Liverpool fans turn on Hodgson

2010-10-04 18:40

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.


  • g lane - 2010-10-04 19:11

    The Sqad are earnnig big bucks. The must do their job and give their all. Other wise dont draw your salaries. Your perfomance on Sunday is a disgrace Sorry but the sooner we sell Torres a.k.a. sick note the better

  • Never Walk Alone - 2010-10-04 21:14

    Roy - you are out of your depth - move on to something less intimidating and challenging than LFC - A big club like Liverpool needs a high profile manager with big balls to handle this job ! AND AS FOR THE PLAYERS - PULL YOUR FOOKING FINGERS OUT YOUR BUTTS AND PLAY LIKE PROFESSIONALS THAT YOU ARE SUPPOSEDLY ARE PAID TO BE - YOU WANT THE STARDOM AND BIG BUCKS - NOW GO OUT AND EARN IT - BUNCH OF F@$&G PRIMMA DONNAS !!!!

  • EX YNWA - 2010-10-04 22:03

    Roy - Liverpool isn't for you. You should stick to mid table teams and look forward to your non relegation bonus - this would never be in your contract @ liverpool. Not even in Rafa's worst run last season have we been humiliated like this. This is a disgrace and you are to blame - not even Lucas can be blamed now cos he isnt playing. Get out now before you are forced to after the Everton game. PS - The England job is way too big for you too. Time to start thinking about retirement!!!!!

  • SKY - 2010-10-05 09:02

    i have been a loyal liverpool supporter since the 80`s but to watch them play like they did on sunday i have my doubts they will make it. change the manager and we shud consider better players torres u suck!!!!!

  • Mark - 2010-10-05 09:07

    I wonder if Joe Cole now regrets deciding against a move to Spurs at the last moment! Instead of playing in the Champions league he will be fighting a relegation battle instead! But I respect Liverpool greatly and dont relish seeing them at the bottom. It is not a managerial problem, but a player problem. They simply do not have the squad to challenge anymore, and the players that they do have of high profile(apart from gerrard) do not seem to be interested in playing. Get rid of them and start afresh. It may take a season or two but at least you will have players who want to play!

  • Owen - 2010-10-05 09:08

    Roy is walking alone. Walk the plank, Roy!

  • Torres9 - 2010-10-05 10:18

    You can blame Roy all you want,just like we did with Rafa,but this team is simply not performing.They needed a wake up call afer 45 minutes against Man U, Sunderland and Blackpool.They are not interested and certainly using everything else as an excuse.Yes,the manager chooses the team and Sundays team was good enough to see off Blackpool at home,but sloppy passes,low tempo,poor finishing cant be laid at Roy's feet.These guys are pros and get paid more money than you and I will earn in a lifetime.So,they need to buck up and the easiest thing to do is change a manager than replace a squad.I will not be suprised if certain players are deliberately playing badly in order to get Roy sacked.Seen it before and yes,I do think we needed a higher profile coach,but Roy fits the bill and the players need to step up.

  • TRUE Red - 2010-10-05 11:19

    RH did well in getting G&T to stay. He did well to get Cole & Raul. What I have a problem with is 1) His mindset - only changes to attacking formation when we are already losing a game, 2) Can't seem to motivate the player's & 3) Using square pegs in round holes - you simply can't play player's out of position ! I would give him a few more games - look, he ain't no Rafa, so we have gone a step backwards, but I think this situation might be the kick up the a$5 he AND the player's need. All RH needs to remember is that he is at a high profile club now & not Fulham - Anfield needs to be made a fortress again, where "small" teams are scared to play ! On paper, the starting 11, bar Poulsen & Kyriakos, are good enough to fight for a CL spot, and not relegation - just play them in the right postions, give Babel, Pacheco & Kelly a chance & maybe some hairdryer treatment when necessary & things will look alot better !

  • Paulie - 2010-10-05 12:06

    I never thought I's Cry: Come back Rafa, everything's forgiven..." When Roy was appointed I thought it was a masterstroke, especially when he bought Joe Cole and convinced Gerrard and Torres to stay. And at the next open period? Especially if the kleptocratic Americans find themselves in even deeper sh*t. Maybe they would be too grateful to seel Gerrard and Torres at a huge whack of money, to top up their piggy bank. I agree that Hodgson has a death wish playing people out of position and being too cautious - even against Blackpool! -and not instilling any confidence in his troops. If anyone had told me some five years ago there would be talk of possible relegation, I would have killed myself laughing. Not anymore. I have supported Liverpool for more than 50 years and will do so till I die. But I have never felt such a sense of sadness and betrayal.

  • Shankly's Kin - 2010-10-05 13:10

    @ Torres9: How can you not blame the coach? I know the players are not really stepping up, but at the end of the day, he picks the team, tells them where to play, and how to play. He picks Poulsen consistently, even though he is complete S***. He plays an 11m pound holding midfielder in Mereiles (very creative too) on the right flank, plays Cole on the left (where he has stated that he does not like playing), and plays long ball tactics, and deploys a generally all round mid-table team setup. He doesn't give the young guns like Pacheco and Spearing a fair shot, and they're willing to die for the shirt at the moment to prove to everyone that they're good enough. He doesn't play Babel, whom he did promise more playing time in his preferred striking role, and who I believe could be our backup to Torres. He doesn't defend his players in the press. He doesn't seem to have any fire in his belly, and if he doesn't have it, how can it be instilled in the players? He just doesn't strike me as a fighter. And this club is based in a city where the people are fighters. This club has always possessed that fighting spirit. It is what attracted me to the club, and it is what will attract more people to it once this mess is sorted. The intensity and passion we had under Benitez is gone. No more tactical acumen. Even though the team would draw, or lose, you could see they played well with tons of shots hitting the posts or saved by the opposition keeper, and it was always just down to 1 or 2 mistakes at the back that caused the loss. Now, it's a miracle that we're not bottom of the league. We should be conceding 3 to 5 goals per game the way we are defending (if you can even call it defending). United should have been 6-0 up at half time during the game at Old Trafford. I'm not being a hater or anything, but I'm calling it as I see it. I admit Roy wasn't my first choice to take over (I wanted King Kenny). In fact, Rafa should never have left. But when Roy came in, I got behind him like other Pool fans, and I've been patient. But my patience is wearing thin. He has to turn it around, beginning with the game against Everton. I'm not expecting him to win the league for us. He just needs to put out a team that at the very least look like they're trying to win.

  • Michael - 2010-10-05 16:19

    It saddens me to see us in the relegation zone. Where is our fight? RH just does not seem to have the ability to motivate the players and his tactics are not up to standard for a club like LFC.

  • ryan - 2010-10-05 16:22

    @ EX YNWA: you freaking traitor. You choose a team and you stick with them through thick and thin!! I am not happy with my team and the way they are playing as well but i will not support another team, ever!!!!! anyway, what our team needs is a manager that has the balls to drop non performing players, the likes of Torres, Gerard and Carragher. Torres needs time on the bench to recover completely from his injuries, gerard is just not their and needs to be dropped, and carragher needs to think about stepping aside and giving the likes of Skrtel and Agger to form a great partnership, which they can. Give Babel a chance up front, he is hungry, put Pacheco/Cole in Gerards position, that can work. Bring Lucas back in. play Johnson on the right with kelly behind him. on the left Konchesky with Ngoo on the left. Even better, play the 4 1 3 2 formation with the above players and watch, results will happen. 4 - Kelly, Agger, Skrtel, Konchesky 1 - Lucas 3 - Ngoo, Cole, Johnson 2 - Babel, Pacheco

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