Sunday, June 17, 2012

Last chance saloon for Liverpool

The Reality
Its time for all Liverpool supporters to relies exactly where this famous club actually are when it comes to who are the powerhouses of English football, while winning cups may paper over the cracks the league sorts the men from the boys and sadly Liverpool are a way off.
Eighth place and 37 points off the winners Man City, thats over 12 wins in a season that has only 38 games says it all, Queens parks rangers just avoided relegation on 37 points so we would need all their points to challenge for the league, that is the reality.
Early on Alex Ferguson said that he would knock Liverpool off there perch, and the sad painful truth is he has. Liverpool cannot compete in the transfer market with the likes of Man Utd, Chelsea,Man City and even Tottenham in recent years and this is not going to change, the money is simply not there so Liverpool have to find other ways to bridge the gap.
When Kenny Dalglish was sacked i was saddened that such a great servant to this club ended in such a bad way and as a kid growing up idolized him as a player and a manager.I know what he means to every Liverpool fan. He helped stabilize Liverpool at a very bad moment in our history but i really think he could not take us to the next level.
FSG had to make a very brave and unpopular move and they did have to take it no matter what the fans reactions were, we cant live on history and fairy tales anymore.

The Hope
When Brenden Rodgers name was put forward on the list i had a little bit of football snobbery, i thought Brenden who? I, like all faithful Liverpool fans still think as Liverpool as a major European force so if it was not Pepe from Barca or Jose from Madrid they would not be good enough. But as the list got shorter and shorter curiosity got the better of me and i started to check out the managers on this shortlist. I already knew a good bit about Martinez but knew nothing about this Rodgers fella, who had been mentioned at the beginning but had straight away turned the job down. I listened to one of his interviews and i was sold.We cannot compete with the rich clubs so we have to do things differently. Fsg believe in the Moneyball system and Liverpools only chance of reclaiming the old glory days is to follow something like this and to do so we need a manager who is open to these ideas. Rodgers ideas and the moneyball system are not so apart. His philosophy is to buy players for his system and these are players who will not cost a huge amount of money. But what will be a big shock at Anfield is who does not fit into the Rodgers system.
There maybe major exits at Liverpool this summer and this season as Rodgers finds out who suits the new playing style and who does not.I am a big fan of Andy Carroll and i would love to see him fit into Rodgers plans but i just cant see him playing the type of football we need to start playing and this goes for other Livbrpool players too.

Brenden Rodgers in my opinion the best thing to happen to Liverpool fc in a long long time but it will take time for him to build a team that can play the way he wants at the level that we want.
Liverpool fans need to be realistic, we are on the verge of oblivion as a global club and we dont have the money to buy our way out, so the Rodgers way is the only real way we have to stay relevant, dont expect miracles overnight, but i believe if we give our support like normal and dont expect so much so quick, Champions League football is probably even out of our reach next year, thats how much we have fallen.
But if we back Rodgers looking at it as a long time project he will turn things around but it is a long long project, but probably the most important in the history of Liverpool Football Club
Everyday Brenden Rodgers looks up up from his office table and sees pictures of Shanks and Paisley looking down on him....he knows what is expected of him and he looks like he is up to the challenge, just give him time.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


My idea was to build Liverpool into a bastion of invincibility. Had Napoleon had that idea he would have conquered the bloody world. I wanted Liverpool to be untouchable. My idea was to build Liverpool up and up until eventually everyone would have to submit and give in

These words were spoken by the late great Bill Shankly many many moons ago, but they now once again ring true. Shankly started something at Liverpool that did indeed make every other team submit,but like all great empires eventually it was surpassed and in Liverpool's case crumbled to nothing and that is where Liverpool football club find themselves right now, we are in the relegation zone, with a very lightweight squad of unmotivated players and a manager who has made us the new Fulham, ie a team who will use the second half of the season to drag ourselves up the table and may even shoot for the stars and get ourselves a uefa spot next season.

How Liverpool Fc came to this point has been a nightmare for all Liverpool fans. Under David Moores we have seen Manchester United surpass us on and off the field in the 90`s, and then when Moores did eventually sell us he made the worst decision of his life in selling us to messrs Hicks and Gillet. How badly we were run under Moores and Parry was illustrated by the fact that even Hicks and Gillet off field merchandise sales trebled and they managed to get 80 million pounds for our shirt deal which was more than double the earlier deals negotiated by Parry. There is huge worldwide interest in Liverpool Football Club but it has never been fully maximised.

So now New England Sports Ventures have after a long protracted battle won the right to buy Liverpool Fc. I for one am very happy with our new owners but i have spoken to some Liverpool faithful who would have preferred non-Americans or Man City- Chelsea type sugar daddy owners, but i really believe John W Henry is the perfect fit for Liverpool. During Liverpool's nightmare years i have looked at other clubs financial situation with envy and one in particular, and this club is not Chelsea with Romans Rubles or Man City with there oil rich patron, but the club i look at with envy is Arsenal. Super stadium, soon to be paid off and will be able to invest in players for years to come on there own without having to rely on the whim of a rich sugar daddy whose sports interest may change to synchronised swiming in the morning.

That is real financial security is and it is what Liverpool need to aspire to and that is what i hope NESV will bring to Anfield. Their track record is amazing and i love that in the initial interviews there was no outlandish promises made and that they are looking at every option, because that needs to be done.Whether we build a new stadium or refurbish Anfield getting more people in to watch Liverpool play is a priority and is the cornerstone of a bright future for Liverpool Fc. I have to confess that in the past i have been a stadium snob whenever a ground share idea with Everton was mentioned i always thought that we would be helping them too much, but after fully realising how bad Liverpool finances are its all about surviving and thriving now and playing catch up and any bad medicine that John Henry says we must take to catch up to the rest of the pack then so be it, i accept because i have had enough of disappointment and really want to enjoy watching Liverppol Fc again because it has been not easy being a Liverpool fan for a long time now, but i do believe we now have the right owners in place to once again make Liverpool a true superpower in not just English football but one of the elite of Europe.

On the field i think nobody will disagree that our squad is threadbare, David Ngog sums up the Liverpool of today for me. He is the only out and out striker behind Fernando Torres. Most clubs have 4 strikers and none of the top clubs would include Ngog in that four but we are been forced to use him sometimes as our first striker when Torres is injured. Every Liverpool supporter knew we were desperately short of striking options in the summer so it raises the question, why did our manager Roy Hodgson spend our limited funds on a few central midfielders and defenders.
There is a great tradition at Liverpool for always sticking by our managers when things get tough, but i have to break from that tradition. Roy Hodgson was a good manager at Fulham but that's what he is, a manager that can get good results by playing all out defence against teams and soaks up attacks and playing on the counter attack but that will not get us into the top four, all that will do is make us the new Fulham. I hope NESV relise this and somehow find us a forward thinking positive good manager soon. This January transfer window is going to be NESV`s first opportunity to show us what they can give us and i really don't want Hogdson to be the one deciding who we buy with that money, one Poulsen is enough for any team.

So please John Henry give all hard suffering Liverpool fans a great xmas and go out and find the greatest semi retired football manager out there and convince Guus Hiddink to come and be the new Shankly and maybe he will one day be revered and shown the loyalty that Liverpool fans show all great Liverpool managers.

Finally light at the end of the tunnel and maybe just maybe we can stop the great Bill Shankly turning in his grave, we at least owe him that.

Saturday, July 04, 2009


Michael Owens crossing of the great divide will sadden many Liverpool fans who once worshipped him.
As a Liverpool supporter i rarely want recent Manchester United signings to do well for the club, but with the signing of Michael Owen it has brought my ill feelings towards a player to an all new high level.

I wish unspeakable bad injuries and bad luck to befall the former Liverpool goal machine, i know its very bad form to wish injury on any player but its honestly how i feel and i honestly believe the little Judas deserves all that i wish upon him.
People will say that he had to take Alex Fergusons offer as his best chance of resurrecting his World cup dream in Fabio Capello`s England, but the truth is he will most likely be a bit part player for the red devils and so he would have been much better served by signing for one of the lower teams in the league that he was talking to when the Man Utd`s offer came in.At a team like Hull he would have played every injury free minute and would have had a chance to really prove if he still has what it takes to cut it at the top level instead of coming on in the 80th minutes to give Rooney and Co a bit of a rest.
When i see the picture of Owen grinning holding the Man Utd scarf above his head and wearing the Manchester red bull rugby league jersey it shows just how low the little fella has fallen from his heyday as an Anfield idol. And some may say that he never really was an Anfield idol as he never really was as close to the fans as his predecessor`s Robbie Fowler or Ian Rush and that is true to a point but he was revered by the Liverpool faithful in the early days, there was many great moments and some great goals, but that was all soured when he forced the then new manager Rafa Benitez to sell him for a knock down price to Real Madrid in 2004 and he has soured that relationship with the Liverpool fans to new depths upon agreeing to join our arch enemies, remember this is not some foreigner like Heinz or Tevez but he is a player who came up through the Liverpool youth set up so he knows exactly what it means to the Liverpool faithful to cross the divide.
But there is one ray of shining light in all this, its a fact that without bad luck Michael Owen would have no luck at all, he left Liverpool for sunny Madrid to play regularly in the Champions League, the very same year that Liverpool lifted the cup on that glorious night in Istanbul in a game that most players can only dream about playing in, plus we can all see where his latest bout of luck has left Newcastle Utd.

So lets all hope that his lucky streak continues with Manchester United, Relegation might be hoping for a little too much though.

Monday, August 04, 2008


As it looks like Rafa Benitez will finally get his man and end the long drawn out transfer saga, Gareth Barry`s arrival will at last turn Liverpool into credible title contenders.

In order to capture Barry`s signiture Benitez has had to be at his most ruthless. Xabi Alonso will have to make way for Barry, he will have to be sold to recoup the money spent on his replacement. It looks like Alonso does not want to go but it would seem it is more to do with the fact that no high profile club have valued him as highly as the Anfield clubs price tag, than the desire the player has to stay and fight for his place. Perhaps these clubs are relishing what many Liverpool supporters have known for a while now, that Alonso is simply overrated. While many supporters still rate him, in my opinion he has not produced the goods for a season or two now, and when he does play Liverpool are not a better team and for those fans who still rate him do you really see him as an integral part of the Liverpool team that will finally bring the the league title back to Liverpool. Even though Benitez will not relish selling his Spanish compatriot, after all it was Benitez who convinced Alonso to join his Liverpool revolution right from the start and now for the good of the team Benitez will make the decision to end Alonso`s Anfield career whether the player himself wants it or not.

Steven Gerrard and Barry may be great mates off the field and there is little doubt that their friendship played a part in Barry holding out for a chance to join Liverpool instead of other possible suitors. But Barry`s arrival at Anfield may mean that Gerrard may have to return to the right side of midfield something that he may not be too happy about after getting a taste of his preferred role playing behind Torres in the centre. It would be one of the most talented midfields in the world if Rafa opted something along the lines of Ryan Babel on the left Barry and Mascherano in the centre and Gerrard on the right and i think that in a lot of the big games he may opt for something like this, but i do not think that Gerrard will be saying goodbye to central midfield for good.
Benitez`s signings this summer could be a viewed as a masterstroke in years to come. In signing Robbie Keane and Barry, Benitez has not just signed a striker and a central midfielder he has bought himself a huge amount of options in shuffling his playing pack around. Keane will normally play behind Torres but when the Spanish striker is rested, Keane can play up front with Gerrard behind him or Keane on the right when Gerrard is needed elsewhere. With Barry he will mainly play in central midfield but he can easily fill in on the left where Gerrard has had to do on a number of occasions and showed that out left is one position that the Liverpool skipper cannot really play and his talent was wasted there so hopefully Barry`s arrival puts an end to that madness.
People may say that Benitez has always had plenty of options in team selection and the amount of rotation he has done proves them right, but the difference now is that he can exchange top quality players for top quality, but also in the big games injuries permitting he can field the strongest starting eleven that Liverpool Football Club have had in many many years.

All the top teams will of course be strengthening this summer and of the top four Liverpool had the most ground to make up, but when Barry finally signs, Benitez will have got all his summer wishes granted and i believe he will have taken Liverpool a huge step forward and maybe just maybe he has done enough to finally end the title drought on Merseyside.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Sir Alex Ferguson is back to his very best ahead of the Man Utd clash on Sunday. He has been shocked recently how badly referee`s are been treated. This is due mainly to Ashley Coles total disrespect in the recent game against Spurs.

Ole red nose said "The haranguing of referees is ridiculous, we know that," he said."We are talking about introducing this into the grass-roots level, respect for the referee. It is absolutely correct."

Wow it sounds like he really cares about referee`s and the respect they should be shown, and as we all know he has always kept his own players on a very tight leash and made sure that at all time they showed nothing but 100% respect for the officials decision`s and that contesting that final decision was futile and only served to smear his beloved club`s reputation. Why cant everybody just follow his clubs lead, surly all match officials would have a much easier life.

Yep, you tell em Sir Alex that that sort of behavior is totally unacceptable, because the fact that other teams are now doing exactly what you have sent your cronies out to do for years it is now a suddenly a big no no , but as normal you like the majority of fans that follow your club will somehow find a way to justify your teams actions over the years and chastise the teams that follow in similar paths nowadays.
Nothing quiet like Man Utd double standards.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Rafa Benitez has his fair share of critics,and no manager has ever given the Liverpool faithful so many `What the f*** is he doing´ moments, but despite this he is still the right man to lead Liverpool in that ever elusive hunt for the League Title.

Rafa Benitez has had a roller coaster of a season with the lows sadly outnumbering the highs, he has at times had Liverpool supporters pulling hair from their heads wondering why certain players have been rested and at some of his rather strange substitutional decisions. We cannot be 100% sure that if he had not rested some of our better players early on in the season would the points tally be different, but Torres would have put much more fear into the so called lesser teams than Voronin or even the ever hard working but totally enept ability to find the back of the net player, that is Dirk Kuyt.

Looking now at the table shows that if we had won two or three of our eleven drawn games that we would still be right amongst the challengers for the title. But also if Torres had played all the early games would he have been as settled as he is now when we had the very bad run in January.

These are all if`s and but`s, but i think most will agree that Benitez`s decisions have cost the club some very valuable points. Some may say that Liverpools recent great form has been in some way due to Benitez`s resting of players early in the season, but to them i would say that the points dropped earlier in the season are as valuable as the points we are winning now, and it seems a bad gamble risking our season so early on.

So taking all this into account it would be quiet reasonable for the Liverpool faithful to be calling for the Spaniards head by now, but it is not so, on the contrary as shown in the very public, very un Liverpool like battle between the American owners and Benitez, the fans made it very clear that they overwhelmingly came down on the side of Benitez. I think this is because that despite his mistakes most fans relise that he is a top class manager as he often proves with his exploits in Europe and that given time and resources he will bring the title back to Liverpool.

There are also other reasons why he should remain at the helm at Liverpool, the first is that he is finally learning from his mistakes. He now seems to be rotating less, maybe he has come to the conclusion that the Premiership is not the same as La Liga. At Valencia he rotated his players just as he did here and the formula worked winning La Liga twice in three years, so it is easy to see why he stuck to his rotation policy, but perhaps in Spain he could rest key players against weaker teams and still win, but in England every year the so called weaker teams are getting stronger with improved finances from TV money and foreign owners investments. It must be very difficult to let go of his beloved rotation system that seen his Valencia overcome the big guns of Real Madrid and Barcelona twice.

The third and final reason for backing Benitez is that we all seem to have short memories, before Benitez the truely great players were not interested in joining Liverpool. The very best players like Fernando Torres are wanted by all the big clubs and they will all make big money offers, so these players pick the clubs that they can win medals and develop as players.
And of this i am sure, if Rafa Benitez was not our manager when Torres became available, he would not be a Liverpool player today, and the other players of Torres caliber that Benitez will sign in the future, will simply decide to ply their trades in other footballing Mecca`s in Europe, good players want to play for good managers.

With Rafa Benitez as manager it has been a rollercoaster journey, but he is taking our team in the right direction and not winning the league this year will not be the end of the world, perhaps expectations were too high, we are improving but so are the other top teams so it makes playing catch up just a little harder and takes a little bit longer time.

So maybe we have to learn something from our biggest foes and give Rafa Benitez the time that Man Utd gave Alex Ferguson after his very shaky start. It has not worked out so bad for them, so maybe we can afford to be a little bit more patient with our Spanish enigma.

Saturday, December 22, 2007


Rafa Benitez has to show his ruthless side, and for the good of the team sell Xabi Alonso and others, it is a gamble as he will leave the team light on cover, but it is a gamble he simply has to take.

It is becoming increasingly clear that the new American owners simply do not have the cash to inject into the club that will give Benitez the same spending power as his counterparts at Manchester United and Chelsea, and to improve his squad and it does need improving to truly compete at the very top, then it looks like he will be forced to sell to bring in the players that are needed.
Some money may be given for new players, but it was clear to see against the game against Man Utd that Liverpool have still got a fair way to overhauling the Champions.
Up front Liverpool have a world class striker in Fernando Torres, but sadly he is the only striker that looks like he could turn a game on his own and that other teams really fear. Crouch if given a decent run of games alongside the Spaniard looks the most likely to form a formidable partnership with Torres, as he also has that eye for goal but maybe more than he can offer is needed to turn Liverpool into genuine title contenders, Ryan Babel could be good up front but for the moment as he develops he seems more like cover for the wings and possibly up front.
Kuyt and Voronin are very similar players, both very hard working and although its great to see strikers tracking back and helping out their teammates, their first priority is to score goals and both these players sadly lack that killer instinct and that confidence that all the great strikers have that allows them to be selfish and go for goal at any opportunity. Players like Kuyt and Voronin can be useful in some games if Benitez feels that more cover is needed for midfield but in most games the strikers should have confidence that the midfield can do their job and should just concentrate on doing their job which is to score goals, its as simple as that. Liverpool do not need two players like this and selling Kuyt is the better option as more money would be recouped from his sale.
Another striker of Torres caliber is required because he cannot catapult Liverpool to the league title on his own and Liverpool are already to reliant on him and if he gets injured points will be lost so another top class striker is needed to really threaten opposition defences and to cover in the event of injury.

In central midfield Liverpool are blessed with three world class players in Gerrard, Mascherano and Alonso. They also have Sissoko and the young Brazilian Lucas who many predict will be in that world class bracket sooner rather than later.
Gerrard has cemented his central berth so the other four players are fighting it out to play alongside him and although cover is needed, Liverpool have invested far too much of their resource's in this position when the money could be used for strenghtening other positions which would benefit the teams progress much more. Money is needed to permanently sign Mascherano, Xabi Alonso should be sold to pay for this. Alonso is a great player with vision and incisive passing he is one of the very best, but Mascherano is better for the team, his non-stop snapping at the heels and break up of play takes pressure off the defence and allows Gerrard to attack more. Lucas and for now Sissoko will have to be enough cover.
It would be great to keep all these great players, but the simple truth is Liverpool cannot afford to.
Whatever money the owners put in, if any, and the funds raised by the sales of any other players should be spent on a long term, first class partner for Torres up front and the money from Alonso`s sale should be used to secure the long term future of Mascherano at the club. Other players such as Riise and even Crouch should be considered for sale if we need to raise the money for a second world class striker, it is that crucial to the further development of the team. Two top strikers will convert a lot more of the possession that Liverpool get into points and also make the opposing teams think more about defending the Liverpool threat taking pressure off the Liverpool defence.

Liverpool need to take a gamble, they may leave themselves light in cover in some positions but its a gamble that they need to take because at the moment the current squad is just short of what is required to make a serious title challenge and Benitez should concentrate on getting his first eleven right and then think about building cover for them.

Its a risk but its something that has to be done unless a huge amount of cash is released by the American owners, or Liverpool will once again at the end of the season be at best a top four team and that is simply not good enough for Liverpool football club.