Are Liverpool Just Flat Track Bullies?

Ever since Rafael Benitez left Liverpool, fans have seemingly lurched from one crisis to another, even if that word is thrown about all too loosely these days. From struggles with ownership and transfers to constant managerial upheaval, Anfield has rarely looked like a fortress since the Spanish manager’s departure.

For a time, Liverpool fans could have merely considered these tumultuous times a mere blip, pointing out that other titans of the game such as Inter Milan and Juventus were also undergoing difficult periods. Those sleeping giants awoke courtesy of smart investment and canny managerial appointments, the argument was that there was no reason Liverpool couldn’t do the same under Brendan Rodgers. After all this club could still beat anybody on its day. Witness how Chelsea and Manchester City were dispatched en route to the League Cup triumph last season, or how Manchester United were knocked out of the FA Cup.

However this season even these hollow victories are no more. Liverpool recently attained the heights of eight place (dropping to 10th after losing at the Brittania), where they ended last season and where this squad’s ceiling seemingly lies. Liverpool average around 1.3 points per game. They’ve averaged around that ever since Benitez left barring one brilliant spell under the returning Kenny Dalglish. Upper mid table is the limit of their current ambitions, and they’ve been playing like it.

Currently, the highest placed opponent to have been put to the sword by Liverpool is Norwich City in 11th, and the Canaries were in the midst of a horrible run when the Reds were fortunate enough to meet them. Liverpool’s other victories have come against sides lying 12th, 14th, 17th, 18th and 19th. Fans have become used to being elated at the thrashing of minnows one week and suffocating against competent sides the next. Last season Liverpool’s problem was that they didn’t kill sides that other teams beat handily, they more than held their own against the big guns. This season that’s all changed. Liverpool average a miserable 0.43 points in their games against the top seven sides in the table. Last season the corresponding figure was 1.5 (It was only 1.29 points per game against clubs finishing below Liverpool). If this season’s figure would have been boosted by deserved wins at Manchester City and Everton, then surely perspective would still be gained by the thrashings handed out by Arsenal, Tottenham and West Brom.

Most fans believe in what Brendan Rodgers is trying to do. He has a clear style of football that the public can get behind and the manager certainly can’t be held responsible for all the upheaval going on at the club before he arrived. But there is no escaping that this transition season could have been handled better. Instead of building on what was already here, a defense that conceded only 1.05 goals per game and an offense that had lots of possession but little scoring prowess, nothing has improved substantially and the defense has regressed. Liverpool now concede 1.37 goals per game, and in games against the top seven that figure goes up to 2.

Liverpool have at times demonstrated a humming offense, and at least they seem to be playing with a clear plan, but the most important part, results, or at least several clear steps in the right direction, still haven’t materialized. On the evidence of results against the sides Liverpool will have to jockey for position with should they ever want to stand on the top of the table again, the Reds are slipping further and further away from where they want to be.

32 thoughts on “Are Liverpool Just Flat Track Bullies?”

  1. We are not a very good squad. It’s just that simple. We are full of average players, kids, and one world class forward playing as a lone striker. We are 2-3 windows away from even thinking about Top 4 and even then it may be a different manager. The last couple transfer windows will haunt LFC for years. It really all started w/ Hodgson’s signings and losing Masch and Torres. Kenny & Comolli made it all worse and now FSG either can’t or won’t spend to make it right. It all just sucks and we have to live through it. Ugh.

      1. That was key, but proper owners could have allowed Rafa to find a replacement. Cearly there’s been numerous forks in the road and it seems LFC have consistently made the wrong decisions.

      2. It all started in the early 90s when the owner/chairman failed to maximize the clubs potential revenuel with the start of the premier league era.

    1. rumor is, henry will sell redsox (if the dodgers got 2 billion, redsox sale will leave him flush w/ cash). if/when that happens, you’ll see some more investment in the roster. (then again, lerner just got 1billion for the cleveland browns, and he hasnt done a thing for AVFC)

      1. New FFP rules will make it hard for them to spend money they didn’t earn themselves. The days of clubs getting Sugar daddy’s are over.

  2. There are two problems at the club. Clueless owners who keep making the same mistakes and a manager out of his depth in managing a club like Liverpool. Mr Rodgers was never that great at Swansea and has shown his ineptitude in tactics which is why Liverpool are midtable. This will not change unless new owners with better footballing-sense come on board and hire the right people to run the club.

      1. he did have a good spell at Swansea, but he was also taking control of a team that had a philosophy in place which he has subsequently hijacked as his own.

        1. This is true. Also, it appears Laudrup has taken it to another level pretty quickly and, for lack of a better term, effortlessly. Yes, there must be a lot of effort involved, but he’s made the transition a very smooth one.

          1. I assume FSG always wanted to play this way so went for Martinez as 1st choice and architect of Swansea’s style. Then settled for 2nd best which is coming back to haunt them.

            BR 2012/13s Owen Coyle.

  3. I really want to believe in Rodgers. But sometimes I wonder if he is a used car salesman. He talks in cliches and sounds as if his reading list includes self-help books and texts from business school.

    As FCAsheville pointed out, though, there are far too many average players on this team. I had a long discussion with other LFC supporters after the match yesterday and none of us could remember a time when there was this much mediocrity in the club. It will take a few transfer windows to see whether Rodgers is getting it right, but for now it’s painful. There is no consistency, and the team appears mentally weak. Too many points dropped at Anfield, which is unacceptable.

    1. Average players and the club/media putting so much pressure on him with all this pre season talk about his footballing philosophy and his own style of play. If they were smart they would have kept a low profile and not put any added pressure on the team.

      The problem is Liverpool don’t have the luxury of waiting for another 2-3 transfer windows to get it right. The top teams will just pull further away in the next 18 months and Liverpool will never catch up.

      The bottom line is unless these new owners are prepared to spend big right now on quality players then you may never see Liverpool FC compete for the league again.

      1. Agreed,however they need RAFA BENITEZ to return to the club.Absolutely the best man for the job,but even he would struggle with the attitude of the present owners.THEY NEED TO ALLOW THE FANBASE TO BUY INTO THE CLUB!

    2. It’s true that Liverpool have too many average players at the moment. But how will signing Sturridge or Di Santo (new rumored signing) change that? Rodgers also payed 15 million for Allen who has been average at best.

  4. What i always ask is how many Liverpool players would walk into any of the current top five sides. I can only think of three and that’s being generous.

  5. Yes I was talking about Le racist but I don’t consider him to be a slam dunk first name on the team sheet if your putting together a team from the top 5 clubs plus Liverpool, He’s definitely in the mix though.

    1. And what’s so wrong with that? Football is a sport which allows anyone who likes it to give their views on the day-to-day happenings on the sport. Who are you, then, to dictate who can and cannot comment on it?

      Furthermore, if you dislike the site so much, why do you even bother to give comments like this which do not help anyone at all? Nobody is forcing you to like this site or even come to it. No website can or is meant to please everybody. If you really feel strongly against something about this site or see any room for improvement, you could have given your feedback clearly and in a civil manner. This way, things can still be accomplished. Instead, by giving repeated comments on different articles just to show your displeasure like what you are doing, besides wasting your own time, you are merely showing yourself to be an attention seeker

    2. MM, we Americans obviously know more about football then imbeciles like you who offer no substance. How many years have you supported your team?

      The Gaffer

  6. Rogers’ and Liverpool, should count themselves lucky, they are in 10th without having a recognized center foward with most of the season

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *