I followed Roy Hodgson's journey to Anfield this summer very closely. It was difficult to watch the former Fulham manager leave and join Liverpool. Now looking back at it a few months later, from a Fulham perspective I am happy with our current managerial situation. I am very optimistic that Fulham are going in the right direction. With all that said, how is Roy doing at Liverpool? Well, I think he would have hoped for a better start to his tenure at Anfield. Here are my early thoughts on the Roy Hodgson era at Liverpool.
As I already mentioned Roy Hodgson's Liverpool club has not gotten off to a stellar start. In the league they currently sit 16th with 5 points. They have had losses to Manchester City and Manchester United. They also have had draws with Arsenal and Birmingham.
Last night, Liverpool lost in the Carling Cup to Northampton who is a League Two team. The shocking part of this defeat is that it happened at Anfield. To Roy's defense he did rest many key players. However, there is no excuse for Liverpool on any occasions losing to a League Two side.
Like I mentioned, Hodgson has not had a bright start to the season. He might already be on the hot seat so early in his time at Liverpool. This might not be a popular thought right now by Liverpool fans, but I am just putting it out there to give Hodgson a chance with Liverpool.
We are only five games into the League season with a long way to go. Rome was not built in a day. I know what Hodgson can do as a manager, so that is why I see this current situation as growing pains at Liverpool. The team he has put together needs more time to come together and play as one.
I was listening yesterday to the "Football Show" with Giorgio Chinaglia and Charlie Stillitano on Sirius radio here in the United States. The topic was "how do you fix Liverpool?". Soccer legend Giorgio Chinaglia mentioned that the first thing you need to do is change the manager. I was shocked that the subject of replacing Hodgson was brought up.
I think Hodgson needs more time to prove that he is the right man to lead Liverpool. There is one major factor that is making Roy's job very tough. The uncertainty of ownership is a problem. Tom Hicks and George Gillett are the current owners of Liverpool. They have put the club up for sale.
Hodgson needs a stable ownership situation to build his team. In the current situation in football you need to money to invest in players. Hodgson still has a solid foundation of great players at Liverpool, but he probably needs more quality to take the team back to the top.
There has also been stories out there recently that Tom Hicks is attempting to refinance ownership of Liverpool. Tom Hicks is an awful owner and I hope that new ownership can be found soon. It is vital that Hicks and Gillett are out at Liverpool as soon as possible. As long as they are still at Anfield, it makes Hodgson's job to succeed at Liverpool extremely difficult.
However, I do think Hodgson can keep Liverpool afloat until new ownership is found. He has worked well with a modest budget in the past. He has already brought in some good players this summer. To move forward to a League title in the near future, he is still going to need to upgrade his club.
I think in most sports, a manager needs time to build his team. The best example I can give is the New England Patriots. Bill Belichick's first season with the Pats, his club went 6-10. His second season his team won the Super Bowl. My point with the Belichick example, is that it took him time to get the right players in place to move forward. It didn't happen over night. It is going to take time at Liverpool.
I am hoping he is given enough time to build his team. I honestly think it is too soon to think about replacing Hodgson. I know what he can accomplish as a manager. I still believe he can get Liverpool back to where they want to be. I have already predicted that Liverpool will win the League title in two years under Hodgson. I am not backing down from the prediction.
Hodgson's start at Liverpool has been below average. However, I think he needs more time to produce the results that Liverpool and its fans crave.