Dirk Kuyt Craig Bellamy Ryan Babel Fabio Aurelio
Alberto Aquilani Charlie Adam Maxi Rodriguez
Nathan Eccleston David Amoo Stephen Darby
Fernando Torres Raul Meireles David Ngog
Paul Konchesky Christian Poulsen Emiliano Insua Philipp Degen
Thomas Ince Milan Jovanovic Sotirios Kyrgiakos
Javier Mascherano Yossi Benayoun Andriy Voronin Andrea Dossena
Charles Itandje Damien Plessis Lauri Dalla Valle
Nicolas Anelka Gary McAllister Christian Ziege Nick Barmby
Stephen Wright Jari Litmanen Pegguy Arphexad Bernard Diomede
Vegard Heggem Markus Babbel Emile Heskey Abel Xavier
Vladimir Smicer Mauricio Pellegrino El-Hadji Diouf Alou Diarra
Igor Biscan Gregory Vignal Richie Partridge Paul Harrison
Jon Otsemobor Mark Smyth Antonio Nunez Milan Baros
John Welsh Josemi Fernando Morientes Zak Whitbread
Bruno Cheyrou Neil Mellor Robbie Fowler Jerzy Dudek
Daniele Padelli Craig Bellamy Mark Gonzalez
Chris Kirkland Paul Jones Gabriel Paletta Darren Potter
David Raven Djibril Cisse Bolo Zenden Stephen Warnock
Jan Kromkamp Momo Sissoko John Arne Riise Harry Kewell
Anthony Le Tallec Peter Crouch Danny Guthrie Robbie Keane
Steve Finnan      

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Date of Birth : 9 Aug 1947
Birthplace : Croydon

Games : 31
Games Won : 13
Games Drawn : 9
Games Lost : 9


The Reds confirmed on Saturday they had parted company with the 18th boss in the club's history after 31 matches at the helm.

Liverpool acted swiftly to appoint Hodgson in July after the Benitez era drew to a close by mutual consent. He arrived at Anfield with a gleaming reputation having helped Fulham to two of the greatest seasons in their history.

The Croydon-born coach's final act with the Cottagers was to steer them to the Europa League final against all odds, where they were narrowly defeated by Atletico Madrid in the Hamburg final.

However, Hodgson's endeavours were enough to clinch the LMA Manager of the Year accolade by a record margin, serving to add to an already rich footballing pedigree.

It was no surprise, therefore, to see the 63-year-old heavily linked with the vacant hot seat at Anfield and on July 1, the Reds confirmed his appointment on a three-year deal.

Upon signing in at Anfield, Hodgson commented: "This is the biggest job in club football and I'm honoured to be taking on the role of manager of Britain's most successful football club. I look forward to meeting the players and the supporters and getting down to work at Melwood."

After a below-par 2009-10 season, Hodgson's arrival reinstalled a wave of optimism amongst supporters, helped in no small part by the decision of star duo Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres to commit their futures to the club shortly after speaking with the new manager.

The acquisition of England World Cup winger Joe Cole on a free transfer from Chelsea ahead of an extensive queue of other elite teams from across Europe only bolstered the feel-good factor reverberating around the walls of Anfield.

Things certainly begun brightly on the pitch for Hodgson too. He oversaw a routine 2-0 Europa League qualifying victory over FK Rabotnicki in Macedonia in his first competitive game in charge on July 29, before Liverpool won the return leg by the same scoreline at Anfield one week later.

On August 15, Hodgson took charge of his first Barclays Premier League game for Liverpool as Arsenal travelled to Merseyside on 2010-11's opening weekend.

Despite going down to 10 men on the stroke of the interval following a red card for Cole on his league bow, the Reds staged a gallant second-half display and duly took the lead through David Ngog. However, an uncharacteristic stoppage-time error from Pepe Reina gifted the Gunners a point.

A heavy 3-0 reversal at Manchester City was sandwiched in between Europa League victories over Trabzonspor as Liverpool secured a safe passage into the group stages - though the desire of Javier Mascherano to join Barcelona tempered any joy the Reds felt as they journeyed back from Turkey.

Hodgson moved quickly to swell his midfield ranks in the aftermath of the departure of the Argentina captain to the Nou Camp, signing FC Porto's Raul Meireles to add to the earlier purchase of Christian Poulsen. Full-back Paul Konchesky would later be drafted in from Fulham.

But Liverpool's form was beginning to stutter domestically and after a scrappy defeat of West Brom at home and a low-key goalless draw at Birmingham, they suffered a morale-sapping loss against Manchester United in mid-September.

Having gone two goals down, the Reds staged a dramatic fight back as two Gerrard goals restored parity at Old Trafford, only for Dimitar Berbatov to break Kopite hearts with a late winner.

That frustration was compounded by a shock penalty shootout exit from the Carling Cup at the first hurdle to League Two outfit Northampton Town at Anfield just days later.

A 2-1 defeat to newly-promoted Blackpool in front of the Kop on October 3 left Liverpool languishing in the bottom three of the table - and the Reds fared little better in Hodgson's first Merseyside derby, crashing to a 2-0 reversal against Everton at Goodison Park.

However, the Europa League was providing Liverpool with some welcome respite from their Premier League form, and a hard-fought goalless draw in Napoli proved the catalyst for the Reds to embark on their best run of the campaign so far.

Following a win over Blackburn at Anfield, Hodgson oversaw his first league away win at the helm against Bolton on October 31 courtesy of Maxi Rodriguez's dramatic winner at the death.

Napoli were then put to the sword at Anfield thanks to a superlative second-half hat-trick from Steven Gerrard to all but assure the Reds of a spot in the knockout stages of the Europa League.

Liverpool then manufactured arguably their finest performance of the entire calendar year, comprehensively dispatching defending champions Chelsea 2-0 at Anfield with an on-song Torres firing a memorable brace.

A draw at Wigan extended the Reds' unbeaten run to six matches in all competitions, however defeat at Stoke City was cause for further disappointment. Back on the continent, though, a 1-1 draw in Romania against Steaua Bucharest was enough to secure top spot in Europa League Group K with a game to spare.

Meanwhile, dominant home wins over West Ham and Aston Villa, and a spirited display at Tottenham gave cause for renewed optimism, only for Liverpool to slump to defeat at Newcastle.

A surprise 1-0 Anfield setback to bottom-of-the-table Wolverhampton Wanderers on December 29 intensified pressure on the Reds.

And though a New Year's Day win over Bolton was achieved, a 3-1 defeat at Blackburn - Liverpool's ninth of the campaign - sadly proved a result too far for Hodgson, who vacated the Reds' helm by mutual consent shortly after.

During his six-month stint in the hot seat, Hodgson took charge of 31 games in all competitions, winning 13 and losing nine.


Date of Birth : 16 Apr 1960
Birthplace : Madrid

Games : 350
Games Won : 194
Games Drawn : 77
Games Lost : 79

Honours with Liverpool : Champions League 2005, Super Cup 2005, FA Cup 2006, Charity Shield 2006


He was hailed as our Spanish messiah, a genial tactician who restored our reputation as one of Europe's biggest clubs and led us to one of the greatest triumphs in our history.

But after a six year reign of cup glory and league frustration Rafael Benitez Maudes' hopes of leading Liverpool to a record-breaking 19th League Championship were brought to an end following a disappointing 2009-10 campaign.

The Spaniard's first year in England had climaxed like a fairytale, one that was capped by a European achievement that will ensure his tenure will be immortalised and cherished in the annals of Anfield history.

For while even the late, great Bill Shankly took time to establish Liverpool as a force, Benitez made an almost immediate impact, shrugging off the disappointment of a fifth place finish in the Premiership to defy the odds and lead the Reds to a fifth European Cup success.

To say his legend can be summed up in six minutes would be to belittle his other achievements, but those few precious moments that followed half-time on Wednesday, May 25, 2005, were undoubtedly the most important.

A wave of optimism carried Liverpool into Rafa's second season and although the Reds secured a Super Cup win over CSKA Moscow, a fixture pile-up as a result of a series of Champions League qualifiers and inconsistent Premiership performances saw them struggle early on.

A run of one defeat in 18 matches, in which they set a new club record of 11 consecutive clean sheets, got the Reds back on track, culminating in a third place finish which at the time saw us notch up our highest points tally since the inauguration of the Premier League.

There was also another final to look forward to and, with more than a little sense of déjà vu, the Reds overcame West Ham on penalties to claim the FA Cup and a third trophy under Rafa in just two seasons.

The Spaniard had certainly shown he had the Midas touch, following on from his success at Valencia where he had a developed a reputation as one of Europe's finest coaches.

However, the media still doubted his understanding of the English game overall, as the frustration of yet another disappointing start in the Premiership in 06-07 was in stark contrast to the confident swagger the side had begun to display in the Champions League.

European Champions Barcelona stood in the way in the knockout stage, but Rafa and co produced one of the performances of the season to clinch a famous 2-1 win in the Nou Camp and lay the foundations for progress to the next round.

After overcoming PSV and Chelsea respectively, the final in Athens would be another repeat, but this time AC Milan gained revenge for 2005.

The arrival of Fernando Torres for a record fee was a firm statement of intent ahead of 07-08, and with his strongest group of players since taking charge, Benitez made his best ever start in the Barclays Premier League.

The Reds marched to a run of 14 league matches unbeaten but saw their title hopes derailed by a series of disappointing draws.

A shock FA Cup defeat at home to Barnsley heaped further pressure on the Reds before an impressive Champions League victory over Inter Milan proved the catalyst for an end of season surge.

A 4-2 triumph in an all-English quarter-final second-leg at home to Arsenal had supporters dreaming of a third European final in four seasons, but this time it would be Chelsea's turn to advance to Moscow.

A second year without a trophy raised the pressure again, but if it hadn't been for injuries to Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres, a partnership that had terrorised defences home and abroad, the Reds could easily have finished the season as the 2009 champions after losing just two league matches.

Highlights would include league doubles over both Manchester United and Chelsea, with the 4-1 mauling of Alex Ferguson's men at Old Trafford a particularly sweet moment for fans, players and coaching staff alike.

The Red Devils would go on to close out the championship but Liverpool kept winning right until the end with 10 victories from our last 11 league matches. It ensured we finished the campaign by setting a new personal Barclays Premier League best, with 86 points.

Expectation was higher than ever heading into 2009-10, but all was not well in the Liverpool camp.

Xabi Alonso's on-off transfer to Real Madrid was the major theme of a disappointing pre-season schedule. The opening day defeat at Tottenham proved to be a sign of things to come and once again the injuries to Torres and Gerrard would have a huge bearing on results.

By November any thoughts of a title challenge were over and a group stage exit from the Champions League threatened to completely derail the season.

Rumours of disharmony within the squad did little to raise the team's morale and a shock FA Cup replay defeat at home to Championship strugglers, Reading saw many within the media speculating that Rafa's future was in question.

Any hope of finishing the season with a trophy were ended by Diego Forlan's crucial away goal in the Europa League semi-final against Atletico Madrid, while a 2-0 reversal against Chelsea in the final home match of the campaign quashed our chances of a top four finish.

The goalless draw at relegated Hull City would not only prove to be the final game of a disappointing campaign, but would also be Rafa's swansong as the club opted to part ways with the Spaniard less than four weeks later after a season that saw his side lose 19 games.