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Henry and Comolli Tell Liverpool Supporters Not To Expect Any Major Changes

 Henry and Comolli Tell Liverpool Supporters Not To Expect Any Major Changes

I don’t envy supporters of Liverpool Football Club. The stark reality for supporters, some of whom have not yet accepted it, is that Liverpool is a major transition period and it’s going to do take a few years to regain stability before they can begin progressing again.

In the past 24 hours, Liverpool director of football strategy Damien Comolli has stated that Liverpool’s future lies in the development of home-grown talent. Comolli also stated that Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson will have the final say on transfer signings. And last but not least, new Liverpool owner John W. Henry has urged Liverpool fans not to blame Hodgson. In an e-mail to a Liverpool supporters forum RedAndWhiteKop.com, Henry said, and I’m paraphrasing her directly from The Telegraph, that NESV will not attempt to mask either issue with a sudden change of manager or an unwarranted spending spree, explaining that it is unfair to use Hodgson as a scapegoat for Liverpool’s travails and outlining his belief that money will only be spent if it fits with the group’s long-term plan for the club.

Last, but not least, Liverpool does not plan on making any big-money transfer buys in the January transfer window.

What does all of this mean for Liverpool and its supporters? The bottom line is that Liverpool will have to, for the most part, make do with what they have. The same manager. Essentially the same players with perhaps one or two leaving in the transfer window. Possibly a new signing or two in the January transfer window. But, for the most part, it’s going to be a very similar set-up to what the club currently has except that the players and manager will be expected to improve their game.

These are some sobering facts for Liverpool supporters especially during a season where Manchester United has the opportunity to be crowned as the most successful club in English history if they win the Premier League. Right now, Liverpool and Manchester United have both been crowned champions of England 18 times (winning the top flight trophy, either the Premier League trophy or the First Division championship before that).

By Henry and Comolli coming out in the press and supporters forums to publicly put a stake in the ground and to try to manage the expectations of Liverpool supporters, it’s now time for those Liverpool fans to take a deep breath, realize that things aren’t going to get better suddenly and resign themselves to the fact that the club will be trophy-less for a season or two. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but the sooner Liverpool supporters do that and then get behind Hodgson and the boys, the better.

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
View all posts by Christopher Harris →

22 Responses to Henry and Comolli Tell Liverpool Supporters Not To Expect Any Major Changes

  1. D says:

    I’m not bothered about trophies, I’d just like us to play football. Our playing squad isn’t as bad as people make out. If only they went on to the pitch with a gameplan to attack and try to win a game rather than hope not to lose.

    I just want to enjoy watching my team play again. Win, lose or draw. I couldn’t imagine a more dull, uninspiring approach to the game than that employed by Rafa at times last season, however Roy has somehow managed to make Rafa’s tactics seem expansive.

    Blackpool’s entire squad cost less than Paul Konchesky, and probably earns less than Gerrard and Torres combined. However, I’d rather watch them play than Roy’s “team”; and I use the term losely, we’re more a collection of players than a team.

    • Yespage says:

      Exactly! It is effort on the pitch that matters most to me. One reason why I like watching Stoke City. They are scrappers on the field.

      Besides, Liverpool have one of the top goalies and strikers in the world. And one could make a similar argument about Gerrard. They have the talent, it just isn’t coming together.

      I like the tact, long-term stability and success.

  2. david says:

    i think henry is right we dont want a quick fix take our time and build for success over a sustained period not for a few years if u take city or chelsea for example if there owners sold they would nosedive like leeds nobody could afford those wages etc

  3. H says:

    Agree with D, we just want our beloved club to play inspiring football once again. We have been patient, for 20 years now, and we are no where closer to the top than we were 20 years ago, but at least we played attacking football back then. we are not looking for a quick change, or new manager, just creative, attacking and great soccer. Obviously, this defence minded, uninspiring, hope not to lose soccer is not working…we leak goals, so why don’t we just go and play like you want to win….with inspiring soccer. Make us applaud good soccer, than chanting dalgleish’s name, regardless of the result.

  4. Anurag says:

    If you ask a Liverpool supporter “What do you really want?”, the answer would be very precise and simple two letter phrase. “Good Football”. Thats what we really want, we want Liverpool to play good attacking football. We want Liverpool to be competetive and aggressive in approaching the matches. NO sane fan actaully wants to buy Messi, thats rubbish, most of them understand the way things work and everyone respects what Comoli and HEnry said about the ‘building process’. But, is it that difficult to understand that Roy Hodgson and his tactics have not worked for Liverpool? Now there is no disrespect for the methords that the 62 year old boss uses, but they should work and if one is sane enough to understnad football, its would be easy to understand that those tactics are not working for this club! I mean, is it really that difficult to fathom Mr.Henry?

    I would happily accept Liverpool finishing 7th having played beautiful football, but if you go out to the Britannia and play like the way they were made to play (deep in their box), I am sorry Mr.Hodgson but that infact was an insult to each and evry living and dead soul that supports this club.

    We need a breath of fresh air, we need our team to play nice passing game, we dont need big signings and if that warrents the owners to be brutal with their approach then why not? Chelsea has shown this time and again so why not Liverpool?

  5. soonerscotty says:

    Agree with others…I just want to see good, quality footy. I want to feel like the lads are actually trying. Liverpool fans will forgive most anything if we feel the lads are truly trying their best.

    While I don’t think there should be any rash actions taken I also stand by the belief that Roy is not the manager to rebuild the club. The Chelsea win looked good…well, until they were demolished by Sunderland but, other than that this season has been horrendous.

    I hate ManUre as much as any other LFC fan but, if they take over the top spot for most First Division/Premier League titles it won’t be the end of the world…somebody had that spot before LFC and someone will have it after ManUre.

    I feel NESV are doing things right (though I’m prejudiced as a Red Sox fan) and like the way their reaching out to fans. They’re living by their standard of “under-promise and over-deliver” and are making the right moves to manage the fans expectations.

    With the exception of Hodgson it seems we’re moving in the right direction and as long as everyone sincerely tries we’ll always have dreams and songs to sing!
    YNWA!

  6. jbm says:

    Under promise and over deliver is the montra.

    So are we surprised they’re talking down huge spending sprees and new managers? What I read is them saying they’re not dropping 40 to 60 million pounds on players in January, not that they WILL NOT be buying anyone. With acquisition debt removed the club can put their own money to use to build up the team.

    How is this new news?

    • The Gaffer says:

      JBM, it’s new news because they publicly came out and made several statements about it in the past 24 hours.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • soonerscotty says:

        OT: What happened to the “thumbs up/thumbs down” for comments? I like that feature. Not a big deal though.

      • jbm says:

        Understandable. I’ve just noticed a huge uptick in the amount of noise in the virtual echo chamber. It seems to take any and all news and turns it into a negative or hype piece.

        I should have also added that when NESV took over it should have been a given we wouldn’t have gotten a huge spending spree. They’re not the businessmen that silver spoon other clubs, nor are they the kind that’ll take out loans to get those players (like the old owners).

  7. Steven P. says:

    As a Liverpool fan I don’t expect any major changes immediately with new owners just in. However, I do expect them to make the right decisions to move the club forward and have the team playing the Liverpool way which has always been about playing entertaining soccer. To that end I expect Roy Hodgson to be replaced by a forward-thinking, younger manager. Roy is the wrong man for Liverpool. Unless a change is made now I’m afraid the club will lose some of its better players.

    I am not convinced given that henry has come out and said he trusts Hodgson and that he has no plans to replace him. That worries me.

    • soonerscotty says:

      Henry is only going to say positive things about his staff (which includes the manager) up and until the person is sacked.

      If Henry or Werner were to speak ill of the manager it would only serve to make a horrible situation worse.

      • Jay says:

        100% spot on.

        What are the supposed to say, “We think Hodgson is rubbish, but we haven’t identified a replacement, so we are keeping him for now?”

        No owner in their right mind would marginalize the manager while they are still the manager. But if Hodgson continues to underperform, I would expect to see a new man brought in.

  8. Clampdown says:

    I’ll add my voice to the chorus. I completely agree with everything D said. I also am not surprised at all by Henry’s statement, and am not particularly bothered by it. I expected after last season that even if LFC did get new ownership we were likely in for a transition period. I would expect the club to make some player moves, just not any big splashes.

  9. Gaz Hunt says:

    I agree with most of what has been said (I just want them to play attractive, attacking football regardless of result) but don’t agree with those that say Hodgson isn’t the man for the job. He’ll get there.

    Everything Henry and NESV are saying seems to point towards an Arsenal model with increased emphasis on the academy players and value buys. Unlike Arsenal, however, I think NESV will occasionally splash a little bit of cash at a top player (like the additional striker that we need) but not without first thinking it through thoroughly (hence no January activity).

    • Gaz Hunt says:

      Also, on the Hodgson argument and his ability:

      If I’m looking at Stato correctly, Hodgson has us performing on par with the last three seasons. The 2007-2008 season had us with the same points (finished 4th), we’re 4 points below our 2008-2009 season (2nd place finish), and one point above our 2009-2010 season (7th place finish).

      I know I’m in the minority of Liverpool supporters but I think he’s doing alright.

  10. Trueblue says:

    I have a totally out of context question. Why was Kevin Keegan never considered for Liverpool job? He is one of their greatest ever player, an accomplished EPL manager and would be a big hit with the fans. The question just came to my mind. Any ideas?

    • The Gaffer says:

      Trueblue, that’s an excellent question. It was probably Keegan being at the wrong place at the wrong time. During Keegan’s managerial stints with Newcastle, England and Manchester City, Liverpool had Roy Evans and then Gerard Houllier in charge, so there was no opportunity at those times for Keegan to step in. Maybe others can shine some light on the excellent question?

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • soonerscotty says:

        This is simply my opinion but, I think it has a lot to do with the mythology surrounding Kenny…to a lot of Liverpool fans Kenny is the King who won everything and understood the “Liverpool way” and we all understand the reasons and emotions behind him stepping down after Hillsborough.

        It’s nothing against Keegan it’s just that Kenny holds that legendary mythological (and mostly earned) place in the hearts of the supporters.

        That being said, and while I think Roy needs to go, I’m not sure that Kenny is the magic wand that a lot of supporters believe he would be.

  11. dominjon says:

    Roy is gone next summer, that is all this means. They have a person in place to find and buy young, cheap talent. Next they will find a manager who is willing to concentrate on developing the style to win and bring out the best in players.
    I guarantee the words used by Henry are “a younger Wenger”. He has decided on Arsenal and Wenger as his role model for what he wants to do. He will be looking for someone to fit into the system, and I doubt he will conclude Roy is that man.
    Roy has to make himself unfirable. He needs to get these players to overperform and he shows no sign of being able to do that. There is also no chance Rafa would return because he won’t be willing to be just a coach and have limited say in player purchases. I wouldn’t be surprised if the next manager is someone relatively unknown.

  12. Ringo says:

    Hodgson needs to be given more time at the reins – he hasn’t done a terrible job thus far. I hate the culture of sacking the manager as soon as things are looking rough. He hasn’t even been on for a half season!

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