Roy Hodgson Defends His Bureaucratic Record at Liverpool

Liverpool – The vultures may be circling over the head of beleaguered Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson, but the 63-year-old refused to go down without a fight as today he gave a sterling defence of his bureaucratic record.

Hodgson explains his new scouting report layout while the team waits impatiently for the ball.

Hodgson explains his new scouting report layout while the team waits impatiently for the ball.

In a press conference, Hodgson came out swinging against his critics: “Many of those who argued that I was the manager of the year in 2010 now say I should be sacked at the beginning of 2011; I think that fails to take into account how thoroughly I’ve streamlined the system of office purchases, how efficiently I dealt with the paperwork over Joe Cole’s transfer, and how proactive I’ve been in addressing the club’s lack of car parking space.”

“That last one was a real headache,” chuckled Hodgson as he took a careful sip from his slightly hot cup of tea.

Hodgson, manager of the year last season for making lowly Fulham seem like a genuine Premier League club, was given his last shot at the big time when he took over the Liverpool job from fan favourite Rafa Benitez. However, Liverpool FC has since had its worst start to a season for over 50 years.

The low point came with a home defeat on Dec. 29 against bottom club Wolves, who had the worst away record of all 92 teams in the English leagues. The Wolves fans taunted the Liverpool fans by singing: “How shit are you? We’re winning away!”

Roy Hodgson ponders an office dress code while Liverpool go 0-1 down to Wolves.

Roy Hodgson ponders an office dress code while Liverpool go 0-1 down to Wolves.

“The problem is that the press and the fans only care about the glamorous parts of football,” complained Hodgson. “It’s all about goals, results, points, league position, and trophies. They don’t realise there’s far more to football management than winning football games.”

“What about punctuality? What about a well-organised filing system for the club accounts? What about teacher evaluation in our football academy?” asked Hodgson, with a look on his face that said these were rhetorical questions to which no obvious answer could be given.

Hodgson was particularly harsh on his predecessor, Rafa Benitez, who famously won the Champions League with Liverpool in his first season and made them realistic title hopefuls despite the horrendous mismanagement of club owners Tom Hicks and George Gillette.

Roy Hodgson reminds Fernando Torres that punctuality is next to cleanliness in virtue.

Roy Hodgson reminds Fernando Torres that punctuality is next to cleanliness in virtue.

“Everyone talks about what a good job Benitez did here, but they should have seen the chaos this place was in when I got here!” exclaimed Hodgson.

“I don’t wish to sound rude, but he kept the staples in his desk drawer and the paper clips with his secretary, even though his secretary was the only one in the office with a stapler,” said Hodgson, arching his undefined eyebrows.

“What would happen if he needed to file some papers in a hurry, as I had to do with the signing of Joe Cole? He’d have to get up and go out to his secretary’s desk to get either the stapler or a paper clip, and then go all the way back to his desk.”

“That’s just not proper management,” clucked Hodgson disapprovingly.

Hodgson was also critical of a number of staff Benitez had hired, saying that the tea lady wasn’t up to the standard of a Premier League club and his personal assistant was attractive to watch but not particularly good at managing an appointments schedule.

"Sure, but what about the staples, Rafa?" asked Hodgson sarcastically, before apologising for his outburst.

"Sure, but what about the staples, Rafa?" asked Hodgson sarcastically, before apologising for his outburst.

For some mysterious reason, however, Liverpool fans continue to prefer Benitez to Hodgson, to whom they have never extended a welcome. The first time the Kop chanted his name was during the home defeat to Wolves, when Liverpool supporters ironically chanted “Hodgson for England!”

Typically, Hodgson refused to take offence. “No, it would be a great honour for me to manage England,” said Hodgson, beaming like a church vicar invited to tea by the bishop. “The England job is primarily an administrative and PR post, and I think those are my real strengths as a manager. I’m delighted the fans believe in my abilities enough to back me for the job.”

“Another advantage is that the England manager doesn’t have to be around footballers all the time,” said Hodgson, cleaning his hands fussily with a disinfecting baby wipe. “I really don’t like footballers very much. They’re so aggressive and pushy and demanding.”

“They just don’t know the joy of quietly organising one’s stamp collection on a Sunday afternoon with a good cup of English tea,” he added.

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