Is Liverpool’s Roy Hodgson The Luckiest Man In England?
Sometimes you just luck out in life. Sometimes everything just goes right. Things you usually have to struggle to achieve just fall in your lap without you even trying. Sometimes you’re just on roll, the universe has briefly aligned itself in your favour and for a short period of time you are King of the World.
It doesn’t last of course, more is the pity and such lucky streaks are all too few and far between.
It looks as though Roy Hodgson is in the middle of just one such streak. Things could hardly have gone better for him since being installed as Liverpool manager; a good win away in the Europa League qualifier with a make-shift side, a marquee signing in Cole. He may also soon have over twenty million pounds from the sale of Mascherano to play with. He has retained Gerrard and Torres and then, just when it couldn’t get any better, the club is on the verge of being sold to new investors who could fund him handsomely and build a new 60,000 seat stadium, the income from which will allow Liverpool to compete even more effectively. That is one lucky rabbits foot you’ve got there Roy.
The cloud of gloom that has hung over Anfield since the arrival of Hicks and Gillette may at last be evaporating and the bright light of a new dawn beginning to shine through.
The worry must be, and as a man of great experience he will be all too aware of this, that he is peaking too soon. That this streak of positivity cannot continue and that some are already over-rating their chances in the league this year. He must manage expectations very carefully. If they beat Arsenal in their opening game, it’s easy to see a tidal wave of over-optimistic fans and journalists hailing them as potential champions.
And yet at this point in a season, without a ball being kicked in anger, it’s hard not to see Liverpool on the verge of a proper renaissance. Yet, we have no real idea if the new owners will in reality be any better than the Gruesome Twosome who infected the club for the last three years. They too had come in full of big words and grand promises but failed to deliver and instead created a toxic atmosphere at the club. It’s hard to think the new lot will be any worse but we really don’t know.
We also have no idea just how well the new squad will knit together. Signing Joe Cole was a great move for Roy, but he is a mercurial player so it’s also one that could look misplaced if Cole fails to turn on the magic in the first few weeks. If Torres keeps being injured for half a season it won’t help his cause either.
So there are still many hurdles to overcome before Liverpool are restored to what many see as their rightful position towards the apex of British and indeed world football and Hodgson will need a few more good streaks of luck along the way.
But as it stands, you could do a lot worse than ask Roy for his lottery numbers this weekend. With his luck, they’ll all come up.