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EDITORIAL 224

Welcome to the first issue of the 2016/17 campaign.
It’s out earlier than intended because I didn’t expect our first home game of the season to be played in September and after the first International break. The original plan was to bring the Fanzine out to coincide with the start of the new season but with that now being three away games I changed my plans. So we have a pre and early season issue that should be on sale until the Tottenham away game and Issue 225 out for the Leicester game at Anfield.
I suppose it’s fitting that the new Main Stand, or whatever they decide to call it, should be opened on the day we pay hosts to the Champions of England. I don’t know whether it was the luck of the draw; a coincidence or whether the fixture planners used a bit of insider information. Anyway, it will be on Sky. Half ‘n half souvenir scarf sales should go through the roof – even the new Main Stand roof! A Day-Trippers delight.
I’m got going to comment on new signings because it’s too early and I’ve learnt not to expect too much from anybody these days. If whoever we sign or have signed becomes an instant hit then the street parties can begin. If they don’t, then we’ll be told they need time to settle, adjust to the English game or get used to eating Scouse. Being as the transfer window is open until the end of August we can probably expect a few or more than a few, players departing the scene. Added to that, a lot of players are still on holiday following their Euro 2016 participation or Copa America involvement. Throw in the Olympics because some players could be involved in that. The game has become an all year round event,
Last year, after what seemed a precarious couple of years RED ALL OVER THE LAND started to get back on track and sales and subscriptions improved. Hopefully that will be the case again this year although I don’t expect the increased capacity of Anfield to bring a massive influx of local and genuine Liverpool supporters. I’ve accepted now that the game has changed forever and the real grass root type of supporter isn’t really wanted. We’ll keep making the point but know we’re preaching to the converted.
How much longer we go on depends on many things; one being me. As anyone that knows me can see, I ain’t getting any younger but, at the moment, I have rediscovered my passion for the Fanzine. I’m told that like vinyl the printed word is on the way back. Well having invested in a vinyl record player and listening once again to those old LP’s that meant so much I just hope that sales of the printed word return to the levels of the past so I can invest in some of the old albums that have been long worn out – again, a bit like me.
In this issue we’ve looked at the fag end of last season and over the next couple of issues we’ll pay tribute to the Class of 66, when supporting England actually filled you with pride and footballing greats trod on Goodison Park! I kid you not.
Congratulations to our own Andy Knott who got wed during the summer and we hope he can still come along and clog up Flagpole corner to sell on match day.
See you around the fields where the Main Stand may soon be open.
JJP

Life After Basle

Now the dust has just about settled after the loss in to Seville in Basle hopefully the club will support Jürgen Klopp when he requests transfer funds. We didn’t lose against Seville because of any one player, or any particular incident we lost because collectively this Liverpool team just cannot defend and hasn’t been able to defend for a few years now. It was something that Brendan Rodgers never seemingly sought to address but should have done after the likes of Jamie Carragher decided he wanted to become a pundit and Daniel Agger was shoehorned out of the club [or so it seemed].
Under Jürgen we’ve struggled to defend set pieces and we’ve crumbled under pressure all too frequently. You can see in his face the frustration and agitation when the basics become difficult. In a fifteen minute onslaught Seville exposed all our deficiencies and once they’d levelled just seconds into the second half you could sense what was coming next. Like the manager said, we had around 44-minutes to sort things out, but couldn’t. It’s happened before so it wasn’t a surprise.
Before the game the experts constantly said Jürgen had improved so many players and in a few cases that might be fact but collectively it’s not the case. He’s definitely got a bit more out of players but all over the pitch there are so many shortcomings and with limited resources he’s tried to plug too many holes. This is shown by the league table, we finished eighth!!!
I am not criticising Jürgen Klopp but I think he put all his eggs in one basket, win the Europa and get into the Champions League and I fully understand the logic. However finishing eighth [and I don’t care where Chelsea finished] isn’t acceptable. We finished eighth because the players he had at his disposal weren’t collectively good enough. No matter how some like to view it Manchester United have unearthed a few young talented players, if Chelsea and Manchester City want to use them, they too have some young talents at their disposal…and us?
Okay, Origi might realise his potential but we paid money for him. I had high hopes for Jordan Ibe but his career has gone backwards over the past eighteen months, or it’s not moved forwards. More to the point though, it’s a long, long time since anybody came out of our Academy and gave us hope with the possible exception of Jon Flanagan who, after all his injuries, is still in the maybe, maybe not category. Our Academy needs its umpteenth overhaul because at the moment it’s producing very, very little.
Next season we should have a fully fit Danny Ings and Joe Gomez to add to the players the manager has but so much more is required. Whatever Jürgen wants Jürgen must get; we have to have a side that’s competitive in every way and in every game. We can’t go on having a defence that resembles the proverbial chocolate fireguard when the heats turned up. We can’t have players that go into hiding as soon as the going gets tough – would anybody want Firmino on their side in the trenches? There are others that fir into that category.
Although we will only have domestic issues to go for next season, we still have to have the players who can turn things round when called upon; we haven’t got many, if any, of what they call Impact players sitting on our bench have we? Brendan’s nearly team took advantage of the fact that they only had one game a week to occupy their minds and hopefully Jürgen can use that to his advantage and maybe that’s why he put all his eggs in the one basket towards the end of the season.
Despite Leicester City showing you don’t have to spend a billion or two on a team you can bet that Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and maybe even Arsenal will do just that in an effort to claw back what they think is rightfully theirs. At least two of that four have new managers and both will have taken the jobs on the promise of a bottomless pit of cash, and if Mourinho ends up at Old Trafford he’ll expect the same. Financially we might not be on the same league [hence the need for that good Academy] but over the past five years we’ve spent a lot on money on players who haven’t or can’t deliver, time for that to stop and I know I’m stating the obvious.
I’m sure our manager knows what we need, as do most of the real supporters. A defence that can defend with a goalkeeper that can catch a few crosses would be a start. A midfield that can frighten the opposition and a forward line that strikes fear into opposing defenders would also help.
Not a lot to ask is it?