We're always turning corners, it seems...
I watched a match yesterday, and I saw a club put on the most dire, lifeless display I can remember witnessing from a so-called Premier League side. They didn't press, they didn't move, they didn't close down, they didn't attack. At times it seemed as though the West Ham players were so overwhelmed by the futility of existence--or perhaps by the crushed up valium somebody had spiked their sports drink with--that they would have rather curled up right there on the pitch than half-heartedly jog another step. They at times seemed an absurdist playwright's parody of Roy Hodgson's own road tactics.
As such I find myself in the same place I was before the match with regards to my outlook on Hodgson. I'm done with roller coaster emotions and getting fired up for wins that don't seem to mean a thing. I'm still happy for the win itself, of course, and for the points, but I don't expect to change my outlook unless and until a series of good performances comes along that unarguably are, a: not a blip in form or, b: not largely the result of an even more incompetent display by the opponent
West Ham's utterly incompetent showing combined with Liverpool's willingness to lay off and join them in their aimless, ineffective meanderings in the second half, make this pretty clear cut for me.
On the other hand, there is a valid argument to be made that you only play what's in front of you, and that almost no team out there can stay fired up for the full ninety in the face of such a disinterested opponent. Or rather, I think there are a pair of fair and valid arguments there but that when you put them together you're cherry picking two points of view that mutually, fundamentally, cancel out much of what the other argument suggests. Still, people do prefer to be upbeat if there's any way to justify such an outlook, and I know there are those out there that think
it isn't right to be so harsh towards the manager and squad after such an adequate showing. Maybe it doesn't mean that Hodgson is suddenly the man to take us forward, but if he along with signings Poulsen and Konchesky can at least look just about adequate against a disinterested last place club missing its best player, well, maybe it's still at least enough to call off the dogs for a week.
I think it's fairly clear where I stand on things here, though I realise my viewpoint isn't universal and I'd like to think I could be convinced to change my mind by the right argument. I'm not sure there's any way I could be convinced of the final option available in the poll, though as Baldrick pointed out in the last thread's comment section some in the media are talking about Ancelotti as being on the verge of the sack even while they talk about how yesterday's "demolition" of West Ham means Hodgson has turned the corner everybody knew he would and it's sunny skies and a bright future ahead for him at Liverpool Football Club. So I include that option out of a sense of obligation to being complete.
Go nuts, and let us know what you're thinking in the comments.