Barclay, Winter & Hodgson – The Z Team

Posted: January 1, 2011 by mcdonaldtaf in Liverpool FC, Manager Talk, Team Talk
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

That fine purveyor of wind up Patrick Barclay was ‘at it’ again after the Wolves game. His tweet of “‘Hodgson for England’ is the new Kop wit. They might equally have tried a twist on the Brighton replay classic…” was followed by “”Stevie Gerrard, Stevie Gerrard, what a difference you have made, what a difference…”” There’s no doubting who Paddy thinks should shoulder the blame. Although it is fair to point out that he did acknowledge things hadn’t progressed as he expected under Hodgson and that Rafa was a good manager – SHOCK! There were little glimmers of sense until “But naturally I hope Roy survives. Good man, good manager. Gather he’s said sorry to fans. Tis the season for apologies, apparently.”

Meanwhile across the street another of the journo twitterati, Henry Winter was telling us “Shocking loss for #lfc & Hodgson. Experienced manager dealing with long-term probs & some of own making. If goes, Dalglish short-term option”. I manage to take Barclay as a wind up merchant, I tend to see him sat behind his laptop laughing his head off. Winter I always envisage sitting there with an evil smile on his face. That’s just my opinion, mind.

The question is though how some people remain completely out of sync with the majority. Winter talks of ‘long term problems’ and yes we’re all aware of them, but are they really that major now? Talk to others who work within the club and they’ll tell you how things have changed in a very short time under NESV. There is a shared vision coupled with a new openness, which has seen a significant bounce effect. So I think Winter is suggesting that while the fans and staff  feel more optimistic about the new ownership a dark cloud remains over the dressing room. That doesn’t make sense to me.

It became very apparent that fractures from the old regime had spread to the dressing room. I personally think that some players took advantage of the power vacuum created by the warring parties (which included Rafa Benitez). I still believe that Rafa was fighting for us, but by playing the games (while enduring a poor season by his own standards) it allowed others to de-stabilize the dressing room, to meet their own ends. So yes there were problems within the dressing room. But surely the new manager was to deal with these problems; that was the whole point of him coming in. Yet six months into Roy’s tenure and the ominous signs of slumped shoulders and disinterested looks appear worse than ever.

Henry may instead be referring to the poor squad he was left behind. It seems to be an argument, as flawed as it may be, which is bandied about fleet street all too often. Should they be placed on the market there will be plenty of interest in the likes of Reina, Johnson, Agger, Gerrard and Torres from the top European clubs while Mascherano and Aquilani had both been let go. The latter now delivering the full package for Juve after showing glimpses last season. Roy also had the opportunity to bring in some fresh quality, but wasted it by signing Poulsen, Konchesky and (possibly) Joe Cole. Rafa’s first signings for Liverpool included Alonso and Luis Garcia – quite a difference in terms of quality and most importantly value!

It’s interesting to note that sections of the media were arguing last year that off field shenanigans shouldn’t have had any affect on the on-field performances. Even at it’s most turbulent they continually argued that the team would remain in the eye of the storm with the sun shining down. Yet now the storm has dissipated to a mild bluster and the clean up operation is under way it’s to be used as an excuse for Roy?

So why does Patrick Barclay hope that Roy retains his job? Because he’s a nice guy. Oh, that’s alright then. He’s a good manager Patrick tells us. I’m not going to argue with that, but as one of the top clubs in the world don’t we deserve better than ‘good’? It is apparent to most that Roy Hodgson has struggled at any of the top clubs he has managed. He is set in his ways and his formations coupled with static tactics do not work at top clubs. At this moment we remain a top club. Maybe Winter and Barclay would like to see that change. I can see no other reason, even with it being the season for apologies and goodwill to all men, for their persistent defence of a man clearly out of his depth.

  1. Damien says:

    “He’s a good manager Patrick tells us. I’m not going to argue with that …”

    But he’s not really a good manager is he? His achievements are laughable compared to someone like Rafa’s.

    I have asked Barclay on a number of occasions to list the achievements from Roy’s 35 year career that remotely qualify him for a role at a club like Liverpool. He never answers because he can’t can he? Even the highlights are a bit embarrassing.

    And of course, Roy has shown himself to be anything but a nice guy since arriving. He’s grouchy, ungracious, constantly self-aggrandizing and he’s even insulted the fans. Nice bloke my arse!

    He was never good enough to be manager and his tenure has been sadly predictable – as has his illogical support from his media mates.

    • mcdonaldtaf says:

      I think he’s a good manager, at the right club mate. We are not the right club. He’s certainly not the worst manager in the world, but I agree (as you know) that he never should have arrived at Anfield.

  2. Damien says:

    Hey Taf – didn’t relaize this was your piece until after I’d posted. D’oh!

    Anyway, we’re on the same hymn sheet on this one I know 🙂

    Please let it be over soon ….

  3. Murphz1 says:

    Winter is a confirmed Red and one of the most eloquent writers in the country. He is more intelligent than most and certainly doesn’t want to see any harm come to LFC – Evil??? –

    If you read his articles, instead of his tweets, he has referred to LFC’s long term problems since the ownership issue was sorted and is talking almost entirely about On-Field problems.

    Lack of wingers / creative talent, a continuation of negative mindset carried through from Rafa to Roy, under-performing star players, lack of leadership on and off the pitch, especially when Gerrard’s not playing etc etc.

    Henry Winter is VERY Pro LFC – unlike the dastardly Barclay

  4. My sister asked me to research this and I found your post, it helped a lot

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