Ding Dong, Ding Dong. Big Ben has struck as we usher in 2011 and with it a new year of wonderous moments, glittering lights and more problems at Anfield. It was only five years ago that Rafa Benitez in his first season at the club struck gold and brought home the holy grail of European football, the Champions League.
In the following six years Rafa the gaffer has left and Roy the savaloy has moved in. The old Americans have left and the cowboy toting New England Sports Ventures have took over the stable yet results this season seem worse than ever.
So what’s gone wrong? No it’s not Roy’s fault, I can hear you there at the back. The ex-Fulham man cannot be blamed for this crisis. If what I understand is true then Roy Hodgson’s job is as ropey as Chelsea’s league form. But the next move that owners New England Sports Ventures (whoever came up with that name should be fired) do is crucial to the future of the club.
Wednesday’s defeat to Wolves was, for some, the last straw. A sarcastic chorus of ‘Hodgson for England’ and renditions of ‘Kenny Dalglish’ gave Hodgson all he needed to know about his standing with the Liverpool fans.
Like a fox in a corner Hodgson commented,
I have to hope the fans will become supporters because we need support.
suggesting that the Kop should get behind the team instead of harassing him out of the club.
In a way it looks like Hodgson has become the second fall guy for Gillette’s and Hick’s disastrous spell at the club. When he took over the club it was in absolute turmoil an absolute sham and Roy had the guts to try and go in there with no money and a real threat of the club going into administration to try and turn the team around.
For NESV head and Liverpool owner, John Henry it’s a case of back him or sack him. If they give Roy Hodgson some money in the upcoming January transfer window they must stick with him until the end of the season, let him buy his own players, let him gel the team and see what happens. It’s no good deciding mid way through February to get rid of Hodgson and let another manager manage Roy’s players who the new manager didn’t want.
Liverpool will only end up in a vicious circle of managers until they stumble upon the right one, it took Celtic nigh on 10 years using this system in the ninties to find Martin O’Neill. If it comes to the end of the season and Roy’s not right, then fine, dismiss him and let the new manager have a clean slate from Summer onwards.
While I can understand the frustration of Liverpool fans as Manchester United close in on overtaking their league record, they have to understand that Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will Liverpool’s rise to the top again.
Liverpools’ squad has some deficiencies, the biggest one being that Fernando Torres seems to have forgotten how to kick a ball since the injury he suffered at the beginning of 2010, plaguing him during Spain’s successful World Cup victory where he clearly wasn’t fit and in my opinion, still isn’t.
Liverpool’s back four is shaky to say the least, I saw enough of Kyrgiakos in the SPL to realise he should be nowhere near an EPL defence and the midfield could do with some strengthening but as I said before, this needs time.
I really hope Hodgson is given the time to rectify problems on the field now that problems off it have settled down. The state the club was in when he took over it would have been difficult for even Mourinho to have the magic touch. If the feeling from Henry is that it’s time for him to go, please do it now, don’t let one of England’s greatest clubs become mid-table fodder for the likes of oil rich Chelsea and Man City.