Archive for January, 2011
A win is a great way to start the New Year. After such an awful result against Wolves it was great to come back and beat Bolton, even if it wasnt the most convincing of wins. However, the players looked completely different to the game against Wolves. It was nice to see Konchesky left out of the starting lineup and then not even making the bench. Also, was very good to see Aurelio and Agger starting in defence. We came out in the first half lookg to push forward and play with pace and immediately had a different look about us when we were bouncing the ball around confidently. Only then to go down by a goal with minutes left in the first half. We should have gone level around two minutes after where Lucas missed a tap in.
However, going into half time 1-0 down was an all too familiar scenario for this season and I have to say I was concerned. When a team is lacking confidence you dont want to go a goal down. But, the second half we came back out fighting and got a great Fernando and Stevie G link up to put us level. From then on we looked much better, Fernando looked a completely different player with confidence going forward. We came close a couple of times with Ngog flashing one across the face of the goal. Joe Cole scoring the winner in injury time will hopefully do wonders for our teams confidence showing that we should never stop fighting and that no matter how late in the game we can still win. Reina made agreat save in the dying seconds of injury time to make the win certain.
Reina- Made some good saves, left stranded at their goal with terrible marking.
Johnson- Looked different today, a fair bitmore confident but still some panicky moments. An improvement.
Agger- Was nice to see him get in the starting line up and I thought he played fairly well. Some good battles with Kevin Davis
Aurelio- Again good to see him start over Konchesky, was fine. Always good to have him for attacking free kicks
Skrtel- Skrtel wascompetent in defence and didnt ever look in too much trouble
Meireles- Unfortunate for him to go off although it unleashedGerrard!! Lets hope the injury isn’t too bad
Maxi- Maxi played well, had a couple of good chances.
Lucas- Was fine, made some good blocks at the back and passed well in midfield
Kuyt- Kuyt as usual never stopped running. Played ok.
Ngog- Played pretty well, holdsthe ball up nicely up front
Torres- Definately looked out of sorts for the first half but his goal changed how he played completely! Lets hope he can carry this confidence on with him Subs used;
Gerrard- Really carried the whole team through with him and played really well, great link up with Torres and great cross for the winner
Cole- Cole got his first goal in the EPL for Liverpool, lets hope he will score some more
Kyrgiakos- Wasn’t on long enough to judge. Was fine
My feelings haven’t changed on Roy at all and I still dont think that he is the man for the job. We need to find a suitable replacement for him soon. I can only hope that this match will give the team a lot more confidence to take into the next few games and then string some results together.
Again another step round this incredibly long corner we are turning.
Happy New Year Reds.
Following the calamitous defeat at the hands of Wolves, Liverpool fans across the globe were all expecting for Hodgson to be relieved of his duties, an obvious conclusion to a short reign which has seen Roy scrutinized meticulously and rightly so by the red half of Merseyside and not only. Such a decision has yet to be taken by the new owners of Liverpool FC and one can only comprehend that it’s a tough call for Mr Henry and company to organise a conference call asking for Roy to be axed without first certain who is to take up the role of manager, care-taker or not, for the hectic second half of the season. It is now pretty obvious that prior to the Wolves defeat, NESV were still more or less backing Hodgson for the job. Matters took a different twist on Wednesday night as the Anfield faithful booed in numbers and chanted the name of King Kenny. NESV will now know that the relationship between fans and manager was effectively and permanently broken on Wednesday (rubber stamped by Hodgson himself after his post-match remarks about ‘fans’ and ‘supporters’) so the manager replacement machine must have certainly been put into full swing. It is now just a question of when and who will be given the mammoth task of shaping up the reds to be title contenders for years to come.
The news headlines yesterday, New Year’s Eve, highlighted how Hodgson is now expressing regret over his post match remarks where he callously speaks about the lack of support offered by Liverpool fans ever since his appointment, a factor which has irked Roy from day one. Truth be told, the ludicrous, spiteful treatment by some fans with the sole intention of attacking the man rather than his tactics is something I am not proud of as a Liverpool fanatic, but I will underline that Roy must fully accept that the constructive criticism has all been justified and rarely, if ever, addressed. There have been too many instances where Roy has left us fans scratching our heads in disbelief. Such moments fall under three categories, that is, tactics, transfer, and interviews. The intent is not to go through the many abnormal statements as this has been covered many times by colleagues on this and other sites.
Roy must come forward and admit that his tenure has been lacklustre, amateurish and laid-back. Roy must surely know that Liverpool is a club in need of a good league placing, the club’s requirement is to be in the Champions League and the requirement needs to be satisfied this season – full stop. The league is made more difficult nowadays because expectations have risen not just for the usual top four but for a number of other clubs and Liverpool FC, in the space of one year have slipped behind at a terribly fast pace. One may argue that this is not Roy’s fault but we simply have to accept that he is limited in what he can achieve in the short term. This is why Hodgson must be the first to come forward and hand in his resignation; nothing personal. The club is in a state where, yes, a magic wand needs to be waved. The point now is to unearth the right person to do this. I accept the feat is arduous but something needs to be done, someone needs to take the bull by its horns and fast. It’s all about finding the right individual. Moments such as these define those few who can turn a nightmare situation into a dream-come-true.
The person who will take over Roy (now a certainty, no longer a probability) will have to induce drive, motivation, ambition and bring back that Liverpool arrogance missing since the seemingly distant thrashings of Madrid and Man. Utd. The obvious scenario is to hand the job to Kenny Dalglish, nevermind his long absence from football management. Kenny has been in the shadows monitoring happenings at Anfield and will know what is required to take the reds to better levels, I am pretty confident. He was rejected the first time during a period of tremendous instability. He will now be even more fired up to do what’s best for the club he so much adores. NESV will know that sacking Roy carries a financial penalty but that’s a small price to pay if the three pillars of a football club – the team, the fans and the manager – are given an injection of structural stability. The season is not over yet and the team can be dragged on to go on a good run, I believe without particular new additions in January. The Bolton game will probably be Hodgson’s last or penultimate game (given the fixture pile up) and I can imagine the papers are nearly ready for the new man to scribble his signature on and get down to doing what others have failed to do, and that is to lift the reds out of obscurity.
See you next time.
Stevie G starts on the bench as Pepe Reina leads the Reds against Bolton.
Daniel Agger and Fabio Aurelio both start, Paul Konchesky doesn’t even make the bench.
Starting XI : Pepe Reina, Glen Johnson, Fabio Aurelio, Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel, Lucas Leiva, Raul Meireles, Maxi Rodriguez, Dirk Kuyt, David Ngog, Fernando Torres
Subs : Brad Jones, Joe Cole, Ryan Babel, Martin Kelly, Christian Poulsen, Steven Gerrard, Sotiris Kyrgiakos
This is a satirical write up, ie Funny, Joke.
By Shaun Dowling
After the one sided view poll earlier this week let’s looks at the excuses/reasons there might be why Woy Hodgson should stay. Which ones do you think could be used?
2. Hodgson is a nice man and has taken over at a difficult time and still hasn’t had time to impose his own style
3. He has pedigree having been manager of the year and been a relatively successful manager for many years so everyone knows he’s good accept the supporters.
4. He is English and Rafa was Spanish.
5. NESV don’t know too much about football yet so won’t make what could be a rash decision.
6. The owners have a long term plan and taking knee jerk decisions are not part of their philosophy.
7. Hodgson has the backing of his players. They might all come out in the next few days and say they were to blame and they stand by him.
8. The team has been plagued by injuries to the best players, Agger, Gerrard, Torres and now Carragher and the rest are crap.
9. Lucas is playing better under Hodgson due to his wise decision of bringing in Poulson to put him under pressure.
10. Konchesky fits in to the LFC ethos as he has a bald head and loves his Mum.
11. Cole will improve as he is using Liverpool as a stepping stone to return home to West Ham with a big money transfer and LFC can buy better players.
12. Kenny Dalglish knows nothing about football or LFC and is just a power hungry media specialist that knows how to manipulate. So ignore him in the directors box.
13. Hodgson should be allowed to work his (very long) FIVE year contract as Rome wasn’t built in a day although it was almost destroyed in 1984
14. Liverpool want to be in a relegation fight as it has been over 50 years we haven’t tasted such a wonderful experience and we only Hodgson has been there before.
15. Fergie likes him and they are best buddies and he has the respect of the media.
16. Rafa lives nearby and we don’t want him back so let’s annoy him by keeping Hodgson
17. The fans accept Hodgson’s apologies and believe everything he is doing will save LFC from further embarrassment.
18. Sammy Lee does not make the minimum height requirement to make a LFC manager so can’t take over or be a caretaker manager.
19. Comolli has the new Zidane and brought him in on a free transfer.
In 2011 Let’s hope none of these are used and the players form a team and start winning then Hodgson goes on being the lame duck manager he has become and it gives us time to find a new leader to put the house in order. On the other hand NESV give it to Kenny.
Liverpool FC v Bolton Wanderers FC
1st Jan 2011, Saturday, 3pm GMT
What a difference a year makes.
At the turn of 2010, Bolton were flirting with the relegation zone and Liverpool were, under Rafa Benitez, pushing for that fourth spot. Just a mere 12 months later, the complexion has changed. The fortunes reversed. Liverpool is a team in free fall, now treading ever closer to relegation waters, while the Trotters play adventurous football and are now riding high in the table.
The new year always represents new aspirations, new hopes, and new resolutions. This clash against Bolton represents a significant opportunity for Liverpool to stamp their mark in the New Year, and to show that the club have not turned into also-rans in just a over a year.
The last game of 2010 ended on a very depressing note for Liverpool FC. Roy Hodgson turned against the fans, against club legend Kenny Dalglish, and it looks like a war behind the scenes is about to erupt.
Two days after a footballing fiasco, it emerged that FSG, led by John Henry, are looking for a new manager, with names such as Andre Villas-Boas, Jurgen Klopp, Frank Rjikaard, Didier Deschamps all thrown into the hat.
What is intriguing though, is that the manager in the opposing dugout today is also under stringent consideration by the Anfield board. Step forward Owen Coyle, whose fresh approach has revitalised Bolton.
Roy Hodgson has got plenty to fear. He now is effectively a dead man walking, and any slip up today would potentially see him out of job by the 2nd day of the new year.
The troops are down, and Hodgson is potentially facing his toughest time in his 35 year managerial career, most of which was spent in Sweden and Switzerland. Having apologised to the fans in yesterday’s pre-match press conference, his fingers must be crossed that the fans don’t turn on him at Anfield today.
Bolton represents a fresh challenge for Liverpool, and in particular Hodgson. Lack of ambition to attack and take the game to the Trotters would clearly underline Hodgson’s old fashioned methods which are not destined to work at a top club like Liverpool.
Elmander has scored more than Gerrard and Torres combined and is enjoying his most profilic season to date in the EPL. Stuart Holden, an industrious player with an eye for a pass, represents a stern test for the likes of Lucas and Meireles. Throw in captain of Bolton, Kevin Davies, and Liverpool will be in for a roller coaster of a ride when Coyle’s men come calling.
Joe Cole is not expected to feature in this game, due to yet another injury, while Gerrard should start despite completing 90 minutes against Wolves in a ‘very tired’ state. Other than Carragher, Hodgson has a full, and demoralised squad to choose from.
Can Hodgson pick up the troops for the war?
Expected Liverpool lineup (4-2-3-1): Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Konchesky, Lucas, Meireles, Maxi, Gerrard, Kuyt, Torres.
Liverpool 1-1 Bolton
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