Houllier must get tough with his flop stars
By Tommy Smith
Like so many fans, I was gutted with the result at Portsmouth.
But the Reds just did not perform when it mattered.
There was talk of them being under pressure, but that is a load of nonsense. were playing a Portsmouth side of AN Others.
Pressure comes when you have fought your way to the top of the league or through to a cup final and you know you are nearly there. Pressure comes when you are battling against relegation.
Pressure is not when you are miles away from the top and the bottom of the league.
1977, we won the league, then played badly and lost to Manchester United in the FA Cup final. We were told in no uncertain terms we had to perform to win the European Cup a few days later. That was pressure!
Liverpool should be fighting for first place in Premiership, but we are never going to be there with the current squad. We should still be in the Cup, but the players, again, were not good enough.
I believe Gerard Houllier thinks his players will perform, but he has too many poor ones.
He has been protecting his players for too long, and his excuses are wearing a bit thin.
Gerard stated that when some of his key players were back things would be different, but the situation has not improved much.
In the past, Liverpool had one or two really good players, and the rest may not have been as talented but they were proud to put on the red shirt and work their socks off to achieve success.
Now, the team has some top players, but not enough to carry the rest through.
When we played we had a plan and to hell with the opposition. Sometimes we lost, but we stuck to the system.
I just cannot see what the Houllier system is.
There are too many Anfield players in the comfort zone. More often than not, the manager feels his stars play well. You never hear him slagging off his players, but some o f them are not performing.
If you mollycoddle players, saying they are playing well, they will believe it.
Ultimately, it is the players who determine how successful a manager is.
Houllier needs to take action. If his ideas about the game do not change and he does not start winning games his job could be on the line - that will not be because of fans' displeasure with him, but because of the lack of success of some of his signings, like El-Hadji Diouf, Salif Diao, Bruno Cheyrou and Igor Biscan.
The next few months will be crucial. The Reds must finish fourth and do well in the UEFA Cup.
More disappointments will heap further pressure on Houllier and put a question mark on Michael Owen's future, too.
Posted by anfieldreds
at 1:59 PM GMT