Somebody once said: Patience has its limits. Take it too far, and it’s cowardice.
I will not chant his name even if he wins the league, the cup and Europa league. I might give it a second thought but that is the closest he will come to any encouragement from me. The truth is, that the only thing keeping Roy in his job is “The Liverpool Way“. If this has been any other club with a top-four ambition at the least, Roy would have been shown the door by now. In fact, let me add to it, there is one more thing that is keeping him in the job; He is British too. We all know what Scolari got for Christmas? A Sack!
Well, back to our dear old (literally) Roy. Has he turned the corner? Is he transforming Liverpool finally? Did he just need time to come with the goods? Is he a genius? Lets see.
Liverpool won 3 on a trot in the league. At home against Blackburn (minus their first choice defence), we played quite well. In fact it was the best I have seen us play this season. But did I just mention Blackburn missing their first choice defence? For people pointing to that performance, I have to mention the term “Papering over the cracks”. Then against a spirited Bolton side, we managed just a scrappy win and were lucky not to concede atleast one penalty.
The 3rd game against Chelsea made every Roy Fan claim him to be some sort of a master tactician who overturned the fortunes of the club by winning that game. We forget that the team Chelsea put up was without Essien and Lampard. We were helped by the fact that Drogba started on the bench. We all saw how Chelsea was suddenly transformed as soon Drogba came on for second half. The stats after the game pointed to a 65% possession for Chelsea and more shots on goal as well. I dont want to take anything away from the Liverpool team as they were very good in the first half during which (point to be noted) they ATTACKED the opposition and won the ball in the final third. As soon they got the 2nd goal (which was almost the end of first half) Dear Old Roy suddenly reverted to that bottom-table team mindset that he is so used to. Two banks of four. Defend deep. Soak up the pressure and hoof useless long balls forward. We were lucky not to concede in the second half, but we did come very close to lose the precious points.
Now, the results might be saying Liverpool “Won” but the performance on the pitch was hardly something to sing about. And it was confirmed against Wigan. It turned out exactly the way I expected from Roy’s team. Defensive mindset, two banks of four and playing deep in our own half. For a moment i thought we were playing Brazil. The stats certainly pointed in that direction. Then I had to pinch myself to reality. It was actually Wigan with 54% possession and 6 shots on goals compared to meagre 2 by Liverpool. Now, if anybody can help me, what should I call a manager who brings on an inexperienced midfielder (Shelvey, 3 games in the season so far) for the experienced Meireless and then to top it off, an ultra-defensive midfielder (a.k.a Poulsen the flop) for a hard-working CF (Kuyt) with the scores tied at 1-1? GENIUS is the last word i will use for him.
And that is where my problem lies with this manager. Absolute negativity. His mentality is a bottom-half team mentality. He continuously harps about his ways working for 35 years spent managing teams (err, from Scandinavian countries) and refuses to accept his own deficiencies when team plays badly. This is a very clear cut case of a manager who has accepted a job much bigger than him and therefore lacks the required mindset too. Managing mediocre teams (barring a care-taking stint at Inter) for 35 years doesn’t give him the capabilities of managing a top-4 ambition team. If that logic works, I might as well be allowed to drive a lorry as i have been driving a car for 10 years now.
Most importantly, a manager of any club has to become a part of the club. Roy Hodgson conveniently forgets that he has to Walk Liverpool, Talk Liverpool and Act Liverpool if he needs any genuine support from Liverpool Fans. E.g. Referring to the massive group protest against messers Hicks & Gillet as “Just a Portion of Fans” was ill-timed and careless. Also it seems he is more concerned with his own pre-historic image and his friendship with Alex Ferguson. I can bet my bottom side that if Roy would have accused one of Alex Ferguson’s player of cheating, he would have got a nice spanking from Ferguson. Similarly it would have been interesting to see what treatment would Roy have got if he had shown interest in Rooney for January transfer window. He also needs to learn that Rafa has left the team so any bad performance HIS team puts in just cant be blamed on Rafa. He needs to learn to stick to his statements. Classic example: When taking charge of Liverpool he openly criticised the massively OVER-STAFFED Liverpool team. Yet after Wigan’s game, he blames the loss at extremely THIN squad at his disposal. At his age, I am inclined to forgive him for this memory lapse!
And last but not the least. Whether Mr. Roy Hodgson has got the personality, experience, vision and charisma to attract a world-class player to Liverpool?
I think we all know the answer to that. (And NO, Poulsen is NOT worldclass!)