The first six months of Roy Hodgson’s reign as Liverpool manager have seen him contradict himself and deliver more gaffes than you can keep track of.
Thankfully briankettle has done the hard work and compiled the best (should that be worst) of them here. Sit back and watch six months fly by with Uncle Roy telling the stories of how we are overstaffed, or is that a small squad? How we need investment in January, or we don’t? How winning at Bolton is famous, how Raul Meireles doesn’t have a specific position, how Northampton are mighty opposition and numerous other quotes you would never wish to associate with a man in the position of Liverpool FC manger.
4 July: “I like a high-tempo passing game”
All the things I’ve always liked are the things Liverpool were famous for in their heyday. Pass and move, always move it quickly and once you lose it get back in to position. That was the mantra which took Liverpool through their great years. I like a high-tempo passing game. I like players to work hard, I like players to get back in position. Those are my principles. I was influenced by the Liverpool team which dominated the 70s with all its great players and playing the football they played.
5 August: “Look into the mirror rather than look for excuses elsewhere” (On player complaints about squad quality)
As a player you have a chance to change things. If you don’t think the team is doing as well as it should, as a player you can do something about it. If you are a big player, maybe you will. My attitude is that we want our big players because they will help the team to win. Now if they are not playing well and not helping the team to win, I will be advising them to look into the mirror rather than look for excuses elsewhere and blame the owners for not having spent £500m.
13 August: “It was a very simple decision when I heard he might be available”
Christian (Poulsen) is an all-round player. He is capable of scoring goals, a good passer of the ball and a good defender too. I don’t see him being limited to one particular role. For me, it was a very simple decision when I heard he might be available at what we considered to be a very reasonable price.
9 September: “Unbelievably overstaffed” (After beating West Brom)
We were unbelievably over-staffed when I came to the club and, if the truth be known, we still are over-staffed. It was just as big a job making sure some of the players who never feature for the first team move on and that we limit our squad to players who are either in the frame to play first-team football or who have a bright future who are still anxious to play academy and reserve team football.
9 September: “He’s a good player and he’s the right man for the job” (On Konchesky)
There aren’t many quality left-backs around in the world, never mind in England – so to find an English one who can go straight into the team without any adjustment problems is a big advantage. He is a player I know, a player I have worked with and he knows the way we try to play and the things we try to do. That’s another little advantage, but the main reason for bringing him here is because we think he’s a good player and he’s the right man for the job.
10 September: “We’ll have ample quality to see us through” (see also 30 October)
I preferred to put my weight behind David Ngog and Ryan Babel, who’s never really been given a proper chance at centre-forward at the club. We have Fernando Torres, we have good players who can play behind a lone striker. I’m hoping that between now and Christmas we’ll have ample quality to see us through that period. And in the meantime we have chance to do thorough scouting so that if the money is available, we could look into the situation again. I will be using David Ngog and Ryan Babel in certain games to give Fernando Torres a rest and it’s up to them to prove to me that there’s no need to look further than them.
20 September: “It is very early for me to make very strong judgments about where his best position is” (On Meireles)
He had two training sessions and played on Thursday night and he played again on Sunday so it is very early for me to make very strong judgments about where his best position is. The work we do on the training field will show me how best to use him. He actually went out wide right late in the United game and did okay there also. All I can say is he has a lot of qualities and I’m sure we’ll get a lot of use out of him.
23 September: “These players have to accept responsibility” (After the defeat to Northampton)
These players have to accept responsibility. I accept responsibility for changing a lot of players in the team, I did it because I honestly thought the players I put on the field were good enough to win the game and they weren’t. The obvious conclusion to that was I shouldn’t have changed that many players but we should have been strong enough to get a result. We must all take our responsibility. I am just bitterly disappointed that the team I had so much faith in did not repay that faith this evening with the exception of one or two performances.
24 September: “The protest does not help”
The protest does not help but it is something I have had to live with since I came to the club. I, like everyone else at Liverpool, would be very happy if the ownership situation was clarified and in particular if we got a very good owner that could help us move forward. It is a major issue for a group of people who are very much anti the owners and anti the current people who are trying to solve the situation. I knew the situation existed before I arrived and it doesn’t help. But it is often the case that when things are conspiring against you there is always an extra thing to come in and make it that little bit worse.
25 September: “I didn’t think it was necessary to say it” (On not responding to the Torres “diving” accusations, six days prior)
I didn’t think it was necessary to say it because it was insulting people’s intelligence. For me, it was one of Alex’s inflammatory little digs to make his victory even sweeter and our defeat even harder and that’s part of the game
3 October: “From Halmstad to Malmo to Orebo to Neuchatel Xamax…”
What do you mean do my methods translate? They have translated from Halmstad to Malmo to Orebo to Neuchatel Xamax to the Swiss national team. So I find the question insulting. To suggest that, because I have moved from one club to another, that the methods which have stood me in good stead for 35 years and made me one of the most respected coaches in Europe don’t suddenly work, is very hard to believe.
3 October: “I don’t understand questions about Liverpool and Fulham players being different types”
I don’t understand questions about Liverpool and Fulham players being different types. At the moment arguably one or two of the players that are suggested as being very different to the Fulham players maybe aren’t playing any better than the Fulham players played. So maybe people should be having a look at that.
17 October: “Feted as one of England’s best managers”
I think it would be a sad day for football and for Liverpool if someone who had been brought in with the pomp and circumstance, and the money it took them to release me from my previous contract, and being feted as one of England’s best managers – if after eight games people are deciding this guy has got to go. It would be sad for me. These things happen in football. You can’t have the years in football I’ve had without ever being sacked, but it would be a sad day for Liverpool because that isn’t Liverpool’s style. So I find that type of question insulting to me and even more insulting to the club.
18 October: “As good as we have played all season” (After the woeful loss to Everton)
That was as good as we have played all season, and I have no qualms with the performance whatsoever. I only hope fair-minded people will see it the same way.
21 October: “We will cross that bridge when we come to it” (On rumours of Torres to Manchester United)
I think we will cross that bridge when we come to it. There will always be speculation. When a great player like Wayne Rooney is looking to leave his club, then you know Manchester United will be in a position to target a lot of players around the world. I don’t think Fernando will be the only striker they target – and I don’t think we will be the only club worried that their striker is in their sights. I am not naive enough to believe that there won’t be any danger and we will never lose a player like Torres. I understand these things can happen. I don’t believe we will lose him.
29 October: “It’s all to do with how good your scouting and your eye is”
I think you can pay an awful lot of money for poor players and you can pay not very much money for very good ones – it is all to do with how good your scouting and your eye is. There are a lot of things here that the club has got to get right. We have got a lot more expensive failures on our list than good players that we have brought in for next to nothing. Free transfers don’t necessarily mean that you have got a bargain. My experience of them has been very mixed. You need to be sure that the player you get can do the job you want from him.
30 October: “They can’t all be wrong and we aren’t that stupid either”
A club like Liverpool shouldn’t have to rely on non-specialists like Dirk Kuyt or Ryan Babel ‘doing a job’ up front when they are primarily wide players. …The first thing people say when I walk down the street is ‘We need a front player’. They can’t all be wrong and we aren’t that stupid either.
30 October: “That’s what he’s good at” (On Dalglish)
He is doing a great job alongside us and we involve him in our scouting while he still works at The Academy and plays an ambassadorial role. That’s what he’s good at.
31 October: “A famous victory” (1-0 at Bolton)
Today was a famous victory because we hadn’t won more than once away in the whole of 2010. When you’re down the bottom, and keep being reminded you’re down the bottom, anxiety kicks in.
31 October: “He was here in name but not allowed to set foot in Melwood”
When they wanted me for the job, I made it clear to Kenny that he would be with me – not like with Benitez, when he was here in name but not allowed to set foot in Melwood and it was ‘we don’t want anything to do with you
12 November: “He’s not that bad on the ball”
Unfortunately I can’t do anything about the fans, but he’s (Poulsen) had one or two games in front of our crowd where he’s not played well and he knows he hasn’t. He is devastated by that and the crowd, who aren’t stupid, know he’s not played well. It’s a fact of life. He can only keep working hard and when he gets his chance he has to get on with his job. He had a job to do against Wigan and without his introduction, with a very tired Maxi Rodríguez and Dirk Kuyt, who knows we could even have lost the game. But he’s got quality, he’s a good defensive midfield player. He’s not that bad on the ball, but let’s not beat about the bush and try to disguise the fact – he’s had a bad start.
13 November: “He’s not performed — very often at least — to the level I’d expect of him”
(Johnson) is the England right-back and, if he plays like that, one would expect him to come back in when he’s fit. But then he’d have to play like the England right-back and up to now, to be quite frank, he’s not performed – very often at least – to the level I’d expect of him. You would have to ask him ‘do you think you’re playing at top form and are you playing like the best right-back in the country for your club?’ If he says yes, obviously we will have to agree to differ and if he says no, then you’d have to ask the question ‘why not?
14 November: “I didn’t realise I had been accused of criticising him”
It amazes me that when you make a statement of such obvious veracity people want to make headlines out of it. Everyone is saying what I am saying. I hope I am honest and I hope the players are honest. I didn’t realise I had been accused of criticising him; I don’t normally criticise my players and I’m sorry if that has been suggested.
26 November: “We won’t need to do too much in the January transfer window” (After beating West Ham)
I have a very clear picture now of what we should and need to be doing and the squad is stronger and getting stronger. It was probably stronger than I realised at certain stages in the early part of the season when we were losing games. Hopefully that will mean we won’t need to do too much in the January transfer window
2 December: “He isn’t a naturally confident character” (As Joe Cole returns from injury)
He isn’t a naturally confident character. He suffers when things are not going his way. Everyone at the club has worked hard to make sure he doesn’t take it too hard and take too much on himself, because he’s quite happy to take responsibility. Sometimes those players can take too much on themselves and push themselves even further down.
9 December: “I don’t know where the stories came from” (After Brukner said Gerrard could be fit, on 30 November)
I don’t know where the stories came from that Gerrard would be fit for Newcastle. We have always been thinking he would be fit to face Fulham the following weekend, it would be much too early to consider him for Newcastle.
10 December: “He has been the first to recognise what a good job it was that we didn’t do these things” (On not letting Babel, Lucas et al leave)
Christian (Purslow) was here for two years and is a big fan with strong opinions about players. He fed me the information. I listened, of course, but made it clear I was not going to act on it. To be fair, when we’ve spoken or texted he has been the first to recognise what a good job it was that we didn’t do these things, because the boys have turned out well.
14 December: “Unless there is a major influx of cash into the club…” (After losing to Newcastle)
Unless there is a major influx of cash into the club and the team is going to be changed from one moment to the next, then whoever takes my place will be doing a similar job with similar players.
14 December: “We are right up there in terms of results” (having won 7 points from 18 and being 11th in the form table)
The only team with better results than us over the past five or six games is Arsenal or Manchester United. If you take the last five or six games we are right up there in terms of results
14 December: “I can’t work harder and I can’t work better”
The owners have made it perfectly clear they are in it for the long term. They realise it is going to take time. They realise we can’t turn things round overnight and they also realise the team I am working with is not the team I put together. It [the speculation] doesn’t bother me because I can’t do more than I am doing. I can’t work harder and I can’t work better.
15 December: “A bunch of also-rans”
I don’t know if I would have considered using Fernando had David Ngog been fit. But he isn’t and, having had a chat with Fernando, I think he’ll enjoy it. It’s not as if he’ll be playing with a bunch of also-rans. I’m not asking him to play in the reserves.
15 December: “They made me see sense”
I thought it would be a nice game for him (Torres) and a chance for him to get his confidence back. But I also had a talk to our fitness people and they made me see sense that it wasn’t the wisest thing to do. And of course it would be very bad for us if he picked up an injury. The same applied to Pepe Reina. They made me see sense, I listened to the reason around me and I changed my mind.
19 December: “The other players I have inherited”
It is starting to feel more like my side,but it is still a team that I have not put together. I want to make that clear. I took the team over and I have not made that many changes. I brought in [Paul] Konchesky to play left back, Raul Meireles to replace [Javier] Mascherano and Joe Cole came in at the same time as me as well as Christian Poulsen. The other players I have inherited. I think I would be a good comparison with Tottenham because Harry [Redknapp] came in there just as I came into Fulham so he will just be completing three years and he has brought in a lot of players. So to really call it my team, I would have had to make a slightly bigger impact on those who have been brought in. I am more than happy to take responsibility for this squad but it takes a coach more than five or six months to make his stamp on a club. I am hoping we will do some good business in transfer windows to come and then I will be able say, ‘If you don’t like it then I have no one to blame but myself’.
The sources for all these quotes can be found here. If we’ve missed any please let us know in the comments below.