A Message to John W. Henry, Tom Werner & NESV – Roy Hodgson Has To Go

Dear John,

You said yourself recently that there have been many poor short term decisions taken at this football club in the recent past. This is undoubtedly true and one of them was the appointment of Roy Hodgson as Liverpool manager. In all his 35 years of management there was absolutely no evidence that he had the experience required to manage a club of the stature of Liverpool FC. Despite this, for six months this site has supported him as best we could, as we did not want to exacerbate a problem not of your making. We were happy to trust your judgement, to allow you to get your feet under the desk, to appoint a management team and to make the right decision on the manager when you were ready. We were hoping that in return Roy just might prove capable of limiting the long-term damage to the club during that time.

Unfortunately it is clear from events so far this season culminating in the inept display last night that the consequences of keeping Roy Hodgson in place are now so pressing that immediate and decisive action is required from Fenway. His position at the club is no longer tenable. He appears to have lost the ability to motivate the team, a team of internationals and World Cup winners, and he has certainly lost the backing of the Anfield crowd with 44,000 openly showing their derision at his inept tactics.

The bond between Liverpool fans and their managers is strong, stronger than at any club in the world, and in normal circumstances it would be unthinkable to see the crowd turn on the manager as they did last night. If there was ever any coming back from that for Mr. Hodgson he closed that door himself in his post-match interview when he criticised the support of those same fans. Sorry, but those fans will be standing on the Kop supporting this team long after Roy Hodgson has gone and they were supporting their club in the only way they know how, defending it from a man who is corroding it from the inside.

I am well aware of the statistical modelling NESV use for the Boston Red Sox, I have the following stats for you to consider. During the calendar year of 2010, Liverpool’s performances were extraordinarily poor in an historical comparison:

* Two away league victories the entire year.
* Elimination at home to a pair of lower-league teams.
* First loss ever to a fourth-tier team.
* Got blanked in five European matches.
* Losing a whopping 15 matches in regular time (8 of them under Hodgson, all in the league).
* Extra-time included, five matches were lost at Anfield.
* Got blanked in nine league fixtures away from home (about half of them in fact).

The league performance over the entire year, then?

53 points in 36 matches makes a points average of 1.47 points per match.

45 goals scored, an average of only 1.25 goals, with only 10 goals conceded in Rafa’s effort last spring, repelled by a staggering 23 goals under Hodgson, the comparison making for a very interesting reading. In total the goal difference was 45-33.

How has the game/point ratio (in the league) been in previous years? Compared from 1991, the year our dynasty ended the moment King Kenny resigned, it looks like this:

1991: 66 pts/41 matches=1.61 pts ratio
1992: 58 pts/41 matches=1.41 pts ratio
1993: 63 pts/43 matches=1.47 pts ratio
1994: 69 pts/42 matches=1.64 pts ratio
1995: 73 pts/40 matches=1.83 pts ratio
1996: 78 pts/39 matches=2.00 pts ratio
1997: 63 pts/37 matches=1.70 pts ratio
1998: 59 pts/38 matches=1.55 pts ratio
1999: 60 pts/38 matches=1.58 pts ratio
2000: 60 pts/38 matches=1.58 pts ratio
2001: 70 pts/37 matches=1.89 pts ratio
2002: 74 pts/40 matches=1.85 pts ratio
2003: 56 pts/39 matches=1.44 pts ratio
2004: 65 pts/40 matches=1.63 pts ratio
2005: 64 pts/36 matches=1.78 pts ratio
2006: 79 pts/41 matches=1.93 pts ratio
2007: 69 pts/36 matches=1.92 pts ratio
2008: 81 pts/39 matches=2.08 pts ratio
2009: 74 pts/38 matches=1.95 pts ratio
2010: 53 pts/36 matches=1.47 pts ratio

So, despite the semi final in Europa League, this is our worst year on the football pitch since the pre-Shankly days. And the bad thing is that Hodgson will surely keep the job for another while following the typical knee-jerk reaction from our board following a solitary win

League positions for the record:
1990-91: 2nd
1991-92: 6th
1992-93: 6th
1993-94: 8th
1994-95: 4th
1995-96: 3rd
1996-97: 4th
1997-98: 3rd
1998-99: 7th
1999-00: 4th
2000-01: 3rd
2001-02: 2nd
2002-03: 5th
2003-04: 4th
2004-05: 5th
2005-06: 3rd
2006-07: 3rd
2007-08: 4th
2008-09: 2nd
2009-10: 7th
2010-11: 12th – 4 points from the bottom three

We haven’t finished lower than eighth in the top flight since we were relegated in 1954, which just shows how unacceptably poor our performances have been this autumn. Only the defensive record under Rafael Benitez saved this year from becoming the clearly worst post-Shankly year, and the fact that we actually were only minutes away from a European final.

I wholeheartedly agree with your strategy of concentrating on what is in the best long-term interests of Liverpool FC, even if it is at the expense of short-term popularity. I have never called for any serving manager of Liverpool FC to be kicked out, and that includes the Graeme Souness era, but I believe that we have reached a tipping point in the club’s direction and that Roy Hodgson’s continued presence in the dugout is now detrimental to the long-term future of the club as well as our immediate future this league season.

Akh The Angry Academic Activist
A supporter of Liverpool Football Club for 27 years

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