The New Year has come and gone and Liverpoolâ€™s results have not gone the way Roy Hodgson would have liked. Iâ€™m sure when the clock struck midnight; Hodgson was hoping for one thing to go right for the New Year and that was to have a job by guiding Liverpool to wins.
Since the game against Newcastle in early December, Liverpool was lucky to have won one game, which was against Bolton. That win was down to a linesman who is blind since that result should have been a draw. The other results since December are losses or draws and the performances are woeful to say the least. How have the mighty Reds fallen so fast this year? Some will want to blame Rafa Benitez, players or Hodgson. Some could even argue itâ€™s a culmination of all of that. However, since we are talking about this 2010-2011 season I will point the finger at Hodgson and why he needs to go.
The majority of Liverpool supporters Iâ€™ve heard on the radio, spoken to and read the comments on forums all want Hodgson to go. There are a few of you who continue to want to give Hodgson time to develop his team with his players. I will begin with explaining how giving him time will not make a difference of improving Liverpool now or in the future.
When Hodgson came in the summer he inherited a team from Rafa that finished 7th in the league last year. With a few ins and outs the core of this team was the same one that finished 2nd in the league a year before that. So why has this team been so awful this year? You can only point to Hodgson. The players he has brought in from the summer (minus Meireles) have been pathetic. When Konchesky was brought in I tried to understand the logic behind that signing. Liverpool needed cover since Aurelio was injured, and Insua is on loan. The signing at first made sense since Konchesky has played in the EPL for the past 10 years or so and you would think would add some stability. Boy has that backfired. Konchesky is slow, makes bad decisions and has been clueless with letting goals in (the first goal against Newcastle). To his credit, he can cross the ball in but that is a rare just like seeing Ness in Scotland. Its obvious Hodgson signed him because he worked with him before at Fulham. No disrespect to Fulham but that should say enough about the quality of a player. I understand you can find gems in some teams but you also have to remember prior to Fulham Konchesky was at West Ham. These teams are not a top five team in the EPL and havenâ€™t been for a while. Next stop Christian Poulsen. Again, another player Hodgson has managed before. You can argue that because he has played with some big clubs previously Poulsen should be a decent player. I believe heâ€™s passed it and definitely can not keep up with the pace of the EPL. Iâ€™ve never really rated Lucas Leiva, but if you canâ€™t keep Lucas out of the team then you definitely arenâ€™t worth wearing the Liverpool jersey. He only brought in two players and both have failed miserably so far.
Another reason Hodgson needs to go is because of his tactics. He has the defensive line so back they might as well sit in goal with Reina. Heâ€™s also wants his defensive players to hoof the ball first instead of trying to pass out of the defense. That should never be done nor is that the Liverpool way. Why does he also play defensive tactics when there are times he should be more offensive? Some games this year he would rather sit back and have the opposition attack them. Hodgson has also made bad substitutions with either waiting too long or bringing in the wrong player at the wrong time. Hodgson says he wants to play Babel up front but continues to play Ngog who has no pace and canâ€™t score in the EPL. Why not give Babel more time or even Jovanovich a chance? This is why his away form has been poor for the past few years in the EPL â€“ wrong tactics. I believe its one win away from home in about 27 games, how can that be good enough for any manager? Not only are the tactics wrong, but his attitude and the way he handles the media. You donâ€™t publicly criticize your players or even the fans.
For those of you who still want to back Roy and blame Rafa take a minute and think about that before you blame Rafa. The team that Hodgson inherited from Rafa has basically the same core players (Reina, Carra, Aurelio, Gerrard, Leiva, Skrtel, Torres, Kuyt) from the season that Liverpool came 2nd in 2008/2009. Even some of the subs (Babel, Ngog) are still apart of this team today. The only recognized players missing from this season are Mascherano and Alonso. I donâ€™t believe missing those two players can make Liverpool go from a top 4 club into a mid table team trying to stay out of relegation. Yes Rafa last year dropped Liverpool down a few spots but the way they played last season under Rafa and how they are playing today under Hodgson is a big difference. If the manager is lacking confidence do you think the players wonâ€™t? Some say the managerâ€™s attitude rubs off on the players and in this case it has. You can blame some of the players not playing the way they are being paid but that boils down to the managerâ€™s lack of confidence. Liverpool is just too big of a club for him to manage.
On the touch line today you see a man who looks dejected, lost, clueless and who rubs his face like someone rubbing a bottle in hopes of a genie will appear and grant him his wish of winning the game. Sorry Hodgson, fairy tale over.