This question stems from a persistent issue surrounding Roy Hodgson, namely, his unquestionable strong bond with Alex Ferguson. As if to add insult to injury after the disastrous on and off-field debacle against Wolves, Roy was photographed in good spirit with Ferguson at the Wigan – Newcastle game. This brought the umpteenth barrage of criticism by a large section of the Liverpool community and who could blame them?
It is no secret that there is no love whatsoever between arguably the titans of English football, Liverpool and Man. Utd. The hatred is not only a side effect of the intense rivalry between England’s most decorated clubs; the spite has been amplified by Ferguson’s historic quote stating that his aim was to “knock Liverpool off their f***ing perch”. Some suggest the bad feeling towards the Reds of Liverpool was borne during the triumphant days when the football World was accustomed to Liverpool steamrolling past opponents. It has been stated that Ferguson was left reeling when one Liverpool fan approached the Scot and bravely uttered the words “You Manc bastard, come to see the champions?”
Ferguson has denied having any grudges towards Liverpool managers and has shifted the blame to Benitez when questioned about last season’s war of words between himself and the Spaniard. Evidence suggests that Ferguson feels “threatened” by a Liverpool resurgence, which only really happened during Rafa’s reign. It must have been welcome news when Ferguson’s old pal was chosen for the Liverpool’s hotseat.
Back to Hodgson and the current Liverpool boss feels that “football teams have battles with other football teams” rather than “battles with other managers”. It is incorrect to encourage personal litigation between football managers but it is also hard to stomach two rival managers “drinking wine in secret”. Put it simply, Hodgson’s enthusiastic friendly relationship with Ferguson is a particular disappointing aspect which will never, ever be accepted by (the majority of) Liverpool fans and will only serve to worsen the strenuous relationship between fans and current manager.
Taking Liverpool back to where the club historically belongs, that is the pinnacle of English and European football calls for a passionate manager who’s primary focus is to overthrow the one club that has consistently been on the up ever since Liverpool’s decline became a harsh reality in the mid 90s. I just can’t see Roy Hodgson fitting such a requirement, more so when he states that Alex Ferguson is the “greatest manager in English football”. How can he achieve such a goal when he regards the manager of Liverpool’s fiercest rivals as the best around? Hodgson is entitled to such an opinion, but voicing this out publicly is an insult to the Liverpool community so appreciative and proud of two masters of the game, Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley.
Hodgson is clearly not fit for the job. Players need to be injected with passion, that little bit of arrogance and belief that the team – as a whole – can rule above the rest. When Shankly stated that there are only two teams on Merseyside, Liverpool FC and Liverpool reserves, I am sure that his aim was to instill drive, security and focus in his squad. Liverpool players need to be recognized and told that they are the best. They need to be given support. This is not how Hodgson operates, sadly enough and that is why he cannot be relied on any further; the buck stops here.
Evidence suggests that Mr Hodgson would be fitting as Ferguson’s number 2 rather than Liverpool’s manager. Enough said.
See you next time.