The Fans View

The ‘Hodgson situation’

Over the past few weeks, I’ve read many misguided comments about Liverpool fans’ with regard to the ‘Hodgson Situation.’ Some members of the press have even gone as far as implying that the fans, some of whom have wanted Hodgson out for a few months now, are stupid and do not know what they are talking about.

Aside from the unacceptable results and performances, Hodgson’s off the pitch performances have arguably been worse than those on the field.

According to Dave Kidd of the UK based Sunday newspaper, The People, Liverpool FC fans have created the ‘Hodgson Situation’ by expecting too much and that we all ‘want success yesterday.’ In my eyes this is a massive insult to us as a group of supporters. As Dave Kidd, and plenty of other ‘experts’ know very well, we’ve had plenty of success ‘yesterday.’

Last season we finished 7th and subsequently a change of management was made. Whether the decision to dismiss Rafael Benitez was right or wrong is an issue that is still debated strongly to this day, but what we do know is a lot of the fans felt undoubtedly underwhelmed by the choice of replacement. Yet, despite Hodgson claiming otherwise, once it was officially announced everyone fell in line with ‘The Liverpool Way’ and let him make his own first impressions rather than acting on our own preconceptions without giving the new man a chance.

And to be absolutely fair, I feel Hodgson’s reign started well. Being kind, other than a couple of choice signings and some unpopular decisions regarding outgoing players, we had started positively in Europe and gave Arsenal a good game on the opening day of the Premier League season. Yet Hodgson’s suitability for the Liverpool job came under question as dire and negative performances, combined with a woeful away record, saw the reds record their worst start to a league campaign for around half a decade.

Aside from the unacceptable results and performances, Hodgson’s off the pitch performances have arguably been worse than those on the field.

His early interviews when taking up the post were encouraging. He seemed to be embracing the idea that he was privileged to be our manager. Yet his public comments became increasingly frustrating, including needlessly talking up the opposition before matches, and also our dire performances after embarrassing defeats, as well as ignoring fierce attacks on the character of one of our best players, and shortly afterwards agreeing that selling him to his attacker is not far from impossible.

In contrary to the belief from a large section of the media, we didn’t expect Hodgson to have us challenging for the league straight away. Nor did we think a return to the top four was ours for the taking. In reality, it was very much the the opposite. Upon the announcement he was to be our new manager, there was plenty of talk of him ‘steadying the ship,’ which was as much a welcome idea as the season before was an unwelcome surprise. However, what we ended up with was a manager who I feel, more often than not, set out to ‘not lose’ games and in the process has all but alienated some of our more attacking players with ancient tactics or, better yet, bluntly refused to use them in their true roles. Along this rocky path he has blamed everyone, including the fans, the players, the previous manager and even the freak weather for our misfortunes, leaving himself out of the equation.

At this point last season, Benitez’ record had certain sections of the media calling for his head. Yet the same journalists this time around, despite the situation being arguably worse, feel that Liverpool fans are being rash in their wishes. The previous manager was dismissed for finishing 7th, bearing in mind he had shown us what he was capable of in the seasons before. On the flip side, Hodgson’s record up to now has us finishing much worse off than last season, with only a mid table finish and a Europa League final appearance with his previous club to back up his recent credentials.

I know a lot of our fans, myself included, have felt abnormal wanting a Liverpool manager to be sacked so early in to the season. The feeling is something that we have never really experienced before, at the very least as a majority. You see fans of other football clubs baying for blood midway through the season after a run of unsavoury results, yet while we have had managers who had arguably ran their course and became unsuitable for our club, there has never been this level of public discontent before. Yet we are portrayed as impatient and demanding as the usual suspects seen calling for a manager’s head when things aren’t going right.

So to those journalists and experts who feel Hodgson is bearing the brunt of a new found impatience amongst Liverpool fans, bear in mind that we have experienced success ‘yesterday,’ and we know full well that it doesn’t come without intense preparation and forward thinking. And we also know, as Roy Hodgson has stated himself after periods of sustained pressure, that there isn’t a magic wand that will instantly make things happen. Preparation like this can take a long time to establish amongst a group of players. Yet we know that such inspiration doesn’t come from men who feel it is ‘naive’ to think they can beat every team they come up against. If you don’t feel you can win any given match, surely managing a club as big as Liverpool Football Club is not for you.

26 comments on
The ‘Hodgson situation’

  1. I love it when all you people think about is how Benítez “could” have made Liverpool better.

    Me? Well, I think about how Mourinho had made things better for my club.

    Keep hoping for the loser.

    Bwawahaha…

  2. Liverpool get the worst media treatment of any club in English football. Those press men that are calling us impatient are the same ones that said we stuck by Rafa too long! We’re damned as Liverpool supporters by the media. Why is it that Rafa got pilloried in the press for leaving Torres out of games, yet when Hodgson fails to play him in the europa league nothing is said at all? 6 years ago, the press said we were in crisis. Knocked out of the FA cup by Burnley in round 3. However, we were 5th in the league, through to the League cup final and knockout stages of the CL. Hardly a time to be panicing. Why was that situation considered a crisis by the media but the current one not? Why was Rafa hanged by the press for signing Robbie Keane for 20m and selling him after 4 months after a handful of games, when dear old ‘Arry Redknapp’ bought the dud back for 16m and played him even less. Has he been criticised? Why do we suddenly have this illusion that our squad is terrible and that is the reason we’re so poor. We had more players at the WC than any other PL club. Besides, several of this squad won the club 86 pts finishing 2nd in our best ever PL season. Hodgson even said in the summer that the squad does not need to be radically overhauled, that the quality is there and only a few additions need to be made. All of a suddent though he’s telling the media that the squad he inheritied is crap and they’re lapping it up.

  3. Very well said. Excellent article.

    In May 2009 we finished 2nd with a record Premier League points haul. By October, the press were happy to be screaming for the managers head, even when the fans were not.

    How dare the very same press turn around and criticise Liverpool fans. Most of us knew he didn’t have the previous experience or skills required, however we still prayed we would all be proved wrong and he would lead us forward.

    He simply hasn’t. If NESV had got rid of him in October then maybe we could have challenged for the top four. Their delay has effectively written off our season and we will not be in Europe next year because of it.

    I appreciate we may not have a title winning team, but if he thinks 25 points from 20 games is anywhere near adequate given the fact he has had little of the injuries we had last year then he is living in cloud cuckoo land.

    Total underperformance, and the tactics and motivation of the manager have cost us a shed load of points.

  4. Samuel, I cant agree more. This so called greatest british club is treating us fans like trash. We need a manager who can firstly get the team playing for him then get some decent siginings now not at end of summer. They say great players are not available in January how come city have almost signed deczo then!!!!
    If these Yanks are good for what they say then get the manager out and get their cheque books out too otherwise we are doomed, we should still qualify for europa this year as roy out

  5. just to add, have any of you failed to see how poor the club are handling the whole hodgson situation?
    tuned in lats nite after a day of this and that,, has ? or hasn’t he left, tried to wacth the press pass on the lfc ,tv club channel, and they cancelled it just like they done today,, there are making a joke of us fans and the Liverpool badge, they are pulling him from the sky interview today, and they had the programme changed? is this the sign of well run club, disgusting and roy, gutless!

  6. Interesting article Joey. Re: the “abnormal feeling” of wanting a manager out.
    These are abnormal times. The whole Hicks/Gillette fiasco has fractured every aspect of the clubs structure. Stability is NOT required (Roy’s objective). What is required is complete re-structuring and this, as in the commercial world, requires a visionary, inspirational leader. Purslow made the wrong call (he’s a deal maker, not an organisational strategist).
    The supporters know and must shout, ignoring Kidd et al.

  7. by the way,,, if any of you really think getting that girl back!!! AQUILANI.. that your off your head,,, have just watched the juve – parma, and aquilani was ripped apart and was all over the place,,, this v a very poor parma side…

    So for the last time all you aquilani fans,, you thought he was good, – good at what,? he didn’t make any effort at all to make a 50% 50% challenge, he didn’t get up for any balls in the air, he didn’t sprint once, it was at a snails pace! for me he is so poor

  8. When you wake up this morning, and even think of the club, doesnt it really bring you down?
    I pick up one the only half decent papaers at work the guardian, and then it all starts again, after the H&G SAGA! i didnt think it could get worse,, then i find out the new owners are almost backwards in coming forwards? Reina is wanting to leave unless massive investment, Torres has said the same, hence why he gave the club the summer and jan window, so far no investment? its like a nightmare, nesv ?

  9. I concur. It’s very difficult indeed being a Liverpool fan and wanting the manager sacked. It’s a new feeling and it’s comforting to know I’m not ‘alone’ in feeling this way… I stood up for Rafa till the bitter end because his situation was very complex with the previous owners, and I thought his Hillsborough donation was genuine and true. A class final act from a manager who always put a team out to win games. I wouldn’t expect anything for the fund from Mr Hodgson when he finally goes.

    • Look you must be really joking about Benitez playing for winning!!!!! First being Liveroppo you don’t play for draws…. clearly, os maybe you intend to say an attacking football? THen I should laugh loud, in Italy, the home of defending football the regarded Liverpool as the worse behaving team, very good at destroying tempo and spirit, that started with Houllier and got worse with Benitez, I was so shameful as it was clearly true….. the only attacking came ffrom Gerrard spirit (wich never existed in England shirt), the fact is Gerrard feels so comfortable as king in Liverpool that allows himself to give his best, making him an exceptional player.
      But come on, LFC when downturn for the last 3 years… while Gerrard was aginng and defending opponents Knew better how to deal with a two players team.
      I now wait to see who will come after Dalglish… hoping will be an englishman. And about Roy he did not win because until Liverpool never had a team with status… actually he didn’t have that here too. there are few posts in clubs to win…. not all available, I guess Bruce of Sunderland would win the Premiere with the right club, probably the same for Holloway.

    • Look you must be really joking about Benitez playing for winning!!!!! First being Liveroppo you don’t play for draws…. clearly, os maybe you intend to say an attacking football? THen I should laugh loud, in Italy, the home of defending football the regarded Liverpool as the worse behaving team, very good at destroying tempo and spirit, that started with Houllier and got worse with Benitez, I was so shameful as it was clearly true….. the only attacking came ffrom Gerrard spirit (wich never existed in England shirt), the fact is Gerrard feels so comfortable as king in Liverpool that allows himself to give his best, making him an exceptional player.
      But come on, LFC when downturn for the last 3 years… while Gerrard was aginng and defending opponents Knew better how to deal with a two players team.
      I now wait to see who will come after Dalglish… hoping will be an englishman. And about Roy he did not win because until Liverpool never had a team with status… actually he didn’t have that here too. there are few posts in clubs to win…. not all available, I guess Bruce of Sunderland would win the Premiere with the right club, probably the same for Holloway.

  10. Excellent piece, good work.
    I was fully behind Roy when he was appointed and I know a lot of fellow Reds were as well. I can’t help feeling that he has really let us down. It was never going to be an easy job and I could have tolerated some poor results, especially as he’s had limited time to buy new players but it’s not just about the results. Regardless of what the likes of Joe Cole might say to the press, it’s clear that Roy has lost them and most fans.

    • If you was asyou say, fully behind Woy, than it just shows how much you know about football. The huge majority did NOT want him, from the start, knowing full well of his DISMAL 35 years of management of winning NO major trophy’s, 35 years!!!. The man is at best third rate and, how he managed to get the job at LFC only Purslow, Gerrard and Carra know!!!!!.

  11. Hick and Gillet really did screw up. I for one do not believe Roy has the true instinct to lead a top four club but did Rafa? I do not want a debate – simply a statement. Take a breath and remind yourself – on a upcoming game and you saw the team line up and thought WTF!!! We havent had the cash to buy top players…we do have have top players but they’re either not motivated or getting (i hate to say it) a bit old and the other core players…I have said it before and will again…REBUILD YEAR

    • You can’t criticise ‘supposed’ supporters and then say you do not want a debate.
      My question would be this. If this REBUILD YEAR includes Roy taking us down to the Championship, will you be happy then?
      He has lost the fans and, I suspect, many players. Roy is simply not up to the job. We got rid of H&G now before we can rebuild, we need to get rid of their parting gift, Roy Hodgson.

  12. Hodgson has a lot to answer for but more so do the players. Where is their passion. The rot has now set in the club as the rats (players) will abandon a sicking shipand go to the highest bidder (apart from Carra}. No loyalty!!!! As for Rafa, sorry but a lot of respect to him’ but the down turn was at the end of his reign and without funds for signings he would not have turned it around.

    • The player has lost faith in him. If they play well and won, they will have to see him around longer. So there, they are not turning up because they chose not to turn up.

  13. I completely agree with this. Very well written and very well said, especially with regards to the media’s views of Hodgson.

    But the truth is, he’s come into the job with a very pessimistic view of what can be achieved. Sure, last season was poor, but that was one season. No doubt with the right signings Rafa could have put it right. I’m not saying he should have kept his job, but simply that the “sinking ship” was not so far under as was made out.

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