Roy Hodgson's Liverpool failure - Was he a victim of circumstance or simply not good enough?

With boardroom unrest, the sale of Mascherano & Torres' plummet in form, was West Brom boss fighting a losing battle from the very beginning or was he just not up to the job?
After what had proved a tumultuous and ultimately ill-fated period at the helm as manager of Liverpool, Roy Hodgson was finally given the boot back in January, much to the relief of many supporters of the Anfield club.

With the dust having settled somewhat on his Reds tenure, can it really be concluded that the one-time Inter boss just wasn't cut out for the job or was he the chief casualty of what were uncertain times on Merseyside?

Ahead of Saturday's meeting between Hodgson's current side West Brom and his former employers, UK called on various Anfield experts to offer their overriding opinion on the 63-year-old's Liverpool legacy.

Steve McManaman

I think they should have got behind Roy Hodgson and given him more time. It was a unique season for many reasons and the owners probably panicked. Liverpool were never going to get relegated.

The squad was getting worse when he took over – and they only finished seventh last year and sold Javier Mascherano.

Roy needed to get a few wins in a row and it would have been fine – unfortunately it didn't happen quick enough for the owners."
After the ownership situation what he really needed was the whole of the January transfer window to sort the squad out and really start implementing his ideas in a secure environment.

Liverpool were not poor because of what Hodgson was doing. He may reflect that he would have done some things differently but the fact is they were not performing at all to the best of their ability.

Some of the players' attitudes were completely wrong – that was epitomized by Fernando Torres – and the dressing room would have felt guilty that Hodgson got sacked.

Of course, the players are playing well now and Kenny Dalglish is doing a very good job and deserves a long contract. Roy has also moved on so it's all forgotten and Liverpool are happy with where they are at the moment.

Football can change very quickly. Roy needed to get a few wins in a row and it would have been fine – unfortunately it didn't happen quick enough for the owners.

There was a perception around Hodgson that he found it hard when he was expected to bring success to Liverpool. It was completely different to his previous job at Fulham when all he had to do was keep them mid-table and everyone was happy.

Tony Barrett - The Times

Roy Hodgson's biggest problem when he became Liverpool manager was that he was not Kenny Dalglish."
Roy Hodgson's biggest problem when he became Liverpool manager was that he was not Kenny Dalglish.

He didn't have Dalglish's record of success, he didn't have Dalglish's stature within the game, he didn't have Dalglish's charisma and he certainly didn't have Dalglish's unequaled rapport with the Liverpool fans.

His backers pointed to the LMA gong he had won at Fulham but Liverpool have never measured themselves by individual awards, particularly ones presented by a private member club, and it soon became clear that Hodgson's standards did not measure up to those of a club he surely cannot have expected to manage at that stage of his career.

The football was sterile, the signings poor and the tactics were negative. In short, he was the wrong man for Liverpool and only those who appointed him can offer an explanation as to why they ever thought he would be the right man.

Gareth Roberts - Well Red Magazine

Roy Hodgson was appointed as Liverpool manager for all the wrong reasons. He was seen as a safe pair of hands; someone to steady the ship; someone who by the very fact that he was English would somehow cure Anfield’s ills.

Hodgson wasn't hard done by - he just couldn't cut it at Liverpool."
Many fans, myself included, had deep reservations about his appointment. What in his track record said he would be the man to give Liverpool its mojo back? It cried out as being a "he’ll do" appointment – and so it proved.

Snipers snipe of course, and now there’s a rewrite of history. It’s all the fans’ fault. But if Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City or Spurs had been looking for a manager would they have appointed Hodgson? No.

Hodgson bought the wrong players (Paul Konchesky, Christian Poulsen), played the wrong tactics (defensive, safety-first) and it was pretty clear he never had the full backing of either the fans or the players.

It quickly started to go wrong, yet it was never his fault. Ever. Some of his excuses were enough to make you laugh yet we were too busy crying at how poor the football was.

Hodgson wasn’t hard done by – he just couldn't cut it at Liverpool.

Jim Boardman -

Roy was offered the Liverpool job by a board led by non-football people, people only there because of the demands of the banks. He can’t be criticized for accepting that job, most men would in his position.

The offer came despite pleas from fans and the advice of the only football person openly consulted by that board – a man with a deep understanding of what Liverpool FC is all about.

He can't be criticized for accepting that job, most men would in his position."
Roy’s well-practiced sales pitch was enough to convince some in the media he was worthy of a crack at one of the big jobs in England. Capello wasn’t going anywhere but Liverpool had a vacancy; it seemed an obvious choice to anyone without a true connection to the club.

The board’s distance from the fans became clear when they appointed the mass media’s flavor of the month.

Supporters didn’t want to be proved right but they were, by some margin. Just 18 months after a genuine title challenge there were now genuine fears of relegation. After a change of ownership the men sent by the bank departed.

The one success from the old board, a man who understands the club, is now running it day-to-day, supported by a director who knows about football. And that man so arrogantly ignored in the summer is managing the team himself.

Football clubs must be run by people who know football and know that club. Maybe the new owners would have known that anyway – but Roy’s legacy was to prove it beyond any doubt.

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