Friday, January 7, 2011

Liverpool: 5 Reasons why manager Roy Hodgson must part ways with the Reds

Liverpool take on Manchester United in the FA Cup on Sunday in a game that could be pivotal to determining the future of Roy Hodgson who has stayed on as the manager despite reports surfacing that the new owners are currently searching for a new manager. Rafael Benitez might have brought Liverpool FC to a lower position from their previous highs but they were always a very tough and capable team under the Spaniard. However they have lost to many lower quality oppositions without a fight and have sunk to new lows under Roy Hodgson.

Roy Hodgson had an excellent start to 2010 as the manager of Fulham but the year ended on a bitter note for the Englishman who has been accustomed to hearing chants for Kenny Dalglish to be the manager for the Reds. Though Hodgson has a decent managerial career, his tenure with Liverpool has not been successful and here are 5 reasons why he needs to part ways with the club for the better future of the Merseyside club.

1. Incapable of bringing out the best from his Talented Players

Liverpool might be languishing in the bottom-half of the table but no one could accuse the club of not having the quality to at least be within the top seven clubs after the first half of the season. It has been due to the poor performances from their best players that the Reds find themselves in this predicament. Though Hodgson has probably made average talents like Lucas Leiva and Maxi Rodriguez into better players, he has not been able to bring out the best from his star players.

Fernando Torres has looked very frustrated throughout the season barring a few matches where the supporters have seen what he is capable of. He does not look like he wants to fight for the manager and if Liverpool are to secure a top seven finish, they need Torres to find his shooting boots on a regular basis. Joe Cole is another example of a talented player failing miserably under Hodgson. Though Gerrard has been decent this season, he has not been as influential as he can be because he has been played too deep in a number of matches.

2. Playing too negative for a team like Liverpool

Liverpool are a huge club and boast of arguably the most supportive crowd in history. However they have been utterly disappointed with the negative tactics employed by Hodgson which has more or less meant that the Reds have not dominated too many games. For a club which has some great attacking talents like Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres, they have played too deep which has meant the duo have not been able to influence games on a regular basis.

Liverpool under the Englishman has passed the ball a lot in their own half but have lacked the creativity to break down defences. Also, they have played the long ball game and expect too much of Torres who has been woefully out of form. Daniel Agger was outspoken in his criticism of the manager in his tactics to just clear the ball from the back instead of distributing it cleanly which does provide a view of the manager’s tactics.

3. Poor Transfer Record and Bad Utilization of Some Players

Though Liverpool were struggling financially at the time when Hodgson took over as he manager of Liverpool, he still had decent money to spend. However he has brought in some very mediocre players who do not deserve to play for a club like Liverpool. Christian Poulsen and Paul Konchesky are very average players who are not good enough and have been criticized by the Anfield faithful for their poor performances.

Raul Meireles is different in this regard as he is a proven player who has shown that he can develop to be an excellent player in the future. However, he is a proper central midfielder who does not have too much pace which is why he should not be played on the wing. The Portuguese has played on the flanks on more than a couple of occasions but has not performed too well because he is a quality central midfielder and not a winger. Also Steven Gerrard is at his best when he is influencing the game from the centre but his tactics has meant he has played too deep which has meant he cannot be that influential and Torres has suffered from a lack of service.

4. Hodgson does not inspire confidence to the Supporters and the Players

Roy Hodgson has made a number of statements which have been controversial and has been criticized by the Liverpool supporters. He has not cut a confident figure; in fact, he has been rather cautious in his approach and has not looked like a manager for the long term future of the club. His comments after the poor performance against local rivals Everton were quite pathetic when he said they had put in their best performance of the season in that 2-0 defeat. Also when Sir Alex Ferguson was indirectly pointing out that Torres dived in the game between the two clubs, Hodgson said nothing to back the player.

Also, his comments about Glen Johnson not being good enough and Joe Cole not assured of a regular place has only brought down the confidence of the team. Every time the Reds have let in a goal, Hodgson does not inspire the players who need a tougher manager at the helm. His man-management skills have not been excellent and it does seem like he has found the Liverpool job and expectations too big to handle despite his assurances.

5. Liverpool Supporters want him out and will not back him as the Manager

Liverpool have been one of the most successful clubs in history and the supporters want the club to play attacking football. They have not been happy with the defensive tactics of Hodgson while the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal have been attacking in most of the games. The Reds have an away record that is quite similar to clubs fighting against relegation and the supporters have been forced to watch some pitiful football over the last few months, especially away from Anfield while they have also suffered some embarrassing losses like the defeats to Blackpool and Wolves at home.

Hodgson made another error by criticising the famous Anfield support and was invited with sarcastic chants of “Hodgson for England” in the next few games. He must understand that Liverpool supporters generally back the manager to a great extent but they do not back him because they do not believe he is the right man for the job. The new owners have been patient so far but they should make a move to appease the supporters who are very restless at the moment.

The fact that Anfield has not been completely filled by supporters for the last couple of matches is a huge cause for concern which clearly gives the indication that the fans have lost the faith in Hodgson and the team for now. Hodgson might have come in at a difficult period but will not be unfairly treated if he does get the sack because he has been given a lot of time to turn things around at Liverpool. Now that he has been unsuccessful, it is time for someone else to try to steady the ship.

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