by Rhydon Atzenhoffer
December 16, 2010
It has been a frustrating week for the Reds fan base to say the least. After an unexpected thrashing of 3-1 away at St. James Park despite having 21 shots on goal the Merseysiders have to once again scratch their heads in the Premiership. Pandew's reign got of on the right foot as his side seemed to handle the Reds with ease on paper. Magpie skipper Kevin Nolan's return from injury certainly boosted the club and a driving performance by Joey Barton helped to typify the Reds inability to perform away from Home.
Roy Hodgson will once again feel the pressure after comments from Liverpool Chairman Tom Werner called the clubs performances, "unacceptable," at a press conference this weekend. Though I feel Hodgson is safe under NESV and new owner John W. Henry it is not going to be a quick turnaround. As former Reds left and right including Robbie Fowler have recently stated the teams need to invest in new talent in the January transfer window in order to push the club during the run in.
Many names have been thrown around as of late including the likes of Ronaldinho, Ajax's Luis Suarez, former Fulham charge and USA international Clint Dempsey, Ryad Boudebouz of French side Sochaux, and most recently a 5 Million Pound offering to Tottenham for out of favor winger David Bentley. Bayern Munich's Mario Gomez is reportedly on the radar for LFC, as well as FC Nuremburg midfielder Mike Frantz. It is truly unclear what the plans will be in January but it can be assured there will be at least one or two new faces coming to the club.
Another glaring bore of a game by the Reds was played out on Wednesday night against FC Utrecht, former club of Dirk Kuyt. The bottom club in the Red's UEFA Europa League Group K looked for some confidence boosting while the Merseysiders already have their ticket punched to the next round. With that said in mind the Liverpool stars did little to impress, nor little to do anything as the crowd was disappointed in a lackluster 0-0 draw. Joe Cole continued his poor class of the season and is looking to have been possibly a mistake. Time will tell for the England international but he is continuing to look more and more overrated. The most enthusiasm of the night was from the Utrecht fans when Kuyt came on as a substitute in the later part of the second half.
As we look ahead to the last few weeks of the year it is paramount that the Reds snatch some points before the January window. The club is in mid table and is now nine points away from fourth placed Chelsea. It is going to take a huge turn around for the club to snatch a Europa Spot for next year and right now the best chance of Champions League qualification looks to be winning the UEFA Europa League outright.
The second half of the reason is going to be a bumpy ride, and it starts when the Reds face Fulham on the weekend. Hodgson's form club now under Man City reject Mark Hughes will be looking for revenge and the Cottagers could do even more damage to the already fragile hopes of Liverpool fans on the remaining half of the season. It looks to be another weekend of grief, pain, or pure quick joy and then the realization that there is so much more to go.