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Roy and the Media: BFFs for Realz, Yo

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j'accuse
Oy! You! Support the manager!

No surprise, the media still loves them some Hodge. Says bastion of journalistic integrity Patrick Barclay: "Roy is the man for the job. You'll see the difference by mid-December."

Oh, that's nice. I'm sure he just needs some time to install his ideas. When Torres mans up and starts playing like Zamora and the rest of the squad just hold their shape and defend passively enough we'll be saved and manage a solid sixteenth place finish, perhaps. I, for one, can hardly contain my excitement.

Not so nice, though, is that when Liverpool's followers had the nerve to disagree with Barclay he called them idiots for not seeing the wisdom of Roy's ways. Which is also the wisdom of his ways, since Barclay is one of those in the media who pushed hard for Hodgson to

get the position he's looking less comfortable in by the day. At Fulham he may have been able to fly under the radar, but now he's in the spotlight and badmouthing entire nations because somebody pissed in his cornflakes. Or because not everybody's bowing down to his wealth of experience. Or something.

But anyhow, back to Barclay. The twitters did their twattering for a while, Barclay picked up a hash tag you probably wouldn't want to repeat in polite company, and at the end of the day OYB Nate summed things up pretty darn well: "Typical of the British media. Hodgson and Barclay are friends, ergo Hodgson can do no wrong and we're stupid."

That's really about the long and the short of it, as far as some of these London media types are concerned. These are the sorts of men suddenly so concerned with making Liverpool a bastion of Englishness while we get to be the ones who watch the club plummet towards a point where relegation becomes a serious threat--if we haven't reached that point already. It's hard not to wonder if decades (or more than a century, even, as Liverpool's first squad had all of one Englishman in it) of looking to quality, talent, and ability ahead of worries of nationality and through that becoming the most successful club in English history has left some of the media establishment--many of whom would have grown up supporting other clubs--inherently bitter, at the very least on some subconscious level. After all, now they either get to see their glorious England brought back to its proud roots, or they get to watch Liverpool fail spectacularly and cackle about the downfall--all the while blaming the dirty foreigners, or course.

It only sounds like paranoia until you start paying attention to the shit so many TalkSport calibre pundits come out with. Until you consider that they were the ones cheering loudest for Hodgson on the weight of a single run to the Europa League final as the highlight of a remarkably workmanlike thirty-five year career. Until you consider that they are now the ones arguing that Hodgson needs more time but that Torres is a failed Benitez signing and should be shipped out for a Carlton Cole or three as though that would be in the best long term interest of the club.

Some will say they don't deserve time, they don't deserve effort, they don't deserve reply. To just ignore them. Which would all be well and good if they hadn't led the charge to blacklist our former manager because he wouldn't play nice in their old boys' club. They'd be easy to ignore if it wasn't for the fact that largely letting them get away with their shit before is part of why we're mired in nineteenth right now: if everybody with two brain cells to rub together doesn't stand up and say just how full of shit these people are every time they're, well, full of shit, then there are some who will listen and nod and believe them. And that helps lead to a situation where it's easier to sack a Spaniard and clamor for a good, English replacement (and as Roy has pointed out, the same people who gave world player of the millennium Ryan Giggs his lifetime achievement award said he was Manager of the Year, so he must be pretty damn good at what he does).

Maybe they're simply pathetically xenophobic, or maybe they really do think the path to glory runs back through 1966 (Barclay was the man, after all, wisely proclaiming that England was going to take the World Cup this summer), but with the way Rafa got hounded--the same way they're starting to hound Mancini, and the same way they tried to hound Wenger until it became clear that an early Prem title and a strong and supportive board meant it was a fight they could never win--it's hard not to look at Hodgson increasingly cracking under the glare of the Liverpool spotlight and wonder how exactly it is he's getting a free pass.

At the very least he deserves to be held as accountable as Benitez would have been if he'd just lost to Everton and was stuck in the relegation zone with fewer points than games played. Hell, with some of these people supposedly in charge of leading the public discourse I'd accept Hodgson being held as accountable for the spot he has the club in now as Benitez was for having them twelve spots higher.