“He just didn’t get the club” – Why Roy Hodgson failed at Liverpool FC

Roy Hodgson is back in charge of Crystal Palace, serving a reminder to Liverpool fans of a miserable reign in which he failed on and off the pitch.

Remarkably, Hodgson finds himself managing in the Premier League once again.

Aged 75, the former Liverpool manager is returning for a second, albeit interim, spell at Crystal Palace, having left Selhurst Park in 2021.

Hodgson was removed from his duties at Liverpool after just six months, a stint that is remembered as vividly for his comments off the field as the results on it.

Speaking on The Late Challenge podcast, supporters Paul Cope and Gareth Roberts dissected Hodgson’s time in the Anfield hotseat and discussed some of the key reasons for an ultimately unsuccessful time in charge.

“He just didn’t get the club,” said Roberts of the Hodgson era.

“He didn’t fit the club, he criticised the fans, he had a pop about us protesting about Hicks and Gillett, he said he never felt the support of the Kop and all this kind of stuff.

“And the more he poked the bear in terms of saying things like that, that’s when you started to get ‘Hodgson for England’ chants on the Kop.”

Outside of the Liverpool bubble, some believed that fans never gave Hodgson a chance on Merseyside, a notion that Roberts was quick to dispel.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, November 2, 2010: Liverpool's manager Roy Hodgson during a training session at Melwood ahead of the UEFA Europa League Group K match against SSC Napoli. (Pic by: David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“That’s when everyone started singing about Dalglish,” he explained.

“I can remember people from the outside looking in saying, ‘you never support him, you never gave him a chance’.”

Cope echoed those sentiments, describing Hodgson’s appointment as a “disgrace” and challenging the idea that supporters weren’t willing to give him a chance at Anfield.

“I remember us saying, almost collectively in the pubs and stuff like that, ‘well, we’ll give him his chance’. I remember that being the vibe, we’ll give him a chance and see how he goes,” replied Cope.

Hodgson’s reign was littered with a series of ill-judged responses to the media, and Roberts reeled off some of the more famous quotes that many Reds would sooner forget.

NAPELS, ITALY - Thursday, October 21, 2010: Liverpool's manager Roy Hodgson and Jamie Carragher walk off the pitch at half-time during the UEFA Europa League Group K match against SSC Napoli at the Stadio San Paolo. (Pic by: David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“Defending the performance in the derby when we’ve got beat, saying that beating Everton was ‘utopia’, saying Northampton were ‘formidable’ opposition,” recalled Roberts.

“You have to be a certain man to be able to [manage Liverpool]. It’s almost prime ministerial, you’re not just a coach. Everything you say is analysed to the nth degree.

“We want someone who says the right things, fights our corner, and this fella was so far off.”

The conversation between Cope and Roberts is indicative of the vast majority of Liverpool supporters’ feelings towards Hodgson’s time at Anfield.

It was a six-month period in which very little went right at Liverpool, and it was eventually brought to an end in January 2011 with the Reds just four points above the relegation zone – exactly where he finds Palace now.