Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Liverpool were out fought, out muscled, out thought and out played this afternoon.
In the first half, they were completely overrun by the aerial bombardment of Stoke City's offense. So much so that they were utterly unable to impose their own attacking threat on the game.
Stoke City recorded their first victory ever over Liverpool in the Premier League, in fact this was their first win over the Reds in 26 years!
Another embarrassing afternoon for fans and players.
Roy Hodgson should have expected what Stoke were going to throw at him and countered this with threats of his own.
Liverpool were simply devoid of attacking ideas. Stoke needed to be stretched on the wings and in these positions he played Raul Meireles and Maxi.
Maxi has improved and hence arguably has justified his inclusion, but Meireles is ineffectual on the flank and he should not have been picked.
Ryan Babel was promised more starts by Hodgson but he has seen little playing time but when introduced was easily the most effective Liverpool player on the pitch.
It also appears that Hodgson does not have the metal to make the tough decisions.
He appears not to be able to drop Jamie Carragher. In Martin Kelly, he has a right back who is maturing and promising. And even now is far more effective a right back than Carragher, yet once it was clear the Sotirios Krygiakos was back to partner Martin Skrtel in the centre of defense, rather than drop Carragher he pushed him to right back.
It is no secret that Carragher hates playing there and his perfromances in the past and again today illustrated this.
He played the best he could, but that is sadly not good enough.
To bring on David Ngog was also a mistake. He is far too lightweight to ever have made any impact.
It would have made more sense to bring on Milan Jovanovic on the wing to supplement Babel on the other and that would have given the Stoke defense something more to think about.
Liverpool's revival has been halted and they are stuck in midtable. This should not really surprise any Liverpool supporters as this is the part of the table that Hodgson is used to being in and is not capable of leading a team any higher.
It is time the new Liverpool owners brought in a manager who knows how to lead a team to more than mid table mediocrity as this is as good as it gets under Hodgson.