Liverpool presently sit in 9th position of the Premier League, fact.
From the possible 42 that have been on offer so far this season, they have not even collected half of those and sit on 19 points after 14 games and a minus goal difference in the hands of Roy Hodgson, not good enough you would normally say with little interest in a second thought on the matter. Is that position the reality of Liverpool Football Club or the league though, perhaps both.
Whilst Liverpool’s current team commander continues to meet an almost daily barrage of negativity, as much from reaction to his own supposed words of wisdom, as to the performance of a side, who one by one voice their support of him through the media, via either honesty or the encouraging hand of the club’s PR machine, the question as to whether Roy is the right man for the job just doesn’t go away. Perhaps validly so.
Roy’s appointment was seen by many to be an almost telegraphed move by the board in place at the time, a decision made quickly with more media thought than football. More a question of would Fulham release him and would he take the job on offer as opposed to actually being the right candidate for it, a logical step in their strategy, thankfully one that later saw enough bravery to remove the ownership of Hicks & Gillett from the club. Many feel that other names, conveniently placed in the press but never confirmed by the club were nothing more than decoys, a proof of the workings out so to speak but never ones that were checked by a teacher.
It is easily argued that the sale of the club was a much bigger concern, a middle of the road manager would have somewhere to hide while turmoil surrounded him. An English manager, an offering to attempt to return to values of the past and head towards stability that had long since booked a one way flight out. The sacking of Rafa, the appointment Â of Hodgson and the sale to NESV showed an understanding of numbers in books and not on the back of shirts. Decisions for accountancy, temporary PR and maybe even ego’s but not for football.
Under the ownership of such renowned parasites, it was always going to be alot to ask any major name in management to make the trip to Anfield but in reality they really didn’t need to.Â From my perspective the club’s commercial and football decision, and not one in any shape or form to revisit childhood memories, should have been to snap Kenny Dalglish’s hand off and appoint him in an interim capacity as soon as he offered, or preferably beat him to it. The man most fitting of filling the position on offer, understanding it and conjuring an escape plan on the pitch must have thought he had been dealt a trick question when given the task of finding a candidate.
Dalglish’s record and knowledge of both the game and the club was never a match for Hodgson even with his time out of the game, only a British manager could have gained such an appointment at such a club, a Continental candidate with such career statistics would have had his CV returned to sender.Â Dalglish was simply too much of a threat to those above him once appointed, even in the short term, Rafa had strong support amongst the fanbase but Dalglish was another level to which they dared not venture. Instead of harnessing that fear and supporting it to work for them they chose to run from it, the irony is that decision alone would have brought them the time to think that they so craved. It is hard to imagine the results or performance being a great deal worse than what is presently being provided as fit for Liverpool Football Club.
The Hodgson argument will continue to roll on, slightly more or less heat game by game or comment by comment that he offers, it will never go away. That argument comes with many statistics to support it and in some quarters even hatred but there are times when metrics just are not a requirement – what you see simply looks wrong and feels wrong, square pegs in round roles maybe a football cliche but sometimes it just doesn’t need to be any more complex than that, we are controlled by our senses and thoughts after all and its our actions that define us.
Despite what maybe should have been, it is reality that we work with and support as generations of Liverpool fans have done before us. Supporting what we have at the club for better or for worse is the marriage any Liverpool fan has to the club, you don’t walk away from it, you are committed to it until death do us part but it doesn’t mean the journey is a perfect one, you question decisions you make and you learn from the ones that you get wrong. Liverpool simply got one wrong for me but an apology is likely not to be forthcoming.
In three days time Martin Broughton will pass his chairman’s hat on to Tom Werner to take the reins, some will say of a horse that has gone lame and others will say has just forgotten how to gallop. NESV are known for patience, decisions based on analysis being required as much as heart and a winning mentality, just a month away then from the opening of the new transfer window, where perhaps a clearer picture on the start of their vision for the future will become more apparent. Roy Hodgon’s position in that future is surely yet to be shaped or decided but the bigger picture will soon start to come in to focus, if Hodgson can redefine his own metrics then he might just realign a few more fans. They say the proof is in the pudding and right now Gordon Ramsey would throw it back at you 8 times out of 10, a performance, correct tactics or even just a positive result at White Hart Lane would certainly be a good sign of intent.
While Liverpool contemplate that an extra 6 points and a few more goals, from approaching half a season they would in the majority rather forget, would in fact see them somehow sat in a Champions League 4th place spot scratching their heads wondering how they got there, it is also just as true that just 5 points less would see them planted in the relegation zone. Technically closer to the nightmare than the dream you could say, an EPL where competition is either evolving or unrest can’t decide which team it wants to play for.
As they say, we live in interesting times.You can follow Justin Heron & Kop That on Twitter