Roy Hodgson is a good appointment for Liverpool!

Following the departure of Rafa Benitez, Liverpool are currently in the process of selecting a new manager. The most likely man at the moment seems to be Fulham’s Roy Hodgson, who is reportedly on his way back from South Africa, where he has been doing TV work, and is expected to sign a contract in the next few days. While probably not my first choice (that’s Frank Rijkaard), I believe Hodgson is an excellent candidate and I would welcome his appointment.
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Many Liverpool fans do not share that opinion. The doom mongers and nay-sayers who have an unshakeable belief that Benitez is God, Hicks and Gillett are Satan and Christian Purslow is some kind of machiavellian figure behind the scenes have all decried the potential appointment of Hodgson. Most of those fans though will not accept anybody not called Rafael Benitez
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A lot want Kenny Dalglish to become manager. I think that would be a bad move. Simply, he’s been out of the management game for too long and it would be asking a lot for him to come and be successful. Yes, Dalglish loves the club, but that’s not a good enough reason to get the job, nor was it a good enough reason to keep Benitez, if it was, I’d be a candidate for manager and nobody wants that, especially me! Dalglish is a Liverpool legend and always will be, but imagine how everyone would feel if he failed and had to leave the club. It doesn’t bear thinking about.
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The worst reason I’ve heard so far in opposition to Hodgson is he’s too old at 62. That’s nonsense. Age should not be a factor. He’s no spring chicken, that’s true but that shouldn’t prohibit him from the job. Some of the other candidates mooted are not much younger than Hodgson. One person even told me we should appoint a younger manager like Guus Hiddink. The same Guus Hiddink who is older than Hodgson!
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Hodgson has been managing since he was 28. He’s managed in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland and Italy and has been the national manager of the Swiss, Finland and the United Arab Emirates not to mention his time in the Premier League. This means he has the experience of all kinds of teams, systems and off the pitch conditions and will have worked with every kind of personality you can think of. There will not be many more experienced candidates than Hodgson and he is one of the most tactically astute managers around.
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I don’t buy into the argument that Hodgson will not be able to attract the big names. The lack of Champions League football will be a hindrance but Liverpool are a huge name and that alone will attract players. Also, Hodgson is an extremely well respected coach and he is well-liked by all his players, who then tell their international team-mates about him and so make a move to Liverpool even more attractive. Also, I don’t believe that his arrival
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What is really understated about Hodgson is his ability to unearth bargains in the transfer market. Brede Hangeland is a prime example of this arriving relatively cheaply from Copenhagen and is now one of the best defenders in the league. Liverpool don’t have the bottomless pit of money other clubs have so they have to box clever in the transfer market. Hodgson will be better at doing this than Benitez was.
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Hodgson will also work within the parameters set out for him by the owners. Benitez was constantly voicing his frustrations in the media and as a result, airing the clubs dirty linen in public, which in turn led to the slew of ridiculous stories and rumours that made the club look weak. That won’t happen under Hodgson, one of the most modest, understated managers in the game who has a good relationship with the press andd hopefully they will start to paint the club in a more positive light..
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Another reason people don’t seem to want him is a perceived lack of silverware. The titles he won in Sweden and Denmark are dismissed. Well, he’s never been at a top club where winning silverware is a realistic proposition. At Blackburn he came into a bad team, Fulham are never serious challengers for honours, yet he took them to the Europa League final. Even at Inter Milan, he never had a team of superstars; instead he had a team in disarray before he arrived. Also, what had Bill Shankly or Bob Paisley won before they became Liverpool manager? What about Joe Fagan, who won the treble? Previous success is one indicator of how a manager will get on but it should not be the only one. Look at Luiz Felipe Scolari and Juande Ramos who had won major competitions at previous jobs but flopped badly in England.
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What Hodgson can do and what will make him succeed at Liverpool is get the best out of players. Look at what he did with Fulham, making Bobby Zamora look like a good player, turning Aaron Hughes into a top defender and resurrecting Damien Duff’s career. Also remember he managed Switzerland to a world ranking of three. With Liverpool not having a ridiculous amount of money to spend this summer (before sales anyway), bringing in a lot of new players seems unlikely, so the incoming manager will have to do something with the players he has been left with. The majority of that squad are only a season removed from finishing second.
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Rafa Benitez’s method was to coach through criticism, for some players that works, but for others it doesn’t. In fact, for some of our players it had the opposite of the intended effect, sending the player completely into his shell, afraid to try anything out of the ordinary and playing in fear of making a mistake. The biggest failing of Benitez for me was that he was unwavering in his methods and it looked like some of the players had just stopped listening to his criticism and were totally demoralised.
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If Hodgson can rebuild the confidence of some players then we will be a different team. Imagine if Ryan Babel actually starts to fulfil his potential rather than looking terrified every time he steps onto a pitch. Imagine if Alberto Aquilani can show why we bought him. Imagine if each player gets to play in their correct position and can play without worrying whether or not they’ll be rotated out of the team. There is a lot of talent in the squad and I trust Hodgson can get the best out of them.
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This summer marks the start of a new chapter for Liverpool. This is a season where we must regroup after the failure of last season. In Hodgson we’ll have the perfect man to steady the ship and lay the foundations for future successes. I’m feeling very positive about his appointment and I hope all Liverpool fans do too, or at least will get behind him.