4 Oct 2010

Sorry, but still I’m not jumping on the Liverpool FC 'apocalypse' bandwagon

A few days ago, I suggested that things would probably get worse for LFC before they got better, and that we’d probably see a few more disappointing results in the next couple of months. Well, this has come to pass, and to be honest, given the context of the season so far, I expected a poor result against Blackpool. However, despite the defeat, I refuse to be part of the ceaseless negativity suffocating LFC at the moment . This is just another set-back in what is shaping up to be a grueling marathon of a season. LFC has lost another battle, but it hasn’t lost the war.

After this defeat, the rabid hysteria will mushroom to even more overblown levels. Fans and the media will be calling for Roy Hodgson’s head; Hicks, Gillett, Purslow and Broughton will be blamed for poor performance on the field; the fact that the club is in the relegation zone will be repeated ad nauseum and used as an epitaph as overwrought fans mourn the apparent death of LFC, and on and on and on...

Well, quite frankly, f*** that.

For me, the responsibility for poor performance on the pitch lies with Hodgson, the players and anyone connected with the playing side of things (with the majority of blame lying with the players). Some of them are a disgrace at the moment - we are talking about proven, experienced international players here; a certain level of professionalism and application should be expected. The pampered, overpaid, bone-idle, passionless imposters masquerading as Liverpool players do not deserve to wear the shirt at the moment.

The starting XI today was vastly superior in skill and quality the newly promoted Blackpool side. In fact, it was very close to being Liverpool’s strongest possible team. However, Hodgson cannot be blamed for defensive ineptitude of Glen Johnson, who is a complete and utter defensive liability (and was at fault *again* for both goals today). He also cannot be blamed for Torres getting injured after 9 minutes.

Hodgson may not be to blame, but he is ultimately responsible. He picks the team, forms the tactical plan, and motivates his players. It’s not a one-way process though; the players have to be professional enough to respond, and they’re not doing that, for whatever reason.

In any event, what’s done is done. I still think the club will be able to pull things out of the fire. Sacking Hodgson right now would be a stupid decision, and I doubt it’s going to happen anyway. And even if it did, what happens when the next manager – perhaps Dalglish as caretaker – has a similar run of bad form. Should he be sacked too?! Where does it end?

As I’ve argued all season, the only goal this year is to finish in the top 4. How we get there is irrelevant, as long as we do actually get there. Obviously, it’s not looking likely at the moment, but there are 31 games still to play; that’s 93 points to play for.

Liverpool will come good, and I genuinely believe that.

As for Hodgson, I think he should take comfort in the the following (slightly paraphrased) words of wisdom:

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
You're get us to 4th place, my son!

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. As always, another 'I told you so' article. It doesn't matter how good your stuff is, if you keen tellling us how you know everything, you just look a tosser.

  2. <span>Roy is just not up to it. So we are in the ****. The early evidence of Roy's reign is damning:

    - Brad Jones, Paul Konchesky, Christian Poulsen. Purchased. Awful buys. Second rate, limited and pedestrian.

    - Carlton Cole targeted. No back up striker signed. Carlton ******* Cole????

    Awful press conferences. The "those people" comments with regards the peaceful sit-in demonstrations.

    When people state we must give a manager time, the time that is given must surely be relative to the situation the club is in, right? If we were having a mixed start, but within a couples of wins of the top 4, signs of positive football developing then sure, give the man time. However, when we are playing like ****, evidently have no team spirit on the field, are sitting in a relegation position with no confidence of a win at Everton and where what little money we could have spent went on journeymen and non-achievers, then sometimes decisive action has to be taken. To get time, you must earn that luxury. For me, Roy has already put compelling evidence on the table that he is worsening our plight. With any potential for a 9 point deduction hanging over us, then surely in today's context - there is no more time for Roy - we can't afford to give him the time.

    I don't ******* care if I am accused of being like a geordie here with my statements, but I'm trying to make a judgement on the facts of the case as I see them. And all I can do when I analyze such is offer a vote of no-confidence in the manager.

    I am praying for an imminent buyout, change of manager, money for players in January which may persuade the small handful of players we want to keep to stay and a clear rebuilding for next season. Pie in the sky? Perhaps. But the alternatives are too distressing to contemplate.</span>

  3. Hodgson hasn't the support of the fans. He is never going to be the manager we want. He is better to leave now and let Kenny take over.

  4. Years of no investment, and the all too familiar 'selling to buy' policy means that Roy would have to be a much better manager than he is in order to beat Rafa's 7th place of last season (especially without Mascherano).

    Contrary to CP's remarks about 100% of player sales revenue going back in the pot, I'd be astounded if, should Hicks cling on, any of this summer's transfer profits carried over to January.

    If you honestly think we have a snowball's chance in hell of making the top 4 without significant January spending, I'll have some of what you're having.

  5. Why were you so adamant in the removal of the last gaffer on basis of results/loss of dressing room but not this one?  I understand that Woy is only 15 odd games into his tenure and this is part of the rebuilding process (funny how it changed from ship-steadying to rebuilding) but surely a minimum level of standards need to be upheld and proof of progress should be there to be seen, fact is - it isn't.

    I'm calling for his head, if you want to say, "well, that's not the Liverpool way", I'm going to say "bollocks, if you accept mediocrity for the world's greatest sporting institution - I consider that not the Liverpool way".

    This whole debacle indicates to me an agenda of lowering the supporter's expectations and milking them for money while they tap into the fact that we're the best supporters in the world and anyone who dares question the Liverpool manager/board isn't a disciple of TLW or is disloyal or unsupportive.

  6. You can do what you like - I'm not telling anyone what they should think.  This article is just my opinion, like you want Hodgson out is yours.

    And the Hodgson/Benitez comparison is not valid; Benitez was in the job for 6 years; Hodgson has had 7 league games. 

    Benitez had bad times too, especially in his first league season (14 league defeats!), yet I still supported him.  Why/  it was his first season, and Hodgson is in the same situation.

  7. I thought we were nailed on to finish in the top 4, predicted by yourself using a complex algorithm of previous results and the positioning of your cornflakes that morning. Say it ain't so! We might actually be in trouble and all those doomsayers, who were 'looking pretty stupid right.now', actually may be right...

  8. Jamie love you man.....Benetiz couldnt do anything right and Hodgsons not to blame.........I ve sussed you out mate ur just a wind up merchant. You always pick a issue which all liverpool fans are against just to wind them up.

    Anyways on a serious note jamie after how many games is it unacceptable to be in the bottom three???? 1 game of the season 3 games 7 games 15 games 30 games or 38 games???? Also after how many games do you reach a point of no return?

    We are only I point of the bottom with nearly a quarter of the season gone.
    And another question for you jamie how many teams have escaped relegation after being bottom at half way stage.

    I am not saying it is going to happen to liverpool because we have too good of a side to get relegated but after seven games of the season I can honestly say we have been one of the worst sides in the preimer league and that needs to change now or the manager needs to go.

    This is not me panicing, this is me being realistic eventhough we are rebuilding at the moment the squad of players we have got does not justify our league position. We have still got Reina, Gerrard and Torres three of the best players in the league. So I am sorry Hodgson is to blame.

  9. I'm perfectly happy to enter into healthy debate about the matter without childish name-calling and petty remarks and I frequently enjoy locking horns and talking to people with a different point of view.

    I understand you feel the Woy/Rafa comparison isn't valid due to the amount of time both men have spent respectively in the job.  I'd like to ask you a question though.  What are your minimum expectations for Hodgson to remain in his position as manager at LFC and at what time in the season do you feel it would be fair to judge him?

  10. Things are going to get worse a lot worse. We lack invention in the attacking 3rd our most costly signing was Meireles at 10 Mill then look at the other J.Cole free Jova Free oh & Poulsen 5 Mill. When the owners wont splash the cash this is the type of players we get free transfers & cheap below LFC standard players. YANKS MUST GO RBS COME IN & GETS US OUT OF THIS MESS PLEASE,PLEASE.

  11. If Liverpool finish 16th you will have had a great season.  You nicked a draw last week and kopped it this week - prepare yourselves for a long hard season.

  12. To clarify my earlier point, I don't want Roy to be sacked unless we get new owners in who are prepared to significantly invest in the squad.

    If they want to keep Roy, I'd be interested to see how well he does with a few quid behind him. If not, someone else'd be fine. Either way I'd back their choice.

    If, god forbid, we end up stuck with Hicks- Roy's probably as good a manager as we would realistically be able to hope for, including has-beens and unemployed desperados. It wouldn't be a case of 'steadying a ship'- more like skippering a Titanic lifeboat...

  13. Apologies to double post but may I ask what makes you think that "Liverpool will come good under the tenure of Hodgson?  Remember, this is a question and not a criticism." - I don't believe we should sack him either, frankly it makes no sense financially and we should wait it out until the end of October but if he were to hand in his resignation, I'd have no problems with that and let Dalglish take the reigns temporarily until October then reassess and reevaluate.

  14. My minimum expectation for Hodgson is 4th place.  As I've said alreayd, it's going to be a gruelling marathon of a season, but as long we get to 4th place, I don't care how we do it.

    Benitez lost 14 league games in his first season.  14!!  (CL notwithstanding) should I have been calling for his head too?

    We need to be within touching distance of 4th place on 1st january 2011, and playing a hell of a lot better.  If we're way off the pace, and not improving, and looking unlikely to change that, then it may be time to look at a change.  there would still be 5 months of the season left, and a new manager could make an impact.

    Until then, sacking Hodgson should be completely out of the question.

  15. Resignation is a totally different thing altogether.  If Hodgson resigns, he resigns; the club appoints someone else and we move forward (hopefully).

  16. your all wasting your time debating the point ,he wont walk and wont get sacked till we get new owners,hes here and we have to suffer the consequences of another terrible boardroom decision that could ultimately, the way we are playing see us fighting relegation ,i know it aint good but what can we do about it ,except try to support the lads on the pitch even though its obvious they haven't got it  in them to fight for themselves let alone the badge,
    something is seriously wrong at all levels in the club and we are just passengers on a train going downhill,
    hope it changes soon cos we are in big trouble

  17. what makes you think we will be anywhere near 4th position....

    Hodgson is a joke as a manager and when your manager is a joke, then the players he buys are jokes and the team plays like jokes
    Raúl Meireles…11million….when Van Der Vart cost 8mil…also what does he give to the team…where is his creativity
    Cristian Poulson…….5mil…at age of 30…ask Juventus fans how good he is…why buy him when we already have Lucas
    Paul Koncheskey…5mil deal with 3mil+players going other way…touching 30yrs…is he really better at defending than Insua …not from what he’s produced so far…cos he ain’t good at going forward
    Joe Cole …2.5mil signing on fee and 4yrs at 90k per week…total cost over 20mil in 4yrs…has he done anything any one game so far, even against the lower teams like Blackpool and Sunderland
    Brad Jones …2.5mil…why spend on him…just ask Sheffield Wednesday fans how good he is
    Danny Wilson ….2mil..we already have Kelly and Ayala who are better than him…so why not save the money and put it towards a striker
    he has spent 28million pounds on players he has bought…not Rafa…but Roy has bought……which one has added something to the club……
    with that 28 mil, he could have got a striker to back up Torres (Asamoah Gyan…13mil) and a winger (Turan or Ben Arfa 10mil) and a central midfielder(Van Der Vart…8mil)

  18. Comment deleted. For someone who seeks no validation, you sure are touchy about getting called out on the dubious claims you make. Not a single site rule on posting broken but deleted anyway?

  19. where are all the Rafa haters now...are you happy now

    Rafa was great...remember the good times...Ranked no 1 in Europe....feared in Europe.....says it all...remember the nights........

  20. I agree with you there Jaimie - It seems very fair and reasonable your expectations.  Why do you feel that Hodgson is the right man to embark on this task?  Frankly, I've seen nothing in his past managerial roles that would indicate to me he is capable of doing so, I'm interested why you do think he is.  I understand he's had previous great results at smaller clubs/nations but never anything trailblazing that would indicate he could reproduce these results at a club like Liverpool.

  21. No - your post was deleted for a reason.  I want this site to be a record of interesting debates without all the sniping.  Any post that detracts from the debat because of snide comments/slagging me, the site off etc will be deleted.  Not because I care if people slag me off, but because I know how tiresome it can be to read through debates and have them derailed every 5 seconds by stupid comments.

    This exchange you and I are having, for example: absolutely nothing to do with issues.  It just detracts from the debate.

  22. What does Benitez's Euro record have to do with the league?

    IN his first season, we lost 14 league games under Benitez!  We finished 5th, and if it wasn't for the CL win, we would not have qualified for the CL.

    Performances in that seaosn were often atrocious too (14 defeats tells it's own story), so perhaps you try and be fair when you consider Hodgson's reign (so far).

  23. I must say I have to admire your optimism. Can I ask you how you feel Hodgson is going to get us into the top4? Style, formation, tactically etc. What has he done in his previous posts that makes you think he is capable? How exactly are the club going to pull things out of the fire?

    For a supposed media savvy, nice guy he is already showing signs of cracking going off his recent press conferences.

  24. Hey,Jaimie r u happy now?

  25. I didn't campaign for Hodgson to be installed as boss - I wanted O'Neill.  However, when he got the job, I was satisfied.  I've never seen him as more than a temporary transitional manager, put in place to oversee things while the club is sold.  His long and varied experience is an asset (IMO), which will come into play as the season progressed.

    Hodgson will not be panicking; he is confident in his own managerial abilities, and he IS respected in the game, irrespective of what others try to argue. 

    The abject form in the first 7 league is not entirely Hodgson's fault.  Lots of things have gone wrong that were beyond his control.  It's entirely possible that all of the club's bad luck could be coming in one prolonged go.  If these 3 defeats were spread over a season, the situation wouldn't be so bad.

    Hodgson did not become a bad manager overnight; he is being let down by some of his players, and he need to turn that around.

    I just have a feeling that Hodgson will turn it around.  I can't explain it.  I just do.  And if he doesn't, then that's the way it will be.  Remember, this is just my opinion, and I've never held myself out as offering anything different.

  26. the players that Roy has bought...is that not Roy's fault...

    as for Benitez'z record....speaks volumes....we were proud, he made us a force in Europe, now we are back to Graeme Souness era or infact worse

    Roy is respected, but that doesn't change the fact that at the highest level, he has been a failure, both at Inter Milan, where the fans had to throw coins and objects at him after the UEFA cup final to get rid of him and at Blackburn...where he left them at the bottom of the table and they too kicked him out...

    just because you are respected does not mean you are any good or does it

    Thanks to Roy, we will lose Torres and Reina....and I cannot blame them...the only reason Gerrard will not go is because nobody will come in for him at his age for the price that Liverpool will want for him.

  27. Honestly, I didn’t want Roy Hodgson as Liverpool FC manager, but when he was announced I knew I had to support him.  He was now our’s to attack or defend, but to defend someone they have to give you something in return, so far he has not given me anything to stand up to those who are calling for his head.  The squad we have is not a bottom 3 side, so why are they in the bottom 3?  The majority of the squad is/was Rafa’s, he has gone, time to move on, but he is being blamed for the poor start to the season by certain media types…What would Roy have to do to have the media turn on him the way they did on Rafa?…not sure I want him here long enough to find out.
    Talking of defence, that is supposed to be Hodgson’s strength…7 games played, 11 goals conceded, with a goal difference of -4.  Last season we conceded 10 in the first 7 games, but we had scored 22 and had 15 points on the table.  The start wasn’t majorly different to this seasons’ opposition wise either, playing two of the promoted sides in the first 7 games.  When do you call time?  How many games is too many.

  28. It wasn't sniping, you were called on a statement you made and asked to stand by it. Cue debate. You didn't. Question still stands, do these people still look silly now?

  29. Interesting choice in O'Neill, I think he would have made a decent choice but I'd have preferred Pellegrini myself, again that's neither here nor there as we now have Hodgson.

    I'm going to disagree with you about the varied experience, he seems to work at lower calibre clubs/nations - I'd consider someone like Hiddink would have varied experiences.

    Regardless, as valuable as experience is, I'd consider tactical nuance equally, if not more important as I would man-management and a good eye in the transfer market.  Again I don't see Hodgson as a leader in any of these fields during my time watching his football, he's not outright poor but perhaps better suited to another smaller club.

    Completely agree he is respected but it's not for his coaching abilities, if he did in fact indeed have the confidence you believe he's got it is yet to be translated to our players which as I mentioned earlier would be a sign of mediocre man-management.

    I again will respectfully disagree with your assessment that he's not panicking.  His body language on the touchline during matches is akin to a rabbit caught in the headlights unless he's purposely acting aloof to lull those around him into a false sense of security and there is indeed a masterplan.  If this is the case, hats off to the man, he had most fooled.

    The man manages my club and I'd like nothing more than a slice of humble pie and for him to prove how wrong I was.  I wouldn't say that Hodgson became a bad manager overnight as he never really was bad in the first place.  It's similar to how we passed up the opportunity to buy Rafael VDV, it's not that he's a bad player, it was that we felt we had enough cover in that position and we needed cover elsewhere.

    Roy Hodgson is a quality "midfielder" of a manager, but I am firmly of the opinion that we need a "goalkeeper" of a manager.  Doesn't mean midfielders are bad or Hodgson is a bad midfielder, but we need a goalie and that's that, IMO.

    If the players are letting him down, again it's up to him to reverse that (see: man-management) and if they aren't performing to ship them out and replace them (this is where the board have failed us, so I feel SOME leeway is due).  I admire your optimism but the irony of rejecting "blind faith fandom" is truly prevalent here.  Here's hoping he shuts me up and makes me look like an idiot.

  30. The manner of your post was derisory; and due to people taking the pi$$, I can't be bothered anymore.  Now, if you have any further problems with my action then do not post it here; post it in the discussion thread. All the messages between you and I will be deleted in 10 minutes as they have nothing to do with the subject of the article.

  31. That will be a no then. You should be feeling silly! Delete away, we both now! Avoidance noted. ;)

  32. It is impossible for him to become a bad manager overnight due to him never being any good in the first place. His recent outburst as he responded to criticism had him reeling off the names of the names of the clubs where it served him well. Absolutely cringe worthy. 

    I agree that he is a stop gap  measure during this........transitional....period but why sign him up to a 3 year contract. Surely Dalglish would have been the better option who would have stepped aside with minimal fuss\cost when the ownership issue is resolved. I'm not saying that Dalglish is the saviour. His best days are long behind him but he has the experience, competence and respect to stabilize the club. I would love to know the reasons why he was overlooked for the position. 

  33. Commentators, bloggers etc keep saying we have dignity as LFC supporters and won't be calling for Hodgsons head. Well stuff dignity he's got to go or he'll have us relegated.

  34. He is a good manager, but he's no world beater.  Fact is, he's not shit, just not cut out for a big job like Liverpool.  He was brilliant at Fulham, helped raise their profile high enough to allow a better suited manager into the position, that's where his strength lies.

    Those clubs are probably in a better place because of him but there's a strong case against him that he would be better suited to doing that type of work and not trying to step up to the big boys.  I know that's horribly patronising but it's fairly evident.

    I think most people agree with Dalglish taking over on a temporary basis until October and then see how the ownership situation pans out. I've got a bad feeling that Hicks is trying to keep his dirty paws on the club and continue to milk our support while employing a 'yes man' to not ruffle any feathers which Kenny wouldn't allow himself to be. You've got to question if he really intended on selling the club, if he instilled Hodgson on a 3 year contract.

  35. This just reminds me of what happened with Spurs. They had a good manager in Jol, they were doing quite well in terms of their overall history but somehow that wasn't enough. They didn't need to make that change and had a horror season. What worries me more is that they aimed high with Ramos and were at no point under threat of going into administration. We seem to have gotten a manager that is "good enough" but is not really an indication that the club were aiming higher. We just got rid of Benitez because of the bad feeling in the club. Of course the light at the end of the tunnel was Spur's resurgence when they found the right manager at got a champions league spot. I don't think Liverpool are headed for relegation or anything absurd like that. Even 9 points off for administration won't kill us, we're just too good a team and this is quite simply a patch of bad form while the new manager tries to get his ideas across. We could probably forget about a champions league spot if RBS take over the club but if there is a proper sale of the club to good new owners then Roy has more than enough time to turn it all around.   

  36. He'll turn it around because he's a good manager. I'd hardly say it's a case of vague intuition. We have a very good team with fantastic players and a manager with a wealth of experience. Of course he'll turn it around, these are only a handful of poor performances with a team that doesn't quite yet know how it's going to play. That's Roy's responsibility and it's right that he accepts it, but the players must be better too. To think that they won't get it together doesn't really follow any kind of logic, it's just panic and fear. 

  37. roy just go before you are pushed or stoned like you was at Inter Milan

  38. our next 10 fixtures

    Sunday, 17 October 2010 Barclays Premier League Everton v Liverpool, NO CHANCE
    Thursday, 21 October 2010 Uefa Europa League Napoli v Liverpool, NO CHANCE, WE WILL LOSE
    Sunday, 24 October 2010 Barclays Premier League Liverpool v Blackburn, NO CHANCE, WE WILL LOSE Sunday, 31 October 2010 Barclays Premier League Bolton v Liverpool, NO CHANCE, WE WILL LOSE Thursday, 4 November 2010 Uefa Europa League Liverpool v Napoli, NO CHANCE, WE WILL LOSE Sunday, 7 November 2010 Barclays Premier League Liverpool v Chelsea, NO CHANCE, WE WILL LOSE Wednesday, 10 November 2010 Barclays Premier League Wigan v Liverpool, NO CHANCE, MAYBE A DRAW
    Saturday, 13 November 2010 Barclays Premier League Stoke v Liverpool, NO CHANCE
    Saturday, 20 November 2010 Barclays Premier League Liverpool v West Ham, SHOULD SCRAPE IT
    Sunday, 28 November 2010 Barclays Premier League Tottenham v Liverpool, CANNOT SEE US WINNING

    i think we will lose 6 and win 1 (against West Ham) and draw 1 (against Wigan)....and in Europe we will lose to Napoli...who have beaten Roma in their league....
    After 15games we will be on 10points......that is relagation form
    get rid of Roy now or it will be reality

  39. I think you've lost it. You are making excuses. Liverpool FC should not be losing at home, never mind to a team that has just been promoted. The fact is that they are getting beat at Anfield. You sound like Tom Hicks. Give Kenny the Job, and lets see if he can do better.

  40. You are still dreaming of top 4? You very much sounds like rafa, only that he promised top 4 in December last season, you started the top 4 finished talk in September...

  41. You are still dreaming of top 4? You very much sounds like rafa, only that he promised top 4 in December last season, you started the top 4 finished talk in September...

  42. 14 defeats in 38 is not quite the same as 3 defeats in 7 losing in the League Cup to Northampton for good measure

  43. He is a mediocre manager at best. I simply do not understand this "good manager" tag that he has. Does nearly winning things and over achieving now and again label you as a good manager? Souness and Evans must be great managers, they actually won things. One of them even entertained.

    The fact that we are even discussing him as Liverpool manager beggars belief. I'm not feared or panicking. I had pretty much written this season off in June. After his appointment I fully expected a mid table finish at worst. He has asked for expectations to be lowered and he's doing a decent job of enforcing it. 

    I hope you are right but I just can't see it at the moment. With the form and confidence levels this lot are showing at the moment Big Sams team will steamroller them and there is the small matter of the derby before that. Form out of the window etc etc they should be up for that. I just hope they aren't up for it like they were up for the united game. We could be deducted 9 points before we get 9 points on the board.

  44. I believe that Hodgson is a competent coach but not a great one. His CV speaks for itself. This is a man who for 35 years earned his crust managing teams like Malmo, Neuchatel and the Finnish national side.  He's good, but he ain't great. And sadly what LFC need is a great manager, not merely a good one.

  45. Mort why don't you f**k off you're obviously not a Liverpool fan in any way so f**k off and worry about your own team if you have one, or is it everton !

  46. <span>
    <p>This from the irishtimes.com summarises how far off chances of our problems on the pitch are from being resolved..........
    </p><p> The introduction of Keith Southern into central midfield stemmed the flow and Blackpool should have won by a greater margin as a dishevelled Liverpool finished the game with Gerrard at centre back, Raul Meireles at left back and with Kyrgiakos up front.
    </p><p>They are a shambles on and off the pitch.

  47. Hodgson should be sack. The excuse that he just had 7 league games with liverpool is nonsense. he had  years of experience as a coach not someone just started to be a coach. liverpool need a new coach with a different tactics & strategy. Current liverpool games can easily be read by others.

  48. When it rains it pours I guess, and this is a really bad spell where everything seems to be going awry.

    Personally I cannot see what Hodgson could have done better on the pitch (I dunno about his man-management skills on the training ground, but it can't be worse than Benitez's, who alienated our creative players like Benayoun, Riera and Babel). He played the best squad he had and made really sensible substitutions (taking off Poulsen and bringing on Jovanovic when there was still plenty to play for). Under Rafa we would have probably seen Aurelio come on  :-P

    In the transfer market too, he has done fine. Poulsen is better than Lucas and certainly as good as that thug Mascherano. (I can distinctly remember his timely lunge to prevent Scholes from shooting...) Konchesky is a solid LB and Mereiles needs some more time and from what I have seen so far, he is a good prospect (quick-passer and all). I think most fans are losing objectivity and undermining Roy at this crucial stage is not a good idea, I feel. I am sure he'll clear out a lot of dead-wood like Lucas, Maxi, NGog (and, hopefully Kuyt. A ball passed to Kuyt is a ball lost).

    If Roy can get us through this rough patch (understating it), I think he will be considered in a very different light and all this will be forgotten. I am sure he is aware of it too.

  49. No way this team finishes anywhere near the top four. The players and manager are simply not good enough. They can't finish goal chances when they present themselves and are horrible in the back with shoddy defensive players. You really think this team is all of sudden going to learn to score regularly and play better defense? Based on what evidence? This team has always struggled to finish at the opposing end even last season and now that's going to change?
    It's going to be a long season. Hunker down LFC fans because we are in for a rough ride.

  50. This crying for King Kenny reminds me suspiciously of Keegan for Newcastle,just because you're a legend,doesn't mean you'll magically start getting results,ahem Leeds-Venables...as bleak as it looks at the moment,best to keep Hodgson;fail to see how a new manager=more upheaval=more pressure=media circus will help things.

  51. We can't blame only Roy Hodgson and We can't let him alone.
    Players on the pitch are responsibile of this orrendous mess.
    How much time again They want to hide behind the manager for these awful displays?
    How much time They can play with no-passion for the shirt?
    They don't deserve to play for Liverpool at the moment and this is a fact.
    The first half performance yesterday, against a newly promoted side, was simply embarassing.
    No passion for the shirt.
    Hodgson is responsible. Yes, it' still yet responsible.
    Because a great manager, He must absolutely understand when it's time to renew team, tactics, faces, style of play, when it's time to kick in the ass of much - ovverated player like Kyrgia, Leiva, N'gog and players with an orrendous attitude, like Fernando Torres.

  52. Jamie, I will lay a wager with you that Hodgson will not get us beyond a mid-table finish. It's not a matter pf what anyone says, but when hard facts confront you, like seeing Liverpool play abjectedly against B'ham or Stoke or B'pool ( n even u cant argue against tht), like seeing Hodgson play Meireles play on the right wing ( he's not a teen, n has played MC thru his career), like playing Lucas n Poulsen together ( remember Rafa n his Lucas- Mascherano combo)... then it's a matter of worry! N by the time you jump on the bandwagon, I fear it may b the definite death of an institution in football folklore

  53. Love this line...
    It is impossible for him to become a bad manager overnight due to him never being any good in the first place. :-P <span></span>

  54. Jaime, Can you tell me what is the problem last season that we played so badly? Dressing room unhappiness(Carra/Gerrard etc toward the manager?) Tactical Decision? Can you name a few more?

    From what i seem so far, i saw Cara/Gerrard putting an effort to play for Roy Hodgson, same for Reina/Torres/Cole/Miereles/Skrtel etc. So can i say the dressing room unhappiness is much better now?

    How many new low do we have to experience before Jaime you gona say enuff is enuff? Blackpool taught us what football is during the 1st half with our A Team. B team defeat to Northampton where Roy push most of the blame to the players. This two games we played at home at ANFIELD pls remember.
    We defended deep, lesser pressing, invite crosses after crosses into our box how many goals have we conceded through this crosses?
    Players playing out of position, Agger bench, Insua/Aquilani not ard & we see Kry up front as make shift striker with hoof up policy for past 2 matches.
    Nah i dont love Rafa but i know for a FACT, if Rafa is still ard we will not sunk so low. Could have sack Rafa after new owners were installed but getting Roy or even Oneil which you preferred will not solved all this. Top 4 is your target for Roy, can you see us getting TOP 4 under roy this season? Nope i dont see it, you can say it's still early in the season but what happening recently does not instil any confidence in me. So are we gona support Roy with blind faith from now till the end of the season?

  55. Go Roy Go the Octopus??? Or the Parakeet??? =-X

  56. Liverpool need to play with a consistent team, wingers and 2 strikers. Play with high tempo and close opponent down. Looks simple but Pools are not doing it. 

    Please don't buy anyone who is not better that our reserves. Poulson, Konschecky offers zero. Lucas and Maxi is also rubbish. Aquilani is better but offloaded. Why? 

    Hodgson got himself to blame for this. I just wonder what is is 1st team. 

    If you have no idea, just follow what is Chelsea is doing. Consistent team is vital.

  57. if you believe that hodgson can achieve anything more than middle table mediocres then you are living in dream land at least with rafa we new how to attack we cant even do that with this idiot in charge. send him back to fulham and lets get a new manager who knows what hes doing (kenny, o'niell or even rafa)

    get rid of the dross ie lieva, poulsen, jovanic, ngog and those who dont deserve to wear the red shirt.


  58. Totally agree Jamie! Wow! We have to give Roy up to Jan 2011.

    However, although Rafa did lose 14 games in his first season he still managed to finish 5th and furthermore as fans we could see what he was trying to implement on the pitch...there were signs of positivity! This ultimatley worked better in the CL hence our famous victory and resurgence as a top European team. Indeed, with the squad Rafa had some may say it was commendable to win the CL and finish 5th!

    Against Blackpool Gerrard ended up as centre back and Merelis was at right back while puting Kyriagos as striker!  The tactics employed by Roy are difficult to understand and I have not seen any signs of positivity but like you will reserve judgment until Jan.

    Now more than ever ALL LFC FANS must stick together! YNWA!

  59. You can hate me for saying this but the press will never turn on Roy like they did Rafa because Roy is English.

  60. How about growing some balls, going against the Liverpool Way and taking the opportunity which we currently have to put in a proper man manager, your favourite Jaimie, good ol' Martin O'Neil? I can't be sure, but if O'Neil was available in June, would he not have been preferred to Roy? I think the derby should be Roy's last chance before approaching O'Neil.

  61. I think (as an outsider looking in) that some of you think it is a divine right that LFC finish in the top 4. Clearly there are problems, and other clubs have improved (by whatever means - City, Spurs as examples), so maybe a little lowering of sights during troubled times is required?

    You will come good, you always do. Your neighbours got their season off to a start via an own goal (although they were I believe the better side on the day) and maybe your time is the next game - against them. After all your recent Derby record is excellent and you always seem to find a way (even with 10 men) to beat them. So look forward rather than back.

  62. Look who's back! It's Jamie Kanwar!  :-D

    Have to say i've missed this, your articles and subsequent comments made section - i thought you'd disappeared after Rafa got the boot.

    As always nice to see a different opinion to the one's already out there. I don't always agree with your opinions but they are refreshing and thought provoking, anyway enough of the platitudes and onto your latest article.

    I do agree that sacking Roy now would be a mistake, at least until Dec is a good amount of time to see where he's taking us and also a decent amount of time for someone else to get us in the CL if it's not happening for Roy.

    Question though, you mention in a comment, we need to be within touching distance in Jan 2011, what if we're mid-table and 10-15 points off a CL place, what would your thoughts be then?

    I'd also love to hear your thoughts on all the tactical talk of the team, i'm hoping you could offer a fresh perspective on it all!?

  63. We dont have a divine right to finish in the top 4. We have a divine right to be top!! Rafa started this top 4 crap. Being in the top 4 is simply not a high enough aim.

    Meireles does not look like he knows what he is doing and seems to lack passion. I am not even sure he knows what position he is supposed to play. Poulsen is trying, but I dont think the lad has enough quality. I dont know why Johnson keeps taking a battering, I think he can actually play. I would like to see more of Jovanovic as at least he seems interested about getting on the pitch and doing something. Untill Torres gets his head straight, Id bench him and bring on Ngog  or at the very least give Torres what he needs another striker up front to play off. I was watching our midfield and thinking maybe we should bring on Lucas. Then I thought, how fucked is that, that we need to bring on Lucas because our midfield is playing like shite.

    The last couple of years there have been oppertunities to bring a few of the older class players to liverpool FC. Players whose contracts ran out. Tried and tested pro's. Where we ever in the hunt for them. NO!

    I think it is to early for Roy to go. However the club is more important than he is. I would give him 3 more games and if two of them are not wins then Daglish should step in.

  64. Yes, that's pretty funny :) I don't agree with it, but it's funny.

  65. "if it wasn't for the CL win, we would not have qualified for the CL"...so, you did agree that it was Benitez that brought us back big ears and also qualifying for the CL!

    Jaimie, it is your double standards and "hate Rafa" stand that got everyone here in the blog angry...

    Please answer 1 question, what makes you think that Roy can bring us to 4th place? Please answer.
    To be honest, I think I can take Liverpool to 19th title this season too...

  66. See...moving goalposts again...now our Jaimie said that O'Neill is the one that he's asking for..what a joke!

  67. When Roy's employed, i thought to myself, "oh he's English should understand English game better than Rafa, has some experience in European football etc" But what happen?

  68. Rafa lose 14 matches but we were still in top 5 during that year. I dont see us Top 5 this year, we have almost a full squad for Roy to choose, and we can even lose to blackpool at home, 1st half performance is a disgrace

  69. Any talk of sacking Roy Hodgson is ludicrous, he will come good. But I feel he is only a cheap stop gap option for manager until new owner / new funding arrives. They will then probably install their own man. We almost beat Arsenal first game with 10 men, things could well have gone differently for the season after that

    The problem seems to be a lack of intensity until we go behind, if the players have any pride what better game to prove it than away to Everton in next game

    I feel the ownership issue is dragging some of the players down, we have made a net profit in last 4 transfer windows which inevitably leads to a lowering of talent in the squad

    I have never really understood Jaimie's position on the current owners. Does Jaimie accept that interest repayments are stretching the club financially as previously stated by Christian Purslow?

    We need new owners, either large private equity fund or rich oil billionaire,  to compete going forward. New owners with an LBO model on the same terms as current owners just take too much from a relatively small turnover

    We have to be realistic about Liverpool in the future. We are now competing against
    1) limitless resources of Man City,
    2) debt free Chelsea - who can dip into vast reserves of cash if needed,
    3) Man Utd - world powerhouse in football,
    4) Arsenal - the most deserving club with the most realistic financial strategy
    5)Spurs - recent cash injection with Champion's League football could cement their place

    We finished exactly where we should finish last season when one takes net spending and wage bill spending into account

    We will remain in 5th - 8th place until we too are artificially inflated by a billionaire

    Salary / spending caps are needed ASAP or the Prem League bubble could burst

  70. <span>"Under Rafa we would have probably seen Aurelio come on  <img></img>"</span>

    <span>Under Rafa we would never be in this shambolic state and in need of sending anyone on.  </span>

    <span>"In the transfer market too, he has done fine. Poulsen is better than Lucas and certainly as good as that thug Mascherano"</span>

    Seriously? I mean seriously?

    Roy is doomed. His managerial ability aside. What Liverpool needs at the minute is an exceptional manager. The kind that doesn't exist in football. Rafa lasted 4 years under these conditions. Roy will be lucky to last 4 months.


  71. He has to go and go now!! I don't consider myself someone who calls for the managers head because of a few bad results.However RH is totally inept. His record is overblown and based on a cup run last year...errr thats it!!!!!!!

  72. 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

  73. Nice to see you back JK.

    I'm fully behind Roy just I was fully behind Rafa and I agree that it would be a bad move to get rid of Roy now. He needs to be given a chance and as fans we have to show our support. However I still believe that it was a mistake to get rid of Rafa and so far this season it shows that we, i.e. the Rafa supporters were right. 

    However, on to my main point; I would like to say that the hypocrisy of this website is staggering. After every loss and draw the team was picked apart last season, Rafa's tactics and formations were criticised, yet we've heard nothing from you so far this season.

    The last two seasons you criticised Rafa for playing square pegs in round holes. Yet Roy has played a central midfielder on the right, a right footed player on the left and no word from you.

    You accused Rafa of ruining Babel's career by not giving him a chance, yet Roy has hardly played him either. You accused Rafa of mismanagement for not playing Babel in the game after he had scored. Roy actually took him of at half time after scoring. Yet nothing from you. Babel hasn't even made the bench the last two games and yet nothing from you about mismanagament.

    You accused Rafa of being negative and too defensive by playing two defensive midfielders and yet this season when we've played Lucas and Poulson we've heard nothing from you.

    You accused Rafa of negative substitutions and making them too late, yet against Birmingham City at 0-0 subsitutions aren't made by Roy until 76 minutes and 78 minutes. Ngog, Babel and Pacheco are on the bench but none of them are bought on even with the game at 0-0. One of those players could have nicked us a win. And yet we hear nothing from you.
    Why swap Joe Cole for Maxi on 89 minutes yesterday? What real difference is Maxi going to make in 4 minutes? Why was Spearing on the bench when Lucas was there and we already had 3 players on the pitch in Gerrard, Poulson and Meireles who can play CM. Instead of Spearing why wasn't Babel or Pacheco on the bench? All strange decisions from Hodgson yet you don't say anything. Had Rafa done that you'd be chomping at the bit.

    And in this thread you suggest that Roy did not become a bad manager ovenight! You didn't use that way of thinking with Rafa, in fact every mistake was highlighted, ever decision was criticised. This is a man who won La Liga twice, won a UEFA Cup, European Cup and an FA Cup. Rafa did certainly not become a bad manager overnight either yet you tore into him incessantly.

    You also state in your article that the players have to take the majority of the blame for the season so far. Why is it the players fault this season but Rafa's fault last season? I'm confused.

    You'll argue that Rafa left him a bad squad but this is a fallacy created by the media and the anti-Rafa brigade. We had more players at the World Cup than any other premiership team. It's not a squad good enough to win the league by any means but definitely one that should be able to compete for top 4. A squad that includes Gerrard, Torres, Reina, Carragher, Skrtel, Agger, Kuyt, Johnson, Lucas, Maxi, Babel, Ngog, Aurelio, Kyrgiakos is be better than the vast majority of squads in the league. And then there are the younger players, nurtured by Rafa which are also starting to get into the squad, Kelly, Darby, Eccleston, Spearing, Pacheco. This squad, no matter how much time Roy Hodgson has had so far ,is better than 18th. Of course he needs time to get them to play the way he wants them to play but we are still too good for 18th. Rafa left Roy with a defence that had consistently been in the top 3 defences in the league in the last 4 years. The personnel hasn't changed but the tactics certainly have and [...]

  74. Gary

    I'd expect you to be much more intelligent than falling back on a completely false argument.  Once again:

    * I was on Benitez's back only after he'd been in the job for 3 years.  THREE YEARS.  In the first 3 years, I barely criticised him at all, except for the standard game to game stuff.  In fact, I regularly defended him.

    * Then I only ever called for his head in the final season, after SIX YEARS.  That was when my criticism was at its most intensive.

    It is staggeringly OBVIOUS why I am not on Hodgson's back right now: He has only been in the job for THREE MONTHS.

    I'm not really bothered about analysing where he's gone wrong in great depth because it's a work in progress right now.  To get on his back in such vonciferous terms right now would be fickle in the extreme.

    He may be making the same mistakes as Benitez (subs/formations etc) but the difference here is he deserves time to make his own mark and institute his own ideas.  And that's time I'm willing to give him.

    This is not hypocritical at all, in any way shape or form.  I give every LFC manager time, and I always try and see the bigger picture.  With Benitez, the intense criticism was absolutely fair, especially since he'd HAD ENOUGH TIME to make his mistakes and get things moving.

    Hodgson has not had that time, which is why I am not criticising him in the way.

    This is ataggeringly obvious, and anyone who uses your argument ("You criticised RB; how come you don't RH") is obviously not being fair.

    Everyone else can be fickle and slag off a manager who's played 7 league games.  I'm not going to do it.  And I have faith that Hodgson will turn it around.

  75. I knew you'd say that. Its not a false argument at all and I will explain why.

    The problem with your defence about time is that the majority of mistakes Hodgson has made so far don't require time. Whether he has been in the job 3 months or 3 years he is making mistakes in the personnel being played, the formations and the tactics, and that can and should be criticised. I'm not asking you to slag off Hodgson, that would be unfair,  but what he has done so far does require critique. He is a manager of 35 years experience not 3. And unfortunately in this day and age moderate success is required quickly, mainly because of the money involved. We needed a manager who could steady the ship, i.e. keep us where we were and build on it. We've had a tough start to the season having played Man Utd, Man City and Arsenal and most of us didn;t really epxect much from those games, but 4 points out of 12 against West Brom, Birmingham, Sunderland and Blackpool isn't good enough, and a negative goal difference is a serious problem.

    Hodgson hasn't steadied the ship at all in the first 3 months, he's actually made us worse. We will probably get better as the season goes on but as it stands we are 18th and our next three games are against Everton, Blackburn and Chelsea, which are all tough games so in a month's time we could still be in the relegation zone with more than a quarter of the season played. If that is the case Hodgson doesn't have the luxury of time on his hands at all and he needs to be judged. If we were sitting in 10th at the moment nobody would be complaining. Its a "transition" season after all. But we're not and we're losing points to teams that we should be beating. Losing to Blackpool at home is not excused by Hodgson only being our manager for 3 months. With his experience and expertise and the players at his disposal we should not be losing to Blackpool at home.

    To be fair there was hardly any room to complain about Rafa in the first 3 years because he won a European Cup, an FA Cup, got to a Carling Cup final and another European Cup final and we finished in the top 4 except the first season. Complaining at that stage would have been crazy. However we all know you didn't approve of the appointment in the first place, so at the first opportunity you got, you had it in for Rafa.


  77. I like many was not excited by the prospect of Woy taking the job when it was announced but whoever took it, I expected to have a tricky start to the season.

    We knew from the outset of the campaign that we were up against it.
    Torres had been recovering from a long term injury and had had a crap WC. Gerrard was coming off the back of a dismal England performance + he had had his worst season in a red shirt for 10yrs. Carra unfortunately once again had demonstrated his continual deteriation in form. Then Masch decided to jump ship. Furthermore, arguably our most effective player in the second half of last season (Benni Onion) had also decided to leave. These players (barring Pepe) are/were the fulcrum of our first 11 and their lack of form or departure was always going to effect us.

    Further more, we have 5 starting positions now held by new players or players who haven't regularly occupied those positions in previous seasons; Konchelsky (or even Agger at left back), Poulsen, Cole, Merieles and Ngog who's played more football than Torres this season. Each of these players will no doubt remain in the starting 11 and that is not just half our outfield but more new first team starters than at the beginning of any season for as long as I can remember.

    In Rafa's first season he inherited Houllier's team and only added Alonso & Garcia to the starting 11 with a cameo performance by Cisse. Aside from the CL, we lost 14 Prem games and came 5th having come 4th the season before.

    In Houllier's first season in charge (98/99) he introduced Hyypia, Henchoz, Hamann & Westerfeld as first 11 starters and we came 7th having come 3rd the season before.

    In fact, statistically the omens don't look good for us.
    When Roy Evans took charge in Jan 1994 we ended up 8th to the previous season's 6th and in Souness' first season (91/92) we came 6th having come 2nd the season before.

    Howvever, I still believe Woy can get us to finish higher this season than our 7th position from last season. If he does, he deserves some credit but it doesn't mean it will bring us CL football next season.

    As much as I hate to say it, we've got to get realistic. We need to rebuild an entire team much in the same way as Rafa and Houllier had to when they took charge and that of course includes the team spirit!........Unfortunately in the end we have to accept that whatever Rafa built over the past 6yrs, he ultimately destroyed.

    Now it's time to start afresh and back Woy can buck the trend.

    Incidentally, it will be interesting to see how The Scum fair this season in comparison to past seasons. With an out of form Rooney, an injury prone Ferdinand, the loss of Valencia and so far their two most effective players (Giggs & Scholes) being 35+, it wouldn't surprise me if they come 4th which would be their worst finish for 20yrs!!

    1. Chelski
    2. Arse
    3. Shitty
    4. Scum
    5 or 6. Reds or Spurs

  78. So now its nearly December 31st is an article being written that actually agrees with EOTK and RAWK and TIA and TTT regarding the managers job at last?

    Unfortunately Roy is serving up a huge slice of humble pie to you and charging £500 (bang goes your bet) - don't try and go for double or quits with Roy in charge.