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Only Time Will Tell……

Roy Hodgson has been in is job for little over a month now and at the time of his appointment I wrote ‘Mixed Feelings’ (see previous blog) which explained my views and emotions at that time. I tried to explain about how I wasn’t as excited as I should be by his appointment but as Liverpool manager I would be giving him my full support as I would do with any manager. I have to admit so far I have been impressed with the way he has conducted himself with the players and media and following our first competitive game this season, the way he has backed our youngsters by giving them a chance to prove themselves in the first team. He has also made some good positive signings with Joe Cole on a free being the stand out one. After a conversation I had on Twitter recently I wanted however to raise with Liverpool fans what true expectations we all have for the forth coming season. One particular fan confirmed to me that he was expecting Liverpool to be challenging for the title and maybe win the FA Cup and that the Europa league wasn’t important. This was in response to me highlighting that the Europa League was a trophy (even though a somewhat annoying distraction) that Liverpool were capable of winning with their current squad, but prior to the game I was concerned about where the goals would come from and if in fact we were capable of winning that particular game with the team Roy Hodgson had available. (Of course my fears were short lived and we went on to win the game.) However the response I had on Twitter got me thinking about whether winning the Premier League this season is a realistic expectation and if not what is? Those of you that read my blogs on a regular basis know that I try to have a balanced and realistic view on events surrounding our club be it on or off the pitch, however winning the Premier League this coming season is in my opinion is one thing sadly I don’t think will happen. Some fans will jump on that statement and say that I am being too negative and that I am not fully supporting the club. Those of you that know me know that is just not the case. One thing being a Liverpool supporter for over 30 years has taught me is to be passionate yes but also the need to be realistic too. So why don’t I believe we can win the league this year? The main reasons for this are in my opinion quite obvious – we lack quality and depth to our squad and that together with the obvious lack of money available in the transfer market, is there for all to see. Last season we saw that when we had injuries to key players such as Gerrard, Torres, Agger, Johnson we didn’t have similar quality to come in. The lack of striker cover was an issue (and still is) with no direct replacement for Torres. So when Torres was injured for large parts of last season it fell to David Ngog to take on the responsibility of scoring the goals. In fairness to Ngog this was always going to be too much of a responsibility for him but as main cover  and the second ‘preferred’ striker to Torres he was and in my opinion still is never going to be good enough. I am not trying to solely pick Ngog as the main reason but am merely trying to highlight the above point. As things stand we cannot compete with the likes of Man Utd, Chelsea, Man City, Arsenal and now Spurs who all seem to  have at least 2 quality players for each position. This is a luxury that Liverpool at present cannot afford but you don’t need me to point that out. So is it then realistic for Liverpool fans to expect the team to be challenging for the league title knowing all of this? Yes we can dream and hope that come May 2011 we are challenging for the title but surely we also have to be realistic don’t we? With the news today that a Chinese consortium have put a serious offer in to buy the club this may change everything but until (if) that happens then the best I am hoping for this season is a good solid run in the Europa League and a 4th spot finish in the Premier League. But with almost everything only time will tell………. YNWA

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Simply Not Good Enough………

Posted by Spencer | Posted in Liverpool FC | Posted on 10-01-2011

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The 8th January 2011 saw the return on King Kenny to what he and the majority of Liverpool fans see as his rightful place, manager of Liverpool Football Club. It also signalled the end of Roy Hodgson’s reign and my self imposed blogging ban which I installed back in November last year.

The reason I decided to stop blogging was I had started to re-read my previous blogs and had noticed I was writing the same things over and over again. I couldn’t find anything new or positive to write and knew this was never going to change until either Roy left his post or was removed.

So now I am back and more importantly so is King Kenny.

Once the news became public knowledge on Saturday I immediately felt relief and then overwhelming excitement. I felt relief because our beloved club was in real danger of sliding into the abyss – our players looked like they couldn’t be bothered, our manager looked like he was on the verge of a nervous breakdown because he was quite clearly out of his depth and in my view AND more alarming, we as supporters had started to stay away from the games with the last home game only reaching 35,000 as an attendance which for a Saturday afternoon game is unheard of.

The feeling of excitement for the majority of fans completely took over the weekend and whatever the result was to be against our rivals across the M62 we knew that from this point on our club under King Kenny would take a more positive direction and help bring pride back to the club and to all of the fans. From a personal point of view I wanted to see more passion and pride in our play and for Liverpool Football Club to start playing football again. From what we saw at the weekend the signs are there (even if we had to contend with the obvious Manc loving Howard Webb and his even more predictable decisions) and that’s even before Kenny had a chance to work with the players.

We all know Kenny Dalglish will demand respect and we hope him being in charge will put at end to the problems within the dressing room that has so obviously effected certain players. Gerrard and Carragher are no longer the Mr Liverpools within the camp because Mr Liverpool is now in charge. Kenny will not be scared to drop or substitute players whether they are senior or not and we saw a glimpse of that when he substituted Torres after seeing him have another ineffective game. But he will also encourage those players and help them to regain their form and make them into better players.

These are certainly exciting times.

However since the appointment of King Kenny we have already started to see the anti-Liverpool media sharpen their pencils because they feel ‘media friendly Roy’ wasn’t given enough time. What they don’t seem to understand is that however much time the new Liverpool Board were to give Roy it was so bad that it was never going to work.

Since results started to decline early on in our season the media were very quick to place the blame on Rafa Benitez (and still continue to do so) for leaving Roy with such a poor squad, the same squad (apart from a couple of players) that finished 2nd only two seasons ago. Apparently players such as Gerrard, Reina, Carragher, Torres, Agger, Kuyt, Johnson and Mascherano were not good enough. Yes the squad needed improving but was it really as bad as the media were leading us to believe?

Facts speak for themselves and that is why I cannot understand the media and fans of other clubs when they continually defend Roy Hodgson. Apart from a few league titles in Sweden and a cup in Denmark he hasn’t won anything significant in his managerial career especially when he has been at successful and big clubs like Inter Milan and Blackburn (after they won the EPL). So why do the media and ex-players all want to keep proclaiming he is a good manager? This is the one thing about the media that baffles me the most. The only conclusion I can come up with is that because he is a genuine and nice man the ex-players and media associate this as the main credential to being a top class football manager.

They fail to see that his only tactial method is to hoof and hope and that when you are dealing with world class players this will always be destined for failure. They fail to see how if his plan A doesn’t work there is no plan B. They fail to see that his man management skills are poor at best as seen by how he continually criticised certain players such as Agger and Johnson and they fail to see that you cannot criticise your own fans and then demand support.

Since the sacking of Roy some parts of the media have insinuated that us fans are to blame and that we didn’t give him enough time. After 20 games in which you could count on half a hand the number of times the team actually performed well I think we are all intelligent enough to know when things are not working out and when there is no sign of improvement. Liverpool fans have always backed their manager and even though the majority of us were uneasy when Roy was appointed we were all prepared to give him a chance. The fact is in all my 33 years as a supporter I have never ever seen a Liverpool team play so poorly on such a regular basis as they have done this season and that is why I believe the majority of fans wanted the change. However the most outrageous reason I have heard and read in the media is that we didn’t want Roy as our manager or give him a chance because of his London roots!! Coming from so called professional journalists writing such rubbish is an utter disgrace!

So whilst Liverpool FC enter the second Kenny Dalglish era where our hopes and dreams have been reborn the one message I want to give to the media is this:-

You can continue to blame Rafa Benitez and us fans, you can re-start the anti-Liverpool agenda but the fact of the matter is and it is a fact, Roy Hodgson was just simply not good enough…….

Y.N.W.A

Comments (2)

Mixed views from me.
At least for the neutral (and to be blunt, the Spurs fans..) it has meant the “Sky 4″ is broken and makes the league actually interesting – if we can keep Chelsea out this year all the better.

I think Roy was found out a bit, and could not understand why he left Fulham really.

I hope for your sakes that Dalglish does not dissappoint, but do feel that you will be in the chasing pack (with Spurs) for a few years to come now, and I think that if you accept that as a club and keep the manager (be it Dalglish or not) you will be OK.
If the as yet unproven US owners take the Newcastle approach, it could be a long time of mid table finishes and managers at the speed of light.

Cheers for the read again mate. There does seem to be mixed views from non Liverpool fans on this but i do believe it is the right choice for right now. As i mentioned Kenny will bring some passion and pride back to the club and us fans and we all know it’s going to be a hard slog to start competing again for top 4. Hopefully the new owners will give whoever is in charge the money to buy players without having to sell first and the appointments being made from coaching to scouting seem to be positive moves.

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