No matter how hard we try – Hodgson is not wanted at Anfield

The appointment of Roy Hodgson as Liverpool’s new manager, after weeks of leaks from those senior sources that it’s about to happen, will come as a massive disappointment to a large number of the club’s supporters.

It was 50 years ago last December that Bill Shankly arrived at the club to begin what became a golden age for the club, and although not every manager since then has left the post with as much respect as they had when they started, every single one of them has been supported from day one.

Shanks was succeeded by Paisley, who made way for Joe Fagan, who handed the keys to the bootroom onto Kenny Dalglish. All of those men ended their time in charge with even more respect from supporters than they had when they arrived.

But even when that tradition of promoting from within came to an end, the supporters always greeted the next manager with respect and support. Whatever feelings fans had about them when they ended their time at the helm, Souness, Evans, Houllier and Benítez all started out with the backing of the Reds’ passionate support.

That support is vital for any new manager. But that is just not going to happen with Roy Hodgson.

This isn’t a threat and it isn’t a call to fans to join together in not supporting the new manager. We all make our own choices on that one, and we all need to respect each other’s choices. As fans we have to stop fighting – it’s fine to disagree with each other, but not right to fall out about it. As we’re fighting they’re pillaging.

This is just a prediction. It’s not a guess, it’s a prediction based on general observation over the weeks of leaks and in particular views aired in the last 24 hours.

Some fans have made it clear he won’t have their support. Maybe they’ll calm down in a few days but only a naive out-of-touch banker with years of leveraged buyout experience and none at all in football would take that for granted. And calming down doesn’t guarantee they’ll give their support, it just means they may scale down their opposition.

Then there are the fans who have made it clear that ending the reign of the current regime and their management team will come before any support for a manager who proves just how much the club has let its standards slip in the three years since Tom Hicks invented “Man Ham” and George Gillett first lied to Liverpool supporters. Where did “Snoogy Doogy” go? Is it true he was sent to buy shovels and never came back?

Another large group of fans are those who have said that even though they didn’t want him, they feel it’s their duty to get behind him, or that they’ve no alternative, or that even though they aren’t keen on the idea they are willing to give him a chance. In other words, their support is forced, based on guilt or a sense of duty. That kind of support usually starts to falter at the first conceded goal, let alone the first dropped points. By the time games are being lost the support has all but evaporated and the patience has run out. And of course that leads to more pressure, more dropped points, more despair.

The only genuine, unconditional, unforced support for the new boss seems to come from those most active in calling for the head of the last manager. The same people who wanted that manager sacked for only coming second in 2009 and used that as a starting point for judging him the following season know deep down that their pressure has brought this new manager onto the club. So deep down they told themselves he’d be a great replacement, told themselves to ignore his lack of major trophies and to ignore the fact he was sacked by Blackburn after taking them to the bottom of the Premier League. They wanted the last manager gone, and they really didn’t care about what might happen next. They never cried out for a better manager, they weren’t thinking that far ahead – they just wanted shut of the one they didn’t like.

Obviously there are a lot of generalisations in those observations but they are genuine observations. Some of those who wanted the last manager out are even more devastated at the ultimate replacement than many of those who wanted the last manager to stay! But whether it’s mild disappointment or seething anger at the appointment there’s no getting away from the fact that it was a decision made against the wishes of the vast majority of the supporters. A recent Times poll gave Hodgson less than 7% of the votes for who the next boss should be, and that seems to be very indicative of opinion.

How people feel now and how they’ll feel in a few months is obviously subject to change. But unless results are positive and performances exciting from day one there’s a risk that fans will move rapidly towards vociferous opposition to the manager.

There will always be days when it doesn’t go to plan despite the best efforts of all, days where players fail to follow simple instructions or had a crisis of confidence. All the planning in the world can’t overcome bad luck and every manager makes signings he wishes he hadn’t. If the fans respect a manager from the start, if they see that whatever the outcome that at least the required effort was put in, there’ll be some leeway, some allowances. The hype from the Sky Sports pre-game scriptwriters will be ignored.

But to get that respect the manager has to be wanted in the first place and the majority of the supporters have to be more than just “willing to give him a try”, or feeling as if they’ve been forced into showing their support; they have to be full of hope that this is the man with the experience to make it good again.

That hasn’t happened on this occasion, instead of hope there’s a sense of hopelessness, from countless supporters. Those supporters are trying to come to terms with the contempt the board has shown them.

People are asking why Benítez was sacked if the replacement the club had lined up was Roy Hodgson. People are asking why Hodgson is here when Kenny Dalglish felt he would be far better at the job than Hodgson.

People are asking why the club was willing to spend close to £9m on swapping Benítez for Hodgson. One comment seen yesterday compared swapping Benítez for Hodgson to swapping Torres for Heskey.

Although the vast majority of Liverpool fans don’t see Hodgson as their first choice there is an even more worrying twist. The worry is that the feeling is mutual, that Hodgson doesn’t see the Liverpool job as his first choice either. It’s the England job he really wants and he’s been on the record before to say as much, “I regard the job as the pinnacle of English football.”

The impression he wants the England job more than the Liverpool job is not just based on the old quotes, or even the signs that maybe he was waiting until the FA made an announcement on Fabio Capello’s future. Perhaps more will be revealed if the club actually schedule a press conference to unveil him,  but so far the hierarchy have decided not to answer the questions put to them about the issue.

How popular Hodgson will be should those fears be realised doesn’t need much thought. Some fans won’t mind, but we all remember how Michael Owen was criticised heavily whenever it was implied he was putting his country before his club. To find out the next manager of this club was the same would rapidly and heavily cut down the numbers of fans willing to give Hodgson a try.

Some Liverpool fans do follow England but it’s very much second – or much lower – in their hearts compared to LFC. Liverpool fans hear “St George” and don’t think of the flags now discarded by the roadside in their thousands. Liverpool fans think of the place where Bill Shankly stood all those years ago to speak to his people. In fact St George’s plateau is the place where thousands of Liverpool fans will gather this Sunday for Liverpool Football Club’s very own Independence Day.

We want our club back. The owners have had long enough to sort out their mess and their damaging personal differences. They drafted Christian Purslow in last year but somehow he found a way of making the mess even worse. And now we’ve got Martin Broughton in place he seems content to leave Purslow to carry on as before, devaluing the club by the day.

Standard Chartered must be horrified at what they’re about to be associated with. They officially become the club’s main sponsor on Thursday, arriving at the time that discontent amongst supporters will be at its highest since the club was taken over. Alternative Liverpool shirts with a variation on the Standard Chartered name are already out. “Standards Corrupted” is the message. The logo looks remarkably like the Standard Chartered logo, but on closer inspection it turns out to be a pair of snakes.

The club claim record sales for the new home shirt – but Standard Chartered will soon find that the alternative version of the shirt is popping up time and time again. Many of the places they thought they would see their name displayed will instead display the alternative version, a dig at the owners but a dig by association at the sponsors. They didn’t pay all that money – whatever the amount might actually be when performance is taken into account – for negative publicity. But that’s what they’ll get, as protest after protest takes place during matches – not just at half time or afterwards.

Claims this week from two separate Liverpool FC supporters’ forums that Christian Purslow had used lawyers to threaten them with some rather strong action should they not remove certain information suggests that the man now running the club is no longer interested in engaging the fans.

Those sites are run by people who would have responded just as quickly to a quiet word; in fact one of them had removed the information in any case, before the legal threats were received. The information is easily accessible to anyone with access to Google and ten minutes to spare, there’s no need to pay extra to get it either, it’s all available on free sites.

But that development and the release of the alternative shirts comes hot on the heels of the embarrassment FIFA officials and South African authorities caused themselves for their heavy-handed approach to some “ambush marketing”. Would anyone put it past the club to eject supporters wearing the new shirt?

The board were well aware of the opposition to Roy Hodgson yet persisted in their chase for him.

The owners have left the running of the club to Christian Purslow. Leaving someone in charge who refuses, point blank, to even listen to any advice (let alone take it) will always lead to problems.

Liverpool fans want that next league title and some trophies. That is why some fans were calling for the last manager’s head so early last season. That he eventually only finished seventh isn’t why they wanted him gone. They wanted the league, thought they could have it after he’d finished second, then saw it go wrong.

But blaming Benítez for the club falling short of its main target is blaming the wrong person. If it’s not, can we expect the league this season? Will we also win one of the other trophies? Nobody seriously expects that to happen, yet that was one of the main reasons Benítez was under pressure for the whole of that last season. If it was mainly the fault of Benítez last season, surely the same would apply to Hodgson?

Like it should have been last year, the finger of blame should be pointed first and foremost at the owners and also, very importantly, at the managing director. Purslow is paid very handsomely to run this club but the only football experience he had before was as Chairman of the youth section of his local amateur side Corinthian Casuals. That’s the youth section, not the whole club. As far as I know Corinthian Casuals of Surrey have nothing to do with the Corinthians side Tom Hicks was involved with some years before arriving at Anfield.

To win the league again and to keep being in contention for it this club needs to be run far better than it is now. That means it should be owned by an entity that has the means to see their investment through, obviously, but those owners also need to recognise the difference between say running a French property company or a chain of gyms and running one of the biggest and most popular football clubs in the world with almost 120 years of history and heritage behind it. Those owners need to see that football might be a business these days, but that it’s still unlike any other business and so will not work well when run by, for example, a power-hungry and egotistical banker.

It doesn’t matter who the current regime install as manager, although the appointment of Hodgson suggests they’ll settle for mediocrity. What matters is that we fight for a new regime so that we can get a manager who is capable, and empowered, to start winning things for this club of ours.

With all due respect that manager isn’t Roy Hodgson, and although we will wish him luck it will be impossible to look at him standing on the Anfield touchline without thinking about what his appointment really represents.

71 thoughts on “No matter how hard we try – Hodgson is not wanted at Anfield”

  1. Great article…but please you (and I hate to say this) and lot of other Liverpool supporters are starting to show them selves to be no better then Man Utd / Arsenal etc supporters.

    i.e. those who deem winning as the only goal of any team.

    It is not. What this great club used to stand for was Honor, Dignity, Honesty, Respect and having the most knowledge supporters in the world.

    Now we are sounding like any other club and supporters. Do we want this?? I don’t.

    Should Rafa have been sacked….Yes
    Should the owners leave …. Yes
    Should Purslow also leave…. prob Yes


    Because off the field, they have dragged this once great establishment and beacon of dignity down in to the gutter with the rest of the pound tinted glass wearing supporters (and clubs) who don’t really love their club or football.

    During the 90’s and 00’s when we weren’t winning stuff, we could still hold our head high as the best club and best supporters (especially in passion and knowledge and honesty towards our own club)

    Lets get back to being the best and support our manager and players, We should be working on getting the owners and their goons out so we can once again be proud to say we love the reds.

    As much as we love Kenny, he was not the man for the job. But I believe between him and Hodgeson the first step will be taken in relation to lightin up this cklub for what it really stands for.

    So I say lets all join in a chorus of You’ll Never Walk Alone but mean it and let the footballing world hear it.

    Liverpool FC are back.

  2. There are many things I am reading here that i cannot believe. But this sabotaging of the Standard Chartered sponshorship makes me feel physically sick. Are we trying to force them and their 20 million a year out of our club?? WTF???

    One thing is clear – we are lucky to have and do not deserve a manager of Hodgson’s ability or integrity!

  3. From a neutral perspective, LFC have lost their sense of identity on the pitch, that relationship between the players and the fans. This comes from bringing local lads thru the youth teams to eventually finding their feet in the first team. They might not be the best player in the world but when push comes to shove they always put their body on the line for the club that they support. In recent times this identity has been lost because of the influence of Houllier and Benitez who preferred to bring in players from abroad. It’s happened at Arsenal, its happening at Chavski. You have to get the balance right and I’m afraid the succession of foreign managers at Liverpool has failed. You can point to the 2 CL finals if you wish but it just covers up the cracks. The fact that Benitez bought and sold so many players in his time can’t be good for the stability of the team. The owners may have laden the club with unwanted debt but they can’t be blamed for the last 10 years of football mis-management.


    The article is a load of CR*P and utter biased, and does not represent TRUE Liverpool fans who will get behined this manager who knows his stuff!!

    HE WILL PLAY PLAYERS IN THEIR CORRECT POSISTIONS WHICH IS A F*CKING BRILLIANT START!!!!! AS Rafa ALWAYS played people in god awful posistions for no NEED, and ALSO Rafa had MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS to spend and just got in UTTER RUBBISH with the exception of 3players!!!!!!! RAFA was to blame not the board!! RAFA had everything he wanted, and cuz he still couldnt do ANYTHING productive he had an easy target to blame the board! WHAT A KOP OUT!

    Roy is an English manger with good credentials, who will make good buys, and play players in their best posistions, he will keep Torres and Gerro, and sell off the crap to get in decent players that will help Liverpool challenge for the Prem League, FA CUP, Coacola Cup and all other competitions!!!!



  5. couple of points for you jim. The senior players in the team where asked who they wanted as there manager. The first thing they said was could he be
    english. The reason for this is they have never had one. Are they happy
    with hodgson, yes they are. People like yourself should just get over
    benetiz. you say he only had one bad season but what a bad one it was,
    If he had stayed i would hate to think which players would of still been
    there and which players he would of bought with the money generated.
    The signings and sales of players are what got benitez the sack. you are
    also forgetting that we dropped 5 points to fulham last year, battered
    away and couldnt score at home. i went to both games and they where very
    organised and let us not forget how much money roy has spent to rafa.

  6. Rafa had his chance and blew it. Did he achieve with the squad he had available? No he did not. One runners-up spot in 6 years is not good enough however you want to dress it up as not having enough money the bottom line was we underperformed.

    If we are to talk about the season we finished second – it was a season the other big 4 were at their weakest and in truth much of our football that season was diabolical. Remember all those last minute wins? That was not because we’d been unlucky for 89 minutes was it…

    I’ll be supporting the Club next season not peddling negative stories to undermine our chances of success. I will certainly not be supporting Inter Milan and I most definately will not take any pleasure in the odd negative thought I do hold coming true.

  7. What an utterly poor article, born out of frustration after losing his false prohpet Rafael Benitez. A manager who long since lost the plot, a manager who never understsood importance of continuity and playing your best side, a manager who was convinced players who’d struggle to fit in to any other PL team were fit to bring no.19 to Anfield, manager who instead of buying proper back-up to an injury prone Torres chose to spend 40 million on a right back and an unproven and injuryprone Italian who once fit for some reason was left rotting on the bench. So losing this great manager is the reason you don’t support the new manager. Mature indeed. It’s self-righteous people like you who upset feeling among fans not us more realistic and knowledgeable fans who doesn’t believe Lucas is good enough to play for Liverpool.

    I think it’s time to realise where this club is, I think it’s time to realise the utmost important task right now is to find an identity around which the manager, the players and the fans can gather. To that end I can see no better purpose than Roy Hodgson. I don’t care if we finish 8th this season, to me it’s much more important to be able to once again say: “That is the Liverpool way”. Nothing neither Houllier nor Benitez ever came close of accomplishing.

    Congrats to the Board for making 2 very very good decisions the last 6 weeks

  8. Lots of good and bad comments to this post since I last looked, but only had time to skim through them. I just wanted to pick up on one of them, the latest one I read, from ‘fred’.

    This bit is as far as I got (I’ll read the rest later) “The senior players in the team where asked who they wanted as there manager. The first thing they said was could he be english.”

    Who made that up? Senior players? So let’s work that one out. Senior players off the top of my (bald) head: Pepe, Carra, Masch, Gerrard, Kuyt, Torres.

    All six were on international duty when Rafa was sacked, and all but two of them still are now.

    So Spaniard’s Pepe and Torres and the Dutchman Kuyt were contacted at their international camps and asked their opinion on who the next manager should be. Fair enough, they’ve got mobiles. And the first thing they all said was “Could he be English”.

    Do you really think that happened? Sit down for a minute, put the anti-Rafa glasses back on the table and read back wherever it was you got that from. Then tell whoever it was to find something else to bullshit about.

    That’s those three deal with – and do you include Mascherano as one of the senior players? The Argentine captain who wants to leave the club for what he says are family reasons? To be specific, that his wife feels homesick, doesn’t speak English and can’t adapt to the English culture. And he answered the phone after a training session with Maradona and asked for an English manager?

    Where do people come up with these things? Do they make them up for a bet, to see how many gullibles will fall for them?

    That leaves us with Gerrard and Carra. One of whom is thinking of leaving, the other who came out of international retirement for the chance to work with Fabio Capello.

    Seriously, where did you read that?

    Chances are you’ve formed a lot more of your opinions on the same sort of lies and that means you’re in danger of believing anything Christie P puts out through his propaganda machine.

    And in case you fell for that other rumour – Alex Curran doesn’t even have a sister.

  9. And can I just point out that Rafa has indeed left the club, and that the same kind of superficial opinions and lack of any real thought being used on Hodgson as were used on Rafa will do nothing but damage to this club.

  10. Ok……Roy Hodgson is the manager……..Now let’s all pull together and support him. What we like or don’t like doesn’t come into it now.


  11. Who did you want to manage the club then Jim?

    Let’s give him a chance eh? I’ll be very surprised to see anti-Hodgson flags at our first game of the season.

    He’ll bring a breath of fresh air to a disillusioned squad. Could be seen as exciting by some!

    Rafa had a chance and never took it. He inherited a squad from Houllier and won the Champions League with it. He bought medicore players and couldn’t get them to play when it mattered. One FA Cup isn’t all the boards fault.

    A manager proves his worth by eeking out ability when it matters. Rafa couldn’t do that. Always playing players out of position, completely stubborn and hardly ever looked at buying proven Premiership players. Always went abroad.

    I’m glad we’re shot of him and his awful petulant post match interviews. Bring on some new tactics from an English manager!

  12. We all judge managers by their past record and for Roy, his job at hand is to return us to the top 4. However, has he done this with any club in the past?..hell no!! Question is how do you expect him to do it?
    Liverpool is a club too big for Roy Hodgson.

  13. yes, as a liverpool fan we will/must support Hodgson as he is the manager at this moment which is official and we, as fans, could not change.

    However, it does not mean we could not discuss his profile. Roy does have international experience, maybe too much, but with less trophies/ less important trophies.

    Many people claim that he is English and can manage better than the foreigners and can bring the tradition back. It makes me only laugh. Roy’s abroad coaching years are much longer than his in UK, how much do we expect him to know the tradition of Anfield ?

    to those who argue that Rafa could only reach one runner-up, spend 40m for useless players, bring too many foreign players but not english… these are really ridiculous. If England players are better than the rest of world, why the national team left SA so earlier ? with Rafa LFC has got more trophies than anyone after the King since 1990s….please make sure that you have not got drunk before coming here to give a comment.

  14. Probably the worst article I have ever read relating to Liverpool Football Club.

  15. I think some fans need to have a bit more humility and be honoursed that Roy decided to come to LFC and not have the attitude that he should he honoured that we offered him the job.

    There are a lot of people who will quote Shankly and Paisley as great managers who we should use as a bench mark, but they would be turning in their graves at the complete pompus attitude some fans seem to have with regards to Roy.

  16. I’m re-posting this from Colin Bennett for those of you who have lost perspective through this thread. This is the best comment I’ve seen and food for thought for the rest of us.

    Colin Bennett // Jun 30, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    As a Fulham fan I find this article completely shocking. Roy is a gentleman, a fantastic tactician and in general a great footballing man, the last time I checked those were the ideals of LFC. You boys and girls really don’t know what an amazing man you’ve now got at the helm considering the amount of dung you find yourself in, Roy (who took us over in dire circumstances too) took us from the depths of despair to heights we never dreamed possible on a meagre budget. Give Roy a chance, get fully behind him and you will see what an amazing manager he is.

  17. This article is pathetic.
    Hodgeson is great at getting blood out of a stone. Despite comments to the contrary, we have a team full of great players (check out the world cup performers…), and (if nobody leaves) we don’t need to buy anyone new.
    All that is needed is for them to perform together – a concept that was sadly lacking in the Benitez era.
    As for the author. You must be a Man U fan. How can anyone trash a coach before he is given a chance. To assume he will do badly until facts state otherwise is a really sad mentality. You, sir, are the pathetic choice. Take your support and comments to another club.

  18. Ah well,if its true that the king has left does that mean that i am still going to be asked to get behind the team and manager? The same team that will have left by january? or the new cheaper version? (liverpoolite,kinda catchy) But better than rafas liverpool with all that zonal marking(i can name at least one other manager who likes that style)
    Did you ever stop to think about just who it was that tried to hold it all together or were you too busy sniping at each other or at other groups that tried to get the fans actually do something?(at least one of you is workin for the man).
    I guess you will just carry on as you are eh,while the rest of us at least try,and as for sundays meeting..i can hear the laughter coming over the pond already
    Forget laurel and hardy.they dont own liverpool anymore,time to get at those who do.

  19. NO JUAN I wont be doing that. What you obviously don’t see is that Jim has a undeclared personal grudge against Christian Purslow and stuborn loyalty to one of the most stubborn men ever to be employed by the club and this is clouding all his other views. There are much better times ahead for the club now that Rafa has moved on. I do forgive people that can’t see the problems that Rafa caused, because he was very clever in the way he manipulated certain fans, in fact, he is still doing it and he’s not even here anymore. This is a fresh start & the likes of Jim need to either get behind the club or move accross stanley park if they are that unhappy. There is no reason why, if we thought we were going to win the league last year, that we cannot give it a good run this year. 100% focused on that one competition, with a manager who understands British football, and doesn’t have to have his euro ego messaged for him. NOW having said that if I see Roys agent linking him with every job going within weeks of him signing a new contract, and moaning & moaning about not having enough money after squandering millions on players that he won’t even talk to or man manage, then, Tes I just might be calling for his head. Other than that let’ s just give him a chance

  20. I’m about to close comments on this post because it represents views from before Roy was appointed. He’s our manager now and his CV doesn’t need to be looked at by us any more, what’s happened in the past can stay in the past. He gets judged on what he’s done for us from this point on.

    As for Joe – you always make me laugh, not sure you intend to but it usually does make me chuckle. Now Rafa’s gone, are you going to be able to judge what people say without always referring back to Rafa and assuming anything negative that’s happened to the club was down to Rafa? He’s gone, taking some of the problems with him. Others remain, new ones will arise, you can’t go on blaming Rafa for ever. Hey but thanks for your forgiveness, I feel much better now!

    As you’ve seen elsewhere, Roy has been welcomed to the job and to the club by this site, from now on he’ll be judged on what he does here.

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