Anfield was host to yet more chants calling for the dismissal of a manager on Saturday evening. This week Roy Hodgson was not the target. As Liverpool coasted to a 3-0 lead by the 38th minute – a lead the Merseysiders would not relinquish – travelling West Ham fans aired their frustrations at their manager Avram Grant with chants of ‘You’re getting sacked in the morning.’
The recipient of songs of a similar nature, Hodgson expressed sympathy for his counterpart’s plight. “We have to learn to live with that these days, I’m afraid,” he told The Guardian of fans calling for their manager’s head. He also felt sadness at how such cynicism had spread into the English game. “I remember saying to my wife: ‘That wouldn’t happen in England,’” he said of encountering such an attitude when first managing abroad.
Praise for Johnson.
Following his right-back’s goalscoring, man-of-the-match turn on Saturday against West Ham United, Roy Hodgson played down rumours of a bust-up with Glen Johnson.
“I had better get people to start a little bit more mischief, with Glen and other players if I can get better performances out of them,” he was quoted in the Daily Telegraph. “Glen Johnson is a top class player, we all know that, and it was nice for the fans to see how well he can play.”
After Johnson opened the scoring, his manager was at pains to assure that their relationship was fine, that he had a real talent on his hands and that January would not see Johnson heading for the exit door.
Praise for Liverpool following win
Rarely will Roy Hodgson have such a comfortable evening of management as he did on Saturday. The game was effectively sealed with Maxi Rodriguez’s 38th minute glancing header which put the gloss on a 3-0 victory. Thereafter Liverpool easily saw out the rest of the game against an insipid West Ham United team, the only surprise being that they failed to add to their first-half total.
“It was important to win and I think we did it in some style,” Hodgson said. He was particularly pleased with how his team reacted to the absence of key players, telling skysports.com: “We were concerned we would have to do it without Steven (Gerrard) and Lucas Leiva but the players selected today did really well.”