This article is a guest post submitted to Anfield Online.
Liverpool FC have appointed Roy Hodgson as the new manager of Englands most successful football club. Roy Hodgson has been snapped up from Fulham after Liverpool had their most disappointing season in 11 years, and Fulham had their best season in their recent history culminating in a Europa League Final.
I really feel Rafa Benitez and not the owners is to blame for last season’s poor performance mainly because of the signing of Albert Aquilani and Glen Johnson, Both players may turn out to be useful additions for the club in the future, but last season Liverpool needed to buy a back up striker for Fernando Torres which they failed to do and also a left winger when 17 million would have been enough to sign Juan Mata from valencia, who Torres recommended to the Club.These failures led to the downfall of not only the club last season but led to Rafa’s depature as well.
With Roy Hodgson now offically anounced as the next manager, Liverpool are back under Englsh Management and more importantly a vastly experienced manager. Who perfomed wonders at Fulham last season and quite rightly won the LMA Manager of the Year Award. Roy’s ability to work on a shoe string budget and use his man management skills to get the best out of his players will be needed in what I believe to be a season which Liverpool need to rebuild. The problem for the club would be the new sponsorship deal with Standard Chartered kicks in from this next season, and am sure they wouldn’t want their name be associated with failure in their first season in English Football.
Roy Hodgson has proved his knowledge of the transfer market while at Fulham, which I’m sorry to say for all the money spent was one of Rafa Benitez’s main faults, I’m sure Liverpool fans would say, what about Torres, Alonso, Reina or Mascherano but apart from these players which other of Rafa’s signings have made the grade, some fans might count Skrtel, Agger, Kuyt, as other good signings but I still think they need to do a lot to be classed as the World Class players Liverpool Football Club require. The list of flops vastly outweigh the successes, these include, Morientes, Robbie Keane, Dossena, Aquilani, Babel, Riera, Krygiakos, Ngog, Lucas, and even free transfer signings like Degen and Voronin have been termed flops
Many English football fans will not be too familiar with the Croydon born manager before he came to Fulham. Roy spent most of his managerial career abroad. Roy Hodgson’s first job was in Sweden, at Halmstads FC where he won 2 Swedish titles with a very poor team, a huge surprise considering the team was fighting relegation the pervious season. In 1985, he took over Malmo FF, another Swedish side with whom he won 5 consecutive league titles. He was also the Manager of Switzerland for the 1994 World Cup.
In 1995, Hodgson was appointed Inter Milan manager, he helped turn a failing team back to league and European contenders and from here he went on to his first English Premier League job, with Blackburn. However, apart from qualifying for Europe in his first season, the next was followed with poor transfer dealings and a failed season- perhaps the lowest point of his managerial career. Defying the critics who said he could not adapt to English football management, Roy Hodgson took over Fulham in 2007 and proved them wrong; avoiding near-certain relegation in his first season there, he turned it around completely the next, finishing in 7th, Fulham’s highest ever Premier League finish, and also guaranteeing UEFA Cup qualification for the next year. And what a year that proved out to be for the Englishman. After inspiring victories over teams like Juventus and Hamburg, Fulham battled it out to their first major European Cup Final in their 130 year history, only narrowly losing to a very talented Atletico Madrid.
No one can fault Hodgson’s CV, it is one of the most interesting and decorated in the game and is proof that Hodgson has the ability to revive a team like Liverpool; he will inherit a squad with at least 4 world class players in Torres, Gerrard and Reina and Mascherano and through selling fringe players, he should definitely be able to raise enough capital to ensure the arrival of some exciting new talent. As with all managers, only time will tell, but when it comes to knowledge and experience of the game, Hodgson is rivalled by few and despite the difficulty of the task ahead of him, will strive to bring success to a club that needs it desperately more than at any other time in their long history.