English Premiership

Liverpool fans turn on Hodgson

2010-10-04 18:40
Roy Hodgson (AFP)

London - Just weeks after hailing Roy Hodgson's arrival as Liverpool manager and predicting a return to glory, fans have turned on the veteran coach and started chanting the name of the man who once led them to domination of the English game.

"Whether I can turn things around is a question that really shouldn't be asked, but you know it will be asked in football when there are some bad moments," Hodgson said. "That's the nature of the game."

And the nature of the game means that Hodgson's time with Liverpool could be over after just three months if his team loses at local rival Everton in its next Premier League match.

Sunday's 2-1 home defeat against newly promoted Blackpool confirmed Liverpool's worst start since 1953, and a break for international duty will keep the club in the relegation zone for at least the next two weeks.

Fans chanted Kenny Dalglish's name at Anfield on Sunday, hinting at the despair felt by many at watching a performance so disjointed that the team finished with a central defender in attack, a midfielder at fullback and captain Steven Gerrard in central defense.

"It was really, really disappointing," Liverpool forward Dirk Kuyt said. "It's probably one of the hardest defeats I've had to take since I've been here and we're sorry for the fans.

"The first thing we have got to do is make sure we start winning games again and then we can begin to take things from there."

Hodgson is defiant, suggesting that league positions after seven games of a 38-match season mean little.

"I don't think it matters we will be in the bottom three for the next fortnight," Hodgson said. "The psychological blow of being in the bottom three after seven games is a damn sight less damaging than being there from game No. 18 to game No. 36, as I experienced at Fulham."

But while Hodgson can point to titles in Sweden, several international appointments and an appearance with Inter Milan in a European final, fans cite his lack of experience with top English sides and suggest he is out of his depth at Liverpool.

Having been hired to steady the team and return it to the Champions League, his assurances that Liverpool will not be relegated are unlikely to impress many.

"Whether or not this bad start is going to affect us in our ambition to be nearer the top of the table that is another matter," Hodgson said. "That is something you can accuse us now of not being able to do.

"But I think to suggest, especially after seeing what we did in the second half against Blackpool, that we are a relegation candidate would be stretching credulity to the limit."

And the international break means Hodgson will have few players to work with ahead of the October 17 meeting with Everton.

Hodgson saved Fulham from almost certain relegation, took the small west London club to its best topflight finish and then guided it to a European final, convincing Liverpool officials that he was the right man to restore their club's fortunes after seventh place last season.

He was greeted with enthusiasm - particularly after signing England midfielder Joe Cole and convincing Gerrard and Fernando Torres to stay - but the honeymoon period is over.

"The fans are frustrated at the moment," Hodgson said. "There are a lot of things happening and it's understandable they are frustrated. I am the manager, I am the one who has to take responsibility and I have to accept their right to aim their frustration in my direction.

"I don't think you go from being viewed as positively as I was in May to losing your ability by now."

Liverpool is playing poorly but the chanting of Dalglish's name shows the extraordinary pressure heaped upon coaches at the club. None - not even Rafa Benitez and his 2005 Champions League title - have matched the success Dalglish enjoyed at Anfield.

His status as a club legend was assured after a playing career that included three European Cups, but he then led the team to three league titles as a manager and guided the side through the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster.

Now a Liverpool club ambassador, he wanted to take over following Benitez's departure at the end of last season but was overlooked in favor of Hodgson.

That was no surprise since Dalglish quit Liverpool 20 years ago and has not coached a team for more than a decade.

But fan power - or more accurately, the power of fans' nostalgia - could yet give Dalglish another, unlikely shot at glory.

Read more on:    liverpool  |  epl  |  roy hodgson
NEXT ON SPORT24X

Villa, Saints, share spoils

2014-11-25 00:34

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
12 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

Hottie of the day: Charlotte

Meet our hottie of the day, Charlotte. She feels sexiest after a good workout at the gym!

 
 

Men24.com

This is why guys shouldn’t be in photos
BMW drift battle: M235i vs. speedway bike
Want to start talking dirty?
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...
Fixtures
29 November 2014
West Bromwich Albion v Arsenal, The Hawthorns 14:45
Liverpool v Stoke City, Anfield 17:00
West Ham United v Newcastle United, Boleyn Ground 17:00
Swansea City v Crystal Palace, Liberty Stadium 17:00
Queens Park Rangers v Leicester City, Loftus Road Stadium 17:00
Manchester United v Hull City, Old Trafford 17:00
Burnley v Aston Villa, Turf Moor 17:00
Sunderland v Chelsea, Stadium of Light 19:30
30 November 2014
Southampton v Manchester City, St. Mary's Stadium 15:30
Tottenham Hotspur v Everton, White Hart Lane 18:00
02 December 2014
Leicester City v Liverpool, King Power Stadium 21:45
Swansea City v Queens Park Rangers, Liberty Stadium 21:45
Manchester United v Stoke City, Old Trafford 21:45
Burnley v Newcastle United, Turf Moor 21:45
Crystal Palace v Aston Villa, Selhurst Park 22:00
West Bromwich Albion v West Ham United, The Hawthorns 22:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

How long will Mario Balotelli last at Liverpool?

 
 
/Sport
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.