Club Focus – Liverpool – Cole admits lack of form during Kop’s darkest days

This has been one of the most incredible weeks in Liverpool’s history – a true rollercoaster ride. The club were eventually taken over by New England Sports Ventures, and new owner John Henry is already being treated like a hero on Merseyside. However, more worryingly, the Reds dropped to an alarming 19th position in the Premier League following defeat by bitter rivals Everton.

Questions are still being asked about manager Roy Hodgson. The Englishman has overseen an appalling start to the campaign and his future is hanging on a thread. Internet rumours suggest that former Barcelona boss Frank Rijkaard will be approached to replace Hodgson, though Reds fans are rallying for Kenny Dalglish to take over the reins. Speculation over Hodgson’s future is rife, but it is the new owners who will make the decision over whether the current manager is big enough for the job or not.

The situation at Anfield has provoked sympathy from former manager Rafael Benitez as well as Argentina captain Javier Mascherano, who walked out of Anfield this summer. Spaniard Benitez, who is harshly being blamed for some of Liverpool’s current troubles, launched a scathing attack on former owners Hicks and Gillett this week, but also showed some sympathy for supporters.

Benitez said: “I was watching the fans and I was really sad after the defeat the other day. The only thing I can say is that I’m sorry for the fans.

Barcelona midfielder Mascherano also had some words to say about his former team’s current predicament. “I view what’s going on there with sadness. Liverpool are a club that gave me a lot. I have friends there and affection for the club. It is unfortunate that they are in this rare and difficult situation,” he said.

Meanwhile big summer signing Joe Cole, whose move to Anfield momentarily brought great joy to supporters, has revealed his disappointment at his performances since he joined on a free transfer from champions Chelsea. The attacking midfielder, who prior to his move clearly stated that he did not want to be used as a winger, is currently spending his time on the left side of midfield during matches. Cole has lots of potential and some fantastic movement and skill, but has not exactly dazzled so far this season.

Cole said: “I am desperate to do well for Liverpool and, every minute of every day, I am thinking about how I can get there. I know I’m not playing well. I expect a lot better of myself, but at least I am at a club who are going to help me through it.

Cole also backed Roy Hodgson to turn things around at the club. “We are right behind the manager. We all believe in the team and in the club. We have just got to stick together. We are doing a lot of things right but we have got to cut out what we’re doing wrong,” he said.

The Reds are looking ahead to Thursday night, where they will take on Napoli in the Europa League. For Hodgson, it is an opportunity to get back to winning ways. Although the Premiership is undoubtedly of greater importance to the club, any sort of a victory against the Italian side would provide a welcome boost for a team desperately low on confidence.

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