Football Expert & Columnist
Hooray for Henry!
Jamie Redknapp wants Liverpool's prospective owners to move in quick - and keep Roy Hodgson.
Last Updated: 07/10/10 10:45am
You can only hope that common sense prevails at Liverpool... at last.
After all that's gone on, all they have been through, I really hope Tom Hicks and George Gillett take what money is on offer and cut their losses, for the sake of Liverpool Football Club.
Everybody knows it hasn't worked out and the sooner it's sorted the better for everybody; better for the fans, the players and for Roy Hodgson. At last there is some light at the end of the tunnel and even the news that New England Sports Ventures have agreed to buy the club must have given every single Liverpool fan a lift.
Of course everyone is right to be a little bit worried that we're talking about American owners again but these people at least like sport, have an interest in sport and a track record in sport. Hicks and Gillett just didn't seem to get it - and they certainly didn't seem to understand Liverpool Football Club.
And long gone are the days of English chairmen and owners. If guys from America, Russian billionaires or Abu Dhabi consortiums want to come and pump their money into our clubs, so be it. The Premier League is global now, whether we like it or not.
The problem with Hicks and Gillett was they just seemed so far removed, so distanced from it all and I am not sure they understood the damage that was being done. Call it bad judgement on their part, call it bad luck on Liverpool's part, whatever it was, it was starting to become a real problem.
And I don't care what anyone says, it does affect what happens on the field. Myself and Graeme Souness disagree on this, but to be fair to Graeme he was a player when everything was fine at Anfield. I have been there in times of transformation myself and you cannot help but be aware of it.
There is enough pressure at Liverpool with former players passing judgement - and not just any players, but players with European Cup winners' medals, multiple championship medals, the lot - and now I am doing the same. That is hard enough to cope with but, when you know 2,000 fans are marching before a game, or staging a sit-in on the Kop after it, you'd have to be blind not to notice.
For a start, it affects the whole atmosphere at a game if you know the fans are coming there to protest as much as cheer you on. You can just sense it; the mood isn't quite as upbeat, the fans aren't quite looking forward to it and that buzz you get at Anfield on matchdays just isn't quite the same.
I just hope this can be sorted as quickly as possible so everyone can start concentrating on what happens on the field which, so far, just hasn't been good enough.
I don't think for a minute we are talking about a relegation battle here but the League Cup defeat at home to Northampton proved what I thought all along: that this Liverpool squad just isn't up to scratch.
There's nothing wrong with the starting XI but what that Northampton game showed is that the second string aren't good enough. No disrespect to Ian Sampson and his side, there is no way Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham's second XI would have lost to them. At home.
Pepe Reina, Jamie Carragher, Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres are as good a spine as you'll get in the Premier League and I do think Raul Meireles and Paul Konchesky are good additions, while there is no doubt Joe Cole will be a major plus once he gets some confidence.
But that is the problem at Liverpool right now. It's hard enough joining a club with such history and tradition as it is, never mind one that's in complete turmoil behind the scenes.
And the one man who will have been through all that is Roy Hodgson. I know there are markets on him losing his job and to an extent Gillett and Hicks may have deflected some of the pressure off him, but at the same time, it must be incredibly difficult working in those conditions.
Of course, the start they have made is not good enough and Roy knows that. But if you are trying to tell me that in the space of seven games, a man who has had success all over the world, in Italy with Inter and who has taken Fulham to a European final, has suddenly become a bad manager, then I would have to say you're wrong.
New managers always need time and Roy has hardly had any. Yes, if things haven't improved eight months down the line, a year down the line, then maybe then it would be time to get rid of him. But now? No way.
When the new owners come in - and please, let it happen as quickly as possible - they have said there will be money to improve the squad. Let Roy bring more of his own players in and then judge; and if it is no better, then something will have to give.
Also, to all these people who say he should go, who would they rather see take over? Kenny Dalglish's name always gets mentioned and he's already at the club, so it always becomes more of a possibility if they do want to go down that route, but I can't see it.
Of course, the new owners might even have their own manager in mind as they often do, but right now there is only one man to manage Liverpool Football Club and that is Roy Hodgson.