A Lesson We Did Not Need

Posted: January 11, 2011 by mcdonaldtaf in Liverpool FC, Manager Talk
Tags: , , ,

I never wanted this site to be about constantly defending the stakeholders of our club against media goons. I quite often sit there thinking ‘leave that bait alone’; but in the end I always cave.

Today’s words of wisdom are from David Maddock (again) here.

I shall do my usual trick of picking out the salient points. But just from an overall perspective I’m not sure I appreciate his take on Liverpool fans. Through the art of insinuation he is of the opinion that overnight the Kop faithful have turned into a fickle and un-supportive bunch. When the truth is that we simply know our football. We know when things aren’t right and our intuition in this case proved to be absolutely spot on. Roy was not the right man for the job. But we didn’t suggest he wasn’t right as a knee jerk reaction. It’s not because he isn’t foreign or he isn’t fashionable enough. We suggested he wasn’t right because the facts, in black and white, all pointed to him not being capable of taking the reins of a big club. The longer he remained, the longer this became even more excruciatingly obvious to everyone. Even his supporters in the media started to back track.

Anyway, the salient points:

“A plea to Liverpool fans: If King Kenny can’t produce miracles, don’t crucify him like you did Roy”

How dare you? For a start I would say that crucifying Roy was more about self harm than anything else. The man was uncomfortably out of his depth and it showed. Every press conference would see kopites peeking from behind their hands to see how much deeper he was planning to dig. On top of that he quite simply didn’t ‘get us’, he didn’t get what it means to be manager of Liverpool Football Club. Dalglish knows exactly what ‘it’ is.

We never expected miracles from Hodgson. I, for one, would have been a lot more patient if our performances were anywhere near what was expected; even if the results were the same. Hodgson didn’t have to go because he was losing. He had to go because his archaic tactics (which had stood him in good stead for the last thirty five years) simply would not transfer to a modern top club. That would be true of any of the top clubs.

I feel personally insulted that anyone dares suggest that Kenny Dalglish will ever be crucified by supporters who know respect for a red legend beyond all else.

“And clearly, the other surprise to so many watching and commenting from a distance, was the ferocity in which the Anfield faithful had turned on their own manager after such a short time.

“It shouldn’t have. Sadly, that is the nature of football these days – the nature of society these days – and even Liverpool supporters, once renowned for their patience and clear, fair thinking, are no longer immune to the black and white certainties of the modern mind.”

Many of the points above deal with this, but I despise the way Maddock thinks we should settle for anything less than what we are worth. Our club is worth more than a good, rather than great, manager appointed to meet the needs of a power hungry regime (one he often supported) – who had their eyes on the pitch rather than where they should have been. By association Hodgson picked up additional hostility, which perhaps was unfair, but he did nothing to help himself either. Ironically George Gillett lost his shovel, meanwhile under new ownership Hodgson never seemed to stop digging with his.

We are still patient with clear, fair thinking but as the club was being sucked towards the relegation zone with a negative goal difference a sense of urgency had to be injected. Not just because of poor results but because of the other black and white facts which were clear for all to see.

“Kenny has returned in Liverpool’s hour of need, in perhaps their darkest hour, in the sense that things have happened recently that no student of the Kop could ever have predicted.”

My contradiction monitor is going haywire here. We should have had more patience with Hodgson, after all it is not like the Kop to turn so quickly on a manager. Yet Hodgson left us in our darkest hour. I’m confused!

“But the fans should no [sic.] expect miracles. The side that so pathetically surrendered at Blackburn and Stoke is not going to become a world beater overnight. The side that has won just one away game in 12 months under two very different managers, is not going to find the courage to win every time they travel between now and the end of the season.”

We are not expecting miracles. I detest the way Maddock’s style of writing makes us sound like a group of unreasonable fans. We do expect an improvement in performance and in the way the manager of Liverpool Football Club conducts himself. So far, so good.

“If he can’t produce miracles, then don’t crucify him, don’t give him the treatment that poor Hodgson was subjected to. That may seem to be a strange thing to say to fans who clearly adore a great, great man, but sadly these are different times and perhaps different Liverpool fans that make such a plea necessary.”

No, it is not necessary. I cannot ever see a situation where Kenny Dalglish will ever face the opposition Roy Hodgson did. Because, as I think Shanks would say ‘Liverpool was made for him, and he was made for Liverpool’. That was simply not the case with Hodgson, and boy did it show.

Maddock could also do with a brief history lesson, back past 6 months. Not many divided opinion like Benitez, yet he always had nothing but our full backing inside the ground. No characters associated with the club were despised as much as the previous American owners, yet fan protests were always ended in time for kick off so the fans could fall in as one group behind the team. This club’s fans know how to support its team. They also know when and how to react when danger is imminent. We do not need lectures and we have not suddenly turned into knee jerk fans over the past six months either.

As a final thought they say that everything has to be put into perspective. I wonder how long Hodgson would have lasted at Chelsea or United. Although their chief execs would know better than to hire him in the first place. Based on the cold black and white facts in front of them, not an LMA award and an affable, easy going nature.

  1. Kevin Toal says:

    Your last point is exactly the one i’ve made a few times to oppostion fans suggesting we abide with Hodgson, and that we were all being a big bunch of meanies. He’s a good coach and a good man, and given time he’ll turn it around.
    We were told we were disgraceful in our chanting of ‘Hodgson for england’ and chanting the name of ‘Dagleish’. This was deplorable behaviour for fans famed for their support we were told.

    Can you imagine Hodgson getting as much time at Arsenal, Chelsea or United?? (Not that he’d even be there in the first place). But can you imagine how loud the shouts to replace him would be?
    I’d also say that fans’ patience at these other clubs would have run out sooner, and the protests been more vociferous had Hodgson been there and results been the same.

  2. Sam Wanjere says:

    Let me start from a very trite point always emphasized, the person of Benitez as captured in this statement, “…Not many divided opinion like Benitez, yet he always had nothing but our full backing inside the ground…”

    Rafa might have divided us fans, versus Hodgson uniting us against him, but there was NEVER a perception Rafa was never totally pro-LFC. In fact, Rafa totally immersed himself, as Houllier had done before him, in the Anfield culture, even trying to recreate the Boot Room atmosphere by bringing in King Kenny (massive plus) and Sammy Lee. Of course, there were still casualties like Steve Heighway but they got quickly forgotten.

    Another plus for Benitez was the clear progress of our XI, the selling to buy policy notwithstanding. Despite always seeing loss of the Bellamy’s and Crouch’s for every Torres, Anfield saw Garcia, Alonso, Kuyt, Mascherano, Pacheco, et al come in and make a clear difference. In fact, despite our brand having fallen several notches, attraction of such key talent to Anfield said a lot about the “failed” Rafa Benitez era.

    All the above clearly just make Roy stand out. He hardly sees positive mention. While admittedly much vitriol directed to him was somewhat excessive (reluctantly said), I will wholeheartedly agree he didn’t improve his position. Not in words or deeds. Roy was never the LFC coach, he was merely the choice of the mainstream press.

    There is one area I can NEVER disagree with. The Kop Nation KNOWS its football and holds no apology for that fact, nor does it owe the news media anything. They have ignored us, refusing to highlight the contribution of Liverpool FC to soccer and we have managed perfectly without their support. We will overcome all for we are the Reds and none else ever will.

    I am so proud of loving this club, proud to be known as Red – they can laugh all they want – proud to have our King back at the helm, and full of pride and passion for us. YNWA!

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