The mood on Merseyside is definitely one of frustration for both the red and blue halves of the city. Both clubs have had a terrible start to the season, but it’s Liverpool that is feeling the most angst. Frustration at poor results, owners that won’t seem to leave the club, lack of cash injections for much-needed transfer signings and a manager who hasn’t won over the masses.
But most of these frustrations should hardly come as a surprise to supporters of Liverpool FC. The playing side of the club is in a transition, one which will take longer than one season to complete, more likely two years or more before the club can return anywhere close to the summit that they’ve enjoyed for decades. Such is the disastrous state that Rafael Benitez left the club in. It’ll take time for Roy Hodgson, an accomplished manager on the European continent, to exorcise the ghosts of Benitez and rebuild the confidence of this team. This will not happen overnight. And any Liverpool supporters leveling the blame at Hodgson should consider the situation the manager is in right now.
He has a captain, Steven Gerrard, who hasn’t been anywhere near his best in two years or more. His star striker Fernando Torres is still nowhere near 100% and the likelihood of the Spaniard leaving either in the January or August transfer window is exceedingly high. Then you have the remainder of the team which has still not recovered since the departure of Xabi Alonso. And has now been further hampered by the recent departure of Javier Mascherano. Meanwhile, it’s time for Liverpool veteran defender Jamie Carragher to be put out to pasture.
And that’s just for starters. You can go through this entire Liverpool team and see weaknesses galore. And that’s if the rest of the players are playing at their full potential, which they’re not even close to right now due to lack of confidence and the financial insecurity of the club hanging over their heads.
Roy Hodgson faces an unenviable task. He’s single handedly responsible for trying to revitalize this Liverpool team, with all of its weaknesses, and to turn them into a winning side again. This is despite the fact that other clubs around them, who have historically been considered lesser opponents such as Sunderland, Stoke and Birmingham City, have bought talent in the August transfer window to strengthen their sides.
What Liverpool supporters need right now is patience. But sport, especially English football, is not a very patient practice. Hodgson hasn’t done anything wrong. He’s not a knight in shining armor. He’s doing the best with what he has. Even a Jose Mourinho would face a challenging time trying to turnaround a team that has been left in ruins by Benitez. These things take time. Unfortunately it’s a commodity that Liverpool doesn’t have much of.