I can understand why Hodgson is still here.. I can understand it if the aftermath (probably a loss if we're honest) of the Manchester United game is to fall on his shoulders. The difficulty, of course, comes if it's an emphatic win. A win against Blackpool and then a home win against Everton could seal his future for the season.
Is this a good thing? There are arguments for and against, but I'm betting that NESV are hoping that this happens. They are clearly not ready and their plans haven't reached fruition just yet. I'm sure that the actions behind the scenes have stepped up in intensity - but as much as it pains me to say it - we've really got to think long term.
In many, many ways I want Roy gone RIGHT NOW. THIS SECOND. And there would be short term satisfaction in that. Even the vitriol and gnashing and wailing in the press would be most welcome - it would revert to 'them and us' once again (With your usual balanced exceptions). It's not sitting well with us that the press appear to be almost schizophrenic in their treatment of Liverpool FC at the moment. Their usual bile and guff is still there in droves - everyone from Rafa to the fans are getting blamed for everything as per usual - so it's business as normal there for the nations media. But then in steps their other personality - they clearly are out of their depth and don't know what to do. How to quite balanced their hysteria regarding the club with wanting to promote and back the only English manager to take the helm of a 'top four' club. The fact that he's making a dogs dinner of it doesn't really change their agenda. Whatever Roy accomplishes here will be down to him and he will get the credit. Not the club. You can bank on that.
But. Media aside. What other gains can be made here? What advantages does booting Roy into touch offer? NESV could gain short term satisfaction and thanks for 'acting quickly' from fans so fed up with football and what remains of their club that they are desperate to see action. Any action. NOW! So, short term appeasment is on the cards. That will make people happy. For a while. But then comes the next can of worms. Despite what people say, whoever comes in will be in a tricky position. If it's one of the LMA's (And obviously Media's) pets then they too will receive short shrift from the fans. The LMA and Media cannot insult, deride and take the piss out of LFC for decades without receiving some sort of backlash. Anyone coming that is seen as 'in' with the British media and 'in' with the LMA will evoke suspicion. Obviously depending on who it is - there will be most backing them (Obviously not if it's the likes of O'Neill or Allardyce who will be immediately hated and shunned from day one by a large proportion of the fanbase) - but there will always be someone that won't.
So. Where have we got to? Sacking Roy will feel good. But for how long? If the plans that NESV are obviously working on aren't in place then rushing them through will achieve nothing but more strife. Apart from anything else important decisions will have to be made - Roys severance is one thing - £3M that would be leaving the club. £3M that might do some good. £3M that might be needed. Then we come to the possibility of bringing a GOOD manager in that's already employed elsewhere (And most of the good ones are) - so if someone is brought in full time then you may well have yet another payoff to a club to release that manager. More good money leaving the club after bad. To appease the fans (including people like me). Or you could take a gamble on a manager out of contract, but you if you take that route then questions clearly need to be asked why any particular manager is out of work at that particular time. You also have to analyse their results, impact to the team and how they fit the strategy of the new owners. This (it goes without saying) is also something that has to be analysed in great detail to any potential new man coming in.
What if we take the route of short-termism? Temporary appointments? Something that certainly could turn into a recipe for disaster - we've just had so many examples in recent seasons and in recent decades of clubs that jump on the NOW! NOW NOW! Bandwagon. Nothing is certain in life, but it's pretty odds on that short term appointments on the whole (Unlesss you're escaping relegation) tend not to work. However, The other side of the coin and yet another potential problem with a short term appointment (if another target has been wooed, selected and setup for the new season) - is bizarrely if the short-term replacement comes in and does a sterling job. What then? You get to the end of the season. The club has spent more millions securing the manager to start a new reign - and yet the fans will probably want a successful 'short term' appointment to stay. If they do stay then that's more money and time gone for the club. If they go and are seen to be 'unfairly replaced', then seething resentment will appear once again against the owners and the club. And once again the fans are going to be massively divided. Say Kenny was brought in. Did an amazing job. Got us to 2nd and won the UEFA Cup? How many people would want him to be 'booted out' once the season ends? A massive, massive can of worms. Any new man coming in will be unfairly treated and thought of by the fans and potentially by the media.
This leaves us somewhere between a rock and a hard place. My personal view is that if the club sticks with Roy then we are getting relegated. Looking at stats from Hodgson's career - I think we'll take a dip in the second half of the season. No other team really has hit much form - but I've never seen a season where most teams don't put a run together at some point. Past statistics strongly suggest that we won't be a team that will achieve this. Given we are 4 points from relegation - but more importantly 5 points from the bottom of the table, this is a concern.
There is no easy choice here for NESV. It's a minefield. Short termism is proven time and again not to work (Except at a very basic 'saving the club from relegation' level). Long termism would be the order of the day in most circumstances - but the world isn't fair and things don't always go as you expect and sometimes your hand is forced.
There is a saying: A wise man does immediately what a non-wise man does eventually.