Roy Hodgson: We must turn around ‘unacceptable start’
As the final whistle blew at Anfield on Sunday the Kop chanted the name of Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish.
It is a clear indicator of the pressure Roy Hodgson is under and the expectations he must meet.
Liverpool have made their worst ever start to a Premier League season and find themselves third from bottom in England’s top flight – arguably the exact polar opposite of where the Reds both used, and expected, to be.
The only moment of joy in Liverpool’s clash with Blackpool came in the early moments of the second half, when defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos latched onto a quick free-kick from Steven Gerrard and headed past Matthew Gilks to score the Reds’ only goal of the game.
But by then the damage had already been done. Charlie Adam had converted from the penalty spot after Glen Johnson had tripped Luke Varney to offer Ian Holloway’s Tangerines the opportunity to take the lead mid-way through the first half.
With the half time whistle drawing closer Blackpool pushed forward, finding themselves in huge amounts of space in the Liverpool half and allowing for Gary Taylor-Fletcher to play a ball through the Reds’ back four and to Varney, who blasted a shot past Pepe Reina to further extend the visitor’s lead.
Liverpool’s second-half performance was considerably better than their showing in the first period, but their domination of possession was not enough to amount to an equaliser. As has often been the case, Liverpool without Fernando Torres -who limped off in the ninth minute -lacked the cutting-edge in front of goal.
“It is a very bad start to the season, a start we could never have envisaged,” said Hodgson after the match. “It is a start we are really unhappy with and we have got to live with it that’s the way it is.
“It is a strange season the way it has gone so far. We are very, very unhappy that after four home games and three away we have six points and that is not acceptable.
“We have a lot of work to turn the situation around.”
The Liverpool boss spoke of Liverpool’s poor first half, but felt the performance was much improved in the second period.
“I thought [in the] first half Blackpool played well, but we were not near anywhere where we should be,” added Hodgson. “Unfortunately we went down to a second goal on the stroke of half-time, but in the second half you see a totally different team.”
Liverpool will now have to regroup after the international break with the Reds’ fixture list empty for the next two weeks. Once the players return from international duty Hodgson’s men travel to Goodison Park, where a win could get their season back on track and a defeat could send it spiralling out of control.