Reports suggest that Roy Hodgson has moved a step closer to becoming the next Liverpool manager after completing his media role as a BBC World Cup pundit and is due to return to England today (Friday 24).
The potential move has proved to be quite controversial as the Telegraph reported that club legend Kenny Dalglish, who was appointed two weeks ago to help search for Rafael Benitez’s successor, may quit the club if Hodgson is appointed as he is not the Scot’s preferred candidate.
Many of the Anfield faithful have a split decision on the Hodgson rumours, some believe he is not high profile enough to handle a big club like Liverpool and others see him as a man who may be able to steady a sinking ship as he has plenty of experience.
If any Liverpool fans wished to dispel their fears over the current Fulham chief perhaps they should look at the example of Tottenham, who appointed Harry Redknapp during a rough patch for the club. Juande Ramos was sacked after a poor start to the 2008/09 season as the club seemed to regress and were sat at the wrong end of the Premier League.
Some of Spurs’ fans were against a move for Redknapp as they thought he may have not been a big enough name to save the club from the plight they were in. Also, Redknapp had a controversial history which has included being questioned for supposed tax evasion and many have raised question marks over his loyalty as he walked out on Portsmouth in 2004 to go to bitter south-coast rivals Southampton (relegated them), then went back to Portsmouth where he won the FA Cup in 2008…until Tottenham came calling the next October.
Since then Harry Redknapp has worked wonders at the White Hart Lane club since his arrival. In his first season he managed to get them to the Carling Cup final, only to lose on penalties against Manchester United.
Last season Redknapp guided Tottenham into the much coveted fourth Premier League spot which guaranteed the right to play in the UEFA Champions League playoff. Redknapp’s achievement was recognised and he won the Premier League’s Manager of the Season award. He has himself been touted as a possible successor to Benitez after the good work he had done.
Similarly to Redknapp, Hodgson has taken a fairly unfashionable club in Fulham into 7th place in the 2008/09 season. In the following season the Englishman oversaw one of the most engaging fairytale stories in football when he took the Craven Cottage club all the way into the first Europa League final, but disappointingly lost to Atletico Madrid.
Hodgson also boasts a wealth of experience in the game and has managed 15 different clubs all over the place including Halmstad BK, Bristol City, Orebro, Malmo, Neuchatel Xamax, Switzerland, Inter Milan (twice), Blackburn Rovers, Grasshoppers Zurich, Copenhagen, Udinese, United Arab Emirates, Viking, Finland and Fulham.
Arguably the Fulham boss is perhaps not as risky an appointment like Frank Rijkaard or Manuel Pelligrini, who have no experience of English football and would cost more money in wages at the cash-strapped club which may wish to tighten its belt.
However, some may fear that Hodgson may not be able to handle the immense pressure he will be under to turn the club around and could end up being out of his depth.
What do the Liverpool fans think? Should Hodgson be given the chance just like Redknapp had been afforded at White Hart Lane, or do the Anfield outfit need a more high profile name to take charge of the struggling club?