Manchester United Game Is Roy Hodgson’s Acid Test
After a fairly solid start to life on Merseyside, Roy Hodgson will today take his Liverpool side along the M62 for the crunch meeting with arch rivals Manchester United. The meeting will be a real indication of Hodgson’s time at Liverpool so far, and a win could set the tone for his tenure.
Without a doubt it’s been a very difficult start for Hodgson. Opening games against Arsenal and Manchester City were never going to be easy, couple that with the low confidence of Steven Gerrard after a woeful World Cup with England, and an injured Fernando Torres and Hodgson’s task looks a lot harder.
While the defeat to Manchester City was a low point, Liverpool’s excellent result in Turkey which saw them qualify for the Europa League was a major high. But against Birmingham last week Liverpool were criticised for overly negative tactics, and the jury is very much still out on Hodgson as things stand.
However a win at Old Trafford and I think Liverpool fans will once again be filled with the optimism which was so desperately missing during the later stages of Rafael Benitez’s days at Anfield.
Whether Liverpool can get a positive result at Old Trafford is a different question, and personally I think if you offered any Liverpool a fan point now, they would quite happily accept. But unfortunately I think the only way they can get a result will be if the hosts drastically underperform.
Having said that though with players like Gerrard and Torres Liverpool will always have a chance. If both of them perform to their ability then we could all be in for a real treat. The worry for Liverpool is that Torres currently looks a million miles away from his best. But Hodgson will also be able to turn to Joe Cole after his return from suspension and that will be a big bonus as Liverpool looked desperately lacking in creativity at Birmingham.
But still I just think United will have a little too much in their tank for Liverpool and can see Hodgson having to rebuild the clubs fragile confidence once again.
What do you think, can Liverpool get a result to kick-start their season at Old Trafford? What do they have to do to get a result?