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Old 31st December 2010, 01:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Liverpool in crisis! Six reasons why it has all gone wrong at Anfield under Roy Hodgson

Roy Hodgson marks half a year as Liverpool manager tomorrow but it will be a far from happy occasion at Anfield.

Here Sportsmail examines six reasons why the six months Hodgson has spent in one of the biggest jobs in world football have gone so horribly wrong.




SHADOWS OF THE PAST

One is a club legend, who won eight league titles as a player and manager. The other was the man who brought the European Cup back to Anfield after a 21-year absence and enjoyed idolatry not seen since the days of Bill Shankly.

Kenny Dalglish and Rafa Benitez are colossal figures in Liverpool’s history and both cast enormous shadows over Hodgson. During the defeat by Wolves, Dalglish’s name was chanted on four occasions, while one banner on the Kop simply read ‘Come home Rafa!’

Hodgson needed a flying start to his reign to stand any chance of banishing the spectre of those men but the more he has floundered, the more supporters have bayed for either Dalglish or Benitez to come to the rescue.





SUPERSTAR NO-SHOW

Pepe Reina has admitted to being disappointed with his performances. Fernando Torres has looked like a striker who would struggle to command a £5million fee, never mind the £50m that is stipulated in his release clause.

Joe Cole has endured such a torrid time that he recently said the form he has shown for Liverpool has been ‘the worst of his career’, while Glen Johnson and Dirk Kuyt are experiencing what can best be described as World Cup hangovers.

It’s easy to blame Hodgson for everything wrong with Liverpool but when players of that standard fail to produce, the club’s current plight becomes much clearer. Injuries to Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard have been ill-timed.



PR NIGHTMARE

Some of Hodgson’s comments have defied logic and merely irked disaffected fans. The suggestion on Wednesday night that he has not experienced ‘that famous Anfield support’ effectively made it impossible for him to build bridges.
From failing to defend Torres after Sir Alex Ferguson made barbed comments about the striker to claiming his side played well in what was their worst performance at Goodison Park for a generation, Hodgson has never spoken as a Liverpool manager should.

The Kop is a powerful enemy and as former Liverpool captain Phil Neal pointed out: ‘Hodgson could rue saying those words about the fans, that they haven’t backed him.’




BOTCHED TRANSFERS

Contrary to popular belief, Liverpool were not absolutely penniless in the summer. Big investments were made on Bosman signings Cole and Milan Jovanovic and the sale of Javier Mascherano generated £20m.

That Hodgson chose to reinvest that money in Brad Jones, Paul Konchesky, Christian Poulsen and Raul Meireles has done little for his credibility.

Jones was in goal for the Carling Cup calamity against Northampton, while Poulsen and Konchesky’s efforts have, in the main, been dismal.

Meireles looks a nice player but has not yet justified the £11.4m it cost to sign him. Hodgson cannot say any of the four deals for which he is solely responsible have worked.



MR UNPOPULAR
The ironic chants of ‘Hodgson for England’ during the defeat by Wolves was a damning indictment of how low his stock has fallen but he never stood any chance of winning a popularity contest on Merseyside.

When Benitez claimed Hodgson ‘could not see a priest on a mountain of sugar’, the Liverpool Echo ran an online poll the following day asking who supporters backed in the row — the outcome was 90 per cent in favour of Benitez.

Liverpool’s new owners John W Henry and Tom Werner also found out the depth of feeling towards Hodgson when they participated in a live phone-in on the club’s in-house television station.
The majority of callers asked for him to be removed.




BACKSEAT DRIVER

THE appointment of Damien Comolli as Liverpool’s director of football strategy has raised more questions than it has provided answers and many have regarded his arrival as a weakening of Hodgson’s position.

Furthermore, when Hodgson said Torres would start a meaningless Europa League game against Utrecht, only to find himself talked out of it by his own medical staff, it suggested he is not in complete control.

Would Sir Alex Ferguson allow something similar to happen or find himself answering to another man on transfers?



Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/foo...y-Hodgson.html

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