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Liverpool Have Been Destroyed By Hicks & Gillett

 Liverpool Have Been Destroyed By Hicks & Gillett

Well Liverpool have certainly continued where last season finished for them, despite the removal of the dismal Rafa Benitez. Now, I’m not going to lie to you, I simply couldn’t stand Benitez, his abysmal tactics and his continual blaming of everyone else for his own failings. I don’t care about two fortunate cup victories that are now history. Yes the victory in Istanbul was amazing, but it is over 5 years ago and under Benitez Liverpool never came close to matching it again.

What has astounded me is that with Benitez having clearly lost the dressing room towards the end of last season, even the arrival of Roy Hodgson cannot paper over the cracks in this Liverpool squad. Hopelessly weak in areas it used to excel in, players shuffled about to try and make do and an attack so lightweight it looked made of paper. This is the worst Liverpool squad in 15 years, no question about it.


What may have gone unnoticed by Premiership fans was Hodgson’s statement last week about his attempts to re-sign Sami Hyypia from Bayer Leverkusen. That statement made me sit up and take notice, why on earth was he trying to resign a 36 year old centre half. On closer inspection, Hodgson wanted to bring him back as a player coach and then have him as Assistant Manager from next season.  Leverkusen wouldn’t budge and so Hodgson will have to wait at least 9 months to bring him in.

Tonight’s performance wasn’t awful, despite the scoreline, it was underwhelming and Liverpool looked leggy. What does concerns me is the whirlwind of rubbish that now swirls above Liverpool Football Club on a seemingly daily basis. Mascherano allegedly refused to play against Manchester City, the owners wanting not just ridiculous, but utterly stupid amounts of money for a club they’ve effectively bankrupted. A fan base determined to run the owners out of town and quite rightly in my opinion. A Stadium that has never made it off the drawing board. City pulled Liverpool to bits tonight at times without really playing that well. Couple this with some performances on the tail end of last season and it reminded me of the last time a Liverpool squad looked this thin on quality. Under Graeme Souness, Liverpool had become a shadow of a side within 3 years, struggling to qualify for the UEFA Cup as it was then, never mind the Champions League. All of Benitez’s acolytes constantly pointed to the lack of funds he had to work with but by god he bought some rubbish with what he had and let better players go. Hodgson is seemingly stuck with a unbalanced squad.

This position should be Hodgson’s chance to finally show people what he can do at a major English club but he’s caught between a rock and hard place. There are some less enlightened people out on the Internet tonight wanting Hodgson sacked. I think you can write what they know about football on the back of a postage stamp then. I’m stumped as to how Liverpool can pull themselves out of this slump, I really am. The owners are determined to hang on against all opponents to try and make a fortune they do not deserve.

What can the fans do? It’s like shouting in a vacuum to get Hicks and Gillett to listen at all it seems. Their arrogance and rank stupidity is up there with Mike Ashley’s first few months in charge of Newcastle. The general idea for this season was try and stabilise the club at worst yet it looks on face value as if that may be a tall order. All is not lost though, Torres is clearly still finding his feet, Joe Cole’s suspension hasn’t helped, the lack of a fit left back weakens the side.The striking options almost non-existent.

Despite the nationalities of Hicks and Gillett, which shouldn’t matter one jot as towards the running of the club, Liverpool are standing on a precipice. Stunts like burning the American flag are distasteful at best, anti-American songs make some protesters look like knuckle dragging buffoons and trying to incite anti-Semite abuse is simply abhorrent. They are falling behind teams they should be ahead of as Manchester City and Tottenham try to fill the gap they’ve left at the top table. Be angry at the situation, not the nationality.

Leaving the situation to fester much longer could see Liverpool facing a real struggle to keep up with the Europa League candidates, never mind the top 4. With just over 7 days until the transfer window shut, the club faces a real battle to bring in any quality to shore up this weak squad, never even contemplate the club being sold in time to end the disastrous reign of the Kop Football Holdings. The fans will hoping for a miracle in a time frame that seems like a fantasy at best.

Please leave me your comments and you can follow me on twitter at http://twitter.com/paulbestall

36 Responses to Liverpool Have Been Destroyed By Hicks & Gillett

  1. Akash,33 says:

    Roy Hodgson not a manager for the Top Teams…He only can manage middle class team…And he also always try to sign middle class players…So…Pls kick out the old man from my lovely team REDS before he spoil the team…His idea also like STUPID Bustard…!!! SON OF THE BITCH!!!

    • Jonathan says:

      You are a complete and total idiot. Hodgson can only do some much with what he has been given. Benitez has f*cked this team up with the terrible quality of players that he wasted funds on. Aquilani for example.

    • hatemanutd4ever says:

      Roy Hodgson has no clue. he’s got all wrong, wrong tactic , 4-4-2 away from home vs man city? wrong player, why on earth david ngog lead the line? this is the case of wrong david, someone pls tell Roy, this wrong DAVID to lead the line, this is DAVId Ngog, not DAVID Villa. ..wrong position to counter left footed right-winder and roght footed left winger, someone pls tell Roy to play Kuyt on the leftn and Jova on the right, wrong timing, why lets Aquilani go on loan now, when the “overrated’ Cole is suspended? Liverpool is just too BIG for him. You don’t know what are you doing Roy

  2. Tod says:

    Well your an effin idiot!

  3. Tod says:

    Rafa bought in millions into the club, restored her to No.1 in Europe took us to two European finals, gave us a quality spine.

    Paul you really are a prat!

    • Dave B. says:

      Lets not make like Rafa built a Champions League champion from scratch. He won it in his first season at the helm comprised of a team largely constructed by his predecessor.

  4. Marshy says:

    Nice to see that despite his heroic but incompetent efforts to sell the Club, Purslow still has time to writ this sh*te.

  5. Clampdown says:

    The lack of depth is really obvious, and a few of the players shouldn’t be starters. Unfortunately, until H&G are gone, fighting for sixth is the reality.

    • hatemanutd4ever says:

      Don’t blame it on the depth of the squad when this is only the second game of the season. Roy should take the full responsibility, Why you start with 10 player? I fail to see what Ngog is doing in 90 minutes, so i don’t count him. Agger instead if Aurelio? Carra past it long time ago, better put in as reserve goalkeeper, hoof the ball all the time . Bring King Kenny or Alan Hansen back . lets Roy creat the history of becomimg the shortest-serving manager of LFC. too BIG for him

  6. RedandDread says:

    Rafa did build a competitive team but he purchased a lot of shite which is what you are finding out now. Liverpool has some great players but the rest are not up to the standards of their immediate competitors. The Reds had a great spine but not much else and to be honest have not really played the type of football (aside from that one season 2 years ago) that was a match on the great sides of the 70′s & 80′s. This is a team that reached it’s peak 2 years ago and has stagnated and now declined. If it isn’t Gerrard or Torres it’s no one-those are your only consistent match winners. Hodgson has a job on his hands but he is a talented manager that will help stabalise a club in turmoil. The famed “you’ll never walk alone” is needed more than ever as this LIverpool team struggle to match the standards of one of the truly great clubs of English, European & World football.

    There is so much to fix and so little time-Good night & Good luck.

  7. The Gaffer says:

    I thought Liverpool’s performance today wasn’t as poor as last season. If Joe Hart wasn’t in playing, Liverpool should have grabbed one or two goals. But overall, the Reds were too reserved, too static and lacked the bite that Mascherano usually would deliver.

    Torres should sit out a few more weeks to get back to his full fitness.

    My last point about Liverpool was that it was hard to get excited by their performance tonight. They were very flat.

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

    • hatemanutd4ever says:

      “If Joe Hart wasn’t in playing, Liverpool should have grabbed one or two goals.” its a big IF. IF Joe Hart not playing…….what? do you think Shay Given is rubbish? IF Roberto Macini is a Liverpool Manager, and Roy Hodgson is Man City manager, Liverpool wouldn’t conceded 3 GOALS.

  8. layth bouchuiguir says:

    “Yes the victory in Istanbul was amazing, but it is over 5 years ago and under Benitez Liverpool never came close to matching it again.”

    This is your first paragraph and you are already wrong: “never came close to matching it again.”

    2 years later they were in the final in Athens!

    I’ve stopped reading, you have provided me with enough evidence to support my firm belief that YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT FOOTBALL!

  9. layth bouchuiguir says:

    And if you’re talking about the Miracle in Istabul, no team will ever come close to matching that Miracle, on the biggest stage!

  10. Raatzie says:

    It’s quite simple, really.

    With the “you can only spend what you earn” rules coming in next year, if Statler and Waldorf don’t sell this week (giving the new owner the weekend to bring in talent), Liverpool will be . . . Blackburn.

    Appropriate, since Blackburn may be about to become the new City.

  11. SpursInTheUSA says:

    Is anyone else getting weird formatting problems? Half the post is in tiny 6 pt font and the border formatting on the page has gone to hell.

  12. KEVIN says:

    ITS ONLY YOUR SECOND GAME OF THE SEASON ,THERES A LONG WAY TO GO YET ,YOU GOT A REAL GOOD MANAGER ,SOME GOOD PLAYERS ,I THINK YOUR TEAM WERE UP AGAINST A VERY STRONG SIDE SO DONT PANIC.WAIT TILL TORRES GETS FIT AND FIRING.

  13. Phil says:

    I have a tough time calling this Liverpool team the worst in 15 years.

    Let’s compare to the team they put on the pitch this evening against the team they put out in the Champions League final they lost against AC Milan, on the logic that if you lose the Champions League final, you have by definition a good team.

    Reina is the same in both.

    The back line in 2007: Finnan, Carragher, Agger, Riise

    In 2010: Johnson, Agger, Carragher, Skrtel

    It’s tough to call Johnson anything but a fair replacement for Finnan or Riise (with whom he shares several similarities), and Skrtel is certainly not a weak link in a defensive line.

    2007 midfield: Pennant, Alonso, Mascherano, Zenden
    2010: Gerrard, Lucas, Jovanovic, Kuyt

    The dropping of Kuyt from striker to winger was one of Benitez’s more inspired moves, with his work rate proving much more helpful in winning the ball than in scoring goals. In any case, Kuyt was in both teams. Pennant is certainly no worse a winger than anyone Liverpool has, and his passing aimlessly through team after team supports that. Zenden was certainly adequate, but is not the sort of player anyone clamors for.

    Alonso, clearly, is deeply missed with no adequate replacement yet found. And Mascherano will leave quite a hole in Liverpool, though much less of one if he is replaced by 25 million pounds.

    2007 strikers: Gerrard, Kuyt
    2010 strikers: Torres, Ngog

    Gerrard in the hole is very good, but this is a matter of position. He’s not the player he was three years ago, certainly, but if he were put up for sale, there’d be plenty of teams who wanted him.

    Certainly Torres is a lovely replacement for Kuyt in strike.

    Ngog wins few fans, but is seemingly improving. Liverpool could use another striker, certainly. That said, the strikers they had in 2007 – Bellamy and Crouch on the bench – are not electrifying. Both are solid strikers, and better than Ngog, but it’s not like there’s a massive gulf in talent there.

    2007 bench: Dudek, Arbeloa, Hyypia, Kewell, Gonzalez, Crouch, Bellamy

    2010 bench: Jones, Aurelio, Kyrgiakos, Maxi, Poulsen, Pacheco, Babel

    Here I’ll admit to some weakness. I’d take Kewell, Crouch, Arbeloa, and Bellamy readily over the bench options there.

    So yes. The 2010 team is a bit weaker than the 2007 team. But there’s just not a massive gulf in talent over those three years.

  14. Ragish says:

    This must be one of the writers who used to blame Benitez for everything. Well, well. We have a new manager but the old problems are still there. May I remind you that last year we started exactly like this, and we know what happened. Now we will finish worst! So who is to blame now, I would like to see the media muppets at the end of the season (will have a worst one than last year mark my words!) who will they blame now! Not their beloved hicks and Gillett for sure!

  15. Akash,33 says:

    Roy Hodgson not a manager for the Top Teams…He only can manage middle class team…And he also always try to sign middle class players…So…Pls kick out the old man from my lovely team REDS before he spoil the team…His idea also like STUPID Bustard…!!! SON OF THE BITCH!!! And always said he want to sign this player….that player…this player …that player only with his mouth… Untul now he didnt do anything…He just want to show that he is good…Stupid blady old man..!!!
    Spoiling the team!! The worst manager in liverpool history since 1892…

    • hatemanutd4ever says:

      strongly agree, except the last part. Souness is even worst. other than buying Rob Jones, nothing is right.

  16. Tony Briar says:

    There is absolutely no creativity to this Liverpool team. Never was under Benitez last season and doesn’t look it so far either. Manchester City weere able to move the ball around effortlessly and their players were able to control the ball. Not so with Liverpool. Unless Liverpool go out and buy some quality players who can control the ball and be creative they have no chance of being in the top 6. Sad times for Liverpool and it could get even worse.

  17. deer_meat says:

    Geez, you people are worse than American Football fans. I just started catching on to futbol and was impressed with the historical greatness of LFC. But I’m questioning my support for a team with fans that are this irrational. Give the coach a chance, for crying out loud. One week they had Arsenal on the ropes with 9.5 men for much of the game, and the next, they get beat by the New York Yankees of the EPL. It’s early. Hang on for the first half of the season, once the clauses are triggered and Huang can buy LFC from RBS without the hassle of heckle and jeckle, we’ll make some singings during the mid-season tranfer window. That’s when things will turn around.

  18. Dave B. says:

    People to need to realize that the team Hodgson inherited, while loaded with talent, is very very poorly constructed.

    That is the fault of the owners, the front office and yes Rafa. The team just has too many central players, no true wingers, a shaky defense and a big old hole at left back.

    It is going to take a good year for the team to be re-molded – possibly even longer depending on what happens with the ownership situation.

  19. Yespage says:

    So I suppose that whole being down 1 man for 45 minutes and nearly beating Arsenal thing didn’t happen last weekend. And just as a little reminder, Liverpool lost to Man. City, not some Division II side. Man City has more money playing on the field than Goldman Sachs has invested globally.

    The EPL seems to be really interesting. You almost have no clue what will happen week to week. Liverpool should have beat Arsenal, other than a gaffe at the end, but follows up with a 3-0 defeat against Man City. Newcastle embarrasses Aston Villa 6-0 after being drubbed themselves the previous week. Man U. tied Fulham! The top teams are more inconsistent, consistently these days. Maybe Stoke City can light up Chelsea week. :^D

  20. ernesto says:

    Looking forward to seeing these mugs finishing deep down in the lower half of the table this season. They’re kind of like a Newcastle United now, big fan base but nothing to show for it these days. Hopefully they’ll get relegated in a couple of seasons or so. And why not? It’s not as unthinkable as it might seem. Nobody would have thought it would ever have happened to Leeds, but there you go.

    • Gaz Hunt says:

      Liverpool aren’t going to get relegated – to say we’re in a situation like Newcastle or Leeds is indicitive or your understanding of those club’s situations at the time.

      If this keeps up, however, we also aren’t going to finish in the top four like I was hoping. Right now I’d go for 6th at best. It’s still early, though.

      As much as I like Roy, a little blame has to be placed on him for the City loss. 4-4-2 will not work with the two (sometimes three) holding players City had and the fast wingers deployed wide and coming back into the midfield – Tevez did this wonderfully too and our midfield was simply over-run. Plus, not a sign of a plan B when things started to go wrong.

  21. brn442 says:

    Worst squad in 15 years – really? I’m not going to ask you how long you’ve been following Liverpool or Football itself Mr. Bestall.

    It’s one match. Liverpool were poor, lethargic, and off the pace – yes. Gerrard was ____ No link play, Agger struggled against Johnson but who wouldn’t? Janovic was running around like a headless chicken.

    I will break ranks – I WAS HAPPY TO SEE NGOG lead the line. It’s about time – it’s either he’s good enough or not. Based on last season and last week – he deserved to start. It wasn’t his best shift but he was more effective than Torres, who in my opinion, is clearly not fit or match sharp.

    Torres needs support up front if he’s going to stay fit this season, can he play with traditional a strike partner, a la Yorke and Cole? Probably not but I’m glad that unlike Benitez – Hodgson is actually showing faith in a young player and considering LFC doesn’t have Man City’s cheque book, he may not have much of a choice.

  22. Macca says:

    This season has started poorly- just like last season. That head butt between Skyrtel and Carra was the foreshadoweing of what was to come last season. I believe the Cole suspension and the performance against City is of the same odour… It stinks. I also think they were lucky against Aresnal.
    I think Roy is out of his league here. He has never had to manage players of Torres and Gerrard level, and Liverpool is, no matter the state, a massive club.
    We need someone who bleeds Liverpool. An army of one. the highlander- there can only be one…. KENNY D. A man who has won the Prem- the toughest, most physical league in the world. A man who can carry the weight of all the hopes and dreams of the people who truely love this club and yearn for it’s success. Because we love him as much.
    But the asses of Evil (Tom the Hick and not so gorgeous George) are in no position to hand the reign of the club to someone who could over-power themselves. They have run us into the ground, and now expect to gain more $ than what we are worth. Del-boy himself couldn’t flog us in the street market let alone in the stock market.
    Five points already dropped in the first two games. It is last year all over again, but worse. No real LB, no MF player who can create, one good striker who is seemly made of glass and feathers, and a captian who watched Rosicky walk in on our keeper – right through our back line, when he himself just let him go. Sorry Stevie- you of all people should know better. You are the skipper- aren’t you? Did you get a touch on Monday?
    Robbie Savage was spot on- he said if he pulled on a Liverpool jersey he’d be coming out of that tunnel with flaired shouders full of pride because Liverpool is a massive club. That I believe. Too bad the current side, lack this same believe and pride. When the go to the back to cash their cheques this week I hope they wear masks- as they themselves- like the ownership- are robbing this club. We are a great club- now being led by our Dad. Our Dad is a nice guy. We can’t fire our Dad at Christmas-But Halloween is another story. I’m not so sure if that is soon enough though.
    Sorry but it’s Kenny or nothing here. This isn’t knee-jerk- this is fact and all the football smarts are coming out and saying so. Roy is over his head.
    Time for prayers….

  23. Zeb says:

    What anti-semite abuse? That’s nonsense. Could you in any way substantiate that?

    What anti-American songs? “Yanks out”? The ‘Yanks’ in question are clearly identified. For the record, have a look at Hicks’ reception when he first arrived in Liverpool – spot the anti-americanism? Me neither. Much love to the NYC Reds and Texas Reds btw. Great people.

    A handful of fans burning a flag with Hicks and Gillett’s names on it wasn’t a great idea, but hardly cause for umbrage, although it was amazing how much attention it got given that we’ve been protesting for three years or so now and warning that this was where the club was heading.

    That some people are just waking up to this amazes me. Honestly, it does. The audited accounts don’t lie (well, unless they’re done by Anderson heh). And we’re nowhere near the end of the farce which Liverpool FC has become under the ownership of Hicks and Gillett. In six weeks time, we could be in administration (that’s a form of bankruptcy here in Britain) taking a 9 point penalty deduction in the league with a firesale of assets possible during the January transfer window.

    Here’s to us getting new owners who understand how to run a professional sports outfit within a competitive market system.

    Oh, for the record. Matchgoers support Mr.Hodgson, as we have supported every manager in the past. Questions will be asked, as they always will be, of his decisions as manager. No manager has ever received blind faith – trust and respect is earned, but we give our managers a lot of leeway at the beginning. We’re not Newcastle. Yet ;)

  24. James B says:

    I would concur with the viewpoint that Hicks & Gillett have damaged the club perhaps irretrievably so. This is a stark lesson to anyone who is looking to speculate in order to accumulate. Only multi billionaires with more money than sense can really afford to finance world class football clubs. If you need to juggle your finances in order to buy a club, you simply can’t afford it and that’s unfortunately the case with Hicks/Gillett. It’s now very difficult to make money owning a top division team.

    I think Hodgson as an appointment will prove a mistake and it perfectly illustrates the decline of the club. Despite the PR damage limitation exercises, there’s still massive unrest behind the scenes and this is likely to become far worse over the course of the season. There’s absolutely no way Liverpool will finish top 6 and I think a top 10 finish is perhaps the best they can hope for.

    Despite the club’s parlous financial state, the club is still injudiciously spending money it simply doesn’t have. Hodgson has already made a massive blunder by bringing Joe Cole in. Everyone talks about Cole as a free transfer but he’s a crocked/overrated/mercenary player who’s earning £90,000 per week which is in my opinion undeserved and a massive strain on the club’s finances. £90,000 is more than a lot of SMEs turnover in 1 month!! It’s another wage bill Liverpool could quite frankly do without.

    Most of the potential investors are waiting for the club to be in such a lugubrious financial state that Hicks & Gillett will have no choice but to sell. However, this raises important questions about any future investors. If they’re waiting for Liverpool to enter administration and consequently become a comparatively cheaper purchase, can they really afford to finance a football club? Undoubtedly, Kenny Huang’s reputation has been destroyed and he seems to be just like Hicks/Gillett – another investor who really can’t afford to do this.

    I worry about the future as there’ll likely be a fire sale at the club during the next transfer window. There’s no way Liverpool will be able to keep hold of Torres, Gerrard et al in the long term. Regrettably, this isn’t going to improve anytime soon.

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