I have written before on the subject of Roy Hodgson. I have written about the reasons I would miss him after he left Fulham. When he was fired by Liverpool, I wrote about how he was unfairly treated. More recently I wrote about why he should be the next England manager.
And now I’m going to write about him again. It’s possible I will cover old ground (a pitfall of obsession) but yesterday’s victory for West Brom against Liverpool is worthy of recognition. With the latest twist in the title battle dominating yesterday’s headlines, that Hodgson stood in the gaze of the Kop for the first time since Liverpool fans called for Kenny Dalglish to replace him and that upon his return he led the Baggies to victory, and the gloom at Anfield grew darker, feels overlooked.
Hodgson’s record in his six months at Anfield was poor, there’s no getting away from that. In his 34 games in charge, he won 13, drew 9 and lost 12. That’s a win percentage of 38.2 per cent. In the league, Hodgson took charge of 20 games – he won seven, drew four and lost nine – a win percentage of 35 per cent. ‘This is Liverpool’ we were told, ‘a club with a right to sit at the top table’ it was inferred – ‘this isn’t good enough’ the Anfield hierarchy declared, and with that he was sacked.
Dalglish came in and since taking over this is how he has fared: In the 76 games he has been in charge of since returning, he has won 34, drawn 17 and lost 22. That’s a win percentage of 44.7 per cent. In the league he’s played 52, won 22, drawn 13 and lost 17 – that’s a win percentage of 42 per cent.
Dalglish’s record is better, but not by much. It should be remembered that during Hodgson’s tenure of the Reds, he operated at first under the ownership of Tom Hicks and George Gillett and all that came with that – the court battles, the uncertainty, the lack of cash, the offending of supporters etc. Dalglish in comparison has been granted the freedom of the Kop by Liverpool’s new owners Fenway Sports Group. They have handed him bucket loads of cash – £35m for Andy Carroll, £23m for Luis Suarez, £20m for Jordan Henderson and £20m for Stewart Downing. The new ownership has also brought purpose and stability to Anfield. Yet for all that, the win percentage has increased by just a few points. As Liverpool descend into mid-table mediocrity, each re-analysis of Hodgson’s Liverpool record leaves one forming less negative conclusions of his reign.
After steering West Brom away for the precarious precipice of relegation he found them in