By Danny Caro
July 1, 2010
Roy Hodgson is a popular choice to replace Rafa Benitez as the manager of Liverpool.
Having led the calls for Rafa’s head in October, my first choice would have been Jose Mourinho but Real Madrid got in there first. For whatever reason, Guus Hiddink could not be tempted while it appears that Harry Redknapp has bigger fish to fry, should the England job become available.
Hodgson would have been the next name on the list for me. Having worked wonders at Fulham, some have said that he is too old for such a big job but Hodgson said that he believes that he has one “big job” still left in him. The fact that Liverpool moved so swiftly in case the FA tried to tempt him with the national post speaks volumes.
In his first interview, the pride and passion that he spoke with filled me with optimism. “This is the biggest job in club football and I'm honoured to be taking on Britain's most successful football club,” he said.
No Liverpool supporter will ever forget about the Champions League Benitez brought us in such dramatic fashion, or the Premier League runners-up spot the year before last. For that we will always be grateful. But the team and club took several steps back last season and while Manchester City continue to burn the cash for fun, I’m confident that Roy can put the Reds back on the right path sooner rather than later.
Having led Fulham to the final of the Europa League and to a respectable mid-table finish in the league, it is Hodgson's man-management skills, style of football and experience that have many Liverpool fans believing that he will bring back the glory years.
The names of Martin O’Neil and Kenny Dalglish had also been banded around, but I firmly believe that Hodgson will have the respect of the squad and if the Reds can mirror the spirit levels of the Fulham camp then the results will follow.
Obviously he needs money to improve the squad and replace the players that are not up to scratch and it would not surprise me if he went back to the hand that once fed him to take up the M6.
Bobby Zamora, Brede Hangeland and Danny Murphy have already been mentioned. Hodgson helped resurrect the career of Zamora who looked like a world-beater last season. Hangeland has become one of the most sought after defenders in the Premier League while I’m sure that Murphy, Hodgson’s captain at Fulham, would jump at the prospect of a return to Anfield.
My hope is that Hodgson gets an English feel back into the squad and unlike Rafa, does his talking on the pitch.
Hodgson respects the proud traditions of Liverpool Football Club and rest assured that he won’t be looking to hog the limelight.
May the good times roll back, may the good times roll on.