Hodgson done at Liverpool, Dalglish in

8 Jan

Roy Hodgson’s tenure at Liverpool is officially over.  Hodgson’s six-month reign ends with Liverpool in 12th place and only four points clear of the relegation zone, not exactly a stellar record.  The Reds have only managed one away win this season and taken only five points from 10 away matches.

Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish will take over the team until the end of the season.  Dalglish was a fan favorite as both player and manager and led the squad to three league titles.

Hodgson was never a good fit at Liverpool. He was put in charge as a safe choice by owners that everyone and their mother hated. He’s not a bad manager, but his unwillingness to change his style and alienation of loyal fan base showed he was not a good match for Liverpool.  Hodgson’s squad played inconsistent football and without much passion.  It was clear that the players never really felt a strong bond with Hodgson.  The highlight of his short tenure was a 2-0 win over Chelsea, but even that isn’t as impressive as it seemed at the time given that Chelsea has only won twice since then.

Under Hodgson, the Reds have relied more on the long ball than short passes up the field.  This is not the kind of football that sees players like Fernando Torres succeed.  The defense has also been surprisingly shoddy.  Of course, Liverpool misses Jamie Carragher, but that’s no excuse for the poor defensive performances.  Paul Konchesky, who Hodgson brought over from his former club Fulham, has been a disaster and despite his clear shortcomings, continued to see extensive playing time.  Raul Meireles and Joe Cole have been okay at best, but Christian Poulsen, along with Konchesky, is a joke.

As the interim manager, Dalglish has his work cut out for him.  He inherits a team and fan base low on confidence.  There is a lot of work to do to get the team back in contention for a spot in Europe, although the team is only five points out of that seventh spot.   The team’s first game under Dalglish comes against Manchester United in the FA Cup tomorrow.  Dalglish also is tasked with keeping players like Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard invested in the club.  If Liverpool continues to falter, it is not out of the question to see both players hand in transfer requests. On the other hand, it would be helpful to the club to be less reliant on that duo.  It would also be beneficial to look to strengthen the squad this January, but we will have to wait and see if the funds are made available.

While I would love to see Liverpool get back on the winning track and make a charge up the table, I’m keeping my expectations tempered.  What’s important to me is for the players to start playing with some passion.  Even if they lose, I want to be able to say that they played hard.

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2 Responses to “Hodgson done at Liverpool, Dalglish in”

  1. mintox January 8, 2011 at 10:04 pm #

    I’m not convinced that sacking him at this point of the season is a great idea but it’s too late to complain now, I need to look at the positives.

    One thing that has come out of Hodgson being at Liverpool is that it’s taught me a lot about the differences between the Continental game and the modern English game.

    In the past the English game has been to hoof it long to a tall striker or kick it over the top to a fast striker / winger. The modern English game seems to be a more modern version of that, teams sitting deep, defending and playing long balls out of the back to strikers who have to hold it up until help arrives. My problem with this has been that it requires players who work hard rather than players who have skill because they often have to hold off 2 or 3 hard tackling defenders and this certainly does not suit the type of players Liverpool has.

    Just as you wouldn’t drive a Porsche off road, you shouldn’t make quality players resort to sitting back and working hard to get the ball it’s not what they’re trained to do. Hodgson resorted to this far too much and it has blunted our effectiveness. Reina has no options out of the back so ends up hoofing any ball he gets, long down the field. Torres used to be more effective because we pressed higher up the field so he reeive the ball around the box more often. Now he’s receiving the ball at the half way and having to hold off physical defenders.

    I can only hope that Daglish goes back to us playing posession football and that he can finish off his unfinished business from 21 years ago!

    • zizouandbecks January 8, 2011 at 11:06 pm #

      I think that the owners actually let Hodgson stay a lot longer than some other owners probably would. (Or maybe I’m just used to the rapid turnover in American football – both pro and college.)

      I hope Dalglish gets Liverpool playing more aggressive football, which would be more suited to the players they have.

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