So Roy Hodgson finally got the sack. I wonder what “mutual agreement” actually means when someone is desperately clinging to their job and their boss cannot stomach any further disappointments. “Roy, I think I should sack you” “Boss, I think you are right!” “That’s mutually agreed then.”
It was no coincidence that King Kenny Dalglish was appointed caretaker manager just days before Liverpool was set to play old rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford in the FA Cup 3rd Round and ahead of their next home game, the Merseyside derby, against their other staunch rivals, Everton.
Unfortunately, what could have been a fantastic return for Dalglish for his second spell as Liverpool manager was spoilt by a dramatic penalty within the first 30 seconds of the match followed by a two-footed lunge that had Captain Fantastic Steven Gerrard sent-off after 30 minutes. But Liverpool battled on and showed more determination and commitment than they have done for quite some time. Remember, this run of bad results and poor performances didn’t start when Roy Hodgson was appointed last summer.
Kenny Dalglish made no secret of the fact that he wanted to the job of Liverpool manager at the end of last season. But the risk he is taking is that he returns to the Anfield hot seat as one of the most successful Liverpool managers of all time, and is quite rightly adorned as a Liverpool Legend as both player and manager. But the 2011 squad he has inherited is a poor one, nothing like the squad of 1985 when he took over as player/manager and won the FA Cup & League double for the first time in Liverpool’s history in his first season in charge.
Dalglish has been working behind the scenes at Liverpool since 2009, so I’m confident he has a good understanding of the problems he faces. It is pretty clear Liverpool need to have a good clearout of players that are not good enough for the Premier League. If this is done correctly with a long term plan in place then Kenny Dalglish may be the man to put Liverpool back on track. If he doesn’t succeed then like Kevin Keegan’s return to Newcastle, questions will be asked as to whether he should have returned in the first place.
The appointment today of former Chelsea, Newcastle & West Ham coach, Steve Clarke, is certainly a positive one. I was surprised when Chelsea let Steve Clarke go following the sacking of Jose Mourinho and can see Dalglish and Clarke forging a great double act. But with a third of the January Transfer Window already gone it will be interesting to see if Liverpool make any new signings or King Kenny can motivate a poor squad enough to get them to finish the season by qualifying for a place Europe next season. Surely that is the minimum requirement.
As for Roy Hodgson, there are a few vacant managerial posts currently available and no doubt some of those teams would be keen to offer Hodgson the opportunity to resurrect his career in management. However, I wouldn’t be surprised in Roy Hodgson decideds to avoid a return to management altogether and enjoys an early retirement or possibly the comfort of a studio seat rather than the dugout.