I get the strong sense that even as long ago as when Comolli came in that NESV were going to replace Hodgson during this transfer window
, but that they may have to move a little sooner than they anticipated.
I have been reading on this forum and others that some people are now questioning Henry, Comolli & NESV and their ability to understand Sports. In a word that's "ridiculous".
I can understand why people are saying this...
(1) Everyone including Paul Konchesky's dear ol' mum knows that Hodgson is a deadman walking
(2) We haven't heard anything out of Henry/Comolli/NESV since November 15th
(3) We just spent half a decade with completely absent owners, guys who liked it that way and didn't give a damn
...but IMO people are getting a little crazy, and some downright certifiable.
Do I want Hodgson here...? Absolutely not. But I also want the right person to replace him (or at a minimum someone who can take us to the next few steps back up the ladder).
IMO, NESV believe this too... How can they not. I just think that they were hoping for another week or so before they had to make a move.
For what it's worth, here are just a few points regarding my take on all this...
IMO this is just the process that they are going through with this new Club structure.It seems that only a few have caught on
that by not coming out and supporting Hodgson that Henry, Comolli & NESV are actually communicating to the supporters their feelings about the situation.
The last time we verbally heard from Henry he said the following on Nov 15th:
"The club has gone through a very difficult period and the period has not ended. We saw a certain team on the field against Chelsea last week that showed what they can do. We also know how competitive the EPL is this year. There are no guaranteed matches any longer for any club. This club can be better. Blaming the manager or any one particular player is simply wrong. This club needs to play up to their potential every match. If they don't, they won't win."
Did Henry fully come out and support the manager...? Not even close. But he certainly stood up for him. In a non-obvious way he was conveying to all the Liverpool supporters that the problems at the Club are much bigger than the manager or any under-performing players. Look no further than the dismissal of the Head Scout last week for proof of that.
Did Henry absolve Hodgson...? No. Did he say Hodgson is his guy for the remainder of the season...? No. But he may have (1)
bought Comolli more time to evaluate Hodgson (a guy who @ the time Comolli had only worked with for 12 days) and (2)
bought Comolli more time to lock in a new manager.IMO the collective lack of support for Hodgson from the executives (Henry, Werner, Comolli, Dalglish, etc...) is ABSOLUTELY DEAFENING.
It speaks volumes of what these guys' position is with the manager.
From following Henry & NESV in Boston over the years, you can tell that these guys totally get sports club management, they understand what it takes to win championships and be in contention almost every single year, and they have no problem making tough decisions or even easy ones like firing a vastly under-performing employee (i.e. Hodgson). But they aren't ones to fly off the handle. They aren't ones to communicate via the press every week.
You'd have to be pretty stupid to live on Planet Earth and not to know that Hodgson needs to be relieved from his post ASAP, and it's hard for me to believe that this group of guys are stupid.
For everyone that is saying "well NESV haven't proved or done anything yet, except that they can talk a good game"... Gimme a break:
- Within 1 week they were meeting with fans & supporter groups & putting a face on their ownership
- Within 2 weeks they completely started changing the entire Club's structure.... one that has been in full out ROT for the past 20+ years. No easy task even when taking over the best run companies with the best employees.
- Brought in a DOF role to the Club, and in doing so changed the power structure of the Club
- Changed the communication structure of the Club (don't under estimate how difficult this is)
- Laid down the law with the Academy & the Scouts, so we know where the new power lays there
- Got rid of a failing Head Scout (IMO expect a lot more changes in the scouting structure)
- Not once but twice calmed the fans down, but in doing so asked for results on the pitch and in the locker room
- Made it such that kids now go to European games for free
Quite a list in just over 2 months of ownership.
I am not sure what people expected/expect. When Henry made those Nov 15th statements Comolli had been working for the 1st time with Hodgson for a whopping 12 days. Any good manager of a business would tell you that they would need more time than 12 days to do due diligence on an employee (i.e. Hodgson).
IMO, the timing was always going to be now. Not November. Not December. But from Boxing Day onwards.
I am a big fan of this ownership group. They brought a championship to Boston after 86 years of finishing 2nd. 2 entire generations of my family came and went without seeing a trophy being lifted. So I have seen what they can do not only on the playing field, but also in the community. I see it every year. Furthermore, I see what these guys can do outside of NESV, as the firm I work for competes with many of the NESV partners in our day jobs, so I know how they handle themselves in their other businesses.
I don't have rose colored glasses on when I assess their work. I base it on (1)
what they have done/do and (2)
how they have conducted themselves in accomplishing it. RESULTS and CHARACTER.
As it turns out they have won more hardware in 8 years of Sports ownership (if you count divisional championships & wildcard berths), than Liverpool FC have won in the past 20 (even if you include fluff things like the Super Cup). Actually more if you want to include NESV's auto-racing team. RESULTS...
Furthermore, look down that list of NESV partners and check out where they work and how they made their respective fortunes... There is one underlying commonality between all of them... They ALL, to a man, are INFORMATION FREAKS. Their life's blood depends on it. So, I find it difficult to believe that they haven't known what has been going on here for months and months and months.
Personally I wouldn't be surprised in the least if they knew Hodgson wasn't their guy from even before they purchased the team, but that they just wanted Comolli to make sure and do his due diligence on the First Team Manager the same way that he did his due diligence on the Liverpool Scouting System. These guys always have a plan. They did in Boston circa 2002 when they bought the club, named a new DOF-equivalent a month later and then sacked the existing manager 2 months after that (sound familiar).
If people are going to not trust this ownership/management or treat them with an arms-length approach, I can respect that, especially considering everything that we have gone through under Hicks/GG for the past half decade.
But don't say that these guys don't get Sports. Don't say that these guys haven't been informed or aren't informed. And don't say that these guys haven't done anything yet at changing this Club. Those arguments hold no water.
Anyway...Why haven't they sacked Hodgson since Boxing Day...? Who knows...
But here's a list that makes complete sense to me :
Still... All those potential reasons don't explain why they haven't named an interim manager for a few weeks...
- Maybe they thought that they would be able to wait another week and introduce a new manager and a new CEO at the same time
- Maybe the managers that they have been targeting for a few months weren't in a position to leave their respective clubs before mid-January
- Maybe there is some sort of item in Hodgson's contract stating that if he was relieved of his duties prior to Jan 15th (2 Saturdays from now, which is halfway through the transfer window) that he would get some sick amount of money (which considering the items in Carragher's contract that kicked in during the ownership change, it wouldn't surprise me if there is something like this)
- Maybe they have currently agreed terms with another manager, but he has to wait around until a set date in January to receive some sort of payout from his existing club (it happens in other professions so I am assuming it happens in this one, too), so they have to stay mum
But who knows... maybe Kenny has indicated that he doesn't want it anymore and maybe like the former Head of Scouting just last week, Sammy Lee's time is up @ the club, too.Regardless, Hodgson is a deadman walking...
We all know it. Hodgson knows it. And you can bet our owners & Comolli have known for a while, too.
If you followed other managers @ big clubs who have gotten the sack this past month (i.e. Rafa), you know that it might take a day or two to hammer out details with the various attorneys before you announce that they have been sacked. I see this situation as the same way.
He'll be gone by the end of the week.
For what it's worth...If Liverpool's good fortunes were a public stock I would be backing the truck up and piling it away.
Our good fortunes are a home-run. Things were @ their bleakest under Hicks&GG this summer & early fall. We turned the corner as a Club months ago... Big structural changes have already taken place. This on-the-pitch downturn is temporary and is nothing more than a great opportunity for us.
Furthermore, even from a Transfer Market standpoint, Henry/NESV are going to HAVE to say something about the managerial situation ASAP. Comolli is trying to get talent in here at the First Team level and also into the Academy. He knows that any Liverpool January transfer target isn't going to want to go here if they were uncertain about what type of system they were going into.And if in the very very VERY REMOTE chance that Henry/Werner/Comolli come out in support of Hodgson until the end of the season
, then I will understand that regardless how much I disagree with the decision that he'll be here until then. That doesn't mean I or anyone else is going to sing his name @ 11th Street Bar in NYC or in The Kop, it just means that I'll continue to back this Club & Team during his management.EDIT:
And for what it's worth, I hope someone removes that "Hodgson Out" graffiti from Melwood. IMO, that's completely over-the-line and not what most of us expect from 99% of the supporters, but yet that's the stuff that is plastered all over the world media and the stuff by which other supporters are now defining us.