17 October 2010

Liverpool 0-2 Everton

Carragher Kyrgiakos Skrtel Konchesky
Maxi Meireles Lucas Cole

Cahill 34'
Arteta 50'

Absolutely dreadful, utterly embarrassing, yet again. So much for any clouds being lifted. If Hodgson had any class, he'd resign right away. Somehow, I can't see that happening. Rome is burning, and the manager doesn't even know how to fiddle.

Liverpool invited Everton to attack from the opening whistle, and amazingly, Liverpool paid for it. I used to joke that I had a template for the bad games under Benitez, but almost every match review's been the same this season. The only difference is that Liverpool at least scored against United, Sunderland, and Blackpool. Otherwise, it's same old, same old yet again.

Gerrard may have been further forward and Meireles finally started in his preferred position, but once again, the away side perpetually had at least 9 men behind the ball. Everton attacked and attacked and attacked, while Liverpool didn't enter the opposition's final third until the 23rd minute. Torres immediately registered an attempt on target, heading Cole's cross on goal, but that was Liverpool's only chance of the half.

Meanwhile, they conceded in the usual manner. Cahill struck first after Hodgson's side was again beaten down its left, Coleman torching Konchesky before his deflected low cross found the Australian in space. Soon after the restart, despite the usual marginal improvement, Liverpool let in a second, from a set play. Man-marking somehow left Arteta in acres of space outside the box after Kyrgiakos' "clearing" header, with time to set himself, smoke a cigarette, and sip an espresso before lashing past Reina. Fun times.

Once again down by two, just like against Blackpool, Liverpool finally consistently sent men forward, but fumbled aimlessly in Everton's half. Torres almost always got the ball with his back to goal, which clearly isn't his preferred position. Despite an increasingly narrow Liverpool, with Maxi and Cole pushing forward in almost a 4-3-2-1, the away side continued to send in cross after cross which were easily headed away. Liverpool were limited to a spat of shots from distance, with few actually testing Howard.

And again, Hodgson delayed in making changes despite the deficit. Ngog replaced Lucas in the 71st. Babel came on for Cole in the 79th. Jovanovic for Maxi was the final substitution, six minutes before time. None helped, and all came too late. Babel was the brightest of the three, stinging Howard's palms with a blast reminiscent of his wonder goal against Lyon, but it was too little too late even if Mr Tourette's hadn't punched away.

Six points from eight games, out of a possible 24, is utterly unforgivable. I might be more inclined to hold fire if Liverpool demonstrated any signs of positivity before being down by two goals, simply due to the unworkable situation the previous owners put the manager in, but we haven't seen any. The tactics are prehistoric, unsuited to the personnel, and Hodgson has no Plan B when Plan A unsurprisingly fails. The deep backline continues to concede sloppy goals, and man-marking let in yet another set piece goal. The players seem even more jaded than during last season's terrors; the attitude is simply horrific, and that starts at the top. Liverpool stars – Gerrard and Torres – are being criminally misused, Torres especially.

I fear that the new owners will give Hodgson more time because of their newness. They'll be hesitant to rock the boat, unfamiliar with the set-up, sport, and country. But Liverpool can't afford that. We may only be eight games into the league, with 30 left to play, but there have been zero – ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO – signs of improvement. Hodgson keeps traveling the same worn, muddy path to nowhere. This is where it's got us, and this is where we're going.

Liverpool's lost some good players over the last two years, but on paper, this side has no business being relegation contenders. Yet on the pitch, they're playing like relegation contenders. It's Groundhog Day all over again, especially when you look at how Hodgson began the '98-99 season with Blackburn before being sacked in December, with the team at the bottom of the table after finishing sixth the prior season. By December, it was too late, and they went down in 19th place. No matter how talented Liverpool's squad looks, that could absolutely happen here.


Son of Anonymous said...

I really feel embarrassed for Roy. It's painfully clear he's not got a clue how to get a result (no matter how much he strokes his chin and looks deep in thought) and his good reputation is dead and buried, as are our hopes of keeping Torres past January if he's allowed to stay. Roy's managership at Anfield is a sad, sorry story, not an "unlucky" one. What a shame.

Anonymous said...

I have no doubt that Roy is leaving. It's just a matter of when(the sooner the better, in my opinion). But what worries me most is that we may lose players, specifically Torres. I believe you've touched on this, Nate, how Liverpool doesn't have any real depth at the striker position. If Torres does leave, who are we going to play? Ngog has been playing better, Babel is a possibility, and of course Kuyt could play up top.

Anonymous said...

Love your blog Nate. Stayed in bed instead of watching the game today. On this cold Vermont morning,lying in bed,i got my BlackBerry, predicted the scoreline and went online to check. I wasn't disappointed; we were losing to the Toffees. And to think it was only last year we played those pulsating 4-0,4-1,4-4,4-4 matches against Real Madrid, Man U, Gunners & Chelsea respectively. With Uncle Woy in charge, i'm looking forward to next May, when the dangerous permutations of results are worked out to determine whether we're a premiership club or...(cant type it anymore-heart's broken)

Ken said...

Unfuckingbelievable medias still think Rafa's fault. Roy is ready their saint, hope Henry knows better and get rid of this $&@()&@& Roy. I think I am going to stay out of this shit until Roy is sacked. Reason, watching Roy Liverpool plays like watching C-movie, waste of my time. Hard on you Nate.

drew said...

People, you all need to resign yourself to the fact that Torres is leaving in January. (The only way I can see that not proving true is if Pelligrini is manager, and even then he's probably off.) He's well behind Villa on the national team pecking order, and falling now behind Llorente as well; he can't afford another season outside the CL spotlight. And Liverpool probably can't afford the chance that his value will fall still more by the summer (when he'll actually get a rest for once and will probably have a storming 2011–12).

My biggest worry is that we need someone in place by January who actually can be trusted to spend some money, both the Torres cash and whatever else NESV ponies up. We won't be able to remake the whole team, but we can lay the foundation for restoring top 4 status next season, and challenging for top spot in 2012–13.

I can't believe that Henry et al. will have much patience with Roy, not when there's a ready-made caretaker literally hovering over his shoulder. Roy is everything that the Moneyball approach despises: conservative in tactics, mistrustful of youth, so risk-averse he constantly courts disaster (like today). After buying the Red Sox, Henry replaced the GM (director-type) after year one and the manager after year two, but those were considered gutsy moves at the time, possibly even overreactions (plus he was not a popular figure his first year in the job because of doubts over his handling of the Marlins baseball club). The World Series win in year 3 proved him right, and I hope emboldens him to act swiftly here when he has a situation much more in his favour.

Anonymous said...

Hodgson, here's a tip son: Build a team around Torres and Gerrard: and Rafa, at the very least, knew that.

Another lost, and a friend of mine asks me why I still bother to watch Liverpool's games? If not for the Red that flow in my veins, I'd ask myself the same question too. I said to my friend: It's a red thing.

Cheer up guys (not much, but wth~), the only good news for now, it's still October. Heh..

nate said...

Some choice post-match quotes (from BBC video interview and official site):

• "In the second half, we did everything the team could possibly do..."

• "We suffered at the hands of an early onslaught, which you invariably do here at Goodison."

• "I thought the shape of the team was good and I thought the quality of our passing and moving was good today."

• "My immediate thought is how can life be so cruel where we play as well as that and get nothing from the game."

• "I think the team played well today, and I think fair-minded people would agree."

• "It would be sad, I think, if I have to shoulder all the responsibility for what's gone on, especially in light of the performance of the players."

Coward. Baffled, clueless coward.

drew said...

Wow. Well, if nothing else, he sure has finely attuned bus-throwing skills.

I'm hoping this increasing desperation is an indicator of what he's been told behind the scenes.

keith.cygan said...

Most of those quotes are oblivious and naive, but it's that last one that really gets me. Even if there is some truth to that last quote, isn't it the manager's job to shoulder the blame so as to deflect pressure from the players to himself? I mean, I doubt it matters much either way, but that one makes you want to do a facepalm.

Anonymous said...

Now i'm truly sick. Hailing this defeat as the best performance so far?????? The clueless terrible coach we sacked is topping the league with Inter, and oh..the loaned out sicknote/crock "labeled" Aquilani is now an integral part of Juventus' revival. I need a drink.

Anonymous said...

Ex-pat: watched the whole think live here in vancouver, canada... and now i remember why i emmigrated! been a red for 44 years, that's the bloody worst performance from a liverpool midfield i have EVER seen. went onto the BBC to see the video of how pissed off roy was... NOTHING. he actually thought we were robbed. BOLLOCKS!

Dalglish, Dalglish, Dalglish, Dalglish!

Anonymous said...

That last quote boils my blood. Outrageous! He is a disgrace of a manager. I wonder how the players feel. I know some people didn't like Rafa, but I don't know how any manager could be worse than Roy right now. In my opinion, and I've never managed a football team, the number one rule of managing is to never blame the players. Roy has broken that rule more than once.

First H&G, and now Roy. When will it end?

Football Kit News said...

If Hodgson thought Liverpool played well against Everton, I wonder what his definition of "bad" is.

And if that was the best Roy could get from his team in the second half ( in his own words), I'm afraid he should be expecting to pack his bags anytime in the near future.