"What do you mean you've hurt 'your' knee, it's Liverpool's knee" - Bill Shankly.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Deja Vu

Hodgson leaves Udinese after criticising club

By Gordon Tynan

Tuesday, 11 December 2001

    Roy Hodgson has parted company with the Italian club Udinese. The 54-year-old former Blackburn Rovers manager had been in crisis talks with the club's owner, Giampaolo Pozzo, after reportedly claiming at the weekend that he and his players were not as "well supported as we should be".

    Roy Hodgson has parted company with the Italian club Udinese. The 54-year-old former Blackburn Rovers manager had been in crisis talks with the club's owner, Giampaolo Pozzo, after reportedly claiming at the weekend that he and his players were not as "well supported as we should be".

    The former Switzerland and Internazionale coach, who endured an unsuccessful spell at Ewood Park in 1997-98, only took over at Udinese in the summer after taking FC Copenhagen to the Danish title, their first championship since 1993. Hodgson was quoted in the press at the weekend as saying: "Obviously I'm very happy to be back at this level of football, but I could have chosen a better club to come back to. It's an extremely strange club."

    Hodgson yesterday claimed he did not recall making the comments. An official club statement yesterday said: "After the meeting today, Mr Roy Hodgson and the Bianconeri have decided by mutual consent to break the agreement they had in the month of July. The new coach will be announced tomorrow. The club would like to thank Mr Roy Hodgson for his collaboration throughout his time."

    The goalkeeping coach, Alessandro Zampa, will take charge of Udinese's Italian Cup match against Parma tonight.

    Pozzo had met with Hodgson after the club's 2-1 win over Verona on Sunday. "The club does not deserve those criticisms," said Pozzo. "I am very disappointed with the comments made by Mr Hodgson."

    Udinese are ninth in Serie A, five points clear of the relegation places after 13 games. They staged a dramatic fightback to defeat Verona, scoring two goals in the last seven minutes.

    Hodgson had been quoted as saying: "The players and myself don't feel we're being as well supported as we should be at the moment but maybe that will change. Nothing that has happened in my time at the club has suggested that we aren't going to be able to stay in this division. I'd like to have another crack at the Premiership. I regard myself as a European, but the great advantages for me going back to England would be the language and the culture. I'll just have to wait and see if an offer comes my way."

    Hodgson's playing career with Crystal Palace, Maidstone United, and the South African club Berea Park was relatively undistinguished. But when he went into management, with Halmstad in Sweden, he won two championships in a four-year spell from 1976-80.

    After a brief and unsuccessful spell at Bristol City in 1982, who were relegated to the old Fourth Division after he had moved up from assistant manager to take over from Bob Houghton, he returned to Sweden and enjoyed an amazing run of success at Malmo. From 1985 to 1990 he won five consecutive championships and two Swedish Cups.

    In 1994 he took Switzerland to their first World Cup finals in 28 years. As coach of Internazionale, he took the Milan club to seventh place in Serie A in 1995-96, and to the Uefa Cup final in 1996-97.

    The Brazilian striker Ronaldo admitted it was a dream come true to score after just 19 minutes of his latest comeback match for Internazionale – a 3-1 win over Brescia at the weekend. "A goal after two years was so important," he said. "I have dreamt of this. It's a moment of few words and great happiness."

    The Internazionale coach, Hector Cuper, adopted a more cautious tone. "When a player is fit then I will let him play, but Ronaldo certainly cannot carry 90 minutes right now," Cuper told Inter's official website. "I wanted to field Ronaldo from the start without pressure and he gave a good performance. I knew he was ready and focused."

    Ronaldo lasted 61 minutes of the game before being substituted as he builds up his match fitness, having limped out of action twice before this season in attempted comebacks.

    Hodgson quits as Rovers hit bottom

    Blackburn have struggled since winning the Premiership title in 1995

    Blackburn Rovers 0 Southampton 2Saturday, November 21, 1998 Published at 19:26 GMT

    Roy Hodgson has parted company with Blackburn Rovers after the club hit rock bottom following a humiliating defeat at the hands of relegation rivals Southampton.

    Hodgson wrote in his regular Saturday newspaper column only hours before the game: "The way a manager behaves in times of crisis can often be the decisive factor in determining whether a team pulls through or slides deeper into trouble."

    Rovers fans will hope his decision to quit will not be the decisive factor leading to their relegation.

    Two wins this season

    The club, who won the championship only three years ago, have won only two Premiership games this season.

    [ image: Roy Hodgson has thrown the towel in]
    Roy Hodgson has thrown the towel in
    Ironically, Hodgson had been touted as the next England manager and angry Blackburn fans were mockingly chanting "Hodgson for England" towards the end of game.

    Hodgson failed to appear at the post-match press conference, and instead, chief executive John Williams announced that he had left the club.

    A club statement said: "Following the run of recent poor results, Jack Walker and Roy Hodgson have agreed that Roy will be leaving the club.

    "The club are disappointed at this outcome but feel the decision is inevitable and in the best interests of Blackburn Rovers."

    Few would have expected Hodgson's Ewood Park career to end in such circumstances after he joined in a blaze of glory from Inter Milan in June 1997.

    The former Switzerland coach had a CV which was the envy of most coaches and he was one of the hottest managerial properties in Europe.

    He enhanced his reputation in his first season by leading Rovers into Europe.

    He was even contacted by the German FA when they were searching for a successor to Berti Vogts.

    Spending spree

    Since the end of last season he spent £20m on strengthening his side, but instead of challenging for the top, he found his team battling against relegation.

    It is expected that Hodgson's assistant Tony Parkes will be asked to take up the managerial reigns again until a successor is found.

    The side's captain,Tim Sherwood, felt Hodgson had paid the price for the poor sequence of results.

    Sherwood, who had his rows with Hodgson this season, said: "We had no inclination that this was going to happen.

    "I think it's harsh to put sole blame on Roy Hodgson, but at the end of the day, results speak louder than words, and we have not been getting them.

    "You have to respect Jack Walker's decision because the buck stops with the manager. It's Jack's club and Jack's money, and as a player and captain of this club, I respect whatever decision he makes."

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