8 Nov 2011

HOUGHTON: "They can't take the pressure..."

Ray Houghton has thrown his support behind Jordan Henderson and Andy Carroll, exhorting fans to give the two players time to settle in properly.

Henderson and Carroll have come in for regular criticism this summer for their underwhelming performances, but Houghton argues that making the big step up from comparatively smaller teams can be 'daunting':

"When you're at Sunderland or Newcastle, and you go to a Man United or a Liverpool, with the history those clubs have got, some players can make it and some can't, because they can't take the pressure of what's happened before at these clubs.

"I've seen it so many times: great players go to world renowned clubs and they just can't live up to the expectation.

"Give them time. It takes time to bed-in somewhere. Not everyone is going to fit in straight away; not everyone is going to be a Jose Enrique or a Suarez.

"It's daunting; it can hinder players, so just give them some time, and I think they'll come good".

I agree with the general point that new players need time, but in Carroll's case, I just don't see him making it in the long term.

I think Henderson has a big role to play in the future, but only if he's managed properly, and that means playing in the right position.

That's not happening at the moment, and trying to convert him into a right winger is arguably counter-productive, especially when he has to suffer the embarrassment of being substituted at half time against a newly promoted side.

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. too many excuses... just get on with the game and play...

  2. They havent come from non league football. Both have played at the highest level and should be adapting better

  3. The problem is also with other players not performing not just the recent signings. Tale Lucas e.g. he cant win a decent tackle, cant dribble past oponents, lose the ball during body contact, cant head the ball well, unable to clear long high balls because of his height and cant cross the ball well to the penalty box, inaccurate long passing etc. He just roam the pitch and does short passes or pass the ball backwards.

  4. If they are finding it daunting then why play them from the off ? Surely they should be the ones to come on 15 - 20 from the end and ease them in gradually and not at the expense of experienced players like  Kuypt, Bellamy, Maxi, Spearing etc ?

  5. We only need to refine our tactics and play players in form, the players are more than good enough. We have a fine squad we just need to use them better!!!!!...........4-2-3-1....no Carroll.

  6. You do realise henderson played on the wing for sunderland and was only moved into centre mid because of Lee Cattermole being injured?

  7. The truth is painful: we have thrown a fortune to get these players, and now it is  only Suarez we have to rely on.

  8. I think that the logical common sense mantra surrounding Houghton's point, it should prevent from useless and counter-productive knee jerks reactions, but I suspect that the small section of fickless fans which seems to support Our Club during these modern times will never change their attitude. It's a problem related to modern football, with new rich Prem giants and Champions League football to reach at any cost: all these elements are changing fans perspectives, growing istant success demands sooner rather than later.
    No CL football after just one season? Sack him.
    6th after 11 games? Sack him.
    Ancelotti? Yes on board now!
    No matter if We're talking about the third possible managerial change in three yrs for a CLub ran by Shankly, Paisley, Fagan & Dalglish in 40 yrs of glorious football.
    And If You look at Shankly's early days in charge, it was not an honeymoon.
    I suspect that If few today knee jerks of modern times would be in action during the beginnins of Shank's reign, They would have called for Shanks's head.
    People still think that flows of money plus foreing stars from abroad guarantee immediate success but the reality is that after flows & flows of money, in more than 10 yrs Chelsea won just three titles.
    I can bet that City will win no more than once, twice times.
    Deep Success requires times, work & patience.
    Kenny has bought good players for the future like Henderson, Coates as Accademy is nurturing some exciting talents like Coady, Sterling and don't forget Kelly, Flanno and surely Shelvey. I agree with You Jamie: Hendo is surely a one for the future but Yes, Kenny is not managing well the guy.

  9. Jamie - Completely agree with your points on AC and Hendo. It's glaringly obvious that Jordan's best position is in the centre but instead it's yet another case of trying to fill the RW position with a player who has never played there in his life. Why oh why have we not addressed this issue sooner? Substantial team investment and we are still lacking in this area. IMO we've missed a quality RW since Macca left in the 90s.

  10. Ashfah - Your personal quest against Lucas is laughable at times - do you understand what his role is in this team? What a defensive midfielder is meant to do? Lucas is not meant to be dribbling where he plays - he is ultimatley the last midfielder in front of our defense so why would he attempt to dribble in such a dangerous area? And cross the ball into the penalty box? What planet are you on? How and why would our defensive midfielder constantly get himself to the wings to meet your expectations of crossing into the penalty box - sorry to sound patronising but what do you expect to happen if our Defensive midfielder who has a role to protect the back four dribbles down to the wing and then crosses as you expect him to and then the opposition deals with the cross and then breaks on an unprotected defence?

    If you are gonna criticise Lucas dont sound like a 12 year old playing FIFA, its as silly as saying Nigel De Jong does not do enough overhead kicks and John Obi Mikel is not very good because he never does beats people and backheels through balls for strikers - They are DEFENSIVE MIDFIELDERS!

  11. I was at the game on Saturday and the problem for me wasn't just that these players weren't good enough it was that Liverpool played at such a slow pace, Henderson for me had a disaster of a game, he kept getting pulled out of position every time and dont think he made one successful tackle in the game either... Charlie Adam had a poor game aswell, always trying to make the "killer" pass and failing... I think our best formation to play would be 4-3-3 with Bellamy and Downing playing behind Suarez, Gerrard, Adam and Lucas in midfield, Johnson, Agger, Skrtel and Enrique in defence and Reina in goal... I cant believe Bellamy hasn't got into the side, his pace is unbelievable and when he has linked up with Enrique on the left they've been great, creating goals, we're missing that. Their doesn't seem to be any fluidity to our play at the moment. I think we need some real pace on the wings and another world class striker like Fernando Llorente or Mario Gomes this coming transfer window... We need to be back in the Champions League and the way we are playing at the moment its not looking likely i'm afraid... Look at the desire the reserve lads had in the last 6-7 games of last season, where is that desire gone???

  12. I was tempted to make a few comments but thought otherwise. Didn't think it'll help with building team morale especially that of the new signings. Not at this delicate stage when LFC is performing dismally. And not after being reminded of Bill Shankly's words, " If you can't support us when we lose or draw, don't support us when we win." LFC, YNWA.

  13. "Henderson spent the majority of the season on the right side of midfield but played centrally in the absence of Lee Cattermole;" (taken from wikipedia).

    Never played there eh???

    Agree we need a proper right winger but the thought of adam and henderson occupying both centre mid berths sends shivers.

  14. Lucas has got more in his game then De Jong and Mikel now and again he will show it in games but because he has been programmed to play a certain way he has lost apart of his attacking instinct,I thought the way Swansea were playing it was a good job Lucas was on the field if Henderson had been in the middle and played like he did on the wing god knows what could have happened! In those last 10 mins when we finally pushed them back and they did start playing for a draw Lucas was also prominent in attack as well.

  15. It took me one game watching Sunderland to identify Henderson as a quality prospect, but being played out of position on the right. When we bought Henderson Sunderland fans were arguing that he is a right winger, but just because a manager decides to play a player in a certain position that doesn't prove that that's his best position - Henderson is no more a winger than Meireles was last year.

    That manager's at a club like Liverpool can continue to make such ridiculous selections astounds me. I couldn't give two craps about how much more they supposedly know about the game than me, or what they see on the training ground - I only care about matchdays and Henderson (and Meireles) are central midfielders without a shadow of a doubt. Anybody suggesting otherwise are fooling themselves. And fooling a lot of others too by the looks of it...

  16. Meireles played on the wing for us, that doesn't make him a winger. Then again we've played Kuyt, Dossena, Aurelio, Cisse and even Heskey on the wings ffs! Premiership manager's are not infallable, irrespective of how long they've been in the game or how many trophies they may have won

  17. They should've been eased in behind the likes of Aquilani and Meireles.
    The likes of Kuyt & Maxi have already proved that they're not good enough to carry the team either.

    Other top teams are desperate to have strength in depth. We had quality depth for a few weeks. For some reason it was decided that we're not allowed to have good players on the bench though. And so instead we have a situation where on a regular basis the manager refuses to even use his 3 allocated subs, even when the team is struggling.

  18. A visit to the opticians I think........

  19. Think people are confusing 'right midfield' with 'right wing'.  A midfielder played on the right doesn't have to be a winger.  Gerrard played on the right for us, Zidane used to play on the left for Madrid.  Are they wingers?  No, they are good players who then go where they want to influence the game.

    If you look at the tactics, Henderson did play more centrally as the first half went on, Johnson offered width and Skrtel moved over slightly to the right.  That's how it looked to me anyway.

    Of course they need time to settle.  Some of the utter and complete garbage being spouted by some 'fans' is beyond belief.  The instant success brigade are not wanted in L4.

  20. Ray Houghton says ..

    "Lets flop out our withered hairy man boobs & let all the children of the world suckle upon them as though we were real womin"

    The more I hear from ex players like Ray the more I am starting to dislike them .

    Bringing any 22 + 21 year old into any team as soon as they have been signed is stupid .

    We shouldnt have to do it .

    We have 19 named senior players when we are allowed 25 in the Premier League & a club our size can easily afford 30 - 35 .

    But we would rather rip the fans off & keep our media profile high by being limp wristed excuse making failures in preference to standing up & being counted , spending the money & going out there & genuinely competing.

    Sign in Arjen Robben , Lukas Podolski & Kaka ,  let Carroll & Henderson compete with them for a 1'st team place , then if we need it , which I sincerely doubt we ever will , go ask Ray Houghton who can & who cant take the pressure .