Delusion is normally a word left reserved for Tom Hicks but it is quickly finding a new friend in Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson.
As Liverpool tumbled too easily to a 2-0 defeat at Goodison Park in the Merseyside derby against Everton, despite having to endure 90 minutes devoid of invention, class and honesty a smiling Roy Hodgson at the final whistle, decided to continue the lack of thought in his post match press conference, with these comments amongst others.
"I thought the shape of the team was good and I thought the quality of our passing and moving was good today."
" I refuse to accept that we were in any way outplayed or any way inferior."
Whether Hodgson had got sidetracked at times watching a re-run of a derby from yesteryear on his phone in the dugout remains to be confirmed, as his comments just do not relate to the game that was played out from 130pm this afternoon. The end result of which left Liverpool in 19th place in the Premiership, saved only by goal difference at the present moment in time from the further humiliation of propping up the table.
Roy Hodson is a gentleman of the game, he is also by no means a total fool but out of his depth he most certainly is right now and the water could get deeper yet.
At times, especially on the back of a defeat it can admittedly be somewhat harder to find the line that exists between outward criticism of your players and admission of your mistakes, sadly Hodgson has failed here as well as tactically on the pitch, something that can lose you respect in the dressing room just as quick as it can lose you backing in the stands. A lack in both confidence and belief is there for the whole world to see.
Too many the appointment of Hodgson remains a strange one in many ways, it wasn't necessarily a step that Liverpool needed to take at the time they did, given that Mssrs Hicks & Gillett were still residing. Respected Hodgson may have been, but he was a manager of a much different wealth of tactics to former charge Rafa Benitez, a defensive playing mentality much different to the one that the squad he inherited had been designed around. Other options may well have been a better match technically and commercially and at present little is being offered to suggest otherwise.
It was going to take funds that Liverpool just didn't have in the last transfer window, to make enough changes to the squad for Hodgson's tactics to have an effect. The added pressure of the scalp of Liverpool in any competition being far greater than he would have experienced at either Blackburn or Fulham.
Liverpool again took until the 2nd half had commenced to start to offer any kind of noticeable change, already 2 goals down at the time and Everton having knocked it back a gear. Players can of course be blamed for not performing, not showing commitment or it just not being there today if bad luck is to be believed but a manager has the ability to change a player or the system from the bench, adapt to the game. Yet again that change just took too long to be recognised and not for the first time this season, not even the second or third.
It is fair to say that any manager needs time to make a team their own, things do take time to settle but as new owner John W Henry of NESV provided a vote of confidence to the manager under fire; the name of Kenny Dalglish amongst others continues to drum in the background with ever increasing noise.
"Roy needs to be given time and he will be," the new owner said.
"We have a lot of confidence in Roy. No-one can be pleased with our start to the season, but the club needs to gel."
Knee jerk reactions are not a trade mark of Liverpool but neither are 6 points from a possible 24 acceptable in any shape or form, a sin in itself. Whilst Napoli, Blackburn and Bolton make up the club's remaining fixtures for the month, Liverpool fans will continue to ponder what "given time" equates to, should progress not be made in the form of points and performance... and also whether the "substantial investment funds in the squad" are indeed going to be safe in Roy's hands come January 1st. In his short tenure thus far, cause for concern on both exists and is valid right now.
Time will tell if NESV were indeed the correct selection by the clubs board to bring about a new era of winning ways but right now, the early report on their managerial appointment is possibly more wrong than "must try harder".
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