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Henry sees grim Liverpool reality

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Phil McNulty | 22:49 UK time, Sunday, 17 October 2010

Liverpool's new owner John W Henry could not resist taking a look at what £300m has bought him - and got a gruesome illustration of the scale of the task he has taken on.

Henry had planned to wait until Blackburn visited Anfield next week to make his formal entrance but because he was in the vicinity after completing his takeover, curiosity and the prospect of a Merseyside derby at Everton got the better of the Boston Red Sox owner.

Everton and a tumultuous Goodison Park provided a brutal introduction as Liverpool were comprehensively upstaged and Henry had only shouts of "I hope you've kept your receipt" to accompany him as he made his way out of the directors' box.

If, in the words of "You'll Never Walk Alone", Liverpool hoped for a golden sky at the end their recent storm, they were to be sorely disappointed. There are more clouds gathering over an increasingly besieged Roy Hodgson.

Hodgson will have been heartened by measured and firm messages of support from the Anfield hierarchy, but any hopes of creating a good first impression on his new bosses evaporated amid a desperate Liverpool performance.

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And Hodgson did not help his own cause by delivering an after-match analysis that bordered on the surreal and left him open to ridicule only eight Premier League matches into his Liverpool tenure.

After Everton eased into the lead with goals either side of the interval from Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta, David Moyes' side sat back and effectively asked Liverpool to show them what they had got. Answer? Little or nothing.

And yet Hodgson clung to spells of punchless passing to launch an absurd defence of Liverpool's performance, announcing: "I refuse to sit here and accept that we were outplayed or in any way inferior."

Hodgson has every right to protect his players, but this was positive spin gone mad after Everton had proved superior in every area of the pitch against a Liverpool team that had given as poor a performance at Goodison Park as any in recent memory.

Not content with this massaging of the grim reality of what Liverpool's fans had just witnessed Hodgson, to the general astonishment of all present, added: "That is as good as I have seen a Liverpool team play under my management."

If it was, it does not a say much for what has gone before.

Hodgson already faces a battle to win affection and respect from Liverpool's fans as they lie in the Premier League's bottom two, and to deliver such a flagrant misreading and rose-tinted version of these events runs the risk of damaging his credibility even further.

He suggested he may be "in a sample of one" with this view. And he might just be right. It was certainly not an opinion shared by many Liverpool supporters who were forced to sit through raucous chants of "going down" from their Everton counterparts revelling in the toils of this painfully ordinary side.

Hodgson's message may be regarded as making the best of a bad day, but there was a hint of delusion about the gloss he applied so enthusiastically. It was King Canute stuff and few were fooled.

He will need the time Liverpool's owners have promised to give him. It would, after all, be regarded as almost reckless to march into Anfield on the stability ticket and make sacking the manager your first meaningful act, especially as Hodgson has only just arrived.

But the other messages coming out of Anfield since the Americans' arrival had the word "win" at their heart. And the growing concerns from Liverpool's supporters means there is now a danger that they may switch their discontent from the despised but departed Tom Hicks and George Gillett to a manager who has failed to fire their imagination.

Hodgson has every right to point to the mediocrity he inherited in his squad from Rafael Benitez, but early evidence suggests he has only succeeded in adding to it.

Joe Cole, and this is a player I have never hidden my admiration for in the past, was at best anonymous and at worst awful, while Paul Konchesky's performance was summed up by a late effort that ended up further away from goal than where it started.

It already appears the Premier League is too much for Christian Poulsen, absent for personal reasons on Sunday, while Portugal's Raul Meireles is willing but still coming to terms with the robust style in England's top flight.

The task for Hodgson now is to somehow fashion the wins that lift Liverpool up the table, rebuild morale and, crucially, show enough of the skills that earned him so much respect at Fulham to convince Henry and company to trust him with transfer funds in January.

To talk of a Liverpool manager being in trouble after eight league games is almost beyond belief, but Hodgson needs results fast to stem the tide that currently seems to be flowing against him.

Liverpool barely raised a gallop until Everton were two goals in front, just reward for a performance that hit the right levels of passion and skill. They sized up Liverpool in the opening exchanges and liked what they saw.

And with Yakubu a bludgeoning presence up front, Cahill a constant menace in midfield and Sylvain Distin a powerhouse at the back, Everton were in no mood to allow Henry and Liverpool to round off their big week with a win in the 214th Merseyside derby.

Moyes was rightly wreathed in smiles. Everton used international week for some team bonding in the Lake District as captain Phil Neville admitted: "I can honestly say the sight of Yakubu walking up a mountain is a memory that will live with me a long time."

They were scaling peaks again at Goodison, and Moyes was in expansive mood as he outlined the philosophy that means that while Henry and his New England Sports Ventures cohorts may have bought the more high-profile club on Merseyside, they have not bought the better football team.

He said: "I wouldn't swap my chairman Bill Kenwright for anybody from America and Saudi Arabia because he's a supporter and he backs his manager."

Moyes used his £60,000 deal to bring 23-year-old Seamus Coleman to Everton from Sligo Rovers as an example of the careful husbandry he requires in the absence of big money flowing into Goodison.

Coleman, who spent last season on loan at Blackpool, has a dashing style and it was this that created Cahill's goal. Moyes has swiftly noted the youngster's defensive weaknesses and moved him right-back to an advanced role. Bargain buys and shrewd management of resources is the Moyes template.

"It isn't all about money," he said. "If all you wanted football to be about was money you wouldn't enjoy it."

There may not be much money around at Everton - but there was plenty of joy on Sunday. Liverpool may be newly-rich, but this was a joyless Merseyside derby for new owner Henry and manager Hodgson.

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  • Comment number 1.

    As much as I like Roy Hodgson and the fact that I want him to do well. Do we really have to read about Liverpool again? Do you live near Anfield Phil?

    Could we not hear about another team for a while. When I say a while I mean like a number of months.

  • Comment number 2.

    so wait, he is meant to tell his players they were absolutely terrible?how demoralizing is that?i think the players realise by themselves you know.if everybody in liverpool started being so pessimistic, then they its more likely they will be relegated.he is a manager, his concern is getting the best out of his players.telling them they are crap may be the truth, but its much more damaging in the short term...

  • Comment number 3.

    You want to look for someone to blame look to the xenophobic journos who ran Rafa out of a job. They had it in for the man because he was foreign and he didn't toe the line. He stuck up for himself and for his club far too often so the newspapers of this country went for him so the owners instead went for a friendly English man who was never good enough but wouldn't rock the boat!

  • Comment number 4.

    As post 1 says, we can all do without this constant speculation. Fact is he's had 8 games. Nobody is going to sack him now and so this article is largely irrelevant. Judge him at the end of the season. Let's focus on something else.

  • Comment number 5.

    I'd like to remind Mr McNulty about something:

    Well, many of us never thought he was the right man for the job and so it has been proven. We're going nowhere but down. As for the players, Carra said recently after the takeover he feared a massive clear out; I'm afraid the time for that is right now.

    And I'm sorry Yasin but I'm afraid it's the truth, the players are bad. Under Paisley and Shankly they would've been dropped for such shocking performances.

  • Comment number 6.

    Once again Liverpool were clueless, disinterested, unadventurous, Gerrard looked to be playing in the back 4. But the most worrying thing for me was that, in a Merseyside derby, they were passionless. It was like they were playing 9-0-1, Torres has no support so how can he do anything? I agree with the Poulsen comment, he makes Lucas look good, which is an achievement.
    Everton ran out deserved winners no matter what the shot count/Hodgson says, as Liverpool's were generally scuffed long range attempts straight at Howard.
    Always thought Everton had a good team but get rid of Yakubu as he is a waste of a lot of space.
    Unless Hodgson can do something I think he'll go pretty soon, definitely before Christmas

  • Comment number 7.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 8.

    hodgson's football style is one that is outdated and wud only transfer a mid-table team, like fulham, into a decent one. he cannot manage a big team anymore

  • Comment number 9.

    'Judge him at the end of the season.'

    He asked to be judged after 10 games, which have passed; I've been generous and decided to judge after 10 Prem games which are about up.

    No improvement, inept tactics, no pace, no passing, no passion, no effort...end of the season we'll be relegated, that won't be judgment that will be a post mortem.

  • Comment number 10.

    Phil I would expect this around Christmas not Halloween. It's a derby, Liverpool haven't bonded as team, Hodgson actually doesn't know what to do with those players and January might be to late to do anything about it.
    3. At 07:46am on 18 Oct 2010, Simo429 wrote
    In days past I would have asked are you a Newcastle supporter, because you fail to see the writing on the wall. Rafa was Rubbish, look at the squad he left you. You are going to blame it all on Hodgson? Rafa jumped ship, he wasn't drummed out. He made promises to Torres and Gerrard and broke them. Now Liverpool is broken. Not even Murhinio could get them playing.

  • Comment number 11.

    Post number 1:

    Given that Phil is a massive Everton fan, he's hardly going to miss the chance to stick the knife in where Liverpool are concerned is he!?

  • Comment number 12.

    wishiwasinliverpool don't expect accountability from journos, as Liverpool fans we know it better than ever.

  • Comment number 13.

    I can understand Hodgson wanting to back his players and show support, but come on. We were utter TOILET yesterday. Again. There is no defending that. He should have just been honest with the media, and tried to retain a modicum of respect from colleagues and fans.

    Bottom line - we didn't deserve to win yesterday. We didn't even deserve a draw. Everton were full value for the victory and fair play to them. They showed so much more heart and desire than our players did. They wanted it more.

    The main problem for me yesterday was the same as it has been all season - out tempo. It's just far too slow!!! We stop an attack from the opposition and instead of flying up the pitch, we just knock it about amongst the defence and midfield!!! Badly!!! So many misplaced passes too which is unforgivable at this level. You look at Utd, City, Chelsea, Arsenal, and probably a few others - as soon as they get the ball they're flying forward, making runs, and generally being dangerous.

    Another thing that really winds me up about us this season is the lack of movement ahead of the ball. I lost count of the amount of times yesterday where we had the ball in a potentially dangerous area but there was absolutely no movement ahead of the ball at all.

    I am one of the people who never wanted Hodgson in the first place, and he's proving me right. I don't agree with his tactics or anything. HOWEVER, movement, passing and shooting is part and parcel of being a professional footballer, and the team do NOT need the manager to tell them how or when to do this.

    Congratulations Everton, you fully deserved the win.

  • Comment number 14.

    So how long before the "In Roy We Trust" lines start popping up on the blog comments?

    More seriously, the team is in a total mess. This season is pretty much proving what has been said by many for the last couple of seasons, namely that Torres and Gerrard had been carrying the team. Torres has clearly not been the same since the World Cup, and you wonder if the injury record is taking a longer term toll. Gerrard is starting to cut an increasingly forlorn figure, and must be wondering if he is ever going to get more silverware with his hometown club.

  • Comment number 15.

    Have to agree with poster #5.

  • Comment number 16.

    i stopped reading after i saw a link to the sun.

  • Comment number 17.

    The reason you seeing an article on Liverpool is because Phill loves to stick the boot into them when ever he can. Normally pre-season he does one positive article about Liverpool which also then sets him for a point of referrence when people start to question is subjectivness, iv been watching this for a season and a half. This writer really does have a nasty streak in him.

  • Comment number 18.

    5. At 07:54am on 18 Oct 2010, wishiwasinliverpool wrote:
    I'd like to remind Mr McNulty about something:

    Oh Wishi!!
    You beat me to it

  • Comment number 19.

    There needs to be a shake up in the next transfer window. That could see the players with the right level of desire and hunger.

    I think it's way too early to start spouting talks of relegation. Liverpool play Blackburn & Bolton next, two wins could see them closer to the top again with regained confidence. Two defeats however will no doubt pile pressure on but it won't consign the club to relegation just yet.

  • Comment number 20.

    I think Phil has hit the nail on the head when he said Roy Hodgson needed to rebuild morale. That's precisely the root of the problem. The morale of the team is so low because the manager is unable to gain the respect of the key players. Maybe that's to do with his tactical acumen, or lack of it, his training regime, or the mediocre players he's bought, or all of them. He's just not up to the job. He has once said "judge the team after 10 games". Well, we have just played our 8th game and look where we are. It's time for him to go, or the season would be too advanced for the new manager to make an impact.

  • Comment number 21.

    I think the posters who think that Hodgson won't be sacked because it's so early in the season are kidding themselves. There are new owners at Liverpool and all bets are off. The team/squad is not awful - Reina, Torres, Johnson, Gerrard, Carragher, Cole, Kuyt did not all become dross overnight - and I agree with Jamie Redknapp on Sky that talking about Liverpool as relegation fodder is silly. There is no way Liverpool are going down. However the team is light years away from challenging the new 'big five' - (check the league table) - and the new owners have to ask themselves whether Hodgson, whose long career has had quite a few reverses as well as pluses, is the right man to take the club through those years. The guy is in his sixties. He needs to start winning and he needs to start talking with realism because he's as vulnerable as court favourite after a palace coup. Personally, I think he'll be gone in a fortnight.

  • Comment number 22.

    Hmm, lets check the facts...more shots at goal than Everton, more on goal than Everton, nearly twice as much posession as Everton, no goals. Think Hodgson had a point!

    When Fowler compares the present Liverpool squad unfaverably to Leeds United 2003-04 he is sending a signal that relegation is possible. If Hodgson gets the push (given that his Liverpool record is W6, D5, L4 that would be very harsh) then the comparision is complete (Kenny Daglish equals Eddie Gray!).

  • Comment number 23.

    Typical Liverpool fans. Complaining about an article about them that is not positive when there is nothing positive to write about an abject performance. It is the big story, that and Rooney, and deserves to be written about.
    Hodgson will take Liverpool nowhere although the divine right for the fans to believe they deserve anything more is based purely in the past. They have average players and their 2 good players simply don't want to play for them any more. No doubt blame the Americans who provided huge sums of money for the managers to buy poor players including Hodgson. Poulson, Meireles, Cole etc are very average players, bought by Hodgson, who have nothing and will do nothing to make Liverpool better. Gillette and Hicks may not be the most loved but they always provided money for average players to permeate an average side who are simply no threat any more to the top teams. Fans really should blame the people who matter, the players, and stop whingeing about the board and everything other than the team who are, quite frankly, sub-standard nowadays.

  • Comment number 24.

    Liverpool wont be relegated but at this rate they will be very lucky to finish Top 12, champions league placings give me a break Roy.

  • Comment number 25.

    Surely it cannot be right to tell your players they played well and suffered a cruel fate rather than being more truthful.If he was serious then it was even more of a joke and the man has a big problem.Can someone tell me where else in the world a boss can tell his people they are doing a good job when in fact the opposite is the reality.

  • Comment number 26.

    I can only see it getting worse for liverpool starting with their trip to naples on thursday.
    They might pick up 3 points against blackburn but if they go on to lose at Bolton it will be time for roy to go.
    I honestly don't think he will see the season out.
    I know it is harsh to get rid of a manager so soon but why delay it he has to go sooner rather than later.

  • Comment number 27.

    Phil, it as you who did applaud Hogdson appointment as the new Liverpool manager because of his "experience" and "track record".

    Two Non-League clubs, spells with clubs in Scandinavia, Switzerland and Italy, Blackburn Rovers, Fulham, national coach of Switzerland, the UAE and Finland. He had two spells at Inter, the only big club in his whole carreer.

    The german F.A. made inquiries about his time as swiss national coach a decade ago, but eventually decided agaisnt an appointment.

    He did very well last season at Fulham, but was that enough to be offered the Anfield job?

    Looking out of his debts after a string of league games without a win, the media fuss about buying Joe Cole in the summer so far a very poor aquisition. Players without any self belief much more so then last season when things already started to go wrong under Rafa.

    Hogdson is without a doubt the wrong man at the wrong time at the helm. Any talk from the nwe owners to support him will only add to the pressure after a run of bad results and performances. The sooner he`ll be replaced, the better for Liverpool.

    His comments after yersterdays game at Everton only show he doens`t know how serious the situation has got and he doens`t have any solution to turn things around.

    Supporters are unhappy about the current situation on the field and will add pressure to change things around before it`s too late.

  • Comment number 28.

    Roy Hodgson was good at Fulham, because there are no expectations to win trophies or qualify for europe.
    Liverpool F.C. have achieved so much in the last 30 years that expectations are a lot higher than this mediocre team can achieve. If they have an under-achieving Manager at their helm this season may be their worst for 3 decades!!

    Yesterday they were outplayed in a lot of the pitch areas and did not seem to play with any passion. That lack of passion could be seen at the end of the match when Hodgson actually was smiling when he shook hands with Moyes. Would you have seen that from Benitez, Houlier or even Shankly....I think not!!

  • Comment number 29.

    Most of the posters at this point clearly haven't seen the table or Liverpool play in the last 2 years. When Phil tippped them for the title I tipped them to be lucky to be in the top 10. Now I am tipping them lucky to be in the premiership this time next year. I actually think Hodgson can do something for them, but will they let him? If they don't give him time Liverpool are gone.

  • Comment number 30.


    I don't care too much about Liverpool, i'm just delighted that Everton played so well and got the victory. I was delighted also, to see the Yak perform like he was 3 seasons ago.

    The poor guy had an horrific injury, but the quality is there and he was like a rampaging bull for the first hour yesterday, but eventually tired. A 90 mins performance like that will come with trust and games.

    Coleman is like a breath of fresh air, and proves a weakness in the modern footballer, if you run directly at people with the ball under control they just cannot handle it. To see Coleman burst down the right is a great weapon, each attack usually ends in a chance being created or him being fouled!

    One last work. Jagielka is proving to be an excellent player. I've never been convinced that he was real top quality, but since returning from injury he has been a colossus.

    I just hope moyes sees sense and pairs him with world cup finalist Heitinga for a class defensive partnership...potentially the best in the league.

    Distin is now ageing and to be fair, apart from his derby display has been really poor. He is a player who also has one fatal error a match in his game, a fact that cost us the Europa league last season

  • Comment number 31.

    try being a Hibs fan! was Didi not right in saying that Hodgson used the old smokescreen of protecting his players? Although if he said 'we werent at our best today' he might have left that interview with a shred of credability. I do think, like John Hughes at Hibs, he has bitten off more than he can chew. Liverpool are in real trouble of going down.

  • Comment number 32.

    I watched most of the 2nd half of the match yesterday and there is no way I could describe Liverpool's performance in the same way as Hodgson did!
    OK, I understand that he may be embarking on a PR job with the team but he cannot escape reality.
    The worst thing in my view apart from all the other problems with Torres etc mentioned is the ease with which Liverpool lost the ball to Everton - Everton did not really play that well and if you keep getting the ball you will eventually score! The possession figures will be the most worrying for Hodgson.
    Hodgson looks a very uncomfortable "caretaker" for the reds at present and he badly needs some good results quickly.
    I doubt that he will change much overnight but Liverpool need something radical again now under the new owner - it could be the early departure of Hodgson!

  • Comment number 33.

    Sorry, Kíllìnghölmê.

    Bootofthemax, Hicks and Gillett did no such thing. It wasn't their money, was it, but that's in the past, and we're not discussing them now. And we're glad for the opportunity to talk about this current situation. I was just reminding Mr McNulty that it was him, and a lot of other pundits, who said Roy is the man for you. They're getting their eyes well and truly wiped now.

    And we're not talking about 'divine rights' here, we're talking about a manager who was sold to us and who hasn't delivered and who will see us in tatters at last because he can't or won't change tactics he thinks are right, who decides that there isn't a problem when there clearly is, but believe you me the players won't escape criticism, either.

    People on the forum often berate Rafa for his poor man management skills, but what do you think Paisley or Shankly would've done with the likes of Poulsen, Lucas, and Maxi? Well, they wouldn't have bought them in the first place, but just for scenario's sake, they wouldn't have stood any nonsense.

    There's a reason for this low morale, of course, and I think the manager has much to do with it.

  • Comment number 34.

    Shades of Brian Clough at Elland Road...

  • Comment number 35.

    Hodgson was and is an overated manager of a mid-table team who did well for one season. It was the media that got Hodgson the job at Liverpool.

    Also, how long should the Liverpool hiearchy wait before getting rid of a manager? Just because Hodgson asks for 10 games before judging him, does it mean that Liverpool should give him 10 games when one can see nothing has changed from game 1 to game 8? Only reason to give a manager more games is if you *see* positive changes in the subsequent games. Unfortunately, there is no improvement in Liverpool performances over the 8 games, so why should it make any difference for the next two games and beyond.

    I was not for Roy Hodgson to be Liverpool manager and I have been proved right (oh, how I wish I was wrong). So, do you wait until it is too late before you get rid of a manager just because it is not the done thing?

    Personally, I would cut my loses and get someone else in to whom the players would respond.

  • Comment number 36.

    'Liverpool wont be relegated but at this rate they will be very lucky to finish Top 12'

    Oh, believe you me, we'll come very close to it. I predicted we wouldn't beat Everton and we didn't. And I'm not being smug here, I'm telling it like it is.

  • Comment number 37.

    just in regards to the clarkeonenil comment about possession and more shots, I think you'll find that everton let them have more posssession after they were 2-0 up because everton knew liverpool couldnt hurt em, and just protected the lead as they knew they could catch liverpool on the break if they needed another goal, it was 69% possession in the first half to everton if you want to use stats, this liverpool team is the poorest Ive ever seen and some people should stop making delusional points on here, the american owners couldve bought everton for 60million with a better team, better manager less debt, given them more of a transfer kitty and better prospects for the future, instead of investing in a team who live on their history!

  • Comment number 38.

    If we get in someone now, say Dalglish as a caretaker manager until a permanent replacement is found we may be able to salvage something from this season. What will annoy me is if we manage to stay up and RH will be hailed as the man who kept us up when he put us in the bottom three in the first place.

    May I also say if we can go down so can certain other teams in that league who think it's their 'divine right' to be up near the top as well. I can think of a few who'll be next.

  • Comment number 39.

    #3 - You must be delusional. Rafa did nothing good for Liverpool with the squad he made. The fact is he won the Champions League with a largely inherited squad from Houllier and then proceeded to ride the success of that before everyone had enough.

    Whoever got put in charge this season was going to have it tough getting a squad with 3 outstanding players in Torres, Gerrard and Reina and several players who are at best average to play well together after losing belief last season. It just so happens Roy Hodgson is the unlucky man chosen to do it.

    Hodgson will most likely be gone by the end of the season with his reputation slightly tarnished because of this, while Liverpool will finish around mid-table still with fans thinking they should be in the Champion's League.

  • Comment number 40.

    what liverpool are lacking at present are a certain type of playing personnel.

    Liverpools midfield is very pedestrian. what all the top teams are showing is that you require pace and width. two things liverpool have lacked in the last two years.
    this hasnt been addressed. gerrard aside, j cole and maxi are also our creative midfielders, but they slow the play down. liverpool just pass the ball round and dont break on the counter when opportunity permits as they lack the pace to do so with only one up top (whether this be torres or ngog etc).

    in jan we need pace, pace, pace.
    a left footed and a right footed winger/attacking midfielders with pace
    a striker. and get aqualani back.
    after this if funds permit, a left back and a right back.

  • Comment number 41.

    I'm with John (7.38). As a Liverpool fan, I've had enough of thinking about the team's problems, let alone reading about how bad we are every week!

  • Comment number 42.

    I'm a Newcastle fan so have to face facts on a regular basis. Liverpool fans need to face facts to. Here's a few:

    Carragher - past it (remember the World Cup?)
    Torres - not the player he was (remember the comments in the World Cup?)
    Kuyt - tries hard but lots of links away from Liverpool in the transfer window
    Gerrard - obviously loves the club but each manager pursuades him to stay and then he looks as through he regrets the decision
    Reina - quality keeper but most Premier league teams have one
    Johnson - can't defend

    This is the spine mentioned in an earlier post that will get you out of trouble!! I don't think you'll go down, but start facing up to facts. Your spine is broken and the rest are average.

  • Comment number 43.

    Bring in O'Neil

  • Comment number 44.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 45.

    Awful performance. With the exception of Raul Mereilles (who seems to constantly be played out of position) all of Roy Hodgson’s buys have been terrible. On his best day Konchesky is mediocre. Poulson is not in the same class as Xabi or Masc, Brad Jones is an average reserve, Joe Cole’s legs have gone and he slows down the play and then loses the ball. The scary thing is apparently Hodgson is after Carlton Cole! It is not the normal Liverpool way, but Hodgson must go before he destroys all the good work Rafa had done. In fact Rafa who was so often unfairly treated by the xenophobic English gutter press has been sorely missed this season. Yes he did make some mistakes (His belief that Glenn Johnson is anything more than a liability) but his good work under terrible circumstances far outweighed the negatives.

    The harsh truth is that Liverpool now need a complete revolution. Gerrard can't play in a two man midfield, he lacks the discipline, he must be pushed further forward where his positive attributes can hurt the opposition. Torres who is lacking confidence and has had a terrible 2 years with injuries, need support. At the moment he is completely isolated. A Hyypia style centre back is required, and why Hodgson doesn't pick Agger is beyond me! A left winger with some pace is required, and also Konchesky should be nowhere near the Liverpool team. Kelly should be first choice right back and Johnson should be sold.

    A change in style is needed, the defence play far too deep, the build up play is slow and ponderous, Torres needs quick passes into feet not 70 yard humps where he is isolated against 3 defenders. We are crying out for width, chasing the game yesterday we had Joe Cole on the left constantly cutting back to his right foot to float aimless balls into the centre, and Carragher playing almost as a right winger!

    The problem is that it will take till at least January till these changes can be implemented, and Roy Hodgson is not the manager to move our great club forward. He was appointed as a 'safe' pair of hands while the ownership issues were sorted. Well it's time to move forward now and we need a younger more dynamic manager (NOT BRITISH!). For all the people who think Roy is the right man I ask you this, could you ever imagine a team managed by Roy Hodgson winning the Premier League? (yes we are miles away now, but that must be the ultimate aim) Getting to 2 Champions League finals (like Rafa did)?

    A long bumpy road is ahead of us.

  • Comment number 46.

    Hodgson has every right to point to the mediocrity he inherited in his squad from Rafael Benitez, but early evidence suggests he has only succeeded in adding to it.


    This is a team that pushed Man Utd all the way 2 seasons ago bar Alonso & Masch. I just don't understand why people call the squad mediocre. Now i realize that due to monetary reasons we haven't been able to add to that squad without selling first but we shouldn't be propping up the Prm and everyone knows it.

    As fans we wouldn't be calling for Roy's head if it wasn't for the displays of the team. If we played well and put in a little effort we would back him but its the nature of the losses that have so dissapointed us. Theres no heart or passion!

  • Comment number 47.

    Phil, I think Hodgson is a very good manager. Unfortunately for him, this job has come a decade too late.

    His appointment at Anfield should not raise any eyebrows. Given time, he will create a decent side that is hard to beat and will hover in the upper mid table area.

    The direction of travel for Liverpool has been slowly downward for a while now, with the occasional bright blip.

    Probably only a Mourinho figure could transform Liverpool now, and only then with a shedload of money.

    Ultimately, Hodgson will go, not because he is bad manager or because of results, but because there is clause in his contract allowing his release if ownership changed.

    The lawyers win every time!

  • Comment number 48.

    My favourtie current hobby, looking at the Premiership table, Liverpool 2nd bottom is a beautiful image. Thinking now you've got new owners eveything's going to be fine is living in fantasy world, by the time they can have any impact Liverpool will have fallen so far behind the top four only a huge investment in players can bring them back and once Mr Henry relises the true cost of this he'll soon regret ever buying the club. So once again here is Liverpool's future, at best finish top ten this year (as much as I wish they won't be relegated) Torres & Reina leave in the summer. With no champions league football no chance of a new stadium. With Man City spending no chance of getting back into top 4 for at least the next five years by which time Liverpool will become just like Everton, Newcastle, Aston Villa etc clubs who think there big because they won trophies a LONG time ago.

  • Comment number 49.

    Don't worry Phil, Roy still has all his mates in the media to protect him and place the blame elsewhere. After all it was their cheerleading that got him the job in the first place. Last week it was his predecessor. This week it looks like it will be Torres – who is strangely finding it difficult to play isolated up front, chasing down hoofs from defence with his nearest support 30 yards away. Hodgson has demonstrated over his first 15 games that his tried and tested 1970s formula that has worked in the Scandinavian leagues is just not suitable for a top side. 13 members of the squad played at the WC and they must be wondering why they've suddenly been transported back 40 years in terms of tactics and approaches. Hodgson isn't good enough and he needs to go now before he does any further damage. His performance demonstrates just how good the previous manger was with the same set of players. Is our xenophobic media likely to admit this? Simple answer – no.

  • Comment number 50.

    he is not lacking in confidence....he simply has no support

  • Comment number 51.

    No passion, no ideas, clueless - that's just the manager - the players were as bad. Congratulations to Everton for the win. In reality, the way Liverpool are playing, anyone can beat them - it's that bad. It will be interesting to see how long the new owners let the current situation go before changes are made. If I were Roy I would be worried.

  • Comment number 52.

    In answer to a couple of posters - yes, I did think Hodgson was a good choice and I don't think anyone expected him to struggle to such an extent with the Liverpool job.

    There are a couple of big concerns that have surprised me. Hodgson's signings all look poor/average (although Meireles did show some signs yesterday) and I am afraid his verdict on the game yesterday was at odds with the reality. Pretty much every Liverpool fan who has contacted me since the game expressed disbelief that Hodgson thought they played well.

    I sincerely hope he delivered a different message in the privacy of the dressing room because some of those Liverpool players needed telling in no uncertain terms that this was not good enough. And if he genuinely believes Liverpool played well, then I am sorry to say he is kidding himself.

    And to Clarkeonenil...sorry, statistics mean nothing on this occasion. Shots on target mean nothing when the goalkeeper barely has a difficult save to make, shots off target has to be football's most meaningless statistic and possession is pointless if you do nothing with it.

    David Moyes unwittingly delivered quite an indictment of Liverpool when he said he was unconcerned about the amount of possession they had because he was confident Everton would be able to deal with it.

    And let's not make this debate purely about Liverpool. Let's hear from Everton fans as well. What did you think of your team's performance?

  • Comment number 53.

    "Hodgson has every right to point to the mediocrity he inherited in his squad from Rafael Benitez, but early evidence suggests he has only succeeded in adding to it."

    Phil, this comment just makes me lol. We all can see clearly that Hodgson is not in the same caliber of coaches as Rafa. Rafa is a much better coach. For you to continually comment that the players Rafa bought are mediocre especially to the few Hodgson as bought is bordering along side mediocre journalism from you.
    Liverpool may have had their worst season under Rafa last year but they came 7th. Rafa may have had player a formation not liked by a few of you journalist, but they had a reputation of being a very good defensive team, which were very difficult to breakdown. They are the same players still in the squad.
    Where Roy has failed is trying to build his own team, rather than having a stable team first, for which he was brought in to do as headlined by the media "a safe pair of hands". The players have not bought into his approach of the game, which is very much evident (they've moved from being driven in a BMW to been driven in a fairly used mini cooper). I'm afraid this liverpool team will really struggle to move away from the relegation zone come May 2011, if Hodgson remains as manager? After his 10 games it would be in the best interest of the club for the new owners to bring in a new manager with his own back room staff (NOT MON!!!) who will bring new energy to the team. The expectations for Liverpool FC is way bigger than Roy Hodgson can ever manage through the remainder of his career as a football manager

  • Comment number 54.

    'Hmm, lets check the facts...more shots at goal than Everton, more on goal than Everton, nearly twice as much posession as Everton, no goals. Think Hodgson had a point!

    When Fowler compares the present Liverpool squad unfaverably to Leeds United 2003-04 he is sending a signal that relegation is possible. If Hodgson gets the push (given that his Liverpool record is W6, D5, L4 that would be very harsh) then the comparision is complete (Kenny Daglish equals Eddie Gray!).'

    More shots on goal? More possession? Hodgson has a point? We can't defend and we can provide any service to Torres up front. And we lost. Again. And we couldn't get out of our own half for most of the first half.

  • Comment number 55.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 56.


  • Comment number 57.

    Whatever happens, YNWA
    Even if we are relegated, YNWA
    Even if we finish 20th, YNWA
    Even if all the players don't perform, YNWA
    Even if you (Torres) score only more goal the whole season, YNWA
    Even if you (Gerrard) cannot lead the team to glory, YNWA
    Even if you (Cole) cannot replicate your form for LFC, YNWA
    Even if you (Lucas) make mistakes, YNWA
    Even if you (Roy) can't win a game for us, YNWA
    Even if we don't win the league for another 20 years, YNWA
    Even if are in the championship or league 1, YNWA
    Whatver happens, YNWA

  • Comment number 58.

    Liverpool should offload Gerrard and start to build a football team - one that can play the game.

  • Comment number 59.

    19. At 08:20am on 18 Oct 2010, strcprstskrzkrk wrote:
    I think it's way too early to start spouting talks of relegation. Liverpool play Blackburn & Bolton next, two wins could see them closer to the top again with regained confidence. Two defeats however will no doubt pile pressure on but it won't consign the club to relegation just yet.
    Based on Sunday's display, would you put hand on heart (or money with the bookies) and back us to get 6 points from Blackburn home and Bolton away?

    I would love to, but we look as though we'll be lucky to scrape two from those games.

    Hodgson will, most likely, also rest the key players this week in Europe; exactly the players who need games to get a bit confidence back.

    As for sacking him, I'd never ask that fate for anybody, but I honestly believe he's 2 PL defeats away from getting it.

    With 10 games before Christmas, two more defeats would leave us on an absolute maximum of 30 pts, which would be a position no owners are likely to accept.

    Thursday, 21 Oct Napoli v Liverpool
    Sunday, 24 Oct Liverpool v Blackburn, 15:00
    Sunday, 31 Oct Bolton v Liverpool, 16:00
    Thursday, 4 Nov Liverpool v Napoli
    Sunday, 7 Nov Liverpool v Chelsea, 16:00
    Wednesday, 10 Nov Wigan v Liverpool, 19:45
    Saturday, 13 Nov Stoke v Liverpool, 17:30
    Saturday, 20 Nov Liverpool v West Ham, 17:30
    Sunday, 28 Nov Tottenham v Liverpool, 16:00
    Thursday, 2 Dec Steaua Bucharest v Liverpool
    Monday, 6 Dec Liverpool v Aston Villa, 20:00
    Saturday, 11 Dec Newcastle v Liverpool, 17:30
    Wednesday, 15 Dec Liverpool v FC Utrecht
    Saturday, 18 Dec Liverpool v Fulham, 17:30

    Ignoring the European games, I can't see us getting 24 points from that lot, but I really hope and pray that I'm wrong!

  • Comment number 60.

    Liverpool were dire yesterday, But it's 8 games into a season so its totally un-realistic to even talk about sacking the so called dellusional manager.

    The great managers have a knack, Mourinho, ferguson, wenger even holloway this season. They say and do things that put the spotlight on them... which in turn takes the pressure off the players. Is that not what we saw yesterday??

    the main issue is expectancy levels, Liverpool are no longer part of the top 4-5, I believe under hodgson they'll get there but you have to give the guys 2 seasons.

    Liverpool won't get relegated, they wont even be as close as Fulham were a few years ago but they are in a period of transition. I'd write of this season off, and judge him 8 games into the next campaign.

    What a shocking team benitez left behind!!!

    and finally it could always be worse, you could support Lincoln City

  • Comment number 61.

    Time to give the new broom a proper sweeping job. The new owners need to get rid of Hodgson and bring in Martin o'Neill pretty quick, otherwise you know what they say about being in the bottom three at Christmas. I would give Torres until the end of January under o'Neill if no improvement then sell him on to help finance the rebuilding of the team. But, make no mistake, we are now in a relegation battle!

  • Comment number 62.

    the problem is the midfield. its pathetic. meireles lucas joe cole??

    havent really got any ideas what to do.

    joe cole the saviour has disappointed.

    carragher should be replaced. dont know why he's been getting a free ride for so many years. just because he finishes a game with his shirt half ripped, doesnt mean hes a good defender. he was good but he's kinda clueless now.

    dont know where to start with stevie me and torres.

    anyways Roy smiling at the end of the match when shaking moyes hand, like he'd won the premier league made my day haha.

    never seen anyone smile that much.

  • Comment number 63.

    Part of me thinks Liverpool fans are idiots for wanting Hodgson out already, seems like the failure of Liverpool couldn't possibly be down to the very mediocre players they have on the pitch. For the past few seasons its been said that Liverpool are a two man team and when Torres and Gerrard don't perform Liverpool don't win. Hello?

    On the other hand, Hodgson should never have taken the job with everything going on, he was always set up for failure.

  • Comment number 64.

    48. At 09:25am on 18 Oct 2010, Cantona54321 wrote:
    My favourtie current hobby, looking at the Premiership table, Liverpool 2nd bottom is a beautiful image. Thinking now you've got new owners eveything's going to be fine is living in fantasy world, by the time they can have any impact Liverpool will have fallen so far behind the top four only a huge investment in players can bring them back and once Mr Henry relises the true cost of this he'll soon regret ever buying the club. So once again here is Liverpool's future, at best finish top ten this year (as much as I wish they won't be relegated) Torres & Reina leave in the summer. With no champions league football no chance of a new stadium. With Man City spending no chance of getting back into top 4 for at least the next five years by which time Liverpool will become just like Everton, Newcastle, Aston Villa etc clubs who think there big because they won trophies a LONG time ago.


    Someone who doesn't mind treading on this ice. Your club has it's own dark clouds on the horizon I think.

  • Comment number 65.

    I agree.

    Hodgson must have been at another game! Liverpool were in fact utter rubbish throught the entire game and i forgot just how many passes that went back to keeper! and also the hoof up field!

    diabolical performance, boreing to boot

    I am of the view Hodgson is way way way out of his depth and his pretence at thinking " how to change things " was a farce, he must have known that not only were the TV Cameras were on him but also the new owners needed convincing he knew what he was doing. His posturing was nothing but presentation.

    Liverpool are in tatters and as for mr redknap claiming they wont be in a " relegation battle " Think again! they are very much in it! and will without doubt strugle. They are there for the taking for any team that really wants to get amougst them! Hodgson is totally bereft of any ideas.

    I think he will be walking alone very soon.

  • Comment number 66.

    I won't comment too much, because i didn't watch the match, but i will say that the media spotlight and the all the nonsense that goes with it is a joke. Liverpool were going to get worse before they got better, and maybe Hodgson saw players actually doing some of the things he'd asked of them and what they'd worked on in training, so in that sense it could be viewed as progress (every game he will learn more about his players). Just because they lost at a decent home team's ground against a team that is far more settled and organised doesn't mean Hodgson doesn't know what he's doing.
    Danny Murphy said that Roy doesn't sprinkle 'magic dust' over the players, in-fact he believes in hard work, and playing a particular way, which, in the past, doesn't sit well with some players, who will leave Anfield (providing Roy is given a fair crack of at least a whole season). To expect massive changes from one week to the next is boring and tiresome, wouldn't you agree, Phil?
    Just passion and not much method to their play is what Rafa did, and people didn't like that because passion alone is not what football is about and wears thin after a while. You need the basics put right first, which is Roy is as good an appointment as Liverpool could have made. Writing off some players is bizarre, Phil, as you know only too well that Roy is capable of making average players fit perfectly into a system - Gera, Zamora, etc. But Rome wasn't built in a day. Liverpool can't buy instant success, which can also bring long term problems anyway, so some realism and not the infantile 'I want it NOW!!' drama queen approach would be appropriate. Thanks.

  • Comment number 67.

    Post 39 - the team Benitez inherited from Houllier was average at best and had no CL success whatsoever under Houllier. That is why Houllier was replaced. Besides guiding that team to CL glory with new tactics and the pivotal acquisitions of Alonso and Garcia, Benitez also led Liv to another CL final with a very different squad, another CL semi and a 2nd placed finish in the PL ahead of Che and Ars.
    You claim "Rafa did nothing good for Liverpool with the squad he made". Please do some homework.


    The Team Hodgson inherited may not be top 4 quality, particulraly with the loss of Mascherano, but it is far better than relgation fodder. Hodgson was never favoured by the majority of knowledgeable Lfc fans, despite your own delusional championing based on lord knows what.
    You also repeatedly fail to acknowldge that Benitez was hamstrung in the transfer market in his last 2 years as Liv didn't fully re-invest the money he generated from sales. So the squad was inevitably going to go backwards. Why is that so difficult to comprehend / acknowldege? The same argument you defend Hodgson with, you choose to beat Benitez with.

  • Comment number 68.

    Like I said at 7:38 this morning. I've got a lot of time for Hodgson but I'm no Liverpool fan. Never have been and never will be. I'm just sick to the back teeth of Liverpool, Liverpool, Liverpool.

    Whether I'm statistically correct or not it seems this "blog" is about Liverpool every other week. For pity's sake can't you write about something else?

    At last count there were some 18 other teams in the league. I hear nothing of Bolton, Sunderland, Blackburn, WBA, West Ham, Aston Villa, Tottenham, Wigan, Wolves....OK...Maybe you get the point. The only time you are guaranteed to hear anything about a club is when there is some issue other than the actual playing of football involved. Isn't the actual playing of the game a slightly important point?

    If I want boardroom drama I'll watch The Apprentice. If I want gossip and people doing things they shouldn't I'll watch Eastenders. If I want big headline no substance journalism I'll read The Sun.

    Take a leaf out of the excellent Paul Fletcher blogs. An interesting and balanced read without a touch of drama in sight.

  • Comment number 69.

    Players fault mostly. No reason why this particular team would perform so badly, they still all probably have the WC2010 disease.

  • Comment number 70.

    At Liverpool airport the statue of John Lennon reads 'Above us only Sky'. Someone has added 'Below us only West Ham'.

  • Comment number 71.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 72.

    oh i forgot.

    thanks to Everton and thier surporters for making it such an good match to watch, you thoroughly deserved your victory and totally outplayed dire clueless hodgson and liverpool.

    the balance of power is defo shifting on merseyside great game for the neutral thats for sure, i dont think i have seen a side chase and hustle so much, and the surporters were bllooomin great as well, liverpools only answer? Back Passes to the Keeper ohhh the memorys of old when the same tactics were used to bore the pants of the paying punter in liverpools so called hey-day.

    Blackpool show more guile and fight than liverpool do. and yes I agree with Holloway about his remarks on use of video. Blackpool are indeed begging to show they are a credit to the PL with thier attitude and style of play, long may they continue in such a vane, the PL is good place with them around.

  • Comment number 73.

    Roy Hodgson needs to learn how to manage a team. He hasn't got a clue and his best level in the PL will be with a team who just want to stay up and where anything else is a bonus. Roy now has Liverpool in that position.

    You will struggle to find a single Liverpool fan who wouldn't be delighted to see him removed right now. He is out of his depth and a lot of us knew that when his name was first mentioned. How did he finish 12th with Fulham last year from 7th the year before and then get the Liverpool job?

    The team is FULL of internationals and they are capable of beating any team on their day. We have four players in our squad who were in the World Cup final team's squads just a few months ago? We have Holland, Spain, England, Portugal and Argentina first team players and yet they are described as mediocre players inherited from Rafa - no they aren't!

    The tactics and formation that the incredibly naive Mr Hodgson is putting out every game are leaving us scrapping for a draw if we are lucky. We have no goals in that team. Against Blackpool, Man Utd and Sunderland we only start playing when the opposition's second goal goes in because the players then have to ignore the instructions and just go for it.

    Please Roy, please, do the right thing and walk away - you don't want to be remembered as the manager who hung on until he'd taken Liverpool down. The owners don't know the game and the upper management don't seem to have the balls to do it.

  • Comment number 74.

    Meireles and Lucas in the centre of the park just doesn't work. The one thing that struck me watching the game yesterday was how much Liverpool are missing Xabi Alonso.

  • Comment number 75.

    Here we go aging a football teamfails blame the manager. The truth is this Liverpool team is rubbish replace the lot or spend time in the lower divisions. Anyone that played for England in the world cup should be sacked anyway and Torres come on he playslike a lost old man on Sunday morning who strolls around hoping the ball is not past to him.
    Liverpool your teams rubbish whoever the manager is just like the world cup England squad.
    English Football has hit an all time low and sacking managers as an excuse solves nothing. The golden generation were made of mud. Very expensive mud.

  • Comment number 76.

    I miss Rafa.

    Roy is a mid-table team manager. He has vast experience, but what has he achieved besides a decent run with Fulham in the EUROPA League?

    In Rafa we lost a match winning, trophy winning manager, who managed to compete with the top spenders in Europe, despite the lack of funds available.

    We now have a mid-table manager, coupled with mid-table buys (Poulson, Konchesky et al).

    You cannot replace a manager considered on a par with Ferguson, Mourinhno and Wenger with Roy, however 'lovable' he was at Fulham. You need to replace him with someone better, or better in different areas, like motivational skills or perhaps transfer market picks.

    I would like to see Jurgen Klinnsman come in, sorry Roy, this is Liverpool.

  • Comment number 77.

    Great blog Phil, spot on. Thanks to snowJacuzzi007 (post 13) for having the good grace and common sense to acknowledge that we were by far the better team yesterday and thorough;y deserved our victory. In over 40 years of watching Mersey derbies I have never seen a more listless bunch playing in red. Even Gerrard looked like he's had enough way before the end.
    Of the more delusional reds on this forum, one guy reckons we should get rid of Yakubu as he was "a big waste of space"! Don't make me laugh. The contrast between the two teams' performances was perfectly highlighted by the effort given by their respective centre forwards (or is that center forward in Liverpool's case? ;)).
    Yakubu battled for every ball, at one point shoulder charging one of the many average reds out of the way. He had a great game for an hour before his legs went (he's still not fully fit btw) and in my opinion was Man Of The Match.
    Torres on the other hand was listless and petulant and one header apart did virtually nothing. I reckon he'll be gone in January, and then you'll really be up the creek.
    Roy Hodgson is a manger I have a lot of respect for, but he seems well out of his comfort zone at Anfield. His bizarre post match comments had a Rafa-like delusional quality to them and I sincerely hope he's not going down the path of "blame everyone and anything but me" route as taken by the sorely missed Mr Benitez!
    Finally, can I just say YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 78.

    70. At 09:49am on 18 Oct 2010, MrBlueBurns wrote:

    At Liverpool airport the statue of John Lennon reads 'Above us only Sky'. Someone has added 'Below us only West Ham'.



  • Comment number 79.

    Can i just ask an honest, non-windup, question.........

    Why is everyone slating Joe Cole and saying he's lost it/past it? This is the SAME man who the whole nation was begging for to start at the World Cup!!! OK, he's not played particularly well this season at all, but the lad has talent and is creative, he'll pull through.

    The spine of the team is honestly not that bad. Get rid of the dross like Konchesky, Lucas, Poulsen, Ngog, Maxi etc and buy some quality, pacey, skillful players in the window. But who would be available or not cup-tied?? Can we hang on till the summer and get access to a wider pool of players, or will it be too late by then?

    Better yet, just buy anyone who can keep the ball and find a liverpool player with a pass. I'm pretty good at trapping the ball and passing it sideways 10yds, so i put myself forward. I'll even take a pay cut and accept £30,000 a week. :-) :-)


  • Comment number 80.


    After my early season rant at you....things have got better, so fair do's for this. The blog was okay and you've put your hands up about you chang eof mind about Hodgeson. Remember no fan of any big club wants a safe pair of hands, even in their darkest moments fan's want someone that wil try and do the impossible.

    The worst inditment I can offer Liverpool fans is team for team I believe Liverpool would want more Everton players in their side than vice versa.

    Everton were good in patches but we've played far better and not won, Villa & Fulham especially.

    Avoid defeat at Spurs next week, very possible as we have a clean week they have CL and a Sat lunch time kick off. We can then look at fixture list we can glean some heavy points scoring from. There is no doubt we have the potential but as we've shown we don't match expectations sometimes.

    One last thing for SAF, fancy loaning Rooney back to us for six months, and I'm sure at the end of the season he'll will have calmed down or your can sell him to Barca/Real Madrid

  • Comment number 81.

    Reina, Carragher, Skrtel, Kyriakos, Konchesky, Merieles, Lucas, Gerrard, Cole, Maxi, Torres.

    Reina: Sits on the spanish bench behind one of the best keepers in th world.

    Carragher: Went to the world cup. A fringe international player.

    Skrtel: International defender for Slovakia.

    Kyriakos: International defender for Greece.

    Kochesky: Roy's signing.

    Merieles: International midfielder for Portugal.

    Lucas: International midfielder for Brazil (Menesez: 'Lucas is key to the world cup 2014.'

    Gerrard: Need I say anything?

    Joe Cole: Fringe England player. Technically excellent.

    Torres: International Spanish striker and reputed as one of the best in the world.

    Mediocrity? 10 of those players are international standard. There is just no excuse whatsoever to be sitting in the relegation zone with these players. Especially not when we have been second best to every team we've played. (Check the stats. It's true.)

    Roy has to go. Period.

  • Comment number 82.


    Blueburns, love the gag. :-)

  • Comment number 83.

    21. At 08:28am on 18 Oct 2010, kentspur - committed to good manners wrote:
    "The team/squad is not awful - Reina, Torres, Johnson, Gerrard, Carragher, Cole, Kuyt did not all become dross overnight".

    Correct, they didn't...

    Kuyt has been dross since he joined but has managed to make people think he's good by doing a lot of running and not much else - first touch is poor, no ability to cross the ball, keeps his head down, only scores when the ball hits him and goes in - when was the last time he actually scored with a well struck shot?!

    Carra has, unfortunately, been getting more and more dross for the last 2 years and I'm afraid the time has come for him to concentrate on his coaching badges. He was never blessed with much pace to begin with and has nowhere near the level of footballing intelligence that Hyypia had which allowed him to make up for his lack of pace as he got older. Until a manager has the b@lls to drop Carra our defence will just get worse and worse. Skrtel and Kyrgiakos are not the answer either.

    It worried me when Hodgson was employed. He inherited a decent team at Fulham and turned them into a decent team. Well done Woy. What's more, this is the first time I've ever heard of a manager moving and not bringing his backroom staff with him which therefore leads me to believe that at Fulham it was the coaches/asst manager doing all the work and Roy taking all the credit! It worries me even more that he thought we played well yesterday - we were awful!!

    At the start of the game yesterday we had a defensive left back, 3 centre backs, 4 central midfielders and a striker. By the end of the game there were 4 strikers, 2 central midfielders, 3 centre backs and a left back.... and we wonder why there's no width....

    If Johnson's injured play Kelly! Even if Johnson isn't injured play Kelly and play Glen in front of him. He can't defend anyway so we might as well use him as a winger!

    Please Roy, read this and try it just once..... Reina,Kelly/Wilson/Agger/Aurelio,Johnson/Gerrard/Meireles/Jovanovic,Cole/Torres. Alternatively feel free to do what your predecessor failed to do and give Babel a decent run in the team in place of Jovanovic or maybe up front with Torres and switch Cole out to the left.

    Whatever you do Roy, stop patronising the fans, grow a pair and try to a) motivate yourself so that you can b) motivate your players. Trying to muddle through until January won't help and neither will buying more central midfielders unless your plan is to buy all the central midfielders in the world so no-one else has anyone left to play there.....

  • Comment number 84.

    As a long-suffering Forest fan, I feel I should point out a few things here. Firstly, the ominous words I heard before Cloughie packed in are already starting to surface - "They are too good to go down". Reality check - no you are not!Torres is(including the time out with injuries), suffering from second full season syndrome, where teams have learned to negate his threat, not only at club level sell him before you will get nothing for him...It is really sad to see Liverpool where we once were, but as we are often told by our Derby counterparts, you can't live on past glories. The reason, in my opinion, why Benitez played Torres intermittently was because other teams had rumbled him but he had to play him to keep him settled. After all, Rafa wasn't seen trying to get him in the transfer window, was he? You miss Kuyt as he provides the link between midfield and attack just as much as Gerrard does.he is the kind of scrapper you need at the bottom. Finally, you have got players there who aren't used to a relegation scrap(rather like us when we went down), so it's just a case of roll your sleeves up and this season just get enough points to survive. Before next season the relevant changes can be made. This "two wins and we will be alright" mentality is the wrong one to have. With your incredible support and some hard graft, I have no doubt you will make it. I sincerely hope so. Liverpool belong in the Premier League but it has to be earned, not taken for granted.

  • Comment number 85.

    This is another pointless Liverpool Article that was probably altered from last weeks or the week before that. We all know the situation LFC are in (as you have repeatedly reminded us of) But how about focusing on another club? How about documenting West Broms great start to the season and their comeback at Old Trafford? or perhaps Citeh's show of strength that surely announces them as serious title contenders?

    I'm not saying don't mention Liverpool, but maybe as a foot-note rather than the same essay every week...

  • Comment number 86.

    Reading this blog listening to Radio 2:

    Song playing Dolly Parton: All bound for Moo Moo Land!!!

    Says it all. Enjoy it with Roy

  • Comment number 87.


    You show no football knowledge whatsoever. So you had more shots than us? Were they any were near the goal? You can have as many as you want from 25yards but if we get one from five yards out I know who more likely to score.

    If you break the game down, 1st 50 mintues we have more shots blah blah etc but we were on top and you had a Torres header....Everything you had was outside the box until Torres at the end.

    Give me just 10% Possession if its effective rather than 90% pass....pass...passback

    Be serious Everton deserved to win because they wer more effective when they had the ball....that would be the same of any team in any game.

    Tough break, the team you you want is not the team you have....welcome to EPL medicority

  • Comment number 88.

    Hi Phil,

    Well "I told you so" just doesn't quite feel right for me to say. I publicly said that Roy Hodgson's "lets steady the ship" appointment was the wrong one, as it sent the wrong message to the players. A message that the ship needed steadying and that things needed calming down, when the exact opposite was the truth. We needed a manager that would grab this team by the throat, make them feel 10 feet tall and push them forward.

    So the question is, WHAT NOW?!?! Well in my opinion NEVS and John Henry need to be very clear what their targets are for this year. If their target is mearly for LFC to remain in the Premier League, then they need to do nothing, because this team is too good to go down.

    However, if they want to achieve a Top 4 place, then they need to make a move NOW. As poorly placed as we are, we are only 8 points away from 4th position. A gap that can be bridged with a run of results. However, I believe that Roy has not only lost belief in his players, but that he has lost belief in himself. I was watching his body language on the touchline yesterday and the only time I can remember him looking like that was when he managed Blackburn into the bottom three and was sacked. He will need at least another 2-3 games before things pick up, and in 2-3 games qe can be up to 15 points behind 4th and that is a gap we WILL NOT bridge.

    I think that what our team needs is a MOTIVATOR, a manager that can make the team believe in themselves again. And the PERFECT man for the job is avaialable (not sure for how much longer) and he is MARTIN O'NEILL. His name has been mentioned with the Anfield hot seat for years now, and there is no better time for him to take the job as with this club and the new owners he can really achieve.

    Finally, I was hoping that I would never have to utter these words but I do miss RAFA.

  • Comment number 89.

    #21 - Johnson did not become dross overnight, perhaps, but the signing of this over-hyped, over-rated player typifies what has been wrong at Liverpool for far too long.

    I was listening to 606 after the England shambles last week and a fella phoned in suggesting Johnson was not an international defender. "Hold on a minute", said Alan Green. "He's not a defender. Period."

    Liverpool, Torres, Gerrard and perhaps Reina aside, are an average squad. Too reliant on too few players. And those who think they are too good to go down are kidding themselves.

    They have been woeful for a number of seasons, and it's all coming home to roost. Open your eyes, folks. When a team is in the bottom two after 7 games, they are there for a reason.

  • Comment number 90.

    How many miles is it from Liverpool to Blackpool ?

    Blackpool lost yesterday but for those of us that remember football clubs as being part of the community, they represent the closest thing to that in the Premiership, and in this day and age where the first motivation for most is "Whats in it for me?", they represent the antidote to the anathema that is big business.

    What has Blackpool got to do with liverpool's problems ?

    1. Mental and positive attitude from managers and players. Compare yesterday, Blackpool were undone yes by a little niaveity at times but as much by the big club/little club syndrome but my word, people have taken to them, they are somebodies to us average fans fed up of the nobodies that are the big clubs. They reflect a spirit of football pre Premiership.

    2. As a former Liverpool season ticket holder (79-04) I saw both good and bad and it is pathetic the whingeing going on from the fans, ask Blackpool fans what its like to eat at the top table after 40 years in the wilderness ?

    Its the roundabout of football ? When did Man City, Tottenham or Newcastle last win the league ? All big City clubs, all of whose recollections of their recent history show relegation not a title win.

    Get over it Liverpool fans, yours is the most pronounced fall because you are the highest profile club that has fallen on harder times who most can recall recent relatively successful times. If you can remember recent success maybe its harder to swallow when times get fallow. Again, ask Blackpool fans.

    Liverpool are the highest profile losers of big business coming into football (Until Ferguson retires and United begin their slippery slope, and the warning signs are there). Blackpool were losers yesterday but are winners.

    Until the likes of Liverpool can regain a soul that puts football first (and lets not hide the fact that the football is ultimately produced by players), they will continue to slide.

    Maybe relegation would be a good thing, could it bring a bit of perspective back to Anfield both from club and fans ?

  • Comment number 91.

    There are 85 comments already so not going to read them all, just have to get this off my chest!

    1) Roy is to blame: Clearly the players lack some form of confidence and for that they need to first be primed by the manager to know what to do when things go wrong. Just as Danny Murphy criticised Allardyce et al for over-pumping their players before a game, so Roy needs to do more than he is because they come out looking beaten before they get started.

    2) The players are to blame: Once your manager has sent you out onto the pitch, you are responsible. What are they going to do, go out and then rush back to the sideline for a quick pep talk every time they feel confidence dripping away? They lack half a yard of composure: Joe Cole's woeful crossing - apart from once, from which a great chance was created - shows he doesn't believe it's going to work; Lucas' failure to tackle in general and on Coleman for the first goal in particular, just highlights how ridiculously childish the team is being.

    Lads, to coin a very old phrase: it is just a game, go out and play. All this chat about 'needing funds to rebuild the side' is just giving them an excuse. Are we saying that, man for man, on form, this Liverpool side is a relegation side? No, of course not, they have better players - from a talent and technical ability point of view - than most sides above them.

    So, how to discover form? I would say it's all in the head, and these boys have to gain some perspective on their blessed positions, playing a game for a living. Maybe just go, work in an orphanage in Romania for a month and then realise that all you do is play each day!

  • Comment number 92.

    I wonder if Broughton and the new owners are now, as we blog, discussing the vacant position of manger of LFC or will they give Hodgson a few more games to bore us all rigid?

  • Comment number 93.

    I have to comment on all of this. I have read most of the posts, especially the "obviously Liverpool supporter" ones and you lot are delusional youself. You need to wake up and smell the coffee lads, look at your teams stats over the last 20 odd years, once YES ONCE you have come close to winning the Premier league, and that was under the management of Rafa who most of you suddenly took a disliking to after the "In Rafa we trust" brigade had seen some sense. Where and what have all the other managers got you in the time that the Premier league has been up and running....Answer: nothing much and nowhere. None of them have managed to muster a single League success for god knows how many years and basically it boils down to the fact that you are simply not good enough to win the league, the players that is NOT the managers. Yes of course the manager plays a massive part in preparing the team to go out and win games but as we constantly hear, in Istanbul it was THE PLAYERS who famously came back to win the CL not the manager. The simple fact is you are now regarded as a possible cup winning team because you cannot sustain it over a season to win the League. You have, at best, 2 class players, one of which wishes he had gone to Citeh or Chelsea in the summer and the other that wishes he'd joined Chelsea when he had the chance a few seasons back, the other lot would not get into Blackpool's starting 11 let alone a top 5 team. Liverpool are now regarded as easy fodder for the likes of Fulham, Blackpool etc etc, no disrespect to those teams but Liverpool now "live" for the odd win against Chelsea, Arsenal and UTD whereas not so long ago it was the other way around, especially at Anfield, which is no longer a ground to fear. All you Liverpool supporters are living on your history which you so famously throw down other teams throats but the truth is, that is all it is ever likely to now be, HISTORY, because while you lot are dwelling in the past other teams are now MAKING their history by winning CL's, Prem titles, FA Cups etc etc, and Liverpool are sliding into anonymity and to be honest no-one cares either, that is what you get for once being so smug towards everyone else's teams and their supporters, i used to watch Liverpool back in the 70's and 80's win league titles and european cups and want them to win those games as they had fantastic players who played with pride and skill, i never ever supported Liverpool (always supported Chelsea from the age of 6, i'm now 45) i just had respect for their superior team, now i hope they get relegated, it's a bit like Newcastle, you lot think you have a god given right to be at the top of the League but to be fair you haven't had that right for many many years now and you won't have it for many more to come.

  • Comment number 94.

    Hodgson claims; "Torres was battered after the world cup."


    Perhaps he should have been advised to stay clear of playing records - Stevie Me doesn't like that sort of thing.

  • Comment number 95.

    When Man-u fans are telling us we have a good manager we know something is wrong. Roy is way out of his depth and we cant affod to give him a season or we will be in the championship. The players just dont get him or his tactics and they definately arent playing for him. We need a new manager now who will have time to settle in before the Jan transfer window. Thanks Roy but we dont need anymore players like Poulson or Konchesky arriving in January

  • Comment number 96.

    To Post 42:

    I agree entirely, almost all pundits, commentators and bloggers seem blinded by a belief that Liverpool have a decent, no, a great squad of players. Maybe as they have such a wonderful heritage, which they certainly do, who knows? But there are no players in that squad who will move any mountains this season.

    To the poster who said 13 of the squad were at the world cup this year ? A better indicator surely would be those squad players who were at the world cup and actually played well. Would anyone seriously want Torres or Gerrard now ? Reina maybe...he is indeed a great keeper.

    Gerrard ? Please, don't make me laugh, if he ever was as good as all of the hype surrounding him (one man team etc etc), then he certainly isn't now. He has been on the decline individually, as a captain and as a team player for 2 seasons. Take a look at the pass completion statistics. "one of the best midfielders in the world ?!!!" Do me a favour, he can't pass to a member of his own side a lot of the time and the hollywood 60 yard passes to the opposition goal keeper are just Under 8s quality.

    Surely he needs to show a bit more gumption as club captain and inspire people on the park as well as off it...the rest of the team...drop them and get the reserves in....Liverpool are a once great club, being very poorly served by the current players, Cole, Gerrard, Torres, Carragher...old, injured and it any surprise they are being beaten by hungrier, younger, more passionate teams with individuals who are working hard to build reputations rather than sitting back and resting on them?

    Good luck liverpool, you need it. I like hodgson, but they need a complete clearout of playing and backroom staff with hungry people who don't expect things to be handed them on a plate.

  • Comment number 97.

    Wouldn't mind selling Torres. He had fantastic midfield service at the World Cup and yet he couldn't score goals.

  • Comment number 98.

    Well done Everton. Even I was suprised how easy it was for them. I really thought Liverpool would have put up a bit of a fight but they just don't seem capable right now.

    I see now the ownership matter has passed fingers have begun to point at Hodgson. Not really Roy's fault as you can only work with what you've got & that is a team that is woefully short of class bar Gerrard, Reina & Torres. Blackburn & Bolton will not be easy ties either & I can't see Liverpool coming away with 6 points there. Every club now thinks they can beat them & that won't be easy to overturn.

    LFC need half a dozen class acts in January, players that can change games. Unfortunately these days that won't come cheap & I can't see NESV handing over the kind of money needed to fully refurbish this team.

  • Comment number 99.

    As a follower of Man Utd I take some pleasure at their predicament.
    At the same time I'm fearful this is our future .....

  • Comment number 100.

    As amusing as Liverpool's current plight is, the trouble with writing another blog on them just one week after the last one is that the responses are exactly the same, which makes it a little tedious.

    Whether you agree or disagree with these points or not, it's a little tiresome to hear about: Hodgson out of his depth; xenophobic British media; Liverpool's average squad; US owners; and 50% Benitez is at fault, 50% he's a great manager.

    There are other teams in the division that are worth writing about. The world doesn't revolve around Liverpool, which is incidentally what their deluded fans think happens and that past glories alone give you the right to future success.


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