Ian Wright, the ex Arsenal and England striker, has declared in his weekly column in a famous English tabloid, that Liverpool Football Club, proudly regarded as one of the biggest footballing institutions in the world, could be about enter a continued period of uncertainty and failure unless a takeover is completed soon. His words follow hotly on from the current Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson’s own remarks in which he declared, after the shocking 2-1 defeat at home to newly promoted Blackpool, that his club are in a relegation dogfight. Hodgson said that any talk of a challenge for one of the top positions in the league or even a European place was way out of line and that the club’s fans should brace themselves for a rocky season in which survival in the English Premiership will be a success in itself. This somewhat pessimistic talk was discredited in many corners by pundits who believed it was just a case of an under pressure manager attempting to alleviate the pressure he finds himself under.
It appears, according to the assorted bunch of pundits, that Hodgson was shocked by the poor quality of his squad and believed a reassessment of the clubs expected position was necessary. It is hardly a new strategy. A manager lowers the expectation levels to a level previously unheard of, convinces the fans to accept his assessment, and then proceeds to steer the club clear of danger and is regarded as a hero for overachieving. Of course it is never as simple as this and perhaps Hodgson is merely being honest and he does actually believe that Liverpool are in danger of relegation. For an outsider, however, looking at his squad such claims appear unlikely. Despite an obvious lack of numbers and an unbalanced squad the club can still boast the likes of Fernando Torres, a World Cup winner with Spain just 4 months ago, in attack and Steven Gerrard, one of the best players in Europe over the past several seasons, in midfield. In defence the club can call on experienced stalwart Jamie Carragher and then there are also the likes of Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel, Raul Meireles, Christian Poulsen, Glen Johnson, Ryan Babel and Lucas Leiva to call on. Liverpool legend Alan Hansen, now one of the most respected pundits in the United Kingdom, also believes the club are in a perilous position and lambasted the players following their poor performance in the defeat against Blackpool. The Liverpool legend even went so far as to describe the performance as a ”disgrace”.