike...was Gary Megson unpopular at West Brom? I thought he would be appreciated for taking them into the Premier League? Just making a point with the comparison by the way.

    Love to hear from Baggies fans about this. Keep the opinions coming - and surely there myst be Liverpool supporters out there who wish Hodgson well?


  • Comment number 19.

    Roy Hodgson is a loser. 35 years in management and what can he show for it? The support of fellow losers - English managers - a sympathetic press and the closed ranks of the LMA all help to gloss over the fact that the cupboard was always bare. He failed at Liverpool because of his mediocre, negative underdog attitude. And a lack of ability to deal with a club that has ambition beyond mid-table safety.

    The sooner anachronisms like Hodgson are swept away from English football the better.

    Once again, I can watch a Hodgson press conference, but this time, I won'y want to throw myself off the Pier Head afterwards.

    West Brom fans: don't believe the press about Hodgson; he's a spiteful, self-serving character. He will blame everybody but himself for the inevitable dreary rubbish you are about to witness. You have my sympathy.

  • Comment number 20.

    13. At 3:44pm on 11 Feb 2011, PetShopBoys_Forever wrote:
    JamTay you seem a bit bitter about Hodgson we all thought you were an Arsenal fa. Kopnchesky wasn't a good signing but the others may still prove to be. Di Matteo is a bright talent but his sides lacked defensive organisation something which Hodgson's Fulham side always had. Given his next 4 matches are all against teams at the bottom free-flowing football isn't West Brom's main priority but wouild be nice to see if they survive
    ---------------------------------------------
    I am a huge admirer of Arsene Wenger and the way Arsenal play football, however I'm a Liverpool fan through and through. There is a lot of bitterness towards Woy as due to been lumbered with him for half a season we are a lot lower down the table than we could have been. Both his predecessor and replacement are far superior managers.

    Something that has been encouraging this season is some of the smaller teams (Blackpool, WBA and Wolves) have been prepared to have a go rather than just sit back. Unfortunately under Hodgson it is more than likely WBA will adopt negative defensive and long ball tactics. Lets just hope that another Dinosaur (Allardyce) doesn't come back as well.

  • Comment number 21.

    Adam,stop hawking your blog about.

    That one's weeks old.And full of nonsense about the P*t S**p B**s.

  • Comment number 22.

    I would imagine Woy being on weal hit with the West Bwom fans. This is a weally good appointment fwom the West Bwom board.

  • Comment number 23.

    Good Luck to Roy, I sincerely hope he has greater success with WBA, than he did with Liverpool. The pressure is still there, but not the same expectation from the fans. Roy's a good manager and deserves another shot at management; hopefully he can steer Brom away from relegation.

  • Comment number 24.

    17. At 3:56pm on 11 Feb 2011, PetShopBoys_Forever wrote:

    Naming Megson is a bit unfair Bolton fans never liked him either and I guess Ipswich fans were relieved when they got Jewell instead of him. He is as unwelcome as a keyboard in an Indie band at some clubs.

    ____________________________________________________________

    As you well know Adam,we brave lads that follow Ipswich would have taken anyone to replace R*y K***e

  • Comment number 25.

    A good signing for WBA. Clearly a good coach, but he never really understood the task of managing at Anfield.

    Many who point to the shambles of the squad left by Benitez should be asstounded at what the current manager is doing with them!

    Hopefully he can return to the manager he was when he left Fulham, and not the one that was at Liverpool.

  • Comment number 26.

    15. At 3:53pm on 11 Feb 2011, PetShopBoys_Forever wrote:
    #12 That is a bit insulting as there are some good English managers still around. Terry Venables was decent, Glenn Hoddle and Harry Redknapp are also decent.

    There are also some good upcoming talents like Eddie Howe, Paul Ince, Lee Clark, Ian Holloway, Simon Grayson, Nigel Adkins and Dean Holdsworth are all doing excllent jobs with their clubs.

    Admittedly Harry and Steve Mclaren are the only ones to win a trophy recently but to say there hasn't been a decent English manager in a decade is untrue and if these managers are given opportunities at the right time that will be proven but unless clubs get past the hire and fire mentality it won't happen
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If they want the opportunities then go abroad if the big clubs in England aren’t employing you! (I admire McClaren for doing this and his success in holland was remarkable). Without wishing to be cruel, a lot of the lower league English managers are succesfull because they are managing teams playing against other mediocre English managers teams!

  • Comment number 27.

    Phil, this article doesn't really touch upon what I would consider to be the most interesting question surrounding Hodgson's appointment as West Brom manager - will his tactics suit a club and playing squad that have for years been used to playing a passing game? Do they even have the players in the squad to enact Hodgson's brand of defensive, direct play? (For example they lack a 'target-man' type centre-forward, and they have defenders who like to play from the back with the full-backs pushed high up the pitch. Not really Hodgson-type players, and witht he transfer window shut, he cannot bring in players to fit his system).

    What do you think?

  • Comment number 28.

    #20 I agree that his tactics are not always inspiring but if he can do for West Brom what he did for Fulham then that may not be a bad thing. I agree he was never suited for Liverpool and Dalglish is probably the best person they could have at present to instill self-belief in teh players but eventually you will have the same problem that Man Utd will have when he calls it a day (although hopefully Guardiola will solve that problem for us in a few years).

    If Kenny doesn't get the job permanently who would you like as Liverpool manager aside from the usual names of Mourinho, Guardiola or Benitez

  • Comment number 29.

    Phil and anyone else who could help,

    could someone tell me how many away games Roy has won in his whole management career?

  • Comment number 30.

    18. At 3:56pm on 11 Feb 2011, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:
    To JamTay1...a "dinosaur" who took Fulham to the Europa League Final last season. I am not attempting to portray his time at Liverpool as anything other than awful, but as I have said I think it would be unfair to judge his whole career on six months.

    To BaggieMike...was Gary Megson unpopular at West Brom? I thought he would be appreciated for taking them into the Premier League? Just making a point with the comparison by the way.

    Love to hear from Baggies fans about this. Keep the opinions coming - and surely there myst be Liverpool supporters out there who wish Hodgson well?
    ---------------------------------------------
    A final where they were dominated from start to finish. Due to the financial advantages of the Premier League 'Little' Fulham's Europa final appearance wasn't that remarkable. With the exception of beating a half interested Juventus most of the teams knocked out had far smaller transfer/wages budgets than Fulham. He was a disaster at Blackburn and mediocre at best for Internazionale. I acknowledge that he was a success in Sweden and for the Switzerland national team, but overall he has had an unremarkable managerial career.

  • Comment number 31.

    Good blog Phil although i'm not sure what a competetent maganer is! Sorry to be an annoying pedant!

    I'd rather see Hodgson at a slighty bigger club than West Brom (no offence) as I still think he has the potential to manage at a higher level. The top 4 are probably beyond him based on recent evidence but I think he should be managing a top half club, such as Villa/Newcastle etc. Cue angry response from WBA fans! I'm aware that Villa are currently outside the top half but the point is their ambitions will be greater than West Brom.

  • Comment number 32.

    I meant West Brom's.

  • Comment number 33.

    21. At 3:59pm on 11 Feb 2011, jacksofbuxton wrote:
    Adam,stop hawking your blog about.

    That one's weeks old.And full of nonsense about the P*t S**p B**s.
    -------------------------------

    I humbly apologise and will write a sport/ politics one on Monday

  • Comment number 34.

    Hodgson is a great coach and will, given time, produce a strong mid-table Prem team, he has a particular coaching style that needs a lot of training ground work, time is what he needs and what he doesnt have a lot of, at fulham he picked up just nine points from his first thirteen league games, and his start at liverpool wasnt strong at all, even against weaker sides,

    with 13 games left, im not sure if they can do it, i know he does like a great escape though, but long term a good result for the baggies.

  • Comment number 35.

    @peterparker78

    I don't know about his entire career, but in top-flight English football it's 13 away wins altogether (across 6 seasons with 3 different clubs - note not all of those are full seasons though):

    1997/98 – Blackburn Rovers - 5 Away wins
    1998/99 – Blackburn Rovers – 0 Away wins
    2007/08 – Fulham – 3 Away wins
    2008/09 – Fulham – 3 Away wins
    2009/10 – Fulham – 1 Away win
    2010/11 – Liverpool – 1 Away win

  • Comment number 36.

    28. At 4:05pm on 11 Feb 2011, PetShopBoys_Forever wrote:
    #20 I agree that his tactics are not always inspiring but if he can do for West Brom what he did for Fulham then that may not be a bad thing. I agree he was never suited for Liverpool and Dalglish is probably the best person they could have at present to instill self-belief in teh players but eventually you will have the same problem that Man Utd will have when he calls it a day (although hopefully Guardiola will solve that problem for us in a few years).

    If Kenny doesn't get the job permanently who would you like as Liverpool manager aside from the usual names of Mourinho, Guardiola or Benitez
    ---------------------------------------------
    Very good question! 'If' Kenny doesn't get the job then I would like to see a young manager with forward thinking ideas come in. Jesualdo Ferreira and Michael Laudrup are two very interesting managers. However I would happily accept either of the 3 above!

    So I reverse the same question who would you be interested in outside the obvious name of Mourinho, Hiddink, Guardiola?

  • Comment number 37.

    Roy could do well at West brom, but I won't be putting any money on it.

    His rigid defensive type of football may blossom for a team looking to avoid relegation, but he was hopelessly out of his depth as Liverpool manager. He is certainly the worst manager Liverpool have had in decades and his record bares that out.

    Th most entertaining thing he brought to Liverpool was his face rub.

    Nevertheless, I wish him all the best. he has maintained a dignified silence since his LFC debacle, which is too his credit. Although I guess he may have signed a confidentiality clause as part of his payoff from LFC.

    Hopefully he has learned not to waffle on in his press conferences blaming all unsundry if performances and results don't go to plan with the Baggies.

  • Comment number 38.

    Thank God Capello did not leave after the WC! Also, may God bless West Brom now...

  • Comment number 39.

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

  • Comment number 40.

    37. At 4:17pm on 11 Feb 2011, PAisLeYs_PaTTerNeD_DrEaMs wrote:
    Roy could do well at West brom, but I won't be putting any money on it.

    His rigid defensive type of football may blossom for a team looking to avoid relegation, but he was hopelessly out of his depth as Liverpool manager. He is certainly the worst manager Liverpool have had in decades and his record bares that out.

    Th most entertaining thing he brought to Liverpool was his face rub.

    Nevertheless, I wish him all the best. he has maintained a dignified silence since his LFC debacle, which is too his credit. Although I guess he may have signed a confidentiality clause as part of his payoff from LFC.

    Hopefully he has learned not to waffle on in his press conferences blaming all unsundry if performances and results don't go to plan with the Baggies.
    ----------------
    As every time he opened his mouth it was to change foot, It is probably best he has been silent.

    As for worse Liverpool manager? I think Souness deserves a dishonorable mention, but ultimately Hodgson was the worse of the worse.

  • Comment number 41.

    tahnk Jacal_lfc,

    That tells you a lot about the man and his management style. If I understand only 2 out 6 of these seeason were less than full i.e. 1998/99 and 2010/11.

    He is a mediocre manager at the best and most suited for middle/lower middle class of premier league where no doubt he will fare better than say what he did at Liverpool. He is no title winning material. Let's keep that in perspective when criticising or praising the man.

  • Comment number 42.

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

  • Comment number 43.

    36. At 4:16pm on 11 Feb 2011, JamTay1 wrote:
    28. At 4:05pm on 11 Feb 2011, PetShopBoys_Forever wrote:
    #20 I agree that his tactics are not always inspiring but if he can do for West Brom what he did for Fulham then that may not be a bad thing. I agree he was never suited for Liverpool and Dalglish is probably the best person they could have at present to instill self-belief in teh players but eventually you will have the same problem that Man Utd will have when he calls it a day (although hopefully Guardiola will solve that problem for us in a few years).

    If Kenny doesn't get the job permanently who would you like as Liverpool manager aside from the usual names of Mourinho, Guardiola or Benitez
    ---------------------------------------------
    Very good question! 'If' Kenny doesn't get the job then I would like to see a young manager with forward thinking ideas come in. Jesualdo Ferreira and Michael Laudrup are two very interesting managers. However I would happily accept either of the 3 above!

    So I reverse the same question who would you be interested in outside the obvious name of Mourinho, Hiddink, Guardiola?
    ---------------------------------

    I'd like to see Ian Holloway if he can get some success with Blackpool. Steve Bruce is improving by the season and if someone like Eddie Howe can get a Premier League job and break into the top 4 and win a couple of trophies either domestioc or European then they would be worth a shot. Hiddink is getting on and not an option for me. I'd prefer someone younger and more dynamic which is why Guardiola is probably the best bet although Leonardo is a decent manager as well

  • Comment number 44.

    I think the whole campaign against Hodgson has been pathetic - especially when people like McNulty were here back in May going "OH GOD HOW AMAZING IS HODGSON???" after he won the manager of the year award

    "It would be unfair to judge him those 6months of failure" particularly when you were of the complete opposite opinion only 6 months before that

  • Comment number 45.

    All the people saying why sack an up and coming manager - Di Matteo getting the sack was justified in my opinion. Yes we had an amazing run of results at the start of the season, and yes we did start to pick up suspensions and injuries, but by last week it had got to the stage he had fiddled with the team so much trying to make it work, that he no longer knew how to put it right again.

    Team selections were very confusing at times - we can't score goals, and he puts our target man Fortune on the wing and goal poacher Simon Cox in the middle of midfield. His substitutions were also odd. Against Wigan at home we were crying out for a target man in the box to get his head on it, and he brings on another midfielder with Fortune left on the bench. Later he put Fortune on and he scored a header.

    It has also come out that he needed to be encouraged more than once to investigate our coming opposition, and other tactical issues.

    I think Hodgson was the best candidate on the shortlist, and I'm glad our board hasn't gone for just the cheapest option.

  • Comment number 46.

    41. At 4:24pm on 11 Feb 2011, peterparker78 wrote:
    He is a mediocre manager at the best and most suited for middle/lower middle class of premier league where no doubt he will fare better than say what he did at Liverpool. He is no title winning material. Let's keep that in perspective when criticising or praising the man.
    __________________________________________________________

    In 1983, Hodgson moved back to Sweden to take over Örebro. In 1985, he took over at Malmö FF, which he led to five consecutive league championships, two Swedish championships (at the time the Swedish championship was decided through play-offs) and two Swedish Cups.

    Hodgson moved to Denmark and became manager of FC Copenhagen, where he proved an instant success, taking a team that had finished 7th and 8th in the two previous seasons, and winning the Superliga championship in the 2000–01 season – the club's first championship since 1993.


    So much for not being a title winning manager eh?

  • Comment number 47.

    44. Kapnag,

    No one is judging him over his 6 month tenure. His whole managerial cv is filled with mediocre achievements and only 13 away wins in England in 6 seasons is worse than some of the worse managers in EPL.

  • Comment number 48.

    Ph. McN. - "Roy Hodgson has taken just 34 days to recover from the damage a short and traumatic reign at Liverpool inflicted on his reputation and is now ready to repair both his own standing and West Bromwich Albion's season."

    What about the damage that his reign inflicted on the Liverpool FC reputation and not only reputation?

    My sympathies are with WBA fans. I sincerely hope that your club stays in EPL for the next season, and your players do not lose interest for football or start to see the world 'black' as it happened to one 'star striker' whose name I fail to remember.

  • Comment number 49.

    So much for not being a title winning manager eh?

    ==

    And before the scousers say anything - Hodgson last league title was in '93. When was Liverpool's?

  • Comment number 50.

    43. At 4:26pm on 11 Feb 2011, PetShopBoys_Forever wrote:
    36. At 4:16pm on 11 Feb 2011, JamTay1 wrote:
    28. At 4:05pm on 11 Feb 2011, PetShopBoys_Forever wrote:
    #20 I agree that his tactics are not always inspiring but if he can do for West Brom what he did for Fulham then that may not be a bad thing. I agree he was never suited for Liverpool and Dalglish is probably the best person they could have at present to instill self-belief in teh players but eventually you will have the same problem that Man Utd will have when he calls it a day (although hopefully Guardiola will solve that problem for us in a few years).

    If Kenny doesn't get the job permanently who would you like as Liverpool manager aside from the usual names of Mourinho, Guardiola or Benitez
    ---------------------------------------------
    Very good question! 'If' Kenny doesn't get the job then I would like to see a young manager with forward thinking ideas come in. Jesualdo Ferreira and Michael Laudrup are two very interesting managers. However I would happily accept either of the 3 above!

    So I reverse the same question who would you be interested in outside the obvious name of Mourinho, Hiddink, Guardiola?
    ---------------------------------

    I'd like to see Ian Holloway if he can get some success with Blackpool. Steve Bruce is improving by the season and if someone like Eddie Howe can get a Premier League job and break into the top 4 and win a couple of trophies either domestioc or European then they would be worth a shot. Hiddink is getting on and not an option for me. I'd prefer someone younger and more dynamic which is why Guardiola is probably the best bet although Leonardo is a decent manager as well
    ---------------------------------
    I think Holloway could be too much of a 'loose cannon' to be entrusted with such a big job. I can understand the Bruce connection, but it would be a risk and a huge step up for him. However, that said it could really be a poisoned challace of a job, In much the same way that it took a few failed attempts to finally replace Schmeichel. I think Leonardo's stock as manager will be totally dependent on the job he does now at Internazionale.

  • Comment number 51.

    Kapnag,

    2000-2001 Hodgeson won the Superliga championship in Denmark.

  • Comment number 52.

    It's funny how it's Liverpool fans commenting on Roy's ability despite the fact he had little time to stamp his plans on their team and had no support from them.

    As a Fulham fan, it is also funny to see him labelled as a long ball merchant. Anyone with an ounce of sense will know that that isnt his style, its a lot more slow, short build up based around the two banks of four offering a secure defence. He built up this defence at Fulham by signing Hangeland, reviving Hughes and bringing in Schwarzer. Something he couldn't do at Liverpool, and I'd much rather have our defenders than theirs.

    My suprise with this appointment is from both levels. Surely, the WBA board would have wanted someone renowned for attacking prowess to outscore the opponents due to their good attack and dreadful defence, whilst Hodgson would have waited for a better post in the summer.

    Strange move and one I think might backfire. He started poorly with us but gradually got things together. Should be an interesting scenario to watch play out.

  • Comment number 53.

    If Hodgson keeps West Brom up he will be seen as a success this year.

    But I do wonder what the West Brom fans think of the change in strategy from the board. About ten years ago Gary Megson was pretty successful for the club compared to their recent history, but the style of football wasn't popular with the fans. Mowbray and Di Matteo in particular have played a more expansive entertaining style since, but the club has bounced between the Premier League and the Championship. Does the appointment of Hodgson mark a return to the period before, where not losing is more important than trying to win?

    I hope Hodgson manages to restore some of his reputation after the last few months at Liverpool, and I think he brings experience, but I still think the board should have looked to the long-term. These days it's very difficult for a club to establish itself in the Premier League and I believe consistency is key to this, so Di Matteo should have been given until next season.

  • Comment number 54.

    #45 it's a hard call to know when to keep or sack a manager but I personally would have kept Di Matteo but would have hired Hodgson as a consultant to advise him on tactics etc

  • Comment number 55.

    2000-2001 Hodgeson won the Superliga championship in Denmark.

    ==

    Fair enough, so that's 10 years since Hodgson last won a league title, compared to 21 for Liverpool

  • Comment number 56.

    55. At 4:37pm on 11 Feb 2011, Kapnag wrote:
    2000-2001 Hodgeson won the Superliga championship in Denmark.

    ==

    Fair enough, so that's 10 years since Hodgson last won a league title, compared to 21 for Liverpool

    ______________________________

    Hahaha!! You have to love that fact!

  • Comment number 57.

    49. At 4:30pm on 11 Feb 2011, Kapnag wrote:
    So much for not being a title winning manager eh?

    ==

    And before the scousers say anything - Hodgson last league title was in '93. When was Liverpool's?
    ---------------------------------------------
    Liverpool have won more league titles than Hodgson has won away games in England. I acknowledge the success he has had in Sweden, Denmark and with Switzerland. However, every time he has been given a 'big' job (Liverpool, Inter, Blackburn) he has failed miserably.

  • Comment number 58.

    As a Liverpool supporter- let me be the first to congratulate Hodgson on his new post with WBA. Finally, he's back a club that is actually in his field of expertise: mid to low table expectations.

    Now, when his club barely scrape out a draw with the likes of Birmingham he can truly and honestly say it was a good result and nobody will disagree. It's good to punch your weight.

    I think he'll do very well there because that's all he knows how to do. Have a good time with his medieval tactics WBA. Hope it works out for you.

  • Comment number 59.

    #50-
    I think Holloway could be too much of a 'loose cannon' to be entrusted with such a big job. I can understand the Bruce connection, but it would be a risk and a huge step up for him. However, that said it could really be a poisoned challace of a job, In much the same way that it took a few failed attempts to finally replace Schmeichel. I think Leonardo's stock as manager will be totally dependent on the job he does now at Internazionale.

    --------------------------------------------------------------

    It will be a poisoned chalice much the way it was Sir Matt Busby left and when Dalglish resigned from Liverpool the first time. The good thing about Guardiola is that he has built on the successs that Barca had been enjoing almost immediately but it may not be easy to replicate with a new club and players. By the time Fergie retires others such as Paolo Maldini may have moved into management successfully and also provide an option

  • Comment number 60.

    Liverpool have won more league titles than Hodgson has won away games in England.

    ==

    Yeah and nobody who is currently attending full time education will have seen any of them

  • Comment number 61.

    #57 - not sure Inter was a failure or Blackburn ever a "big job" as they were already declining after winning their one and only Premier League title.

    But at Liverpool he was a failure for many reasons one of which was Torres taking the huff as he couldn't leave when Rafa and Mascherano did.

    His tactics at Fulham weren't medieval and I don't think they will be at WBA. They just weren't right for Liverpool

  • Comment number 62.

    Being a Liverpool fan, I still wish Hodgson the best of luck in his endeavours. He's a nice guy and someone who I think is still a good manager. However, it's worth pointing out that Benitez had Merieles scouted during his reign and was making inroads into signing the player.

  • Comment number 63.

    I'm a bit worried your comments section has become an advertising board for any old chancer with a blog.

  • Comment number 64.

    Phil,

    As a Liverpool fan for over forty years, I have no ill-feeling towards Hodgson. I was disappointed when he was announced as manager of LFC, as his style of football is not really conducive to producing good, entertaining, attacking football; the kind that consistently wins trophies, and was a trait of Liverpool (too) many years ago.

    I wish Hodgson well in the future, and if he is successful with WBA, great for him and them.

  • Comment number 65.

    60. At 4:44pm on 11 Feb 2011, Kapnag wrote:
    Liverpool have won more league titles than Hodgson has won away games in England.

    ==

    Yeah and nobody who is currently attending full time education will have seen any of them

    ------------------------
    They may do if they are doing a PhD, MBA or are lecturing

  • Comment number 66.

    #63 - Go write your own blog. calling us blog writers old indeed (anyway nothing wrong with it as long as we keep commentingon here). If you don't like our blogs then you should log on to them and say so on the comments (if nothing else it will make the blog writer feel better)

    As for discussion relevant to this one Hodgson really needs to win tomorrow or his reign may start with even more headaches than he had at Liverpool especially as West Ham will be bouyed by winning the Olympic Stadium bid and keep Premier League football to fill it.

    Anyone seen the news about Harry

  • Comment number 67.

    The fall of the Berlin Wall was the first step toward German reunification, which was formally concluded on 3 October 1990.

    Hahaha!! This was after Liverpool's last league title!

  • Comment number 68.

    I wish Roy Hodgson all the very best at WBA. His treatment whilst at Liverpool was a disgrace, hopefully the WBA fans will give him the respect he deserves. Liverpool's fall commenced way before the appointment of Roy Hodgson.
    Sad to see Roberto di Matteo sacked but he will return stronger, probably at Liverpool next season !!

  • Comment number 69.

    Good accurate blog which I enjoyed reading. I would like to point out, however, that sentences and paragraphs are different things.

  • Comment number 70.

    I bet they wished they'd kept Maggie Thatcher in cos as soon as she went so id Liverpool's ability to win league titles

  • Comment number 71.

    59. At 4:42pm on 11 Feb 2011, PetShopBoys_Forever wrote:
    #50-
    I think Holloway could be too much of a 'loose cannon' to be entrusted with such a big job. I can understand the Bruce connection, but it would be a risk and a huge step up for him. However, that said it could really be a poisoned challace of a job, In much the same way that it took a few failed attempts to finally replace Schmeichel. I think Leonardo's stock as manager will be totally dependent on the job he does now at Internazionale.

    --------------------------------------------------------------

    It will be a poisoned chalice much the way it was Sir Matt Busby left and when Dalglish resigned from Liverpool the first time. The good thing about Guardiola is that he has built on the successs that Barca had been enjoing almost immediately but it may not be easy to replicate with a new club and players. By the time Fergie retires others such as Paolo Maldini may have moved into management successfully and also provide an option
    --------------------------------------------------------------

    Funny you mention the legend that is Paulo Maldini! I'm pretty sure he has declared himself not interested in managing. Also it would be strange seeing him anywhere but at AC Milan! I certainly agree that Guardiola would do a good job, but I have a feeling that whoever the first replacement is will struggle at first.

  • Comment number 72.

    60. At 4:44pm on 11 Feb 2011, Kapnag wrote:
    Liverpool have won more league titles than Hodgson has won away games in England.

    ==

    Yeah and nobody who is currently attending full time education will have seen any of them
    ==
    Very clever! But some football fans do manage to get a University education! ;)

  • Comment number 73.

    @PetShopBoys_Forever

    --As for discussion relevant to this one Hodgson really needs to win tomorrow or his reign may start with even more headaches than he had at Liverpool--


    Hodgson is not going to be in charge of tomorrow's game, I understand. He starts as of next week. So still there's a good chance for WBA to win tomorrow.

  • Comment number 74.

    66. At 4:50pm on 11 Feb 2011, PetShopBoys_Forever wrote:
    #63 - Go write your own blog. calling us blog writers old indeed (anyway nothing wrong with it as long as we keep commentingon here). If you don't like our blogs then you should log on to them and say so on the comments (if nothing else it will make the blog writer feel better)

    As for discussion relevant to this one Hodgson really needs to win tomorrow or his reign may start with even more headaches than he had at Liverpool especially as West Ham will be bouyed by winning the Olympic Stadium bid and keep Premier League football to fill it.

    Anyone seen the news about Harry
    -------------------------
    What news about Arry?

    @63 with regards to blogs, you can click on the link or not! Personal choice!

  • Comment number 75.

    As a Liverpool supporter I wish Hodgson well in his new position, but let's not forget that he took Liverpool to the brink and, were we still lumbered with him, I firmly believe we would have been fighting for relegation right now and not (perhaps optimistically) eyeing a fourth place finish.

    His tactis were woeful, his signings were, Meireles aside, shambolic and his chronic foot-in-mouth disease in front of the cameras was simply embarrassing. Not to mention his love-in with Ferguson and his shocking inability to defend Torres against his bezzy mate's totally unwarranted attack.

    Mascherano being sold for around half his market value during this time sticks in the craw, too.

    Let's be honest here, he was an appointment loaded with spite on the part of the previous owners - very few people actually took his Manager Of The Year award seriously - and that Liverpool have been dragged back from the brink by a man who's been out of the game for a decade or so speaks volumes.

    But, as I say, good luck to him. But, WBA, don't give him a chequebook.

  • Comment number 76.

    As a Liverpool supporter myself I *DO* wish Roy well, its stupid to wish otherwise (except for when he faces up against LFC :P ), and even as a devoted Red I think its horribly unfair to judge his career on his incredibly short time at Liverpool.

    That said, Roy was never the right choice for LFC, regardless of all the hipe the media gave him. After Benitez and Houlier, Liverpool needed a manager that was inventive enough to prompt attacking play, pass and move, while tacticaly minded enough to throw a few surprises here an there. Roy was always the opposite to that. He's too defensively minded, too cautious, and do predictive tacticaly, some of the same negative traits of Benetiz that ultimately ended his Liverpool career.

    When it really boils down to it, Roy was hired as LFC manager because it was considered by the bored to be a good choice to make the club sell well. He was a name on a reciept. It really had very little to do with football, or the club, it was about the previous owners trying to ensure their greed. A move that has proven to be an ironic final blow by them.

    When it really came down to it, there were only ever 2 managers that could have taken on the Liverpool hot seat - Kenny Dalglish or Jose Mourinho - and we were clearly never going to capture the talents of the special one.

    That same choice will remain come May, too, Dalglish or Mourinho, and I think it is safe to say that the vast majority of LFC fans, myself included, would be more than happy for the King to keep his throne.

  • Comment number 77.

    #74 - he is going to be tried for Tax Evasion alongside Mandaric. Peter Storrie is also going to face trial on similar charges. If convicted that will be bye bye to ever managing England. Also it will be interesting to see what Spurs do if he is found guilty. Took Steve Evans a a while to get another job when he got done at Boston

  • Comment number 78.

    As a Liverpool fan I wish Roy Hodgson well at West Brom.

    His 'reign' (maybe sojourn might be a better description) at Anfield was nothing short of a disaster but he doesn't deserve to have it obliterate the successes of his long managerial career.

    So, good luck to him and the Baggies, I hope they're a better fit for him than the Reds and maybe he'll remember how to smile again sometime soon.

  • Comment number 79.

    And yes, fantastic news about Redknapp.

  • Comment number 80.

    #75-
    His tactis were woeful, his signings were, Meireles aside, shambolic and his chronic foot-in-mouth disease in front of the cameras was simply embarrassing. Not to mention his love-in with Ferguson and his shocking inability to defend Torres against his bezzy mate's totally unwarranted attack.

    Mascherano being sold for around half his market value during this time sticks in the craw, too.
    --------------------------------------

    Mascherano's price had nothing to do with Roy but with the player and his agent forcing a move and telling them there was only one club he would move to putting Barca in the stronger negotiating position.

    His press comments were not the best and whilst Fergie and he were friends I wouldn't have made public comments on it while LFC manager. To be fair Torres' attitude stank for the last 6 months and he should have been given a rocket or sold in the summer

  • Comment number 81.

    The trouble with Hodgson is that he has no vision - he can only do things one way, and that really puts the shackles on a team.

    He kept saying it would take years to 'rebuild' Liverpool yet Dalglish has managed it within a few games.

    If I were a WBA fan I'd be very concerned.

  • Comment number 82.

    *75-'Meireles aside'. You sure? Not a Liverpool fan myself, but every time i've seen Meireles this season he's looked distinctly average, and has summed up Liverpool's slump. 3 goals in 3 games (correct me if i'm wrong), doesn't automatically make you liverpool great. Poulsen was a waste of money, but a signing like Joe Cole was pretty shrewd- just hasn't paid off yet. There is no doubting the credentials of 'Woy' Hodgson and i'm sure he'll do a cracking job at West Brom.

  • Comment number 83.

    80,

    No argument as regards Torres.

    And I'm not blaming Hodgson for the Mascherano sale, per se.

    Just rankles, is all.

  • Comment number 84.

    I cant believe this mumpet would ever be given another job again in his career, and then the Brom dropped the bombshell.

    I guess this is the beginning of the end for West Brom. Not only would they get relegated the players would get disenchanted and the hope of being a yo yo team would also evaporate with them.

    Good Luck in the Championship cos before you know it the damage would already have been done.

    I was hoping he would get the English job just after Capello so the English fans who keep blaming Liverpool fans can have a real assessment of the man.

    Note: Steve McUmbrella shouold also have the LMA award for leading Middlesbrough to UEFA Cup Finals but Rafa is mediocre for winning it twice B2B with valencia and making Liverpool finish 7th last season.

    So much for constructive and informed journalism.

    U guys nowadays just write a pile of rubbish and expect everybody to follow ur stereotype ideas. Thank God i can do my own research myself.

    Quiz: How many points did Roy get for Fulham in his first 9 games? How many points did he get for Liverpool in his first 9 games? How many do u think he will get for West Brom in his first 9 games? After doing that maths how many home games would be left , that should give you a good idea of what the man would achieve in these 4 months.

  • Comment number 85.

    I remember driving a couple of months back, listening to a sports program on the radio - West Brom fans were praising Roberto Di Matteo, worrying to death if a top club comes and 'steal' their manager.

    Yet, a couple of months later, I see him sacked because West Brom didn't consolidate premiership life from midseason. Crazy. That's why when I read that club chairmen wolf-cry about their right to keep hold of the manager they employ, only until they place him under gardenning holiday, I can only laugh.

  • Comment number 86.

    Good Luck in your new role Roy. I think most Liverpool Fans like me would agree that you had a very difficult job to do at Liverpool in almost impossible circumstances.
    All the best

  • Comment number 87.

    @82 its 4 goals in 5 games, and while it may be true pre-Kenny that Meireles looked fairly average, since January he has turned into a completly different player and, while perhaps still not the level of Gerrard, I would at least place him as "good".

    Meireles and Poulsen are very difficult to label bad signings. Arsen Wenger is renowned for saying that it takests at least 2 seasons for a foreign player to bed into the Premier League, and while some players like Torres are seemingly able to adjust in two days, I think Mr Wenger is pretty much on the money.

    Meireles is certainly an example of that. After 6 months he appears to finally gotten to grips with the style of football in the Premier League, and he should now continue to improve.

    They should at least be given a full season.

    Konchesky, on the other hand, does not have that excuse. He was a poor choice and as a Liverpool fan who has seen a string of poor left backs over recent years I was very glad to see Konchesky leave on loan - hopefuly they remains perminent.

    I think it also worth pointing out that what Kenny Dalglish has achieved is that he was seemingly turned existing players into fresh new signings. Martin Kelly at right back, Glen Johnson at left back, and even Kouyt up front, all look refreshing.

    As a close, I also want to say how pleasing it is as a football, not just a Liverpool supporter, to see a Manager enjoying the job as much as Kenny appears to be. I can't tell you how much it makes me smile to see him get over-excited by goals and victories - it is such a refreshing change after the bleak emotionless exterriors of Benetiz, Hodgson and (to some degree) Houlier.

    Liverpool finally feels like Liverpool again.

  • Comment number 88.

    #84 - Note: Steve McUmbrella shouold also have the LMA award for leading Middlesbrough to UEFA Cup Finals but Rafa is mediocre for winning it twice B2B with valencia and making Liverpool finish 7th last season.
    --------------------------------

    As Rafa got to his UEFA cup finals with Valencia he wouldn't have been eligible for the LMA award which is awarded to managers managing in England. Also the winner isn't the person with the best trophy but the manager who shows an achivement that is far above expectations given their resources which is why Steve Coppell (Reading), David Moyes (Everton) and Danny Wilsomn (Barnsley) have won it. If it went on trophies then only 3-5 managers would have won it since 1990 likely Fergie, Wenger, Mourinho and Houllier for his cup treble in 1991

    Rafa wouldn't have got in 2005 as Mourinho would have for winning the PL in his first year. (Funnily enough he didn't win it as like Rafa he spent too much time having a pop at other managers - Interestingly Fergie and Wenger have only won it twice each while David Moyes has won it 3 times)

  • Comment number 89.

    What happened to my comment
    why was it removed
    whats wrong in having a different view compared to that of the blogger

  • Comment number 90.

    88,

    Hodgson still shouldn't have gotten it. Manager of the Year for losing a cup final and finishing 12th is a joke.

    The football equivalent of giving Micky Rooney an honourary Oscar before he karks it.

  • Comment number 91.

    The only (and last ever) point I will make about Hodgson is that he wasn't shy in proclaiming his 'Manager of the Year' award and would regularly drop it in during conversations where it held no relevance whatsoever.

    The point is that Hodgson was awarded the LMA award, voted for by fellow managers. Fellow managers who would have probably preferred to have cut off their right arms before voting for the manager of a 'big' club or a genuine rival...can't see Ferguson voting for Wenger or vice versa. No, Our Roy got the patronising vote because he managed a club that didn't harm anyone or seriously threatened to empty the supermarket shelves of Brasso.

    Your point about Hodgson just not realising what was involved at a club like Liverpool is spot on...my problem is that he must have realised this very early on but still refused to do the decent thing and step aside. Instead, he blamed everyone but his own shortcomings before finally being asked to leave.

    The few million quid he took with him must have kept him warm for those 34 days he 'endured' on the job market before walking back into a nice little earner.

    Good luck West Brom, you're going to need it.

  • Comment number 92.

    #85-

    You must be watching the wrong games then mate. Meireles has been outstanding in a majority of matches this year. Perhaps when you play alongside Gerrard in midfield, people tend not to pay attention to the subtle things other players do (see the underrated Lucas), but most supporters would agree he's been solid while learning the English game. Almost all foreigners take a period of adjustment.

    Additionally and unrelated- it doesn't matter what Hodgson's CV reads. He couldn't get the job done when it was asked of him and it's only the English manager sympathizes and journos that appear to feel otherwise. YOU CAN judge a manager in 6 months; it happens all the time. Nobody is ever going to get the time Fergie got in this day and age, so stop making excuses for him. And as far as "poor Hodgson not getting time to put his stamp on the team" I think it would have been royal mail express to the Championship! Anyone who says Roy was judged harshly by Liverpool supporters is obviously not a Liverpool supporter. When your club goes from nearly winning the title 2 years ago to fighting for relegation- you tend to put more significant weight on timing and execution. Benitez got 7th with this squad. We're 6th now. Why couldn't Woy at least achieve THAT? It's a bare minimum requirement. Hodgson would never have gotten it done no matter how long he kept the job. He's a crap manager for the modern game.

  • Comment number 93.

    to all pointin gto Roy's titles in Sweden and Denmark. God. Mourinho, Pep, SAF, Wenger and all are absolutely dying to manage one day in Sweden/Denmark!

  • Comment number 94.

    This appointment seems a better match for Roy. Like someone's written above, I wouldn't like to say which way it's going to go, like Fulham; or Liverpool, and Blackburn, who I wonder why Phil, you and lot of the British press choose to ignore in your evaluation of RH's record in England.

    With more time for reflection, I think the point some posters have made about RH's away record is a very valid one. If you want to be near the top end of the table, you need to be winning away from home. In the old days, with only 2 points for a win, the one point for a draw was a lot more attractive. Is RH still playing to the old points system? As Ian Holloway said after equalising in a game that Blackpool went on to win, draws are no good to them, they need wins. Roy seems too often content with the draw. That might be OK for Fulham or WBA, but not Liverpool, who want to be No. 1, and you're not going to be No. 1 thinking like a No.12, give or take a few places.

  • Comment number 95.

    Along with many clubs WBA will find that sacking the manager is not always the best thing to do - take a look at this article

    http://expertscolumn.com/content/want-your-manager-sacked-think-again

  • Comment number 96.

    As Hodgson never wins away, it's fair to say he will only have a chance of picking points up at home. So let's look at the home games West Brom have got between now and the end of the season.

    12th of Feb - West Ham
    20th of Feb - Wolves
    19th of March - Arsenal
    2nd of April - Liverpool
    16th of April - Chelsea
    30th of April - Aston Villa
    14th of May - Everton

    Apart from the first two, I struggle to see how Hodgson will pick enough points to survive there. Especially as I'd say he needs another 12-14 points to survive, and I can't see him picking up any on the road.

    Mick McCarthy will be delighted.

  • Comment number 97.

    Phil, like #27 and a few others I am not sure why you have filled a post about Hodgson and West Brom with more reasons/excuses about his unsuccessful time at Liverpool than whether or not the same mistakes/failures are likely to be repeated at WBA. I expected to see the names Odemwingie and Mulumbu here, not Benitez and Dalglish. Perhaps you could comment on this?

    For example, I don't see Hodgson getting into trouble with his interviews or attempts to play for draws like he did at Liverpool. I don't get to watch WBA much but my impression is that they usually played 4-2-3-1 under Di Matteo. Presumably Hodgson will want to go 4-4-2, but do they have the personnel to do this and adapt quickly? Do their big players like Brunt and Odemwingie have the temperament to take to the new coaching? Etc.

    - A Liverpool Fan

  • Comment number 98.

    I'm a big fan of Roy Hodgson and despite criticism of the quality of the Leagues in which he has managed you have to bear in mind that back then Football wasn't like it is today. You didn't have squads packed full of foreigners, most of the players were native as they were in England at the time. He also managed unfashionable and unfancied teams, even Internazionale back then were pretty rubbish and he did well for them as he did pretty much every team that he managed.

    There's an old school of thought that it takes 3 years to build a team. You get out the dead wood and bring in the right players that play your style of football, but 6 months ! I know it's a results business, but to not even be given a chance to rectify the situation in the January transfer window was grossly unfair.

    Still, good Luck to West Brom, I'm sure Roy will deliver the goods.

  • Comment number 99.

    '...it would be an injustice to define a competetent career by those six months of failure...'

    'And in the interests of balance, it is only right to point out that Hodgson was not the sole engineer of his eventual downfall at Liverpool. He will point to circumstances conspiring against him...'

    If you took a look now at your gleeful and triumphalist blog about Rafa Benitez's six-month passage at Inter Milan, you would hopefully be able to bring yourself to see the sheer ease with which you apply double standards to your work. Rafa's passage at Inter Milan was long enough to destroy his reputation irredeemably while Roy's time at Liverpool wasn't? How did you determine this?

  • Comment number 100.

    Said he was a poor choice at Liverpool.

    He's a poor choice at West Brom too!

 

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