11 Dec 2010

INTER MILAN: Hodgson (1995) vs. Benitez (2010): First 22 games comparison

In October 1995, Roy Hodgson took over as manager of Inter Milan. Almost 15 years later, Rafa Benitez - Hodgson's predecessor at Liverpool - left Anfield to manager Inter. Benitez that has been in charge at Inter for 22 games now: how do his first 22 games stack up against Hodgson's first 22 games in the 1995-96 season?

Football has obviously changed since 1995 (!), so this is not intended to be an absolute like-for-like comparison; I just think its interesting to see how Hodgson and Benitez fared in their first few months at Inter.

Hodgson vs. Benitez: first 22 games at Inter Milan


Key Points

* Benitez took over the official best team in Europe; a team that had won the league 5 years in a row (!), and had won the treble (Leage, Champions League and Italian Cup) in the season immediately preceding Benitez taking over.

* Benitez inherited a team full of top quality, internationally renowned players. The fact the team won 5 league titles in a row and the Champions League proves that the players Benitez has to work with are of the highest quality.

* Hodgson took over a team that had finished 13th and 6th in the 2 years prior to his arrival.

* At the time of Hodgson's appointment, Inter and had won Serie A only 3 times in the previous 25 year (the last time being 1989).

* In 1995, Inter was not stacked with top class players like it was when Benitez took over. As Hodgson himself admitted: "We lacked stars, apart from Paul Ince. It wasn't the Inter we see today of household names".

* Hodgson's record at Inter is superior to Benitez's in almost every way so far: Won more; lost less; conceded less; superior goal difference; higher win percentage; higher unbeaten percentage, and more clean sheets.

* Inter ended up in 7th place in 1995-96, and then Hodgson guided them to 3rd in 1997.

Inter are currently 5th in Serie A, 10 points off the top. Given the quality and recent history of the team, that's a considerable fall from grace. It will be interesting to see where Benitez's team actually finishes in the table.

If he lasts till the end of the season, that is...

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. Anyone who ignores the comment policy will be banned.  Any posts containing derogatory comments will be deleted, and the posted banned permanently.  If you disagree with the post in any way make your case in the right manner.  If you choose to ignore this and your post gets deleted, that's down to you.

  2. What has that got to do with the price of fish? I don't give a flying FCUK about Inter Milan. Why not talk about Liverpool and stop your obsession with trashing Benitez.

  3. Hey Jaimie, good article, it shows how the two of them done in their respective games, could I ask though do the 22 games show the European games aswell and if so what were Hodgsons games from? Solely the league and Italian Cup? By the way, not trying to take away from the article itself, just curious to see where all the games are from?

    It is true that Inter Milan are underperforming following the appointment of Rafa, I don't think that this is neccessarily due to him being a bad manager as his record does speak for itself in that regard, however it is weird how a team full of stars and winners has suddenly ground to more of a halt. I don't think that Rafa will last the season, which is a shame, but then again anyone coming in after Jose would have a hard time of it lol. I hope that the results pick up for them, but considering they are tenth it seems unlikely for them to win Serie A again...

    If Rafa was to get the boot, where would he be able to go after that, having left Liverpool by "mutual consent" and then be sacked from Inter after under a season in charge, having been at the head of a team who had previously excelled and (seemingly) brought them down a level. I don't think he would get a top job after these two...poor guy really, feel sort of sorry for him.

    How do you think the Newcastle game will go?

  4. To use your words: I don't give a flying fcuk whether you're interested in what I write about.  If you do't like it, go elsewhere.  If you have an opinion on the issue I'd love to hear it, but if you post anything else like the above it will just be deleted.

  5. Anything new from you jamie, other than consistently trying to put down rafa?

  6. U REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY hava a serious problem .

  7. here we go again.  these sorts of comparisons are totally besides the point.  we're talking about totally different players, different games against different teams of players, under different circumstances.  
    look forward to seeing this comment deleted under your policy of "nobody can point out the faults in my articles even though i'm posting them publicly with the express purpose of getting a rise out of people" :)

  8. These sort of comparisons are interesting to *me*.  I write what interests me, not to appease the majority.  If you want the same old recycled stuff spouted by most LFC sites (i.e. regurgitating the news of the day) then there are plenty of sites for you out there.

  9. The facts like jamie likes to call it are this: Benetiz been in management longer and has two spanish titles, uefa cup, champions league, second in premier league, fa cup medals as well as champions league runners up medal.
    Hodgson has only got a uefa cup runners up medal plus he hasnt won the league in the three major leagues in europe england, italy or spain.

    My argument is not that rafa is such a great manager and should still be the manager of liverpool but my argument is that hodgsons record is not good enough to manage Liverpool.

  10. Hi Marty - Thanks for your comments.  Inter were knocked out in the first round of the UEFA cup in September 2005. Hodgson took over in October.  The games in the table are serie A and Coppa Italia.

    Re Benitez: please don't get me wrong - I have not suggested (nor do I believe) that he is a 'bad' manager.  I readiy accept he is a good manager (in the right circumstances) and his managerial record proves that.  The point of the article is not to paint him as a bad manager; it's merely to show a comparison.  I fully expect Benitez to turn it around.  I don't see them winning the league but a top 4 finish is possible, as is success in the CL.

    Re the Newcastle game:  if there was ever a chance for the club to turn the tide of poor away form then this is it.  It's possibly the perfect time to play Newcastle, and in my view, it's a must-win game, especially if the club is to maintain the possibility of finishing in the top 4.

    Performances have been improving, and at the end of the day, Newcastle is a newly promoted side.  On paper, Liverpool has a vastly superior team, so a the club should be winning games like this.

    Away form has to change, and this the game to kick start that change.  If we lose, it will be pretty unacceptable IMO.  A draw is not the worst result in the world, but a defeat is just not on.

  11. You should write about their respective signings in their first transfer window. Would be hilarious trying to watch you spin how konchesky, poulsen and meireiles were better than alonso, Garcia etc. Obsessed. Can see why though, he was superb for us.

  12. Hodgson got Inter to 7th in the table in his first year. also you only listed Ince and Roberto Carlos as TOP players ?? what about Bergomi, Zanetti and Pagliuca? Your topics are so one sided and have so many holes in its unbelievable

  13. Ah yes, the typiucal Pro-Benitez Cult response: You conveniently miss out the signings of Nunez, Josemi, Pellegrino, Carson and Zenden in Benitez's first season, all exceedingly poor signings.  Both Knochesky and Poulsen are superior to *any* of those.  Meirelles is also a very good player, and his quality has been shown.  The only two signings Benitez got right in his first season were Garcia and Alonso.  Hodgson still has January to go, and I'm sure whoever he signs will be superior to dross like Josemi . Nunez and Pellegrino.

  14. Thanks for the reply, thanks for clarifying things, have to say it is interesting to read some of the articles that are put up and does go to show how certain players or managers do in certain circumstances.

    I didn't mean it to seem like I was saying you thought Benitez is a bad manager, I was just clarifying in case anyone came on here thinking I was bashing the man by agreeing with you lol. Off topic, but I think that instead of it being the Rafa brigade those that follow blindly should be called Rafalites...I think it has a better ring to it lol.

    Got to agree with you on that, on paper we should be winning this game, and probably quite comfortably too, I wonder who will play on the right given that Kuyt played so horribly there against Villa (despite the result) I think maybe Babel to start there and see if he can continue from Monday night! I don't think there could be a better time to play Newcastle than right now given their managerial turmoil recently and if we play like we did against Spurs (which I have every confidence we will) then we should run out winners by a few goals.

    If we lose it will be the worst possible time considering the recent up turn in our fortunes. A draw is not that bad I agree but with Chelsea vs Spurs and Man Utd vs Arsenal this weekend also this is our chance to really build momentum especially considering that our next 9 league games are all potentially winnable. We could even be fourth or (unlikely for sure but) in the title race come January...imagine how the fans would change their minds if that was the case. Would be glorious to see. We are after all only 10 points away with all the other top teams having difficult games coming up we could be on the way up. 20+ points from the next 27 and we are right back in business.

    Do you imagine we could be in the title race again? This season is that unpredictable that we possibly could be! Then John Terry would have something to worry about...lol

  15. what are you trying to prove, Jaimie, if you are trying to prove Hodgson is a better manager than Benitez the compare Rafa s first 22 years to Hodgson 22 years. Roy is a good mananger and I ma very pleased with his progress in liverpoool and i am hundred percent behind him as long as he has conncetion with Liverpool but I can compare his record in liverpool with Rafa as Rafa has done much more liverpool and liverpool fans.
    If you trying to say Benitez has not bad season in Inter, then again we know he is going through bad time but it does not make him a bad manager. after all wasnt oyu the one telling us last week that dont judge Roy now he has only been in job 4 months.
     I dont really follow rafa's  progress but I have been told that he has had many injuries and some of the players like Maicon dont want to play for him because they want to force their move to real Madrid. when Liverpool played Naples I had a chat with one of thier fans and he told me that Inter fan didnt like Mourinho type of football and Rafa had already won the fans there with they attacking style.
    then you keep going on about Roy inherited a weak team and rafa got a better team from hollier, to be frank i dont think anyone really accept that and this thing about majority is worng and i am right is just showing oyu in a very ....... way.

  16. When I saw the title it was clear which way this was going to go. 5 months on and you STILL try to trash Rafa Jamie, why?. Seriously, what did he do to you that is so hard to let go?

    There could be a number of reasons for Inter's sudden demise, most notably having won everything last season AND coming back from the World Cup the players are jaded and unmotivated.
    The only way to know for sure if Inter would have capitulated like they have is if Mourinho was still there, he isn't, he moved on why can't you??

  17. Totally agree with everything you say.  We have a great to chance to regain lost ground over the next 5-10 games, many of which are - on paper - very winnable.  Hopefully the club is coming into form at exactly the right time.

    We could definitely be 4th come January, and if results go our way, we could be in the title race for sure.  I would love that to happen just so all these anti-Hodgson fanatics would have to eat their words.  Obviously, I would most like it to happen because Liverpool would be doing well.

    I've never doubted Liverpool would make it into the top 4 this season, and I've written lots of articles arguing that point.  Torres is not firing on all cylinders yet; Gerrard will come back raring to go; certain players wtill have a point to prove; United will start losing games at some point; Chelsea are in turmoil; Man City and Spurs are regularly dropping points. Liverpool are in a prime position to capitalise on all this....but it all depends on that away form.

    I'm not worried about home form at all - we're unbeaten in 11 out of 13 home games this season (9 wins/3 draws/2 defeats, with one of those defeats being from a penalty shootout) - I expect us to win at home these days.

    A win today would be a massive confidence boost.  Make it happen, Roy!

  18. So Jamie,

     When are you changing the name of your site from " Liverpool Kop " to " Anti-Benitez Kop "! .

      Lets talk about Liverpool FC, Benitez is no longer associated with this club so stop your vitriol .Moreover you are the one who keeps telling us fans to be sympathetic with Roy and give him time to settle and imbibe his ideas and style of Football. I guess you should accord Benitez the same level of consideration(even he is trying to imbibe his ideas into a new team).

    You say that Benitez inherited a very good team, agreed. But Roy also inherited a better team than he made us all believe at the start of the season. Roys comments that Benitez had left him a team with no future was way off the mark ** ( more on that later ) . Atleast Benitez knew he was at a big club and respected the traditions of the club. Roys comments after the Birmingham game just reeked of a small club mentality trying to avoid relegation. (Everton showed more ambition in a more desperate situtation and beat Birmingham away). So should i assume that Roy is good at inspiring average players to perform better and cannot guide a more talented bunch of players to achieve more.

    I am more than willing to offer Roy  as much time as he needs to get the team to play his style of football. But his comments do not seem to match the ambitions of this club.I know he has been in coaching for 35 years, but someone should give him a PR lesson on how a Liverpool FC manager should speak in public.

    ** Now Roy recently said that the team that he inherited from Benitez was not as bad as he first imagined ! God , i believe Roy for once . But i just cant digest the fact that it took so long for a manager of 35 years of knowledge and experience in football to realize that simple fact. My understanding of this situation is that the owners are reluctant to give Roy the cash to spend in January because thay are still undecided about Roys future themselves. So it would seem unwise to give Roy loads of cash in January to buy players.If Roy then gets sacked in February, the new manager once again will be thinking of losing deadwood from Roys team and rebuilding the squad to suit his style of play. I think Roys knows this and hence his change of comments .

    What do you think ?

    enjoy reading your articles, keem em coming !


  19. No relevance whatsoever to Liverpool FC in this article

  20. I did say first transfer window, you should check your comprehension before responding in future. Typical of the pro hodgson cult though.

  21. I did say first transfer window, you should check your comprehension before responding in future. Typical of the pro hodgson cult though.

  22. I did say first transfer window, you should check your comprehension before responding in future. Typical of the pro hodgson cult though.

  23. Damn right, a win today with a goal for Torres and Meireles would be great, and likely be the start of a run that would see us climb up the table at quite a good pace. Hope to see it happen, would make my day, and also give us far more confidence going into our other away games coming up!

    Same here re home form, we just never seem to lose at home now, and I fully expect us to take maximum points from our home games, which leaves us looking for 8+ points from our 5 away games, easily possible with the way we have been playing so long as it continues.

    You're totally right, it is only a matter of time until Utd lose a game, they have been grounding out results, or getting them against the run of play, although they have conceded some late goals too which contributes. Chelsea are in free fall and I just can't see where it will end, just seems like the aura that was around them at the start of the season has completely shattered, which is great news for us. Spurs and City are far too inconsistant, at times brilliant, at others woeful (the woeful comes from Man City mostly lol) I am feeling really quietly confident that we will be well up there come the New Year, and with additions that I think Hodgson and Comolli will make in Jan we should be able to consolidate a fourth place finish, which in his first season would be great for Roy and prove his detractors wrong once and for all.

    Be the man Roy and send your team out to thump Newcastle :D, we believe in you.

  24. Thanks Kunal, your observation and reply was first class and I agree with every word you said. I somehow guess that the motives of Jaimie attacking Benitez is more to do about how to get more attnetion and hits on his site.
    Thanks again Kunal for post.

  25. Mate, it's his website, let him write what he wants lol. No point complaining about it, it won't change anything like.

    Now then, hopefully we thump Newcastle, best present for just finishing Uni I could ask for.

  26. You seem to be pathologically obsessed with Benitez. You have made your views clear several times and this sustained anti-Rafa campaign would be hilarious were it not so annoying. Rafa's gone, get over it.  I know, I know....".why come to this site if you don't want to read it, blah-de-blah-de-bloody-blah."  You sound like the equivalent of the spoilt child saying it's your party and you'll decide what games we play. Great host, you are.

  27. It his website. What he stupidly states is it is where to come for critical realism about lfc when it is anything but.

  28. Normally it is, I think this article is more trying to defend our surrent manager, I do agree that Benitez should not be used any more but it is hard not to when so many of our fans still do it, one article does not show that this site does not offer critical reaslism about LFC and that is quite clear.

    Personally I think that we all need to get behind Roy, even those that did not want him or still do not as he is our manager, if that were to happen I'd imagine that these comparisons would end with Benitez on this site, so hopefully after today and a good win more will support our manager.

    Good to hear from you mate.

  29. I would be interested if you could point me towards an article that does show critical realism. This site's modus operanti is to take a stance in direct opposition to popular thought. I someone is popular with Liverpool fans, they are critiqued here. Benitez, Reina etc. If unpopular, they are defended. Hicks, Purslow etc. It isn't done with facts, just heavily agenda driven interpretation and supposition.

  30. Try the one that shows that N'Gog has a better record than Torres this season, look at the comments there, they are full of fans saying how N'Gog is no where near as good as Torres, he never said he was, just that he had a better record this season. Also the spending ones, while agenda ridden can not be disputed given given they are from the clubs accounts. The one about Pepe is simply to say that the comments he made were unacceptable, which they were, he insinuated that certain players would leave given results had continued. While that may be true it is undermining to the manager of our club when a player who will (hopefully) one day be our captain says that. It is true that we needed to improve and that it would be difficult to do keep players of the top level if we were not to achieve such results.

    Some of the articles are clearly there to garner a response, both positive and negative, but that is the entire point of websites like this, as for Benitez, he clearly did not think he was up to the job and while it should be let go by him, the same can and should be said about our fans who are still holding on to the man. I wish him the best and hope he succeeds, also I was quite sad to see him go, given what he had done for us, but I am over it, and want others to do the same. Yes there is an agenda of course there is, but a lot of the articles on this site are a good read, which he tries to back up with facts, it is his opinion mostly, but like everyone he has the right to express it. Just as you do here.

    By the way I'm not necessarily defending Jaimie, but more the site, I think that Pepe's comments were out of hand, but the sensationalist head line that was put on the article was a tad much for the comments themselves.

  31. But why should we get behind Roy when so many of us believe he's the wrong man taking us in the wrong direction?

    My first game at Anfield was 33 years ago. My next game wasn't til 4 years later, but I've still been to (at a guess) 150 games at home, 400 games in total. It doesn't make me more of a fan than someone in Japan who can't get to games, I'm just saying I'm not green and I'm not fairweather.

    I didn't believe Roy was the right man, but as I would do for anyone appointed to lead us I put that aside and cheered him on and defended him. But it quickly became apparent from what he did that he really had little idea of the players available to him and his selections, tactics, and formations didn't suit what we had.

    Lucas hasn't been a revelation this season: he was one of our best outfield players all throughout last season, as poor as that season was. Meireles is no right winger, he's no hole player. Left of a 3-man midfield is what he's predominantly played for club and country for years. Why did it take so long for Roy to see Meireles+Lucas? Most everyone I know was calling for that 6 games before the light came on for Roy. Now his latest comments are what to do with SG when he returns!!! Torres+SG sitting up a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G. Does this man need a white stick? Our best attacking partnership for how many games before Roy's tenure?

    You say get behind Roy, I ask for who's benefit? We've had a 'good' run of late for which I'm glad. But those were victories against pathetic capitualting WHU and AV, so it's nothing proven from those games, am just glad of the 6 points. And a reasonable show, though defeat, against a good Spuds team. The only other performance of note so far has been the victory over Chelsea.

    I don't think getting behind Roy is the right way to go. I fear what NESV giving him the 'marquee money' at the beginning of their stewardship may mean for us long-term. I would far rather it was a manager with a future with us which I don't currently see Roy being. If he's the man with the vision for the M'Vila's, Hazard's and Lukaku's then great. But there's little about the brand of football he plays/played to suggest that. I fear, under him, that totally ludicrously pathetic away record will continue will bland conservative losing football.

    There's so much more I could say, but I'm off to the game and need to leave soon.

  32. ps sorry for the lengthy post :)

  33. There is an article stating Poulsen was a good signing!!?? Hicks and gillette were supported in their time here, to the extent that he used the clubs accounts to challenge hicks assertions but then excused him as 'he had no reason to lie'. Critical realism my arse.

  34. I agree with quite a lot of that, and I for one did not think that Roy was the right man for the job, not sure who was but would not have minded Manuel Pelligrini to complete the managerial merry-go-round in the summer.

    It is true that there has been some bad decisions by Roy, and some awful results, which is a continuation from last year with poor form in away games as well. I get what you are saying and I don't think that Roy is the man to lead us on in the future, for now though he is here and we should support him. I think that we need the right kind of manager who wants to have a future with us, and understands what our club is about.

    Re your transfer comments, he did bring in Meireles so who knows what could happen, I do not know how much NESV trust him with the money that they want to invest into the club, after all they will likely want to make at least some statement of intent. If Roy was to go for Carlton Cole again I would be worried but I think he could surprise us in the end, I hope so anyway, I said at the start that he was wrong but I feel like I owe him the chance to get things right, we have been playing much better in recent weeks, admittedly against inferior opposition but it still is confidence gained. Today is the real test, I just hope we win.

    Oh really? Where are you sitting? This is my first game, my Uncle is taking me as a Christmas present. Very excited to say the least!

  35. Good luck at the game Marty. Dress for cold weather in St James away stand, in the clouds!!

  36. You're right - my bad.  You still ignored the signings of Nunez and Josemi in the first transfer window though.

  37. Interesting comparison but the least you can do is get your facts right- inter are 5th in the league and not 10th as you claim!!! 
    The comparison at the outset doesn't look good in the favour of Benitez but it's unfair not to look at the whole picture. Here's a quote from an excellent article on the BBC on total fitness:
    'it is not just in England that clubs are having to juggle their resources due to injury. On the weekend of 20-21 November, 124 players were unavailable to play in Italy's Serie A due to injury.
    Since former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez took charge at Inter Milan, the Italian champions have come under particular scrutiny.
    Up to 28 November, Inter had 37 injuries this season, it meant that those injured players missed a total of 68 games.
    Before Inter played Spurs in the Champions League on 2 November, Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport identified 15 muscle-related injuries that had affected Inter players since the start of the 2009-10 campaign.
    "All teams have injuries," Benitez said. "We have a certain amount of muscle-related injuries but 40% of them were picked up on national team duty. Also, 85% of them are recurring from last year".'
    I do think Benitez adopted the wrong formula by taking an aging team and demand them to play more expansive (higher up the pitch) football, where he should've played it safe and stuck to mourinho's defensive counter attacking style. However, with 37 different injuries this season and no reenforcement it's no real surprise the team is struggling. It's like mourihno had a Ferrari that he overused and burnt the gearbox then handed it over to Benitez! 

  38. Good luck at the game Marty. Dress for cold weather in St James away stand, in the clouds!!

  39. There are literally dozens of articles displaying critical realism on this site; the problem is the stuff I write about doesn't align with your views or expectations.  You want me to fit into a nice neat little box so everything I write fits with what you believe.  That aint happening, so get over it.  Just because you and others disagree with what I write doesn't make the site any less critical realist.

    Re the articles about Poulsen and Hicks - like so many others, you display your complete ignorance of what they were actually about.  I defend players/managers/owners against lies, misinformation and exaggeration.  it has nothing to do with support per se; I believe everyone should be treated fairly irrespective of who they are, and that includes the likes of Hicks and Gillett.

    I have never disputed that they made mistakes; however, if fans lie and exaggerate the truth to make them appear worse, I will defend them.  Same goes for Hodgson. Fans have repeatedly disrespected him and that is not fair.  So I defend him.  

    Now - if you post anything else bitching about this site I will ban you permanently.  I am not interested in wasting time arguing about this pointless stuff.  If you want to talk about football then fine; if you don't like this site or what it stands for (which is clearly the case), then leave and go elsewhere.  And that goes for anyone else too.

  40. Critical Realism ????12:45 pm, December 11, 2010

    I wish you had your own TV show and not just this website, "The Jamie Kanwar Show - Critical Realism" ...the articles you write about FOOTBALL and LFC are amazing, I am just shocked so many people think you are an imbocile obsessed with Rafael Benitez, where do they get this idea from? They should just "go somewhere else" ... cant wait for your next article on FOOTBALL and LFC, in fact im going to stare at your site untill you post it because im that much of a fan of what you have to say ... any chance you can start writing film reviews for us?

  41. Again, Billium: If you don't like this site then leave.  That;s not childish, that reality.  no one forces you tom come here; no one forces you to read the stuff here; no one forces you to respond.  There are many LFC sites I dislike, and I just do not visit them.  That's the solution, is it not?

  42. I missed Joe cole for Roy also. Point stil stands, summer 04 was better than 10.

  43. FIFTEEN YEARS between those two starts at Inter Milan, you've really nothing more to do, newt time compare Alex Ferguson start at MANU vs Bill Shankly start at LFC...

  44. Fishing for a reaction once again.... Thats got to be why you post this sort of stuff right?? lol

  45. Roy - if you have something to add to the debate about FOOTBALL then do so.  If you keep posting sniping, pointless comments they will just be deleted.

  46. Roy - if you have something to add to the debate about FOOTBALL then do so.  If you keep posting sniping, pointless comments they will just be deleted.

  47. Fishing for a reaction once again.... Thats got to be why you post this sort of stuff right?? lol

  48. Zanetti? He started at Inter at the same time as Hodgson.  He was 22 at the time; he was  not yet a top player.

    Bergomi and Pagliuca - Okay, I give you those.  However, they're hardly 'household names', which is what Hodgson himself said about his Inter Team.  Thus, I only included household names as top players.

    In any event, it makes no difference: Benitez inherited a vastly superior team, one that had won 5 league titles in a row and the CL in the preceding season.  There is no comparison.

  49. <p><span>
    <p>Lets talk about Liverpool FC, Benitez is no longer associated with this club so stop your vitriol .Moreover you are the one who keeps telling us fans to be sympathetic with Roy and give him time to settle and imbibe his ideas and style of Football. I guess you should accord Benitez the same level of consideration(even he is trying to imbibe his ideas into a new team). 
    </p><p>Benitez is part of LFC history so his time with the club will be examined constantly, and so it should be. I have displayed no 'vitriol' towards Benitez in my post so stop trying to twist it that way.  I have merely presented the facts.  The problem here is people (including you, it seems) are such fans of the man that you can't stomach anything that portray him as a Saint.  It is you and others who think like you that have the problem, not me.
    </p><p>In this article, for example: if it had transpired that Benitez had much better stats than Hodgson then you and others would have no problem with that, would you?!  You'd be saying 'well done!', and waxing lyrical about Benitez.  
    </p><p>I didn't know what the stats would show before I started researching, and if they'd shown Benitez's record was far superior to Hodgson's I would've still posted the article.  
    </p><p>With respect, I've addressed all of your other points in other articles and I don't have the energy to repeat myself today.  I should just note that this article has nothing to do with Hodgson or Benitez's time at Liverpool, or the relative merits of the teams they inherited; it is solely about their time at Inter.

  50. I see you've changed it from 10th to 5th by deleting my comments alluding to that; now 5th isn't much of a fall from grace as you originally stated especially if you consider that roma, who just missed out on the league last year, still sit behind inter this year. There's no doubt the teams ahead of them have strengthened considerably over the summer with roam and inter suffering due to the lack of inactivity!!

  51. Obviously it was a typo, Roberto.  10 points behind/10th place.  It's an easy mistake to make.

  52. Jamie. Just out of curosity. Are you in love with Benitez? Is he giving you sleepless nights?

  53. So let's hope that the gap between us and whoever wins the league isn't more than 17:-)

  54. Hey Jaimie, this article just strikes me as a shot at benitez, for me it does nothing to further "truth, facts and critical realism about LFC".  I'm sure you'll say you don't really care, and you'll write what you want, which is fair enough; but for me, this article falls short.
    We need to move on from this type of comparison, especially if we wish to move on and all get behind Hodgson.  Tapping into the Benitez sympathisers and drawing comments in defence of him will do nothing if we are to move on.
    Looking forward to your next article ;)

  55. Cheers man, got the woolies on haha. Hoping for a great atmosphere and result!

  56. the problem benitez is having at inter are down to the fact that benitez is more a tactician, what inter need is a motivator, when you have won everything as a player and are coming to the end of your playing time it is hard to get motivated to do it all again. Look what happened to morinho at real when they got a slapping by barca, the great motivator got tactically out manouverd . to be a great manager you need to be able to do both

  57. No problem mate, just want fans to see that certain thoughts they might have, or opinions are not necessarily true or based on anything other than mass thought. Also, I enjoy reading the articles on this site so have to defend it lol.

    Could I ask, do you happen to have a stat comparison between Wayne Rooney and Fernando Torres? Or their overall contribution to the teams they play for? One of my friends is a Utd supporter so want to see the actual comparison lol.

  58. Of course, none of this changes the fact that Inter has, generally, played badly; it's not just a question of results. Here, blame must be shared. While the club won't admit explicitly, Inter's brief to the new manager was this: win some silverware (the European SuperCup and the Club World Cup would do just fine), compete for the Serie A title and/or the Champions' League and integrate some of the youngsters in the first team. All this, while keeping Jose Mourinho's 4-2-3-1 system intact: a turnkey operation, basically.
    Easier said than done. For a start, while Benitez also showed a predilection for the 4-2-3-1 at Liverpool, it was an entirely different style. Liverpool pressed high up the pitch, Mourinho's Inter tended not to. You only need to look at the personnel.
    Fernando Torres is an entirely different player to Diego Milito. Steven Gerrard and Wesley Sneijder are chalk and cheese. Compounding the problem is the obvious: following a guy like Mourinho, with a squad that was loyal to him and which is aging and battle-worn was never going to be easy. Especially for a guy like Benitez, whose personality can't match the Special One's when it comes to winning over players. And particularly when Inter failed to make a single significant signing for Benitez in the summer (unlike the previous year, when it picked up half a dozen tailor-made starters for Mourinho).
    A bit of research should have shown Moratti who and what he was getting in Benitez. A very good manager, probably a better tactician than Mourinho, but one who needs certain tools to succeed. And Benitez, perhaps blinded by the huge paycheck, probably should have thought long and hard about accepting the job and on what terms he was going to take it. Instead, you can only conclude that Inter figured it could pay him a lot of money to go and impersonate Mourinho (something he is most definitely not cut out to do) while leaving everything else intact.
    So what next? Moratti has uncorked a Pandora's box of speculation with a range of names which, frankly, seems disconcerting and out of sync with the medium-term plan (which is to push youth this season and next in an attempt to bring down costs and move toward meeting the Financial Fair Play requirements -- a goal which seems miles away right now).
    The fact that Fabio Capello, 65 next summer, and Giovanni Trapattoni, who turns 72 in February, are among the names mentioned as replacements should terrify Inter fans. Are those the guys you'd charge with a long-term rebuilding job? Leonardo and Luciano Spalletti may be somewhat more viable options, but the former's past as a Milan man would unleash a whole other can of worms and the latter is tied to the kind of mega-contract at Zenit St. Petersburg that would force Moratti to do what he swore he wouldn't do: throw good money after bad.
    Of course, none of this speculation will help Benitez or, for that matter, Inter. What is even more frustrating is that, privately, Inter officials maintain that Benitez's future will be decided when the Champions' League resumes. By that point, he'll be expect to get the club back closer to contention for the title (not easy, given that Inter is 12 points back now) and into the quarterfinals of the Champions' League. Fail on both counts and that's when the ax will drop.
    So why ratchet up the pressure now? To appease the media calling for Benitez' head? To be seen to be doing something? Who knows? It's Inter we're talking about after all. Logic doesn't live here.
    Whatever happens, transition lies ahead, whether with Benitez or with somebody else at the helm. Lucio, Samuel, Cristian Chivu, Mancini (remember him?), Ivan Cordoba and Marco Materazzi all go out of contract at the end of this season or the next. Javier Zanetti does too (though [...]

  59. Benitez under pressure at Inter

    Two quotes to reporters -- in the space of a few days -- from Inter president Massimo Moratti neatly sum up why the bad old days may be back.
    "Ten years ago, I would have sacked Rafa Benitez by now, but I've grown as well, we all have." Then, a few days later. "I'm not going to create problems before or during the World Club Cup, afterward, we'll see."
    Talk about undermining your coach in the space of a week. What happened in between those two statements? Inter lost 3-1 away to Lazio, second in Serie A, in a game in which it played badly, but had six starters missing. And it also fell 3-0 away to Werder Bremen in the Champions' League (it had already clinched qualification to the knockout round), in a game in which it played three teenagers (none of whom had started a match before this year), a 38-year-old reserve goalkeeper, and a 6-foot midfielder deployed at center back (Esteban Cambiasso).
    Benitez has a huge contract and a better résumé than any other Serie A boss: it's only right to hold him to account. But the time to criticize -- in public -- is when he has the tools to, objectively, do better. Or, if you're of a populist bent, when the fans -- the ones who actually show up at the San Siro, not the armchair forumites -- turn on him. Neither is the case.
    Both Inter's Ultras and the mainstream fans have, generally, been supportive. As for having the "tools" to do better, Benitez's list of excuses is long. Just four of his projected starters -- Wesley Sneijder, Samuel Eto'o, Javier Zanetti and Lucio -- have played 75 percent of Inter's minutes this season. Maicon and Walter Samuel, half of the back four that was so dominant last year, have missed half the season thus far, with Samuel out for the year following a recent knee injury. Goalkeeper Julio Cesar, another crucial ingredient has been out for six weeks, while Diego Milito, last year's top scorer, has missed half the season thus far and has lasted 90 minutes just twice this year.

  60. Nothing to compare... Only show that both manager did equally bad in Milan, which is why RH has to go!!!

  61. Nothing to compare... Only show that both manager did equally bad in Milan, which is why RH has to go!!!

  62. this is good stats and Benitez will no doubt get sacked, whiuch he will probably deserve as he is not doing that good. Hodgson was pelted with lighters by inter fans as they thouhgt he was no good. All these stats prove is that Benitez is poor and so was hodgson. The fact we replaced a poor manager with another poor manager is the main argument.

  63. Hi Jamie ,

     I am not a pro Benitez fan or an Anti Hodgson Fan. Im just a Liverpool FC fan from India. It hurts to see the team doing bad but it hurts even more to know that we are sitting around and arguing about it pointing fingers and accusing among ourselves.

    I dont care whether Benitez had better stats that Roy in his first 20 , 300 , or 4000 games. I only care how liverpool Fc is doing on the pitch and how to constantly get it better. I guess that was the reason why Benitez was sacked, because all felt that we had stagnated under him and we needed a change to move ahead. Are we moving ahead ?

    I read in one of your earlier posts that we as Liverpool FC fans should respect Roy and give him more time as he is the Liverpool Manager because that is the right thing to do and that it is the Liverpool FC way of doing things. You had also argued that you have stood by every Liverpool Fc manager in their first five months.

    But after reading this article, i am worried/curious to know will you highlight all of Roys inadeqecies and short coming after he has left Liverpool FC .

    your reply comments sometimes are meant just to get a response out of us fans, giving us ammo to fire a few more questions at you

    so heres a few questions from my side..

    1. Why do you always compare Roys record with Benitez?. why not compare it with  Bob Paisley or Bill Shankly or Gerard Houlier or Roy Evans or Kevin Keegan or the long list of Liverpool managers since the start of 1900's.

    2. I know Vitriol was a harsh word to use, my apologies for that. But tell me, do you highlight all the inadequecies of all our Ex managers after they have left our Club ?. what about Gerard Houlier ( even he is struggling at Aston Villa now, but he never says in the press that MON left him a bad team ) or King Kenny ( Please God Forgive me for saying/writing this ).

    3. **It is you and others who think like you that have the problem, not me.**. By saying that you are just type-casting me as an atypical fan looking to get into a verbal joust with you and you dont even know me.<span>I am not looking to berate you or get into a verbal joust with you. You have immense knowledge of the game and also  Liverpool FC, I respect that. But its replies like that will refrain us from even posting CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM on your site.If we are not even allowed to post our opinion about your articles, then why have you put a reply/comments tab in your posts ?
    Got to go, game Vs Newcastle about to start !

  64. Bayern Munich the second best team in Europe are currently in 5th place 14 pts off the lead. This shows the effect that a long season and key injuries can have on a great team. I have no doubt that Inter will finish in the top 3

  65. Additionally you mentioned that the prem is a little bit extra competitive this season. It can be equally said that Serie A is more competitive.. When was the last time you've seen Lazio and Napoli consistently getting good results. Milan and Juve are also doing great...It's my guess that Napoli will fall out and Lazio will also struggle as the season goes on

  66. Forget your obsession with Rafa. He's only had the same amount of time as Roy and according to you it's too early to judge. Anyway lost to Newcastle. Do you think we'll still finish 4th.


  67. who cares? Benitez has gone and he also never won the league for us. 


  68. Jaimie,

    Forget about Benitez.

    Do we deserve a manager who fails to win so many 'winable' ( your word, not mine) away games?

  69. <p>Not to worry RH, you still got 15 games to get another 22 points...maybe by then we can judge you, after 32 games...what a sorry state we are in now, level on points with 3 newly promoted clubs, Newcastle, Blackpool and West Brom...some interesting facts to go along, we already lose 2 against them and nearly draw with West Brom at Anfield! WAY TO GO RH!!!

  70. -1 GD
    1 away win all season
    The worst football i've seen apart from 2 games

    This guy needs to leave and now. 3-1 to a promoted side, says it all

    Jaimie - stop sticking up for the guy...he is taking us backwards!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  71. half the top players you mention now at inter are past there best mate !!!


    only MAICON, ETO'O, SNIEDER and CEASAR are at there peak...

    while the rest aren't EVEN Top PLAYERS

  72. good article !!!!! you are as bad as kanwar

  73. Fact is, something was clearly going wrong last season, and so Benitez was removed. Whether his ego has got too big or whatever, his dealing with his players does not seem to work anymore. It was working with Liverpool for a while, but then it stopped working. He had to go. But he still had a decent group of players and if the problem was his man management, then the new manager should have had an easy time. Benitez did not leave a lot of disgruntled players behind, bar Mascherano, when he left. It is totally wrong for anyone to claim that Liverpool's failure to even be in a Europa League spot is down to the last manger. The players are good enough for that and, even in Benitez's disaster season, they were good enough for that. There have been enough games, regardless of stats, etc, to see where things are going, and Hodgson has not shown any signs of learning how to set up a team to pick up enough points away from home. He never has done and if he learns now, he will be the first person to learn something after 35 years of trying. If he was going to master this, he would have done so already. We are likely to lose a few of our best players, in my opinion, this season could see us out of Europe altogether and without our top stars. Will Torres and co stay if we are out of Europe completely? I don't even think that we could ask them to, so the safe pair of hands would have led to the dismantling of the club and the team and give the next guy a huge task. And it will make getting that next guy even more difficult. I get the feeling that Hodgson is attempting to bring the club down to his level so that he will be the kind of manager we expect to get.

    Inter could still be crowned World Champions soon. And their start is ten times better than ours.

  74. Jaimie, i think if you were to compare the two it would go something like this-

    Rafa, 52.10% in career as manager.
    Roy, 43.37% in career as manager.

    Rafa 13 years as manager.
    Roy 34 years as manager.

    Rafa managed two sides to promotion to spanish top flight.
    Won 2 league titles with valencia and uefa cup.

    Rafa won champions league, fa cup and european super cup with us.

    Now is that not a better comparison of the two?

    Rafa has achieved a great deal more in a shorter period of time than Roy.
    Rafa has a far superior win percentage.

    You are capturing moments in time to suit your own agenda rather than looking at the bigger picture!!

  75. Jaimie,

    In view of the humiliating result against a Newcastle, has your view on whether Roy should be given more time changed? You said yourself that a loss would be an unacceptable result.

    I think you'd have to concede that 4th place looks more and more remote as time goes on, especially with Manchester City finally started to click. 


  76. i am sick and tied like many supporters out there that we are in this state at the moment, very good form at home bad form away.
    i thnk the only way we can rectify this is have roy to manage home games and some else to manage away games.
    but in all truth roy is not a very good manager no amount of stats will change my mind or anyone mind, and most certainly after 17 games i have had enough of him already - roy please fall on ur sword.

  77. "Are you going to believe me or your lying eyes" eddie Murphy

  78. There is a massive gulf between our away form compared to our home form. This gulf is similar to all results Roy Hodgson has had at clubs operating at the highest level. God only knows why he cant win away from home, it doesnt make sense, we have been playing good football at home, however when we travel the results in the league are abismal. The fact is he has always had a track record of not getting results away at the highest level, at fulham, blackburn etc. The problem is, It is now apparent this trend has followed him to liverpool. Whatever we think about performances away, and we could easily say we should of won against tottenham, however we did'nt. If we do want 4th which I feel is now out of our reach as the points difference is growing and still there is no change to our away form. I do belive now is the time where we should be looking for a replacement as he just does not have what it takes to give us that extra spark we need to be competative, at home there is no problem but if you want to be challengers at the top then you must win away from home. He has brought his away loosing mentality to liverpool and the statistics prove it, just look at the league away table. We could easily blame the players, however that set of players once come second and had a great away form, yes benitez lost it last season ans was replaced. The fact that Roy no matter where he has been at the highest level has never had a good away record. So this leaves me to belive it is not the players as they win well at home but when they travel they play poor and build more evidence that Roy Hodgson has not got what it takes to not only manage liverpool but any club that wants to be challenging for the title as he has a track record of not producing away from home.

  79. 5 Things that would make good christmas this year:

    1. Hodgson leaves by  mutual consent.
    2. Kenny given the job till the end of the season, just before gerrard is back.
    3. He manages to inspire and motivate the players as they are in aww of who he is and what he has achieved, especially gerrard and the fans, look how they reacted when fowler came back!!! imagine kenny!!!
    4. As the players have re-newed motivation and inspiration they start to work harder for each other as they dont want to let kenny down, gerrard is his old self.
    5. They manage to go on good run over christmas, we come up against Utd in the FA Cup and anything is possible!!!!

    5 Things that is likely to happen over christmas:

    1. Hodgson stays along with the cold weather!
    2. PLayers going through the motions only being ispired by thr home support so it lifts them to get a win or draw.
    3. A home win will be herald as the turning point, thats until we go away and the fans are not there to motivate the team so we fail to win.
    4. 4th spot is now out of our reach as the difference has got more and more games have gone.
    5. we come up against Utd away from home and get a football lesson as the players know it, the fans know it, that we are not good away from home.

  80. any chance to compare Rafa and Roy AWAY record in premier league 8-)

    I think that will be very intersting =-O

  81. If that article goes up ill put jam on my ear and stand next to Tyson.

  82. Benitez has screwed it at Inter, but I do not give a crap because I am a Liverpool supporter and do not see the need for this article.

  83. I think Hodgson is a terrrible manager.

  84. How is this relevant?

  85. You always keep one eye of the past as well as one eye on the future. I could be wrong but lfc have approach Gus Hiddink as the manager.

  86. Hi Aldo         I was under the impression that Guss Hiddink had categorically ruled out any return to club management. He certainly wouldn't want to be part of any type of long term project.

  87. Any one who went to Newcastle yesterday will concur that Torres was not interested.
    Also to the the so called fans who were booting cars in and smashing wing mirrors off after the game be ashamed they were innocent.
    Jamie I don't care on last stats of any previous manger is all about being building a great side as
    liverpool manager.

  88. I know through a agent that I know that he has been approached

  89. Constantly comparing with Rafa is a joke. Whatever your statistics Roy will never match Rafa's first season or you can even say 50th match or whatever. Right now you are comparing match after match and don't forget to go until the end where there was a certain Istanbul. Rafa's gone and no one will ever be better him for at least the first season. Statistics...my foot.

  90. I think the comparison is Hodgson 1st season at Liverpool v Benitez 1st season. Both inherited teams that were not their own, although Hodgson has the benefit of Torres.

    Meanwhile, Inter have won the trophy they wanted this year, the World Club Championship, and Benitez is getting criticised for his league position, which is rubbish but he is dealing with players running on empty - Mou got out at just the right time.

  91. Numbers are not the facts regardless the other factors.

    To be fair, how many games Inter have to play every week?  They'd no star but they don't have to play European game as well.   Inter's players under RH had not risk of being injured or being exhausted.

    Also, I've mentioned about "Timing" in my reply to another article.

    Football game in 1995 and 2010 are so much different in the play.   So, the comparison is not fair at all.

    I've been trained and worked as a business constant for over 10 years.  My teacher/master always warned me about the number's trap!   He meant he didn't want me to look at number and believe in statistic but he taught me to look at where those numbers came from, the origin, the reason, etc.

    Changes in our world affect everything.  We'd not be misled by "only" numbers, we must consider many factors otherwise it's useless to spend our time on the number game as we'll learn nothing from the past to improve our future.

    Best regards, (^^)

  92. Why list roberto carlos as one of hodgsons top players? he said the young brazilian was not good enough and sold him !!

    Roy out..!

  93. <span>"We lacked stars, apart from Paul Ince. It wasn't the Inter we see today of household names". <span>
    Maybe they weren't household names in Hodgson's household. But, lest we forget...
    1. Roberto Carlos WAS a star. And Hodgson cleverly got rid of him at the end of the season, selling him off to a "small" team like Real Madrid for peanuts.
    2. GK Gianluca Pagliuca was and Italian international, capped 39 times. (But, i guess not a superstar like Paul Ince)
    3. Beppe Bergomi was also an Italian international (81 caps) and, in fact, would go to the 1998 WC (after Hodgson figured he was done).
    4. Nicola Berti? Yep, another Italian international... 39 caps for him.
    5. Marco Delbvecchio - 22 at the time - whom Hodgson also would judge "not good enough" went on to win 22 caps for Italy.
    6. Antonio Manicone and Alessandro Bianchi were also capped for italy.
    7. The team also included the likes of Marco Branca, Gianluca Festa, Beni Carbone and Alessandro PIstone, all of whom had decent Premier League careers.
    8. Hodgson also had a guy named Javier Zanetti, an Argentine international who, by all accoutns, was pretty good... (but, again, funnily enough, not a "household name" in Hodgson's house... admitedly he's no Paul Konchesky).
    9. Hodgson's Inter played turgid football.

  94. The Roy Hodgson Brigade1:36 pm, January 01, 2011

    kanwar u mother fucker

  95. Love us to do well but Top 4 this season lol absolute no chance.

    also on Roy h facts look at his entire career away record. (I could do better with no effort) end of debate for me and anyone with a brain cell.

    Thank you

  96. Love us to do well but Top 4 this season lol absolute no chance.

    also on Roy h facts look at his entire career away record. (I could do better with no effort) end of debate for me and anyone with a brain cell.

    Thank you

  97. Love us to do well but Top 4 this season lol absolute no chance.

    also on Roy h facts look at his entire career away record. (I could do better with no effort) end of debate for me and anyone with a brain cell.

    Thank you

  98. Probably the worst two manager in Liverpool's history have both managed Inter Milan - crazy!

    8ft Trampolines

  99. You should be doing some research into what happened in 2009-10 season.  There is information starting to come out.  Rafa is one of us, the best win % since Kenny, he's won titles, cups........ look at us now.  Failing badly with how many international players in the team?

    Negative tactics, sitting off (at the managers instruction), two lines of four, sitting deep, no width...... we are a joke and yet you have faith in the manager and think we will finish 4th.

    What possesses you to think that.

    And quit with the use of the word 'cult' its damn offensive.

  100. <p>Your analyses are spot on and fair. I've just taken a look at some of your articles and the Babel article and your analyses of the Inter Milan Liverpool double header clash of 2008 are quite fair, honest and spot on. I have had a long term disgust for your club, ever since the unfair press, fan opinion and the blind self congratulatory orgasm coming out of that clash in Liverpool's favor.
    </p><p>Granted, looking back at the whole thing, I think Roberto Mancini had a host of outrageous tactical decisions reminiscent of the "inexplicable" Fat Man Benitez (as he is know affectionately know as in Inter Milan circles), but the decisions that went against Inter punished us excessively. You pointed this out clearly and that's not an easy thing to do.
    </p><p>So it has taken 3 years but I am on better terms now with Liverpool thanks to this chance visit to your website. You can surely guess who I heavily sided with at half time 6 years back in Istanbul?
    </p><p>Respectful salute from an Inter faithful!