The drama continues
There are a few factors that exonerate Roy Hodgson from the full blame for Liverpool’s state of despair.
IT is that hand-on-the chin routine that really has Liverpool supporters in high rankles and gives away the impression that Roy Hodgson is a man counting his moments at Anfield. Let us not take anything away from Everton: they had the blazing hunger and unflinching intention to end their four-year wait for a league win over their Merseyside neighbours.
As the media and supporters launched into a witch-hunt, it is useful to ask whether Hodgson should really accept the entire blame for the Reds’ extremely bad state in the Premiership. His post-match ramblings do not help – “I refuse to accept that we were in any way outplayed or any way inferior” is a choice cut – while his inability to change the game from the dugout is a liability.
But to unload all of the team’s troubles onto his lap is to flagrantly display very poor judgment. Hodgson must be held responsible for part of the problem but not in its entirety. There are a few factors that exonerate the 63year-old from the blame and they run to the day Tom Hicks and George Gillett made their commercial killing on English soil: selling their bogus dream to the supporters.
It is fashionable to blame the media hobbyhorse Rafael Benitez for all the ills afflicting the Reds. The fact is that six of his players who started on Sunday also spearheaded the clash at Anfield against Everton eight months ago. In that match they played with 10 men for close to an hour and yet managed a 1-0 win. Hodgson still has the crux of the players that finished as runners-up in the league less than 18 months ago. The supporters and media need to ponder the same question that Benitez posed on Tuesday: what changed? If we burrow further, it is difficult not to see beyond the current management team as the point of the decline.
The move to oust Benitez has been at least two years in the making and certainly hatched before the arrival of Christian Purslow (who stepped down as the club’s managing director two days ago) in June 2009. The removal of Benitez was one of the rare subjects that both Hicks and Gillett had agreed on and, as indicated in his “white liquid in a bottle” invective, had consumed Purslow too. A smooth operator in finding high-powered allies at Anfield and in the media, Purslow promised to gain new investment in the first quarter of 2010 and performed the task with such assuring skills that the club handed his brief to chairman Martin Broughton 10 months later.
If Benitez had lost the confidence of his
Dead man walking: Roy Hodgson is the picture of confusion these days.