If Liverpool under-achieve this upcoming season Roy Hodgson’s integrity dictates that he would not hide behind a lack of investment so his damning assessment of Fernando Torres assumption that last season’s failings breeds the need to spend big is entirely accurate.
Torres recently declared that Liverpool needed “four or five” top-class players but Hodgson believes players should take responsibility and “look in the mirror” before championing the need for the club to show ambition and spend big.
Given the amount players earn each week, it would hardly be much to ask for them to accept they were not good enough before leaning against the feeble justification that the owners did not stump up enough cash.
Hodgson said: “As a player you have a chance to change things. If you don’t think the team is doing as well as it should, as a player you can do something about it. If you are a big player, maybe you will.
“If they are not playing well and not helping the team to win I will be advising them to look into the mirror rather than look for excuses elsewhere and blame the owners for not having spent £500m.”
And Hodgson’s old school style in stamping out such an easy attitude to adopt when you’re at the top is somewhat refreshing.
For Hodgson is correct, the clubs ambitions are in the hands of those who cross the white line in Liverpool red and although Benitez’ similar comments last term are often cited as the root cause for a gulf between himself and key players in the Liverpool dressing room it is about time somebody took players to task given the Merseysiders seventh place finish last season.
The encumbrance of such under-achievement laid heavy on Rafa’ Benitez shoulders and if the fact he asked his squad to take a long hard look at themselves caused a rift, it is typical of the farcical attitude that Hodgson does not want to carry into next year.
For haven’t we all been asked to assess our performance in our place of work, college or even at half-time when your 3-0 down at Sunday League level? The only difference is that we do not earn enough money to allow us to shift the blame.
It seems that Hodgson laying down the gauntlet may focus Liverpool and offers a far from brief reminder that ultimately the buck stops with both himself and the squad as they try to diminish the pain exude by their poor season as opposed to pointing at the boardroom as an answer to their on field problems.