Saturday, January 8, 2011

A tale of managers

Roy Hodgson's turbulent 7 months in charge of Liverpool came to the end many have been expecting last week with his resignation. In the opinion of most, me included, Roy Hodgson is a very good coach. Without mentioning his previous international achievements in his earlier managerial career, what he made of Fulham last year was just incredible, and he was rightfully crowned the EPL coach of the year. Fulham, which were always struggling near the bottom during the Coleman years, made meatloaf out of Man Utd and Liverpool of all at the Cottage, and nearly won the Europa Cup. His results at Liverpool are so far average, particularly for a team that is considered one of the "big" teams (whether it's still a big team is in itself debatable). In my opinion, it would have been hard on most managers to come in and make this Liverpool team an instant success. Besides Gerrard and Torres (and maybe Kuyt), Hodgson would probably have preferred 9 other players from his old Fulham side in his first team. He really did not have enough time at Liverpool to make it his team; he was playing with players left in shambles by Benitez. Can Dalglish work some magic over there? For someone who hasn't been behind the bench for years, I doubt it. He did not have to deal with 'prima donna' players during his successful management days at Blackburn. It's a totally different world of management. He will probably have more time than Benitez because he's the Kop, but success at Liverpool inevitably goes through a total clear-out.

On Monday, the FIFA coach of the year will be crowned. Can anyone really argue against Mourinho winning this? I suppose if the FIFA voters elected not to even shortlist Wesley Sneijder among the top 3 players in the world in 2010, then anything is possible! But what did Guardiola win more than Mourinho last year? Del Bosque won the World Cup, but is coaching a national team to become World champions more meritorious than leading a team to winning all club trophies in a calendar year? I don't think so. Mourinho should deservedly win the award, and if he doesn't, it would probably be because he's rubbed a considerable amount of  voters the wrong way with his famous "attitude" and legendary tirades. I still think he will win, and ironically I can't find any bookie or exchange that provide odds to these awards. The chances of the Portuguese would be of that of a striker facing an almost empty net.

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