The picture tells the story....
Roy: Why I can
turn it around
By Jimmy Rice - LFC Official Website
Roy Hodgson has total confidence that he
can guide Liverpool up the Barclays Premier League table
over the coming months.
The boss - voted Manager of the Year by his peers at the
League Managers' Association in May - was asked by
journalists following our 2-1 defeat to Blackpool whether he
had any doubts over his ability to turn things around at
He replied: "I don't think you go from being as feted as I
was in May to suddenly losing any abilities I have three
months later. It's a question that's going to get asked but
it shouldn't really be asked by people who've been in
football for a long time, because they know that in football
you have good moments and bad moments.
"At the end of May I was having fantastic moments and at the
end of September I'm having bad moments, but I don't think
that after 35 years of coaching I've suddenly lost the
abilities that have served me so well."
Meanwhile, Hodgson is not ruling out dipping into the
transfer market in January if he feels signings are
necessary to improve our league position.
He explained: "We've got to trust in the players because
until January we can't do anything about that.
"We changed formation two or three times (against
Blackpool), there were several attempts to change things
around. We had Dirk Kuyt playing as a front player, then we
moved him wide and moved Joe Cole in. We moved Meireles into
the centre and brought on another wide player.
"We did what we could with the players we have available at
the moment, but we are a little bit short of out-and-out
front players at the moment, and of course we lost one of
the most important ones near the start of the game."
for Anfield affection
Roy Hodgson is struggling to keep his head
above water at Liverpool - and TEAMtalk thinks he faces a
battle for his supporters' affections.
With one word the Liverpool faithful cast their vote on the
new regime of Roy Hodgson - and it was not favourable.
As the Reds slumped to defeat at home to Premier League
newcomers Blackpool, the sound rolled down off the Kop:
"Dalglish, Dalglish, Dalglish".
They were referring to their beloved 'King Kenny', sitting
in the main stand. The man who offered to come to the club's
aid in their hour of need but was put firmly and squarely in
his place by chairman Martin Broughton and chief executive
Dalglish is a legend at Liverpool as he was not only voted
the club's greatest player but he was also the man to lead
them to the last of their 18th league titles in 1990.
When Rafael Benitez left in the summer and with the club in
turmoil with the on-going sale by Tom Hicks and George
Gillett, the 59-year-old offered to step into the breach and
hold the fort while everything calmed down.
He was told his services as manager were not required and
the board instead turned to Hodgson.
One school of thought was that Dalglish had been out of the
game for too long but, judging by Liverpool's results in
their opening seven league matches - which have brought just
six points - it is difficult to see how he could have done
His appointment would certainly have gone a long way to
healing the growing chasm between the board and the fans and
also probably in uniting an increasingly disparate-looking
Hodgson has yet to have his name chanted at Anfield and, in
the current circumstances, with the club 18th in the table,
it is unlikely to happen any time soon.
He has had to deal with a number of player dealings, which
have not necessarily meant like-for-like replacements, is
trying to instil a new playing style and does not yet know
his best team.
But despite his wide-ranging coaching CV, which has taken
him from Halmstad in Sweden to Inter Milan, the 63-year-old
does not seem to have grasped what it means to be Liverpool
The fans want a man in charge whose success they can admire
and who, in turn, they can adore.
That he arrived in July having only won trophies in Sweden
and Denmark meant the supporters needed some convincing.
He was not a promotion from Anfield's now-defunct Boot Room,
nor did he have Spanish league and UEFA Cup titles behind
him like Benitez.
A Europa League final defeat with Fulham two months
previously cut no ice and what Hodgson had to do was assume
the mantle of Liverpool manager and do it with an air of
authority, while also appearing sensitive to the fans'
He has so far failed in both, and him telling supporters
protesting against owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett that
they were not helping him or the team was poor judgement.
What he must do now is turn things around quickly, and he
has no better opportunity than in the Merseyside derby at
Goodison Park when the Premier League resumes.
But in order to achieve that he has to get the team playing
somewhere close to their best, and judging by performances
so far that is a large leap forward.
A mid-table finish and losing a Europa League final may be
enough for Fulham. At Liverpool it is classed as abject
Talk of Hodgson's departure is far too premature and he will
have the time to turn things around.
However, looming over his shoulder is the possibility that,
when the club is eventually sold, if results have not
improved significantly he may find time runs out for him
Liverpool's squad cannot be
blamed for Roy Hodgson's troubles
Comment by Rory Smith - Telegraph.co.uk
Even after defeat to Blackpool at Anfield,
even after reviewing a league table which ranks Liverpool
the 18th best team in the league, even after seeing another
atrocious performance, even after hearing the chants for
Dalglish, nobody even tried to ask Roy Hodgson whether he
was considering bringing his 14-game tenure on Merseyside to
an abrupt halt.
Everyone knew the answer, anyway. Hodgson would not dream of
committing an act tantamount to cowardice. A man of short
fuse, he would treat such an enquiry with disdain. Nobody at
the club has even whispered the suggestion that he may not
be long for this job, that his reign in the Boot Room will
not last beyond the autumn.
Even the Merseyside derby on Oct 17, a game which looms with
rare dread in Liverpudlian minds, is unlikely to change
that. Even if Hodgson was to take his Premier League record
at Anfield to played eight, won one, even if Liverpool
trudged back from Goodison Park still marooned in the bottom
three – and, on current performances, there is every reason
to believe they still will – he would not find himself under
any pressure from his employers, and they would not expect
to find him wracked with self-doubt.
Instead, he will be given more time aplenty, the excuse used
no doubt being the legacy of failure he inherited, the poor
resources at his disposal, the paucity of quality in
Liverpool’s squad, the time required to right such wrongs.
Such an idea has reverberated around the red half of
Merseyside for years, ever since Hodgson’s predecessor
Rafael Benitez failed to keep pace with Chelsea and
Manchester United. The only problem is that it was bunk then
and it is bunk now.
Liverpool’s squad is full of internationals. The side that
fell to Blackpool started with 11 on the pitch, and four
more on the bench. The likes of Daniel Agger, Fabio Aurelio
and Ryan Babel were not even accounted for, while those who
have not yet received international recognition are
youngsters of promise, rather than journeymen of regret.
True, international honours are no guarantee of quality. Few
would suggest that Sotirios Kyrgiakos, Lucas, Brad Jones and
Milan Jovanovic are the sort of players of which title
dreams are made. This is, of course, quite correct. But they
are still all Premier League class – not Champions League
class, not title class, but Premier League class – and they
should all be capable of partaking in a win against
Blackpool, despite Ian Holloway’s side’s impressive
The debate last year, the reason for Benitez’s dismissal,
was that he had failed to build a squad capable of
challenging for the Premier League title. This was eminently
fair. What he had built, though, was a squad not vastly
inferior to those at Tottenham, or Manchester City, or Aston
Villa, and better than those at Sunderland, Birmingham and
Everton. Liverpool had, and have, the look of a team that
should be challenging for Europe. After all, the majority of
the side is the same as that which finished second just 18
What the debate never used to be was whether this Liverpool
squad was good enough to stay in the Premier League. Or, if
that is a little knee-jerk, whether this squad was good
enough to finish in the top 10. Of course it is. It boasts
the best goalkeeper in England, if not Europe, Pepe Reina,
one of the totems of the last decade, in Steven Gerrard,
and, when fit, arguably the finest striker in the world,
Fernando Torres. That it is failing is not testament to a
dearth of quality. The players are not performing to the
best of their abilities. That is the fault of the manager,
and no-one else.
Kuyt sorry for
Anfield horror show
Liverpool forward Dirk Kuyt has apologised
to the club's fans after the 2-1 defeat to Blackpool at
Ian Holloway's Premier League newcomers dominated the first
half and were more than worth their two-goal half-time lead
earned by Charlie Adam and Luke Varney.
Sotirios Kyrgiakos's header pulled one back early in the
second half and the Greek defender was denied an injury-time
equaliser by goalkeeper Matt Gilks but a draw would have
merely papered over the cracks of another poor performance.
Liverpool's former championship-winning captain Alan Hansen
described the players' display as a "disgrace" and Kuyt
admitted it was one of his worst times in a Liverpool shirt.
"It was really, really disappointing," said the Dutchman,
who was by no means the worst player on the pitch.
"It's probably one of the hardest defeats I've had to take
since I've been here and we're sorry for the fans.
"The first thing we have got to do is make sure we start
winning games again and then we can begin to take things
Liverpool must now spend the next fortnight rooted in the
bottom three because of the international break before they
return to action in the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park.
Manager Roy Hodgson admits he and the squad have plenty of
work to do to put things right and Kuyt is confident the
players will turn things around.
"It is still early days for the manager and we have to keep
working but one thing I do know is that we will come back
stronger for this experience," he added.
"It's frustrating that we have got the international break
now because we will have this result hanging over us and
everyone in the dressing room wants to put it behind us as
quickly as possible.
"We know this result has not helped but we just have to try
to focus on the spirit we showed in the second half.
"We have got to make sure we show it in the next game."
2010-11 is Liverpool FC’s worst
start to a season for 57 years
By Paul Snowdon - Liverpool Echo
Liverpool's start to the current campaign
is statistically their worst since their ill-fated 1953-54
season which saw the club relegated into the Second
In their first nine league games back in that season, the
team won only once. That was a 3-1 triumph over Portsmouth
on the opening day.
But things really went downhill at a rapid pace following
Liverpool, who were managed by Don Welsh, lost five of the
next eight encounters.
These included a 4-0 reverse at Newcastle United and a 5-1
thumping at home in the very next match against Preston
The only games in which they picked up points in that dismal
run were home draws against Manchester United, Newcastle
United and Wolves.
Alongside legend Billy Liddell, the team that season also
boasted the likes of Laurie Hughes, Alan A’Court, Ronnie
Moran, Geoff Twentyman, Bob Paisley, Ray Lambert and Louis
After that appalling opening run, Liverpool earned a 4-0 win
over Burnley to bring some relief to the Anfield faithful.
But the rot set in again in the next match, a 6-0 hiding at
Charlton Athletic and the writing was on the wall.
They eventually finished bottom of the table with just 28
points from 42 matches.
Eight seasons in the Second Division wilderness followed
until promotion was secured in 1962.
Five more shocking Anfield results
LIVERPOOL 0 BARNSLEY 1 - NOVEMBER 22, 1997
The South Yorkshire club were thrashed 6-0 at home to
Chelsea and heavy defeats at Manchester United (7-0) and
Arsenal (5-0) had followed, but Ashley Ward decided the
contest in the 35th minute.
LIVERPOOL 0 WATFORD 1 - AUGUST 14, 1999
Graham Taylor’s Watford had just been promoted and were very
much the underdogs when the fixture list sent them to
Anfield in only their third game, but the Hornets won with
Tommy Mooney’s14th minute goal.
LIVERPOOL 1 BARNSLEY 2 - FEBRUARY 16, 2008
Just over a decade after their previous visit to Anfield,
Barnsley made it back-to-back wins at Liverpool with a
famous upset in the fifth round of the FA Cup, Brian Howard
netting the late winner for the visitors.
LIVERPOOL 1 READING 2 - JANUARY 13, 2010
Having slipped out of the title race and been dumped out of
the UEFA Champions League, the FA Cup was one of their few
remaining hopes of silverware but Shane Long’s headed winner
completed a turnaround.
LIVERPOOL 2 NORTHAMPTON 2 (NORTHAMPTON WON 4-2 ON
PENALTIES) - SEPTEMBER 22, 2010
League Two Northampton became the latest shock victors at
Anfield as Liverpool suffered a penalty shoot-out Carling
Disjointed, dispirited, heartless -
Liverpool FC’s on-field crisis continues
Comment by John Thompson - Liverpool Echo
And so a three-year crisis off the field
has now been joined by a three-month crisis on it. Roy
Hodgson has been in the post as manager of Liverpool for
less than 100 days.
Yet already there are diehard supporters on the Kop who have
clearly lost faith in him, as well as some who had little or
none to begin with.
On Saturday a viral text message in the name of Reds
supporter Graham Agg, who has long since established a
special relationship with supporters of Borussia
Monchoengladbach, Liverpool’s EuropeanŠ foes in two friendly
finals of the 70s, was circulated.
It said: "The Liverpool FC hierarchy need to accept they
have made a mistake of monumental proportions and dismiss
“Kenny Dalglish has the aura, charisma, knowledge and knows
the club inside out. And above all he commands respect and
is a winner.
“He should be immediately appointed the next manager of LFC.
“Hodgson is out of his depth and talks as though we are
Fulham and not the European giant we truly are.
“Hodgson must be shown the door now.”
Whatever you think of those acerbic sentiments – premature,
grossly unfair, or even spot on – you can’t today accuse Agg
of relying on hindsight for his forthright view.
Because by Sunday evening, as Blackpool’s players danced on
the Anfield turf, it was clear there were a fair few people
inside the place who agreed with him.
Of course, a chunk of the fans’ current frustration is
rooted in the whole ownership crisis and all they have been
through with it.
Yesterday once again saw diehard Reds supporters marching
upon Anfield before the match to demand once and for all the
end to the Tom Hicks and George Gillett era.
A good number of them too, were urging that current managing
director Christian Purslow should follow him out of the
Make no mistake, these are awful, unprecedented and
uncharacteristic times for Liverpool and their supporters,
who are increasingly divided by factionalism and fury over
how things got to this - and how they might be sorted.
But by 5pm last night, it was clear the anger from the Kop
had far more to do with football, rather than finance or
felons in the boardroom.
Because what Liverpool and their manager are serving up to
the supporters right now is worse than shoddy.
It is disjointed, dispirited and heartless.
Well it was in the first half at least and by the time the
players found a bit of rhythm and fight, it was too late to
recover. And it all means Liverpool – who two seasons ago
finished second in the Premier League amid the same
ownership crisis, don’t forget – are now in the relegation
They have made their worst start to a season for 57 years, a
season which duly saw them relegated.
Is it really this serious? Can it really be that bad?
Not so, insisted a bewildered, rather than beaten-looking
Liverpool manager in his post match press conference. Talk
of relegation is, as he rightly states, beyond credulity.
But he admitted defeat to Blackpool – yes Blackpool, already
thumped 6-0 by Arsenal and 4-0 by Chelsea this season – had
made for a nightmare day as they recorded their first
victory over Liverpool for 43 years.
It is a victory that follows hot on the heels of Liverpool
being dumped out of the Carling Cup by Northampton, their
worst defeat in 51 years.
And too of them clawing back a point at home to Sunderland
the previous week.
None of it makes good reading because Liverpool’s football
does not make good viewing right now.
They say football fans aren’t stupid and the corollary to
that must be that Liverpool supporters are A Star pupils of
the game, such has been their education over decades of
still unparalleled success.
Not only that, the supporters on the Kop have always been
renowned as being the most loyal in the game, too. Some
people often argue to a fault.
As much as anything that’s because Liverpool supporters,
perhaps more than any other set of fans, love to love their
managers; not deride them. Certainly not when they’ve only
There may have ultimately been howls of derision aimed at
Graeme Souness in his final days, but when Gerard Houllier
left at the end of the 2003/4 season, there had been no
chants for his head. Just a quiet sense of ‘please take him
out via the back door’ spilling from the Kop.
The club’s mutual parting with Rafa Benitez earlier this
year troubled, and still troubles a fair few Kopites.
But even after he lost 20 games last season and as the
pressure grew upon him, there were no mass demands inside
the stadium for him to go.
Yesterday, there were none directed specifically at Hodgson.
But even more hurtfully and humiliating for him perhaps,
many on the Kop – and others in the stadium – loudly chanted
the name of one Kenny Dalglish. It may have been a verdict
on the changing face of football and for Anfield a shock to
the system to witness.
But to a large degree it was a verdict on the way Liverpool
are shaping up – or rather not – right now.
Hodgson faces innumerable difficulties managing this club
right now, which must not be forgotten. He himself is trying
to manage expectations.
But they are inevitably high at a club like Liverpool and
the harsh truth is that he is simply not getting anything
like the best of out of the players at his disposal.
This gentleman scholar of the game clearly knows it. It is
puzzling him and hurting him, it is plain to see, too.
He is clearly a manager who, for all the many positives and
achievements on his long cv, embarked on the biggest
challenge – and opportunity – of his managerial career when
he walked into Melwood on July 1.
Less than 100 days on, it’s an even bigger challenge today
than it was then.
For all their off field troubles, for all the relatively
recent departures of players like Alonso and Mascherano
which have diminished the capabilities of this team, they
are surely better than this.
Hodgson has to prove it – and should be as open-minded as he
likes and as ruthless as is necessary – to do so.
Because in these modern and deeply troubled times at
Anfield, there is clearly no honeymoon period.
Chant of Dalglish, not boos,
is the most telling in home defeat
Comment by Ian Doyle - Liverpool Daily Post
Never mind the jeers at half-time and
full-time, the desperate performance from his players or a
dire defeat that plunges Liverpool into the relegation mire.
It is instead a single word from a hugely disgruntled Kop
that could ultimately have the greater ramifications for
beleaguered Anfield manager Roy Hodgson.
There, in a spontaneous outburst, a section of Liverpool’s
disillusioned, frustrated supporters passed verdict on the
new manager yesterday.
Losing games and losing face is one thing.
But losing the fans, especially just 94 days into a
tumultuous reign, has become a very real possibility for
Hodgson after a poor start to the Premier League campaign
plumbed new depths with home defeat to promoted Blackpool.
Sat in the directors’ box, a stony-faced Kenny Dalglish, the
popular choice to replace Rafael Benitez in the summer,
remained unmoved at the call from the supporters, but
Hodgson must surely have been shuffling uneasily in the
The 63-year-old launched a passionate defence of his
managerial methods over the weekend over claims he is out of
But just look at the statistics.
With only six points from seven games, this is the least
impressive start to an Anfield managerial career since
George Patterson in 1928 and Liverpool’s worst opening to a
top-flight season since 1953-54.
They were relegated that season, and this morning find
themselves back in the drop zone after a weekend round of
games for the first time since September 19 1964.
And there can be few complaints on the evidence thus far.
To think exactly 12 months ago today Liverpool headed to
Stamford Bridge looking for the three points that would have
sent them top of the Premier League table. Right now, many
fans would settle for top half come May.
The club’s American owners rightly take the flak for an
awful lot of what has gone wrong at Anfield, but Tom Hicks
and George Gillett don’t pinpoint the transfer targets, pick
the team and choose the tactics.
That buck rests with Hodgson and, as against FC Utrecht on
Thursday, his team, while not lacking in effort, played for
lengthy periods without cohesion, creativity or imagination.
Maybe that shouldn’t be a surprise. After all, Joe Cole,
Raul Meireles and Jamie Carragher – starting a game at
left-back for the first time since March 2004 – were all out
of position while both the returning Steven Gerrard and Dirk
Kuyt have become accustomed to different roles in the
4-2-3-1 formation that served them well in recent years but
has been jettisoned in favour of a more orthodox 4-4-2.
Yes, the sight of Fernando Torres prompting new injury fears
by hobbling off with a groin problem 10 minutes into the
game was an untimely reminder fortune hasn’t exactly
But this was a Blackpool team that had already been thumped
at both Arsenal and Chelsea this season, defeats that
prompted manager Ian Holloway to intimate his team would go
on the offensive at Anfield.
It was a wise decision, and the Seasiders were full value
for their first victory against Liverpool since 1967, with
Charlie Adam’s penalty and Luke Varney’s well-taken strike
ample reward for an enterprising first-half display.
Hodgson’s men roused themselves briefly after the interval
and while Sotirios Kyrgiakos pulled a goal back, they
appeared as likely to concede a third as grab an undeserved
equaliser to hastily cover the cracks.
The international break means Liverpool will now have two
weeks to brood both over their predicament and a Goodison
derby against similarly struggling Everton that Hodgson
simply dare not lose.
The warning signs had been there for Liverpool as early as
the second minute when Pepe Reina was required to beat out a
powerfully-hit 20-yard free-kick by Adam.
DJ Campbell should then have done better when firing an
inviting Neal Eardley cross over at the far post, while
Skrtel made a fine block to prevent Varney from capitalising
on space inside the area.
So it was no shock when Blackpool went ahead on the
half-hour after Varney exposed Glen Johnson’s defensive
frailties with a straightforward run into the box that
teased a rash challenge from the Liverpool right-back for a
stonewall spot-kick. Reina went the right way and got his
hands to Adam’s penalty, but the power took the ball into
The home threat until then was minimal, their best opening
coming when Kyrgiakos, easily Liverpool’s best player on his
first Premier League appearance of the season, headed on a
Gerrard corner and Eardley cleared off the line before Cole
could pounce at the far post.
Going behind at least encouraged more urgency from Hodgson’s
men, substitute David Ngog, Kuyt and Cole all forcing
routine saves from Blackpool goalkeeper Matthew Gilks.
But the visitors finished the half the stronger, Reina
saving from Campbell and Stephen Crainey before, on the
stroke of half-time, Gary Taylor-Fletcher’s fine pass beat
Liverpool’s offside trap and Varney smashed home for
Liverpool showed far more initiative after the break – to be
fair, not too difficult a task – and, after Ngog sent an
inviting header wide from Kuyt’s cross, they pulled a goal
back on 53 minutes when Kyrgiakos rose above Blackpool
centre-back Ian Evatt to head Gerrard’s free-kick delivery
in off the underside of the crossbar.
Cole then spurned a great chance to equalise when, released
by Carragher inside the area, he slipped the ball beyond
both keeper Gilks and the far post.
It was a pivotal moment, as Liverpool’s belief slowly began
to drain and Blackpool’s returned.
Kuyt headed a diagonal Gerrard ball at Gilks late on before
the keeper saved brilliantly to deny Kyrgiakos a second in
injury time, but an equaliser would have been unjust.
Blackpool were given a standing ovation by all four sides of
the ground at the final whistle while Liverpool left the
field to the sound of boos ringing in their ears.
But it is that one chant from the Kop that continued to
resonate long after the dismayed home support trudged back
to their homes.
Roy Hodgson must act to stop rot
at Liverpool following Blackpool defeat
Comment by Alan Hansen - Telegraph.co.uk
Roy Hodgson knows well enough that the
buck will always stop with the manager, but the truth of
Liverpool’s defeat against Blackpool is that the 11 players
who started the game should be embarrassed.
They were wearing red shirts at Anfield and produced a
totally unacceptable performance in a defeat that left
Liverpool in the relegation zone. It was an embarrassment.
Forget about the history and tradition of the club. Pride
also comes into it, but if the pride isn’t there among the
players, then there is not a lot of hope for the club.
Results are the manager’s responsibility and Roy knows that
and that is why he is now being subjected to criticism from
the supporters. The owners have also left the club in a
mess, so that is another big problem.
But it is up to the players to show anybody and everybody
that they have the passion to turn this around and that must
start when they play Everton in their next game following
the international break.
Let’s not forget, Liverpool have a group of players who
played in the latter stages of the World Cup this summer.
Some even played in the final. So when they are facing
Blackpool at home, needing to win to escape the bottom
three, you would expect them to come out and roll Ian
Holloway’s team over and score five or six goals.
That is not because Blackpool have just been promoted and
were not fancied to win. It is simply because Liverpool were
at home, they needed a victory and they should have taken
It didn’t happen. Even at 2-1 down, you expected them to
surge forward and get something from the game, but Blackpool
continued to be the better side.
It is little wonder that the fans’ patience finally snapped
following the game. After three to four years of
unbelievable support, and last year in particular when they
watched some absolute drivel away from home, it reached
breaking point with this defeat.
They have seen enough sub-standard football, enough rubbish.
At some point, it becomes too much and that is why the
supporters were so angry after Sunday’s game.
Despite the disharmony on the Kop, Liverpool are not going
to change a manager after seven games. They are not going to
change him after another 10 games either.
It is not what Liverpool do and the people who are running
the club know how it operates and how it has traditionally
done things. The only way that a change will be made is if
Liverpool are in the relegation zone at Christmas, but that
will not happen.
Roy does need to change things, though. He must make
Liverpool more adventurous, especially at Anfield, and he
has to inject some pace into his defence.
He cannot be judged on the players he signed yet because it
is too early, but you have to question whether some of those
he inherited are good enough. I don’t enjoy singling out
individual players, but I am surprised that Roy is playing
Sotirios Kyrgiakos because he just does not have the pace.
David Ngog is a million miles from being an adequate
replacement for Fernando Torres, Dirk Kuyt always falls
short when asked to step up to the plate and Milan Jovanovic
is struggling. Torres doesn’t seem to be getting any fitter
and he is now injured again and will probably be out for two
to three weeks.
It all keeps coming back to Steven Gerrard, but one-man
teams tend not to win much and Liverpool cannot keep relying
on him to rescue them all of the time.
Now is the time for everybody at Anfield to come together
and throw their support behind the team, even if that means
forgetting about the protests against the owners. It is
vital that that issue gets resolved sooner rather than later
because the club needs investment and a new stadium, but we
can talk about that until the cows come home.
Liverpool’s managers have had money to spend, but the club’s
record in the transfer market in recent seasons, barring the
odd exception, has been abysmal. Liverpool have bought
players who cost more than the £8 million that Tottenham
paid for Rafael van der Vaart, so it can’t all be the
owners’ fault. What about the scouts?
The team and the results are all that matter, but there is
no defence for anybody at Anfield, be it the owners, the
manager or the players.
To get out of this mess, everybody has to pull together and
that has to start happening straight away.
revels in win
Blackpool boss Ian Holloway was in
dreamland after seeing his side shock Liverpool 2-1 at
The top flight new boys piled the misery on the struggling
Reds on Sunday, leaving their illustrious opponents
languishing in the relegation zone.
Charlie Adam fired Blackpool ahead from the penalty spot on
29 minutes and Luke Varney added a second right on the
stroke of half-time.
Sotiris Kyrgiakos pulled a goal back for the home side early
in the second half, but Blackpool defended stoutly to record
a memorable victory.
Holloway admitted afterwards that he could barely believe
what was happening to his side, with the Seasiders enjoying
a fairytale existence during their debut season in the
"It is one of the dreams I've had for years," he said, after
seeing his side applauded from the field by the home
"When the fans were singing You'll Never Walk Alone - it's
my dad's favourite song but he's no longer with me - I was
singing myself and it was a bit emotional.
"This is not far off the home of football - these supporters
have seen some of the best football over the years and in my
era as a player there was no better team in the world.
"The boys made me so proud and for that set of supporters to
clap us off that is all I wanted - that was what my dream
was last night.
"This is a fantastic moment for Blackpool."
Holloway felt his side were good value for their victory,
but admitted that the sight of Fernando Torres hobbling from
the field early on helped to inspire his players.
"To see the best striker in the world limp off after a few
minutes, I can't tell you what that did for us," he added.
"His mere presence is awesome so to see him come off played
into our hands and helped us."
Hodgson labels Liverpool
BBC Sport Online
Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson admitted his
side's form was unacceptable as they slumped to a home
defeat by Blackpool.
The Reds are third from bottom of the Premier League and
asked if six points from seven games was unacceptable,
Hodgson replied: "Yes of course it is.
"This is Liverpool. We are a big club and big team and none
of us would accept it is a correct total," he said.
"We can't do anything about that now but we certainly have
to work very hard to do better in the future."
Liverpool went behind to a Charlie Adam penalty and a Luke
Varney strike and, despite a second half rally which saw
Sotirios Kyrgiakos pull one back for the Reds, Blackpool
held on for a famous victory.
"In the first half we were correctly punished for a
lacklustre display," admitted Hodgson.
"We had the ball as much as them but did not do anything
with it anywhere near enough to satisfy my, the club's or
the players' demands.
"We conceded two goals on counter-attacks but in the second
half we came out and tried to turn matters around but could
only get one goal.
"Their great result is our nightmare result. It is a very
bad day and there is nothing I can say.
"At the moment things look bleak and really bad and it is
difficult for me to put a bright face upon it."
Liverpool's disastrous start to the season, their worst
since the Premier League began, has also seen them
eliminated from the Carling Cup at home by League Two
However, Hodgson stated that his players' failure to perform
to their potential was of greater concern than the team's
lowly league position.
"There are 31 games left but when you are in the relegation
zone you are in a relegation battle," he added.
"But I really don't think my concerns are with relegation,
my concerns are that we are not playing to our full
"I am not going to think too much about relegation with 31
games to go."
Liverpool were not helped with striker Fernando Torres
having to go off after 10 minutes against Blackpool because
of an injury.
"It is a groin strain, I don't know how severe," said
"It came as a surprise to us, we had no awareness there were
any problems in the groin area.
"I don't know if it was something which happened during the
course of the game."
Seasiders stun sorry Reds
Blackpool piled the misery on struggling
Liverpool with a famous 2-1 win at Anfield to leave the Reds
rooted in the bottom three.
Charlie Adam fired Blackpool in front from the penalty spot
after Glen Johnson had brought down Luke Varney inside the
Varney added a second on the stroke of half-time to leave
Liverpool leaving the field at the break to a chorus of
Sotirios Kyrgiakos pulled a goal back on 53 mintes when he
headed home Steven Gerrard's free-kick, but despite some
late pressure Blackpool held on for a deserved three points.
To add to Liverpool's problems Fernando Torres lasted less
than ten minutes after appearing to injure his groin.
Manager Roy Hodgson has spent his three-month tenure at the
club insisting there would be a transitional period but
their current position is shameful for a club of Liverpool's
There is little he can say to excuse this result, yet
another in a string of disappointing displays which have
been characterised more by poor performances than anything
Blackpool, to their credit, were well worth their win on
their first-half performance but it should not be forgotten
that they are a side who went to Arsenal and Chelsea and
were beaten 6-0 and 4-0.
Prior to kick-off they had conceded more away goals than any
of their rivals (10) but that record was not something which
was exploited at all by their hosts.
They were not helped by the 10th-minute loss of striker
Torres to a suspected groin injury, but even then they
should still have at least dominated possession.
But they did not get chance as Blackpool attacked from the
off and Adam's second-minute free-kick had Jose Reina
batting the ball away.
Torres barely had time to flash a cross into the six-yard
box where Joe Cole deflected it wide before he was replace
by David Ngog.
Blackpool were enjoying far more of the play than they could
have expected to at Anfield and DJ Campbell went close at
the far post from Neal Eardley's teasing right-wing cross.
When Steven Gerrard gave the ball away in his own half it
was only Martin Skrtel's sliding challenge which denied
Varney's shot but the pressure eventually told in the 29th
Right-back Glen Johnson, in particular, has had a dreadful
start to the season and it got worse when he brought down
Varney, allowing Adam to fire home the penalty despite Reina
getting a hand on it.
Liverpool's response was half-hearted with Kyrgiakos, Ngog,
Johnson, Dirk Kuyt and Raul Meireles all failing to test
goalkeeper Matt Gilks with chances.
Seconds before the interval the Seasiders stunned their
hosts when Gary Taylor-Fletcher flicked a ball into the
penalty area and Varney ran on to fire past Reina.
Two minutes into the second half Ngog should have buried his
header from Kuyt's cross when unmarked only to miss the
target but Kyrgiakos showed him how it should be done in the
43rd minute, powering home Gerrard's quickly-taken
The tide had turned as now Liverpool were enjoying all the
possession, even if it had taken them nearly an hour to
establish such a position.
Meireles had three attempts in quick succession, although
only the first forced Gilks into a save, before Cole was put
through by Carragher only to see his delicate dink beat the
goalkeeper but roll past the far post.
A positive substitution removed defensive midfielder
Christian Poulsen for forward Milan Jovanovic, with Meireles
dropped back into his favoured central position.
As quickly as Liverpool had gained their attacking momentum
it seemed to desert them just when they needed it most in
the final 15 minutes.
Kuyt's header at the far post from Gerrard's cross was the
closest they came but it lacked the power or direction to
The Reds have now gone five matches in all competitions
without a win - no wonder the Kop chanted the name of Kenny
Dalglish, who was overlooked for the manager's job in the
Hodgson has some serious thinking to do while the majority
of his squad are away with their national teams.