Two weeks. That's how long Roy Hodgson had to instill a semblance of confidence and spirit in the squad. Two weeks to tell the players to hit the reset button, that the season started now. To explain to them that what is usually an exhausting point of the season, Liverpool had the advantage of getting a rest to prepare to come out with a surge. What we got was a team that looked disinterested at best and a heavy desire to be anywhere else at worst.
Two weeks. That's how long Hodgson had to finally implement whatever system he might have dreamed up. Two weeks to come up with a measure of tactical acumen to get the players to buy into, to finally provide a cohesive plan. To put players in the right positions and produce something resembling football. Instead we got hot garbage, players all over the pitch, unable to string two passes together with no width, and unable to cope with the high-pressure game of Wolverhampton Wanderers.
I'm out of words. At first I thought the season was just lost, but there's genuine danger here. I understand NESV's patience and wanting to observe, but they may not have that option. The only emotion we saw out of the players tonight was when they were sniping at each other. This is a team that has basically quit, and we've seen that before. It was Newcastle.
If you're going to play a 4-4-2, and you shouldn't, then your wide midfielders need to have one of pace, crossing ability, touch, or at least the patience to stay out wide. instead, we were given Dirk Kuyt, who possesses none of these, and Raul Meireles who is a central midfielder and continually treaded there. You could get away with Kuyt out wide in a five-man midfield because the job description then is to pop into scoring areas to support a lone striker. That's what he's best at. Our best attacking midfielder, Steven Gerrard, was found by the center circle. With Wolves pressing all over, the idea would be to have your strikers come in to link up while your wingers would bomb into the space behind. But they can't because they either can't move (Kuyt) or don't belong out wide (Meireles). This wasn't a secret, Wolves have been playing like this all season. But Hodgson couldn't figure out that maybe Babel or Jovanovic or anyone with a semblance of pace might have made a difference.
Maybe it wouldn't have mattered, you do have to complete a pass to make that work. And your central defenders can't be a comedy team, and sadly Menelaus and Skrtel are, hurling themselves at any ball they can't win, which led to the only goal.
The most offensive facet of the night is after going behind Liverpool couldn't produce a single chance.
This could get worse. I laughed at the thought of relegation, but it's right there staring us in the face. It could honestly happen if Torres continues to give up with no service, Gerrard placed exactly in the one place where he can't be effective, and the rest of the mediocrity surrounding him continues to be just that.
Pull the trigger on Hodgson, you only have your Premier League status to lose.