Liverpool Fans: Don’t Listen To Them, Thing’s Aren’t As Bad As They Seem

By on January 20, 2011

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Kenny Dalglish’s return to football management has brought about quite a furore throughout the footballing world in the last week or so. Since being put in charge at Anfield, Dalglish has become a permanent fixture in seemingly every part of our lives. News stories about his return,  archive clips from his playing days, and pictures of the last time he was in the Anfield dug-out have been difficult to avoid wherever you go, or whatever you’re doing. Every waking hour has been spent listening to, looking at, or thinking about King Kenny. For some reason, I’m fairly confident that’s not the first time a Liverpool fan has said that.

On hearing the news last Saturday morning that Roy Hodgson’s short tenure at Anfield had come to an end, and Dalglish had been asked to step in, the romantics amongst us were out in force. An away tie at Old Trafford in the third round of the F.A. Cup had all of a sudden ceased to be a cause for Liverpudlians sleepless nights; he was sure to mark his return to football management with an emotional victory against the old foe. Those 9,000 travelling supporters were all of a sudden ‘lucky’ enough to have tickets. Twenty four hours earlier that same 9,000 were considered to be knowingly marching into a Mancunian furnace designed to be filled with their own humiliation. The appointment will ‘get us back where we belong’ read the message boards and forums, ‘Ferguson will be anxious to see his old enemy competing against him again’ said one journalist in The Mirror. Great expectations seeped out of every line written or sentence spoken about Dalglish and his man management skills, his experience, his eye for a player etc.

VOdds

Fast forward to the morning after the Blackpool defeat, and the positivity flowing out of the newspapers, message boards and pubs had almost completely evaporated. The momentum we were expected to pick up due to the Dalglish factor meant heading into Sunday’s Merseyside derby with a win under our belts away at Blackpool, and at least bringing Manchester United back to Anfield in the cup. This week would be the catalyst for our re-emergence as challengers to the top four. All of a sudden, the phone-ins, forums, and papers were labelling the derby as a ‘must-win’ game due to threat of relegation re-appearing. Dalglish had been in charge for under twenty four hours before his Old Trafford baptism of fire, and then three days to prepare his team for a tricky away tie at Blackpool. All whilst trying to rearrange his back room staff. A tall order for any manager, never mind one who has been out of the game for as long as Dalglish has.

A sense of perspective is essential for all football fans, though it can often be difficult to achieve due to the nature of our affiliation with our teams and our heroes. Particularly when the nostalgia of a glorious past is seemingly thrust in to the present day, as is the case with Dalglish’s appointment. However, football fans with a grip on reality appear to be few and far between at the moment. A simple black-or-white view fed to us by the national media only furthers our initial irrationality caused by the love of our team. There are no shades of grey outstanding amongst many football fans at the moment. The character of Cliff Lawton puts it perfectly in ‘The Thick of It’- ‘This is your thing. Everything has to be absolutes. ‘I love you- fuck off”. Thankfully, Liverpool didn’t lose at the weekend and the knee-jerk reactions weren’t pushed into overdrive with an Everton victory.

We have impressively managed to plummet from the dizzy heights of wins in The San Siro, Nou Camp, and Bernabeu, to the depressing reality of Blackpool taking six points from us. All in the short space of eighteen months. It is repeatedly written that Liverpool need a complete squad haul over. In my opinion, an element of perspective is needed even more so. Regardless of the longstanding damage Tom and George did to Liverpool, there are still numerous positives to take from the scenario we find ourselves in at the moment. (Especially now Hodgson is no longer having his evil way with our team) Along with the glaringly obvious positives e.g. very strong spine, a youth set up which is promising a lot at the moment, the club being ran in the correct way etc., there are a lot of shades of ‘grey’ which, when you remove your emotional connection, are mostly positive. Despite what Andy Gray et al say.

For instance, Glen Johnson has come in for huge amounts of criticism despite the fact he has been playing under the most negative manager at Liverpool in living memory. It must be difficult for an attacking full-back to showcase his talents in a set up which doesn’t allow him to attack.  His two games under Dalglish have seen him play at left back, and although in a side with a far more attacking mentality, this isn’t an ideal situation for Johnson. His first six months in Benitez’s doomed final season saw him prove himself as the best attacking full-back in the Premier League, if not Europe, but a dip in form suddenly renders this meaningless.

Two or three signings would allow Liverpool to compete towards the top of the league again, rather than be floundering in the bottom half where the media believe this set of players belong. The possibility of capturing the signature of Luis Suarez, for instance, could make for a three pronged attack of Torres, Gerrard, and Suarez, whilst the likes of Maxi Rodriguez, Joe Cole, and Dirk Kuyt would make for a strong substitute’s bench. A top quality signing like this would also allow the likes of David Ngog and Daniel Pacheco to develop their potential the way you would expect, as opposed to being metaphorically thrown in at the deep end. Or the return of Alberto Aquliani would see a competitive central midfield area with Miereles, Lucas, Aquilani, and Gerrard being the possible options to fight over that particular position. James Lawton’s demands in Monday’s Independent for massive reinvestment are hugely exaggerated. Although it is unarguable that reinvestment is  needed, just not the to the extent the scaremongering media hacks make out (on the plus note, at least Lawton ceased to spout his xenephobic vitriol at Liverpool now we have a  British manager)

Now, more than ever, I feel a sense of perspective is needed. A transitional period after the demolition job the last owners attempted meant a re-building process was inevitable. Luckily, they didn’t achieve all that they had hoped for. And although the utterly depressing feeling that has gone hand in hand with Liverpool recently has remained present this season, things aren’t as bad as they seem. No matter what the papers say.

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7 Comments

  1. Abhilash

    January 20, 2011 at 9:28 am

    Im tired of LFC haters having a go at the club
    First of all LFC is still the biggest club in England until Man U win the title this year
    Second even if Man U win this year LFC is still a big club – nothing changes – only Man U become the most successful club in England – credit to them if the acheive
    Third LFC have not won the EPL for more than 20 years – so what – Chelsea won with Mourinho after 50 years !!
    Fourth Tottenham have improved significantly – credit to Redknapp and them but if they miss Champoin League some of their stars could leave! – think about that.
    Fifth -Man U and Arsenal are the truly stable clubs – rest are unpredictable with change of managers and owners at times.
    Every team has their problems – LFC will come back – as for your LFC haters keep having a go at us – we ll see what happens in the years to come
    As for Suarez – if he prefer LFC to Spurs – remember Form is temporary but class is permanent
    Englis Football would not be the same with LFC – especially in Europe!!!

  2. magnumopus

    January 20, 2011 at 9:38 am

    I believe you meant “without LFC” in your last sentence.

  3. ianmjon

    January 20, 2011 at 9:46 am

    the most negative manager in liverpool history? i dont know benitez ran him pretty close on that. Im glad the pair of them have gone and we can start to play a little more attractive football again.

  4. spike

    January 20, 2011 at 10:14 am

    ianmjon….

    You are a MASSIVE retard. Rafa was not a negative manager – you thick spastic – you havent got a fucking clue.

    Rafa made LFC into genuine challengers in the EPL and in the Champions League. Its no surprise that things have gone tits up since his departure.

    Tell me what was ‘unattactive’ about thrashing teams like Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Barcelona, Man Utd?

    What is unattrractive about reaching 2 champions League finals?

    What is unatractive about scoring more, conceeding less and losing less than any other team in the league (2008-2009)

    Rafa was the best thing to happen to LFC in a generation and its shitheads like you, who know fuck all, that helped push him out the door.

    You got what you wanted, and look where we are now.

    You stupid fucking nobhead

  5. Arsenal_India

    January 20, 2011 at 10:38 am

    Abilash was/is/will always be correct.
    Without LFC’s success in the past, who in the world would say that Premier League is the toughest league.
    Remember we may be out numbered when compared with Manu fans most of whom I call “chained fans”(they support because one of their football knowledged friends support)”, and the rest have no idea of any other club(mainly history when teams like Everton, Leeds were powerful).

    We have our presence carved everywhere!!!!!!
    We march together when our club needed. while other laughed and criticized. Would you?

    Just a food for thought – “Which club do you think will take into consideration fans positive criticism and act as they did by sacking Roy, by all means a good manager but played negative football?”

  6. Bruce

    January 20, 2011 at 11:07 am

    finally a journo who knows something about football and is not affected by the cockney hordes who revel in any misfortune that comes our way. I’ve said all along we only need 3-4 players to be an out standing team again and I still believe that. Look at Spurs…take Modric and Defoe out and they become average, put them back in and they’re title contenders. Does that mean that everyone else at Spurs is poo? definitely not. Having 3-4 attacking players of the same ilk as FT and SG will make us an incredibly strong team.

  7. Jerry

    January 20, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Amen Spike. A-fucking-men.

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