The margin of error is shrinking. In years gone by, managers would have more time to adapt and to get results. Nowadays managers are on a short leash. And someone like Roy Hodgson, even after nine points from nine games, is hanging by a thread.
Sure, Liverpool finds itself stuck near the bottom of the table, but I’ve been disappointed with what seems like a witch hunt by some Liverpool pundits to get Hodgson sacked. While Hodgson’s track record hasn’t been as golden as Rafa Benitez, I find it incredulous that so many Liverpool fans harken back to the days of Rafa when all he brought the club was negativity, massive debts from transfer flops, a squad that was beginning to rot from inside and yes, a Champions League trophy.
When Hodgson took over at Anfield, he was faced with the difficult task of keeping spirits high during the club’s perilous financial situation, as well as trying to breath some life into the squad after the departure of Javier Mascherano and the signings of Joe Cole and Paul Konchesky.
Fortunately for Liverpool and Hodgson, the Reds had a much improved performance Sunday when they beat Blackburn 2-1 at Anfield. Liverpool played with a determination and aggression that we haven’t seen from them in months in the Premier League. This was a Liverpool performance that we have been accustomed to seeing with plenty of chances created. If Blackburn’s Paul Robinson wasn’t on fire as he was on Sunday, Liverpool could have been two or three nil up at the half.
Hopefully Liverpool’s win will restore the confidence the club needs so they can continue winning matches and ascending back up the league table. Even if they do, I feel a significant contingent of Liverpool supporters will still feel bitter because Hodgson is still in charge. I don’t know what Hodgson has done, other than being English and coming from a smaller club, but it certainly seems the knives are out for him from plenty of Liverpool supporters. Sure, his beginning to the 2010-11 Premier League season has been woeful, but it is time now for supporters to give him another chance and get behind him and the team.
One more thing. I wonder how much of the support for Hodgson among the press in England is because he’s a more likable person than Benitez. The Spaniard seemed to be in his world at times and made more enemies than friends among fellow Premier League managers. But at the end of the day, managers are judged on their results and so far Benitez has been the superior. I just hope that NESV and the Liverpool supporters give Hodgson a chance. He’s an accomplished manager, is the best English gaffer in the business other than Harry Redknapp and he’s been around the game for so long that he knows what it takes to turn things around. Let’s hope he can do it.