A letter to Roy Hodgson: Please leave

12 December 2010
July 01, 2010 - Liverpool, England - epa02232050 Roy Hodgson is unveiled as the new manager of Liverpool FC during a press conference at Anfield in Liverpool, Britain, 01 July 2010. The 62-year-old agreed to leave his job in charge at Fulham and signed a three-year contract, replacing..Rafael Benitez, who left the Premier League club last month.


Dear Mr Hodgson,

Let me begin by saying that I think you are a very nice and decent man. I have nothing against you personally, and have the utmost respect for what you have done in football over the last 30 years. I’d give my right arm to have been involved in football at the level that you have for so many years.

But having said that, this is not the point of this note so let’s get to the point. Mr Hodgson, sir, you are out of your depth. Not just a little. You are so far out of your depth that you are drowning. Your record managing teams in the premier league reads 7 wins in 55 premier league away games. That is a success rate that ranks with the worst managers in premier league history.

Today, you sent out a team that had dismantled Aston Villa a week ago. With only one change, replacing Babel with the ‘world class’ Torres there was a sense of optimism, playing against a team in turmoil. Not only had they sacked their highly popular manger, they were also 5 games without a win. The general consensus was that they were there for the taking.

But, Mr Hodgson, with your approach to away games, Newcastle ladies under-12s aren’t there for the taking, never mind their first team. Your approach to EVERY away game is absolutely shocking. You send a team out so fearful of losing, they have no idea how to win. How do you explain a team so powerful at home, being so dismal away, unless it’s approach, tactics and mindset?

City of Manchester Stadium Eastlands Manchester City v Liverpool Premier League 23/08/2010 Disappointing night for Liverpool Manager Roy Hodgson Photo Robin Parker Fotosports International Photo via Newscom

In your last 55 premier league games (17 this season and 38 last season) your teams have won 16 out of 27 at home, and 2 out of 28 away. A 59% success rate at home, a 7% success rate away from home. It is why your team last season finished 12th, and your current team is languishing in 9th. It is why, in your last 28 away games, your teams have scored a total of 18 goals, conceded 47 and thus have a goal difference of -29.

Of the 84 points on offer in those 28 away games, you sir, have racked up a grand total of 15 points.

Quite simply Mr Hodgson, your approach to games away from home is shambolic. There isn’t a team in the premier league who does not believe they can defeat any team managed by you in their own stadium. In your last 4 away games – against perennial strugglers Wigan and Stoke, newly promoted Newcastle, and Harry’s Spurs, you have collected 1 point out of a possible 12. You have achieved 5 points in 9 away games so far this season. Your team has scored 6 goals. Only the bottom 3 have scored less.

In all of my years watching my beloved Liverpool Football Club, this is the first time I can claim to feel embarrassed and humiliated by the shocking displays on offer week in, week out, away from home. I watch my team bullied off the park by teams and players who are still pinching themselves that they are even playing at this level. I see a mass of millionaire Red shirts hanging on in desperation hoping against hope they can hang on to a draw against players I’ve hardly heard of. As the clock ticks ominously towards 90 minutes, I watch my team retreat deeper and deeper, hanging on in desperation, hoping against hope they can snatch a point. Inevitably, in what is now a theme, the opposition twist the knife with 10 minutes or so to go. Today, at 75 minutes, I texted a friend. My text read this: ‘best we can hope for is 1-1. Worst is 2-1 or even 3-1.’ Now I’m no Nostradamus or fortune teller. It’s just so BLOODY obvious what is going to happen. If it’s obvious to me, why isn’t it to you? WHY do you not use your substitutes to freshen things up and offer alternatives? WHY? I sometimes think that you’re so wrapped up in your own sulk, you forget you have a job to do.

Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool , Premier League 28/11/2010 Liverpool Manager /Head Coach, Roy Hodgson slumps in his seat after his side slip to a 2-1 defeat Photo Marc Atkins Fotosports International 07783 913 777 Photo via Newscom

Your tactics are abject. Your mindset breeds mediocrity. Your body language is cringe worthy. Forgive me, but what was that face-rubbing thing today? What do you hope to achieve by being slumped in your chair while your team is being battered in to eventual submission? You have no plan B, and you have no idea when and how to make substitutions. You continue to play an abject performer called Paul Konchesky, simply because you signed him from your previous team. You are slumped in your chair, radiating negativity. Rubbing your chin and your face, with a dazed “what the hell do I do next” look which is being observed by a watching world is the body language of desperate man. A man who does not even understand the questions being posed, never mind the answers.

It is highly unlikely you will ever see this message, but if you do, I urge you to resign. Please relinquish the position for a man more suited to manage a club of the stature of Liverpool. It is in everyone’s best interests that you ply your trade back at a club more suited to your tactics and methods. A team where mediocrity is considered a form of success.

Let me finish by reminding you of a basic fact. You are managing the most successful team in the history of English Football – ever. You are managing a team supported by the greatest fans in the world – ever. With that comes immense expectation, responsibility and pressure. It is my opinion, and the opinion of many Liverpool fans worldwide, that you are incapable of living up to the expectations required of a Liverpool manager.

Please, I implore you. Do the dignified thing and resign your post. Let Liverpool rebuild with a manager of the stature required for club of this size. You won’t have any trouble regaining employment. Wolves, West Ham, Wigan and Fulham will all be looking for a manager soon.

You’ll do fine there.

Regards, Alex


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