December 30th, 2010

The Guardian: Liverpool have to sack Hodgson now

Pass and move, it's the Liverpool groove? Not any more. The Hodgson way is more hoof and pray. As endless long punts were hammered towards Fernando Torres and David Ngog during last night's defeat to Wolves, it became increasingly impossible to justify Roy Hodgson lasting at Anfield beyond the end of the week. Patience has its virtues, and chairmen can be trigger-happy, but it is hardly compulsory; Hodgson's time is up. He simply has to go. Forget about giving him extra time and the chance to dip into the transfer market in January. Trust has to be earned and Hodgson has failed. Liverpool are perched three points above the bottom three. Losing to Northampton Town, Blackpool and Wolves at Anfield in the space of six months, no matter what financial constraints Hodgson has had to work under, is a grotesque underachievement for a club of Liverpool's elevated standing.

For all his complaints about the situation he inherited from Rafael Benítez, Hodgson took over a squad containing Pepe Reina, Jamie Carragher, Javier Mascherano, Steven Gerrard, Dirk Kuyt and Torres. Granted, he lost Mascherano to Barcelona but he also willingly parted with Alberto Aquilani, while bringing in the laughable pair of Paul Konchesky and Christian Poulsen. Although Liverpool were average last season, they still finished seventh. With the players at his disposal, Hodgson has introduced an ugly, negative route-one style, which last night saw the defence bypassing the midfield with alarming regularity.

While Liverpool's players must take some responsibility too, clearly Hodgson has lost the dressing room, if he ever had it in the first place. Under Benítez, when Liverpool were losing games at Anfield, teams would brace themselves for the inevitable barrage as they defended their goal at the Kop End, waiting for Gerrard to pop up with a jaw-dropping equaliser. Last night there was nothing. With Wolves, whose sparky, attractive style of play belied their lowly position, required to do the bare minimum, dissent grew among the home supporters. Afterwards Hodgson was critical of the fans (RAGE INCOMING), questioning where the "famous support" had gone. He sounded like an away fan mocking a subdued home crowd about the lack of atmosphere. It almost appears as if he is getting his shots in early. Liverpool's supporters already disliked Hodgson. This will be seen as a step too far.

Little bit moar at the source:

This pretty much sums up my feelings exactly. The man has reduced me to being unable to feel anything other than numbness and a sort of gallows humour whilst watching us go 1-0 down, at home, to Wolverhampton sodding Wanderers. Mick McCarthy could hardly contain his glee on MotD.