Well, well, well if you check through the history of this blog you find that it hasn’t been a fan of Sam Allardyce.
The main reason is because rather keep his own counsel and, concentrate on improving his team’s performances in relation to those he is keen to criticise, he sees fit to pick and prod at others in a rather surly and unnecessary way. His treatment of Rafa when he was with us was sustained and boorish and in the end bordered on small minded bullying.
However even this scribe cannot help feel a degree of sympathy with the man after his unexpected sacking by Blackburn. If you thought the behaviour of Newcastle’s Mike Ashley was slightly bizarre then surely the new Blackburn incumbents have raised the bar? Is “lunacy” not too strong a word not necessarily due to Allardyce but because of their expressed desire to see Blackburn to finish fifth in the Premiership under under, it seems, the managership of Maradona no less?
Thankfully it would seem that our new owners are more level headed and, above all, patient however this hasn’t stopped the first drops of discontent seeping out of what has until now been a tight and private ship. The sign of the veil dropping slightly came during a fans phone in when John Henry described our results so far this season as “unacceptable”.
HRH was suitably pragmatic and despite talking at length about this, stated that he wasn’t worried about his job …..
“… if you have situations like last night when you have phone-ins to the owners you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know how that is going to go because we are not top of the league. Had we been top of the league it might have been different but we are not, we are ninth and we are Liverpool Football Club. You don’t have to be Albert Einstein to work out more people will be unhappy with that than are happy with it.”
Very true Roy but I guess you don’t have to be a rocket scientist, Albert Einstein or Albert Steptoe to realise that if you produce more and more results that are “unacceptable” then in the words of late 70’s early 80’s syth pop band Landscape (they played Chester Arts Centre once) it will be “Einstein A Go-Go”
One of my abiding memories of Saturday’s game apart from seeing Newcastle rough us up was HRH’s body language. The rubbing of the face in such a dramatic fashion portrayed more about the frustration he is going through than any of the many words he was keen to utter yesterday. It must be galling as although we are more well drilled and certainly more compact, all three goals were needless and avoidable and down to nothing but sheer carelessness. HRH’s actions suggested exasperation along the lines of “what more can I do”. I guess at this moment in time it’s a case of just that? Indeed, after Saturday one is tempted to ask what more can anyone do be it Hodgson or anyone else?
One bland answer to that I guess is to learn, and move on starting with tonight’s game with Utrecht. I suppose we should be grateful that this is dead rubber as it means we are through to the next round of the UEFA Cup (still can’t call it the Europa League). Nonetheless a victory would be welcome if only to help erase the memory of the corresponding fixture in Holland which was awful in every way.
Team wise I guess HRH will ring the changes saving players for Fulham at the weekend. Ngog won’t be risked after cutting himself near the eye at Newcastle. It appears that Gerrard is fit but will also be kept back for the weekend. All in all I wouldn’t be surprised if HRH makes well over half a dozen changes from Saturday.
Prediction? With Utrecht playing for nothing but pride and us safe and untouchable at the top of the group it is difficult however, hopefully the youngsters and reserves will want to prove a point so I take us to run out winners by 3-1.
Finally a nod to the club for offering free tickets to kids for tonight’s match when an adult buys a £20 ticket which is still a lot less than a normal match day ticket.