Fulham have given Liverpool fans a timely ribbing ahead of the Premier League meeting between the two sides later this month.
As part of an article in the match programme for Sunday’s defeat against Chelsea, the Cottager’s listed three former individuals who they wish had stayed longer at the club than they did.
Unsurprisingly, Roy Hodgson was included – the manager who took Fulham all the way to the 2009/10 Europa League final, beating Juventus along the way, before moving onto the Reds the following season.
However, rather than merely paying a straightforward, inoffensive tribute to their former boss, the Cottagers decided to have a little fun at Liverpool’s expense by describing his brief, doom-laden tenure at Anfield thus:
He (Hodgson) was given a frosty reception on his subsequent appointment at Liverpool, with fans being unmoved by his success with smaller provincial clubs like Inter Milan.
Realising that Roy was not going to win the league immediately and angered by his failure to buy the world’s best players, who would obviously jump at the chance to sign for the team that had dominated Europe a mere three decades earlier, fans quickly lost patience.
Demonstrating the cool-headed pragmatism that has endeared them to the footballing public, the Liverpool faithful demanded Roy’s replacement be an exciting young manager befitting the club’s stature.
Hodgson lasted six months at Liverpool before being sacked with the team wallowing down in 12th place, winning just seven of his 20 matches in charge.
He was immediately replaced by Kenny Dalglish, who managed to win a League Cup the following season.
We pick up the article again at this precise point:
Setting the time circuits to 1991, the club’s executives piled into the waiting DeLorean and floored it to ’88, returning with a fresh-faced and energetic Kenny Dalglish, ready to usher in a new era of dominance spearheaded by future club legend Andy Carroll, a shrewd purchase at just £35million.
Unfortunately, however, Alex Ferguson and Wayne Rooney recovered the time machine, went back to 1991, stole the Sports Almanac and brutally laid out Jan Molby at the ‘Enchantment Under the Sea’ dance.
This left the club with no option but to drag present day Kenny out of the pub and into the dugout, skewing the timeline and culminating in an underwhelming eight-place finish and Kenny’s departure (again).
Vaguely amusing, no? Hardly the “astonishing series of swipes” being barked about by the Liverpool Echo. Regardless, it’s been enough to get some of the more sensitive members of the Liverpool fan base up in arms about Fulham’s abhorrent lack of respect.
Perhaps teasing a rival club for replacing a sacked manager with a well-regarded-if-not-fully-up-to-snuff former servant isn’t the best plan of attack given the Cottagers’ current situation – but hey ho.