Former Liverpool defender Phil Neal has lambasted Roy Hodgson and his side for their terrible performance against Wolves, claiming the display would have legendary managers Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley "turning in their graves".
With Liverpool languishing in the bottom half of the table, and just three points away from relegation heading into 2011, it is not the illustrious figures of Anfield's past that Hodgson is being compared to, but Don Welsh, who was in charge the last time Liverpool had collected so few points at the turn of the year. The Reds were eventually relegated in the 1953-54 season.
Reports on Friday morning suggest Liverpool's owners have been alarmed by the furious reaction from supporters to the 1-0 defeat to Wolves at Anfield, and Hodgson's subsequent comments when he complained that "ever since I came here the famous Anfield support has not really been there".
Neal believes Hodgson has alienated fans with his comments and, with reports suggesting the manager's job could be in severe jeopardy, has not sugar-coated his own assessment of the Wolves performance.
"Shankly and Paisley would have been turning in their graves to see that pathetic team effort," Neal told the Daily Mirror.
"Hodgson could rue saying those words about the fans, that they haven't backed him. Against Wolves there were 90 minutes without a shot on goal, no pressure, and no excitement for the fans. And that's down to the players and down to Hodgson."
Liverpool supporters chanted "Hodgson for England" and Kenny Dalglish's name as they made clear their desire to see the manager relieved of his duties, while one of the manager's summer signings, Paul Konchesky, was also subject to boos.
Winger Ryan Babel, writing on his Twitter page, said the left-back should not have been targeted by disaffected fans.
"How bad we were yesterday, Paul Konchesky didn't deserved [sic] to be treated like that," Babel wrote. "We all need each other. But let's focus on Saturday's game now."