A statement from LFC fansite Red and White Kop

We’re posting this on behalf of Red and White Kop (RAWK); it looks like someone went to a lot of trouble to have fun at the expense of the victims of a tragedy.

If you feel you can help RAWK find those responsible please get in touch with them, or contact us and we’ll pass the details onto them.

RAWK Statement on the sickening Hodgson / Hillsborough smear

Some of you may already be aware of a post made by a RAWK user yesterday which sickeningly likened Roy Hodgson to Hillsborough.  There were two attempts to make this post, both were removed immediately by the site staff and the user was banned from the site indefinitely. Despite this screenshots of the offending post soon started appearing all over other fansites, Facebook and Twitter with accompanying opprobrium.  The user involved being traced and having his home address details published along with various threats.

The user has protested his innocence and as a result we have spent a considerable amount of time looking into what happened. We are continuing to investigate but it appears that the offending post put on RAWK in very suspicious circumstances, from IP addresses not normally associated with this users account, these IP addresses have been logged. It seems probable that the user has had his personal details breached by a third party and these were then used by the same third party to make the posts on here.

The post was removed within minutes of it appearing online on RAWK. The opportunity to get a screen grab of the piece was extremely limited, and it’s rapid dispersal through Twitter is both disappointing and unusual. As investigations stand the earliest posting of the screenshots are within an hour of the event taking place when they were posted on Red Cafe at 3.30pm yesterday.  The RAWK moderators are taking this issue very seriously and are working with the user to assist him in his attempts to find out how his account was breached. Given the level of personal abuse and threats that this individual has received, the site will also comply with any requests from the police regarding this issue.

For the sake of the user himself and in order to try and protect all the good work done by members of the various Hillsborough campaign groups we would urge that if you see the ‘Hillsborough’ smear being repeated on Twitter or any other media please forward this message to the offending site or individual.

There is further discussion on this here.  We would be particularly interested in hearing from anyone who has found references to the screenshots or the posts from earlier than 3.30pm yesterday.

Europa Cup – Sparta Prague guide

As a diversion from the talk of Roy Hodgson’s imminent departure – at least we hope it’s imminent – we’ve got something that we can try and look forward to.

Roy may get sacked, he may resign (although that seems unlikely) or he may go by the usual compromise of “mutual consent”. Deservedly so with the club now just four points about relegation – but he has managed to do what was needed to negotiate the first half of the Europa League season, meaning that there is still hope of some silverware to end the season with. It also represents the club’s best chance of qualifying for Europe next season.

The Reds are back in action in the competition next month, and although we’ve no way of knowing who’ll be picking the side at least those who are going to the match can plan how best to get there – and what to do either side of the game.

With thanks to Tony at Travelsupermarket.com, here’s our guide to Sparta Prague.

After Roy Hodgson’s Liverpool team finished top of group K in the Europa League, they were drawn against Sparta Prague in the second round, playing them away first on February 17th.

Rather than spending hours looking for cheap flights to Prague and back, below is a list of the flights still available:
Continue reading Europa Cup – Sparta Prague guide

Blackburn v LFC – Gerrard, Torres start; Kuyt, Agger subs

Barclays Premier League – January 5 2011.

Blackburn Rovers v Liverpool

Steve Kean and Roy HodgsonBoth sides have had new owners installed since the start of the season – but only one has had a change of manager. Sam Allardyce made way for Steve Kean, a change that wasn’t initially popular with Blackburn fans. Roy Hodgson remains in post, a failure to change that is extremely unpopular with Liverpool fans.

For tonight’s game Paul Konchesky returns to the defence in place of Fabio Aurelio, with Daniel Agger dropped back to the bench, making way for Sotirios Kyrgiakos.

Raul Mereiles left the pitch early through injury against Bolton on Saturday, he’s replaced in the starting line-up by Steven Gerrard, the captain. Dirk Kuyt is also left out, he’s sitting on the bench with the scorer of Saturday’s late winner, Joe Cole, his replacement tonight. Maxi is likely to switch to the right to allow Cole to start on the left.

Liverpool’s other scorer from Saturday, Fernando Torres, also starts tonight but with a big game coming up against Manchester United in the FA Cup 3rd round this weekend it remains to be seen if Hodgson chooses to withdraw him from the action early.

Liverpool need the three points desperately, but with only one away win this season – and Roy Hodgson hardly renowned for getting his sides to win away from home – there may be more disappointment for Reds supporters.
Continue reading Blackburn v LFC – Gerrard, Torres start; Kuyt, Agger subs

Liverpool FC managers: Stat Attack

Ivan Potapov, of Russian Liverpool FC fansite LiverBird.ru has produced an in-depth comparison of the performances of Liverpool managers past and present.

As I wrote before for Russian-speaking supporters, I had been very sceptical to Roy Hodgson since I heard he would be appointed as a manager of Liverpool FC for the first time. It seemed really obvious for me he wasn’t good enough to be a manager for the club like ours, and his experience meant nothing because he was a flop with two big names he tried to manage.

Unfortunately for us my expectations were finally met when he began to work with Liverpool FC. It’s just half a year passed but we reached some lows we didn’t reach for some fifty years. Graeme Souness, probably the worst manager we had since Don Welsh, did much better in some areas than Roy did. But some people try to defend Hodgson even now when some stats for the fifty years were brought to light by one of the Daily Post journos.

They say it’s not fair to compare Roy with others because: 1. he’s been there just for half a year; 2. his work is in progress; he managed Liverpool for 30 games not hundreds of them as other managers did. Okay then, it’s time for me to suggest my little statistical overview started from December 1959. I tried to compare our managers and hoped I could find out how each of them started here at Liverpool FC. Each “period” covers just first 19 league games (or first 30 games in all competitions) for every manager. It’s fair to Hodgson, isn’t it?

My overview has its weaknesses (what doesn’t?) but I’ve tried to reduce them. For those managers who began their work in mid-season I decided to use not only a beginning of their careers but the beginning of their full season at the club as well. And for Bill Shankly, who began his work when our club languished in the second tier of English football and won the old Second Division with us in 1962, the first 30(19) games of his third full season at the club were added. For some observers who blamed Benitez for everything he did I added the beginning of 2009/2010 season, our worst as we thought at the time.

I marked extreme values with colors – green for the best and red for the worst.

First 19 league games

Coach Matches W D L + %
Roy Hodgson 19 7 4 8 23 24 36,84%
Rafael Benitez 19 9 4 6 33 20 47,36%
Rafael Benitez* 19 9 3 7 36 25 47,36%
Gerard Houllier** 19 10 4 5 28 16 52,63%
Gerard Houllier*** 19 8 4 7 38 27 42,1%
Evans/Houllier + Houllier**** 19 8 4 7 32 23 42,1%
Roy Evans***** 19 9 6 4 34 18 47,36%
Roy Evans****** 19 8 2 9 26 24 42,1%
Graeme Souness^ 19 8 8 3 22 15 42,1%
Graeme Souness^^ 19 8 6 5 26 18 42,1%
Kenny Dalglish 19 12 5 2 42 18 63,15%
Joe Fagan 19 12 4 3 33 14 63,15%
Bob Paisley 19 10 4 5 25 14 52,63%
Bill Shankly^^^ 19 7 4 8 31 27 36,84%
Bill Shankly^^^^ 19 11 4 4 39 25 57,89%
Bill Shankly^^^^^ 19 10 4 5 42 29 52,63%

First 30 games in all competitions

Coach Matches W D L + %
Roy Hodgson 30 13 9 8 40 30 43,33%
Rafael Benitez 30 15 6 9 47 25 50%
Rafael Benitez* 30 13 5 12 36 25 43,33%
Gerard Houllier** 30 17 5 8 50 27 56,66%
Gerard Houllier*** 30 12 5 13 54 41 40%
Evans/Houllier + Houllier**** 30 13 7 10 54 35 43,33%
Roy Evans***** 30 18 7 5 56 23 60%
Roy Evans****** 30 15 4 11 50 36 50%
Graeme Souness^ 30 14 10 6 48 27 46,66%
Graeme Souness^^ 30 14 9 7 50 30 46,66%
Kenny Dalglish 30 19 7 4 65 27 63,33%
Joe Fagan 30 18 8 4 53 19 60%
Bob Paisley 30 15 9 6 49 20 50%
Bill Shankly^^^ 30 15 6 9 56 37 50%
Bill Shankly^^^^ 30 15 7 8 62 44 50%
Bill Shankly^^^^^ 30 16 6 8 60 41 53,33%
  • Roy Hodgson (July 1st 2010 – Jan 1st 2011): 19 Premier League, 6 Europa League, 4 Europa League qual., 1 League Cup.
  • Rafael Benitez (July 1st – Dec 26th 2004): 19 Premier League, 6 Champions League, 2 Champions League qual., 3 League Cup.
  • Rafael Benitez (July 1st – Jan 13th 2010): 20 PL, 6 CL, 2 FAC, 2 LC.
  • Gerard Houllier (July 1st 1999 – Feb 13th 2000): 25 PL, 2 FAC, 3 LC.
  • Gerard Houllier (Nov 12th 1998 – May 16th 1999): 26 PL, 2 FAC, 2 UEFA.
  • Evans/Houllier + Gerard Houllier (July 1st 1998 – Jan 9th 1999): 21 PL, 6 UEFA, 1 FAC, 2 LC.
  • Roy Evans (July 1st 1994 – Jan 14th 1995): 24 PL, 1 FAC, 5 LC.
  • Roy Evans (Jan 31 1994 – Oct 29 1994): 27 PL, 3 LC.
  • Graeme Souness (Jul 1 1991 – Dec 18 1991): 19 1D, 6 UEFA, 5 LC.
  • Graeme Souness (Apr 16th 1991 – Nov 30 1991): 21 1D, 5 UEFA, 4 LC.
  • Kenny Dalglish (July 1 1985 – Dec 26 1985): 23 1D, 4 LC, 3 Screensport Super Cup.
  • Joe Fagan (July 1 1983 – Dec 22 1983): 18 1D, 4 EC, 7 LC, Charity Shield.
  • Bob Paisley (July 1st 1974- Dec 14 1974): 21 1D, 4 EC, 4 LC, Charity Shield.
  • Bill Shankly (July 1 1962 – Mar 5 1963): 27 1D, 3 FAC.
  • Bill Shankly (July 1 1960 – Jan 21 1961): 26 2D, 3 LC, 1 FAC.
  • Bill Shankly (Dec 1 1959 – Sep 3 1960): 28 2D, 2 FAC.

Obviously Hodgson’s statistics could be catastrophic but he was “saved” by the Europa League. Liverpool were drawn against Macedonian and Turkish minnows in the preliminary rounds, so we cruised past them.

But in league games the statistics look awful. Half a season passed with him winning less games than any Liverpool manager in his first season according to the table above. He almost reached an all time low with the number of goals we scored (23 against 22 for Souness) and lost almost as many games as Evans did in his first 19 matches (but Evans was appointed in mid season). And Hodgson is the only Liverpool manager with a negative goal difference after 19 league games; Souness did better than him!

Some of Hodgson’s defenders cry for time. “Give him some time and he will turn us into a real force,” they yell. But I cannot agree. He has great players in his squad, not Zamoras or Hangemanns, but they’re really good footballers and he had time he needed to fix his own mistakes but he didn’t. There was a period in Liverpool history when we changed the manager who worked even less than Hodgson. I don’t mean Ronnie Moran or Phil Thompson who were asked to fill the gap when Dalglish resigned and later Souness and Houllier couldn’t manage because of their health.

We had joint managers, Evans and Houllier, and the idea didn’t look good from the start. They couldn’t work together and eventually Evans resigned in November 1998. I decided to compare statistics for Evans/Houllier’s 18 games (12 in PL) with the same stat for Hodgson. And the first 18(12) games of the 2009/2010 season were added because it was a “catastrophe”, wasn’t it?

Roy Hodgson vs Evans/Houllier (in all competitions)

Coach Matches W D L + %
Roy Hodgson 18 8 6 4 23 18 44,44%
Evans/Houllier 18 7 6 5 33 20 38,88%
Rafael Benitez 18 8 2 8 32 25 44,44%

Roy Hodgson vs Evans/Houllier (league)

Coach Matches W D L + %
Roy Hodgson 12 4 4 4 13 15 33,33%
Evans/Houllier 12 4 4 4 19 14 33,33%
Rafael Benitez 12 6 1 5 27 18 50%
  • Evans/Houllier (July 1 1998 – Nov 12 1998): 12 PL, 2 LC, 4 UEFA.
  • Roy Hodgson (July 1 2010 – Oct 31 2010): 10 PL, 3 EL, 1 LC, 4 EL qual. Liverpool played their 12th league game under Hodgson on November 11 2010.
  • Rafael Benitez (July 1 2009 – Nov 9 2009): 12 PL, 2 LC, 4 CL.

Houllier and Evans failed in 1998, Benitez failed in 2009, but what about Hodgson? What about goals scored? What about goal difference? Did Liverpool play under him better than under Benitez just a year ago? Benitez won 50% of his league games but Hodgson won just a third of them.

You can do whatever you want with statistics. It’s just about numbers. But I can give you an answer to the main question we ask ourselves every morning and noon: Is Roy Hodgson the right man for the job? The answer is obvious.


*1 2 Statistics for Rafael Benitez at the beginning of the 2009/2010 season, the worst for the Spaniard at Liverpool FC
**1 2 Gerard Houllier statistics at the beginning of his first full season at the club (1999/2000)
***1 2 Gerard Houllier statistics from the point when he became the sole manager of the club (Nov 12 1998)
****1 2 Statistics for the beginning of the season 1998/1999, which we started with the Evans/Houllier duo as our managers. To match the number of matches I added some games of the season after Evans’ resignation.
*****1 2 Statistics for Roy Evans, since his first full season at the club (1994/1995) began.
******1 2 Statistics for Roy Evans from the moment when he became a manager (Jan 31 1994).
^1 2 Statistics for Graeme Souness from the beginning of his first full season (1991/1992).
^^1 2 Statistics for Graeme Souness from the point when he became manager (Apr 16 1991).
^^^1 2 Statistics for Bill Shankly at the beginning of his first season in the First Division (1962/1963).
^^^^1 2 Statistics for Bill Shankly at the beginning of his first full season (1960/1961)
^^^^^1 2 Statistics for Bill Shankly from the point when he became manager (Dec 1 1959).

Ivan Potapov, LiverBird.ru.

Follow Ivan on Twitter: @ingumsky.

Blackburn v Liverpool – preview

Roy Hodgson’s under fire from fans as rumours gather pace that his days are numbered. Some rumours suggest those days are numbered in a way that can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

Steve Kean and Roy HodgsonBut as strong as those clams are beginning to sound, we’ve heard similar kinds of stories in the past only for them to prove unfounded or at least premature. And Roy’s presumed scouting visiting to Wigan with Damien Comolli on Sunday suggests he’s got a little while longer yet, even if FSG are known to be actively seeking a replacement and despite fans becoming increasingly vocal about the need for a change.

In the meantime there’s a match to be played this evening, at a club where supporters have strong memories of both current Reds manager Hodgson and someone many Reds fans wanted appointed in his place (and many still do), Reds legend Kenny Dalglish. Blackburn’s supporters will remember Hodgson as the man who set them on their way to relegation, sacked half-way through the season with the club at the bottom of the league. They’ll remember Kenny as the man who gave them their Premier League title, one of four he won as a manager (including three as Liverpool boss).

There’s a danger that Liverpool will arrive at Ewood Park with the sense that the Lancashire side are one in turmoil following the recent sacking of manager Sam Allardyce and much mirth on the back pages about their reported transfer targets. But Liverpool arrived at St James’s Park for their last league game thinking similar kinds of thoughts about their opponents, only to go and lose 3-1.

Allardyce was replaced as manager by Steve Kean, once of Fulham (during Chris Coleman’s reign), and he’ll be intent on proving his appointment is not as temporary as some observers feel it might be.

After a weather-enforced break Liverpool followed that dreadful away defeat to Newcastle with a dreadful home defeat to bottom club Wolves before a 2-1 win home win against Bolton on Saturday. A low turnout at Anfield saw an improved performance from the Reds, but the relationship between supporter and manager was already beyond repair for most.

With the Reds just six points above relegation they really need to win tonight to avoid this season turning into a battle at the wrong end of the table, and for that reason the players know they’ve got the supporters behind them.

Once again we’ve got a preview of the game courtesy of Paddy Power, who are offering a free £20 bet for new customers by using one of the links below.
Continue reading Blackburn v Liverpool – preview

In Remembrance of 66

Today our thoughts are with the families, survivors, friends and supporters who remember the loss of 66 football supporters forty years ago this day.

On January 2nd 1971 at an old-firm derby at Ibrox in Glasgow those 66 supporters would lose their lives in a dreadful disaster. 66 fans who would never go home again. 66 innocent lives lost at a football match.

Glasgow Rangers we share your pain. And Glasgow Celtic we’ll never forget how you helped us with ours. We know your tributes today will be fitting.

You’ll Never Walk Alone.
Continue reading In Remembrance of 66

Reports: Kenny could become caretaker

According to an exclusive report in today’s Sunday Telegraph, Liverpool FC look set to remove Roy Hodgson from his position as Liverpool manager before they have appointed a permanent replacement. Kenny Dalglish may well get to take over until that appointment is made, probably in the summer.

The King, KennyThe future of Hodgson as Reds boss was never going to be decided on the back of one result or one set of comments, but the comments he made in the aftermath of the defeat against Wolves in midweek, along with the defeat itself, seem to have hastened a departure that had already been planned.

On Friday it emerged that Fenway Sports Group (FSG, formerly NESV) had started to search in earnest for a successor to the former Fulham boss. The message was that Roy would be replaced as soon as a suitable candidate could be brought in and that although this could take until the end of the season it would definitely be happening as soon as possible.

In the meantime, however, the suggestion was that FSG continued to have sufficient faith in him to manage the club until that replacement was found. Tonight’s report suggests they no longer have even that much faith in him and will install a temporary manager to look after the club for the rest of the season.

Soon after FSG had taken over the club indications were made very quietly that they didn’t see Hodgson, already struggling, as a long-term incumbent.

That said, they no doubt hoped that Roy could at least do what Martin Broughton had suggested he could the day he was unveiled as manager and “steady the ship”. They announced a search was underway for a new CEO; they publicly gave Roy their backing.

A director of football strategy was appointed, but Roy continued to enjoy the support of the club’s hierarchy. Fans were going out of their way to send out the message that they’d no faith in Roy and weren’t even keen on him keeping the job short term, but the club did all they could to show their backing for him.

This backing appeared to weaken when FSG’s two main men, the LFC chairman Tom Werner and principal owner John W Henry appeared on the club’s official TV channel. Speaking about the hugely disappointing result against Newcastle the owners described Liverpool’s results as “unacceptable”.

There was disappointment to follow for supporters that same week. A meaningless Europa League match against Utrecht had been given some significance thanks to a gesture that saw free tickets being made available for children. Hodgson announced Torres would be playing and although an otherwise youthful line-up was expected the assumption was that the side would be sent out to entertain the young supporters making their first or rare visits to Anfield for a match.

Torres didn’t appear, Hodgson suggesting the medical staff had told him late in the day that Torres should be rested. Not just that, the team came out to defend, entertainment was a word nobody used to describe the game.

Bad weather meant Liverpool’s next two league games didn’t take place and so the next game was against Wolves, the match on Wednesday night that saw Hodgson question the support of Liverpool fans. Hodgson was forced to apologise.

A win yesterday against Bolton saw Liverpool move into ninth place, still only six points above relegation with Hodgson suggesting afterwards that he’d have been happy with a draw.

Now the Sunday Telegraph’s report says FSG “are so determined to end Roy Hodgson’s reign” that they are ready to install a caretaker manager until June, when they hope to install the permanent replacement. Dalglish has already made it clear he would jump at the chance of taking on the manager’s role if asked and the report says this news raises “the prospect of an emotional return to the club for Kenny Dalglish”.

Dalglish had put himself forward for the role in the summer, and with the club’s management team at the time fully aware that there were just over three months left before the club had to change hands (even if it meant going into the hands of the bank) it is yet to be explained exactly why Dalglish’s offer was ignored, why Roy was given a three-year contract or why there was actually vacancy in the first place.

The report also says FSG are believed to have looked at various candidates for the role, including Porto manager Andre Villas Boas and the previously-linked Didier Deschamps of Marseille.

Installing the appropriate choice now, mid-season, is likely to be problematic and expensive, but it seems that FSG’s lack of confidence in the current manager means they want someone else to fill in for now and steady the ship in readiness for the permanent appointment.

It goes without saying that The King would walk into the job with the unconditional support of the fans and also that he would be a unifying presence in the role, at a club where divide continues to cause harm.

Liverpool win, Hodgson happy and proud

Barclays Premier League – January 1st 2011

Liverpool 2 Bolton 1

Liverpool played host to Bolton for the first game of the New Year and the 2-1 win – thanks largely to a moment of brilliance from Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres – gave Liverpool supporters something to smile about. As long as they didn’t look too closely at the league table that is.

Gerrard was only on the field because of an injury to Meireles. The captain was on the bench at kick-off after – in manager Roy Hodgson’s words – he’d been left “extremely tired” from playing the full 90 minutes of his first game back from injury on Wednesday.

That tiredness meant Liverpool started with Dirk Kuyt on the right instead of out of position on the left, with Meireles starting in his natural role in the middle of the park. Gerrard was a straight swap for Meireles so nobody had to move out of position when the change was made.

Two other changes gave Liverpool a different look to Wednesday; Konchesky was replaced by Aurelio and Daniel Agger was back in the side in place of Kyrgiakos. Continue reading Liverpool win, Hodgson happy and proud

Thank you to the BBC

Liverpool supporters often feel their views are misrepresented by the media, especially where their feelings about the current manager are concerned.

It seemed to take an age for them to notice that we’d just about had enough of Mr Hodgson and wanted our club to give him a glowing reference and his severence pay as soon as possible.

They noticed on Wednesday. All of a sudden the words “pressure” and “Roy Hodgson” were heard in the same sentence. Maybe the reference to England woke them up.

Better still, FSG (formerly NESV) also noticed – it was enough for them to let certain reporters know that their hunt for a manager good enough for LFC was already underway, that they too had perhaps had just about enough of Roy.

We won today against Bolton. 2-1.

We even came back from a goal down!
Continue reading Thank you to the BBC

Liverpool v Bolton: “Extremely tired” Gerrard on bench

Steven Gerrard is on the bench today after playing the full 90 minutes in midweek in what was his first game after a lengthy injury absence. Manager Roy Hodgson said yesterday that Gerrard was “extremely tired” as a result. Hardly a surprise.

Hodgson now on borrowed timeThe change means Maxi Rodriguez gets back into the starting line-up, allowing Dirk Kuyt to play on the right and Meireles to move back into his natural central midfield role.

Paul Konchesky was literally laughed off the pitch by a small number of Liverpool supporters against Wolves, he’s not involved at all today with Fabio Aurelio returning to the starting line-up in his place.

Also back today is Daniel Agger, missing recently due to injury, but rumoured to have been offered around a number of German clubs. Hodgson denied the rumours, but following his critical comments about Agger earlier in the season few would be surprised had it turned out to be true.

Developments yesterday however suggest that Hodgson won’t be having a great deal of say in future transfers at Anfield. A number of broadsheets reported that they had been informed by FSG that they intend to replace Roy Hodgson as soon as a suitable candidate is available, during the season if at all possible.

We were asked to write a piece for the Telegraph yesterday on the bond between Liverpool managers and the fans and how Roy fits into this. You can read it here: “Roy Hodgson will never understand the Liverpool fans – we need a manager who can and will“.

One of the managers discussed in that article, Kenny Dalglish, today called for Liverpool fans to all get together and help the team towards that vital three points: “Let’s just press the pause button and throw all our efforts and energies into one basket. Everyone – whether players, supporters, staff or whatever – has to throw everything towards the one aim and that is to get us three badly needed points from the game against Bolton today because if everyone sticks together we’ll have a better chance of getting those three points.”

Kenny went on: “If everybody does their job properly; if everybody sticks together; if the players excite the fans and the fans support the players and everyone is led in one direction, then we should get the result today, but without everybody being on the same page, it will make it a bit more difficult.”

It was very noticeable that his words did not include any sign of backing for the manager, but of course he is correct that supporters need to back the team and do their bit to win that three points. Continue reading Liverpool v Bolton: “Extremely tired” Gerrard on bench