So it's Roy Hodgson is it? After all that longing for King Kenny to return, Liverpool get Roy Hodgson. With those last minute rumours about Capello, Liverpool get Roy Hodgson. And I don't think that's a bad thing. Not one bit.
The best metaphor I can come up with for Roy Hodgson, is that he's like an old whore. Leathery complexion, devastated eyes… No, not like that. What I mean is that he's been around a lot, and he's seen a lot of things. He's not as glamourous as the younger generation, and he's not willing to try as many radical things anymore, but boy, has he got experience!
There's already a little bit of whinging going on among kopites (just a bit). People are saying he's a hair-shirt manager, that Liverpool are admitting that they're not the best anymore. But that's the thing. Liverpool aren't the best anymore, and they need someone solid, reliable and sensible to help rebuild the ephemeral Anfield Way. There isn't anyone better at that, than Roy Hodgson.
Roy Hodgson has a lot in common with some top managers. He can get a huge amount of effort and teamwork out of players who didn't cost him much at all, just like Arsene Wenger. He's got a fantastic scouting network, just like the one that Alex Ferguson has developed over the years. And he understands the English game as well as Harry Redknapp, if not a bit better.
Furthermore, he lacks some of the serious faults that have hindered recent LFC managers. He won't let the team turn themselves into the Spice Boys, nor will he buy players simply because they meet the criteria of being young and French (you know who I'm talking about). But he isn't as much of a departure from Benitez as you may think.
Rafa was a very technical and calm manger. So is Roy. Rafa relied heavily on his scouts to bring in bargains. So does Roy. But all of that aside, the crucial difference is that whereas Rafa was incapable of operating without money, Hodgson can thrive in that situation.
I'm looking forward to this season now. It won't be full of silverware, but Liverpool might pick up a trophy before the end. There won't be any huge new signings, but there will be some promising youth team players coming through. There won't be high drama, but for the first time since Dalglish left, we might get some sensible soccer out of Liverpool, and that has to be the way forward. Until we get our own billionaire at the helm.