I have to admit, I am very disappointed. This is supposed to be Liverpool Football Club, and we are supposed to be the most knowledgeable fans in the world. Let me tell you that is no longer the case and bit by bit, over the last 15 years or so, we seem to have lost what it means to be associated with this wonderful club.
I won't forget what Benitez did right, but I also won't forget what he did wrong.
I made my opinion on him after six seasons and the club as a whole. In Europe he was great, in the league he underachieved IMO.
He took us to our highest ever points tally in the league twice, got us in to two European Cup finals, an FA Cup final and a Carling Cup final on a shoe-string budget. I have the utmost respect for Rafa and believe he should never have been sacked, and for the record he is by far my favorite for the job; I'm not sure that he will be here next season, but I'd prefer him to almost any other manager in the world to take over. Anyway...
No matter what happens I will still be disappointed. I'm not old enough to remember the last time we won the league but I have watched the DVDs, spoken to wise older fans (mainly on here) and have always felt a natural connection to the club and indeed the city, despite not being from Liverpool myself. However, when I was down the boozer yesterday afternoon and the news filtered through to me that Kenny had been sacked, I was shocked, annoyed, and more than anything, felt I had almost lost my connection to the club.
I've always been a believer in patience. Maybe because I have never seen Liverpool win the title, I don't have the expectancy for instant success the way some of the older fans may do after they saw Liverpool winning everything whilst they were growing up. Everyone would assume that because I am in my early twenties that I must be part of the 'Sky Generation', well let me tell you, I know many fans 10-15 years older than me that are far more akin to this label than I. In fact, I think we as supporters have to take some of the responsibility. You can't just blame Sky. A lad or lass may hear or see something on the TV/radio and take it in and repeat it to anyone that will listen, at this point, we should be putting them right, educating them. Instead we find find it easier to mock them and and put a big sticky label on their heads. The same way when something doesn't come right after one season, many find it easier to take a legend and call for his head. Even if there wasn't to many doing it to Kenny, plenty did it for Rafa. The grass is always greener it seems, when clearly it isn't. You force a world class manager out of the club, and replace him with a yes man. We get rid of the yes man after 6 months, bring in a club legend, and in under 18 months he is gone too, because he spent however many millions and we are no better off than we were the year before. It's simply not enough time to build a team, and for that team to settle.
Now we will bring in a new manager with new ideas and we will have to rebuild again, which will hold us back all the more if you ask me. It's like hiring contractors to build you a new house, and when, after 6 months, you decide you don't like the colour of the bricks and the shape of the house, even though it's far from finished, sacking the contractors, paying them off their contracts, and getting new people in to knock down the house and start again. Six months down the line, you again decide that you're not sure the house is coming along the way you had anticipated and not as quickly as you'd expected, so you sack the contractors, get some new ones in, let them tear the house down and start again, and then it rains for 9 months straight. Where do you find yourself? Homeless, that's where. It's cliched, but it dd take Fergie 9 years to win his first title. Imagine where United would be now if they had sacked him after two seasons? We'd no doubt still be the most successful club in the England and United would be bitter and still holding onto what they could have been were it not for the 1958 disaster. Ferguson did get a chance though, he did get the opportunity to build his own house and the time required to do it, and look at United now. They may have come unstuck against moneybags City this season, but they'll still be there and there abouts, despite this, for a few years yet, probably until Fergie retires and they have to rebuild the club again. They may well spend 2-3 seasons out of the top 3 or 4, but as long as Ferguson still has a role at the club and oversees the manager to make sure he is given support and time, they'll soon be back, just like we could have been, and maybe still can be, but our attitude needs to change.
I think Kenny should have been given another year. We didn't have to spend vast amounts in the summer, just a few good additions here and there and a couple of out goings, and we'd have had a squad strong enough to compete in the top four. After Rafas team was stripped, I think anyone with an ounce of football insight knew it would take us two summers to have a squad as strong as the teams that finished in the top four this year. Had injuries and other things not gone against us, we could have just snuck in there, but I think at the beginning of the season it was unfair to assume we would be a top four side.
Now don't get me wrong, Kenny made mistakes, Rafa made mistakes, managers are human and so are players. Lucas' absence should have been covered in January, and a striker should have been drafted in to try and chip in with a few goals, and help take the pressure off Andy and Luis. We didn't do these things, we paid the price, a lesson learnt. It turned out to be a hell of a lesson for Kenny, as it effectively cost him his job, his long term project, and now we are back to square one.
So, I was upset when Rafa went, I think it's even more of a travesty that Kenny has gone (his record is nowhere near as good as Rafas, but for Christ sake, he is Kenny Dalglish!) and I can't help but wonder how this came about. I mean that in terms of the nature in which he was dismissed. Was he asked to step down and refused? I'd imagine that if the yanks had any shred of humility that this would have been the case, and as he refused they made the decision. I can understand where they are coming from in a business sense; they are obviously successful men who aim to win, but I wonder if they know enough about the nature of football and the differences it hold to baseball, to really make these sorts of decisions. Football is not clear cut and logical like baseball. In football numbers mean little, apart from the points tally at the end of the season. There are so many variables in football that you can not ensure success because you feel you have the right formula and because the winger you have just signed had the most assists in the league last year, it doesn't mean he is going to fit straight in and do the same again. Football is far more than just numbers. There has to be a familiarity between players, there must be understanding and an intelligence to put together the right patterns to win games. This doesn't happen by looking at numbers and assuming that two players will work well together because they're numbers look as though they will correlate well (see Downing and Carroll). The numbers do have a say, but you need to give them time to work each other out. They won't just instantly match because we in our brains or a computer can add them together almost instantly, players need time to adjust and learn each others game; in a manner speaking, you must give the numbers the chance to add themselves up. Next season Downing may give Carroll 15 assists, but would that be because another manager has come in, or because Carroll and Downing have had a season to get themselves on the same wavelength and work out each others game?
However, the chances are now that a new manager will come in, decide that one or both of these players doesn't fit in with a style of team he wants to build, will get shipped out for a pretty big loss, bring in their own players, who will take a year to settle, under achieve, and end up getting this new manager the sack after a season because once again the players have failed to deliver for the prices they cost.
It's ridiculous, and if this is the new owners idea of how we will progress and build a long term dynasty, then I am seriously concerned. Almost as concerned as I am by the attitude of many of our 'fans' who seem to give this approach the thumbs up and support the sacking of good managers before, in my opinion, it's due. A friend of mine, a Liverpool 'supporter' came out with this his Facebook status recently.
For God sake, get the hell out of Liverpool Kenny Dalglish, you are ruining my football club!
I'm sorry? You're
football club? Is this the attitude we have now as supporters? Because we buy a shirt once a season we are above and beyond a man who has played, managed, and given so much for. this club? If this, as well as some of the shite that I read on here, and with the decisions that FSG have made in recent hours, is indeed the case, then I'm starting to wonder what indeed is my place at Liverpool Football Club any more. I'm falling out of love.