We’re 10 games into the Roy Hodgeson era and the calls for his head seem to be subsiding a bit after the Chelsea and West Ham wins. Paul Tomkins suggests that with the NESV takeover three possible scenarios exist:
1. Use the ownership change as a chance to clear house, but only if a serious long term successor is appointed. Someone like Frank Rijkard or Guus Hiddink, not a return of Kenny Dalgleish
2. Fire Roy but only appoint a short-term successor, such as Dalgleish, and wait for the Summer to put in a name boss.
3. Leave Roy with the understanding that he at least either qualifies for Europe or wins the FA Cup. Without a result he leaves.
For me only the first of these is reasonable and the time for a housecleaning’s about over. Any new man would need to have, say, the December run of games in charge to make decent appraisal of the changes needed in the January transfer window.
With the recent good form I don’t see John Henry pulling the trigger. Small chance if that changes at Tottenham and the game or two after.
Given that Hodgson will at least see out the season what can we do?
First, stop the lone striker 4-5-1 or the tré fashionable 4-2-3-1; Fernando Torres is much better with a second striker or even Gerrard just off him. David N’Gog is beginning to show promise but Ryan Babel sadly has had enough time and needs replacing.
If we do bring in a forward I’d prefer to see a player with power rather than speed or slick. Drogba or Bent rather than Berbatov or Anelka, for comparison.
Many of the transfer rumors I’ve read focus on midfielders. Frankly I don’t understand them, especially once Gerrard and Joe Cole return we’ll have decent depth. Don’t forget Babel was originally purchased to play up front and even if we sell him and Jovanetic both the emergence of Jay Spearing and the return of Fabio Aurellio are sufficient.
What we need is the player Andrey Voronin and Craig Bellamy were supposed to be. Physical and able to hold off defenders in ways that make space for Torres, Gerrard, Kuyt and others.