Having spent 3 years studying in the City of Liverpool, it quickly became apparent that Football is not simply a form of entertainment in Merseyside, but rather a religion amongst many and an integral part of the City’s culture. This observation applies to the Blue and Red halves of the city alike, but considering the focus of the article I intend to focus on all things Liverpool.
Roy Hodgson’s arrival back in July was greeted by many of the Liverpool faithful as a wise move. I for one believed that Rafael Benitez took Liverpool as far as he could. Liverpool fans will cherish Champions League Final Memories and famous FA Cup Wins for a long time to come, but what does the future hold under Roy Hodgson?
I’d expect Roy Hodgson would be the first to admit that his tenure as Liverpool manager has not got off to a flyer, or would he? One thing that strikes me about Roy Hodgson is that he sees things that perhaps others do not. Eluding to this, Hodgson was widely criticised for his comments after the latest installment of the Merseyside Derby, where despite a crushing loss he concluded Liverpool had outplayed their opponents. Anybody who watched the match that day would have seen that nothing could have been further from the truth! Liverpool looked short on ideas and invited pressure in so many ways.
I believe that Hogdson has also fallen short in his transfer dealings to date. Raul Mereiles and Chiristian Poulsen perhaps opitimising this thought. The signing of Mereiles was unexpected and in my opinion somewhat naive. The player had a decent World Cup on an individual note, but produced some of his best performances against the likes of North Korea, who certainly would not match up to many Premier League Teams. Similarly, Hodgson’s Scandinavian coaching background was maybe his motivation behind signing Danish Midfielder Christian Poulsen.
Poulsen’s career, whilst he has played for some decent clubs in Juventus and Schalke hardly reads well. The most notable incident in his career perhaps consisting of punching a Swedish player during an International Match that was later abandoned. Consecutive Danish Player of the Year Awards do however show that his signing was not completely without reason.
Even in spite of such signings and what can only be described as a poor run of results, we now learn that a war of words is developing between Hodgson and his predecessor Rafael Benitez. Hodgson has actually questioned the signings made by Benitez by suggesting he inherited a series of ‘expensive failures’ from him. The signing of Alberto Aquilani I can certainly agree with, but I am not sure about Hodgson alleged problems with Dirk Kuyt. Kuyt scored 71 goals in 101 games for Feyenoord where he played as a STRIKER! Not as an out and out left winger! I am not sure the likes of Ian Holloway would complain about inheriting the likes of Gerrard, Torres, Cole and Reina. So it seems an obvious case of players not being used in the correct way by the manager.
I don’t imagine it will be too long before the situation at Anfield boils over. Liverpool have to start picking up points and I can see that happening. Im my opinion Hodgson needs to stop taking such a defensive stance, particularly away from home which is something he was undoubtedly guilty of at Fulham. Lastly, the players don’t look cohesive as a unit. The commitment from those on the field just doesn’t seem to be there, and I would like to see Hodgson starting to use some of Liverpool’s Academy products who have prospered in previous appearances (Martin Kelly, Jay Spearing etc).
I wish Liverpool the best of luck, purely because I don’t want to see a club with such an admirable history and incredible set of fans fail in the manner they are. Come on Hodgson, turn it around before you lose the KOP.
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