Ahead of Palace visit, Hodgson still refuses to accept full blame for Liverpool sacking
It's weird that we sit here, ten years on, looking back at that awful, dark time when Roy Hodgson was our boss.
It was short-lived, sure, but show me a Liverpool fan that doesn't still shudder and have the occasional waking nightmares when reminded of that time.
The one that that is clear though, since Hodgson got the sack, is that he simply refuses to take more than marginal blame for being sacked. It's quite remarkable.
To put it into perspective, at one point just before Christmas of that season, the possibly of relegation was a very real thing for the club at that time.
Hodgson isn't entirely to blame, not at all. He was working under the awful Hicks and Gillett for most of his time in charge, but he chose to bring in the players he did. Marginalised far superior players and once told Pepe Reina to be 'more like an English goal keeper'.
His win percentage at the club - overall - was in the bottom six of the 21 former Liverpool managers (and that's being fair, it was 22 included Kenny Dalglish twice!), at 41.09%.
But he's spoken of those days again, ahead of his return to Anfield tomorrow night. He said (via the Liverpool Echo): "The pressure has been there all the time, I think more for managers other than myself, because my time there was so short, and my time there came at a time when the club was changing ownership.
"At that time no-one was 100% certain on which direction the club would take because of the owner, John Henry, who came in, was obviously looking at the situation and making decisions.
"I think he’s made some very good decisions, I think he’s been very good for the club, he’s certainly done with the club what the people of Liverpool want, and I just have to accept my time there was never going to work out, probably because I didn’t get enough good results at the beginning to make John Henry and his partners 100% convinced that the people who chose me – because I wasn’t chosen by them – had made the right choice."
In fairness, FSG didn't allow Hodgson a great deal of time to turn it around after their arrival, but the way he'd been received by fans after a previously awful five months had already laid the groundwork for his eventual sacking.
He does go on to say some positive things about Jurgen Klopp, before getting in that little dig about Klopp actually being backed by the current owners (whereas, he clearly wasn't).
He added: "I’m sure he’d acknowledge the backing he’s needed and deserved, and it’s come up trumps because he’s produced the title, which has been 30 years in the waiting."