John W. Henry and Tom Werner have a prodigious decision to make at Anfield this January. Invest in Roy Hodgson and his squad or fire the Englishman and invest in a new manager’s talents. It is a dilemma that for most Liverpool fans needs little thought – fire Roy Hodgson. However, the fact that the new owners have kept Roy Hodgson in place, indicates that he will be given to the end of the season, at the very least, to try and make it work at Anfield. This would be catastrophic for Liverpool F.C. This January offers Liverpool a chance to put this season right after so many wrongs. Players need to be sold, players need to be signed and most important of all, Hodgson needs to go.
The new transfer structure in place at Anfield shows that John W. Henry and Tom Werner understand where football was in 2010 and where Liverpool need to go in 2011. They have not lied to fans about stadiums or huge transfer investments, simply they have gone about their business in a considered way. The move for Damien Comolli is another indication that Liverpool are looking long term.
However, Liverpool at the turn of 2011 are in a mess, and NESV need to look at making investment a little earlier than they may have wanted too. As some Liverpool players showed against Wolves – some have lost belief that Liverpool can achieve anything this season, players are playing for their cash and not the club and there is real lack of quality in the dressing room. Granted the lack of quality is not 100% Roy Hodgson’s fault but he has added to it by signing Christian Poulsen and Paul Konchesky. NESV need to look at clearing this dead wood out, emphasising to Hodgson that they want only passionate players who will fight for the club, purchased this January. If Hodgson, working alongside Damien Comolli, is given a bit more direction in the transfer market, there is no reason why this season has to be a complete write off for Liverpool. This month is inordinately important. NESV can’t waste any time in making changes at Liverpool.
Ultimately the biggest change the American owners could make would be to sack Roy Hodgson. There have been managers fired this season who have been in much stronger position’s than Roy Hodgson’s, but NESV look like they are planning with Hodgson not without him. That will no please Liverpool fans, but he could turn it round as long as they work with him in the transfer market. If they feel he is not the right man for the job, thus hold transfer funds back from him, but wait until the summer to fire him that will only damage the club further. Invest in Hodgson and Liverpool fans may see what he can do with his own squad, and how he plans to change Liverpool’s fortunes. Hodgson has long moaned about his lack of funds in the summer, now it could be time for another excuse to be taken away from him.
Liverpool are in a mess this season but NESV have continued to make smart rational decisions in the interests of the club. So far they have been very good owners, they have said the right things but they must now deliver with a bit of cash. It may be earlier that the owners may have wanted but it is necessary to put Liverpool in as strong a position for next year as possible. Roy Hodgson must now up his game and show that he deserves to be invested in. He would go a long way to showing the owners and fans that he is up to the job if he takes responsibility for his mistakes. Hodgson must clear out the dead wood at the club and work with Comolli in identifying quality young talent. If they get it right, there is no reason why Liverpool can’t look to a brighter future. In a perfect world, there will be investment, but without Roy Hodgson.
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