There is just one change for Liverpool this afternoon for the visit to White Hart Lane, Lucas Leiva in for Christian Poulsen from the side that beat West Ham 3-0 at Anfield last weekend.
Something that hasn’t changed is that Liverpool’s supporters go into the game with another set of embarrassing quotes from Roy Hodgson ringing in their ears, the man who was a legend in 1970s Sweden continuing to talk like a man trying to win a bet. How many more comments can he make that a manager of Liverpool should just not be making?
The man who tried to console fans after a derby defeat by saying a win would have been Utopia and described Northampton as formidable chose to use is now using quotes from Jose Mourinho as some kind of justification for how poor he’s been in his first big management job.
Loved by the London press and his fellow members of the LMA old boys club – but wanted out by the majority of Liverpool supporters – Roy is enjoying a charmed life in the media given his performances and comments. Especially when compared to the names he’s followed as manager at Anfield. He claims all the people he knows think he’s doing okay: “Everyone I know in football respects the job I’m doing here and aren’t too surprised it hasn’t been an easy start. In fact, 95 per cent would have predicted it as Mourinho did. ‘Liverpool will get worse and worse’ is what he said and if the great man Mourinho says it, I don’t know why you don’t quote him!”
If they had quoted him they’d maybe have quoted him correctly and put some context to it. Mourinho was talking in August having been asked what he thought Liverpool’s chances of winning the title were this season: “It’s very difficult for Roy Hodgson as over the last three years they have been getting worse, worse and worse. He needs time.” Mourinho had used the question as an opportunity to have a dig at his old enemy Benitez. He didn’t say Liverpool would get worse.
That Roy unwittingly acknowledges he’s made things worse since he arrived at Anfield should tell some of those friends of his that he needs rescuing before he ends up with his reputation completely ruined. How he got such a great reputation continues to baffle Liverpool supporters who’ve not only seen the reality of his abilities but have seen the lack of success he’s actually had in the past. Those who continue to defend him are struggling to come up with any actual reasons to defend him, mainly consisting of attacks on the previous manager and the fans, tied in with the old “he’s a nice man” mantra they love to repeat.
Joe Cole would have been back from injury and on the bench for today’s match but suffered a slight ankle injury in training yesterday. Steven Gerrard is still out with injury but that gives Raul Meireles another chance to play in the position he’s played in for most of his career.
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Skrtel, Konchesky, Kuyt, Lucas, Meireles, Maxi, Ngog, Torres.
Subs: Jones, Shelvey, Kyrgiakos, Aurelio, Babel, Poulsen, Jovanovic.