Storm clouds gather over Roy Hodgson at Liverpool

Roy Hodgson

Frank Rijkaard ready to take over as Christian Purslow and Martin Broughton quit Anfield

BY Alex Lewis LAST UPDATED AT 11:00 ON Thu 21 Oct 2010

Liverpool face a tough trip to Napoli in the Europa League tonight with the future of their boss far from certain. The Reds' worst start to the season in 82 years has got many fans calling for Hodgson's head after just eight league games.

Now he has been abandoned by two men who oversaw his appointment to the Anfield hotseat. Christian Purslow has stepped down from his role as managing director and Martin Broughton has left his job as stand-in chairman after the pair successfully masterminded the club's takeover by NESV.

 

It is understood that Purslow will remain at Liverpool as a non-executive director and as an adviser to the new owners, but his influence will be minimal, and the absence of Purslow and Broughton from Anfield's corridors of power could leave Hodgson short of friends.

 

John W Henry, the new man at the helm, has stated that he has no intention of getting rid of Hodgson. But the American has been spotted swotting up on the English game and it could be that he fully appreciates the implications of the dreaded 'vote of confidence' for a club manager.

 

To make matters worse for Hodgson, one of the favourites to take over the Liverpool hotseat last summer, former Barcelona boss Frank Rijkaard, is now looking for work after he parted ways with Galatasaray.

 

Although his time with the Turkish club has been an unsuccessful one - they finished an unaceptable third last season and after eight games they are currently ninth in the Turkish championship - he is still well regarded after winning two La Liga trophies as well as the Champions' League while at Barcelona, and bringing through the generation of players that now dominate European and world football.

 
Hodgson is obviously aware that improving the club’s Premier League standing is what could save him and has decided to leave Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres behind for tonight's encounter in Italy.

 

Hodgson said: "Some of the more important senior players won't travel because their participation on Sunday is going to be so important to us. I don't think our squad is so strong that I can afford to risk them [getting injured]."

 

And if he didn't already have enough on his plate, Hodgson must also deal with rumours that Fernando Torres could be leaving soon. The Spaniard has not looked happy, or fit, so far this season and with Wayne Rooney almost certain to leave Manchester United, England's biggest club will be looking for a new star striker. Chelsea and Manchester City who are also said to be interested. · 

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