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My Interview for a Spurs Blog……

I was recently asked if I would be interviewed for a Spurs blog for the upcoming game on Sunday – for those of you interested he is what I said……. Full blogging will return when I am back from Florida…… Thanks to Dom at What a Fantastic Run (www.whatafantasticrun.com) for the questions…. WFR: Welcome to What a Fantastic Run, Could you introduce yourself to our readers? (name, age, occupation and all the other interesting stuff) My name is Spencer Gower I am 38 years young and am a Chartered Surveyor. I am married to Alex and have an 8 month old son William and a 13 year old son Raihan from a previous marriage. I am currently on holiday in Florida WFR: How did you land up supporting Liverpool? I have been supporting Liverpool for 33 years and ended up supporting them due to my uncle who unfortunately died in his early 20′s. He was a mad Liverpool fan who persuaded me to support the reds whilst my mother was trying to get me to support her team Manchester United. I definitely made the right choice!!! WFR: Well, where do we start with Liverpool this year? Who in your eyes  is at fault for your poor start to the season? Hmmm – where do we start….. I have blogged about the issues this season (www.spencergower.co.uk) and the main reason in my opinion is Roy Hodgson. Yes the ownership situation was a factor but I believe that those issues shouldn’t have affected the players who are on huge salaries and are paid to do a job regardless of who the owners are. If the players were not getting paid then yes this would have been a major issue. The fact is that situation was never even close. Roy Hodgson is a nice guy who has done reasonably well in his career but right from the start I wasn’t convinced by his appointment (‘mixed feelings’ on my blog). It has become clear over recent weeks that he is trying to imprint his ‘Fulham’ style on Liverpool and what he needs to understand is that we are not Fulham we are Liverpool FC. He doesn’t have a plan B when things go wrong. Tactically he is very poor.  The thing that has concerned me most Liverpool fans this season is the performances as a whole. We have been poor, very poor in fact and that is me being kind as a Liverpool fan. Our football has been similar to what Fulham played last season with the midfield being bypassed in exchange for hoofing from the back hoping that Torres will get on the end of it. Until Hodgson realises that he is dealing with much better players than he has ever been used too and that they like to play football in a certain way then our performances will continue to be mediocre. Can I put it like this – if Rafa was still in charge then do you think he would still be in charge now or would the media be as kind as they are being to Roy? So in conclusion and in my opinion Roy and his tactics are mostly to blame for the poor start to the season. WFR: There has been a lot of talk and accusations about Torres. Is it that he doesn’t want to be there or is he just out of form? The talk as you have put it has all been media talk – Its only a few months since the media were hyping him up and saying he was going to sign for Chelsea or Man City but ever since he came out at the start of the season and committed himself to Liverpool the media have changed towards him. Yes he has been out of form but the media have forgotten that he had an operation before the world cup and shouldn’t have gone really. He also hasn’t had a summer break for the past 3 years because Spain have been in various tournaments. He has also suffered this season from the type of football we have been playing and Roy using him as a lone striker and hoofing into the channels. Torres is a player that needs service to feet or in front of him. I would be very frustrated if I was him too. I think you have seen in the last 3-4 games he is starting to get himself back to full fitness and his goals against Chelsea prove he is still world class. WFR: I think Spurs fans owe Liverpool a huge thank you for pipping us  to Joe Cole – I am sure if he had signed for us we would not of bought Van Der Vaart. How has he been getting on? Joe Cole was viewed and still is viewed as an exciting signing for Liverpool – he was unfortunate in getting sent off in the first game of the season against Arsenal and then picking up an injury and he has also tried to hard to impress which has also hampered his game. Roy has also used him in the wrong position in my opinion – he didn’t like being used on the left at Chelsea and Roy said he would use in in the ‘hole’ behind Torres which is his best position. But he has played the majority of the games on the left and the way we have played he hasn’t been able to get on the ball too often. I still think he will come good for us. Remember Harry took a pop at Joe because he signed for us and not Spurs…… WFR: This next question consists of just two words. Feel free to expand  as much as you like……Robbie Keane? Robbie Keane…… I thought at the time he was a good signing and would have worked well with Torres. I also think his signing was an ‘owners’ signing and therefore became political and that’s why Rafa didn’t use him as much as he would have done before selling him back to Spurs in the January window. Its a shame because I think he would have been good for Liverpool used in the right way. The one thing that makes me laugh however is that Rafa got slated by the media and ex players for not playing Robbie but Harry, who has done the same and even loaned him out, doesn’t get a mention. WFR: We are nearing the crucial Christmas period, what are your expectations for Liverpool this season? I wrote a blog at the beginning of the season ‘Only time will tell’ which highlighted my expectations for the season. I am a passionate fan but also a realistic one and I try to air balanced views. My expectations this season were low in comparison to previous seasons and I was hoping that we could try and sneak a top 4 place but also know this would be much harder because of Spurs and Man City now in the frame. A good UEFA and FA Cup run would be the best I would expect this season unfortunately….. WFR: What are your general thoughts on Tottenham? I think Spurs have improved dramatically under Harry but in honest they should have given the money he has spent over the last few seasons. They play some really good football and the signing of Van Der Varrt will prove to be the best signing of all. I like Bale since he has moved into a midfield position and this is where I would like to see Glen Johnson play for us too as I believe he would be more effective going forward. I still think Harry needs to come to terms with playing CL midweek then PL on the Saturday as teams will always struggle after a CL game which has been the case this season. This is where the benefit of having a large squad comes into play. WFR: If you could pick a player from Tottenham’s past or present team  to play for Liverpool who would it be? From the past it would have to be Glen Hoddle – absolute quality and would have fitted into the Liverpool team in that era perfectly. Today would be Van Der Varrt as he is the type of player Liverpool are missing and in truth have missed since Alonso left a couple of seasons back. WFR: And finally, give us a score prediction…. Hahaha – my heart says we sneak a 2-1 win but my head says a 2-1 win to Spurs…… From my point of view it will be a difficult game for Liverpool and unless we improved dramatically away from home then realistically I can only see one outcome and that is a spurs win – and I hate admitting that!!

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A Little Concerned…….

Posted by Spencer | Posted in Liverpool FC, You'll Never Walk Alone | Posted on 13-09-2010

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We are now 4 games into the Premier League and already there is a familiar pattern and feel to how we are playing, predictable, slow and lacking of any imagination in the final third.

After the first game against Arsenal where the team showed passion and commitment there has been a complete lack of the same since then. In my previous blog ‘Return of the Mojo’ I praised the team and in particular Mascherano so before I go on and following the events of the Argentine midfielder moving to Barcelona I want to make it clear that I want to retract the ‘legend’ status I attributed to him and in my eyes will only be known as a someone who used to play for Liverpool.

So since the Arsenal game what has gone wrong?

The senior players have come out and said they are enjoying what Roy Hodgson is bringing to the club so is it the players not performing or is it the tactical awareness of our new manager?

I have written previously that I had ‘mixed feelings’ about Hodgsons appointment and wasn’t sure if he was the ‘right’ person to manage our club but with some good signings during pre-season and how we played during the Arsenal game he had started to win me round. However since then the signs have been less than encouraging with a heavy defeat to Man City (where no substitutions were made until the last 10 minutes and even though the system clearly wasn’t working the shape was never changed), an unconvincing win in Europe, a very unconvincing win at home  to West Brom and a grateful draw away to Birmingham on Sunday.

We have only scored 2 goals in 4 games and have conceded 4 which again is a worrying sign and the way the team played on Sunday we only ever looked liked adding to the conceded column. Is this the fruits of Hodgsons tactics or simply players off form? Well for England Gerrard has been in great form but in a Liverpool shirt he hasn’t been able to recreate that form so far. So therefore is it the tactics?

The game against Manchester City concerned me, yes because of the result and poor performance, but more so because even though it was clear to everyone watching that the tactics were not right and City were controlling the midfield the management did not feel (even after 2 nil down) the need to change it or bring on substitutions. It felt to me that after going 2 nil down the management conceded there was no chance in coming back and that a defeat was the only outcome of the game. Something on the same lines that Fulham would accept….

Since that game the team has been set up with 2 holding midfield players who between them seem to struggle to find a forward pass and therefore limit any creativity through the midfield area. Don’t get me wrong I think that Lucas and Poulsen as players do a good job but in my opinion should never play in the same team together. Admittedly Hodgson has been without Joe Cole who if had been available may have meant only one holding midfielder being played. We will find out in the next game at home on Thursday in the Europa League if that theory becomes reality.

The lack of goals is also a concern – Torres is becoming increasingly isolated and because there is a lack of urgency and creativity in our play he is also becoming frustrated. If Torres (or Gerrard) isn’t scoring then the team struggles. There is a distinct lack of goals from the rest of the team and I don’t see that changing any day soon. However I was impressed with Miereles when he came on against Birmingham – he maybe the player who will get into the positions to score goals but can only be accommodated if we stop playing with 2 holding players

As a passionate Liverpool fan I want Hodgson and more importantly the team to succeed but I am worried that we are becoming a a clone of Fulham and comments such as ‘I am very pleased with a point at Birmingham’ is not what I want to hear or expect from a Liverpool manager. We are Liverpool Football club not Fulham FC.

Being realistic I am not expecting us to be challenging for the title come May but I do expect us to be and perfom better than a mid table team so for the moment and even at this early stage of the season I am a little concerned……

YNWA

Comments (3)

I believe Mascherano making himself unavailable for the Citeh game had a massive negative effect on the team, meaning Roy had to shuffle his pack. Had he been available I’m pretty sure Roy would have played the same shape as against Arsenal. Mascherano let himself and LFC down badly there.
I too was impressed with Meireles and given time looks like he could be a very handy player for us. I’d like to see him and Steve Gerrard play in the middle together with Joe Cole behind Torres and Babel/Jovanovic on the left. On paper that looks like a fairly creative side! So keep the faith the goals will come!!!

Again thanks for reading and your comments – i agree that Roy should give Babel a chance now otherwise we might as well sell him! I hope you are right mate and that the goals start coming – hopefully Thursday night! I wish the press would lay off Torres though!!

The press need something to fill their papers with! He didn’t look disinterested and diobolical the other week when he volleyed a shot past Scott Carson did he? One bad game and everybody wants to critisize him looking for any signs he wants out. (form, body language etc etc). Bit boring now isn’t it!
Great blog by the way.

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