Liverpool FC today announced that Roy Hodgson has joined the club from Fulham as the new manager and I’m pleased at his selection. He famously rescued the London squad from the brink of relegation and took them to the Europa League finals just weeks ago. Amusingly while our former manager took the Inter Milan job, our new boy is a former Inter Milan manager.
Hodgson’s first job is to settle three of our top stars before they bolt. Rumors abound that Chelsea, Man City, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Inter Milan are all willing to pay big money for one or more of Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres and Javier Macherano and that Masch at least is interested in going. If the Reds are to get back to the top four this coming season we cannot really afford to lose even one of them. Fabio Aurelio has already been shown the door and though not a great fullback he did add needed depth to the squad, while Chelsea will be taking Yossi Benayoun after the transfer window opens.
Roy is quite a contrast from Rafa, temperamentally and tactically. Though strong in his self-belief I’ve rarely seen or read of Hodgson showing strong negative emotions publicly while Rafa has no problem letting off steam. Working with, let’s face it, a good but less talented squad, Hodgson matched his lineup and match planning to the opponent while Rafa (when players were healthy) adhered to his own rotation system and on the road at least almost always set out a 4-5-1 defense-oriented formation.
Hodgson has also been good at getting value for money in player purchases. His former club will likely turn large profits selling on Brede Hangelund, Mark Schwarzer and Bobby Zamora this summer, to give three recent exemplars.
If our three stars stay and stay healthy, as all missed big chunks of the ’09-10 season, and the net talent inflow exceeds the outflow I think the prospects are bright. Hello Roy, shows us what you can do!