Hard to see how Hodgson can revive our fortunes

ONE win good, two wins better. A victory is a victory is a victory...

Play with your little juju beads and recite all the mantras you want, the reality is this; our passing and movement have been inferior to every opponent thus far.

Understandable of course. Apart from a few hammerings dealt out last season, it’s the same humdrum slop we’ve come to expect for a year now.

Only a child would expect transformation in a month, but the dearth of encouraging signals is a concern.

It doesn’t help matters when important players get stupid red cards, sulk or flat out refuse to play.

Mascherano’s departure was food and drink for the B&W brigade.

There is a latent macho streak in many supporters ! whose basic attitude to Mrs Mascherano was “tell her to spend her money and button it”. There’s also the odd cynic who thought she was a decoy for a greedy, self-absorbed brat to get his own way.

Of course he’d rather play for Barcelona, who wouldn’t right now? The malevolence towards the modern player meant there was stupefied gratitude that he played well against Arsenal, but all that changed once the line-up was announced at City.

The speed in which his replacement arrived reenacted the Alonso/Aquilani deals of last summer. We could not sign one before relinquishing the other, meaning more poker before the window’s closure, and another player without a pre-season trying to get to grips with England from unenviable beginnings.

We wish Meireles well, but Aquilani’s disappearance shows it won’t be easy. At least he isn’t injured; always a bonus in an expensive signing I find.

I deluded myself about the Europa. It took one goal to become the usual sewer mouth ragbag of rancour beloved of friends and family. Any idea of a disinterested shrug at the possibility of any cup elimination was brutally smothered after three whole minutes. We showed admirable persistence at least, aided by wary opponents who still think they’re playing LIVERPOOL! When in fact they’re just playing Liverpool.

The danger of a prolonged campaign was there for all to see against West Brom, who looked fitter and more composed for most of a turgid, baffling match. &&

I’m seriously struggling to remember the last decent first 45 of football I saw from my team.

Teams like Albion are okay until it’s proven they’re not and then they fall apart. Chelsea fans will scoff and say you need ability to inflict such punishment; call it naivety, but I genuinely don’t think we’re as far away from them as recent results indicate. It’s the attitude that’s 180 degrees different.

Torres got his little playmate back, but it didn’t seem to make his disposition any sunnier. I said last week that Gerrard should be returned to his best position, even if it was only as a pacifier to the kid, but it still did not seem to work.

Like all strikers one goal can act like 1,000 volts and we need him in form.

The last four managers all began sluggishly, especially away, and it’s hard to see this one doing any better, especially in the current maelstrom of malignancy.

But people can surprise you...


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