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John Giles: Roy so wrong to blame Kop

IT'S a terrible sign of weakness when a manager appeals to the fans for support. It always sounds like whinging and never goes down well with the intended audience.

In the case of Roy Hodgson, his request for support from the Kop is particularly inappropriate, given the amount of nonsense Liverpool fans have had to live with the last three or four years and more.

Hodgson has forgotten a fundamental rule of football. Fans pay the wages. Supporters pay their money and have every right to complain if they see players earning huge salaries trot around the home turf without any of the urgency and passion required to put on a Liverpool shirt.

That's what I saw on Wednesday night. Wolves beat Liverpool because they were a better team with a better attitude.

Wolves played the way I would always expect a team produced by Mick McCarthy to play. Full of heart and commitment, they met Liverpool man for man and were quicker, hungrier and more determined.

Attitude costs nothing and should come as a basic. It is very worrying indeed that a player like Fernando Torres has become so listless and disinterested in the current Anfield environment.

This used to be a stadium which inspired great deeds and fear in the opposition. Not any more.

Some of the old hands from the great Anfield days have been speculating recently about just how bad this team is and I would say that it is undoubtedly the worst I've seen since Shankly ruled the roost.

Hodgson must accept his share of the blame for that, no matter how poor the players have been and the idea that the fans are in some way responsible is just ridiculous.

His job is to put out a team which deserves support and if he was honest with himself, he would have to concede that the players didn't do anything to discourage the groundswell calling for Kenny Dalglish's return.

I think the Dalglish situation has been building steadily now for about 18 months and it may well be that the best medicine for what is now a very sick patient is the help of a familiar face.

Both Gerard Houllier and Rafa Benitez managed to bank credit in Cup competitions and they were given the customary respect and time which previous Liverpool managers always enjoyed.

But Hodgson had nothing behind him when he arrived and the Kop has quickly lost patience.

It won't help the situation at all but it is an entirely reasonable reaction to the continuing decline of a once great club.

What Liverpool desperately need is a root and branch rejuvenation of the squad but I really don't think Hodgson is the right man to do it when and if the money becomes available.

The new owners have been digesting the reality of the life in the Premier League and are clearly unhappy with the contract arrangements made by the previous regime.

John Henry certainly doesn't look like a man ready to splash out the £200m needed to rebuild the team.

The decision to appoint Hodgson was a gamble.

They hoped for a safe pair of hands who would keep Liverpool in mid-table and perhaps mount a Cup run which would allow some breathing space to work through the finances and establish priorities.

URGENT

Cash for new blood was never likely to amount to much but there is now an even more urgent need. Henry has to find a top manager quickly.

That's why Dalglish is looking like an increasingly attractive option.

He is probably the only man who would command the kind of universal support Hodgson has been asking for but hasn't earned.


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