Liverpool have been dumped out of the League Cup by fourth division Northampton Town at Anfield, leaving manager Roy Hodgson unimpressed with the display of his players.
Hodgson, who has suffered a rocky start to his Liverpool managerial career, played a completely new side but one that should still have won the match.
Internationals like Daniel Agger, Milan Jovanovic, Lucas Leiva, Soto Kyrgiakos and Brad Jones lined up alongside youngsters Dani Pacheco, Danny Wilson, Martin Kelly, Jay Spearing and David Ngog. They were unable to beat a side 17th in league two, despite going ahead inside the opening ten minutes.
One player who came on and did well was Jonjo Shelvey, but when asked about his performance Hodgson admitted he wasn’t in the mood for discussing positives after such a disappointing display and result. “We think Jonjo Shelvey is a player with a bright future, but I have to say I am not in the mood for talking about positives”, said the boss.
“We wanted to do well in the Carling Cup and we haven’t. We were given a fairly kind draw if you look at the other teams we could have drawn. If you get a team from three leagues below you, you’re expect to win and when you don’t win, then you can expect to be criticsed from the top downwards.
“We must all take responsibility and I am bitterly disappointed that the team I had so much faith in did not repay that faith this evening, with the exception of one or two.”
Hodgson was clearly unhappy with certain players, and despite not naming names he made it clear in his post match interview that they will struggle to win back his trust. “They (the players) will have to do a lot of work to get themselves back into favour, but it’s early doors for some of them. Some of the players who played tonight are still quite young.
“The fact is the Carling Cup is a competition which we are capable of doing well in and this is the third round, playing against a lower league club, so if it doesn’t result in a victory it is a very negative thing.
“It’s one of many setbacks we’re facing at the moment and it’s a tough period to work and live through, but we will work and live through it. We will survive it and get better. I will learn an awful lot from this defeat tonight about an awful lot of people.”
“The fact is these players have to accept responsibility. I have to accept responsibility for changing a lot of players in the team, but I did it because I thought the players I put on the field would be good enough to go out and win the game.
“They weren’t, so the obvious conclusion to that is that I shouldn’t have changed so many players and should have let some of those players who played against Manchester United play tonight, but I honestly believed the team we put out on the field would have been strong enough to get a result.
“But we weren’t and that’s because we didn’t play well enough, didn’t pass the ball well enough throughout the game and you must give some credit to Northampton who worked extremely hard and I’m sure they’ll go away feeling they have stolen nothing here tonight and were worth their victory.”
Northampton won 4-2 on penalties after the match ended 2-2 after extra time. Anfield drew a crowd of just 22,000 as disgruntled fans stayed away.
The club is a mess on and off the pitch.