And so this is Christmas, I hope you have fun”! Ah the festive time and what would we all give for a few more points and a bit of peace and quiet when in earshot of either Evertonians or the wrong sort of Mancunians. Stuff the turkey; I’d sooner we stuffed the opposition and shut a few critics up.
It’s been a strange year has 2012. Who’d have ever thought that reaching two Cup Finals, winning one and running the eventual Champions of Europe close in the other would be deemed as a failure? Of course we shouldn’t be surprised about anything that happens in the modern game because as Roberto Di Matteo found out even success is a sackable offence. However, that’s all in the past now, we have to look to the future it’s only just begun.
Going to the game Aston Villa the talk was of moving towards the upper part of the table with the manager responding to comments about 4th place being possible: “So is third, so is second and maybe even first. I said to the players that everyone talks about fourth place but what about third”? All this on the strength of rare back-to-back wins – it’s all part of the modern game.
We started the day a mere four points off fourth. I tell people not to believe the hype because this team of ours is a long way from being a genuine top-4 threat and the standard of The Premiership isn’t that good, in fact it’s overrated.
I’ve got faith in Brendan Rodgers. What he wants to achieve with Liverpool is no different to what we want but we have to be patient. Only performances like against Aston Villa could start to test the patience of anyone. The worst thing wasn’t losing or how we lost but because it wasn’t a shock anymore.
Anfield used to be more akin to the ‘House of Doom’ when the opposition trod on the famous turf but in 2012 it became more like the ‘House of Fun’ and to date we’ve lost 9-times and we’ve drawn far too many to mention. You can look at the sides that have come to Anfield and won. Maybe losing against Arsenal – twice – and Manchester United can be slightly brushed over but Wigan, West Brom, Fulham, Udinese, Swansea and now Aston Villa? I know some of those happened last season but we’ve lost five games at Anfield this season. So I wasn’t shocked when Villa won, losing at home has become a bad habit. LFCTV will gloss over just about everything and the manager does have to always be as upbeat as he can but the real facts are staring us in the face; as I said “Don’t believe the hype”.
I watched the FA Cup draw and we got paired with non-league opposition; I hoped it would be Lincoln City but as it is we’re away at Mansfield.
Lincoln would have brought back family memories of a much-loved Granddad who many moons ago actually played a couple of games for them and a Grandma on my father’s side who also wanted to know how, “City had got on”.
However, Mansfield it is and without wishing to worry anybody there’s a big banana skin just waiting to be slipped on. The last time we faced non-league opposition away from Anfield we lost – Worcester City 1959 [see Phil Taylor tribute]. The last time we played non-league opposition at Anfield we made heavy weather of overcoming Havant and Waterlooville. I just hope that we don’t see Mansfield as easy pickings and hearing those immortal words “A chance for some players to have a game and show what they can do”. We’ve been down that road too many times in the recent past and The FA Cup deserves treating with genuine respect. We’ve also become masters at tripping over our own feet.
So welcome to another issue of RED ALL OVER THE LAND and hopefully there will be something of interest in it – I usually say that don’t I? In this issue there are tributes to the late Phil Taylor and added to that a little bit of nostalgia. On the subject of nostalgia we’re working on a new e-retro magazine [see inside back cover] and hopefully in the not too distant future we’ll have all the relevant information as to what it’s all about and how to be involved, how to subscribe to it etc. Whether or not there will be a printed version hasn’t been decided but we’ll keep everyone informed. I was hoping to have more information available but Christmas came just a bit too soon.
Staying on the subject of the Fanzine thanks to everyone for their support during the year and I’m pleased that we’ve managed to get seven issues out since the start of the season. This has been made possible by those who contribute articles but producing the Fanzine isn’t getting any easier. Production costs keep rising but we keep trying and that’s going to be the case in New Year.
We need to have some sort of a sales drive but I’ve just about run out of ideas. It’s not made any easier by the make-up of the Anfield crowd nowadays. The amount of people that have no idea what a Fanzine is, keeps on rising. You’d be amazed at the number of people that turn up and think we’re selling a programme and how shocked they seem when you tell them the last time a programme cost £2 the Kop was a terrace. Well, you probably wouldn’t be shocked because we’re preaching here to the converted. I’m sure that’s why the Anfield atmosphere has been so diluted in recent times. Stay with us and we’ll see how where we go from here.
Happy New Year, “Let’s hope it’s a good one without any fear”.
I usually try to get the Editorials done immediately after a game so as to keep things as up to date as I possibly can. Unfortunately I had to complete this after the Swansea game and before the Tottenham one. That means we’ve either extended our unbeaten run or Spurs have once again turned us over.
So looking at things in the light of the game at Swansea, it’s getting a bit harder to get too excited. I’m backing Brendan Rodgers all the way though. We’ve got to sit tight and hope we can make January and then do something about the situation – there’s an article in this issue about our activity in the transfer windows of late so I won’t go on about it here.
My concern at the moment is the quality of the football. I’d have to say that by halftime against Wigan I was bored. Against Young Boys it was the ultimate Curates egg, okay in parts, yep, but bloody rotten in others. It’s been like that all a bit too often and what we’re witnessing isn’t good enough. Brendan Rodgers was right when he said the supporters were being very lenient; that’s because we know the problems he surely must face but on the other hand hearing some of the other stuff that comes out of Anfield makes we wonder if we’re watching the same games.
Against Swansea I was looking for a bit of fire stoked up by the occasion but alas it was more of the same. I well remember many years ago reading a match report that said our team had played brilliantly, never making two passes when one was enough. I’d gladly settle on two passes now because we seem to spend ages just passing it from one player to another and then either sideways or backwards and basically getting nowhere. At the moment I would say if that’s Tiki Taka I don’t want to watch it but I’m prepared to wait until the end of the season before I pass final judgement. Hopefully those in power will do the same.
We’ve been through a busy time as far as football’s concerned and it won’t get any easier over the next month or so. December is a busy month with the batch of games over Christmas and if the players think it’s going to be busy what about those of us in Fanzine land? We’re trying to stay as up to date as we can but it’s hard. Begging people for articles, raiding the odd site, keeping an eye on the BBC weather watch – life could be better you know. I sometimes wonder if we should go quarterly, bi-monthly or go the other way and come out every fortnight. Somebody suggested once a season would be too many. Fanzines of all kinds face the same dilemma and that is the modern world of the media.
When we first hit the streets we’d have about 20-plus writing in venting their anger at something or anything. The price of a programme, Stan Collymore, Steve McManaman’s hair, the price of a hot dog [and I still mention the price of a pie]. Now they use phone-ins, drop a tweet to Claire at LFCTV and claim her as a devotee; they can go on any forum and be as abusive as they want because nobody knows their name. Can I just add that I’ve never tweeted Claire about anything let alone the price of a pie but if she ever wants to talk about RED ALL OVER THELAND – well we’re here waiting!
There was a time when I didn’t know what the Liverpool team would be until DJ George announced it at about five to three although it was usually “As printed in the programme”. Now people read the programme on their iPad and have the team sent to them by text. We have a lad who travels with us who informed me he could tweet news of RED ALL OVER THE LAND to his 60,000 followers on the Indian sub-continent. “How many subscribers will that get us” I asked. Well he tweeted and the answer to date is none but I live in hope. I also live in hope of winning the Euro millions or getting left a legacy by some distant relative that I’ve never met. Great Expectations sit firmly on the shoulder at this time of the year.
All of this means we’re still looking at ways of trying to make the Fanzine better and welcome any views. The idea of doing something electronic is still being looked at but getting it sorted, like getting our Liverpool team sorted is taking time and moving at about the same snail pace as well. Whereas the printed version of RED ALL OVER THE LAND will stay we’re going to attempt something retrospective in the New Year – details in the next issue. Depending on the BBC Weather watch the next issue is planned for the Fulham game but if the elements seek to destroy us – and it’s happened before then Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
So after all that baloney welcome to another issue of RED ALL OVER THE LAND and hopefully it meets with some approval to those that still enjoy spending a bit of time in the world of the Luddite.
Although the game at the moment is awash with controversial issues thankfully our club has been able to concentrate mainly on the football even though results are not as we’d all wish.
Outside of Anfield it’s been a funny time; Di Matteo and Hughes sacked; Rafa at The Bridge and by all accounts as welcome as an outbreak of plague. ‘Arry Boy telling his Sky mates his grandchildren now all support QPR and Mancini is like Caesar and watching his back. Meanwhile Ferguson’s had a statue unveiled to commemorate his 30-years at Old Trafford – 26 as manager and 4-years added on time. Where’s me coat.
In this issue there’s an article under the heading of under the heading of ‘Sweet FA’. The reason for the article is that just about a year after the Luis Suárez race issue the Football Association constantly finds themselves in a mess and in turn so does football. It’s shouldn’t come as a surprise though because the way football now promotes itself the game is asking for trouble.
Prior to the ‘derby’, which gets a small coverage in this issue due to time and space constraints David Moyes spoke about players diving [Luis Suárez] whilst Brendan Rodgers called a fairer deal from match officials for Liverpool players [Luis Suárez]. At the Press Conferences managers are thrown bait to get them to say something controversial and if they take the bait then Sky [mostly] and the media hacks lap it up.
They delight in controversy and confrontation that’s why the TV people want to stick a microphone under somebody’s nose seconds after the final whistle and because the piper calls the tune, football has to dance to whatever Sky and the rest choose. When the main talking point before a game is whether or not two multi-millionaire footballers will or will not shake hands in some pre-determined pointless ritual then football needs to start responding. Likewise when the main focus is on a player who may or may not be getting a fair deal from match officials then the game needs to sort itself out – there’s a separate article about cheating as well but football should be honest enough [no pun intended] to determine just where cheating starts and ends. It’s not as if it has just started to happen — anybody recall the name Francis Lee?
After the ‘derby’ I watched the Chelsea/Manchester United game on TV and the fallout from that game could have serious consequences for football. I don’t know if the referee is guilty of saying something or doing something but now this has happened once the chances are it may happen again. Those who are in control of the game and I don’t mean the television companies need to sit down and do something. They need to first of all take the control away from the television companies and start to understand that at the end of the day football is a sport, not open warfare or something akin to American Wrestling or whatever it’s now called.
At more than one game recently there have been outbreaks of crowd trouble, for the second time in the past year or so Luis Suárez has been ‘pelted’ with missiles at Goodison. At the Wear and Tyne ‘derby’ there was suggestions of racist chanting and again, missiles thrown on the pitch. At Stamford Bridge after the controversial winner a steward appeared to be injured as a crowd disturbance broke out.
The powers that be along with [mainly] Sky promote the family football image but do families really want to go and watch a game that has so many problems attached to it! Not for the first time in recent months the police have become involved in matters that at one time remained inside the game. Is that what they want? Some supporters are getting suspicious about the integrity of the game and the match officials – so what next the lurid smell of corruption wafting from the game? Don’t rule it out.
On the pitch we’re moving slowly, hopefully in a forward direction. I think the majority of supporters now accept that there’s no quick fix to our problems but the emergence of players such as Wisdom, Suso and, of course Sterling has given hope for the future – a hope that not too many thought was there. Throw in the progress of a player such as Jonjo Shelvey and even allowing for the usual bouts of impatience there could be something emerging along the right lines.
As I’ve mentioned in a previous editorial I have taken the opportunity to watch the Under 21 side and the Under 18 sides albeit on LFCTV. The results for the Under 21 side have been good but what’s impressed me most is Rodolfo Borrell’s view of games. He’s a hard man to please and I don’t think he suffers fools gladly. Recently his charges defeated Manchester City’s Development squad 3-1 and looked good when doing so. After the game an excitable LFCTV team asked for his thoughts and although pleased he demanded more. The younger players are in good hands. Rodolfo sounds like a tough taskmaster.
It would appear that there’s now every chance of Liverpool remaining at Anfield. It’s another subject that gets covered in this issue and whilst we should all be delighted you again have to wonder just how much time has been lost and that’s no criticism of the current purse string owners. In one of the very early issues of Red All Over The Land it was remarked about how out of date the Paddock was and not long afterwards how awful the facilities were in the Main Stand. Our decision to either improve Anfield or move to Stanley Park [or elsewhere] was announced at around the same time as Arsenal decided to leave Highbury. Let’s leave it at that for now but when it comes to dragging our feet you do have to wonder if we’ve any rivals?
To close, recently we attended another of the briefing sessions and got the chance to speak with the recuperating Lucas Leiva. All I can say is what a wonderful person and considering all that he went through in the early part of his Anfield career what a forgiving person as well. He stayed with us for almost an hour and answered every question openly and honestly. It sometimes does us good to see the more acceptable face of football.
So despite fighting against the clock, another issue done and thanks for your continued support whether you buy the Fanzine, sell it or write for it.
The cover of the last Issue used an image that was found on Facebook but actually belonged to Steven Halliwell. The image re ‘Hillsborough and The Truth’ no doubt helped sell the Fanzine but I have to apologise to Steve for not realising that he actually owned the image. We’ll have more about his work in the November Issue.
In the modern world of football a glance at the Premiership table might be enough to turn any teetotal Liverpool fan to drink and as this Fanzine has pointed out in the past the league table never lies. At the time of writing we’ve just secured our first maximum of the season thanks to the away win at Norwich, another side struggling for results. However, is the picture as bleak as the Premiership table indicates?
I’ve long perfected the art of pessimism – it started during the first full season of the management of Graeme Souness. We’d signed Dean Saunders and Mark Wright and I believed we’d win just about all the trophies going. Only we stopped looking a great side and if want to use a cliché, yes, the rest is history. We’ve had the occasional flashback when we got near to having a side that took us close to our former glories but every bright new dawn seemed to be followed by dark skies. Players have come and players have gone and we can say the same about managers. We closed in on the good times only to see them slip away again which is what happened in 1996, 2002 and 2009.
I would say we’re as far away from being a Premiership threat now as we’ve ever been since the bastard child of Sky was born. Like many I shook my head and wondered what the hell was going on as the Transfer Window opened and shut without our club doing what we all assumed would be done and any person of the Red persuasion could be forgiven for thinking on September 1st incompetence ruled the club. Only since then have we been treated to a glimpse into what might be a far brighter future than we may have imagined?
Graeme Souness for various reasons, which included his own errors of judgement, was gradually forced into throwing young players into The Premiership inferno although it possibly wasn’t the raging inferno that it is today. We gradually saw the emergence of players such as McManaman, Fowler, Redknapp and the best buy of the Souness era, Rob Jones. The only think we lacked was strong management but even so, those players along with one or two others formed the nucleus of one of the best Liverpool sides of the past 25-years. Is it starting to happen again?
When we failed to strengthen the squad in the summer – although we did sign Joe Allen – things looked grim and the home defeat against Arsenal sent the alarm bells ringing. We’d already seen Raheem Sterling who’d given us one glimpse into the future and with the managers hand maybe forced we’ve seen further glimpses. Suso looks as though he could push for a regular spot in the side. We’ve now seen Andre Wisdom come in and other young players are hovering around the door – some knocking a bit loudly on it.
When Ferguson threw all his ‘kids’ into the fray back in 1995 it wasn’t because he wanted to, it was because he had little choice and as the residents of Salford never stop reminding Alan Hansen, those kids won quite a lot. I’m not suggesting that the current crop of Liverpool youngsters could even get anywhere near emulating what they did, there could be a few players at Anfield, Melwood or Kirkby who could lift this club and team out of its stupor.
I’ve watched a fair bit of the Under 21’s this season and just before I put this editorial together I watched them defeat Fulham’s Development side 3-0. Over the weekend the first team had beaten Norwich 5-2 away from home, whilst the Development side [the Under 21’s] and The Academy squad [Under 18’s] had both beaten their counterparts from Fulham and our sides scored a total of eleven goals whilst doing so. I can’t say for certain but I’m sure I saw half a smile on the face of the Under 21’s boss Rodolfo Borrell and Rodolfo is the sort of man who could rival Rafa when it comes to being miserable after a win. He could even rival me!
Brendan Rodgers sent out what was an inexperienced side in Bern and although the defending left a lot to be desired he was rewarded with a win and five goals. Against West Brom in The League Cup he did the same and once more we got the right result. West Brom put out a far stronger side than we did but with the new recruits of Sahin and Assaidi showing their worth along with others then maybe even a pessimist such as I can see a few rays of optimism on the horizon. We’ve got young players coming through and all credit to the manager for giving them their chance.
The last Issue of RED ALL OVER THE LAND sold out far faster than I could have envisaged so thanks to all those who sent in copy, sold the Fanzine and of course, bought the Fanzine. Hence another one out in almost double quick time and this Issue contains a fair bit of material that was scheduled for the previous one but we held it over. At least it’s still kind of relevant especially items regarding the John W. Henry letter and a look at how some Boston Red Sox fans are looking at things. Hopefully the content will be of interest and we look forward to getting another issue out in early November.
The past few weeks have been strange even in the current curious world of Liverpool FC. Covering everything in this issue of Red All Over The Land hasn’t been easy; in fact I’ve even held stuff over, which is a bit rare in recent years.
Of course the main item over the past weeks has been the long awaited Hillsborough disclosures. Some thoughts are expressed but with only a few of days between the Independent Panels findings being made public and this issue needing to go to the printers we can only just touch on what will remain a very emotive and emotional subject.
The fact that Liverpool supporters have been exonerated means a lot to so many people. To all those who have in any way whatsoever played a part, small or large, in finally getting THE TRUTH out into the public domain all that we can say, is thank you.
This Fanzine will always support the campaigns for justice. Now THE TRUTH has finally come out we hope that the justice will follow. For 23-years Liverpool supporters have had to live with the accusations published by rags such as The Sun and taunts from ill-educated football fans throughout the country. Even people who have no interest in the game believed the lies put out by the media and the South Yorkshire Police. I would like to think that maybe now they will change their way of thinking?
One thing that has been said repeatedly since the revelations of September 12th is that the game has changed since in 1989 and is unrecognisable from what it then was. As far as the grounds that stage football matches are concerned that may be true but has the ‘supporter’ really changed?
One paper, The Daily Mail, the day after the report was published had a banner headline, “STOP THE HATE” and how I wish that could be. There was some inference that the hate was mainly that between Liverpool and Manchester United only ’The Hate’ goes far deeper than that, as does the behaviour of some of the ‘modern’ supporters. After the Manchester United game with Wigan we heard some United supporter’s had continued with their anti-Liverpool Hillsborough related bile. Their club condemned it but sadly, the actions of those pouring out ’The Hate’ showed the mentality of some ‘modern’ day football supporters. They probably hadn’t got the intelligence to know what they were doing and just thought they were being funny. They are pathetic but they’re not alone.
At times our supporters are no different, I know that. I would hope now we can see the need to enjoy the football instead of feeling that it’s a good laugh to sing songs mocking those who’ve died in such tragic circumstances as Hillsborough, Heysel, Munich and the Leeds supporters murdered in Istanbul etc.
The hatred in the game gets fuelled by the daily diet of sensationalism that accompanies football today. Whereas some may think it okay to take a youngster to a game because there won’t be any violence inside the ground you possibly won’t know who’s going to be sitting next to you or behind you hurling out the foul mouth abuse either.
The sad matter of fact is that it’s almost condoned by those marshalling the game. In the oft-called ‘bad old days’ when hooliganism was rife I’ve known people to get thrown out a ground – even arrested – for what is seen as almost acceptable today.
Yes, we should “STOP THE HATE”. You can have passion and rivalry but we don’t have to chant or sing about Munich and no football follower should feel the need to sing about Hillsborough either. Why sing or chant about hating another football club anyway? Have a laugh yes, but hate? That’s a sickness of the ‘modern’ game; ‘THE PRODUCT’ the Marketing people want to show off so readily and so proudly.
Moving on there was Liverpool’s transfer window activity that just about showed the club as a laughing stock yet again. I was hoping to give the John W. Henry letter to the supporters some space but that will have to wait as other matters, took over. Whilst agreeing that we can’t throw any more good money at bad products and accepting that the club isn’t exactly flushed in the same way as the likes of Chelsea and the Manchester clubs, the way we went about our business smacked of sheer amateurism. It could prove very, very costly indeed as the season moves forward.
A few days after the Arsenal game I was invited to Melwood to a fans group style press conference where we could quiz Brendan Rogers on the issues surrounding the football team. The manager was very open and I would go along with others present and say it was a privilege to spend time in his company – I hope he felt the same way.
And finally to the subject we’re supposed to mention and that is the football.
Oh dear. The defeat at WBA was hard to bear but we got a lift against Manchester City. We did, after a struggle, get past Hearts in The Europa Cup but in each game our shortcomings were pretty clear. Those shortcomings were fully exposed against Arsenal. At Sunderland we totally dominated the game but our lack of strike power again, was obvious. We’ve got some good young players who, in the words of the manager [and I was there when he said it] will have to step up to the plate. However, it will take time and the long lost virtue of patience will have to be found.
So another issue is out, the third of the season and hopefully it will be reasonably well received. I’m pleased to say the first two sold out. We’ve tried to cover as much as possible but it was hard finding space.
Well I don’t suppose the 3-0 defeat down at The Hawthorns sent shockwaves reverberating around The Premiership elite unless, of course, one or two will be now dreading a visit to West Brom. I didn’t go but from what was seen on the various TV clips, it seemed a bit similar to last season but it’s only one game so I’ll hang on a bit before I get the rosary beads out and start praying. And we’ve got the same number of points as Manchester United.
Liverpool isn’t just a team in transition Liverpool is a club in transition. It’s only a few years ago when we claimed to be in the so-called ‘Big Four’ only where are we now? There might not be a ‘Big Four’ anymore; there’s certainly a ‘Rich Three’ namely the two Manchester clubs and Chelsea whilst Arsenal, although spending a bit more during the close season than in previous years are still the prudent club. Where that leaves the rest I’m not sure. Although I’ve heard many comments about the financial situation at Anfield we’ve still spent in excess of £25m on three players. What Fabio Borini and Joe Allen can bring to the side we’ll start to find out but as for Oussama Assaidi well I have to confess I’d never heard of him. When you get people posting things on YouTube etc; they won’t show you his off days – well not when it’s his agent doing the postings anyway.
There’s still time to sign more players or, as is also getting reported, bringing in players on loan. Of course, with Agger getting sent off against West Brom he’ll be missing for a few games or maybe he’ll be sold by the deadline we live in the rumour season don’t we? A couple of issues about the team I’d like to have seen addressed in the summer were adding a bit of strength in defence and another back-up goalkeeper. Still, that’s down to the management and there’s a few days to go before Sky and Jim White go into overdrive.
As was mentioned in the pre-season issue we have three tough home games on the spin and probably an awkward trip to Sunderland as well [especially if West Brom was anything to go by]. Maybe by the time Manchester United’s been and gone we’ll have an idea of what we can aim for. That’s why Cup competitions are important, certainly to the supporters. Although this issue went to the printers before the trip to Edinburgh the manager did the decent thing and sent out a competitive side against Gomel, although as mentioned elsewhere Gomel wouldn’t have probably troubled too many teams from the lower divisions. Hopefully we get past Hearts and into the Group stages, which will mean more games and the chance for the players to come to terms with whatever the manager wants from them. Hopefully the club continue to employ a sensible pricing policy as well.
In this issue I’ve tried to cover in depth some of the comments attributed to both John Henry and Tom Werner and as gets mentioned on the opening page the club seem to be re-opening a few doors as well. Although the owner’s comments didn’t tell us very much that we didn’t already know at least they’re coming out and speaking more. We need for them to be open with us so we can see what direction they’re trying to steer us in. Last season I was mystified with the silence but probably suspected when Damien Comolli was sacked that they weren’t exactly happy with things. Maybe the sacking of Comolli also showed that they needed to get a bit more of an insight into football. I still don’t agree with the treatment of Kenny Dalglish but I do think they’re starting to see things differently.
We’re in for a few interesting weeks and maybe some tough times on the field. Patience is a virtue not too many football supporters have, but we need to try including miserable Fanzine editors.
So welcome to another issue of RED ALL OVER THE LAND and thanks to all of those who contributed. I think the late burst of sunshine slowed a few down but we made it in the end. Also a big thanks to Bill from Belfast who took charge of selling a few copies at the Crusaders v Liverpool Reserves game – that was a bonus. Thanks as well to the lads who sell at every game; we could still do with three or four more sellers just to keep things ticking over. I want to keep the Fanzine more up to date this season so that will possibly mean a couple of extra issues and although that will mean a bit more of hammering the keyboard and a bit more badgering people for articles I’m willing to give it a go.
Welcome to the pre-season issue of RED ALL OVER THE LAND. The sacking of Kenny had to be mentioned in this issue and it takes up some space. The views of the supporters should have been given air space at the time but all LFCTV did was to shut down and fail to have any serious debate. PRAVDA it is! I also thought the way John Henry snubbed Kenny Dalglish at Wembley was the height of ignorance and it will take some time to eradicate that from my memory. Other than that we’ve tried to get on with things and hopefully the Fanzine will be an enjoyable read and one that provokes a bit of feedback.
So once again Liverpool FC is a club “Under New Management”. The days of Liverpool FC being the flagship of footballing stability have long gone.
Since the Millennium we’ve had three different ‘owners’, five different managers and been told that a new ground will be built, won’t be built, might be built or might not be built. That’s not counting spades in the ground and more blueprints than they’ve got wooden seats inside Goodison. Is it any wonder some of us are getting a bit concerned?
All this despite winning The FA Cup twice, The League Cup three times, The European Cup, The UEFA Cup, Super Cups and Charity Shields and reaching a few other Finals as well – some clubs would call that a ‘Golden Era’ but not us!
One thing that Kenny Dalglish definitely did was re-unite the club with the support. That unity could be back on the fragile list because if things don’t go accordingly fingers will again be pointed—only this time they’ll be pointed towards Boston.
I know The Fenway Group came along and saved us from the hell that was Hicks and Gillett. I know they’ve backed the club since their arrival. I’d like to think they’d be open and honest because in football those are two traits fast diminishing. Shutting the club TV channel down when Kenny was sacked wasn’t a good move.
It has emerged that Kenny was sacked because of the poor league form and not as the ‘Salford Know-It-All’ suggested, the Suárez business. I hope that’s the case because the Suárez affair is another issue where the club seemingly didn’t back either the player or the manager—at least, not openly.
What priority do we give the Cup competitions we’ll be competing in – do they matter or are they simply an inconvenience? We will soon find out. Meanwhile getting into a position high enough to gain qualification into The Champions League will be harder than ever. I never saw us as genuine challengers for a top four slot last season, not that fourth would have been good enough anyway. Overhauling the two Manchester clubs or Arsenal and Chelsea this new season is a tough, maybe impossible, ask. I see the Champions coming from either Manchester City or Chelsea [who have spent a massive amount in the summer months] and although I wish I could say differently, you cannot discount Manchester United either. As for those who’d simply be happy with fourth spot Tottenham might still fighting and their new manager is somebody with maybe a grudge to settle or something to prove. Arsenal shut people up after a bad start last season and even allowing for the probable loss of van Persie they still look better equipped than a lot of others, including Liverpool.
I don’t know what remit the new manager has, but I have been reasonably impressed by his comments on the TV – LFCTV can now again tell us how great things are looking and normal service has been resumed. Without wishing to sound arrogant, managing a club such as Liverpool has to be different than managing one such as Swansea and we’re not just talking about expectancy levels. Only when they spoke to him in Boston didn’t John W. Henry hint at “Lower expectations”? Are we re-living ‘The Hodgson Mantra’?
We seem to be a club that is moving backwards instead of forwards. The fixture list hasn’t been kind with three tough opening home games and the top three from last season filling the visitors changing room. Those games could show where we are at.
Brendan Rodgers will obviously want to impose his style of football on the team. Only again our pre-season preparations have been disrupted by the absence of several players who’d been given additional time off following the European tournament. Players such as Luis Suárez, Sebastian Coates and Craig Bellamy are involved at the Olympics. It always makes me wonder if the pre-season tours are nothing more than publicity stunts aimed at selling a few shirts etc. At least the weather looked okay in Boston.
Good luck to the manager; he has my total support. We’ll all need an extra dose of patience but with Sky Sports News pulling the strings and football being nothing more than a rich man’s puppet, patience might not be in abundance.