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Liverpool’s current plight was laid bare on Monday when they were humbled 3-0 by Manchester City — a result which left Roy Hodgson’s side fourth bottom of the Premier League.
After just two games it would be churlish to suggest Liverpool will spend too long down in the bottom half of the table, but the feeling that the 18-times English champions are in danger of losing touch with the top four was inescapable.
A quick glance at the table shows Chelsea top, followed by Arsenal and Manchester United and then City — bookies would be offering short odds on that quartet still there in May.
Liverpool now have the admirable Hodgson in the hotseat at Anfield but the wily Englishman faces a tough task if his side are to challenge for one of the Champions League places.
Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez fought long and hard for greater control of the Anfield club’s transfer funds and first through the door since he agreed his new contract is Portsmouth’s Glen Johnson. He didn’t come cheap, either.
At a reported 17 million pounds, Johnson is an expensive acquisition for a player who never quite made it at Chelsea, and has only recently found success in the England team after raiding down Portsmouth’s right hand side last season.