I’m still not sure about calling Roy Hodgson “Mr H” previous article refers. I doesn’t feel right somehow.
So after much deliberation, well ten minutes discussion or so with a friend in the pub, I’ve decided on an alternative, “HRH” – hang on before you off on one, let me explain. The last two letters are self evident however the prefix is variable, changeable depending Roy’s mood or how the team has performs. If we win it’s “Happy Roy Hodgson”, if we lose it’s “Hurmphing Roy Hodgson” at the moment given the way he has gone about things since he took over it’s “Honest Roy Hodgson” but, and let’s hope this doesn’t happen, if things go pear shaped it’s “Horrible Roy Hodgson”. The overall “default” setting is “His Roy Hodgson” or should it be “His Roy Hodgsoness” – thank God it’s raining as write this I think I’ve had too much sun!
There is still a long way to go, and it’s still early days, but I think our new manager has done a commendable job so far. I greeted with his appointment with an open mind and to be honest I think it’s gone better than I really expected. In short I like him more, day by day. The most evident, most refreshing thing is that HRH as a knack of telling like it is. God bless Rafa and I still love him and despite the brickbats at the end he did a lot for the club, but one of his faults was a certain brooding reticence in front of the media. Often it reminded me of being with your other half when she’s got a cob on. You know something is wrong but she won’t tell you because somehow you are expected to know! No one is psychic so why keep it bottled up, tell it like it is especially as it is more than likely to come out of woodwork anyway?
Aside for his honesty so far HRH’s dealings with the players is shaping up well. Torres, staying? Tick! Gerrard, staying? Tick! Although Mascherano looks like he is on his way one can’t really blame HRH for that, it’s been on the cards since last summer. Perhaps more encouraging is the moves he has made to show a succession of, to put it politely, “underperformers” the door – you know who they are. Equally I wouldn’t put past those who how have managed to escape his clear out but have still a lot to prove (Babel, Aquilani etc) to be galvanised by the change of manager? And the new buys? So far so good Joe Cole and Danny Wilson look to be good acquisitions for differing reasons. Although the search for a left back goes on HRH has shown degree pragmatism by resigning Fabio Aurelio who apparently has impressed HRH in training. Although the trial for Luke Young appears to have gone cold we still appear to be pursuing Paul Konchesky from HRH’s old club.
So its early day’s yet and with a Premiership fixture list that sees us play Arsenal, Manchester City and The Mancs in the first five games things could go a bit astray? However, I feel an invigorating blast of fresh air blowing through the team. It’s a feeling that can’t be backed by results (yet) but I feel it’s there. No disrespect to Rafa but sometimes a change is needed just to keep your mojo going. HRH has done well so far but obviously the real test is about to begin when the key players return and the campaign starts in earnest. Lets hope they, and the rest of the team, rise to the occasion and take us on a surprisingly productive and enjoyable journey?
In the meantime pre season preparation continues with a game against Borussia Moenchengladbach – Give me a “b”, give me an “o”, oh sod it!
Inevitably reference will be made to and memories will hark back to a certain night in Rome in 1977 however clearly this a different set of circumstances. Although the importance if the game is light years away from the European Cup final we do see an increase in seriousness on our part? Steven Gerrard, Joe Cole, Jamie Carragher and Glen Johnson all travel to Germany with strong rumours that Cole will make his debut today. If Gerrard plays it will be interesting to see where both players start – perhaps a clue for the rest of the season? Above all, let’s just hope we continue Thursday’s good work?