Reaction to Hodgson's appointment

Former Liverpool captain Phil Thompson believes the appointment of Roy Hodgson as manager will hopefully signal the beginning of a new era at Anfield.

The ex-Fulham boss was confirmed as Rafael Benitez's replacement on a three-year contract this morning after the finer details of his severance from Craven Cottage were finalised.



Thompson, a European Cup-winning captain with the Reds, now hopes new owners can also be found so the club can move forward after a period of stagnation under co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett.



"We need the sale of the club sorted to enable us to really go forward," he said.



"I just hope it won't be too long before that's done. With a new boss and new owners it really would be the dawn of a new era."



Thompson, who was assistant manager during Frenchman Gerard Houllier's reign, believes Hodgson will help bring stability to Liverpool.



"After having foreign managers in Gerard Houllier and Rafa Benitez, it seems there was a thought process of going back to British," he added.



"The club needs a steadying influence and Roy will provide that.



"He's done a fantastic job at Fulham and has a wealth of experience having managed all over Europe.



"This is one of those jobs Roy had hoped and prayed for and it's a fantastic opportunity for him."



Thompson admits Hodgson's appointment will probably not be wholeheartedly welcomed by fans but he urged everyone at the club and supporters to get behind the new boss.



"The big thing now is to get everyone on board comfortable with his ideas and visions for the football club. He has to unite everyone," he told the Liverpool Echo.



"All summer there have been rumours about players going, but he's only just arrived and he won't want anyone leaving.



"He's a shrewd talker and I'm sure he will find the right words and the right manner to speak to players and convince them to stay.



"He will want to build for the future around Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres and Javier Mascherano.



"If - and it's a big if - players are sold then that cash has to be reinvested in the squad, and not go to the banks to pay off debt.



"No matter what you say about Rafa Benitez, he wasn't helped in that area. The board have to back Roy financially."

Former Reds striker John Aldridge feels Hodgson will "fit the bill perfectly" at Anfield and will have the respect of the squad.

Aldridge told Sky Sports News: "He does know what's necessary within the Premier League, the English mentality. He knows what the football club's all about and what the fans demand.



"His experience is exceptional, his CV is very good and the likes of Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher will be delighted to have Roy in charge.



"The fans wanted a manager installed as soon as possible, as soon as Rafa went. They've had to wait a few weeks but thankfully a part of Liverpool is fulfilled. There's two massive parts to go; the ownership - the sooner (Hicks and Gillett) leave the camp the better - and obviously the stadium.



"It's always a gamble when you appoint a manager, everyone knows that, but the players will look up to Roy - what he did at Fulham was exceptional."



Aldridge echoed Thompson's feeling that stability is vital, and added: "It's nice to see they've given him a three-year contract, not just a year or two, so it's more long-term to get the ship back on track.



"First and foremost he'll have to speak to the top stars - Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres, Javier Mascherano - he's got to address those situations and he has to know what he's got to work with.



"He'll have to know what's available at the moment and what he can bring in by selling players like Riera, Babel, Benayoun possibly.



"The top four is very competitive at the moment with Tottenham, Man City and Everton all having very good squads, but Liverpool have a squad that's well capable of doing so with one or two more additions."





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