By Amy Quinn, writing from Dublin
Giant killings are a common story in all walks of footballing life. Few football clubs can say, with conviction, that they have never fallen foul of the ambition and drive that lower-ranked teams can often bring to the fore. Liverpool are no exception, with memorable FA cup exits to the likes of Barnsley and just last year, Reading, and with the spectacular banishment from the Carling Cup just two weeks ago at the hands of Northampton Town barely forgotten. It’s strange, however, that all of this pales in comparison to a desperate defeat in Liverpool’s own back yard yesterday afternoon against Ian Holloway’s Blackpool. The Seasiders now find themselves four points ahead of Liverpool in the Premiership (begging the question, are Liverpool now the underdogs?), and previously seen as relegation fodder, the shoe is now on the other foot for the struggling Reds.
It was particularly telling that late that Sunday, as Liverpool sunk to their lowest point in recent memory, the Kop erupted with chants of “Dalglish!” - referring, of course, to the former Liverpool player and manager, and current Academy director, Kenny Dalglish, who was present at Anfield yesterday with fellow legend Ian Rush, as he is every week. Surely not a pleasant experience for Liverpool’s manager, Roy Hodgson, who has come under fire from all corners of the team’s fanbase, but it represented something crucial. Liverpool fans have forged loving relationships with so many players and leaders down the years. Having adapted to so many different managerial styles, it is surprising that any approach would jar so horribly with the club as Roy’s has so far, but there’s an explanation for that.