Ever since Wednesdays result I’ve been the internet more often than I usual am (which is very often) just to check that HRH is manager of Liverpool!
It’s got to the point where I’m saying “I’ll just see if he’s still with us” like some angst ridden owner checking on his sick dog!.
One wonders just how near the club is to parting company with Hodgson? He will live to fight for another match although he could have done without the next one which is of course against our good friends and neighbours from The Theatre of Delusion in the FA Cup. However, speculation was heightened yesterday when the usual Friday press conference, to chew the cud over the Mancs game, was cancelled. No doubt Sunday’s game would have taken second place to questions about HRH’s future however, I can’t help thinking this was a foolish move by the club particularly as they have replaced it with an “in house” interview where presumably the questions can be properly vetted? Better for the club and HRH to tough it out, come clean and face up to the questions who knows, it might even fend off some of the speculation?
Of course all this could easily be displaced by a decent run of results on the pitch. Sadly at the moment this seems unlikely and every game seems to be yet another nail in HRH’s coffin – how long before the lid is secured and it’s ready for burial? I can’t remember when we have been so poor and even if we do rally, and have decent second half of the season, one wonders if the damage has already been done? This is not just about HRH’s future but also players such as Torres. For example if we fail to qualify for the Champions League is he going to want to stay (will he stay even if we do qualify?). Equally is any one who is of decent quality going to want to join us?
However, all is not doom and gloom for Roy, enter Kevin Keegan……….
“You have to look way beyond Roy Hodgson to see where things started to go wrong at Liverpool, the decline has been going on for at least six or seven years, maybe longer. The problem is because of the history of the club and the expectations of the fans the bar is too high for the players that are there at present. The players that are there can’t live with the standards that have been set in the past…. The decline at Liverpool has not just happened in the past three to six months…. They’ve got to give him time but it’s the one thing you don’t get, as we all know. The clock ticks on the wall and managers don’t get time. They thought he was right four months ago and he did a great job at Fulham, so they’ve got to back him. They chose him – they’ve got to back him.”
Sorry Kevin they don’t have to do anything as you, as king of the walkouts, know full well. In the interests of balance listen to this from Phil Thompson
“I hate knee jerk reactions – this is not that – and I take no pleasure in saying this. But these are unprecedented times – we are wallowing in mediocrity.”
The thing that always intrigues me when this sort of stuff is going on is what the players make of it? I don’t know if managers do this sort of thing but wouldn’t it be sensible to sit the players down, either collectively or on a one to one basis, and ask them why they feel things are going wrong? What is their take on the situation? We know they aren’t playing well but why? Is it because they don’t approve of HRH’s methods, may be it is because the pressure is getting to them or is it because they don’t have the ability or organisation to carry out what he is coaching? Tell us.
I don’t think it is straight forward to say that a teams performance on the pitch is inextricably linked to they way they are managed. The players are coached and set up but when the whistle blows they are on their own they still have to make their own decisions and think for themselves and I sometimes wonder whether we are capable of that? An example of this is woeful defending we’ve seen recently. This sort of stuff should be bread and butter to top class players yet recently we have seemed unable to do even the basic things? Is that totally HRH’s fault or plain lack of footballing intelligence from the players?
On the other hand it is true that if don’t get on with your boss then your work suffers. It becomes self perpetuating, other people get on your back such as the media and fans and then confidence suffers. Some might say that professional pride should dictate that you perform but I guess it isn’t easy if you’ve millions watching you and waiting for you to slip up especially when you aren’t doing well and some are therefore less tolerant? If this is case then surely it is time for the boss to fall on his sword and to bring someone in who will at least lift the place, even if it is only until the summer?
So where are we? I guess everything boils down to our poor performances. If all this is down to way everyone feels about HRH then the owners need to act. However, if the players have no issue with the manager and the owners are still willing to back him then there needs to be collective awaking from everyone. A 63 year man from Croydon has not, in the space of four months, been solely responsible for the position the club is in and everyone from Henry to HRH to Torres to the admin staff needs to close ranks, pull together, be positive and work hard to make life better. That is what this club and the City of Liverpool has always been good at?