“It’s everything to do with Roy”
That appeared on the BBC website at half-time of the Newcastle-Liverpool game. I’d decided to have a quick look on my phone to see what people were saying and once again I was dismayed by what I was reading. Similar thoughts were being expressed at full-time.
So, according to that fan (and I’m sure he was not alone in his opinion) Kyrgiakos giving a stupid freekick away, Kuyt losing an aerial challenge and nobody taking responsibility for marking Kevin Nolan was down to Hodgson. Similarly, the assistant who missed Nolan being in an offside position was Hodgson’s fault.
Fernando Torres missing a chance that he would normally put away in his sleep was Hodgson’s fault. David N’gog missing a presentable chance was all down to Hodgson. Dirk Kuyt putting in an awful performance (goal excepted) and Maxi Rodriguez once again going AWOL, that’s Hodgson’s fault too.
Of course we can’t forget Martin Skrtel completely missing the ball allowing Barton to poke on in. That was clearly Hodgson’s fault. Similarly, Lucas who rather than make a challenge, instead decided his best course of action was to stand and watch Andy Carroll shoot from 30 yards. Hodgson’s fault too.
Then, horror of horrors, Hodgson made the unprecedented, disrespectful gesture that has Liverpool ‘fan sites’ buzzing with apoplexy. He… (gasp!) rubbed his face! I mean how dare he? To all those fans as shocked and appalled as I was to see a man rubbing his face (I for one may never fully recover from the sight), I once saw him…blow his nose! (sob!). Such facial actions are obviously not the mark of a good manager!
Here it is, if you can bear to watch such egregious behaviour!
This defeat was not his fault. Individual errors were to blame here not team selection or set-up. In out last two away games we have played much more attacking football and could quite easily have come away with two wins. I’m not quite sure what he could’ve done differently in that game with the restrictions in selection due to injury. Also, I thought we moved the ball around quite well in the middle, Meireles and Lucas played well. The problem was that we offered nothing out wide and made it far too easy for Newcastle to defend against us.
Since day one, Hodgson has faced opposition and was never given a chance by so many ‘fans’ it’s embarrassing. Its perfectly okay to not like him as a manager, perfectly okay to not think he is the right man for Liverpool, I’ll have no problem with anyone expressing those views provided they can back them up with valid reasons why the have that opinion.
What I don’t think is okay are those who do nothing but ridicule Hodgson. These are the fans who call him ‘Woy’, making fun of his speech impediment. The fans who deliberate use misleading and inaccurate stats to ‘prove’ their points. The fans who decided that Hodgson is useless in the transfer market, despite operating on a relative shoestring (because as we know Benitez never wasted a penny), forgetting about Meireles, who looks to be a great player, focussing on Poulsen and Konchesky as they had decided that these players should be given up as dead losses before they’d played a game for the club (Check out Liverpool’s record with and without Poulsen playing this season and you’ll be surprised).
There are even now calls for some of the truly ridiculous protests that were aimed at Hicks and Gillett to be repeated against Hodgson (wonder what flag they’ll burn this time?), as some ‘fans’ believe they succeeded in driving out two owners who had already decided to sell the club, rather than what they really succeeded in doing, i.e. dragging the clubs name through the mud and making us a laughing stock.
Hodgson’s biggest failing seems to be that he forgot to bring his magic wand with him to Liverpool. The magic wand he could wave and create money to spend in the transfer market. The magic wand he could wave to turn a squad that was defense-heavy, wingless, short on attackers and full of mediocre players in world-beaters overnight. The magic wand he could wave to completely erase last season from the minds of the squad, where morale was through the floor and completely turn them around, remembering that some of the squad hadn’t returned to pre-season training by the time the first game came around.
My personal favourite criticism of Hodgson this season has been that his European record (which is good) doesn’t count because it’s ‘only’ the Europa League. The way a lot of these comments are written make it seem like its Hodgson’s fault Liverpool are in that competition rather than the Champions League. Now Hodgson’s responsible for results that happened the season before he took over! This is what he’s up against.
At least the hierarchy of the club seem to have some perspective. Kenny Dalglish recently said: “It’s a transitional period for the club, Roy came in very late on in the summer, his players were away on international duty, he took a while to assess the staff, and by the time he did that he had run out of time in the transfer market.
“Through no fault of Roy Hodgson’s, it is a transitional period. The takeover rightly took precedence over everything else. The club has settled down a lot more now and has some stability. Now we need to get results on the pitch.”
That to me is fair. It’s saying that there have been problems that are now hopefully behind us and we should be looking to push on.
John Henry (another great criticism I read was of NESV for not having bought any players yet, which would be hard considering the transfer window is closed!) said recently “The club has gone through a very difficult period and the period has not ended. Blaming the manager...is simply wrong...there is no quick fix to the plague of problems at the club".
Roy Hodgson has seemingly sorted out the poor home form, with Liverpool picking up some great wins recently. The away performance have improved, with Liverpool showing more cohesion and attacking intent, and I’m convinced that the results will start to come soon too.