THERE is a school of thought that Liverpool fans should actually be thankful for the role Roy Hodgson played during his 191 days at Anfield.
The argument goes that Hodgson served his purpose by keeping his head down and getting on with the job during the protracted takeover process.
Some suggest he was an ideal short-term fix to ensure the Reds could finally look towards a brighter future. A sticking plaster for a club waiting for major surgery.
That an outspoken manager like Rafa Benitez may have jeopardised the sale, while the presence of Kenny Dalglish in the Anfield hot seat would have put off some buyers fearing the consequences of having to send a legend packing when they brought their own man in.
It’s rubbish. Appointing Hodgson was a major blunder. It didn’t stack up on July 1 last year and it still doesn’t now. Claims that he somehow played a part in ensuring Tom Hicks and George Gillett were banished from Anfield are bizarre.
After all in what possible way did Hodgson make Liverpool look like an attractive proposition to Fenway Sports Group?
He oversaw the worst start to a season for over half a century. He tried to dumb down expectations at every turn. He imposed a tactical straightjacket on his players, while alienating supporters and players alike with his bizarre outbursts.
Giving Hodgson the job to see Liverpool through the sale process can also hardly be classed as cost effective. After all this is a manager who decided Paul Konchesky (£3.5m), Brad Jones (£2.3m) and Christian Poulsen (£4.5m) were Reds players.
Chuck in the fact that John Henry then had to hand bumper pay-offs to Hodgson and his staff in January before employing a new managerial team and rectifying the mistakes made last summer didn’t come cheap.
Of course Hodgson didn’t have it easy during his Anfield tenure. Many supporters never wanted him and it was tough keeping the focus on playing matters as the battle for ownership went to the High Court.
He had no option but to sell Javier Mascherano and had to pin his faith in a striker who longed to be elsewhere. But his claim this week that he was simply the victim of events beyond his control is far too convenient.
“The people that were there are fully respectful of the job I did and realise that it was circumstances more than any lack of competence which prompted the owners to change the manager,” he said. “Everyone knows for one minute I can't suggest I felt wanted at Liverpool.”
Hodgson wasn’t turfed out because the fans were against him and wanted Kenny Dalglish in his place. He secured his own demise by overseeing such a wretched run of results.He was sacked because Liverpool were 12th in the league and only four points above the relegation zone.
Remember things had got so bad at Anfield that there were nearly 10,000 empty seats for a league game on New Year’s Day as even season ticket holders stayed away.
He may not have been Henry’s appointment but he would still be in charge now if he had shown the owners he was up to the job.
Of course there was nothing on Hodgson’s CV to ever suggest he would be a success at Anfield. What transpired over his six months at the helm merely underlined how he was a manager out of his depth.
Liverpool were too big for Hodgson. He couldn’t bring the stability the club so desperately needed.
Since January Liverpool have had the manager they should have had last summer.
The impact of Dalglish has rammed home the folly of ignoring the Scot’s application after Benitez went.
The Reds have moved on since Hodgson but as they battle to make up ground in the race for Europe they are still paying the price for his short-lived and dismal reign.