Mohamed Al-Fayed had said of new Liverpool manager and former manager of his Fulham team Roy Hodgson ‘I’m sure he’ll take Liverpool downhill. He was just a bugger’. This seems a little harsh and ungrateful considering Hodgson had just led them through one of the most successful seasons in Fulham’s entire history.
No one can blame Hodgson for taking the opportunity to manage one of England’s biggest clubs for the first time in his long career. Does Al-Fayed have a point about Liverpool though, could they be about to be heading downhill?
This leads me to one of the most pertinent and tricky to answer questions that has plagued my mind during pre season, how good will Liverpool be this season? Or perhaps how bad will they be might be more appropriate, it’s hard to tell. It’s difficult to come up with a definitive answer without having seen much of Liverpool playing under Hodgson’s management.
It was beginning to look like rats deserting a sinking ship at one point with the vast number of Liverpool players leaving and being linked with other clubs. I always thought that the most important thing for Liverpool after Rafa’s departure was that they didn’t lose Torres or Gerrard and it looks as if they are settled upon staying at Liverpool now, so Liverpool fans take a collective sigh of relief in respect to that.
Liverpool arguably got the best half of the deal with the exchanging of Joe Cole and Benayoun with Chelsea which is another positive for the club going into next season.
It looks like a take over of the club is going to happen which will bring some financial stability to the club which is long overdue. This will hopefully mean that all the attention will be turned on the players on the pitch as it should be, instead of petty chairman squabbles. Also if the takeover goes through Hodgson should have a decent amount of funds available to revamp the squad.
This season Liverpool have a real challenge on their hands to retain their membership in the ‘Big Four’ which looks especially shaky considering they are the only member of the ‘Big Four’ who have never won the Premiership and clubs like Tottenham and Manchester City are looking better than ever. Liverpool don’t seem to have the same quality or depth of squad that other big teams have and last season it felt as though if Gerrard or Torres has a bad game, then Liverpool had a bad game and there weren’t many options for the manager in order to rectify the situation, except bringing on David N’Gog.
Not many people I have spoken to seem sure about Liverpool’s chances of success this season so it will be interesting to see how they play on the first day of the season and should give us some kind of indication as to how the rest of the season will go for them.
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