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.
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