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Slipperduke

The Camden Cad
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
4,333
Location
North London
There was something entirely predictable about the news that George Gillett has already begun to apportion blame for Liverpool's poor start to the season. Speaking to supporters before September's crushing 6-1 victory over Hull, their fourth league win on the bounce, the American announced, "If it's not getting better, it's not Gillett and Hicks, it's the manager, it's the scouting." Clearly, the man is a motivational genius. If it wasn't enough that the newspapers were beginning to pile on the pressure, now the owner is joining in.

I would love to see what would happen to Liverpool if Rafa Benitez left the club. Who would replace him? Would Jose Mourinho leave Inter Milan to take over a club with limited resources and a feuding boardroom? I don't think so. The big name Italians, Fabio Capello, Carlo Ancelotti, Marcelo Lippi and Giovanni Trapattoni are all in secure employment. The smart money would be on Gillett's friend Jurgen Klinsmann, a man with just one disappointing domestic season at Bayern Munich to his name. After that, we're in the realms of sentimental fantasy, relying on obsolete legends like John Toshack and Kevin Keegan.

Benitez may have his faults, but remember that he has been at the club since 2004, building a team who play in his own image. Liverpool are tight, disciplined, organised and cold. To dismantle that and replace it with something else would cost the club more money than they've got, even without the cost of paying off Benitez's new, extended contract. Put simply, Gillett can say whatever he wants to supporters, he can't afford to do anything about it.

But if he, or his partner Tom Hicks, would like to hear some alternative explanations for Liverpool's underwhelming start to the season, then perhaps I can help? Success in football, you see, is brought about by strong, unified leadership, money and excellent team spirit. And a bit of luck. So where does that leave Liverpool?

Strong, unified leadership? Well, Gillett and Hicks can't stand to be in the same room together and they routinely sit 20 seats away from each other on the rare occasion that they're both in town for matchday. So we're coming up short there.

Money? Hmmm, not much better. Kop Football, Liverpool's parent company, lost GBP42.6m last year as a result of crippling interest payments from the leveraged buy-out that landed one of England's most famous clubs with a debt that couldn't be cleared even if the entire squad was sold off in January. Liverpool only seem to be able to spend what they bring in, which means they can't sign the two or three world class players who could make them title contenders. Not without losing two or three world class players first anyway.

Team spirit? That's the biggest deficiency of all. Anyone looking for reasons to explain Liverpool's disappointing start to the season might want to ask themselves why one of the co-owners was briefing against the team manager to influential supporters groups. As any management consultant will tell you, when personal pride and ego comes before the group objective, failure is inevitable. Benitez may not be the perfect manager and he certainly isn't blameless for this start, but my word, he's not the worst thing about Liverpool Football Club. Not by a long way.
 

BrettieAngell

THE ROCK GOD
Joined
Oct 26, 2003
Messages
19,642
Location
Southend
muppets.jpg
 

Rob Noxious

Retro Supremo⭐
Joined
Oct 23, 2008
Messages
7,364
Location
Penzance
That demonstration against G & H a couple of years ago by 'pool fans really brought home how much fans have felt the club is no longer theirs. They rallied to Rafa's support then but I wonder if he would have similar support in future unless they can bag a big trophy. Watching them on Sunday, I began to wonder whether they might be the team to be displaced by Moneybags City from the top four this year...
 

BrettieAngell

THE ROCK GOD
Joined
Oct 26, 2003
Messages
19,642
Location
Southend
Watching them on Sunday, I began to wonder whether they might be the team to be displaced by Moneybags City from the top four this year...

I thought Liverpool matched Chelsea for most of the game, Torres had a couple of decent chances and they scored with pretty much there only two.
 

Pubey

Guest
I thought Liverpool matched Chelsea for most of the game, Torres had a couple of decent chances and they scored with pretty much there only two.

I sometimes wonder if you're really just a Liverpool fan on here for the ladies!!

I thought Liverpool huffed and puffed without being dangerous. Benayoun should have started instead of Riera. and it's disappointing that Babel isn't getting more minutes because he's a class act
 

BrettieAngell

THE ROCK GOD
Joined
Oct 26, 2003
Messages
19,642
Location
Southend
I sometimes wonder if you're really just a Liverpool fan on here for the ladies!!

Say what??

Agreed about Benayoun and Babel, could you say Chelsea were any more dangerous than Liverpool on the day though considering they were at home?
 

Pubey

Guest
Say what??

Agreed about Benayoun and Babel, could you say Chelsea were any more dangerous than Liverpool on the day though considering they were at home?

nah nothing sinister meant just about you hooking up with Hils. are you really a shrimper?! :p

Yeah I didn't expect anything other than a Chelsea win, especially at home, they did a good job of marking Gerrard and pinned Johnson and Kuyt back. Kuyt is a great player but he isn't quite fit enough to be busting forward on the counter and looking to support Torres. I think the league is over for Liverpool... a shame because it's almost like there's been a backwards step from last season. A failure to properly replace Keane and Alonso has been the problem. Lose Gerrard and Torres for any length of time and you're ****ed!
 

EastStandBlue

Life President
Joined
May 29, 2005
Messages
15,477
I might be alone in this, but I actually think Benitez is vastly overrated as a Manager.

He lucked into a Champions League win, and since then has made hard work of accomplishing nothing. His transfer policy, Torres aside, leaves a lot to be desired for as he changes his mind twice a minute as to who he actually wants to play. He tends to alienate his big players by criticising them in the press and is lucky that Gerrard is Liverpool through and through, for any other player would've walked by now. The rotation policy there just doesn't work, and there's little to no familiarity in the starting 11.

I know there's not a lot out there, but I can definitely see Benitez being sacked if he doesn't win anything this year.
 

BrettieAngell

THE ROCK GOD
Joined
Oct 26, 2003
Messages
19,642
Location
Southend
He does make some strange decisions, Benayoun should be one of the first names on the teamsheet at the moment he has been superb this year!
 

Rob Noxious

Retro Supremo⭐
Joined
Oct 23, 2008
Messages
7,364
Location
Penzance
I thought Liverpool matched Chelsea for most of the game, Torres had a couple of decent chances and they scored with pretty much there only two.

I think the game showed just how fine the margins are at the top level Rich, ie Chelsea taking their chances and unusually Torres not taking his. What struck me was the limited options Rafa has to change things. Benayoun, for sure, is a quality player on his day - but there was only Babel to come on to influence things, attacking-wise. The cliche about LFC is very true - if Torres or Gerrard aren't doing it, then there aren't too many others to step up to the plate. As mentioned elsewhere, the loss of Alonso is exposing the limitations of their midfield creativity too. Don't get me wrong - I'm not gloating over it - I like Liverpool because in many ways they are still a 'local' club (albeit a big one) and I would prefer them to do well rather than Chelsea, for reasons I've ranted about previously! :)
 

Clinton Baptiste

Life President⭐
Joined
Apr 19, 2007
Messages
7,923
Location
Leigh
I might be alone in this, but I actually think Benitez is vastly overrated as a Manager.

He lucked into a Champions League win, and since then has made hard work of accomplishing nothing. His transfer policy, Torres aside, leaves a lot to be desired for as he changes his mind twice a minute as to who he actually wants to play. He tends to alienate his big players by criticising them in the press and is lucky that Gerrard is Liverpool through and through, for any other player would've walked by now. The rotation policy there just doesn't work, and there's little to no familiarity in the starting 11.

I know there's not a lot out there, but I can definitely see Benitez being sacked if he doesn't win anything this year.

Agree 100%. Anyone could see Torres was a great player, the rest of his buys have been largely awful and expensive. Selling the likes of Crouch and Alonso have been big mistakes. Without Carragher and Gerrard, their only 2 homegrown players, theyd be nowehre near the top 4. Wont win a trophy this year and doubt he will be in the job this time next year.
 

seany t

President
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
3,566
Agreed Slip. Though I still think Benitez is a 'lucky' manager who is no way near good enough to have achieved what he miraculously has...
 

seany t

President
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
3,566
Agree 100%. Anyone could see Torres was a great player, the rest of his buys have been largely awful and expensive. Selling the likes of Crouch and Alonso have been big mistakes. Without Carragher and Gerrard, their only 2 homegrown players, theyd be nowehre near the top 4. Wont win a trophy this year and doubt he will be in the job this time next year.

Carragher's been dog dirt this season too. Starting to look like the player I always suspected he was; a bit slow, a bit reckless and a lot mouthy.

Benitez / the owner / someone really makes baffling decisions. The Robbie Keane affair was ridiculous. As have been the amount of £7 million Spanish wing-backs that have replaced one another every season for the last 4 years.

Liverpool are a no better side than they were 4 years ago, Torres aside.
 

EastStandBlue

Life President
Joined
May 29, 2005
Messages
15,477
Carragher's been dog dirt this season too. Starting to look like the player I always suspected he was; a bit slow, a bit reckless and a lot mouthy.

Benitez / the owner / someone really makes baffling decisions. The Robbie Keane affair was ridiculous. As have been the amount of £7 million Spanish wing-backs that have replaced one another every season for the last 4 years.

Liverpool are a no better side than they were 4 years ago, Torres aside.

Carragher's been deterioating, slowly, for a few years now though... It's not his fault at all, sooner or later Nature will get you. He's not necessarily a bad defender now, he just needs to adjust his game slightly and use the experience to make up for the yard he's now lacking in pace.

The Keane affair was stupid considering that it was quite obvious that Benitez would have to change his system to accomodate him, something he won't even do for Gerrard, let alone Keane. As for the full-backs, I was more concerned about the new Goalkeeper they buy every season as an understudy/back-up/back-up understudy to Reina.
 

seany t

President
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
3,566
Carragher's been deterioating, slowly, for a few years now though... It's not his fault at all, sooner or later Nature will get you. He's not necessarily a bad defender now, he just needs to adjust his game slightly and use the experience to make up for the yard he's now lacking in pace.


True, but the moments where he was up against Drogba at the weekend really highlighted the gulf in quality between the two teams. Chelsea as a unit can contain most teams, yet Liverpool struggle to contain a handful of decent players.
 
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