Torres: we never understand what Hodgson wanted

Fernando Torres on Roy Hodgson:

Hodgson came with his ideas about football, his tactics and methods. I think the fact is maybe we never understand what Hodgson wanted or Hodgson never understand us. I think that is not his fault, he’s a great, great man and great manager

So why could Fulham players understand what Hodgson wanted, but supposedly better players at Liverpool could not?

24 thoughts on “Torres: we never understand what Hodgson wanted

  1. If they don’t know the difference between “understand” and “understood”, it’s no wonder they didn’t understand the eloquent and erudite Hodgson.

    Hodgson is superb at getting good players to thrive under his strict, structured system. What he was always going to struggle with was getting the superstars to adhere to his tactics, and not think that they were too good for it. That was always the danger at Liverpool – a club that demands attacking football to reflect their glorious “history”. Defensive, structured football was never going to be a success in a team with the likes of Gerrard and Torres.

    1. Well, let’s bear in mind that Torres isn’t a native English speaker so some grammatical errors should probably be forgiven.

      But you’re right: It’s about the ego of superstars rendering them unable to adapt to a rigid system.

  2. I lost a lot of respect for Liverpool (both the squad and the fans) over this whole Hodgson deal. It’s not like I was unaware of the incredibly fickle nature of the game, but it’s rare you see it in such stark relief.

  3. I remember an elementary school teacher telling me and other students at the time that it wasn’t about how we didn’t “get” certain subjects (math, reading, etc), it’s that we didn’t want to “get” the subjects.

    Although many a counselor or other type person would argue otherwise, I think there is a large grain of truth to that. And it still exists into adulthood, as seen here.

  4. I think the make-up of the teams has a lot to do with it. Among many veteran plays on the squad, Fulham was composed of 4 national team captains (Davies, Hughes, Gera, Hangeland) 2 national treasures (Schwarzer and Pantsil), and a principled articulate natural born leader (Murphy). Many (most?) PL teams have more talent, but few if any, especially Liverpool, had such depth of accomplished leadership. These are players who will obviously respond well and inspire others to respond well to the “tactics and methods” of a coach who is thought of, even by one of his detractors, as a “great, great man and great manager”.

    1. Leadership yes, and character. I remember as last season’s transfer window approached Roy was playing down the idea of splashing the cash on big money signings. He questioned whether such players would apply themselves as well as his existing squad were doing, and whether the whole ethos that he had built up at Fulham risked being undermined should any prima donnas come to the club.

      Roy likes intelligent, level headed grafters. As Rich’s piece in the last Fulham Review shows, there was a faction when he was at Blackburn who wanted training to be fun. What they got each morning was a rather old fashioned hand shake and greeting followed by hours of drills which might have pleased an army sergeant-major.

  5. This is the argument I heard from lots of quarters when Hodgeson was struggling at Liverpool, ‘He did well at Fulham because players of that quality would put up with boring drills and training. Players at Liverpool just won’t stand for that…’ Trite honestly and unfair to our very experienced squad. Maybe once you’ve signed for Liverpool you think that you’ve arrived and have nothing more to learn…

    1. Has to be said though that Liverpool have improved massively since Hodgson got sacked.

      Suggests that Hodgson never found the buttons that Dalglish is currently pressing.

      1. I think you will find that those buttons were not available to be pressed. Stalwarts within the club had the objective to cause Hodgson to fail. He could never have succeeded.

        1. This may be true to some extent, but he was clearly not the right man for the job. I saw a couple of Liverpool away performances this season under Roy and they were hilariously negative. A mate was at the Wigan game when they took an early lead and subsequently sat back for the rest of the match and almost lost. He and the rest of the Liverpool fans weren’t happy with that. Liverpool shouldn’t be trying to scrape results against Wigan.

          I can’t remember where I read it, but apparently at Blackburn Roy had a 33% win record, also the case at Fulham and Liverpool. You can’t have a 33% win record at Liverpool and expect to stay in the job long. Particularly when you combine this with negative football and negative demaenour. Some managers are made for the top clubs, others for mid table clubs. It’s pretty obvious which group Roy belongs in.

  6. What really surprised me is how an intelligent, thoughtful, sensitive man like Hodgson, failed to see the inevitable disaster that the move to Liverpool was always going to be. Is his Achilles heel a need for more and more recognition? Lack of recognition, a feeling of not being fully and properly appreciated – these seem to be themes in Roy’s various ramblings. “Me an Sir Alex …” etc.

  7. Has to be said, Mark Hughes is starting to get things in the right direction too. What has surprised me so much is that for an offensive minded coach he has had so many draws, but i think as even more players come healthy his firepower will improve.

    I think the transfer market dealings have also been sound. Roy has left a very good foundation of leadership, and getting the right kind of talent (young, still moldable, hasn’t proven anything yet but promising) is huge. Dembele might end up being one of the best buys of ANY club this year…

    Also, to stick the knife in you all, i think we are now 12th. You all were predicting much worse than that just a month ago. Mean reversion amigos!

    1. LOL! I think it is slowing becoming obvious what was the true “root cause” of Liverpool’s woes… and it wasn’t Roy.

  8. I think Hodgson knew it was going to be a nightmare task but couldn’t resist the lure of a big name club. Can’t say I blame him, but he can’t expect any sympathy. He knew what he was getting in to and subsequently suffered the (predictable) consequences.

  9. What do you all think about the rumors of Roy taking over at West Brom? I don’t think he would do it because the club is in financial shambles, but that sort of thing hasn’t seemed to bother him in the past.

    So, will he do it to stay in the Premiereship or will he go abroad?

    1. They’re financially sound, a problem on the pitch being that they don’t overspend. But it’s too late to buy, which will surely discourage anyone who isn’t desperate for another job right now. I’ve no idea what RH will do, but if he were a member of my family I would be encouraging him to sit out the rest of this season.

  10. What about Wolfsburg? Maybe Roy might want to disappear overseas for a bit and Wolfsberg would have been impressed with last years matches against them. Though of course they may wish to stay clear of another English manager …

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