The Liverpool fans (yours truly included) were relatively subdued in their joy. More relieved than delighted with the way things went on the weekend. I even found myself half hiding in my cubicle at work as if Liverpool had been thrashed 4-0 by Chelsea that Sunday, wanting to avoid any human contact and discuss anything remotely connected to football.
So, what do you think about Hodgson now? Eh?
I pulled my head away from my laptop and looked to where the question was coming from. There was Tony the Manchester United fan (not his real name, of course) standing behind me with a beaming smile, looking ready to burst out with a rendition of You’re Not Singing Anymore at any stage. Thankfully we were in the office and so, Tony limited himself to his annoying question and a smile.
Well, he’s bought himself some time.
Not in a mood to have a conversation on the topic, I answered Tony’s question and quickly turned back to my laptop, pretending to be ultra-busy. Unfortunately, having worked with Tony for almost a decade, the man realised that I was just avoiding him and that it was all an act. So, not content with the reply he received, he continued to hover around my cubicle for a proper answer.
Has he not done enough already?
What? You mean getting us out of the relegation zone? Yeah, great job.
You Liverpool fans are never realistic. I suppose you’d even be complaining if Hodgson gets you to fourth place.
Personally, I think Liverpool fans are the most realistic ones around. We’re realistic but at the same time, we do expect our managers to exceed normal expectations. A bit of an oxymoron of a statement but that is the reality of the whole thing...
There was a brief silence. Could have been just a tad bit too much for Tony to process so early in the morning but he finally came out with a reply.
So, Hodgson’s just beaten the defending champions and current league leaders and you’re still not happy?
Nope. Not really. To me, he’s just come from well below the bar to barely clinging on to it. Barely.
Tony looked appalled at how easily I appeared to brush off such a well-regarded, senior member of the League Managers Association in a few short sentences.
Look, let me put it into perspective for you: Why are you so keen on Hodgson anyway?
Well, to start off with, he’d just brought a fairly poor Fulham side to the UEFA Cup Final and got Fulham to 13th spot in the League...
I agreed with Tony. It was fairly impressive but I decided to cut him short right there.
Only a few years ago, Steve McLaren took a so-so Middlesbrough side to the UEFA Cup Final and finished 14th in the League. Would you have wanted McLaren to get anywhere close to managing United?
So, why should Liverpool settle for anything less?
I left it at that and headed for the gents (no, this wasn’t an act) wondering whether Tony fully understood where I was coming from but more importantly, I was still wondering why in the world non-Liverpool fans (Tony just being one of many that I’ve met) seem convinced that Roy Hodgson is the right man for Liverpool. Answers on a postcard, please...
Image of Roy Hodgson by nicksarebi