November 11, 2009
One win in nine matches tells a story. And it should be a horror story as far as Liverpool supporters are concerned. Yet their faith in their manager remains strong. Monday night's 2-2 draw with Birmingham will be chiefly remembered for David Ngog's winning of a dubious penalty yet there were far stronger undercurrents at play.
ESPN pundits Kevin Keegan and Danny Murphy made great pains to remind the watching audience of Liverpool fans' propensity to never boo a manager and also the tradition the club has of never sacking managers. It is often said that Don Welsh, back in 1956, is the only Reds boss to have been fired by the club. That however, does not take into account the enforced departures of Graeme Souness, Roy Evans and Gerard Houllier.
Souness was roundly booed and perhaps rightly so. He eventually walked after making the grave mistake of selling the story of a heart-bypass operation to The Sun newspaper, the publication that infamously sullied those who were killed and injured at Hillsborough. Performances on the pitch hardly helped his cause and he was replaced by Evans, the final graduate of Bill Shankly's "Boot Room". Evans' team played a brand of entertaining football the club have rarely been associated with since yet failed to deliver anything but a League Cup.