Spurs v Liverpool – One change for Reds

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.

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Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Skrtel, Konchesky, Kuyt, Lucas, Meireles, Maxi, Ngog, Torres.
Subs: Jones, Shelvey, Kyrgiakos, Aurelio, Babel, Poulsen, Jovanovic.

5 thoughts on “Spurs v Liverpool – One change for Reds”

  1. With better finishing we’d have won the game easily. Torres and Maxi were particularly culpable. No blame to Skrtel for the og but Koncheski was at fault for not keeping tabs on Lennon.

    You can buy quality players but after that it’s down to them to convert chances. Roy sent out an attacking side but should have sent on the speedy Babel when Ngog went off. His pace against a tiring defence might have made the difference.

    With his appalling away record Roy’s days have to be numbered. Mr Henry, I hope you or your reps are reading these boards.

  2. Ray, Yes I have to agree we could have won the game in the first half and early second half. But we were also battered, If it weren’t for Riena and Carra’s body we would have been further down. Regardless of weather we scored more or not Spurs under Harry will stick to the game plan and still barrage us with attack after attack.

    I predicted we would loose anyway by goal or two, A shame it came true. But lets not kid ourselves. We attacked yes we did, But we didn’t control and attack yet. Under Roy this will not be possible, Because he does not know how to do this. We had some stand out players against Spurs like Lucas and Meireles. Although I belive Lucas just shaded it because he kept winning the ball back at dangerous areas, like in the Spurs half which is crucial and led to alot of the chances Torres and Maxi had in the first place, And he was economical in his passing making sure the passes stuck. This part is where Meireles will improve too in time, When he does we have decent midfield duo working in Tandem and Gerrard when he reutrns can go back to his old role. Don’t you wish we had Aquilani back considering the way we are playing now? The guy would be devastating to Spurs like Modric was against us (Again!).

  3. Hi Caging. I agree pretty much with what you’ve said except for the return of Aquilani. He wouldn’t cope with the rough and tough of the English game AND he wouldn’t be happy being back in England and that means a lot.

    What disappointed me yesterday was the lack of tactical substitutions. None again. Just two enforced subs for injured players. Rafa would have brought on Babel for the last 20 mins and with his pace he would have definitely troubled tired Spurs defenders. This is where Roy’s lack of experience shows I think. What sort of signal did it send to Spurs by swapping a forward for a defender?

  4. Yes Ray, Babel should have been given 20mins or so. You never know what he will do. Its not Roy’s style or tactic to substitute to try and change the game. Everywhere he has gone its been the same. He even said as much last year cause he does not belive in it. And that is Fundamental, Since he does not belive in it how can one expect him to adapt for the sake of adaptation than to willingly adapt to change? Obviously not. Unfortunatley, Pellegrinni is gone which leaves, Luis Van Gnaal possibility at the end of the season. He does not bring sustained sucess either but a few hit wonder, Expect the already leaking defence to leak further, And he is more stubbourn that Rafa EVER was, very inflexible man. Still not many names availeble. Possible is Qui Qui Sanchez Flores or maybe Unai Emery. But the question they would aks themsleves is “Why”? So..hard to say who will come in the summer.

  5. Roy is under considerably more pressure here than he was at Fulham and in fairness to him I think he knows that and is trying to grow into the job. Our performances have improved in recent games bar the Wigan and Stoke ones. It probably takes a while to change the habits of a lifetime but there are indications the style he wants the player to adopt are coming through.

    I don’t think he is more stubborn than Rafa. Every manager has his style and is probably uncomfortable moving from it. If we were honest none of us likes being outside their comfort zone and he definitely is at the moment but he’s not stupid and will try to change.

    Now how successful he is will be his making or breaking. I think the calls for his dismissal will fall on deaf ears until the end of season unless a disastrous change of form occurs. Only then will Henry and co decide what to do and that is sensible because we need some British board members with footie knowledge. Currently we only have access to Christian Purslow and he’s the man who hired Roy so he won’t sanction his dismissal.

    More names will become available next summer and with no major football tournament there’s more time for people to decide their futures. But we will have to buy a defender in January after Jamie’s injury. He’ll be climbing up the walls in the next few months. Hopefully we can get a decent one.

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