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Dion Fanning / Steve G as captian


David Hodgson

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.karlsentk Tor-Kristian Karlsen approach was apparently recent, during the past few weeks......i'm also led to believe that ralf rangnick (coincidentally or not, resigned from his position at hoffenheim) is a candidate for the job

 

 

Fanning not happy!

 

 

 

 

Grumbling on towards an inevitable conclusion

 

The establishment's choice to be Liverpool boss, Roy Hodgson has failed utterly, writes Dion Fanning

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Dion Fanning

 

 

Sunday January 02 2011

 

F ootball supporters turning on their club's manager is not new but for a manager to turn on his club's supporters is more unusual.

 

Roy Hodgson's dismal and utterly predictable time as Liverpool manager effectively came to an end last Wednesday night. Hodgson is just a patsy, one of the last remaining figures from the old regime. The hopes of the Fenway Sports Group that the club could stagger on until the summer vanished with that defeat to Wolves.

 

Hodgson's contribution after the game, when he criticised the lack of support he has received from the supporters, might have deflected from the defeat but not as he imagined. Once more, he demonstrated why Liverpool is not only too big a club, even in its dysfunction, for him to manage but also a club he doesn't understand.

 

The chant of 'Hodgson for England' was a hydra-headed beast. It was the first time Liverpool fans had chanted Hodgson's name and they were only doing it to discard him. In the process they were offering him to an entity they care nothing about: England.

 

Hodgson was the establishment's appointment. It played well among certain opinion-formers, opinion-formers who had been very impressed with Christian Purslow. Last Wednesday night, Liverpool fans demonstrated that these men know nothing about Liverpool Football Club and its otherness.

 

Those who felt it was significant that Liverpool appoint an English manager failed to grasp the qualities that make the club, in the eyes of its supporters at least, different. Hodgson was coming from middle England. He is a church warden, a desk sergeant, a man whose reasonableness is only matched by a sense of persecution that he has not been given a fair deal. In another life, you could see him complaining if the 7.47 from Clapham Junction was running late.

 

In this life, he has complained about everything: the players he has had to work with, the number of times Liverpool appear on television and the scrutiny of the media (no manager has had such powerful backing from press and television). His grumbling has confirmed that he cannot do the job. At times, he almost seems to think it himself. "I don't think they [the fans] got behind my appointment," he said on Friday, "and there's no reason why they should."

 

He was an appointment made in crisis. Hanging over the club in the summer was the ownership of Tom Hicks and George Gillett (Jose Mourinho let it be known that the ownership would have to change before he would consider the job) but while that ruled out top managers, it was not the conflict that led to Hodgson's appointment.

 

Christian Purslow fancied himself as a football man. He was considered a financial wizard. "He saw himself as the Fernando Torres of finance," said one who worked closely with him. Purslow would be vindicated on the financial front in one respect: he helped get Hicks and Gillett out of Liverpool.

 

His involvement in anything to do with the football side of Liverpool was another story. In the last unhappy year of Rafael Benitez's time as manager, Purslow was never slow to offer an opinion. He became a sounding board for influential players, who expressed their dissatisfaction. There was rarely a point during Benitez's time when players weren't dissatisfied -- that was part of his managerial style. Yet, on the field, until last season, results would often mask the dissatisfaction. Victory usually does.

 

In Benitez's last season, decay set it. The reasons for this would be disputed by all those involved but when Benitez was worn down by the endless feuds and his contribution to them, a different appointment had to be made.

 

Despite talking to other candidates, Purslow was always drawn to Hodgson. He offered reasonableness and an ability to talk intelligently about other subjects, to mention Philip Roth or John Updike, where Benitez would just want more.

 

After a manager who saw everything in terms of war, Liverpool wanted peace. It was an appalling reading of the situation. Liverpool imagined a more harmonious club with a manager who would offer hugs and kind words where Benitez would just seek endless, tiring improvement.

 

Well, the hugs don't work. Hodgson has been defensive, not open, and those who felt he would bring an improvement in Liverpool's style of play had really not paid attention during his career. He was always in an impossible position. A significant minority of supporters mourned Benitez and there is something of the post-Saipan atmosphere at Liverpool at the moment.

 

The fans who have turned on Hodgson are not, as some suggest, falling victim to modern life's impatience. If they were merely impatient, it would not explain why some remain loyal to Benitez. Sky can dismiss the idea of Benitez returning but they would be better asking why some supporters remain loyal to the former manager and never felt close to Hodgson, except to demonstrate some ex officio loyalty.

 

As in so many things, they misread the club when they say it is unlike Liverpool to turn on a manager. Liverpool has never appointed a manager like Hodgson before.

 

Before the game against Wolves, Hodgson once again defended himself and insisted he was the right man for the job. "I know that I am capable of doing this job, but maybe the expectations and ambitions of the club were too high and weren't lessened by the fact that I came off the back of such a good season." In other words, he could manage a club like Liverpool if it wasn't a club like Liverpool. If it was, say, Fulham. Other managers have battled with the expectation of Liverpool supporters but none has gone about setting the bar as low as Hodgson.

 

After a win against Aston Villa, Hodgson was asked by his friends at Sky, Andy Gray and Richard Keys, if this was title-winning form. The friends dissolved in laughter. The Fulham manager was laughing. Liverpool challenging for the title wasn't always as preposterous.

 

Nobody expected Liverpool to do that this season, but there has been a dismantling of expectation. That night, two friends and bulls***ters met. Hodgson and Houllier. Houllier made his own disastrous misreading of Aston Villa supporters when he waved to the Liverpool fans but not his own at the end of the game. Last week, he backed Hodgson to get it right. It could have been the kiss of death. In fact, he might have kissed himself to death.

 

A few weeks ago, Hodgson spoke about how he had to overturn decisions made by Purslow about players the then managing director felt should leave the club.

 

It was another astonishing glimpse into the summer's chaos. Purslow, it turned out, was no judge of a player. He pursued Joe Cole for his signature when other voices who were then at the club described the player as "brainless".

 

Hodgson explained how he had kept some players Purslow didn't rate. A few pointed out that Purslow had appointed Hodgson too.

 

Those who defend Hodgson by saying he has not changed as a manager since last summer when he won the Manager of the Year award are getting close to the truth. Hodgson hasn't got any worse, he was never good enough in the first place.

 

On Wednesday, as he talked about a lack of respect to Wolves if people expect Liverpool to beat them easily and droned about the result not always matching the expectations of the supporters (his expectations were clearly different), he sounded again like a man drained of ambition.

 

He believed his achievements in the past year entitled him to the Liverpool job. He has the bureaucrat's mindset: he works slowly and methodically and eventually becomes an assistant secretary. "To some extent it was a reward for the work I had put in, not just at Fulham but in the years before. It was a recognition of my competence."

 

Hodgson used to compare his record to Alex Ferguson's if only people would take the Scandinavian leagues into account. "Those of us who work in the game and have been working in the game a long time know that the magic wand doesn't exist," he said last week.

 

Again it is a reasonable position but the managers who make a difference at Liverpool, Manchester United or Arsenal believe they can change everything. They believe in their own magic. Hodgson's strength is making mediocre teams slightly less mediocre and of never expecting too much.

 

The chants for Kenny Dalglish that were heard again on Wednesday do not necessarily mean that the fans see him as the saviour. This is not Newcastle, longing for the return of Kevin Keegan. Simply, Dalglish represents everything Hodgson is not and, in fairness, everything Hodgson could or would not hope to be.

 

Dalglish watched people die supporting his football club and then felt it was his duty to allow this tragedy to consume him. If he could be a temporary appointment, it would at least have the benefit of unifying the club. Dalglish, however, may no longer be interested in a caretaker position.

 

Liverpool will need to look for a man of ambition after that. Those who suggest the senior players at the club should be consulted are in danger of making the same mistakes again.

 

Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher felt they could work with Hodgson when their relationship with Benitez had broken down. One of the new manager's biggest tasks will be to confront the problem of Gerrard, who has lost his explosiveness, and gently ease Carragher, who is past it, out the door. Carragher signed a new contract on the last day of the old regime which was another curious decision in a summer when many were made.

 

Hodgson's appointment was the most calamitous of all. In six months, he has dragged Liverpool into a relegation battle and, in his own way, remodelled the club in his image.

 

If part of his job specification was to shatter the expectations at Liverpool Football Club, then he can walk away with his head held high.

 

- Dion Fanning

 

http://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/grumbling-on-towards-an-inevitable-conclusion-2480857.html

 

For once I can largely agree with Dion Fanny. The fans are united are again. ;)

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I agree with lots of it and think it's something one of us would have written (that's meant to be a compliment about how his position reflects that of the fans), Gerrard was other level good y'day.

 

 

He dont like Gerrard, the reasons evolve. I think this piece is the Acceptance one, interesting read as ever

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He dont like Gerrard, the reasons evolve.

 

Fanning;

 

Under Benitez, Gerrard was finally allowed to play without responsibility as a partner for Torres. His legs may or may not be up to this role at this stage of his career but it will take an astonishing mental adjustment for him to do anything else. Aug 2010

 

 

The Gerrard myth needs little encouragement to re-emerge so his hat-trick last Thursday obscured the reality that his season has been dreadful. There is growing evidence that his legs have gone and if Liverpool had been run as a normal club last summer, not one on life support, then it would have made sense to sell him.Nov 2010

 

 

One of the new manager's biggest tasks will be to confront the problem of Gerrard, who has lost his explosiveness..Jan 2011

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Fanning;

 

Under Benitez, Gerrard was finally allowed to play without responsibility as a partner for Torres. His legs may or may not be up to this role at this stage of his career but it will take an astonishing mental adjustment for him to do anything else. Aug 2010

 

 

The Gerrard myth needs little encouragement to re-emerge so his hat-trick last Thursday obscured the reality that his season has been dreadful. There is growing evidence that his legs have gone and if Liverpool had been run as a normal club last summer, not one on life support, then it would have made sense to sell him.Nov 2010

 

 

One of the new manager's biggest tasks will be to confront the problem of Gerrard, who has lost his explosiveness..Jan 2011

 

And in the years before it's been at various times about tactical indiscipline, being undroppable and unmanageable, being bigger than the club or a player that was holding back the true ambitions of the manager that he would ideally have let go in 04. Like I said, the reasons evolve.

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exactly, he's a blogger.

 

If he's a blogger what does that make Patrick Barclay?!

 

He's not above the vicious at times, seems to have it in for Gerrard to an unbalanced extent. But of all the articles I've read on LFC in the last 18 months he's probably expressed the closest to how I've felt.

 

It's good to see someone nailing Purslow like that as well.

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Oh and whatever you think about Gerrard as a man or a captain, he's been undroppable for years. He's been worth more to us on one leg than others were on two.

 

Though in many ways I was suspicious of his performances last year, I do think he was carrying injuries for a lot of the season. Fanning barking up thexwrong tree in terms of his 'explosiveness'. He's still got it all as a player.

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i don't like dion fanning at all and i've said as much before, he's a blogger not a journalist.

the only thing i agree with him on is regarding hodgson.

So what. In these days of "Media-celebrity" the old fashion journo is a distant memory. The best known "journalists" are actually (in your terms) bloggers....except they prefer to be known as "Opinion piece" contributors. Holt, Hayward, Lawton (both), Winter, Dickinson, Samuel etc

 

Anyway my point is what's this got to do with his opinion? He's obviously got some "well placed"'sources at the club and is willing to put his neck on the line expressing an opinion which isn't exactly mainstream. He's like the anti SkySports.

 

FWIW I think the reason some on here resent him is for his stance on the captain. As a scouser in exile I can see how the local fans might have a problem with this but I actual agree with most of what he's written. Are u actually telling me that SG is a proper CM? honestly? Are you saying that his best position wasn't identified by that scoundrel Rafa? Is he as explosive as he once was?!? Will the new manager NOT have N issue on his hands trying to accommodate SG as he'll want to play in CM & not behind Nando?!? Johnny Giles opened my eyes to the Gerrard dilemma 7 years ago. He knows his s*** when it comes to midfield play.

 

The fact of the matter is that If SG was Belgian ye wouldn't give two shiney shytes what Dion Fanning wrote about him.

Edited by Ronnie#5
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i don't like dion fanning at all and i've said as much before, he's a blogger not a journalist.

the only thing i agree with him on is regarding hodgson.

 

In fairness Mike, sports journalism has a pedigree of generations of columnist journalists. He writes opinion pieces and occasional match reports which veer toward context rather than detail. I personally much prefer this. If it's pure 'journalism' I want, I can go to AP or Reuters.

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So what. In these days of "Media-celebrity" the old fashion journo is a distant memory. The best known "journalists" are actually (in your terms) bloggers....except they prefer to be known as "Opinion piece" contributors. Holt, Hayward, Lawton (both), Winter, Dickinson, Samuel etc

 

Anyway my point is what's this got to do with his opinion? He's obviously got some "well placed"'sources at the club and is willing to put his neck on the line expressing an opinion which isn't exactly mainstream. He's like the anti SkySports.

 

FWIW I think the reason some on here resent him is for his stance on the captain. As a scouser in exile I can see how the local fans might have a problem with this but I actual agree with most of what he's written. Are u actually telling me that SG is a proper CM? honestly? Are you saying that his best position wasn't identified by that scoundrel Rafa? Is he as explosive as he once was?!? Will the new manager NOT have N issue on his hands trying to accommodate SG as he'll want to play in CM & not behind Nando?!? Johnny Giles opened my eyes to the Gerrard dilemma 7 years ago. He knows his s*** when it comes to midfield play.

 

The fact of the matter is that If SG was Belgian ye wouldn't give two shiney shytes what Dion Fanning wrote about him.

 

because a journalist is 'supposed' to peddle in objectivity and reasoned debate. a blogger posts opinion. fanning pushes an agenda which is tiresome and doesn't appear to have any contacts other than claiming to have his finger on the pulse of the kop. all the way from ireland.

 

everything you've written there is total s**** btw, as ever.

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Barking up wrong tree? Probably.

 

Personal dislike? Probably not.

 

IMO.

 

I personally largely disagree with the details of Fanning's long held view on Gerrard. However I don't think it's a personal issue. IMO it's mostly to do with his belief that Gerrard is not worthy of bracketing with our great midfielders of the 70s and 80s, that he was canonised too soon. I think he feels standards have dropped in the judgement of greatness at Anfield. I think that even if his essential notion may have some merit, it's a drum he has been hanging too long now because aside from winning the League (which is what it would take for Dion to drop that line) Gerrard has won everything and has stayed.

 

 

 

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He has continued to suggest these points in addition recently, as well as the legs gone one too.All are, at the very least, arguable contentions that can be levelled against the player and have been by not only Fanning in the past. Your post appeared to suggest that Fanning has a personal dislike of Gerrard and randomly selects unsubstantiated fables to level against him and discards them from time to time when he prefers another.

 

I think he has got a personal dislike or at the very least a years long obsession with what he calls the Gerrard Myth. I'd go further and suggest that he saw the past few years as a battle of wills between Benitez and Gerrard for control of the team, and put forward a series of evolving reasons why it would be better to move Gerrard on.

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In fairness Mike, sports journalism has a pedigree of generations of columnist journalists. He writes opinion pieces and occasional match reports which veer toward context rather than detail. I personally much prefer this. If it's pure 'journalism' I want, I can go to AP or Reuters.

 

ok, i'll concede that, but as rimbeux has pointed out though dus, he's an agenda pusher, which amonst other things and rather bizarrely, seeks to undermine our best player and captain as some sort of badge of uberism.

he's a fan, not a credible journo - you've never read tony b writing in this way about lfc have you, despite coming from a far more informed and dare i say it, local vantage point.

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because a journalist is 'supposed' to peddle in objectivity and reasoned debate. a blogger posts opinion. fanning pushes an agenda which is tiresome and doesn't appear to have any contacts other than claiming to have his finger on the pulse of the kop. all the way from ireland.

 

everything you've written there is total s**** btw, as ever.

 

He lives in London and has written this way before you ever heard of blogs. David Lacey was an awful oul blogging fart too, wasn't he? Brian Glanville the same.

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He lives in London and has written this way before you ever heard of blogs. David Lacey was an awful oul blogging fart too, wasn't he? Brian Glanville the same.

 

no, and he's not worthy of being named in the same breath.

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I personally largely disagree with the details of Fanning's long held view on Gerrard. However I don't think it's a personal issue. IMO it's mostly to do with his belief that Gerrard is not worthy of bracketing with our great midfielders of the 70s and 80s, that he was canonised too soon. I think he feels standards have dropped in the judgement of greatness at Anfield. I think that even if his essential notion may have some merit, it's a drum he has been hanging too long now because aside from winning the League (which is what it would take for Dion to drop that line) Gerrard has won everything and has stayed.

 

Funny how all of his anti-Gerrard pieces have coincided with the decline of Rafa Benitez at Liverpool. Fanning fell so deeply in love that he has consistently lashed out at anything that can shatter the beautiful picture he holds in his mind. Its not hard to surmise that he thinks Gerarrd's form of last season (despite largely being a product of injury) and disaffection with Benitez both hugely contributed to Rafa's downfall. He cannot forgive Gerrard for this, but dresses up a situation that has clearly become personal for him, as an objective analysis.

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double post

 

ok, i'll concede that, but as rimbeux has pointed out though dus, he's an agenda pusher, which amonst other things and rather bizarrely, seeks to undermine our best player and captain as some sort of badge of uberism.

he's a fan, not a credible journo - you've never read tony b writing in this way about lfc have you, despite coming from a far more informed and dare i say it, local vantage point.

 

He's convinced of his own opinion, that's for sure. Like I said, I can't agree with why he persists with the Gerrard thing. I suspect he thinks that had we sold him to Chelsea and Rafa been able spend the proceeds, we would have won the league. But since that's unprovable he keeps making the point.

 

I think he is very credible because he offers the alternative narrative and an alternative discourse. The detachment possibly helps, it buys him independence. He is good pals with the two Tonys also. I think they all serve slightly different functions in providing 'information' from our fans perspective.

Edited by aka Dus
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ok, i'll concede that, but as rimbeux has pointed out though dus, he's an agenda pusher, which amonst other things and rather bizarrely, seeks to undermine our best player and captain as some sort of badge of uberism.

he's a fan, not a credible journo - you've never read tony b writing in this way about lfc have you, despite coming from a far more informed and dare i say it, local vantage point.

 

That's a fair comparison for me, and defines the difference. We know how pro-Rafa TB is/was but he didn't lose discipline as a consequence and resort to what amounts to pure crusading (which arl' Dussy is a big fan of btw ;) ).

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double post

 

 

 

He's convinced of his own opinion, that's for sure. Like I said, I can't agree with why he persists with the Gerrard thing. I suspect he thinks that had we sold him to Chelsea and Rafa been able spend the proceeds, we would have won the league. But since that's unprovable he keeps making the point.

 

I think he is very credible because he offers the alternative narrative and an alternative discourse. The detachment possibly helps, it buys him independence. He is good pals with the two Tonys also. I think they all serve slightly different functions in providing 'information' from our fans perspective.

 

Alternative to what ? To the Collymore view ? He reads like he's arguing with the radio phone in marchants, or some threads he's read on TLW. I can't think of a major journalist at a credible organ who actively campaigned/crusaded for the opposite view to Fanny's. Plenty clearly didn't hold Rafa as a managerial god but there were hardly campaigns to oust him.

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