Speaking ahead of Liverpool’s trip to the Hawthorns to take on West Brom (now managed by ex-Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson), Kenny Dalglish only had positive things to say about his predecessor. When asked if Hodgson would have extra motivation to ‘prove a point’ against his former club, Dalglish said:
“Roy hasn’t got anything to prove to anybody. If you say he has extra motivation then you are doubting the man’s integrity and implying he never had enough motivation before.
It’s Liverpool versus West Brom and we’ll face a team that has been prepared by Roy. I don’t have a problem with that. It’ll be nice to see him again.
Roy brings his own management style to the club and they have done well since he went in there. We are looking forward to the game. I have great respect for him, as I said when I came in here, and that isn’t going to change now that we are playing against each other.
So for me, the game is about Liverpool against West Brom and that’s the way I’ll go into it. I’ll see an old friend of mine standing in the opposite dugout. Everyone knows he’s an excellent coach so we know what to expect. We know how they will play so it’s up to us to be better than them on the day.”
Dalglish isn’t the only Liverpool legend to speak positively of Roy Hodgson. Jamie Carragher has also spoken up for his former manager in the past, saying that it was a case of the players letting the manager down as opposed to the manager not doing his job right.
There’s a strong blame culture in football, where we tend to put the responsibility on everyone but ourselves when something goes wrong (also known as the siege mentality top manager love to infuse their players with). With managers blaming the referee, opposition players, the pitch, the weather, FIFA, the FA, the Premier League and owners of other clubs for their own team’s faults, it’s ridiculously easy for fans to latch on to the same sets of excuses.
It may work in motivating the players, and it may work in deflecting pressure off the players and onto the manager / the rest of the world, but perhaps fans should know better than believe such nonsense?
And better yet, if everyone in football had the same respect for their fellow professionals (managers, players, referees) as Kenny Dalglish, it would be a far more enjoyable sport to follow. Except for the hacks…