12 Dec 2010

NEWCASTLE: Defensive incompetence is to blame, *not* Roy Hodgson

After yesterday’s defeat to Newcastle, Liverpool fans are back to doing what they’ve done best this season: revelling in doom, gloom and crushing negativity. So-called Liverpool fan-sites have renewed their rabid calls for Roy Hodgson to be sacked, and the so-called fans that frequent these sites have been falling over themselves to join the overwrought chorus of disapproval. Apparently, the Newcastle defeat is the end of the world. Well, I beg to differ.

First, let me get one thing straight: Liverpool lost, and the buck stops with Hodgson. He picks the team; he chooses the tactics, and he is responsible for motivating the players. However, Liverpool did NOT lose this game because of Hodgson. He *is* responsible overall, but he is not to blame. There is a difference.

Whether people choose to accept it or not, two things cost Liverpool victories in the last two Premier League away games: defensive incompetence and atrocious finishing, both of which are things upon which the manager has no direct influence.

Defensive incompetence

I thought Glenn Johnson was Liverpool’s biggest defensive liability but I was wrong: it is Martin Skrtel. In my view, he should be banished to the reserves for the breathtaking awfulness of his performance against Newcastle. Skrtel made mistakes all game but two of his lapses were catastrophic and ultimately fatal for the team.

The first was just laughable. For some reason, Skrtel – who has the heading ability of a blind dwarf - was marking Andy Carroll for a Newcastle free kick. Joey Barton actually signalled Carroll prior to taking the kick to let him know what he was planning (!), but despite this, Skrtel completely missed the header, and Carroll got the knock-down that led to the goal.

Skrtel’s mistakes intensified after Newcastle’s Nile Ranger came on. He was all over the place, and his uncertainty destabilised the defence, which led inexorably to the second goal. Another simple headed clearance was required, and Skrtel completely messed it up yet again.

Tell me this: How can Hodgson be held accountable for such amateur individual mistakes?! The way the team was set-up and the tactics employed did NOT contribute to those mistakes (though kneejerk, ill-informed fans with an agenda will try their best to argue the opposite).

And what about the third goal? Utter defensive ineptitude again. As soon as Carroll got the ball, Lucas should have been closing him down. He failed to do this, and Carroll seized the opportunity to shoot. And should Pepe Reina be beaten from that distance with so much time to see the ball coming? No top keeper should be beaten on the ground from that distance IMO.

Again, how can Hodgson be held accountable for the third goal? He is entitled to expect Lucas to do his job and close down Carroll. It was another individual mistake (two if you count Reina’s abject attempt at a save), and there’s nothing Hodgson could’ve done about it.

And let’s not forget the defensive mistakes that cost us the Spurs game. Skrtel scored a ridiculous own goal, and then Paul Konchesky lost concentration at the death and allowed Aaron Lennon to ghost past him and score the winner (Konchesky's only real defensive lapse for the whole game).

The key point here is this: the goals conceded in both games had NOTHING to do with Hodgson’s formation, tactics and approach. Individual errors cost Liverpool, and any fair-minded person can see that.

Not that it will make a blind bit of difference to baying buffoons once again calling for Hodgson’s head.

I’ll give you an example of the pig-headed unreasonableness of the anti-Hodgson brigade: after the game, someone said to me ‘Hodgson is to blame. He picked the defenders, didn’t he?’.

The mind boggling cretinry of such a statement is truly staggering. Who else is Hodgson going to pick in central defence?! Carragher and Agger are both injured; Wilson and Kelly have negligible Premier League experience. It’s too stupid for words, and another example of how people will just pick on anything they can to have a go at Hodgson.

Atrocious finishing

Liverpool could’ve wrapped up both the Spurs and Newcastle games if the finishing had been better. Amongst others, Fernando Torres, Maxi Rodrigues wasted numerous gilt-edged chances that could’ve put Liverpool in the driving seat in both games. There is nothing Hodgson can do if alleged top-class players don’t do what they’re paid to do and bury cast-iron chances.

Some other observations:

Another good away performance

Overall, Liverpool played very well in the game. The passing was generally good, and lots of clear-cut chances were created. We dominated for most of the first half, and for the first 15-20 minutes of the second half. The match stats also reflect this:

Possession - LFC 53% / NUFC 47%
Shots on target - LFC 7 / NUFC 5
Corners – LFC 5 / NUFC 2

At White Hart Lane, possession was 49% - 51% in Spurs’ favour, which is very evenly matched. Liverpool is turning the tide when it comes to away form, and stats as well as the performances show this. If the team keeps playing this way and improving, the results will follow.

Lack of leadership on the field

One of the main problems with Liverpool’s away form (IMO) is the total lack of leadership on the field. A prime example of this came after Newcastle’s Ranger came on as a sub. Up to that point, Liverpool were dominating the second half, but Ranger’s pace and directness started causing problems. None of Liverpool’s players were talking to each other; no one was giving directions; no one was taking the initiative and the responsibility on the field, and that is a major problem.

The same lack of leadership was evident for the first and third Newcastle goals: No one took charge of organising the defence for the free kick; players just assumed positions and weren’t concentrating. And even though Barton’s intentions were very obviously telegraphed (!), none of Liverpool’s players were alert to the danger. Similarly, prior to the third goal, no one was yelling at Lucas to close down Carroll; everyone just stood there and ball-watched.

The lack of leadership is no surprise given the fact that Liverpool’s two main leaders were out injured. However, that is no excuse. Leadership on the field is a collective responsibility, and in the absence of Gerrard and Carragher, others have to step up and take responsibility. Hodgson cannot influence every aspect of the game, and if his players lose concentration and make individual mistakes, there’s nothing he can do about it.

Poor Torres form

Torres had a nightmare game. He repeatedly failed to hold up the ball; gave possession away countless times, and missed a couple of excellent chances. It was another poor performance from a player whose mind is clearly elsewhere.

Torres may have been tired after dealing with a newborn baby over the previous few days, so there’s an argument to say that Hodgson should’ve had him on the bench. However, if Hodgson had done that then fans would’ve berated him even more (“How can you leave a world class player like Torres on the bench?!), so it’s a no-win situation.

Dropping Babel after he scored in the last game

I thought Hodgson was wrong to drop Babel to the bench after his excellent performance against Villa. He scored a goal, and his reward is being dumped on the bench? Rafa Benitez made the same mistake countless times, and it’s not the best way to motivate a player.

Having said that, with Torres returning, who would Hodgson have dropped to accommodate Babel? Maxi and N’Gog both scored in the last game too, so by the same reasoning, it would be unfair to drop them. Additionally, N’Gog has a record of 8 goals and 1 assist in 12 starts this season, and Maxi has scored in 3 of the last 4 Premier League victories.

Dirk Kuyt was the obvious player to make way, but he ended up scoring a goal, which kind of justified his inclusion.

Late N'Gog substitution?

I've heard fans argue that Babel should've been brought on for N'Gog earlier. This makes no sense at all:

* Babel came on in the 70th minute; until the 65th minute (approximately), Liverpool were in the ascendancy.

* N'Gog was not playing badly, so removing him after, say, 55-60 minutes would have been undeserved, and possibly detrimental to his confidence.


At times during the game, Liverpool’s players resorted to hoofing it forwards aimlessly, losing the ball countless times in the process. After the defensive incompetence, this was the most irritating thing for me. I lost count of the number of times the ball was given away as a result.

I sincerely doubt Hodgson tells the players to hoof it forwards; why would he? The team is not tactically set-up to benefit from such an approach (i.e. no target man); it’s just another case of old habits and laziness creeping in, and a lack of individual footballing intelligence from the likes of Skrtel, Kyrgiakos and Reina, who gave the ball away many times with his aimless hoofs up the field.


Raul Meirelles had a fantastic game. He rarely misplaced a pass, and quickly moved the pall around with intelligent short-passing. I really enjoyed watching him play - he looks so comfortable on the ball, and I'm sure he will be a great asset for Liverpool in the years to come.

Ultimately, Hodgson sent the team out to win the game, and the stats show that Liverpool had the best of the game. Individual mistakes and bad luck cost Liverpool the points, not Hodgson.

If Hodgson IS to blame for the Newcastle defeat, please explain WHY with specific examples in the comments below (i.e. how his tactics/formation/approach had a direct impact on the loss).

As I said prior to the game, defeat to Newcastle would be unacceptable, and it is unacceptable, mainly because it was game that Liverpool could and should have won. However, defeat is not the end of the world; it suits those with anti-Hodgson agenda to paint it that way but there is still plenty of time to pull things out of the fire.

Manchester United have won only once away from home in the league this season too. Chelsea have only 3 away victories. Poor away form is not limited to Liverpool. It is a problem, and Hodgson is accountable, but the Newcastle performance was - for the most part - positive, and if away performances continue in this vein, the results will follow.

It’s kind of ironic that the two best away performances of the season have resulted in defeats, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. I still believe Liverpool can make it into the top 4, and as I've maintained all season, I still believe the club will be within touching distance of the top 4 by January.

Liverpool has lost another battle, but it will ultimately win the war.

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. Can I have some of what you're taking Jaime? It's got to be the good stuff!

  2. For once, I agree with you and the overall content of this article. The sooner the Newcastle game is forgotten, the better. 

  3. 'He *is* responsible, but he is not to blame. <span>There is a difference</span>.<span>'</span>
    im afraid the above statement only applies in your world.  in everyone elses, when you are responsible you carry the blame. 
    you im sure go on to list player weaknesses, misses etc etc as justification for your argument.
    to try and reinvent the wheel for the rest of the world by telling them that someone who is responsible is n't to blame when the things they are responsible for go belly up is laughable.
    how would you feel if i was to say having written off your car, i was responsible for the car, but it was the cars engine that the did the damge to your car, therefore i am not actually to blame, its the engine of the cars fault?

  4. oh shut up mate, your havin a laugh.... Roy hodgson record is 7 away wins out of 55 , why didnt you mention that.... if manure arsenal and Chelsea where looking for a new manager , Woy would not even make the long list letvalonevthe short list.... how you can back a man that slumps to his seat with 10 minutes to go is laughable ... your talking shit... you sure you support Liverpool...

  5. Defensicvley shocking!! Skrtel wat was he on?? I still cnt get in my head Y Hodgson keeps on playin konchesky Y not start Aurelio, Konchesky would not get into any of the top teams in the prem he is awful!! Skrtel needs to be dropped but would u put Kelly instead...? i dnt think hes ready yet we need to hope agger comes in and when he does I dnt think Hodgson will play him!! his 1st choice pairing is cara/skrtl! I peraonally think he was too negative n making subs far 2 late 2 change the game. Should of attacked n put cole on, hodgson not a top team manager he should stick to a mid table team!!

  6. Please explain how Hodgson is to blame for the result.  Please show, with examples, how his tactics/formation/approach directly caused Liverpool to concede three goals.

  7. And the point of this diatribe is...what, exactly?  Please explain how Hodgson is to blame for the result.  Please show, with examples, how his tactics/formation/approach directly caused Liverpool to concede three goals

  8. Fas - why are you blaming Konchesky?  What exactly did he do wrong? You're just slipping once again into the default response instead of considering the game *fairly*.

    Konchesky had a good game overall; he made a number of excellent passes, and rarely gave the ball away.  Watch the game again if you don't believe me.

    He was not at fault for any of the goals.  There was nothing he could do about the first; that was Skrtel's fault.  Konchesky was entitled to expect Skrtel to get that header.

  9. I agree with a lot of your comments from a footballing aspect. Torres is a shadow of his former self and spurns plenty of chances whilst also being unable to help the team control possession. Srktel is bloody awful at the moment - he has been pretty bad all season - making lots of mistakes, he never wins headers if you watch and he consistently lacks composure in key moments. The defence is nothing short of diabolical at the moment - only Krygiakos can hold his head up. Konchesky is rubbish, Srktel is not good enough, Carragher is past it! Lots of people don't like Johnson but I think he is good and is only shown up by the incompetence in the centre of defence. Yeah he had a bad start to this season but he offers the flair and creativity we lack down the channels! Kuyt is rubbish and should be sold- he can't keep possesion and lacks the skill and quality to allow us to improve.

    Roy Hodgson isn't good enough to manage the club. The mistakes aren't his fault directly but he picks the team, the tactics and the confidence of the team. His record stands 7 wins in the premier league -  thats not good enough for a middle table team let alone a team of our stature. I think you are blindly supporting a man who lacks the tactics and experience to manage a top club and achieve success!! What has he won? In 30 years of management!!

  10. Who is in charge of the eleven on the pitch?
    Who is in charge of tactical directive & deployment?
    Who's job is it to be respected & to be taken seriously?
    Who's only won 1 away game in 27 tries?
    Statistics & metrics are NOT the 'be all & end all'
    Our manager is a lightweight & not good enough for our club.
    Please save your breath in trying to paint a picture that preaches the polar opposite
    Responsibility, blame, culpability... all the same. Grab a thesaurus!
    Roy Orbison can see that the players have no faith in Roy... & for good reason.
    We have world class internationals being coached by a bloke punching way above his own weight.
    This is not a complicated scenario. At LFC, we demand the best... RH isn't even in the same postal code!
    END OF

  11. The incompetence of Skrtel is nothing new - the only difference is that we had to pay for his mistakes this time.  I've long been saying that the guy is a liability and that I'd rather see Kelly or Wilson given the opportunity to grow in the first team from their mistakes, instead of watching this headless chicken continue at centre-back.

    How can Hodgson be blamed for Skrtel's incompetence?  He keeps picking him for every game!

    Maxi may have scored a couple of goals, but his performances overall have been pretty poor.  He's a wide-man that doesn't create anything, has no pace and can't beat a man - how can Hodgson be held accountable for poor performances from the guy?  Because he keeps picking him (and picking him out for acclaim too!)

    Kuyt is another wide-man that doesn't create anything, has no pace and can't beat a man -  how can Hodgson be held accountable for poor performances from the guy?  Because he keeps picking him!

    <p>Torres has apparently been lacking match fitness/returning from injury (or just playing like sh!te) for about 6 months now, so drop the guy to the bench for a couple of games on the bench!

    We have international players and talented youngsters waiting in reserve, so he is not obligated to stick with these players every game.  The fact that he does stick with them shows that he must be satisfied with what they are doing on the pitch, and so he does deserve to get the blame when they fail on the pitch yet again</p>

  12. Jamie: Woy's away record in the EPL is there for all to see! FACT: He needs to go now!

  13. J - Hodgson picks the team but he can only pick the players he has.  Forget Konchesky - he is one player. The rest (bar Meirelles) were at the club when he arrived.  Games like this just show how poor the squad left by Benitez can be at times.  Skrtel is just a disaster area, and as you say, he has been for ages.  Johnson is also a defensive liability, but he occasionally offers something going forward.  Lucas has improved this season but we can do better in that position.  Kuyt has too many barren spells; Agger is always injured; Torres is unrealiable and regularly injured; N'Gog is promising but not the answer as a regular second striker.  The list goes on.  The squad needs freshening up, and until that happens, we will get games like this where its frailties are exposed.

  14. Another thing: Benitez had the same squad PLUS Mascherano and Benayoun and only managed to get to 7th.  And you're surprised at the inconsistency of this squad?!

  15. Good Post Jamie! again i agree with all your points. I for 1 believe we have a good chance of 4th this season - and truely believe Hodgson should stay until the end of the season, and then move on.

    1 issue I have with Roy though is not his tactics or formation or even player selection - it is his motivational ability. As a person that has studied motivational theory extensively I am hardly surprised we lost that game. Roy's body language was terrible esp after Newcastles second goal he just sat there slumped in his chair (he had given up) Even in his interview he mentioned the second goal for NU was the game winner.

    I for one believe you should always fight until the whistle blows - Istanbul taught me that. Roy on the other hand was finished at 80mins and made no visible effort to motivate the squad. Now had he been standing in the technical area barking orders and pushing his team on perhaps Lucas would have been motivated to close carroll down or pepe react quicker. the fact is the game was over for roy at 2-1 even though 10mins + stoppage were left to play.

    I admit the defensive errors were there in abundance. However, Roy did very little to keep his team motivated we could have left St. James' at least with a draw but because of the lack of motivation we were done at 2-1...and that, I can say is Roy's fault.

    I love the guy, think he is a great interim coach/manager - but he really needs to improve on his motivational skills, too often has he made errors when speaking to press etc.

    thats my 2cents

  16. I think Hodgson is to blame for the simple reason that most players don't think he will be around much longer, this inevitabley effects overall performance.
    So far it appears that Reina, Agger, Torres & Johnson have all in some way been alienated by Hodgson. Maybe they don't believe in his methods or do not have any faith that Liverpool will challenge for the major honours whilst he is in charge. But regardless of the reasons why, the stories of problems with senior players seem to leak out on a daily basis, so i'm afraid it really is Hodgson to blame.
    Liverpool required a few minor additions to ensure we could be challenging for the top honours, unfortunately if Hodgson is to get his way he will have to ship out a lot of players and bring new ones in otherwise I doubt he will ever win over the senior sceptics in the squad. Do we really want to see a complete overhaul of the playing squad and lose top players just to see if the Hodgson way works?

  17. i don't need to show he is to blame as you have already admitted he is responsible for the football team that he is failing so miserably to manage.

    What you have don is list things that caused the defeat ie hoofball etc which you yourself accept are his repsonsibilty.  so you have basically provided all the things you are asking me to provide.

    but as you ask, hoofball is the key phrase.  its the first thing we tend to do from defence, and immediately put back under pressure when 80% of the balls go awry.

    now thhat i have answered you why dont you answer the below?

    how would you feel if i was to say having written off your car, i was responsible for the car, but it was the cars engine that the did the damge to your car, therefore i am not actually to blame, its the engine of the cars fault?  

  18. Meaningless hot air.  <span>Please explain how Hodgson is to blame for the result.  Please show, with examples, how his tactics/formation/approach directly caused Liverpool to concede three goals.</span>

  19. So if we won a game with individual brilliance, he shouldn't be credited with the victory. Must win game you said. We didn't, yet still he is absolved. Roy has managed 1 away win in the league in 16 months, of course that trend must all be someone elses fault. Blind faith fandom is ok now according to you.

  20. why can't he blame konchesky?  skrtel had one really bad game aginst newcastle, konchesky has had bad games for the whole season.

    who do you think you are to criticise people willy nilly and then criticise someone for criticising who is equally culpable, he is caught out of position with such frequency its laughable.

    he is one of the owrst defenders we have had on twenty years.

    the question i'd like to ask is how come your not criticising him given that you criticise practically everyone else.

    would nt be that hodgson bought him would it?

  21. Yes, Jay - it's that easy.  Just drop Torres.  The majority of fans would just accept that with no problem, wouldn't they?  I agree with you about Maxi and Skrtel.  However, Maxi has scored in 3 of the last 4 prem wins.  Objectively speaking, why wouldn't Hodgson pick him.  I personally think he's a waste of space but you can surely see Hodgson's thinking?

    Re Skrtel: Yes, Hodgson picks him, but he is one of our most experienced defenders.  Hodgson is entitled to rely on him, and I'm sure most managers would opt for an experienced defender over a player who has never played in the premier league (!).

    Hodgson cannot be blamed for picking experienced internationals. 

  22. You didn't apply this line of reasonng to Mr Benitez. But I digress.

    Tge biggest problem I have at the moment is that Roy doesnt appear to be offering much of anything, bar similarly baffling post match press conferences. We were in the ascendancy for a while, but Newcastle helped with the goal as much as any of Kuyt's teamates. Chances were missed, but an awful lot of players are not acting and playing like we know they can, and in my book that's Roy's job- he certainly isn't masterminding any fantastic tactical displays..

    Kuyt was poor, despite the goal. Skrtel is no Sami Hypia thar's for sure and Babel's inability to get a decent run in the team will ensure Groundhog Day as far as Pool are concerned- his improved attitude was rewarded by more splinters even though Maxi was completely anonymous. IMO it's Roy's job to engineer a team ethos that says we're on top and won't et up till we're too far ahead= something I see at Arsenal, Spurs, and even the great Unmentionables..

    Rwu away wins in 29 of Roy'd games- You can't attrbute THAT to 27 instances of poor defending/finishing. That's what happens to a Cosch who doesn't try to win too hard away from home.

    And that is NOT what we need, or what I hope to see every other week

  23. He should have marked his man fir the first, Nolan. Anyone with any grasp of football should know that you can't anticipate another defender clearing the ball for you. He stayed with his man = no goal. Konchesky immune to criticism as not signed by the last man?

  24. weak - really weak stuff from you Kanwar.

  25. Hi Drew - great points.  One thing though: you say:

    <span>Roy did very little to keep his team motivated</span>

    How do you come to this conclusion?  How can you know that he 'did little to keep his team motivated'?  What exactly was he supposed to do? Run on the pitch and give them a pep talk?

    I would actually disagree with you.  The evidence that he *did* motivate the team came after half time - Liverpool came out and dominated for almost 20 minutes, creating several clear0cut chances along the way.

    Heads went down because we had no leaders on the pitch; and when Barton scored, that became a real issue.  Again, after that goal, what exactly was Hodgson supposed to do to motivate the team?

  26. nop ebut he can sure as hell be blamed for our performances, and hope for a draw away days.

    i'd love to live in yoru world really i would.  i could be responsible for so many things and when they all go horribly wrong, like missing my mortgage payments and my house about to be repossessed, i tell the bank im not to blame, its the house fault.

  27. you wont reply to my comments bcos you know that your talkin dross... how did a fan like you get a web site.... your a bigger joke than hodgson away record.... your a mug mate

  28. No, you DO need to show he's to blame, otherwise any criticism you make of him has no credibility.  Your car example is silly - stop dodging the issue and show how Hodgson caused the loss against Newcastle.

    As the manager, he is responsible for everything that happens. Sometimes, he is also to blame for things, but in this case, he was not.

  29. if he's such a poor manager how come he managed second the year before with gerrard and torres missing for lots of points in the season?

    incidently its all coming to light now about purslow trying influence which players stayed at the club isn't it.

    can't have helped rafa much that can it?

  30. These the same experienced internationals that form the weak squad he was left? Easy on Roy aren't you. Liverpool win, credit to Roy. Liverpool lose, blame everyone else.

  31. These the same experienced internationals that form the weak squad he was left? Easy on Roy aren't you. Liverpool win, credit to Roy. Liverpool lose, blame everyone else.

  32. I wasnt blamin konchesky for this game, even though he did loose the ball for the 3rd goal? jus sayin he isnt good enough player to play for liverpool no way near. The only reason y babel come on was because ngog got injured otherwise he would never have come on! I still wanna see Hodgson be more attack minded, i would of prefered if he put on cole for lucas n go for the win n not the draw which would of been a good result if he was at fulham but this is Liverpool!!

  33. Hodgsons tactical errors:
    Playing 4-4-2 away from home when his away record is bad enough.
    Leaving substitutions too late
    Leaving Torres on who was having a mare
    Having Lucas fill in centre-back for the final goal
    Picking Skrtel
    Leaving Kuyt and Maxi on even though they were ineffective until it was too late
    Being too slow to react to Newcastle tactical changes
    Not organising his defensive routines properly, we looked far too vulnerable.

    You summed up your whole article in the first sentence, the buck stops with Hodgson. Individual errors will always happen, but it's how you react. Not just look on in disbelief.

  34. great point there re the blind faith now being exhibited by kanwar.

    a real peach that.

    as ever he's been found out.

  35. Have you ever played football. Step away from your maths & appreciate the intangible aspects that can't be quantified on a calculator.
    You  write an awful lot & actually say nothing other than exemplifying what a blind sycophant you are.
    The buck begins & ends with the manager. World class players underperform for a reason, or indeed, a multiple of reasons.
    Hodgson picks, plays & coaches our lads... that's how tactics, formation & deployment cause our shite results. Stop making a simple scenario rdidiculously complicated!
    Give it up as you're making a prize prat of yourselves... really, you are!

  36. <span>6 wins from 17 PL games says no. That's a 35% win percentage. Rafa worst season [last season with mitgating circumstances the like I have never seen before] was 47%... His Average was 55%.

    We are nearly halfway through the season. At this rate I think we will struggle to get 14 wins in the PL... and tha\t quite frankly would be shocking.

    Roy's stats are 1.2pts per game before joining us... and it still is. That's 45pts in a full PL campaign. Equally 1 goal per game at Fulham, we are currently at 1.24 but conceeding at 1.29.

    Woeful... You just can't even hide behind anything and give positives of things to come.</span>

  37. uh change formation?  play lucas holding and push meirles up.  play three at teh back and make johnson right wing? you know basic managerial stuff that you don't believe he s to blame for

    by your argument we only need a manager at the game for the speech before kick off, and then the half time team talk.  he can sod off as soon as the opposition score a goal as there is nothing he can do.

    my lord, you really are making a bit of a joke out of yoru self here

  38. Strange that it was always Rafas fault last season when the players made mistakes and it is never Roys fault now when the players make the same mistakes now.

    Very strange indeed.

  39. Your right Jamie we did play well for 20 mins after half time, credit where credit is due.

    I would like to see him urging players on reminding them not to give up. When the players just see the coach slumped this sends out a message of defeat. I want him standing up barking orders because HE has not given up!

    You are spot on though in regards to the lack of leadership on the pitch. when heads go down you need other players to step up and push players on. 1 thing though if Roy knew that no such player was on the pitch he should have been doing that from the touchline.

  40. I agree with you that it would be tough to drop Torres, but rightabout now Hodgson has nothing to lose and needs to start taking some risks - what he is doing right now (pretty much the same thing that Rafa did last year) clearly isn't working and he needs to show some balls and go down fighting, instead of just sitting back and just watching his senior players get him the sack.  

    The fans don't like him and there will be calls for him to be sacked any time we lose anyway, so why continue to worry about the opinion of the fans at the expense of the team??  What has he really got to lose by forcing woefully under-performing (or just under talented) experienced players to earn their places in the team, even if they are fan favourites such as Torres or Kuyt??

    Hodgson <span>can</span> be blamed for picking experienced internationals that continue to fail to perform at an acceptable level...

    (btw, Maxi has scored a couple of goals recently, but just like Kuyt yesterday, these goals only masked poor performances from the individual imo)

  41. Maybe if he hadn't wasted millions on a player he doesn't pick, poulsen....

  42. bingo - job done - night night

  43. Stick to your little stat book & calculator, keep mining the Opta Index by all means but don't, please, talk tactical football nuances as you are embarrassing yourself. You insist upon basing all opinion solely upon numbers... you're good at stats, I'll give you that much but you are incapable of making sense out of a situation that is primarily the fault of the manager.

  44. Tell me otherwise!

  45. <span>I think Hodgson is to blame for the simple reason that most players don't think he will be around much longer, this inevitabley effects overall performance.
    Please provide proof for this.
    <span>Reina, Agger, Torres & Johnson have all in some way been alienated by Hodgson.</span>
    Please provide proof for this.
    Torres: "The squad here trusts in Hodgson and so do I. I have no problem with him. He's a very serious coach who explained to me very clearly in the summer what he wanted from me. He has always trusted in me and that's very important for any footballer"
    Reina: "I think it's about time the fans get behind Roy Hodgson 100%"
    Agger: " <span>I am happy at Liverpool...e</span><span>verybody at the club [is] happier now with the new manager, the new players and the new methods"</span>
    Johnson: "<span>The gaffer told me he has faith in my ability, we spoke and we cleared things up. Sometimes comments like that can be made to look more negative than they are meant"</span>
    Yes, those four players have clearly been alienated by Hodgson.</span>

  46. <span><span>hodgson is not the one to blame. The defensive are the one should take the blame. I prefer to let wilson and martin kelly a try instead of skrtel and kyriakos.</span></span> Besides, Pls drop koncelski and replace aurelio. he is much more better.

  47. Where did I say benitez was a 'poor' manager?  Don't twist my words.

  48. Hodgson picks the team but he can only pick the players he has.  Forget Konchesky - he is one player. The rest (bar Meirelles) were at the club when he arrived.  Games like this just show how poor the squad left by Benitez can be at times.

    But only a few days ago you wrote an article saying you believed we could finish 4th! Where's the consistency JK? Either the squad is good enough to finish in the top 4 in which case that the squad left by Rafa is not poor, or the article written a few days ago was complete bs. You can't have it both ways mate. You can't pick and choose when to blame Rafa's squad. If we were to finish 4th this season will you give Rafa any credit for "his" squad? We all know you wouldn't so don't blame "his" squad now when we lose.

  49. We are currently 9 points behind 4th place with 3 games to go until the new year and if memory serves your support for Hodgson lapses if we aren't in "touching distance" by then. Ironically, this puts me (and a number of other visitors to your site) in a win-win situation over the Christmas period. Either we'll catch up to the top four or we'll get the booby prize and the over-optimistic support for Hodgson will die off a bit...

    In reference to the article, Hodgson's job isnt just to pick the formations and let the players do their own thing... If the players arent doing the business, he has to work with them to improve the things they aren't doing correctly (or have his coaches do it)... Any good manager will help his staff (football players in this case) improve individually so they can acheive more as a team...

  50. No.  Can you read?  I criticise Hodgson several times in the article.  If you can't be bothered to be fair I'm just going to delete your comments from now on.  I can't be bothered to waste my time on people who don't even read the article properly, and then try and twist what I said.

  51. Roy can't even say he wasn't backed in the transfer Market, over 20mill spent in the window and team has clearly regressed.

  52. Jamie,

    I understand that you enjoy taking an opposing viewpoint to promote healthy debate, but in this instance I can't understand how anyone can be to blame, or held responsible other than the manager.

    For the first goal, Skrtel was assigned to mark Andy Carroll. Do you think the players decide who they fancy marking at set pieces, or maybe the manager has a hand in it? This assignment was made knowing Skrtel's defensive and Carroll's attacking capabilities. Interestingly, the next free kick in a similar position saw Andy Carroll being marked by both Martin Skrtel and Fernando Torres.

    I agree that the second goal was (multiple) individual errors.

    The third goal, I'd also point the finger at the manager. How many times have we seen the team defending deep when playing away from home, allowing the opposition space in front of the back four? I'm quite sure this is a tactical decision.

    A while back, Daniel Agger was widely quoted as saying that the manager didn't want the ball being played out of defence. I would suggest that the manager is an exponent of 'Hoofball' and it isn't the players deciding their own strategy.

    The manager has also failed to get any sort of performance out of Fernando Torres, yet continually picks him.

    Roy also picks Konchesky ahead of Aurelio, despite consistently poor performances. See the Guardian chalkboards if you need evidence.

    Finally, aside from the Stevie G, Europa hatrick, I don't think I've ever seen Roy Hodgson make a substitution that has changed a game. When he sat rubbing his face, he looked like a man out of ideas.

    May I ask why you think Roy Hodgson's away record is so terrible? Surely not the players or leadership in so many games?

  53. It's not strange at all.  Benitez was here for 6 years; he had 6 years to get it right and in his 6th year - and after spending 280m - the team was performing worse than ever.

    Hodgson has had 6 months, and practically the same team is still having problems.  That is not surprising at all.

    If you cannot see the difference between 6 years and 6 months then it's pointless discussing anything with you.

  54. Jamie, you seem to be able to disagree with popular opinion at every juncture. There are 3 main issues that I have with your post and tbh these come from just breezing over it, who knows how many arguments could be forged with a more comprehensive reading.

    Firstly I am not entirely against hodgson. I did not feel he was the best person for the job when hired in the summer but have got behind him never the less.

    To blame skrtel for newcastles first and claim that konchesky only made one mistake against totenham is laughable. Konchesky has to be one of the worst left backs in liverpools history, to oust a young player like insua, agreed not a fantastic player, bit atleast young and with potential and then pay 5+ million for PK is attrocious. Secondly to claim that away form is improving based on 10% change in possession against 2 different teams is frankly insane. Does anyone think that Newcastle are anywhere near the quality of Totenham? Roy Hodgson is not to blame for the players actions no but he is to blame for not getting a response out of them. He seems to have no ability to role the squad. Players are underperforming as they do not have the confidence in the manager. Can we afford to give RH 25-30 mil in January and have another 2 PK's and 3 CP's?!? NO. Times are tough and I'm not sure Hodgson has what it takes to get us through them. I hope he can prove me wrong.

  55. Ha ha. Just read it again and you are critical of Roy, especially the part where you say none of it was his fault. Even put an asterix beside it. Yeah, definitely my reading ability.

  56. <span>"We have the ingrained problems of no confidence, no plan B, no creativity, and Benitez's inability to inspire his players against the BOTTOM TEAM IN THE LEAGUE"</span>

    Why not take your own quotes and change Benitez name with Roy and you have your answer. 

  57. Ha ha. Just read it again and you are critical of Roy, especially the part where you say none of it was his fault. Even put an asterix beside it. Yeah, definitely my reading ability.

  58. Only 5 teams have more than 6 prem wins, and of those: Man United have 8 wins. Spurs have only 7.  Chelsea have 9 wins.  Such a huge difference to Liverpool, eh?

  59. 114 away Premier League games covering 6 seasons and 13 wins!!!
    Rather than twattfaddler explaining himself can you Jaimie (the font of al knowledge) explain that.

    Football you see is not an exact science however there's some things that are plain as the nose on your face.

    Ask yourself a question! last year under Rafa we lost 11 games total. that’s 11 in 38. Already we’ve lost 7 that’s 7 in 17 are we better than we where last season?
    Let me answer that for you; NO!!!

    A new manager is supposed to improve the team and the results. Is 17 league games plus 1 Carling Cup game and several Europa league games not enough. Were now playing Roy’s tactics, Roy’s formation and following Roy’s instruction. We're not aggressive enough and we sit too deep. Maybe that why we do well in Europe and not in the Premier League. When you think about it is that why Fulham did so well in the Europa League and poorly in the Prem?
    Do you expect the away results to change miraculously? In the last 5 years Manchester United have won 58 Premier League away games!!! 58 out of 95. Roy's record is all the evidence needed for the fans to believe that never going to happen at Liverpool.

    Football is built on history, statistics and trends you should know that! With the constant use of statistics you flood this site with you should know better.
    We lost at Newcastle because tactically we're setup and instructed to play football the way Roy wants us to play and sadly (for Liverpool supporters) it does not work.

    If Liverpool where winning Roy would get the credit...agreed?
    Liverpool are losing and losing badly he must take the blame...

  60. Gary - stop misrepresenting my arguments *again*.

    What is your point?  Where did I say that Liverpool can't finish 4th now?  I said the oposite: I still believe we can do it, and stated that in my article.  And I said the squad can be poor AT TIMES, i.e. sometimes, not all the time.

    I'm sick of you twisting my words - if you're going to make an argument, do it fairly or not at all.

  61. Btw, I know that nobody likes to acknowledge it, but just like Owen before him, Torres is a very good striker but a pretty average football player overall.  

    With it looking like his pace has already dropped off and with him looking less of a consistent goal threat atm, a team that fails to consistently create space or opportunities for him is left with a pretty average player up front.  We wouldn't be losing much by dropping him for a few games really and that may be the kick up the a55 that he needs, seeing as the softly softly approach obviously isn't working for him, or for our team...

  62. This is just downright pathetic. Anyone else left to blame?

  63. No, you just don't understand the difference between responsibility and blame.  If you did, you would realise that I am arguing that OVERALL, Hodgson is responsible, but for this specific game, he is not to blame for the loss, and I've explained at length why, with examples.  If you can't be bothered to comprehend things fairly then I'd prefer it if you went to some other Liverpool site, as I can't be bothered to waste my time on people who don't have the ability to be fair.

  64. How about some analysis of Roy's plan b? 0 points from a losing position. Clearly that is not acceptable, yet glossed over. Score first against Roy's team, you win.

  65. Declan - I did not argue that the manager should choose the formation and then let the players do their own thing, so please don't make out that's what I wrote.  Hodgson may give instructions, but if every tactical plan worked in every game then no team would ever lose, would they?  Things go wrong; players lose concentration and do the wrong things; you cannot legislate for mistakes and moments of madness.  Even if you have the best manager on the planet, things will still go wrong (just look at Barcelona's 5-0 hammering of Madrid for evidence of that).

  66. Konchesky was OK but he let Nolan go for the first goal, as a defender expect the unexpected, why should he assume that Skirtel would outjump Carroll who is an excellent header of the ball. He made one excellent pass to Torres then the rest in the attacking third were his usual not beating the first man. He didn't win one tackle. Take the blinkers off and name one team in which he would be first choice left back and then look at their league position and then ask the question why we paid £5 million for a 30 year old journeyman..

    Tactics he plays 2 banks of four too deep, yes Lucas should have taken the initiative and closed down but when you are drilled into the 2 banks formation
    for defense that is what you do. If you listen to comments of Agger and Johnson hoofball is what he wants, if you watch a game hoofball is what occurs.

    Substitutions are not just for injuries but for tactical reasons as well. Ffs the missus was watching the game and even she saw that we were getting overrun before the their second goal. Kuyt had a stinker last time out and this time wasn't much better, yes he runs harries but he couldn't pass to our players. 

    You don't get an away record like RH without having to question your approach.

    You are right the players need to look to themselves but who picks them. OK he had to bring Fernando back but what is wrong with bring him off for having a poor game I seem to remember Rafa subbing him. IMO some of his tactics especially the triangles he has Meirelles Lucas and Maxi playing but Kuyt can't play this way and neither can the centre backs and the midfield is too far from the attackers then when they get into the final third there is no one that play the killer pass nor get down the flanks apart from Johnson. 

    I'm not sure RH is a motivator, you see him on the touchline stroke his face or slumped in his chair never ala Mourinho swapping formations and or players to adapt to situations.

    Eventually he is going whether tomorrow or end of season so why not the sooner. Possible further upheaval but what do we have to lose - 4th spot? are Man U, City, CHelsea, Spurs, Arsenal to name 5 going to collapse enough for us to catch them, are we going to start winning enough games to be ready if they do. The FA cup it's probably 60:40 at best to even get past the 3rd round, UEFA cup so we top a pretty poor group but what happens when the CL clubs drop down and we have to play them away. Then what happens In the JAn window if Roy makes his choices what happens if his succesror doesn't want them we are not City with money to burn.

    To me it's cut your losses time and let's start the rebuild now. 

  67. Believe me, Jay, I agree with you.  If it was down to me Torres would be in the reserves right now.  Same goes for Kuyt and Maxi.  I can't blame Hodgson for playing them though; he would probably get heat from above for doing that too, and if Liverpool lost with those players out, the shitstorm of protest from fans would be even worse than it is now.

  68. <span><span>"Torres is unreliable" - He sure wasn't unreliable under Rafa what changed?? O ya the manger, remember Drogba under scolari?? couldn't score an open net, in comes Hiddink O and Drogba is a scoring machine. </span></span>

    <span>"Forget Konchesky</span><span>- he is one player"- </span><span><span> why should we forget Knochesky? you sure never seem the bad performance Johnson puts in.</span></span>

    <span> "Games like this just show how poor the squad left by Benitez" - Really? if the players Rafa left behind are so bad why does Roy not play the players he signed in the summer? instead of Reina he could have played Brad Jones, instead of Kuyt he could have played Cole and instead of Lucas he could have played Poulsen. Can you please why his own players on sitting on the bench and our manger is using Rafa terrible players instead of his own? <span>

  69. Responsibility without blame? Not sure that would hold up in court.. So skrtel is responsible for the goals and to blame? Plumbing new depths here.

  70. Responsibility without blame? Not sure that would hold up in court.. So skrtel is responsible for the goals and to blame? Plumbing new depths here.

  71. By unreliable, I don't just mean form; I mean fitness.  Torres was unreliable under Benitez.  Last season, his form started to drop and he was regularly injured.

  72. JK, pls respond to hahahaha comments:
    <span>"We have the ingrained problems of no confidence, no plan B, no creativity, and Benitez's inability to inspire his players against the BOTTOM TEAM IN THE LEAGUE"</span>  
    Why not take your own quotes and change Benitez name with Roy and you have your answer.

    Another note, Chris Houghton who has better result than Roy this season, still got the boot and our beloved Roy is still in charge. Talking about irony!

  73. I would like to know why Roy seems unable to use his own players, and would rather use the inferior players Rafa signed Jaimie? You keep saying that the Rafa left behind is poor, so can you please explain to me why Roy keeps benching Poulsen, Brad Jones and Joe Cole for the inferior players that Rafa  signed such as Lucas, Reina and Maxi? maybe cause he Roy knows his signing are garbage or maybe this way people like you can continue to blame Rafa by pointing to are squad and using a lame excuse as its "Rafa's fault we have a weak squad"

  74. Hi, i am a Newcastle fan and thinks it's a real shame what Liverpool have become. I would say Newcastle and Liverpool are quite similar but obviously Liverpool have a much better history than ourselves. Obviously people will say Reine, Gerrard and Torres are the only good players you's have left but i really like N'gog and Babel, Babel should be given alot more playing time and i genuinly hope you's do well this season rather than Man Citeh and the Spuds. Anyways what i came on here for really was i just wanted Liverpool fans view on Newcastles team and who our good/bad players are but in particular Cheik Tiote?

    Kind regards,


  75. I wondered how long it would take to have a go at Benitez.

  76. <span><span>I would like to know why Roy seems unable to use his own players, and would rather use the inferior players Rafa signed Jaimie? You keep saying that the squad Rafa left behind is poor, so can you please explain to me why Roy keeps benching Poulsen, Brad Jones and Joe Cole for the inferior players that Rafa  signed such as Lucas, Reina and Maxi? maybe cause Roy knows his signing are garbage or maybe this way people like you can continue to blame Rafa by pointing to are squad and using a lame excuse as its "Rafa's fault we have a weak squad"<span></span></span></span>

  77. Klutch - where did I say Lucas, Maxi and Reina were 'inferior'?  In fact, I'm not even going to respond to this as you're just deliberately twisting my words, like so many others.  When you can paraphrase me fairly, then I'll respond.

  78. Can you also answer the rest of the post above as to why Roy would rather use Rafa's poor squad player rather then his own signings?

  79. It's a ridiculous point.  Poulsen is a squad player, so he plays as a squad player.  Cole has just returned from injury; why would Hodgson  change a winning team (bar Torres, which any manager would do considering his talent and previous impact) to accommodate those players?

  80. JK are you able to actually see the wood through the trees?

    There were individual defensive mistakes on Saturday, and for that the players have to be blamed. But the reason that the majority of fans are annoyed is because this was yet another away defeat. After another good home game we have gone away and lost again. It doesn't matter that we had 53% of the possession, or 7 shots on goal, the only stat that matters is that we lost 3-1.

    9 away games played, 1 win, 2 draws and 6 LOSSES and 16(!) goals conceded. THAT IS ABYSMAL, Do you know who has a worse away record? Villa, Wolves and West Ham. I don't need to tell you where they are in the league.  West Ham have actually lost less away from home. For this trend, only one man is to blame and that is the manager. Is it any wonder that it is all doom and gloom; we lost to a newly pomoted team again, we lost away from home again, and for the 6th away game out of 9 we conceded more than two goals. Saturday's defeat was not a one-off. It is a trend away from home. Surely you must also be concerned about that?

    We can pick on individual players for this loss to Newcastle but if you look at the bigger picture there is only one man to blame, and that has to be the manager. Why is it that at home we have the 3rd best record in the league but away from home we have the 4th worst. IT'S THE SAME SQUAD OF PLAYERS!! How is it possible to be that good at home and be that bad away unless it down to the way the manager sets us up and the tactics he decides to play.

    Last season we lost 8 games away from home and conceded 20 goals. Already this season we have lost 6 away from home and conceded 16 goals. Last season was bad but this is worse. This has to be down to the manager. That is why people are annoyed and that is why people want Hodgson out. It isn't good enough.  

  81. Jamie at the endof the day who is to blame for all Roys failings away from home with almost every side he has ever managed surely it cannot always have been the players fault. ADMIT ROY IS USELESS and please stop trying to make out he is some kind of blameless legend in the making. The man is looks like and acts like one of those old people at bus stops who suck Murry mints and talks to themselves. Maybe Roy should have kept Aqualani and Ayala. Im just waiting for your Carlton Cole is the naswer upfront article. Please Jamie stop this nonsense, maybe cool off on the backing of Roy because it is making you lok silly and you're far from that, You could have some good discussions on this site but you seem to go from Rafa to Roy constantly backing Roy Hodgson like he is a top drawer manager. Just look at Roys record in the EPL away from home and tell me it is any good. My final point is that Roy will soon be gone like it or not Jamie Roy is going to get a P45 soon and the reason for that is RESULTS, football is a results driven business and his results have been shocking. Rafa was better than Roy, was I glad to see Rafa go? YES because he was starting to fail badly. Do I think we can get a better manager than the bothe of them? YES

  82. I understand your argument that single individual mistakes led to goals, but YOU ARE WRONG.  i disagree with you that hodgson is not to blame..I blame him entirely.  not that im letting skrtl off the hook, but throughout the entire season i have watched liverpools defense launch longball after longball out of the back.  When the pressure increases, so do the longballs.  it is just the way they play.  How can you not blame hodgson for this. If it was not a tactic he wants to employ, then why does it keep happening more and more each game it seems? i udnerstand the need to clear it out in certain cases, but even when their is high pressure doesnt mean a quick one-two pass or some kind of combination from the back to the midfield is out of the question.  our midfield is not showing for the ball AT ALL when it is on our backline. lucas and meireles should be coming back and screaming for the ball, but they dont. I believe hodgson should be blamed for this.  it is a tactic that allows for the oppostion to bring waves of pressure and will, eventually, lead to an individual mistake.  but it is the tactic that frustrates me more, not the indiv. mistake. i blame hodgson

  83. <span><span><span>"Games like this just show how poor the squad left by Benitez can be at times." So you blame Rafa for leaving behind a poor squad and when our new manger gets money buy a player he goes out and spends 4.5 Million on a squad player that worse then Lucas and that Rafa's fault?? i don't get it</span></span></span>

    <span><span>"Cole has just returned from injury" No he didn't he played like 70-75mins against Steaua Bucharest and got pulled for a sh@t performance and didn't get a look in when we where winning against Villa and didn't get a look in when we where losing against Newcastle even though he was warming up on the side the whole game..Please explain again why Roy refuses to play his own signing?  </span></span>

  84. Jamie is blind to Roys failings. Why? I don't know. Does Jamie wish to be sensationalist that could be the answer.

  85. "I sincerely doubt Hodgson tells the players to hoof it forwards; why would he? The team is not tactically set-up to benefit from such an approach (i.e. no target man); it’s just another case of old habits and laziness creeping in, and a lack of individual footballing intelligence from the likes of Skrtel, Kyrgiakos and Reina, who gave the ball away many times with his aimless hoofs up the field".Jamie Reina is the best distributor of the ball out of any Goalkeeper in the world. The stats and you do like stats will back that up.

  86. i think the signing of konchesky shows hodgsons ambition, who on this  earth would wanna sign konchesky if u were competing for the league, not only that but give dalla valle away very promising youngster which every 1 seems 2 forget for konchesky is beyond me!!! this jus proved the fact that roy wasnt competing for the league but hoping 2 stay in europa. some 1 get it in his head this is no crappy club!!!

  87. There were times when Agger was fit and Hodgson chose Skrtlel anyway, there is no guarantee Agger would have played if fit

  88. Dont blame the players. Blame solely on Roy alone for lacks of winning instinct and obviously on his incompetent. His away record is horrible and home record is substandard. Sack him now.

  89. While I'm not taking sides with the general intent of the article, I have to ask that if "hoofball" isn't part of Hodgson's strategy or tactics, why are we employing it so often?

    If this is just laziness and "old habits" learned under Rafa, why isn't Hodgson beating it out of his charges? That's his job, isn't it? He's had 17 premier league games, 7 Europa league games (including the qualifiers) and 3 or 4 friendlies (not to mention that disaster of a Carling Cup tie) to make a change to it.

    Even if we give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he is trying to get the players out of this tactic, the fact that the players don't appear to be listening must surely say something about his capability (or lack of) as a manager.

    I also agree with the comment made earlier that if we credit a manager with the success f a team, we are fully entitled to blame him for the failures - even if the failures are the result of individual incompetence of the players.

  90. You are right Jaimie, we should not blame RH, why should we, he's doing this best now, you know that when HE RUBBED HIS FACE, the team just cannot make it...

    We should let RH continue until he changes the whole team or win the premier league, owners should give him 100 million to spend on world class players in January, (100 million no problem, since they already save money when they bought our club at 300 million) our fortune will improve massively, I am very sure of that, but first we need to attract players to Anfield (players that DON'T CHEAT of course) that should be very easy with RH.

    Players like Torres who misses that sitter after we equalised should be sold, how could he a top class striker missed? Even I can score, not to forget he's a cheat and a diver. 

    And that Skrtel, he should have been left on the bench from day 1, RH not to blame of course, he only have Skrtel to blame because RH trusted him, how could Skrtel abuse RH's trust and let that goal went in!!!

    Agger the other central defender was also to be blamed because he just couldn't keep his mouth shut about RH tactics and couldn't stop himself from playing for his country, in the end got himself injured, now we only have 2 experienced CD.

    Same goes for gerrard, what was he thinking??? Got himself injured while playing for ENGLAND!!! If he's playing I am pretty sure we can finished Newscastle 5 - 0 by half time. He's also a cheat and a diver, he does not deserve to captain Liverpool we should sell him as well.

    Not to forget Ngog, another cheater, DIVE to get a penalty while playing against Birmingham last season, he should have been sold since that dive, Rafa is to be blame for that! So what if his statistics is better than Torres this season? He's a CHEAT!!!

    I totally agree with ALL the points you make on this article, I'm full of hope that RH can bring us success, not this season but maybe the next or the one after...I've been supporting LIVERPOOL all my life, and I tell you I NEVER NEVER got such a GOOD FEELING about LIVERPOOL.

    I'm very sure we can improve on our away form with RH, EVEN THOUGH HIS AWAY RECORD SHOWS 17 WINS out of 125 PREMIER LEAGUE GAMES (Jaimie please help to verify this because I got that from another website, and try to make it nice because we don't want to give RH extra pressure)

    We should let RH do his job quietly because now I am very confident we can get into top 4 this season (after reading all your articles) try to get some draws on the road (who needs to win?) and win all the games at home should be able to overtake Man City...


  91. The only point I can agree with you is on Meireles. He will be a good midfielder for Liverpool. Aside from that, Roy picks the team and plans the tactics. He is to be blamed for the defeat because he is the team's manager.

    It is his job to keep the players motivated and change things around when things don't go his way during the game. Yes, the goals were defensive mistakes but should we not be pressing them higher up the field and playing more compactly? We had no width down the flanks.

    When a team loses, the whole team takes the blame. Why is Roy not brave enough to start N'gog and Babel and have Torres as a sub since Torres is still off form and the former 2 scored during the last game.  Torres can be brought on as a game changer.

    So, Roy takes the blame and he is clearly not the man for Liverpool. He simply must go now.  Give him another few months and it will still be the same.

  92. I'd have to agree with you, it was a decent performance, but ultimately uninspiring.
    As a team, our defensive system has improved, but it seem in an attacking sense we are much too slow in linking up the midfield with attack, room for improvement certainly.
    Really, this year just reminds me of last season, the majority got behind the team then, it should be no different now.  Indeed there are some worrying aspects, away form for one. 
    But in reality, a European place would be an average season and, in my opinion, a champions league place would be a massive bonus, thats the reality of the situation and has been since the summer; now we should look forward, to what will hopefully be an exciting transfer window, and a solid finish to the season, with continued manouvere for growth beyond.

  93. EPL is the toughest league in the world to play in. Away wins typically the hardest thing to achieve. Most teams have better home form than away form. I am liking the fact that Roy is starting with Torres and Ngog on a more regular basis and there were some positives in the Newcastle game. However, I am puzzled by the lack of true attacking energy away from home. I think its tactics but you will argue differently. Roy's away form this year and last is concerning.

    You put Newcastle result down to individual errors. Perhaps JK you have answered your own question. Perhaps these players haven't bought into Roy's tactics and this is showing up through individual errors/ lack of focus. Just have a look at eto last year at Inter and how he played out of position as he believed in what his manager was trying to achieve. Can you show me what Roy's vision is and how the players have bought into it. Sitting 9th in the league isn't evidence of this as the players on hand should not be lower than 6th.

  94. He is the manager. The buck stops with him. Yes the team are playing bad but what do you do? Put the reserve team in? He has clearly run out of ideas.

  95. Sorry Jaimie, but this makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. At what point does it stop being an individual player's fault? When the team loses 5 in a row??? I'm just wondering at what point it becomes the managers fault?
    Against Tottenham, I feel as though it was Hodgson's fault - Lennon's goal was precided by some pretty clear cross-field tactics. Assou-Ekoto was clearly instructed to hit crossfield passes to Crouch. It was blatantly obvious. He did it about 4 times before Crouch finally directed his header where he wanted it to go. Roy should have seen this and changed something. I'm glad you see that Glen Johnson is really frail - WHY WOULD HE STILL PICK HIM? Roy picks the team... We could sit here all day and go over things - You've stated above that the team was incorrectly picked. Why was Babel dropped? Why does Roy wait until the 80th minute to make a tactical subsitutions? We have a negative goal difference - Roy should know that and obviously change something at the back. Why wouldn't he start Martin Kelly? This is his fault. I don't think the team was set up correctly simply because of this. He should know where the holes are in the team and at least attempt to plug them. Individual errors are part of the game.... It's crazy to suggest that Roy shouldn't shoulder some of the blame. I understand that Roy can only work with what he has, but he has better options that he's putting out there. I completely understand that Roy can't actually kick the ball and therefore the players need to stand up and be counted. That's not happening, so why not drop some people? If Livepool lose against Fulham, will that be enough? When is it enough?

    The teams away performances are miserable. We didn't play well - It was mediocre football.

  96. How am I misrepresenting you or twisting your words?

    You use the word POOR (at times) to describe our squad. You can have poor results, poor performances, but a poor squad at times (you're words not mine) will not finish in the top 4. The squad which finishes 4th will be a consistently good squad, with a few bad results usually against the other top 6 and the odd loss to lesser teams. That's my point. How can you call our squad poor at times but still believe it will finish 4th. Its a valid question isn't it?

    The main crux of my original point is that you choose to blame Rafa's squad when it suits you which is rather pathetic. There is no misrepresentation there as you clearly do it.

    You implicitly blame Rafa's squad here for losing at Newcastle.

    Games like this just show how poor the squad left by Benitez can be at times. 

    When we beat Villa last week without Torres, Gerrard and Carragher did you give Rafa any credit for the squad he hadleft behind, or how about when we beat Chelsea? No you didn't (and to be honest you shouldn't have to) but now we lose and you blame Rafa's squad. BE FAIR, and STOP BLAMING THE LAST MANAGER. He is long gone but you cannot help having a dig.

  97. Hodgson gotta take some responsibility for the defeat. But skrtel and konchesky is our main problem. I'm always worried when I saw the clumsy skrtel challenge opponents in our own penalty box. Always look like giving away penalty to the opponents. Quite a number of goals are conceded bcos of these 2 liabilities. It's time both of them to be dropped. They don't derserved to be in the starting 11. More suitable for Everton standards.

  98. Dear Jaimie, if a few members of the P.M. cabinet F*** UP, that resulted say a wrecked economy, a total breakdown of law and order you mean as head of the cabinet the P.M. is not responsible? He would not have to resign? Going by your logic (or the lack of it) that would be the case.

    Torres, Reina, Johnson,Skrtel, Babel, Jovanovic, are these dude players? They are all in teams that played in the recent W.C. If they can't be motivated or are making blunders you mean the manager as the head is not responsible? Who picks the team, who sets the tactics and formation and most importantly, who motivates the team.

    Why is Babel and Jovanovic who is on form not starting? Is Torres in the best form of his life now? If Torres wants to go  (as his body language more than say so) let him go. If he is not interested in playing DO NOT SELECT HIM. Roy must understand that no one is bigger that the club, himself and Torres included. Example Lucas had been taking a lot of stick (from me included) but stayed on with a desire to prove us all wrong (for the moment at least). Maybe Torres is not so great after all because great players get stuck in when the going are tough.

    There is nothing wrong with this team only the manager as i had said many times. Taking a leaf from Rafa, get in a new calibre manager, we would see an inastant positive, I GUARANTEE That. Heck, Pardew is only a so so manager and look at the result.

  99. you really are clueless and reading your articles its like your a manc on a wind up.Why not get roy to sign a five year deal and when we are mid table in division 3 you will be still writing these articles about how roy is the man.Wake up you fool we have been well beaten by a side who we are much better than defensive mistakes or not roy sets da defence up picks da players i.e. the manager so of course the buck stops with him he is out of his depth and slowly destroying our club and for you to sit there righting bullsh*t just to go against the majority and seen to be controversial is pathetic.Wake up!

  100. Dear Jaimie, i have nothing personal against you just like the rest of these guys but you still do not get the point don't you? The stats are fine work but HRH brings a negative mentality to our club. He brings a level of mediocrity to our club never seem before since the era of our great Shankly including the spice boy period. That can never ne measured with Stats. Can't you undersatnd this Jaimie?

  101. Yes Aurelio is fit why not use him? He is much better than Konchesky, by a mile.

  102. Dear Jaimie, one mistake in 18 - 20 games, o.k. i would take that (the Barca 5-0 hammering). I would allow 2, so please get me the second best manager anytime.

  103. The main statistic that matters is that the team can't ever win away from home, the manager very rarely wins away from home and the team are 9th in the league with Chelsea dropping points left, right and centre. Players who looked better in previous years look very poor. However badly certain players are playing, there must be a reason that they are not playing to their level under this manager. and 9th place, in a season where everyone is dropping points, is not playing to their level. Either the players simply are not trying or the manager is not motivating them, because they certainly are better than this. 3 points against Newcastle, WBA and Blackpool. 2 of those games at home. 2 points from Sunderland, Wigan and Stoke. 5 points from 6 games likes that. There's enough points dropped there for the team to lose a game and still be right on Chelsea's heels. Losing at Tottenham is not the worst thing in the world, but there is nothing to suggest that things are improving, whether it is because of poor play or poor management. So, then it comes down to the fact if the players and the manager do not gel properly, what does the club do? Move on the players who are underperforming? Or look for a manager who can get them to perform? Blame doesn't come into it anymore, it doesn't matter who's fault it is, this is not working. And we'll be out of Europe altogether next season at this rate.

  104. Jamie, as we all know Hodgson is a close personal friend of Ferguson, so if you are defending Roy it means that you have secret Man Utd sympathies and cannot be trusted to truly fight for the cause of Liverpool.

  105. it was the battle of centre back errors, martin skrtel won it (in a bad way). both newcastle CB were not first choice CB either and especially sol campbell made a lot of newbies' errors but we did not capitalise it. there is this thing called substitution to change the game when things were not working out to the point where we were hoofing the ball pretty much the whole 2nd half. i dont mind if hodgson tried and failed, but all he did was rubbing his face like a 5 year old http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aav46Lek0Rs&feature=player_embedded now that's class

  106. We didn't deal with simple long balls at all well for the whole game. Did Roy drill the players on this? Should he even have to considering they are all professionals?? The goals we conceded were just embarrassing for Liverpool. We were a shambles

    The PL is increasingly becoming reliant on a target man for knock downs, flick ons. It's called the 2nd ball. Drogba, Crouch, Zigic, Carroll, Davies, Zamora, Heskey, Carew etc are all example of this phenomenon. Harry Redknapp moans about Birmingham and their use of Zigic when Spurs score carbon copy goals from Crouch knock downs, maybe managers just can't deal with this tactic.

    Terry can, Vidic can, we need a big brute of a centre half who has a brain, can't even think of anyone. Lucio maybe but he's way too old, a regularly linked player, Mexes is stylish but without substance

    The way to combat it is to corral and not foul the target man and make sure you pick up runners from midfield who will feed off the 2nd ball. Have the players been drilled in this aspect of the game?? The players should know anyhow, they are professionals FFS

    Another way to deal with it is to keep the ball when you get it back, and run the opposition into the ground. Like Barcelona do. We're just not good enough and will probably sign our own big man like Toni, Gomez etc. That's when I'll switch off permanently

    - 1st goal, Andy Carroll is a handful, possibly best header of a ball in PL at the moment, some fault lies with Skrtel for losing the header but i do blame Konchesky for not marking his man. Look at the goal again, he was never goalside of Nolan throughout entire move. That's his job, he gets paid to defend, a schoolboy would get slated for the same error. It's really pathetic. Defenders are supposed to be goal side, what was he doing?

    I'll answer that question myself, there is a subtle difference between decent defenders and top defenders. It's not physical, or skill level, it's concentration

    Konchesky switches off some times, he's a decent player but just not top notch, and he's not Liverpool standard. Maybe we can't afford Liverpool standard players anymore but Insua was just as good (who sold him?). Konchesky was a bit of a panic buy, we were short at left back and Roy was familiar with him, signed because we didn't get Luke Young (thank God!!!), like Josemi etc in Rafa's days

    2nd goal - Shambles, again a hopeful, looping flick on from Carroll, beating Lucas, total mismatch there, Ranger outmuscles Skrtel, Kyrgiakos and Konchesky switch off, allow Barton to ghost past them from left full position, and Johnson goes to welly it into row Z instead of getting a toe poke on it like Barton did. Calamity of errors

    3rd goal - With Kyrgiakos pushed up front at this stage, we are a man light, Lucas stands off when he should obviously close, but great finish

    Finishing was very poor. Torres looks like he wants out. Raised his game v Chelsea, but abysmal through much of the season. We should drop him, but Roy will be slaughtered if he does and we lose

    Hoofball - yes we did and we DID NOT play well, we should keep the ball and punish teams that give it to us cheaply. Not join them at their own game

    Mereiles is a class act. Kudos to Roy for picking him up. He will excel with us once played in central midfield over long term

    Babel scored against Villa, and that was about it imo. Nothing to warrant starting spot up front, but why not right wing, he's right footed. Why do we always hobble ourselves? Spurs have Bale on left, Lennon on right

    Roy Hodgson could possibly be held accountable for our indecision on [...]

  107. We were dominating but i still don't see how Lucas is so highly rated. To me he is just average and did not boss the midfield and protect the defence as required from a DMC. Skertal was horrible and to think that a player such as Whoever Rangers actually caused so much problem is worrying...

    Jaimie, i agree with you that Roy should still be given the opportunity...i have seen quite a few games of good football but we are just not finding the net enough. We have got to stop the rot and motivate everyone instead of doing the see saw week in week out.

    Reds, again i can't see anyone decent who can come in to do the magic everyone want...the likes of Hiddink, Capello or Lippi are not available. It makes no sense to change just for the sake of changing and i will really be disappointed when another manager who is not world class comes in (definitely Rijkaard, Klinsmen or O'niell cant be considered WC)...they will end up taking the required time imposing their changes and what if its the same slow start? Are we going to change again? (rem what Chealski went thru after Moriuhno...)

  108. spot on, it seems that, somewhere, this discussion is being had every couple of weeks. We really are this bad at the moment, when is it the manager's fault? When we get relegated? How bad do things have to get before people accept that he is not doing a very good job? Worse thing is, I can still see us being 9th in April and the same debates starting up. There has to be a point when 9th is not good enough. And I'm not sure what the club's target for this season was if they are happy with how things are going. If players are underperforming, we have to ask why, because it certainly is not because they are not good enough to be above Bolton in the league table. We should be no lower than 6th at this point. Three weeks time, the transfer window opens, should the club be trusting a manager with what could be the most significant spending we are going to see for the next 5 years? The next two transfer windows, we really have to get it right. Otherwise, we are out of contention for the next 5 years.

  109. Jaimie....I think you are setting out to defence Hodgson without listening or consider the fact that we lost to a weaker team that only have 1 training session with a new manager!
    The manager pick a tactic, formation, and team that will win on the day. You are trying to defence Hodgson by blaming that the squad left by Rafa is useless...well that might be true is you are comparing our current squad to Arsenal or ManU, but Newcastle! We have a far better squad than them, and they managed to beat us 3:1! Saying that Hodgson can only pick the players and it's down to individules mistakes that we lost is just a laught.....if that is the case I think I can manage LFC myself (just keep picking experience players and I will be ok)!

  110. Agger quote was totally out of context

    check liverpool website for interview with #agger which clearred this up

  111. Well Jaime, no response to this comment??? Or are you too busy wanking yourself off at the comments posted urrmmh Roy urrmmhh urrmmh Roy yeah yeah *yeah*
    Tissue please.

    :-P :-E

  112. Jaimie, what details are logged to track users?

    IP address and MAC address?

  113. The sight of seeing Hodgson rubbing his face into dust is summing up his time at the club. what was his thinking at this moment ? 
    How Liverpool failed to their last two away games ?  Was he thinking that this is a nightmare, wake me up now ? Or was he thinking I don't know else to do. This is hurting the man bad. I worry for him, we have already had two managers that had heart problems during their times at the club.

    After reading numinous blogs about Saturdays game I am now certain that Liverpool will not finish in the top 4 this season. I can also see the rest of the away games to come this ending up in similar poor results. The only way I can see Hodgson saving his job (which will come to a end if some how we lose to Fulham next week) is by taking a gamble. Who do you think has been Sir Alex most important player at Untied? .....Cantona ? Giggs ? Keane ? Scholes? I think it was Mark Robbins a fringe player who came into form at the right time a scored some big goals to help them win the F.A Cup which saved Fergie from the axe and the rest is history.

    Ryan Babel will play his most important game for Liverpool on Thursday. If he puts in another match winning performance like he did against Villa last Monday, Hodgson has to start him against Fulham.. coming in for Torres. El Nino is mentally spent, ever since the World Cup where he was rushed back to early and he has lost his overall sharpness and its costing Liverpool points He needs a break or a kick up the backside being taken out of the team would good for him. Let Babel start a few games in a row and see what he has got because I think he is on the verge of taking his game to the next level. Both he and Lucas came to Liverpool at the same time and Lucas game has gone up notch so why cant Babel game grow too.

    (My claim to fame is that I predicted that during his 1st dodgy season at Chelsea that Drogba would be a hit in the premiership, oh how they laughed at me, needless to say I had the last laugh..well Drogba did). 

    Another gamble that Roy should make is putting Stevie G on the right hand side of midfield. Last night Meirelles was a joy to watch, his interplay in the center was beautiful, at times reminiscent of Alonso a fellow midfield orchestrator (Imagine Meirelles and Alonso in the same team I think that could match Xavi and Iniesta)  , and his partnership with Lucas looks like the best midfield combination that we have at the club. I know that it reported that Gerard does not like playing this role but he won the player of the year award from playing on the right and as the captain he has got to do what is best for the team and not for his self.

    Our defending hasn't been great (Skrtel at times reminds me of the great Djimi Traoré). But we are missing chances at key moments of games and that only adds to the pressure when we don't convert.

    The question is Hodgson a gambling man?.. his track record shows that he isn't . Let's hope that he makes the right choices so what we don't have to endure another Match of the Day 2 show featuring another comical moment of the mother of all face rubs as Liverpool suffer defeat once more ...I always wondered that it was like to support Fulham ...now I know ;-(  

    On a positive note Liverpool have already secured their biggest away result this season in the high court ruling over Hicks and Gillett and I would take a dud season for that every time. I also enjoyed the Villa game on Monday night, it reminded me ironically of Houlier early games as a solo boss. The game was Sheffield Wednesday and we won 4-1, it was a [...]

  114. Thanks for analyzing the loss in an objective manner. Agree with your points. Besides Torres, Kuyt has been playing poorly lately. He's been giving the ball away too much and worst, he is constantly passing backwards.

  115. Jamie, You've been a good read lately and you've stuck by Roy, loyally and i respect that. But the game on the weekend was a terrible performance all over the park. To say you thought that was a good performance is mind boggling. And yes, its NOT all Roys fault but you can't defend Hodgson on this weeks game. And he provided NO MOTIVATION or CONFIDENCE from the side line. Slumped in a chair thinking "where did it all go wrong?" is not what a team struggling to gel needs to see from there manager. I like Roy and he sees a nice enough old man, but i have been a little disappointed in his side line manner all season.  Attrocious defending gets a 11 out of 10 this week. They totally aced the crap back line test.

    Keep up the good work Jamie, just too much blind faith this week mate. =)

  116. <span>Firstly JK I’ve been reading your articles for years now and realized one similar trend. You like to stir the pot by fighting unwinnable battles, not sure if you do this to attract a crowd for reading your posts or you’re just blatantly disillusioned like Roy.</span>
    <span> </span>
    <span>Secondly Roy is the boss and should take all accountability/responsibility. The guy is disillusioned by stating Liverpool played better in the first half then Newcastle. I’m not sure what game he was watching but I’m sure it wasn’t the same game as all the fans out there.</span>
    <span> </span>
    <span>Thirdly once and for all stop comparing Rafa to Hodgson. It’s like comparing a Ford and Ferrari. Rafa has kept us in the top 4 since he has started only once to be 5<sup>th</sup> behind Everton and his final tenure where we all know the boardroom played a big part on why the team performed so sh*t.</span>
    <span> </span>
    <span>Fourthly learn to take some criticism if you’re going to dish it out. Maybe you could even try understanding other Liverpool fans opinions other then just yours.</span>
    <span> </span>
    <span>Fifthly keep up with your disillusioned articles.</span>

  117. Instead of just regurgitating false figures you found on some LFC forum, why don't you get your facts right?  It is not 114 premier league away games; it is 82.  

    I can't be bothered to enter debate with someone as clearly fickle as you.

    You have your view, I have mine.  Let's leave it at that.

  118. Here's an example for you:
    As the Liverpool manager Hodgson should know by now that Skrtel's ability to head a ball is almost non-existent and Soto is much better at that. Therefore he should've prepared them both by telling the greek to be the one who marks Carroll, who is known for his aerial control, especially at set pieces. When Roy failed to do something so simple he failed miserably.
    I'm not always on his back because some of the players we have are... not good enough to say the least BUT he's supposed to work with and what he has and I'm expecting him to do at least that and he fails more often than not.

    The only answer he had to going behind was rubbing his face in disbelief. He's clueless and uninspiring. The sooner he walks out the Anfield doors for good the better.

    "Atrocious finishing" - AH! the only atrocious thing is trying to put the blame on Torres and Maxi. Maybe you've forgotten but missing chances is part of the game and creating just one or two good ones in a game isn't always enough to win it let alone score. Teams who want to win can't rely on their convertion ratio to be 100% because no team, not even Barca, come close to it - they simply need to create more chances which we are failing to do because of our tactics. 

  119. If I want to 'have a dig' I will.  If you don't like that's just tough luck.  I am going to continue to raise the issue of Benitez, and I will continue to criticise him, and if you or anyone else doesn't like it then I couldn't care less.  There are plenty of Benitez worship sites on the web; go and visit one of them if you don't want to hear people criticising him.

    In any event, as long as people refuse to be fair about Hodgson, and continue to try their hardest to ridicule and denigrate the man, I will be criticising Benitez.

  120. You're making irrelevant points.  Every manager buys players and then leaves them on the bench.  Maybe you should petition FIFA to change the rules so its 30 v 30 instead of 11 v 11.  Benitez did the same with many of his players; were you on his back too?!  Did you criticise him for not player Charles Itandje more often?  After all, he signed the player and kept him on the bench more often than not.  

    As I said, irrelevant points.

  121. I agree with the writer, its so much a manager can do with the squad LFC has right now. Even Man City who spend tons of money need a season to show results, where Hodgson only in charge for a mere 5 month with mostly average players. But I do see improvement in players such as Ngog, Lucas and Babel under Hodgson. If someone can turn wooden legs player like Bobby Zamora into a premier league regular scorer, then he is a very good coach/manager. Without money, Chelsea, Spurs and Man City would not get where ther are now. While Arsenal and Man Utd already have managers who are there for years and years. Even Fergeson nearly got the sack early in his tenure at Man U, and he needed (if I'm not mistaken) 4 years to bring in 1st Prelier league title to Man Utd. I'm as a Liverpool fans can't help but feel dissapointed with last week result, but I hardly blame Hodgson. This Newcastle team is an enigma, they even beat Arsenal at the Emirates by pumping long ball towards Andy Carrol. Hogdson needs time to coach players like Ngog and Babel to become betters players. And he needed time to turn Liverpool around. If Mancini with millions at his disposal were given time by Man City, I think its about fair for LFC fans to give Hodgson a bit more time.

  122. I still believe Liverpool can make it into the top 4, and as I've maintained all season, I still believe the club will be within touching distance of the top 4 by January. <span>
    What exctly are you basing that on?  a columo style hunch? a feeling in your water?  If we  break into that top four (which we haven't sniffed all season) then we will be the 1st team in Premiership history to get there with 16 defeats and 3 away wins.
    My imagination will not allow me to inflict such harm on myself. 
    Right then, I'm off to Narnia to reclaim my throne and talk tactics with my old mate Aslam....

  123. Last season we also went on a run of 1 win in 10 games, with 7 defeats out of 8, and 4 defeats in a row.  Last season was much worse than this season.

    So we've lost 6 games away from home?  Get over it.  Why don't you acknowledge the positives from the last 2 away games and see that the club is moving in the right direction in terms of away performance.  You can continue to revel in misery - enjoy!  

    I will continue to  look at things objectively and fairly.  I despise the overwrought, overly emotional, vindictive approach of so many LFC fans when it comes to Hodgson, and I refuse to be a part of it.

    If Hodgson gets sacked before the end of the season I'll still be able to say that I supported the manager.  You and many other fans will not; you will be guilty of betraying a manager of LFC, and betraying the whole ethos of the club.  Bravo!

  124. What you've said here is irrelevant.  I'm talking about 1 individual game; Reina might be good at distribution but in this particular game, he wasted possession too many times. Being a good player doesn't preclude the possibility of making mistakes in individual games. 

  125. You could use the same argument to say that Benitez was not responsible for some of the defeats last year. The coach picks the team, thus he is responsible. It was obvious our defense was in trouble, he could have done substitutions to fix it.

  126. Hoofball has been evident under every manager since Houllier.  Long balls were a regular feature of both Benitez and Houllier's teams.  It is the English way of playing football, and when you lack real creativity for so long like Liverpool have (playmakers, dribblers, wingers etc), then hoofball becomes an easy option.

    The idea that Hodgson tells players to hoof it is just ridiculous.  Do you really think players like Gerrard, Torres et al would stand for that?  Absolutely not.

  127. When people deliberately peddle false figures then I can't be bothered to respond to their points.  It's 13 wins in 82 prem games, not 125.

    And what the hell does Hodgson rubbing his face during the game have to do with *anything*?  You're just another 'fan' who uses pointless stuff to try and ridicule the manager.  You have no concept of being fair, gracious and reasonable, which is why you're not worth the time it would take to respond to your 'points'.

  128. Yes, you've well and truly got me there with that compelling logic.  

  129. Simon - are you referring to stat tracking or comment admin?

  130. What?? its getting harder and harder to follow you. YOU said that "<span>Games like this just show how poor the squad left by Benitez can be at times." clearly meaning that the reason we play so bad is because Rafa left behind a weak squad then you went on and said </span><span> "Lucas has improved this season but we can do better in that position." and "</span><span><span>Kuyt has too many barren spells" so my question to you is if these players are so bad according to you (not Roy) why isn't out manger playing players that he bought for those exact positions? Poulsen can play for Lucas and Cole can play for Kuyt can't they? So either our manger rates those players more then his own signing and that is fair enough but then fans like you can't blame the last manger for leaving behind bad players as our current mangers rates them enough to play them or that our manger has no clue what his doing and is leaving better players on the bench and that is still not Rafa fault as its not like our current manger is forced to play the last mangers player is he? he can play his own signing which his not doing.</span></span>
    <span><span>So no its an irrelevant question you just aren't able to answer it so you keep trying ignore the question..ill give you another try..    </span></span>

  131. Look its very simple .... Roy Hodgson is to blame 100% Why did he not pick Aurelio in place of Konchesky? That would have saved one goal without doubt. Why did Joe Cole not play? Why is he persevering with a phenominally bad Torres. Why did he choose Ngog over Babel who was just starting to show? Why did he not use Wilson or in defence. This guy played for Rangers first team? It seems to me that Torres has cost this team at least 6 goals with his poor form and anyone else would be dropped. We cannot go on playing with 9 men. So my message to you Mr hodgson is show your balls and drop both Torres and Konchesky

  132. Nobody forced him to pick the players benitez left. He could have played the other players which he bought like Cole, poulsin, jova ( he could have stopped his signinig), etc. Overall he did not do any adjustments during the game. I said this and I will keep repeating. RH must go.

  133. Look its very simple .... Roy Hodgson is to blame 100% Why did he not pick Aurelio in place of Konchesky? That would have saved one goal without doubt. Why did Joe Cole not play? Why is he persevering with a phenominally bad Torres. Why did he choose Ngog over Babel who was just starting to show? Why did he not use Wilson or in defence. This guy played for Rangers first team? It seems to me that Torres has cost this team at least 6 goals with his poor form and anyone else would be dropped. We cannot go on playing with 9 men. So my message to you Mr hodgson is show your balls and drop both Torres and Konchesky

  134. Look its very simple .... Roy Hodgson is to blame 100% Why did he not pick Aurelio in place of Konchesky? That would have saved one goal without doubt. Why did Joe Cole not play? Why is he persevering with a phenominally bad Torres. Why did he choose Ngog over Babel who was just starting to show? Why did he not use Wilson or in defence. This guy played for Rangers first team? It seems to me that Torres has cost this team at least 6 goals with his poor form and anyone else would be dropped. We cannot go on playing with 9 men. So my message to you Mr hodgson is show your balls and drop both Torres and Konchesky

  135. I've explained many times in other articles why I believe we'll finish in the top 4.  

    And if we don't then we'll just have to deal with it.  Anything higher than 7th is an improvement on last season anyway.

    I've also stated on numerous occasions that Liverpool needs to be within touching distance of the top 4 in january (i.e within 3-4 points). If we can do that, then we'll be in with a chance of 4th.

  136. Just drop Skrtel to bench and give Kelly or Wilson chance. And sell Skrtel in january, if can't, sell him in summer.

    if Torres is playing poor just sub him, don't wait until end of the match. I dont care if he is world class or school class . Hodgson could shut our mouths with win match after subbing earlier or dropping Torres to bench. End of the day Hodgson is the boss, he should show it to squad. Whoever plays bad, give others chance. At the end of the day football is all about teamwork not about Torres or Gerrard.

  137. ...............wow.......why don't you suck his d!@#$ while your at it.........................

  138. You are priceless Jaimie - I love your willingness to ignore consensual reality and stick to blind faith.

    At least you are no longer trying to hide behind pseudo statistical analysis to compare apples and oranges in your anti-Benitez agenda that has lasted longer than even the most ardent Benitez defenders could be bothered engaging with.

    Time to move on Jaime. I predict now you have actually moved to criticizing the players it won't be too long before you join us on the Hodgson out bandwagon. No shame in joining us late.  

  139. Fair enough but if a manager really wanted to stamp out the practice of playing hoofball, isn't it incumbent on him to find a way to do so? I mean what would be the point of having a manager dictating tactics if the players just go out on the field and do their own thing?

    Do you honestly imagine that if someone like Alex Ferguson were managing the current Liverpool team that we would still be playing hoofball? I seriously doubt it.

    This is my issue with, not just Hodgson, but just about every manager we've had since Dalglish - they haven't had the fortitude to get the players to play a different brand of football.

    My belief is that if a manager can't influence the way his team plays then he shouldn't be in the job. There are teams out there with players with far less ball skills and creativity (on paper anyway) in the back four than Liverpool but manage to not have to resort to the long aimless kicks to nowhere.

    Hodgson just happens to be the man in the hot seat at the moment - so he will just have to bear the brunt of my criticism.

    As for Gerrard and Torres not standing for the playing of hoofball - well the fact that they are still playing at Liverpool, (Gerrard, in particular) after 12 years of hoofball (going back to the beginning of Houllier's reign), speaks volumes for their acceptance of the tactic.

  140. Yes that's why I wanted you to verify the figures JAIMIE...because I can't be sure of the figures given by other website that tried to ridicule our beloved manager!!!


    Personally I also don't bother about winning on the road, we just try our BEST to get DRAWS, DEFENDS DEEP DEEP then try to WIN all our HOME GAMES, WE WILL GET INTO TOP 4 this season!!!!

    Like I said RUBBING HIS FACE means he is doing his best! Is the players to blame, didn't I just put that into writing? Did you read my comments properly??? I was wrong previously, now I am very sure that you are right all these while!!!



  141. But yet the hoofing is still all-too-common.

    So, going back to the question you cunningly ignored: Why is Hodgson not training the team out of it?

    Owen Coyle has achieved that exact task at 'Kings of Hoofing' Bolton and got them playing really attractive football.
    The hoofing was way, way worse there and their players are much, much less skilled on paper than ours - and yet Coyle is doing what Hodgson obviously is incapable of doing on the training ground. 

  142. I too now see the light, what was i thinking blaming Roy for our poor away form? Of course its not his fault that he has a -49 Goal difference away from home in the last four years being the manger of Fulham and Liverpool, its the players Rafa keeps leaving for him...DAMMNNNNNN YOUUUUUU RAFFFAAAAAA for making Roy look bad. WHY O WHY did Rafa leave such shitty players such as Carragher, Gerrard, Torres, Agger and Reina for poor Roy....did we really expect any decent manger to be able to win away from home with such player especially at places such as Newcastle?? come on people look at Newcastle's squad, if only Rafa had left us with a squad like that then Roy would be fighting for the CL spot. I see the light ROY and i will never question your lack of tactic again and while you sit there with your hands in your pocket refusing to make a sub unless your forced into it by an injury i will know that its Rafa's fault. Poor Roy having to sit there and be forced not to make any tactical changes at all while our players are forced deeper and deeper into there own zone before we eventually letting in a goal, if only he would be allowed to make a change of some sort...but he can't cause Rafa wont let him so I TOO WILL STAND WITH ROY....

  143. Well said 'What?'... Fantastic point...

  144. In the reserves? Really objective thinking. Well Done!

    The fact is that although most players are not criticising Roy they do not like his tactics. I have spoken with a couple of prominant players and have been told this in no uncertain terms.

    Torres was outstanding for LFC. His movement, creating space, finishing is ALL world class. He has been affected by injuries and the disarray which was and is LFC. Against Chelsea this season all were saying how great he is. It is no coincedence that he is a different player away from home.

    I was astounded that we got Roy as manager but knew  that we could not attract many top class managers at that time. His tactics early on were a disgrace but after the Spurs game I really thought we may have turned the corner. Too much praise when we beat very poor teams such as Villa and West Ham at home. Its all about Roys genius when we win but how bad the squad is when we lose. The majority of this squad finished 2nd on 86 points and lost only 2 games on the way. In most season that would have won the league.

    I am ranting a little as the sheer stupidity of some comments is hard to bear. Games are lost due to mistakes by the manager and the players but until the day comes when we appoint anew manager or sign a completely new team then as LOYAL LFC FANS we must be behind the manager and the team. Although that does not make any of them immune from fair criticism when the ALL do badly!

  145. Hey Jaimie, again an interesting read, however I do have to disagree with some of the stuff in it. You are correct of course in saying that defensive incompetence and our finishing being worse than a team of Carlton Cole's (in his current form he makes Heskey look prolific).

    However, it is true that the buck starts with the manager, and as such he has to shoulder some of the blame, which you allude to. As per the first goal it must have been Roy who told Skrtel to mark Carroll for the opening goal because afterwards it was Soto who picked him up for set pieces. That is the way it must have been given that following on from that it changed so quickly. The second goal is a result of our stand off tactics that have been employed by Roy, where we have two banks of four defending the ball the entire time we don't have it so it makes it harder to play through us I suppose; Lucas should, as you point out have closed him down, but who would have thought that Carroll would get past Reina from there (frankly shocking howler, although a good goal.)

    Our ability to put away our chances has been absolutely shocking this season, and it does show that we aren't converting the chances that we create given that we had the majority of possession and shots during the game. Soto's was a bad miss, as was Torres'. I think that Nando just does not seem interested anymore, and while I am not saying he has no loyalty to the club as he has proven it before that he does, he just seems to either be too scared to get stuck in, has lost it completely, or is simply not interested. I love the guy and on his day is the best in the world, but it is time that he was made to make it into the team on merit and performances rather than living off his name alone. I know what you mean Jaimie because had Roy left him out and we lost people would use that as another stick to beat Roy with but he needs to be brave now, otherwise it means that when Gerrard comes back we already know Meireles is moving out right again where he is inaffective or to the bench, thus breaking up a great partnership, that has in the main kept us strong and solid.

    This is not a personal attack on Roy because as you know from my previous posts Jaimie I am willing to give him time, and I still am as I fully believe that this can be turned around, but this result and all like it must stop and for that to happen our players must man up and start playing for the shirt, otherwise they need to get out as we have to start getting things right from now on!

    All in all though I think Roy done well yesterday and had our finishing been better, and our defense stronger, we would have came away with a win we deserved for over the 90 mins we played some good football (yet again down to Roy and his 442 system) and I think that our luck will change shortly, as the performances in our last two away games have been much, much better and it is only a matter of time before the ball goes our way!

    In Roy I Trust!

  146. Why don't we see the club is moving in the right direction in terms of away performance?!?! How losing to a(nother) newly promoted team is a move in the right direction I'll never know!?!

    Tottenham you could say was a decent performance (at a stretch) because we got dudded by a late goal but jesus, 3-1 against the geordies (who from memory hadn't beaten us in their last 9 attempts) is laughable, at least if it wasn't so depressing!

  147. THANK YOU RAFFFAAAAAAAA, I agree totally with what you commented, just like I wholeheartedly agree on what JAIMIE wrote!

    We should start gathering ROY SUPPORTERS....NOW WE HAVE 3, soon all those so-called FANS that WANT ROY to get SACK will know they are ALL WRONG!!! WE WILL BE PLAYING CHAMPIONS LEAGUE NEXT SEASON!!! PROBABLY GET 3 spot and A FA CUP WIN WILL TOP UP SUCH A PROMISING SEASON...WE WILL SWEEP MAN UTD ASIDE maybe knock 5 GOALS in OLD TOILET next month, NO PROBLEM  :)



  148. You are clueless Jamie Kanwar....

  149. Roy is the one to blame.

    1.Why play konchesky when you got fully fit Aurelio?Every match konchesky gets involved in any one of the oppositions goal.

    2.using Skrtel to mark Caroll when you got big greek.

    3.Hoof balls.

    If you think Roy the players are playing long balls on their own then Roy has lost control on his players that is he is incapable.But IMO Roy wants the player to play those stupid useless long balls.

    Maybe the errors made by Roy has reduced in this match but he is still the one to blame.

  150. Why does any argument about Hodgson have to be turned into an anti-Benitez thread.

  151. You are making very good points, Jaimie. I've had about the same thoughts when watching the game. And I knew that certain anti-Hodgson-sites will do what they can do best. Anyway, you are absolutely right. Those two away performances where not anywhere as bad as people are trying to make them. The bad thing on both occasions was that we lost. Otherwise I thought that we improved a lot and could have won both games if Torres and Maxi were willing to put it away.

  152. Both in the same post -

    Jamie Kanwar regarding Hodgson continuing to pick Torres:
    "Yes, Jay - it's that easy.  Just drop Torres."

    Jamie Kanwar regarding Hodgson continuing to pick Skrtel:
    "Hodgson cannot be blamed for picking experienced internationals."

    I'm struggling with your logic?

  153. Jamie,

    What was your tactical interpretation of Woys catch and sniff maneuver that he executed with such cunning precision at the end of his famous face rub :* ?

    Did he just go for the sniff or did he try taste his own brew? Shame to waste such a beauty he really should be bottling that stuff lol

    http://www.youtube.com/v/Dm4jJ0cZH3M" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="170" height="140

  154. Well, there is a difference. Benítez was at the club for six years and assembled the squad. Rafa picked the team from a squad that he thought was great. Hodgson has to pick the team from a squad that only Rafa thought is great.

    As for the substitutions Roy could have made. There is not much choice he's had given our current squad and injuries.

  155. At the time we signed Konchesky we had exactly zero senior left-backs on our books. Additionally we've had limited funds, were up for sale and boardroom unrest started to unfold. It surely was a sensible thing to get a left-back in that we could afford. Compared to Insua Konchesky is even an upgrade. Insua was out of position almost all of the time, slower than Konchesky too.

  156. Excellent article this one, Jaimie! My feelings exactly, disgraceful individual errors cost us this (and the Spurs) game. I realy think Kelly is a better option at the back for future games and Agger when he is fit again. I don't think such elementary errors would have occurred if Carra was there barking out his orders. do you?

  157. Looking a the bigger picture, I wonder what was the difference in Spurs when Harry Rednapp took over.  Hois first match was the one against Liverpool and the team rose above themselves to win it.  The Spurs team is almost the same that Harry inherited.  From relegation-threatened to omne that s challenging for top spots.  Does this not say something about the Manager being able to get the team to lift their spirit as well as their game to the highest level?

    ..and what about Bolton?

  158. Looking at the bigger picture, I wonder what was the difference in Spurs when Harry Redknapp took over.  His first match was the one against Liverpool and the team rose above themselves to win it.  The Spurs team is almost the same one that Harry inherited.  From relegation-threatened to one that i s challenging for top spots.  Does this not say something about the Manager being able to get the team to lift their spirit as well as their game to the highest level?  
    ..and what about Bolton?<span>  What big name players do they have?


  159. I agree with you about lack of leadership and more so in the defence since Carra s absence. I hope now that Aggar is fit, Roy use him more as i think Skertle who probaly fastest defender we got, has very little understanding what is going on around him and without Carra to give him instruction, he is like headless chicken. and about konchesky, i better not start. the soooner we start with aurelio is better.
    I think Roy tactics was not that bad againsts Newcastle. for once he let full back go forward in an away game. but why not start with Babel and Aurelio. that was his mistake.
    finally I am glad for once you didnot blamed Rafa for our lost

  160. every success or failure has an ethical or moral content as well as a factual or empirical thing. jamie i think, made this distinction. try and understand that. i completely agree with jamie. the coach can direct. but, the application is upto the players. and hodgson is in such a precarious situation that, he cant even afford to penalise guilty players like torres and skrtel. the team is still recovering from the disarray that benitez left it in. hodgson is the best person to provide the team the platform by the end of this season wherefrom it can begin its title aspirations next season from square one.

  161. all you dumb statisticians, tke this figures from the newcastle game:
      Liverpool Stats:
                                 5 shots on target
                               12 shots off target
                               55% possession
                                    27 crosses
                                     3 offsides
                                     5 corners

    this by any means, should imply that liverpool has won the game, right???
    now you all masters of statistics, i want you dumbs to explain the defeat!

  162. try and understand the fact that hodg does not have any player on the bench and turn the game around.
    we do not have a javier hernandez or a walcott or a pavlyuchenko

  163. had hodg not bought konchesky, who would have played in that position, with aurelio injured? stevie?

  164. all you people going after konchesky, why dont you turn your attention at kuyt instead?
    how many passes did he complete? how many balls did he snatch? how many times did he give the ball away?
    now for godsake dont argue that, he afterall scored the goal!!!
    it was campbell's gift, not his earning!

  165. I love how your response to Gary's post was to largely ignore his point and then say that as long as people criticise Roy you will criticise Rafa. What a wonderfully structured and argued point. Congratulations, you just displayed all the atributes of those you claim to oppose.

    As has been said above, Roy is responsible for the side. Therefore he takes any blame or praise for the performances. Critics don't need to provide examples because you have done all the work for them. Any match where the team fails to win is by definition Roy's fault.

    It doesn't matter if its down to poor individual performances, tactics or selection, Roy carries the can for poor insight, poor motivation, poor judgement, or a combination of all three. That is the nature of the game, those are the terms by which we understand the role of head coach to be.

    To suggest Roy is not culpable for the majority of the team's performance is not only wrong, its ridiculous. It would be impossible to argue the same for Alex Ferguson, Carlo Ancelotti, Harry Redknapp or Arsene Wenger. Those managers (and all others) are implicit in their team's performance and their outlook on the game is written into the dna of their sides. Uniquely talented (or poor) players have their place, but they are simply the spear head for the managers plans.

    Do you think that Blackpool would be where they are without the inspirational and inspired leadership of Olley? They were favourites to be relegated from the Championship last year and now look at them! the playing staff did not change, but the leadership took average, or poor players and made them something greater. Rafa did the same in 2005. He lost his way towards the end, but Roy has lost his way towards the start! 

    So you can demand FACTS (like you favourite manager) and you can demand real, measurable reasons why you should believe the proof of your eyes. But the reality is that you have already done it for us, every time you list the reasons why the team did not perform.

  166. It's good to see you no longer reject blind faith fandom Kanwar, yours for anyone who isn't Benitez is plain to see.

    When Benitez was in charge it was all his fault, now he isn't it is all the players fault. Amazing how those doubles standards work.

  167. excellent   jaimie!!

    i sincerely hope that these people will undestand the realities soon.

  168. roy spent 5 on poulsen.
    rafa spent 17-- 3 times as much and yet more on aquilani!!

    recall that fact!!!

  169. SPIN, SPIN, SPIN.

    Hodgson is the manager, he's responsible.

    He picks the tactics, he sets up the team, he handles the training, he handles the match preparation, he is responsible for going man-to-man marking and putting Skrtel on Carroll instead of Soto - not that Skrtel should be ridiculed as viciously as he's being done by an alleged LFC fan in this article.

    Carroll is one of the most in form strikers in the EPL at the moment so he's always going to cause us problems.

    The main issue was once again our defensive approach away from home, Hodgson sets us up to play narrow, restrictive football and for the most part we play in our own half and rarely get forward - perhaps he's playing a counter attacking game allowing the opposition more time on the ball in their own half and hoping to hit them on the counter, alas these tactics may work with Fulham or in Scandanavia but they will not work at Liverpool and I don't want them to, it's boring, boring football.

    It amazes me that you go out of your way to defend Hodgson Jaimie, yet you'd be whipping Rafa with the biggest stick you could find if it was him at our helm - very hypocritical, and why are you STILL comparing Rafa's Inter to Hodgson at Liverpool? NOBODY CARES ABOUT BENITEZ' INTER, HE'S GONE!

    I've a question for you Jaimie, are you still adamant we're going to finish 4th? If you are I'd happily bet you £1000 right now that we won't, I'll even speak to my accountant to set up a mutual trust account to deposit both our £1000 payments into for a future pay date dependant on who wins.


  170. Newcastle sack thier manager, because of poor results, even though as a promoted team thier expectations are much lower than LFC - And yet they are above us in the league!!

    Do Newcaatle have more ambition than LFC?

    The bottom line is RH must be sacked asap. Football Managers are judged on results.  

  171. Me to please,
    I have followed Liverpool Fc all my life, and been a season ticket holder for over 20yrs, so contrary to Roy`s and Jamie`s belief i like many supporters know a thing about football.

    Roy Hodgson for all his years experience is the most inept manager i have witnessed, to not have a back up plan is inexcusable, his inability to change or alter his tactics is criminal, and his lack leadership is just down right hilarious.

    Contrary to what Jamie will have you believe in his articles the majority of Liverpool fans never wanted Roy as manager, and his current reign is proving us all right.... 

  172. Dude, you're going too far with this. If Rafa had still been in charge you would have called this display *PROOF* that Rafa Benitez is a rubbish manager. I would suggest that it is at least a degree of evidence that Roy is too. That and his entire history in management.

  173. just plowed through yet another one of your analitical pieces jamie and must admit i reckon youre actually quite an astute observer , i,ve taken to holding off for a day or two commenting in the wake of a defeat because we all see red mist and start running off at the mouth . youre right when you say that roy cant be held personally responsible when his world rated striker is put through one and one and fluffs it , i do actually feel for roy i reckon he will / has to go because record books dont acknowledge how unlucky you are only wether you win or not . he set the team up to win on sat kept positive with babel for ngog just it aint happening . we seriously as a team need to do heading practice ! wether in defence or attack we're pretty dreadful only soto any good and typically he missed a great chance at end of first . for me torres has to be dropped , like you said it sends a bad message to understudies if the star man gets automatic play time when hes playing as badly for as long as he has been . first goal v chelsea he shinned it into the ground , second was a pearler to be fair , but when he scored against utd last season at anfield it was a glorious strike , yet ngog scores a near identical one against arsenal and hes lucky keeper is to blame for not covering his near post ! last thing for me to say , i've got utd mates who remember standing in the stretford end 20 years ago screaming for fergie to go , they're greatful that never came to be now , just look at ancelotti great manager , far better squad than us and now hes having to 'manage' not all that easy .

  174. Jaimie, very simple. Hogdson is to be blamed bacause those were his tactics and the players followed. Cannot be any simpler than that.

  175. The team was shit yesterday, as in many away games we just didn't turn up and play the same way we do at home. It can happen once, but every away game? Surly something is wrong with the management?

    How you can blame Johnson, Skertl, Lucas and now even Reina when players like Poulson and Konchesky get a free ride, what's the difference between the two? Well i think we all know.

    How the hell he didn't put on Cole for 10 mins when we were losing is beyond me, even if he isn't in top form surly we needed to change it up a bit? It just looks like with 10 mins to go he had given up.

    The reason why the loss Saturday is Roy's fault is the same reason last season is all down to Rafa.

    Like i have said many times, how can last season be worse than this season when we are, when looking at the league, doing worse in all aspects?

    I'm not going to ridicule the man the same as I didn't ridicule Rafa. But surly this can not carry on.

    I believe this is one of the negative issues in having American owners, due to the way American sports are set up (finishing bottom can actually be a good thing for the further progression of the franchise), I don't think they realise that if we do not at least get into europe this year, this will set us back many years. We will not be able to attract the better players to get us back into the top 4 and our top players will leave.

    In my eyes this season is a watershed moment, we either finish in the top 6 (top 4 is needed really) or we will drop back and spend the next 10 years trying to get back to the top, see Spurs as an example. The question is, do you trust Roy with this kind of responsibility?

  176. he spent 280m according to you. How much did he recoup? How much did he bring in due to great progress in Champions League??

    We can all find stats to back our opinions up.

    We should back Roy. Even those of us who do not rate him until the day comes that he is no longer LFC manager.

  177. If long balls balls were a regular feature under Houllier and Benitez the players such as Stevie G obviously didnt complain for over 11 years so why would they complain now under Roy?

    More contradiction my friend!

    I do think there is an element of playing the English way under Roy especially away from home. Roy is consistant with one thing...V bad away form!

  178. Many thanks brother. Your writeup clearly is a masterpiece as u took care of everything that needed to be taken care of. Unfortunaly the pain is there and seriously too. That is what we need we need to to kill now and very fast too.

  179. It's very frustrating. The last couple of away games have seen LFC play some decent attacking football at times, and create more chances. However, the ease at which some of our more experienced players lose concentration during their defensive duties is of great concern. As manager, RH will have to take some responsibility. However the players are also culpable..they need to stay sharp and focused throughout the whole game.

    It's clear that there is a definite lack of leadership on the pitch. There is no doubt that Jamie C's marshalling of the defence is sorely missed. In addition, Skrtel's form is overy worrying. With Agger's injury problems, and Wilson's comparative lack of top level experience, I am sure NESV will prioritise the signing of a new defender in the January transfer window. My personal preference would be to try and get Cahill from Bolton, although I'd be interested to hear who other fans think could be suitable. It could well be that he is priced out of our market, but the fact that he is quite young with a good level of experience should fit in nicely with NESV's acquistion strategy.

    Another area of concern is the lack of chances we are converting. Torres is still out of form despite the mini resurgence that we saw a few weeks back.  In my opinion Roy made a mistake playing Torres straight from the start. Obviously having a baby is a very emotional and tiring experience. After having missed a game and maybe a couple of training sessions as well, it definitely would have made sense to rest him if possible. As others have mentioned, Babels reward for a goal, and a good overall performance against Villa, was yet another place on the bench. I really don't think he will stay after January.

    Whilst I totally accept that fans have every right to question and critiscise Roy, the puerille denigration (face rub videos on youtube etc) i have seen over the last couple of days is really not helpfull in any way. Making our manager an object of ridicule can only be harmful to the club. Individual supporters are entitled to their opinions, but ultimately the man who decides the managers fate is John Henry, and as it stands he is still supporting RH. Apparently JH, Thomas Werner and Iam Ayre are on LFC TV tonight at 5pm. It will be fascinating to hear what they say, my gut feeling is that will issue a statement of support for RH early on, and then focus on other areas such as stadium redevelopment plans etc.

  180. Ah the typical JK line, if you don't like it you can go elsewhere. Why don't you actually try to answer the points instead. Tell me why you think this squad will finish 4th. Provide a proper reason, don't just tell me we could get 4th if we win these games. Tell me why, with the team and manager we have now, and from what you've seen so far this season why you think we will finish 4th?

    Why not give Rafa's squad credit when i the squad wins? Surely that would be fair, or is it only his fault when we lose. Don't try to put me in the anti-Hodgson camp, I've said from the very beginning I am willing to give him to January. I've been fair to him throughtout and with a month to go he is beginning to test my patience.

    There was no need to bring Rafa into this debate but you couldn't help yourself. Roy has had 6 months now. He inherited it but it is now his squad.  And the squad he inherited was not as bad as you like to make out. 3 proven world class players in Reina, Gerrard and Torres. Numerous other full internationals, more players at the World Cup that any other Premier Lague team. Players with Champions League. Players who only two seasons ago were good enough to finish 2nd. Our squad on paper is better than Bolton, Newcastle, and Sunderland who are all above us. How many world class players do they have? He's had enough time to mould this team in to his own. And in some repsects he already has, particularly defensively. In the last 10 seasons since 2000 we have never after 17 games into the season lost 7 games. We have never lost 6 away games. We have never sat in 10th position in the league after 17 games. Only twice before have we conceded more goals, in 00-01 where we'd conceded 24 and and 09-10 where we conceded 23 but in both of those seasons we were in an better overall position, in  6th and 7th respectively. Only once have we conceded more away goals that this season, again in 00-01. So defensively he has made us worse. Or is it Rafa's fault?

    In the last 10 years we have never scored fewer goals. Bet that must be Rafa's fault too? But how can it be, even in his worst season last year his team managed to score 34 goals and concede less. But no, its easier to blame Rafa than our current manager.  

  181. Last season we finished 7th scoring 65 and letting in 35 goals. Chelsea won the league scoring 103 and letting in 32 goals.  Arsenal, Tottenham, Man city, Villa conceded 41, 41, 45, 39 respectively. ONLY MAN U and CHELSEA conceded less than Liverpool last season 28 and 32 goals respectively. It is obvious, scoring goals is our main problem. This season to date, we are the 9th best defensively conceding 22 goals out of 17 games. 

    From the above it is glaring Roy is at fault. These are my arguments.

    1) We scored 65 goals last season 5th highest in the league and conceded 35, 3rd lowest in the league. (OBVIOUSLY WE NEEDED A STRIKER).

    2) We conceded 35 goal last season with ONLY MAN U and CHELSEA's performed better than us. I see not much wrong with defense. Johnson was criticized,  Insua was let go for Konchesky (Statisitics shows Johnson and Insua were part of the 3rd best defensive unit in the EPL). Why change it if you are not going to improve on what we have?

    Given those statistical analysis, It is clear Roy is not up to the job. A good tactician ll have noticed our back 5 (Johnson, Carra, Agger/Srytel, Insua/Aurrelio and Masherano were the 3rd best defensive unit in the league and our main issue is SCORING GOALS. We needed reinforcement in the top end of the pitch. strikers and Wingers.

    Roys focused was on a Keeper, a leftback, a defensive midfielder thingss we didnt have any issues with last season.



  182. even allowing for the mistakes at the back , we have played poorly tactically away from home and even at home sometimes . we defend too deep so theres no link with the forward (notice i said forward) also are possession away from home is much less percentage wise than it used to be. giving oppenents more opportunity to get balls in are penalty box or turning are defenders . these are the managers tactics and have failed him all his career SO WHY DID WE INSTALL HIM AS MANAGER ?    SO THE BOTTOM LINE IS TACTICS DICTATE PERFORMANCE.  players are not good enough as a unit to defend deeply for long periods ,the manager should know this and tinker with tactics accordingly

  183. JK. You mentioned why changed a winning team in one of your response to another contributor.

    Headline in one of the papers was "ALEX FERGUSON will change his team for an incredible 150th time in a row when they host Valencia tonight."



  184. Yes, I would have posted that if it was his 6th year in charge, which it WAS last season.  In Benitez's first 3 years, I rarely criticised him, and in his first season I took the same approach with him as I did with Hodgson, i.e. support.

    I treat all managers the same.  If this was Hodgso's 6th year in charge, I would be calling for his head like I was for Benitez last season.  It's only his 5th month in charge.

  185. No passing ability, no movement, we look hassled and harried in defence, we have a striker who is missing chances he used to put away in his sleep, we lack creativity, we lack tactical nous, we lack pace, we don't win the ball in midfield, when we do we don't have anyone with the ability to pass it to a player to get us moving forwards again with any purpose.

    We don't get down the sides of teams, everything is played in front.

    It is obvious that when you play Newcastle, they will send the ball forwards to their 6 foot 8 striker and look for knock downs, so what do we do, we sit back to the edge of our 6 yard line and don't pick up any of the men in the middle of the goal.

    Secondly, we pick a Brazilian and a Portuguese, typically passers and play makers rather than ball winners, to play in the middle of the park away from home against Nolan, Barton and Tiote. Three players who love to get stuck in and hassle and fight. Result of which is that when we have the ball, we lose it too quickly and when we don't have the ball, we can't get it back. Last few years when we have played Newcastle, we have played 4-5-1 and absolutely murdered them in midfield and cut them to pieces at the back by stretching them wide and long. Campbell and Taylor have got absolutely no pace between them yet all our play is in front, nothing is played down the sides or pushing the full backs wide, isolating Campbell with Torres.

    Then finally, Skrtel was atrocious and looked like he didn't know who Kyrigiakos was. For the third goal, Lucas watched Carroll get the ball, line up the shot, take a touch and shoot and didn't even close him down.

    We go 2-1 down, so Hodgson, who still has two changes to make with 10 minutes to go, brings Jovanovic on for Maxi but leaves Cole (no matter how poor he has been) on the bench instead of taking off a defender and trying to get the second. Why wait 5 minutes between them going in front and bringing on another attacker, and then when you do so, you take off an attacker in his place??!!

    The whole tactical aspect of our game is shot to pieces, we don't make any positive substitutions, we seem to not know how to set up against teams and worse, seem to have NO idea who we are playing against!! The week before, West Brom battered Newcastle playing 4-5-1 yet we head straight into this game playing 4-4-2 because Hodgson doesn't know any different.

    <span>People may say that the team has to pick itself at the moment due to injuries, no it doesn't, the team picks itself because each game Hodgson is living on hope (certainly away from home) that somehow, by a wing and a prayer, things will go well for us. Newcastle had won 2 games all season at home, had lost to Blackpool, Blackburn and Stoke, had drawn against Wigan, Fulham and Chelsea and had only beaten Sunderland and Villa and we made it far far too easy for them because firstly of how we set up and secondly, because when it came to the crunch, our players didnt stand up, didnt take the fight to Newcastle and worse of all, didn't look bothered about losing.</span>

  186. No, it's an irrelevant question, and no amount of dressing it up will change that

  187. How was last season much worse than this season? Last season after 17 games we were in a better overall position; won more games, lost less, scored more goals and conceded less. How is any of that worse?? It is quite clear from my post that I am talking about the league only, because that is all that matters to me this year. Anything else is a bonus. You can bring in other competitions in to it if you want.

    What are the positives to take from the last two games? Please tell me as obviously you have noticed something I have not. All I can see is that we played better but stilll LOST. Earlier in the season we played badly and lost but there was hope that if the performance on the pitch got better we'd win away games. We have improved but we are still losing away from home. The Spurs performance was good and parts of Newcastle were decent but what matters is that we lost both and conceded 5 goals in doing so. If you are happy with a decent performance but losing then so be it but it is not good enough for me. I would rather we play badly away from home and get some points.

    You're not being objective or fair. In fact you are being purely subjective and biased. You are on a litle crusade to show that you are better than other fans by supporting the manager through the bad times. This is the worst start in the last 10 years, in every way we are worse under Hodgson than were under Houllier and Rafa, including their first seasons; games won, games lost, goals conceded, goals scored after 17 games. This is the worst away record of recent times. If you are too pig headed to not see that then you are far from objective and fair.

    How is it a betrayal to criticise the manager? Not once in my post did I say that Hodgson should get the sack but I did say I can appreciate why other fans want him to go. That is fair and objective. To blindly state that he shouldn't be sacked because it is not the Liverpool way is not objective.

    Don't try to put me in the anti-Hodgson camp. I have said from the very beginniing that I will give him until January and I stick to that. I'm not calling for his head but I can criticise him if I want.

  188. I'll take the second deletion of my comment as you conceding that your post was illogical and hypocritical

  189. There is no reason to blame Roy, what he can do is at max  is to get the best out of the players, if the players are not upto that level what can he do. Dont blame his summer signings, with the ownership situation he had no other option. He needed someone who is willing to come to work under such circumstances. He is perfect for Liverpool and he doesnt need to prove it!!

  190. Agree with you 100%, been saying the same thing to my friend for months and he wouldn't listen.  Roy's current team could easily be joint leaders this morning on 32points but individual mistakes have cost LFC big time and 4 matches stand out for me, Arsenal home 2pts dropped (Reina error), Wigan away 2pts dropped (Gerrard rattles crossbar when a simple pass to Torres who taps-in 81mins 1-2 win for LFC), Spurs away 3pts dropped (Maxi and Torres miss sitters) and Newcastle away 3pts dropped (at 1-1 Torres misses a 1-on-1, Ngog and Soto missed free headers earlier).  How anyone blames Roy for the current situation is beyond me.

  191. totally agree about Reina & 3rd goal. possibly could have done better with 2nd too. according to soccernet, newc only had 3 shots and all 3 went in.  it's not a one off. remeber arsnal 1s tgame of season punch one into own net. recent europa cup game drops an absol clanger. arg 4 spain 0 this yr..another clanger  yet somehow his teflon reputation remains intact.  well done for stating it y/self. some people would hide away from these uncomfortable truths.  not saying he's a bad keeper, but certainly playing well below his level.

  192. totally agree with you about reina & the 3rd goal.  possibly could have done better wiith the 2nd. 3 shots faced, 3 let in.  we had the better of it apart from that.

  193.    Rafa has his share of injuries last year, and if we consider his first year in charge he inherited the GH team (which some believe that it was far better than the current team), and he still managed to get the CL, and a cup final. In any case, I really don't want to compare Rafa with RH.
      The only reason that we are ONLY 10 points of the lead and not more, is that this year, the teams at the top of the table are losing and drawing more games than usual.

  194. although I don't share your openion about finishing higher than 7th is an improvement, (Rafa finished 5th in his first year). My Fear would be if we end up in positions lower than 7th, which based on current away form is a possibility.

  195. although I don't share your openion about finishing higher than 7th is an improvement, (Rafa finished 5th in his first year). My Fear would be if we end up in positions lower than 7th, which based on current away form is a possibility.

  196. You could argue that we could have won the league last year if it wasn't for the similar mistakes and the beach ball

  197. The defence needs strengthening, I reckon, and people talk about lack of depth, but your midfield is pretty useful and you have Gosling to come through yet, cos he has not played yet. Carroll is looking better every week. If he could stay out of trouble he would be the next big thing in this country. I think Tiote is one of the signings of the season, aprt from, possibly, Chamakh at Arsenal. Really rate him, will swop you for Poulsen, Dan!! 

  198. Jamie, on the whole i would agree with you.  Our players need to take more responsibility and do there jobs properly.  Torres completely let down the manager, players and fans with that performance.  Taking that game as an isolated games, Torres' performance was so far below par it was a joke.  I actually cannot believe that we lost to such a poor Newcastle team who were there for the taking.  I don't believe that Hodgson is to blame per-sa, because he picked the exact same 11 and formation as the Villa game witht he exception of Torres returning.  He tried to build on the confidence of last week but the players failed to respond.  we played well enought (neat and tidy) for long periods but the fact we wree eventually beaten 3-1 by such an abject team devioid of any creativity is a major worry.  The fact we are so easy to beat is a problem.

    Perhaps here lies the problem though.  There is little Hodgson could have done but perhaps the players are just not fully behind him?

    As for team selection, i cannot believe that a single person would think that Konchesky is a better LB than fit Aurelio?  I'm not and have not ever gone over the top owith Konchesky signing as i can fully understand him bringing in a player he know's and trusts when he was so desperate for a LB, but for me, i alswas hoped/expected that Aurelio would be 1st choice when fit and Konchesky would provide cover.  it worries me now that they may not be the case.

    Skrtel - another player who has the attributes to be an excellent defender.  But he has needed dropping for a while.  His situation reminds me so much of Insua's last season where over-use led to some very poor performances.  Neither player (Insua or SKrtel) for me are bad players and both could have (had) futures at the club but i do not think they have been handled correctly (by 2 different managers now).  Both have needed to be taken out the firing line for a few eeeks and brought back in when fresh and ready to go again and compete for a place.  I accept this couldn't have happened in Skrtel's case at Newcastle, but i have been saying this for a while and there were times earlier in thes eason when he was playing at the expense of Agger which i did not agree with.