After the dust has settled.
Steven Gerrard rescued a point for Liverpool at home to Sunderland but the Reds’ season continues to stutter with two more dropped Premier League points.
It wasn’t the first time but the skipper came to the front to try and provide the inspiration to rally the team into action after going 2-1 and it seemed a familiar story to the one that has been seen many times before.
It was a lively start and Torres had a goal ruled out for offside after 2 minutes but a few minutes later he had the referee making a tough decision. Michael Turner tapped the ball back towards Mignolet, presumably intending for the goalkeeper to take it. Torres raced towards the ball and looked at the referee who waved play on and squared the ball to Kuyt to put the ball in to the back of the net.
However Liverpool let the early advantage slip as Bent scored the equaliser from the spot after Poulsen’s hand ball. Paul Konchesky had to be replaced by makeshift left-back Agger before half-time and then Sunderland went ahead just after the interval. Glen Johnson was caught ball-watching the wrong side of Bent as the striker nipped in at the far post to head his side in front just minutes after the restart.
As the minutes where passing Torres grew even more frustrated as the game went on collecting a yellow card and the game was almost out of Liverpool’s grasp. Hodgson made a positive substitution by replacing defensive midfielder Poulsen with striker David Ngog, bringing Meireles inside and moving Kuyt out to the right.
It was the combination of Torres and Gerrard who combined for the equaliser to draw Liverpool level. Torres beat Bramble close to the right touchline and swung over an inviting cross which Gerrard headed in.
Liverpool created a few more chances as they searched for the winner as Ngog forced a low save out of Mignolet, Kuyt fired just wide, Turner cleared off the line from Ngog. At the end Daniel Agger somehow headed wide in the seventh minute of added time when unmarked four yards from goal.
So many people were disappointed with the final result on Saturday a home draw versus Sunderland especially after a calamitous exit in the league cup at the hands of League 2 side Northampton. I don’t think even they would have imagined to have beat Liverpool weakened team or not. With the internationals on the field, the Reds still should be beating Northampton Town, though; that is down to the players and the current manager. It was unthinkable but something that happened which a line must be drawn under.
Roy Hodgson made wholesale changes to the team that went out against Northampton and there was optimism that a win in the league would help boost the confidence of a team struggling to ind form. No one ever said it was going to be easy but for Roy Hodgson the dagger is already out with some people claiming that he should be removed from his position already.
What must be remembered is that this is squad mainly made up of players that Rafa Benitez made up. This may be true but this is still the same squad the Spaniard had to work with and almost the same squad which cam e second in the Premier League. The blame must be put down to the owners. They failed to invest any funds into the squad that needed a few additions to boost it.
The players that Hodgson has at his dispoal not there for the 4-4-2 formation and he can’t get the 4-2-3-1 formation to work to his advantage, the manager have a tough job. It’s the owners fault, they have not reinvested money in to the squad. They made money on the sales of players but less than the combined fees received for Mascherano and Benayoun has been invested back into the squad in 2010.
It was puzzling to see why Aquilani was loaned out once fit, Liverpool fans had expected to see him play this season after he spent a frustrating first season hampered by injuries. Another move by Hodgson was loaning out Insua. This has led to Daniel Agger being used as a make shift left back. Agger is player who is confident on the ball and can start thing building from the back, many Liverpool fans want to see start.
A purchase being questioned is that of Christian Poulsen, was there a need for nearly £5 million to spent on player who is 30 and considered a weak link already. Only Miereles looks like he is capable of the rigour of Premiership football. The thing with Roy’s signing’s they are not long term they are more short term to fill the gaps but that could be down to the fact that younger players some were not good enough.
Roy Hodgson is suited to grinding out draws but at a club Liverpool this is never going to be accepted. Rafa Benitez was often criticised for drawing too many games. In the 2008-2009 season he won 25, drew 8, lost 2. Rafa also won the majority of home games. However we cannot compare the current squad with the 2008-2009 squad.
Now with Hodgson’s appointment hope was raised that he would raise the morale of the player and get them playing in a certain manner that would put the club back where they belong. The thing is no money has been properly invested in the squad and realistically even top 6 looks a tall order at the moment.
The other thing with Roy Hodgson did okay in his first season at Blackburn. However he managed to get the team relegated in the second season with his early results in a disastrous start to the campaign which saw him, get sacked after 1 win 14 and there was no pressure on the manager. With this job there is pressure as the fans expect to be challenging.
Now only time will tell whether the right decision has been made or not we will have to wait. It could be that Liverpool are going through the slump now but a winning run in the league will boost confidence and bring in some optimism. Roy Hodgson will bring stability in the football sense. But the sale of the club will just kick it on that bit more, so once everything’s in place, then we’ll be much stronger. Things need to start going right on the pitch or it could be a very long and frustrating season ahead.