4 Oct 2010

Liverpool FC in the relegation zone? Big deal. It means absolutely nothing

The media is making a huge deal out of the fact that Liverpool are currently in the relegation zone. All the usual ‘Liverpool in crisis’ doom and gloom stuff is being wheeled out; and whilst concern/frustration/disappointment is definitely warranted, any reasonable person knows that being in the bottom 3 at this stage of the season means practically nothing.

Liverpool have no divine right to be at the top of the table but it’s also true that the team and the manager are far better than what we’re seeing at the moment. We’re experiencing relegation *form* right now, but the team will not remain in the zone. Fans need to be logical about this; for all the mass hysteria, the facts are:

* Liverpool is only 5 points away from 4th place at the moment. 5 points! If we’d beaten Blackpool, it would’ve been only 2 points away from the top 4. Either situation is hardly insurmountable at this stage of the campaign.

* West Brom is in joint 4th place right now, an equally false position; does that really reflect the quality of their team? Do we really expect them to finish in the top 4 this season, or even stay in the position? Is there any modern historical precedent that suggests that will be the case? No. Same goes for Liverpool.

In the 2007-8 season, Man United dropped into the relegation zone after a run of three draws, one defeat and one win in their first 5 league games. This was a United team that were reigning Champions, with the most successful manager of the modern era at the helm. They ended the season as Champions again (aaargh!).

I know LFC’s situation is completely different but I’m just trying to illustrate how top teams can sometimes drop into the relegation zone, and how early season form does not reflect or predict how a season might turn out.

In Gerard Houllier’s first season, Liverpool lost 14 league games and finished 7th ; in Rafa Benitez’s first season, the club again lost 14 league games, and finished 5th. In either of those cases, were we calling for the manager’s head? Should we have been? NO. (Yes, I know we won the CL in Benitez’s first season; I’m focusing here solely on the league).

Poor league form in a Liverpool manager’s inaugural season has been the *rule*, not the exception, so this season’s bad run should come as no surprise.

As I’ve consistently argued, the only goal this season is 4th place; how we achieve that is irrelevant. If that means scraping through and grabbing 4th spot on the final day, then I’ll take it. Of course, that’s the opposite of how the fans want to achieve it, but that may be the reality. Get 4th place first, then next season the real rebuilding can begin.

I repeat again: despite our horrible form, the club is only 5 points from 4th place at the moment. That is within touching distance, and as long as we remain within touching distance everything will be fine.

For me, no matter how mad things become over the next 3 months, on the 1st January 2011, Liverpool:

* Must be in the top 4, or within touching distance (i.e. within 3 - 5 points)
* Must have massively improved the style of play/performances

If the club is still way off the pace then, playing badly and not looking like improving, then would be the time to consider a managerial change. At least then, any new manager would have 4-5 months to really go for 4th spot.

However, I fully expect things to change, and for Liverpool to be in or near the top 4 in January.

Contemplating managerial change before that time is just ridiculous.


Jaimie Kanwar


93 comments:

  1. Well said Jaimie, way too early for the doom & gloom talk.  for me the worrying part is how easily we're exposed at the back. we cant defend at all & are at sorts everytime the opposition is on the attack....the playing staff need to take a BIG look at themselves.

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  2. Team needs pace, quality, promising youngsters (David Amoo, Michael Ngoo, Thomas Ince, Pacheco, Suso, Ecclestone, Jay S, Martin Kelly) in the side, new faces, attacking mentality, renewed team with no ovverated players in the rooster.
    I still trust in Roy Jamie, but Roy has absolutely to decide "what kind of dead" (it's a verbally way to say things in italy, related to football) is reserved for Liverpool Football Club.
    And I think the decline started one yrs ago, under Rafa, and it's the time for a radical revolution of the Club: tactics, players, faces, style.
    It's the only way to turn the things right.
    It's not sufficient to confirm Rafa's tactics and Rafa's systems: Rafa's tactics & systems are the reasons of decline.
    Time to take some risks, bringing youngsters of top quality & local lads in the side.
    Time to decide what sort of death We want.

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  3. Jaimie, what are your 'early' thoughts on Poulsen, Meireles & Konchesky?

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  4. Ok so how much is the bet between Gillett,Hicks & the Glazier family worth to knock LFC of there perch as red nose would put it ????

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  5. Spurs supporter here.Hodgson seems to have found no reply to the Beniez era...so the problems are still evident for all to see.Lack of quality is problem number one,how long can Gerrard grab the squad on his shoulders?Torres is more injured than fit,and Liverpool need players that show leadership qualities.We were a bit worse when we won the carling cup under ramos and got just 2 points from 8 games.At this stage you have to make a decision,not wait till January for God's sake!!

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  6. There's an old saying Jamie: Be careful what you wish for.

    You led the 'Houllier out' and then and then like a dog with a bone (a five year bone...that's some vindictive hunger you've got) you ran the stats, and did the numbers to do a number on Benitez and you now have the temerity to prosecute the case for Hodgson that no one should be calling for anyone's head this early in the season. I agree with you on that point and that point only lest you level your favorite term of opprobrium against me - 'one eyed brigade.'   

    But Hodgson's card is marked make no mistake, just as you marked Houllier's and Benitez's. And if you were honest (or at least consistent) you'd be hard pressed defending a formation with Carragher at left back, a defensive back four shipping goals against the most mediocre of attacks and purchases like Poulsen who make Lucas look positively...well..Brazillian and the false dawn of Joe Cole distracted the 'English manager' brigade for a couple of weeks before they realised there was no genuine striker to cover a crooked Torres.    

    The clock is ticking and we are in deep sh&t

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  7. <span>There's an old saying Jamie: Be careful what you wish for.  
     
    You led the 'Houllier out' and then and then like a dog with a bone (a five year bone...that's some vindictive hunger you've got) you ran the stats, and did the numbers to do a number on Benitez and you now have the temerity to prosecute the case for Hodgson that no one should be calling for anyone's head this early in the season. I agree with you on that point and that point only lest you level your favorite term of opprobrium against me - 'one eyed brigade.'     
     
    But Hodgson's card is marked make no mistake, just as you marked Houllier's and Benitez's. And if you were honest (or at least consistent) you'd be hard pressed defending a formation with Carragher at left back, a defensive back four shipping goals against the most mediocre of attacks and purchases like Poulsen who make Lucas look positively...well..Brazillian and the false dawn of Joe Cole distracted the 'English manager' brigade for a couple of weeks before they realised there was no genuine striker to cover a crooked Torres.      
     
    The clock is ticking and we are in deep sh&t<span>


    </span></span>

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  8. <span>There's an old saying Jamie: Be careful what you wish for.  
     
    You led the 'Houllier out' and then,  like a dog with a bone (a five year bone...that's some vindictive hunger you've got) you ran the stats, and did the numbers to do a number on Benitez and you now have the temerity to prosecute the case for Hodgson that no one should be calling for anyone's head this early in the season. I agree with you on that point and that point only lest you level your favorite term of opprobrium against me - 'one eyed brigade.'     
     
    But Hodgson's card is marked make no mistake, just as you marked Houllier's and Benitez's. And if you were honest (or at least consistent) you'd be hard pressed defending a formation with Carragher at left back, a defensive back four shipping goals against the most mediocre of attacks and purchases like Poulsen who make Lucas look positively...well..Brazillian and the false dawn of Joe Cole distracted the 'English manager' brigade for a couple of weeks before they realised there was no genuine striker to cover a crooked Torres.      
     
    The clock is ticking and we are in deep sh&t<span>


    </span></span>

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  9. <span>There's an old saying Jamie: Be careful what you wish for.  
     
    You led the 'Houllier out' and then and then like a dog with a bone (a five year bone...that's some vindictive hunger you've got) you ran the stats, and did the numbers to do a number on Benitez and you now have the temerity to prosecute the case for Hodgson that no one should be calling for anyone's head this early in the season. I agree with you on that point and that point only lest you level your favorite term of opprobrium against those you ironically call the 'one eyed brigade.'     
     
    But Hodgson's card is marked make no mistake, just as you marked Houllier's and Benitez's. And if you were honest (or at least consistent) you'd be hard pressed defending a formation with Carragher at left back, a defensive back four shipping goals against the most mediocre of attacks and purchases like Poulsen who make Lucas look positively...well..Brazillian and the false dawn of Joe Cole distracted the 'English manager' brigade for a couple of weeks before they realised there was no genuine striker to cover a crooked Torres.      
     
    The clock is ticking and we are in deep sh&t<span>

    Read more: http://www.liverpool-kop.com/2010/10/liverpool-fc-in-relegation-zone-big.html?#ixzz11NxOzuVW</span></span>

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  10. * <span>Liverpool is only 5 points away from 4th place at the moment. 5 points! </span>If we’d beaten Blackpool, it would’ve been only 2 points away from the top 4. But we didn't ,did we ?

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  11. <span>There's an old saying Jamie: Be careful what you wish for.  
     
    You led the 'Houllier out' and then and then like a dog with a bone (a five year bone...that's some vindictive hunger you've got) you ran the stats, and did the numbers to do a number on Benitez and you now have the temerity to prosecute the case for Hodgson that no one should be calling for anyone's head this early in the season. I agree with you on that point and that point only lest you level your favorite term of opprobrium against me - 'one eyed brigade.'     
     
    But Hodgson's card is marked make no mistake, just as you marked Houllier's and Benitez's. And if you were honest (or at least consistent) you'd be hard pressed defending a formation with Carragher at left back, a defensive back four shipping goals against the most mediocre of attacks and purchases like Poulsen who make Lucas look positively...well..Brazillian and the false dawn of Joe Cole distracted the 'one-eyed English manager for LFC brigade'  for a couple of weeks before they realised there was no genuine striker to cover a crocked Torres.      
     
    The clock is ticking and we are in deep sh&t<span>


    </span></span>

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  12. <span>There's an old saying Jamie: Be careful what you wish for.  
     
    You led the 'Houllier out' charge and then like a dog with a bone (a five year bone...that's some vindictive hunger you've got) you ran the stats, and did the numbers to do a number on Benitez and you now have the temerity to prosecute the case for Hodgson  - that no one should be calling for anyone's head this early in the season. I agree with you on that point and that point only lest you level your favorite term of opprobrium against the 'one eyed brigade.'     
     
    But Hodgson's card is marked make no mistake, just as you marked Houllier's and Benitez's. And if you were honest (or at least consistent) you'd be hard pressed defending a formation with Carragher at left back, a defensive back four shipping goals against the most mediocre of attacks and purchases like Poulsen who make Lucas look positively...well..Brazillian. Add the PR purchase of Joe Cole which conveniently distracted the 'English manager brigade' just long enough for the season to start with the realisation that there was no genuine striker to cover a crooked Torres.      
     
    The clock is ticking and we are in deep sh&t<span>


    </span></span>

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  13. I think it is time to close this site, Jaimie.

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  14. The difference is I didn't call for Houllier's head until he'd been in the jon for 4 years; I didn't start calling for Benitez's head until he was 6 years into the job.  I criticised him, but never once said he should be removed until his final season.

    If you can't see the difference betwen 4+6 years vs 3 months, then you're clearly not being fair.

    And in both Houllier and Benitez's case, it was right for them to be removed. 

    That might prove to be the case for Hodgson too at some stage, but that time is not (IMO) now.

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  15. You're deluded if you think you can finish 4th. You really think Liverpool have the depth of squad or even the quality to compete with the likes of Man City and Tottenham, main rivals for 4th spot? No chance

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  16. This again?  How many times...

    The difference is I didn't call for Houllier's head until he'd been in the job for 4 years; I didn't start calling for Benitez's head until he was 6 years into the job.  I criticised him, but never once said he should be removed until his final season.  
     
    If you can't see the difference betwen 4+6 years vs 3 months, then you're clearly not being fair.  
     
    And in both Houllier and Benitez's case, it was right for them to be removed.   
     
    That might prove to be the case for Hodgson too at some stage, but that time is not (IMO) now.

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  17. Losing is a habit, just like winning!! Hodgson used the excuse of having a hard start against Arsenal, City & Utd which all of us understood but this is Blackpool at home ffs!! A total joke, leaking goals all over the place. How do you fix that with no real replacements for the rabble that call themsevles a defence!!

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  18. You just can't see the bigger picture can you?  Like many other fans, you can't see past the end of your own nose.

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  19. Albert, totally agree.
    At the end of the day We' re lacklustre on quality, pace, motivations, strenght in depth.
    Roy should have more determined to overcome Rafa's era but instead He prefers a safe & sensitive approach.
    We need to take some risks.
    I still trust in ROy but Roy has time to prove his value until christmas: fact.

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  20. I wouldn't be worried if we had a manager who looks to be experimenting and trying different player combinations and tactics. Roy is looking very out of his depth when it comes to moving away from his "Plan A" which I don't even think the players understand, let alone the fans. The players that he has brought in are ridiculously average at best, the players who have genuine talent are either told that they are not needed (Aquilani) or are being made to feel as if they are not going to get even a chance of impressing (Pacheco, Babel, Shelvey).  
    I think that the team we have could be miles better if used correctly, but sadly it doesn't seem as if Roy will know a winning formula even if it bit him in the arse. I would agree that we should give him time, but I guarantee that Roy does not have any tricks up his sleeve and we'll only slip further and deeper into mediocrity the longer that this kind of football is allowed to be played at Anfield.

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  21. Hallo Jaimie!

    I think the plight we are in now is in certain ways linked to Rafael Benitez. He implemented a style of play that had positional play, especially in defence, as the major ingredient. This left LFC without speed and movement. This style was with the playing staff at hand good enough for places three or four for some years. It culminated in 2009 when we managed a runners-up spot. Mainly due to hysterical form of many players. Since then football has developed dramatically. Almost every team in the EPL, and in lower divisions, has adopted a modern style of hard work and smart movement. Liverpool has not. Our style is now out of date and is the reason to why so many teams dominate us possession-wise and even outplay us. Our current style is a combination of Rafas static chesslike football and Roys overoptimistic longball-counterattacking. They clash and is detrimental to results and play. We don´t find space between defence and midfield when attacking while opponents find just that frequently in our half. The reason is our current peculiar style and the excellent movement by the other team. We make even Blackpool look like Barcelona. I think Roy Hodgson can turn the tide, but he must quickly install his ideas, and scrap the old ones that lingers, and above all go for attacking football. After all that is the Liverpool way and in my opinion the best method for success with our current squad.

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  22. It is not the points that are overly concerning me it is the manner in which the team has yet to put in once decent performance so far. 1 2nd half performance against arsenal was all the team has shown so far this year, it is an absolute disgrace that this side cannot head a ball in the box, now coming off a poor season in which we had all our top players injured for long periods and just missing out on champions league football is bad enough but to have a defence that was practically unrivaled for 5 years to a defense that cannot prevent a cross from either flank or head the ball when it comes into the box or even stop a ball from crossing the line whilst having a man on the post fills me with complete dread, Roy is a yes man for the board and the board have shown they know nothing about football by recruiting him. The rebuilding will only begin when all things american are removed from the club.

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  23. Of course it matters. The last time we were this bad we went down. Do you honestly feel we have put one decent performance in all season. Even the West Brom victory was unjustified. Birmingham should have battered us if it was not for Pepe, Sunderland again by far the better side. There is not a spark of Passion anywhere on the pitch. I love my club but I am bricking it and bracing myself for the worse.

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  24. Because that answer addressed my comment didnt it? No wait, it didn't! So lets go into detail shall we? Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea will, barring some kind of miracle, finish in the top 4! Man City have unlimited funds and incredible squad depth. Tottenbam also have good squad depth, are in the Champions League and have a good motivational manager and will also be contesting for fourth. Add Everton and Villa to the mix. Thats four teams for one spot in the table. Lets look at Liverpool now. Weak back 4 consisting of an aging Jamie Carragher, Mid table Konchesky, Glen Johnson - who costs Liverpool more games then any other Liverpool player and the inconsistent Skrtl. Poulsen, Lucas, Kuyt, Babel, Riera, Maxi and Jovanovic are MEDIOCRE footballers. Up front you have Torres, a player so out of form and constantly injured from carrying the team so much! You honestly believe this squad can finish 4th, with an astonishing lack of quality and depth?! I think the one who cant see past the end of their own nose is YOU.

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  25. Good to hear your opinions Jaimie,and although I agree that we shouldnt be getting too carried away with the hype at the moment, I do think that to even mention us in the same sentence as 'top 4 finish', is totally unrealistic.
    Not because it's impossible that we could go from our current position in the bottom 3, to finishing in the top 4 by the end of the season - as you pointed out, it has been done before, and mathematically at least, it's easily achievable, even from our current poor position. But for Liverpool to go from having the season they had last year (7th in the league. lost in 4th round league cup, 3rd round FA cup + 1st round Champions league) to finishing in the top four this season, with a minus 4.5 million pound spend on players this summer, a change of manager and the diabolical start to the season we have had, i think is pretty ridiculous to expect and probably fanciful to even hope for.

    Like I say, its not impossible but I think its totally unrealistic, to expect us to go from our level in the last 45 league games to finishing in the top 4 in our next 31.

    Being a life long Liverpool fan though, I hope, believe me!

    but ultimately you gotta be realistic. In football you usually always need at least 2 out of the folowing 3 things to be successful, money and/or a fantastic manager and/or a settled manager/management team/set of players over a long time.

    For the last few years we had 2 of 3, a fantastic manager and relative stability (ownership saga excluded), but no money. now we have no money, no continuity and just a decent manager.

    We have to be realistic, until we either, get some money, or give Roy some time, OR... in fact there is no OR, they are our only two realistic options. this is LFC, not Newcastle.

    So to conclude, we won't go down I dont think, but I'm equally confident that we won't finish in the top four either. I hope we qualify for the Europa League but I cant say I fully expect us to, I hope so.

    And I PRAY that we get new owners ASAP with money, love for the club and respect for the supporters.

    YNWA

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  26. Well, well Jamie making excuses for his masters Hicks, Gillett and Purslime as usual. How many pieces of silver this time?

    Our current league position this year... 18th.

    Our league position after the same number of matches last year... 3rd.

    Relegation dogfight here we come and Kanwar is still making excuses for the cancer.

    As the friends of Murdoch and the Sun that claimed to be Reds and that stabbed the fans, the team and Rafa in the back said "the squad is good enought we just need to get rid of Rafa". We had...

    Xenophobic demands for an English manager.
    Lies about "man management" and demands for a man manager/team motivator. 
    Someone who understood the English game.
    Someone who would keep quiet when Ferguson and the press are stabbing us in the back.
    Someone who would get rid of Lucas.
    Someone who would keep quiet about the owners and the board destroying the club. 

    Well they got their man.. Hodgson poodle to the owners, the board. Ferguson and the media and look where it got us.

    Nothing will improve at Liverpool until we have got rid of the owners and the board and get rid of scum like Kanwar.

    Fuck of Jamie you're not welcome at Liverpool... Reds only.

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  27. I think gerrard and johnson needs to be dropped to the bench. Carragher is more useful as a fullback, he is no longer an asset in the centre. Only the bias english pundits are blind to this fact and keep praising these three players even though they are clearly playing poorly. The most damaging thing is these three are buying into the harp, Gerrard in particular is reliving what Houllier said of him about believing the press. only this time he is six years older but no wiser. His legs are gone now, cant go more than 3 yards before releasing the ball more often than not a stray ball. Team will definitely play better without the two and Carragher at the side.

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  28. LIBERARCHIE HAS 2 GO NOW AND SAMMY LEE THE PLAYERS DONT LOOK FIT OR ARSED

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  29. Like my name says id luv to kick Roy out of Anfield. NO CREATIVITY , NO GAME PLAN , NO PLAN B , plays many players out of their natural position (ei. Meireles , Agger etc. etc. ) He simply has no idea. He is way out of his depth i mean really what has he acheived other than getting Fullham to the Europa final? Ill tell you NOTHING. The the F**k OUT Roy you are useless.

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  30. Like my name says id luv to kick Roy out of Anfield. NO CREATIVITY , NO GAME PLAN , NO PLAN B , uses many players out of their natural position (ei. Meireles , Agger etc. etc. ) He simply has no idea.  It kils me to see our team play with no conviction , style , attacking flair. If we are totally honest with ourselves we can consider ourselves fortunate to even take the 3 points from the West Brom game. Seriously what do we have to look forward to when we cant even beat these relegation fodder teams at Anfield? He is way out of his depth i mean really what has he acheived other than getting Fullham to the Europa final? Ill tell you NOTHING. Get the F**K OUT Roy you are a loser. Go manage Malmo or some of those other teams that wouldnt even make in the Championship.

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  31. Like my name says id luv to kick Roy out of Anfield. NO CREATIVITY , NO GAME PLAN , NO PLAN B , uses many players out of their natural position (ei. Meireles , Agger etc. etc. ) He simply has no idea.  It kils me to see our team play with no conviction , style , attacking flair. If we are totally honest with ourselves we can consider ourselves fortunate to even take the 3 points from the West Brom game. Seriously what do we have to look forward to when we cant even beat these relegation fodder teams at Anfield? He is way out of his depth i mean really what has he acheived other than getting Fullham to the Europa final? Ill tell you NOTHING. Get the F**K OUT Roy you are a loser. Go manage Malmo or some of those other teams that wouldnt even make it in the Championship.

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  32. Agreed. Many of us can see well beyond the end of our nose but actually start looking before the nose hits the brick wall. We are in deep trouble and to think a couple of results are going to turn the season is deeply deluded. Newly promoted Blackpool at home, battered by Chelsea and well beaten by Arsenal WAS exactly the game to turn the season. Third tier Europa league opponents should be being given short shrift and a motivated reserve team should be progressing in the League Cup.

    Hodgson looks every bit the dead man walking but add the ownership trouble into the mix and we are going to have him for some time to come yet.    

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  33. Jamie - Benitez should only have gone IF (and Big IF) there was someone better to come in.  Under current circumstances, there wasn't!  Therefore we should have stayed with Benitez until new owners decided on his fate.  It was suicide to bring in an untried and untested (at the highest level in the PL) Manager at this stage in LFC's financial position. Everyone except a handful (including you) knew this.
    He almost managed to get a Champion-winning side (Blackburn) relegated and is at best, a nice guy.
    We need a man-motivator in now, someone that can get the best out of the team (short-term until new investment comes in) - MON would be great, Kenny and Thommo would possibly improve out form too.

    All I know is that LFC's current position IS a problem. <span>A very big problem!</span> When will it NOT become a problem? You keep saying January?  By January, we may well be cut adrift, lose Stevie, Nando and Kuyt and have no chance of turning things around......

    Sometimes you have to admit you've made a mistake and rectify it asap!

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  34. Gorcin Cvijanovic1:26 pm, October 04, 2010

    I have to agree with you on this one: Roy should stay (at least untill the end of seson). Still, he shouldn't be apointed as menager in first place. He got the job base (purily) on accomplishment of last season final with Fullam, and the fact he is English menager (goot PR move) . Fact is, that in his 35 year carear he didn't achive (in sence of the results) to much, gives a lots of concerns to supporters (+ ongoing stile of play + results). Benitez came from Valensia (with two titles in Spain, unlike Roys titles in Denmark and Sweden in '80 and '90), so people were prepair to give him time to prowe himself. Unfortunatly Roy doesn't have that much credit with supporters (this is my guess, since I don't know Liverpool supporters mindframe).

    Never the less, players attitude doesn't work in Roy's favor. Weather he can't convince them in his view of play, or they doesn't see themself in Liverpool shirt in future, one thing is for certain: Liveerpool board is accountable for his appointment, and it is about time for them to give the man SUPPORT, and publicly state that his job is safe, so that the players can accept him as menager, or publicly ask for transfer (if they aren't satisfy).

    As for Roy. It is difficult to change (in his later part of menager career), and he stated that in one of interview (I think he sayed that he has done things for 35 year and he know how to menage the team), so it is to optimistic to hope for IV spot at the end  (because you have to win IV spot not defend it as Roy does). But this goal is unrealistic, not IMPOSIBLE  :)

    P.S. Pleas, I'm aware of some gramatic errors, so there isn't need of pointing them out

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  35. Jamie......For crying out loud.... it's not abt the points or the stats... it's about LFC playing  Stoke or Birmingham or Blackpool or Utrecht as if they were Scum or Arsenal ( which was the only 'decent' performance till now) or the Middle East or the Russian Millionaires. On wht basis do u expect the performance to change and in what way.... I do hope that things like the playing style and the players' mentality changes... but unlikely!

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  36. * <span>Liverpool is only 5 points away from 4th place at the moment. 5 points! </span>If we’d beaten Blackpool, it would’ve been only 2 points away from the top 4. Either situation is hardly insurmountable at this stage of the campaign.
    - You have a pt here, but it depend on who/how we get beaten. If we cant beat blackpool at home convincely & blackpool taught us a good footballing lesson during the 1st half, what make you think it will be easier for other game? (Remember Northampton)* <span>West Brom is in joint 4th place right now, an equally false position; does that really reflect the quality of their team? </span>Do we really expect them to finish in the top 4 this season, or even stay in the position? Is there any modern historical precedent that suggests that will be the case? No. Same goes for Liverpool.

    - No it does not reflect their quality & our quality but it prove something, something is very wrong in liverpool atm. For the past few matches, we were lucky to get a "draw", when we lose it seems we deserve it, compared to under Rafa, when we lose or draw somehow u feel we were unlucky.In Gerard Houllier’s first season, Liverpool lost 14 league games and finished 7th ; in Rafa Benitez’s first season, the club again lost 14 league games, and finished 5th. In either of those cases, were we calling for the manager’s head? Should we have been? NO. (Yes, I know we won the CL in Benitez’s first season; I’m focusing here solely on the league).

    - During Houllier & Rafa first season, even when we lose we can see the two managers are trying to built something, sometime you can see their ideas they want to implement on the pitch, under Roy i seem nothing but look worst than souness eraFor me, no matter how mad things become over the next 3 months, on the 1st January 2011, Liverpool:

    * <span>Must</span> be in the top 4, or within touching distance (i.e. within 3 - 5 points)
    * <span>Must</span> have massively improved the style of play/performances


    - By then isnt that abit too late if we are more than 10 pts within touching distance. You are banging on blind faith that THINGS might improve, under Houllier/Rafa first season, we can see what they are building on even if we lose the match. Under Roy after matches against europa teams, northampton & now blackpool, the players look clueless most of the time, we make "lesser" team look like Barca, Real Madrid, when we lose it seem we deserve it, when we win i thought we are lucky. I dont mind play badly but ugly win or play beautifully n lose, i seeing neither of those atm

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  37. I agree with OldMc, that getting rid of Benitez, causing upheaval on the pitch, at the exact time when there was already significant off the pitch upheaval, without someone better, lined u to replace him, was unbelieavably foolish. Anyone who knows anything about football could have told you that from a mile off. How so many Liverpool fans, supposedly 'the most knowledgable in football', supported such a short sighted, mis-informed decision is totally beyond me (but that's a whole other matter).

    I disagree that we should get rid of Roy now though, largely for many of the same reasons that we should have kept Rafa. We should give him until at least Jan or the end of the season to get things right or to fall on his sword. We've got Kenny waiting in the wings as a caretaker. We don't have a realistic chance of replacing Roy with anyone significantly better until we get new owners. No point sacking him now and plunging the club into FURTHER disarray.

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  38. What have we seem under Roy?
    Without doubt he's a nice guy and i willing and wanted to give him time to prove himself, but Roy not helping himself

    - Trazsponsor a famous win? My god then how many famous win have we got already. Besitas remember?

    - Northampton lose. (This is worst than Reading lose)

    - Pushing blame to young players, internationals during defeat to Northampton. I thought Roy should shoulder 70% of the blame

    - Keep talking/whining owner issues during press conference

    - label protesters against owner as undermining his job (making it harder)

    - Defend Torres after Ferguson label him a cheat only after days later when Roy was criticised for not defending

    - Sit on the bench, looking clueless. No plan B or plan C. When there's plan B, it would be Kry up front, hoof up policy to him. And i see plan C in blackpool game, same thing kry up front, hoof up policy with meireles as LB, gerrard as RB?

    - Negative pre/post match conference all the time

    - Playing players out of position, negative approach & blame players for not performing (IT seems to be an easy excuse for ROy now, it's either players or owners)

    - When Agger doesnt suit his style of play really says alot of Roy's tactic

    - Defend deep and inviting opposition to come at us, how many goals have we conceded because of that?

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  39. - we look clueless going upfront, our midfield look non-existant at time, our defend look like league 1 defend. We did not improve 1 bit, in fact we play worst. Players look clueless, manager look clueless.

    - It starting to become a trend that every 1st half of a match, we will play like we just learn to play football

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  40. - this season alone, we have official like referee on our side, we dont have much injury problem, our players look happier, but why we still cant get result against lesser team?

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  41. - even the media is on our side

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  42. And he gets quotes from the S*n .

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  43. @font-face { font-family: "Times"; }@font-face { font-family: "Cambria"; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }p { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; }
    <p>My first instinct is to disagree with almost everything that Jaimie has written – Not necessarily because of the content, but simple because of the manner in which it is written. Perhaps a little less antagonizing, and more of a conversation type approach would result in more a constructive dialogue. However, I no doubt believe that you have been attacked for your viewpoints, but perhaps a less critical approach to those who read your site, would serve you well.
    </p><p>I agree that it was time for Benetiz to go – His approach had grown stale but his legacy will be remembered.<span>  </span>It need not be repeated again. However, I maintain that an adequate for Benetiz has not been found. I base this not on Hodgon’s recent record at the club, but rather on his CV. He’s managed a lot of clubs and a couple national teams, and brings a wealth of experience to Liverpool. However, his time in management has <span>almost</span> always ended in mediocrity. Roy is certainly a nice enough guy, and someone who has earned a lot of respect in the football world. I however doubt, that the respect is based on results and outcomes, but rather on his personality. Although football is a cutthroat world, there is still a place for the nice guy. I do not claim that he is incompetent, but rather perhaps out of his league – Maybe this is his moment, but somehow, I doubt it. Many will argue that it would not be the Liverpool way to dispense of Roy now, but perhaps the Liverpool way should be changed. We need to be ruthless. The gloom that surrounds the club (and Jaimie will argue that most of it is fabricated, I’m sure) is very real. Whether based on fact or fiction is irrelevant. The fact is that the club is embroiled in an off field battle that is an embarrassment to one of the great institutions in world football. I have no doubt the extent of which has been exaggerated in a media circus that will culminate in a few weeks when the banks decide what to do with the club. However, whether exaggerated or not, the result is that the cancer is spreading all around the club. I do not argue that the off-field distractions are hampering the players, but in the minds of the majority of fans, the Hicks and Gillett regime is the sole cause of the ‘feeling’ around the club. Liverpool is in crisis --- Logic and statistics mean nothing at this point. The club needs a radical change and starting in a few weeks, hopefully we will see that happen when the owners are sent on their merry way. The fans feel betrayed and they are lashing out. The statistics mean nothing to us (5 points from 4th -- Why aren't we in 4th is the question?). The performances are nothing more than an extension of the off-field controversy (not a result of, but hard to separate) and as such, defy logic. Anything that is associated with the American owners will be looked upon with disgust. Hodgson, although not hated, was the cheap replacement for a man that will (almost) always be welcomed to Anfield with open arms. He made mistakes but for the majority of supporters he brought a sense of pride to the club. I have no doubt that Jaimie will find something in here that he disagrees with and as such will dismiss outright. You bring a different viewpoint Jaimie and I hope you are open to discussion and tolerance, rather than being dismissive.
    </p>

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  44. I agreed that Rafa need to go but not until we have a changed of owner. Some fans called for Rafa's head when they failed to realise it's the owner's head that need to go off first. So what happen now? Have a manager (Roy) here to steady the ship but what did he do? Into an iceberg? 35 yrs of experience, do you think Roy will change his tactic to suit Liverpool?

    Let be clear, steady the ship - in what sense? Bring us back to TOP 5 or make local born players happy because Rafa cold cold character?

    Tbh, if cara/stevie were to be responsible for the manager's dismissal, i want both of them sold when we have new owners. Players power is totally unforgiven, shankly will turn in his grave

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  45. Deleted my posts again have we s*n lover?

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  46. Using the s*n as a source for traffic. Scumbag

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  47. The bigger picture of you using the S*n as a source to get traffic. "I hate the s*n.." no you don't you fucking lying scumbag.

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  48. He is not experimenting, in fact he want us to play the traditional 2 BIG CB and 1 big TARGETman for liverpool. Do we have the players for that? End up having defending deep, our CB looks "shit" against header, Torres playing against 3/4 defenders.

    I thought Roy should be smart enuff to change his style gradually to suit liverpool plays, and what i seeing now is, players are clueless and the blame pointed to players instead of the managers.

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  49. You will see more players become "bad" under Roy. First is our Team B, after that Agger, now Cara & Johnson. In midfield, first was Maxi/Lucas/Poulsen, now cole become a luxury player, then Milan.

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  50. <span>"West Brom is in joint 4th place right now, an equally false position" </span>

    <span></span>
    <span>We're not is false position. We are where we deserve to be having been 2nd best in every game we've played this season. It isn't a case of bad luck or tough fixtures. The most worrying thing is the lack of anything new shining through in the performances. Normally a new man comes in and you gradually see his ideas start to take shape. 15 or so games in and there don't appear to be any unless you count putting the big Greek up front and "getting in the mixer" when we need a goal (depressing that we resorted to this against a 4th division team). Worrying...</span>

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  51. Talk of relegation IS silly. We are never going to be relegated in a million years but that doesn't make the situation any less dire. 

    Mid table mediocrity is as good as relegation for liverpool fans considering the success and stature we hold. 

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  52. If Roy were to persist in his tactic, let pray we could survice till Jan window to buy 2 BIG CB(heading genius) and 1 BIG Targetman(heading genius)

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  53. The Roy Hodgson Brigade6:26 pm, October 04, 2010

    One thing is for sure, whether Roy is or isn't the right man for the job IMO he will not give in to any of you naysayers. He knew what he was walking into. I will back him and the ones who are calling for his head at the moment can carry on and give this club a real reason to be dragged down by adding more fuel to a fire that was already out of control before he arrived. The players that walked onto the pitch on Sunday should be ashamed of themselves. Yes it was the manager who sent them out but surely a player that is given a red shirt should where it with pride no matter what the circumstances otherwise they shouldnt even bother to pitch up for a match. Pride no longer exists at this club and has disappeared over time. These players are paid ridiculous salaries yet they can allow a team like Blackpool who get payed in pennies to come to Anfield and humiliated us. 

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  54. Blame it all on the players? Roy blamed the so call "B" team for Northampton defeat, now blame the "A" team for Blackpool? He's here to steady the ship but what did he do? Marginalise the team, form a A & B team, ridicule the B team oh you forget there are some very young players in there and some are even playing out of position.

    He knows what he's going to get before he join liverpool, then all the more he should know what tactics suit liverpool. By making awholesome change i see our players clueless from day 1 till now after his appointment. I saw yesterday match, i felt 90% of the players are playing for the manager so when is it enough to stop throwing blame on the players but not the manager?

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  55. Get with the script Derek, it is the players fault this year. The managers fault is so last year. Different rules you see.

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  56. Get with the script Derek, it is the players fault this year. The managers fault is so last year. Different rules you see.

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  57. oh yes i forget Roy just won league manager not long ago, the media hype him to be a very good manager for liverpool so everything is the players fault not the manager.

    My suggestion, why dont we buy all the fulham players and sell all our A/B team prideless players to fulham instead

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  58. dont forgey joe cole

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  59. Why would Roy buy Merelies as a central midfielder and then play him on the right or in the hole? That was not a Benitez buy, but yet that's ok? Does he honestly think that Skrtel is a better option than Agger? If we want to argue about Roy Hodgon's merits as a manager, especially when compared to Rafa, we'll be here all day. The players have to look at themselves to a certain point, but how can you expect people like Merelies to adjust to the league playing the wrong position?

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  60. Time is coming when i get to wring your scrawny neck Jamie. You are like Nero playing the flute while rome burns down all around you. Then again what can i expect from a dilluded H & G PR spinner. Now remember remember the tale of Corinthians, owned by Hicks before they went into relegation. Do your research...Why are you so silent on this damning issue of all....just write one line if you will.

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  61. what is the bigger picture Jamie??
    Hodgson hasn't been blooding in youngsters, or experimenting with the team in systems that may be benefiting us in the long term, so what exactly are you basing your blind faith on?? 

    Hodgson has been trying his best to play it safe, so he has learnt NOTHING (in competitive games) about what hidden qualities we may have in our squad and so inevitably will have to take those lumps again when the changes are eventually made (or if he refuses to make any changes, then just continue to see us flounder in aimless mediocrity)

    We are not in such a dire position out of bad luck or due to injuries, but for the fact that we have played some of the worst football in the Premiership and DESERVE to be struggling.  Unless Hodgson finally makes the changes that he has so far shown no inclination of changing, then the team will continue to struggle

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  62. Agree with you Derrick - the reserves got no credit for winning all of their games in Europe while just being thrown together as a random mishmash of players, and were publicly castigated for DRAWING with Northampton, so it's quite amusing (and pathetic) to see Hodgson's self proclaimed big-guns continue to struggle week in, week out - including when taking the "B teams" place in the Europa Cup - failing to win all but one game but still somehow managing to retain their place for every game barring injury.

    I thought that the senior players rather than the reserves were supposed to set the example (and be made examples of), not the other way around!

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  63. Im waiting for Jaimie to comment back. He was condescending and dismissive without forming a constructive argument against me. What big picture am I missing?

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  64. The Roy Hodgson Brigade8:40 pm, October 04, 2010

    So who's fault is it for us failing miserably last season? We in fact didnt even qualify for the Europa but were given grace because of pompey. Who's fault is it for us falling short 4 points in 08/09 Derrickt?

    So Derrickt, I assume I can blame Rafa for everything he failed in at his time Anfield? :-D

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  65. Hmmm. 2nd place by 4 pts or cluelesnin relegation zone? It's a toughie.

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  66. The Roy Hodgson Brigade9:28 pm, October 04, 2010

    Well Guest, you aint going to blame Rafa for failing to win the league in 08/09 now are you? Even some of the mancs couldnt believe how they landed the title that season. So whos fault was 08/09, Rafa or the players? Are you able to answer my simple question?

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  67. It was a good season due to both players and manager. It was due to that high expectation that simpletons bated for his blood last year and we now find ourselves in the relegation zone. Simple enough for you? I'll stick up for near misses with the title, you legislate for our worst performances in 50 years.

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  68. It was a good season due to both players and manager. It was due to that high expectation that simpletons bated for his blood last year and we now find ourselves in the relegation zone. Simple enough for you? I'll stick up for near misses with the title, you legislate for our worst performances in 50 years.

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  69. It was a good season due to both players and manager. It was due to that high expectation that simpletons bated for his blood last year and we now find ourselves in the relegation zone. Simple enough for you? I'll stick up for near misses with the title, you legislate for our worst performances in 50 years.

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  70. It was a good season due to both players and manager. It was due to that high expectation that simpletons bated for his blood last year and we now find ourselves in the relegation zone. Simple enough for you? I'll stick up for near misses with the title, you legislate for our worst performances in 50 years.

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  71. It was a good season due to both players and manager. It was due to that high expectation that simpletons bated for his blood last year and we now find ourselves in the relegation zone. Simple enough for you? I'll stick up for near misses with the title, you legislate for our worst performances in 50 years.

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  72. This article was a refreshing read. Everyone needs to get a bit of perspective. Rafa didn't exactly have an amazing start in his first season and we ended up that year as champions of europe. Is not as if we are cut adrift at the root of the premiership. A few wins and a few results going our way and we will be back amongst the top six or seven at least.

    Once October 15th has passed and the club has a better idea of the direction we are heading in, results will improve. There is a collective air of uncertainty engulfing the club at the moment and it's translating itself on the pitch. A win in the derby, following the 15th and those vultures leaving our club and our season will be back on track.

    Keep the belief. We came back in Istanbul when everybody had written us off and we'll do it again. Stop buying into the redtop's hyperbole and give Roy the benefit of the doubt. 6 games into the season is far to early to judge.

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  73. The Roy Hodgson Brigade10:14 pm, October 04, 2010

    Maybe if you answered my question with the following...

    How can we blame SWEET ANGEL RAFA for anything that is going wrong at the moment. He is untouchable. He is our Hero even though he gaurenteed us 4th. He bent over for us and we liked it. Roy is a one of the yanks and should f*** of with them along with Purslow and the rest of the board, in fact everyone who has been part of the Yanks regime...

    Then I would have given you 10 out of 10. :-D

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  74. Jaimie
    You didn't support Benitez from day one , this is your own word on the day he was appointed
    Yes, on the day Rafa was appointed, I wrote a post on ThisIsAnfield.com arguing against the appointment and stating that Martin O Neill should have got the job. 5 years later, my view remains the same.
    and after we beat man U in thier place last year, you gave an interview to their website and this is what you said abut Benitez ot Man U website
    "I’m sure many fans see it as their duty to back the manager irrespective of the problems surrounding the club, and that is, of course, their prerogative. In public, many fans will put on a united front, but I know that privately, many fans – myself included - have serious doubts about Benitez’s ability to bring the title back to Anfield. In my case, I have maintained since the day Benitez was appointed that he was the wrong man for Liverpool in terms of winning the title, and thus far, I have been proved right. I do not hide the fact that I am in favour of managerial change at the end of the season. Benitez’s selfish personal agenda, constant public politicking, endless moaning in the media, appalling treatment of players (and damaging favouritism for certain players), inexplicable rotation policy and depressingly cautious approach have conspired to stunt the club’s forward progress on the pitch"
    you are a liar and we know what sort of fan you are

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  75. See I don't think he was an angel or infallible. I just don't put all the blame at his door or change my goalposts and accountability to serve every argument for that. If it makes you feel better that he is to blame even though we have nosedived since he left, then that is your lookout. There is literally no way you can say we have improved.

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  76. The Roy Hodgson Brigade10:58 pm, October 04, 2010

    IMO We can write this season off. I wasnt expecting much anyway. Like I said, whether Roy is the right man or not I will still back him. TBH, he was not my favourite to replace Rafa but who else do we have right now. It is Roy and the team. The onus is on them to finish as high up in the table as possible. When we see our new owners arriving they will decide to make the change or keep him. We might just see our club stagnating some more for a while to come but it is all part of the rebuilding process. Pissing in a bottle that is already full is not going to make it stop from pouring over. Now we found ourselves in 18th but honestly, do any of you think that we will be there come the end of the season?

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  77. The Roy Hodgson Brigade11:12 pm, October 04, 2010

    Well mate, I think you should leave comments about improvement at the moment for the end of the season. The last time I checked we still had 31 games to go. By right then if we finish 6th it can be deemed as an IMPROVEMENT... :-D

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  78. I understand your POV and it's good to think in a postive light, but just think where we SHOULD be and how well our team SHOULD be playing, yes we are only 5 points or so (Haven't actually looked at the table in a while for obvious reasons) but we're just making it harder for ourselves in the long run, it's like trying to run a race, and deciding to wait 10 minutes while everyone runs off, and your left to catch up.
    So again i understand your pov, but we are liverpool football club and we should be performing with results to match. 1 win in 7 premier league games is unacceptable, even if they are "tough" games, so what? We're SUPPOSED to be a quality side, we don't get tough games, we give teams tough games.

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  79. It would be an improvement, no doubt. However, there isn't a single thing that has improved during his time here so i am not as confident as you are. If we were playing well but not getting the results, i would understand however we are where we are on merit, we deserve to be there and have been woeful. I have a feeling he won't make the end of the year, sad really as he is a nice bloke - just not a Liverpool manager.

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  80. I would blame Rafa, the players & the owners for last season shockers.
    As for 08/09, i thought we overachieved to get 2nd spot,(before that season start so many of us claim we are 1 - 2 players short) & ppls claimed rafa's ranting about ferguson cost us the title, is it? I search for the "Rant" but i thought he's talking about fact.
    I am no Rafa lovers but i believe in results or improvement. Under Rafa/Houllier first season, even if we lose, i could see the ideas of the new managers on the pitch or even some improvement. Right now i see nothing in Roy, the players looked "happier" official on our side, but our players look clueless from day 1 till now

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  81. Roy Hodgson Brigade, before the season start under Roy, were you expecting him to get us back to Top 5 because 7th place is unacceptable for liverpool quality? And now can you tell me what your expectation is for Roy after Europa & 7 league game? As high as possible you mean above relegation or mid table?

    So if indeed your expectation lower by such an extent, can you tell me the reason for that? What make your decision change so much that last season was unacceptable for 7th place but this season is acceptable

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  82. Roy Hodgson Brigade,
    When souness take over the team, can you see him breaking up the team during the 1st season and sense disastrous coming?
    When houllier/rafa take over the team during the 1st season, can you see the ideas of the new managers on the pitch? Can you see improvement or some positive stuff even if we lose the match? I saw it.
    As for Roy, did you see any positive or even slight improvement? Nope i see nothing, in fact we dropping further. Agger drop, Johnson suddenly doesnt even deserve to be england squad, cara sux too. Gerrard in CM but our midfield overrun & non existant, we have Joe Cole to add in creativity but suddenly he become a luxury players. Miereles on the right? Kry as make-shift striker when things dont turn well? And then suddenly all our players are prideless? And suddenly we created so many negative history - lose to Northampton/blackpool at home, we defend so deep asking for opposition to come at us, we dont press anymore, opposition like Blackpool has more chances than us oh the list goes on, so what is going on huh

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  83. I have no faith in Roy, sorry. Dalglish to take over temporary pls

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  84. Most ppl with any knowledge of football would accept that LFC OVER-achieved in 08-09. Most of our players were showing superhuman form throughout the season, which is the only reason we got to within 4 points.

    Obviously we all love our team, and we always want to put a positive spin on everything, but you have to be honest with yourself.

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  85. Looks like I wont get a reply. I think il finish by stating the "motto" of this site, "Rejecting biased media hype and fawning blind fatih fandom". If fully believing Liverpool will finish in the top 4 isnt "fawning blind fatih fandom" then I don't know what is.

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  86. It's too easy to blame Rafa.  If you really look at things, this is a low point that has been slowly approaching over the last 15 years.  The club has failed to make the right marketing, financial, coaching and youth development plans to keep pace with an increasingly competitive footballing field.  Poor form, H&G, the lack of a new stadium etc. are all symptoms of a club that failed to remember that no one really cares about how good you used to be.

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  87. The Roy Hodgson Brigade5:02 pm, October 05, 2010

    Got to love what John Aldridge had to say today...

    "Liverpool will not panic, not like some of the fans are at the moment,"

    Keep on pissing in a bottle that is already full, after all the doom and gloom is gone all of you naysayers will have to take a sip... :-D

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  88. My God - words of wisdom on here for once!
    * Stevie behind Torres was great last 2 years -  Cole & Torres not
       so good, so change it back
    * Merelies - out of position
    * Agger - out of position
    * Aurelio - brought him back (still crocked funnily enough)
    * Poulson - awlful wherever he plays
    * Konchelsky - poor

    All these were Roy's decisions. No one else to blame!

    Where is Wilson?? played left back for Rangers in Champions League!?
    Where is Amoo?? power and pace - not given a chance

    Even put Stevie on the right to give some width if you have to but at the moment, no width, no creativity, and no passion is down to no one else except the Manager in my eyes!

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  89. To be honest, everyone who dislike/like Roy's appointment should sit down now and think whether you want the new owner to hand Roy or new manager the fund for new players come January or next summer

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  90. i hope liverpool get religated and then blackpoll tack liverpool place in the preamership

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  91. because liver are rubbish

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  92. <p><span>Liverpool don’t “press” teams under Roy. we, concede possession and let teams play, by not pressing – when we loose the ball, they “lay off” then rush back to defend in their defensive shape. That’s the way Roy sets the team out. Under Roy, Liverpool defend deep, 2 narrow banks of 4, and plays on the break. However given that we sit so deep, we NEED a target man, to build possession, by holding the ball up, in they same way Zamora did at Fulham. Torres doesn’t want to do that, thats not his game. Thats why hes struggling.
    So basically we are a defensive team, obsessed with defensive shape, that concedes possession , but plays on the break.
    That’s the way Hodgsons been setting up his teams for 35 years.
    And its why hes been successful with “small” clubs. However, he hasn’t been too successful with the bigger clubs, simply because small team tactics don’t translate well at big clubs.
    <span>http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/liverpool/8038680/Roy-Hodgson-launches-strident-defence-of-his-start-to-life-as-Liverpool-manager.html</span>
    “Unbelievable,” said the Liverpool manager, when asked whether his approach could be applied on Merseyside as effectively as it was in west London. “How many clubs have I had in 35 years? What do you mean, do my methods translate? They translated from Halmstads to Malmo to Orebro to Neuch√Ętel Xamax to the Swiss national team.</span>

    </p><p><span>Not at Liverpool, Roy.</span>

    </p>

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