Hodgson finally making his mark at Liverpool
Posted 11th November 2010
In Liverpool's victory over Chelsea at Anfield on Sunday, the Reds finally showed signs they've started accepting and understanding their new manager's footballing philosophy. With the exception of their second half rearguard display – strongly reminiscent of the way they played under Benitez – their passing looked sharper and more penetrative than at any point this season.
It's never easy for a group of players to change their outlook on how to go about their business overnight, especially without a major overhaul in personnel, but the players finally seem to be taking on board what Roy Hodgson wants them to do. The football transfer rumours suggest he should be able to bring his own players in come January and that will help things further.
Although it is easy to attribute Liverpool's recent victories to Fernando Torres' return to form, they are beginning to show that they are more than simply a one man team.
Players are starting to learn what parts they are expected to play in the new regime and in the cases of Maxi Rodriguez and Lucas Leiva, this show of faith might be just what they need to bring them out of the shells.
Much maligned for the majority of their time at Anfield, these two players have been offered a clean slate and a chance to prove themselves under the new boss. They seem eager to grasp it with both hands. Last week Maxi scored the winner against Bolton, and on Sunday Lucas played the role of defensive midfielder as though it's something he's been doing all his life.
Of course Torres was fantastic - but the key for the Spaniard was taking that early chance. Against Bolton he found himself though on goal inside the first quarter of an hour, but he over-thought the situation, and as a result he fluffed his chance. But up against Terry on Sunday, he looked much sharper and as soon as he buried that opener, he was looking to get forward at every opportunity.
This is no coincidence - players need confidence, and stability is the key to achieving this. Hodgson has weathered the most brutal part of the storm, and must now be due some pleasant and plain sailing.
Things didn't go perfectly last night, and the Wigan betting tips suggested Liverpool should have beaten them rather than drawing, but Hodgson seems to be on the right track.