“The Lord of Lords, King of Kings, has returned to lead his children home, to take them to the New Jerusalem”
Genesis “Suppers Ready”
Ok sorry, sorry I’m really sorry!
I guess one of the main indicators of how successful a football club is stability and continuity so what does it say about us? We’ve now gone through a change of ownership and two changes of manager in around half a year?
The departure of Roy Hodgson had been coming it was simply a case of when. However I think the timing of yesterday’s announcement probably surprised many of us. I guess if he was going to go if would have been on Thursday morning after Wednesday’s defeat rather twenty four hours before today’s game? Only the night before HRH had appeared on the “in house” TV station talking about today’s game leading one to believe that he would still be at the helm? Nonetheless it is not a surprise and neither is the appointment of Kenny as “caretaker manager” until the summer.
I have to say that since the Wolves game I’ve been wrestling with this issue. The knee jerk reaction was demand that HRH go. We’ve had too many poor performances and too many players have gone backwards since he arrived for it to be a coincidence. Above all, with one or to exceptions, our games have been dire to watch, negative, dull and bereft of inspiration. However, I absolutely hate it when clubs dismiss managers too quickly without giving them enough time. Predictably, and understandably, HRH’s response touched on this.
“I am very sad not to have been able to put my stamp on the squad, to be given the time to bring new players into the club in this transfer window and to have been able to be part of the rebuilding process at Liverpool.”
I believe he has a point but God it’s been depressing and supporting Liverpool isn’t a job. If it was perhaps I’d have to knuckle down and work through it but it’s something I do for pleasure and enjoyment. I guess HRH would still be in his seat and patience would be extended had the fans wished it but when they turn, especially Liverpool fans, your days are numbered and it doesn’t help when you criticise them even if you say sorry after.
As mentioned in yesterday’s piece I wonder if the players also played a part? Even if they supported HRH’s methods it didn’t show on the pitch in terms of confidence and morale. Regardless of what you think about his professionalism, Fernando Torres’ face this season has said it all but how many of the squad, who are less open in their body language, have felt the same? He doesn’t need it but HRH is decent man and I feel sorry for him. No one deserves the sh*t he has taken however, he knew that might be a possibility if he didn’t perform when he took the job on, regardless of the mitigating circumstances?
So what of Kenny taking over? I guess when things go wrong there is always a tendency to try and go back to a time and situation when things were going well if only for comfort. Football is no different, look at the Newcastle fans’ hankering for the second coming of Kevin Keegan a few years ago. I’m nervous about Kenny taking over for a second time. He’s been out of the management game for around ten years and I hope he doesn’t f*ck it up and tarnish his reputation. However, I love and respect him and can’t wait to see how we do, as mentioned before I’m sorry for HRH but I was bouncing around the house yesterday and hopefully it will also give the squad and the players a lift. Despite this my head says it will still be difficult even if my heart says we’ll win today and go on the run that catapults us right up the league whilst also winning the UEFA Cup and FA Cup and let’s through in the Eurovision Song Contest too for good measure!
I jest of course but it’s a sensible, populist appointment. The players should be unburdened of the pressure they must have felt as a result of the fans and media opposition to HRH. If it does go wrong then the owners will be able to appoint someone in the summer anyway. If it goes well then it will be interesting to see how they do in trying to persuade Kenny to step aside!
There could be no better game to start than against your old mate Fergie! I bet Fergie thought the days of going “face to face” with Kenny were behind him and was relieved with the likes of Rafa who represented easy pickings. Hell Rafa, bless him, even did Fergie’s wind up work for him, remember that rant and how it backfired? However it’s a different game now, Kenny has always had the measure of Fergie in this area and doesn’t suffer fools or bulls*it gladly.
And the game? Ultimately I guess this is a “nothing to lose” situation. Priority is still the league however, when before it was winning the thing now it is progressing up it. It is sad that the FA Cup has taken a dent in importance over the years however, the third round day is still one of the best events in the footballing calendar? Minnow’s v Giants and this match, if Fergies comments yesterday are to be believed, is a fine example of that!
No doubt we will be “treated” to the highly witty taunts of “going down” from the Mancs faithful and may be even Fergie might decide to twist the knife by naming a weakened side will he risk it though it could backfire as it did against Leeds last year? All this is expected and I guess before yesterday it was probably a case of lambs to the slaughter one great club now flirting with so called mid table underachievement anxiously looking over its shoulder at the inconceivable spectre of relegation against “them”, but want now?
Prediction? We visit Old Trafford with, let’s face it, an appalling away record – two wins out of our last nineteen – and I guess rectifying that and, getting the defence to defend, must be one of Kenny’s priorities? Having said that I think many may be tempted to revise their prediction after yesterdays events and bank on a rejuvenated Liverpool. I doubt Kenny has the time to do what he really wants so I guess any improvement will be largely through the players being motivated as if it were ever needed against the Mancs. I’ll say we’ll do enough to take them back to Anfield but to be honest I am now more interested in the journey ahead to the end of the season. It’s going to be fascinating.
By the way I wonder if Kenny still has his old grey and red Adidas jacket and will he, despite being a tad older, still stand by the dug out? Welcome back.