I’ve read some utter nonsense in the last 24 hours or so.
I would expect it from some sections of the media but when I read certain Liverpool sites posting poor match analysis and general knee-jerking I see how far our fanbase have shifted from the old Liverpool ideals.
Let me just spell this out.
Liverpool do not have a divine right to win the league, the FA Cup, the European Cup or any other trophy. We were a great side 20-40 years ago, but for many fans entire lifetime we have not won a title.
Secondly, certainly the defeat to Reading was poor. Just as Man United’s defeat to Leeds was a week earlier. Nobody is glossing over that. It isn’t the first time Liverpool have been knocked out of a cup competition by lesser opponents, and it won’t be the last.
Thirdly, the team that Rafa sent out should have beat Reading. It’s all very well the likes of Jamie Carragher apologising for the players performance but quite frankly, we’re sick of their excuses. Carragher was awful in the match – just as he has been awful all season long. I can tell you what Jamie will do with the ball on the rare occurences he doesn’t let lower league players waltz past him. He’ll think for about 4 seconds then either launch it up the pitch or pass it back to the keeper.
But I’m not just being critical of Jamie here. Because most of them are playing as bad as the vice captain.
Now there are two trains of thoughts here – there is one that the players aren’t good enough, and then there’s the other that suggests the players are playing below their capability.
Last season pretty much the same bunch of players delivered the reds 3rd best ever League campaign. Not Premier League. All league campaigns. The reds won 16 titles being less ruthless than they were last season. In fact, in something like 15 of the 17 Premier League years, last season’s points total would have won the Premier League.
This season has no doubt been poor – going out in the European Cup to essentially shocking last minute defending in a couple of games was hard to stomach. The league hasn’t fared much better yet we could be 4th in 5 days time. For a season so poor, that is hardly unbridgeable. I remember seasons of finishing 30 points behind the champions.
Next up – let’s look at the teams a couple of points above us, Aston Villa, Spurs and Man City. Between the three of them they have spent about £350M (with Man City taking up £200M of it) on players in the last 2 years. Liverpool have turned a profit of £4.5M on transfers. Money siphoned off in to the clubs hole of debt – yet it is the reds who have been earning Champions League money for those two seasons.
This transfer window has seen fans excited about a free transfer. As two players head out the door. Wage bill cut, squad cut further. Another £6.5M banked. The owners are smiling.
Let’s also look at the fact that Fernando Torres has been injured for practically most of the season. Gerrard has been suffering with injury and not been right since about October. Xabi Alonso eventually handed in his transfer request so late that Liverpool could only bring in an injured Italian to replace him who took a few months to get over his ankle injury. Glen Johnson has been in and out of the team. Skrtel fractured his face, while Agger was forced to stand up for an entire flight such was the pain in his back – which he continues to suffer with. The reds have struggled with a settled team all season – and the best players have been either absent or forced to play through pain. Not an ideal scenario.
The fact remains.
Liverpool have been operating a sell to buy policy in transfers for the last 4 windows. Other clubs have now out spent the reds and have more rounded and competitive squads. No decent manager will come to Liverpool to have zero transfer budget to try and make us champions again.
As long as our debt-laden owners are here we will never win the league. We can have a new manager every year if you want. It won’t make any difference. All it will do is make the gap wider.
Last summer was the time to invest in players – to push on and spend some proper money on the players that could take us one step closer.
You know, I still remember Christian Purslow being interviewed the day before the transfer window closed this summer. It was the day after we had signed Kyrgiakos for £1.5M and an interviewer asked him if Liverpool would have any more money for transfers. He smirked, then laughed and said condescendingly ‘I don’t think so.’ Not so funny now is it Purslow.
No more pathetic apologies from the players. We don’t need telling us your performances are unacceptable. We can see it with our own eyes. Play like you did last year and turn our season around.
League Matches Won
Bill Shankly 52.38%
Bob Paisley 56.08%
Joe Fagan 52.38%
Kenny Dalglish 60.71%
Graeme Souness 40.87%
Roy Evans 48.26%
Gerard Houllier 50%
Rafa Benitez 56.19%