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Posts Tagged ‘Roy Hodgson’

When we started this blog we wanted it to be a sports blog covering lots of different sports, so far we have covered football, tennis, snooker and cricket, there are other sports we intend to write about to keep this as varied as possible. We were also very careful to make sure this does not become a blog about Liverpool FC, there are plenty of LFC blogs out there and even we don’t want to have another one, however myself and George are both fans of Liverpool so it is inevitable that we are sometimes going to write about the club that we love (even our one guest post was by a Liverpool fan about Liverpool FC).

But at least this is a positive post as opposed to my last article about the Liverpool management which was posted on December 30. I wrote it in the aftermath of a 1-0 home loss to Wolves and begged for Roy Hodgson to either resign or be fired, Liverpool were languishing in 12th place and a relegation battle was a very real possibly, the league table tells it’s own story…

Then on 8th January every LFC fan got their wish, Roy Hodgson was sacked, to make the news even sweeter Kenny Dalglish was handed the task of turning this dismal season around. His first game in charge was the small matter of Manchester United at old Trafford in The F.A Cup, we lost 1-0 but the signs were encouraging. Then it was a trip to Blackpool who had turned us over at Anfield 2-1, a great start by LFC was rewarded with a brilliant Torres goal after 2 minutes, things were looking good for about another 5 minutes before the inevitable happened, LFC couldn’t take the game to the opposition and Blackpool capitalised, scoring twice before half time and holding on for their second 2-1 victory over Liverpool this season.

Were things changing though? Was Kenny’s influence starting to show? Were Liverpool beyond help? All good questions and you felt some would be answered at Anfield on Sunday 16th January (my 32nd birthday incidentally) when we faced Everton.

Only 10 minutes in I knew I was watching a different team, aesthetically they were the same as before but you could feel something different, it was like they had a new focus, a new enthusiasm, a new mentality, Kenny’s presence was starting to be a factor. Liverpool took the lead mid-way through the first half with a great strike by Meireles, his first LFC goal. It looked as though a victory was a formality but 1 minute into the 2nd half Distin scored from a corner, 6 minutes later Beckford scored (which was Ben Thornley’s fault!) and that gave Everton the lead, fortunately we were awarded a penalty from which Kuyt made it 2-2 and that is how it stayed. I said after the game that I would still have been happy even if Liverpool had lost as it was just so nice to see them playing well again.

Now what Kenny needed was a win and that was delivered only 6 days later with a very comfortable victory over Wolves at Molineux, it was a fantastic performance with one of the goals of the season from the ever improving Meireles. The game was overshadowed somewhat by the controversy surrounding the female assistant referee, Sian Massey and the comments made by Sky Sports presenter and commentator, Richard Keys and Andy Gray, I am not commenting on it,  just making reference to the fact it was at that game where the incident occurred.

Suddenly the table started to make better reading…

 

Obviously 10th is unacceptable, but it was unthinkable 3 weeks earlier.

Next game was home to Fulham, it wasn’t a great performance but enough was done to secure a 1-0 win, back to back victories and back to back clean sheets, the Steve Clarke effect was being felt as much as the Kenny Dalglish effect.

In between the Fulham match and the upcoming Stoke match was the end of the transfer window, I have already posted about it before so won’t go into it again, highlights were…Torres went to Chelsea, we got Carroll and Suarez, I am happy with it as are plenty of LFC fans.

Back to Stoke, we had been fundamently outplayed by Stoke in November and needed to keep this run going to banish the memories of that defeat, another goal from Meireles and a debut goal from Suarez coming off the bench meant a 2-0 win for LFC and another clean sheet.

This brings us to our last game before this post was written, Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, the hype surrounding Torres was crazy, will he play? Won’t he play? Will he score? Will Carragher try to break his legs? In the end only one of these things happened, he played, well…sort of, 65 minutes of anonymity and he was substituted. Meireles was the hero once again as he pounced on a Cech error to score and Liverpool held on for a fantastic 1-0 win.

For the record that is now four wins from four, two home and two away, with no goals conceded, the instant impact that Dalglish is having is in such contrast to the negative, boring football employed by Hodgson, I like Hodgson the man, but he was the wrong man for this job and proved it so.

So exactly one month after Daglish was appointed and was asked “Do you think you can get Liverpool out of this relegation battle they are heading for?” he now gets asked the question “Do you think you can make the Champions league places?” Here is the current league table that proves the impact Kenny has had…

More enjoyable though than moving up the table and keeping clean sheets is the way LFC are playing, I have spent a long, long time watching Liverpool matches on TV and thinking ‘this is awful, I want to change the channel’ I never do and just endure the boredom. Not now though, now watching Liverpool is fun again, you can see how much the players are enjoying it, how much the Anfield faithful are enjoying it, you can even see how much Kenny Dalglish is enjoying it, and all of this has happened in just…. one month.

Roy Hodgson said during one of the darker times of his tenure that you need “plenty of time to get a new managers methods across”

No you don’t, you need to understand the club, understand how to handle the players, be tactically astute against other clubs, know how to speak to the media, know how to buy a player that will enhance the squad (that is not a dig at Konchesky, he always tried his best, its just his best wasn’t enough) but most importantly, you need to know you are manager of Liverpool Football Club…

…and that is something Kenny Dalglish definitely understands.

Marcus J Mitchell.

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I have been a Liverpool fan since I was 5 years old (26 years now) and only two things have been drilled into me after all of this time:-

1. Hate Manchester Utd with all of your body and soul.

2. Hate Manchester Utd with all of your body and soul.

So what is the name of all that is holy is Hodgson doing here..

Surely when your back is up against the wall and all of your fans already hate you, the last thing you should be doing is sharing a laugh with Alex Ferguson (I don’t recognise the knighthood).

As if all of the stupid and thoughtless comments he has made during his short tenure haven’t done enough to alienate him from the fans, he goes and adds more reasons to be hated.

Good work Woy, again.

Marcus J Mitchell.

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It’s New Years Day so what better time to celebrate the past year than on the first day of the next year, here are a few awards given out to the sporting heroes that everybody else didn’t think of first.

The Eric Cantona award for talking shite:

RAFA BENITEZ – “I was watching the fans and I was really sad after the defeat the other day. We have a saying in Spanish, which is: ‘White liquid in a bottle has to be milk.’”
Seriously…what?

The Merv Hughes award for having facial hair, looking like a twat but because we see it every day we have all got used to it:

RAFA BENITEZ – A 2nd award for Benitez but seriously, he does look ridiculous with it, sadly for Rafa he also looks ridiculous without it.
Although an honorable mention goes to all who wore stupid tashes during Movember, some looked good and some (Peter Siddle and Mitchell Johnson) looked like complete cocks.

The Gazza award for being batshit insane:

PAUL GASCOIGNE – Now it might seem strange winning his own award, but turning up at an armed siege, completely pissed with a box of fried chicken claiming he is a friend of a murdering lunatic is without question…batshit insane!

The Arnold Schwarzenegger award for being just a little too ‘handsy’ with the ladies:

BEN ROETHLISBERGER – Now firstly I will point out that no charges have been brought against Ben for this, or any of the accusations made against him, then again, none were ever filed against future President of the USA, Arnold Schwarzeneggar.

The Graeme Souness award for taking Liverpool FC from being ‘Ok’ to ‘really shit’:

ROY HODGSON – A good squad with a couple of world class players, now they have forgotten how to play. In the loss at home to Wolves, 8 of the starting 11 played in the 4-0 win over Real Madrid 20 months ago, so it’s not the players is it?

The Tony Adams award for drink driving:

GRAEME SWANN – For his 3am dash to the supermarket to buy some screwdrivers in a bid to rescue his 9 month old Cat from under the floorboards…in a brand new white Porsche after 4 glasses of wine. Not noted for his genius is he, thank god he can bowl!

The Harlem Globetrotters award for being so good, they literally take the piss:

BARCELONA FC – This was the easiest award to give, Barcelona are just so good to watch at the moment. As a Liverpool fan I haven’t had much to enjoy this season but seeing Barca in action is football heaven, read Georges post on ‘The super manita’ to find out why they are so good.

The Andriy Shevchenko award for spending £30m and getting sod all in return:

THE ENGLAND 2018 WORLD CUP BID – What an absolute farce, as Ian Holloway put it (say it with west country accent) “maybe we would have been better off tucking all that in a few envelopes and seeing if that did any good.”

The Hansie Cronje award for being a massively corrupt cricketer:

MOHAMMAD ASIF, MOHAMMAD AMIR & SALMAN BUTT – Again not a difficult choice, the saddest part is that Amir at 18 years old looks the real deal already, probably could have gone on and been a record breaker. Maybe poor guidance and peer pressure but that’s no excuse, he cheated and should be banned for life.

The Peter Andre/Katie Price award for two people coming together for money but nobody gives a toss:

DAVID HAYE & AUDLEY HARRISON – Money truly talks in this case, how Harrison ever got himself a fight against a world champion is beyond me, he proved his class by landing just one punch in total and got himself knocked out in the 3rd round.

The New Labour award for promising so much but delivering so little:

ENGLAND’S WORLD CUP CAMPAIGN IN SOUTH AFRICA – Just shite all around, that is all.

Marcus J Mitchell.

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Please let this be the end of Woy!

Now as I’m sure you are all aware both myself and George are Liverpool FC fans, we have been very careful not to make this an LFC blog or to impose our opinions on the fortunes of Liverpool Football Club too much. However tonight was the last straw for me, and without any consultation with my partner in crime I will (for one night only) impose my opinion.

When I first heard that Rafa was leaving in the summer I was relieved, I know a lot of people still liked him and wanted him to continue but for me he had taken the squad as far as he could and a change was needed. I know the struggles in the boardroom made his tenure difficult but even so, I was still happy he left.

So that opened the door to any number of managerial candidates, we were hearing the possibility of Klinsmann, Deschamp, Rijkaard, Hiddink and even a feint rumour of Mourinho, but Hodgson was the “outstanding candidate” according to then LFC chairman, Martin Broughton.

This is the first press conference that Hodgson gave, I was impressed, as were a number of people with the way he presented himself and calmly answered questions as our new manager. When his name was first mooted as a potential candidate for the job I will admit that I liked the idea, I thought ‘English, experienced and recent premier league success (relative success being as it was Fulham) so why not?’

After literally 3 games I realised why not… he is a man who is perfect for Fulham, in fact right this minute Blackburn should think about re-hiring him (alright, maybe not!) because he knows exactly how to play against teams who take the game to you, he knows what to do when being attacked and he knows counter attacking very well. So at Fulham it is acceptable to soak up pressure and counter attack, last season they did it much better than was expected and Hodgson was named LMA manager of the year for it.

This is the reason we have done reasonably well against the “better teams” (except Man City where we got battered!), an unlucky 1-1 with Arsenal at home, an unlucky 3-2 defeat to Man Utd away and of course a fantastic 2-0 win over Chelsea at Anfield, these teams control the game, so we soak up the pressure and counter, when we played Wigan 3 days after the Chelsea win, we took the lead after 7 minutes and then were fundamentally outplayed for the next 83 minutes, we escaped with a very fortunate 1-1 draw. We should be dictating the game to Wigan but instead found ourselves struggling to work out what it is we should be controlling.

Time and time again I gear myself up to watch Liverpool on TV and I am constantly disappointed by what I see, tonight was the worst I have seen us all season though (and that is really saying something), credit to Wolves who had a plan and stuck to it, they deserved their win.

Before I finish I would like to point something out, I quite like Roy Hodgson the man, he is obviously a student of the game and he speaks very well about football (speech impediment aside), had he not ever come to Liverpool I’m sure we would all still be waxing lyrical about how amazing a job he has done at Fulham and that he would still be everybody’s second choice for England manager (after Redknapp of course). Nobody can criticise ambition, so when Liverpool came calling, how could he possibly say no.

But a Premiership record of played 18, won 6, drawn 4 and lost 8 (including home losses to Blackpool and Wolves) means I am struggling to think of a reason why he should be given the chance to turn it around. It could take literally years to put Liverpool back where they belong…

This is because we cannot play football anymore, this is because we don’t consider ourselves a top 4 club anymore, this is because we have no encouragement or enthusiasm coming from the bench anymore, this is because the tradition of Liverpool doesn’t exist anymore, this is because Anfield isn’t a fortress anymore…..And all of this, is because of Hodgson.

Marcus J Mitchell.

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