Author Topic: Some quality/important posts you may have missed  (Read 403746 times)

Offline Sudden Death Draft Loser

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #840 on: June 10, 2015, 12:52:41 PM »
The irony is that the Club became great precisely because what Rhi calls earthworms. We became great because we were basically never happy. A young Robbie Fowler walked of the pitch having scored five only to get a rollicking of Ronnie Moran for not getting six. Players medals were thrown at them and they were told they meant nothing as soon as the new season began they were last seasons medals and worthless.

Everyone was held to account, was expected to improve and the moment standards dropped they were history. That is how you become a great Club and how you win things. I think fans have this rose tinted view of the 70's and 80's that everyone at the Club went around patting each other on the back. It couldn't of been further from the truth and if anyone wasn't pulling their weight than us the supporters let them know.

When did that change and when did it become acceptable to basically give up. The owners haven't got the bottle or desire to push boundaries and compete, the manager made a selection surrender at Madrid and the players rolled over and got walked over by a 3rd rate Stoke side. What is the reaction oh it's par for the course. We don't have the right to compete at the top table anymore, then the owners pick on a couple of easy targets in Marsh and Pascoe and we look to sign free transfers.

When as a Club did it become okay to become soft, get walked all over and make excuses.

Something isn't right and instead of addressing it we talk ourselves down and make pathetic feeble lily livered excuses. As fans we get the Club we deserve and if we don't wake from this melancholic acceptance and let the people running the club know that surrendering against Madrid and rolling over against Stoke isn't acceptable then we will deserve everything we get.
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Offline macca888

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #841 on: June 23, 2015, 12:26:48 AM »
One of the finest and most poignant posts you'll ever read on here. Fuck all about football but all about the socialism our club was founded on being eroded.

It occurs to me (after seeing Fats on that youtube video above, for some reason)  that at some future date, their will be an update on the 'Four Yorkshireman' sketch but it will probably cause more tears of sadness than tears of laughter. It will probably go something like this.........

1st Old Man:   When I were a lad, our dad worked a 42 and a half our week, every week mind, manufacturing cars that were sold all over t' world, and every summer we were off t' Marbella for two weeks in t' sun.

2nd Old Man:    Two weeks! My dad got four weeks annual leave, fully paid, and he got a Christmas hamper every year off t' boss.

3rd Old Man:    Christmas hamper, Ha! My mam and dad both had Christmas bonuses and at t' works Christmas do me dad got so drunk he fell over and broke leg. But ambulance were there within twenty minutes an' he were off to hospital fer free treatment and physiotherapy, while getting full sick pay an' 'elp wi' rent for t' council house.

4th Old Man:   Twenty minutes waiting for ambulance! Eight minutes I had to wait when I had crash on me way to pick kids up from school gymnasium.

1st Old Man:    Gym-bloody-nasium! Our school had massive sportsfield wi' athletics track, football and rugby pitch and school bus t' ferry t' kids about. Kids used t' play footy ev'ry spare moment they had, an ev'ry Saturday they'd go to watch local team at t' stadium.

2nd Old Man:   Aye team manager lived stone's throw from t' ground and younguns from t' first team lived in flat above t' shops. Well banks wouldn't lend money unless you could afford t' pay it back, so everyone lived within means an' no one were in debt.

3rd Old Man:   Banks! We didn't need banks. We got cash in t' 'and ev'ry Thursday, didn't 'ave bank charges, or fatcats living off the poor.

4th Old Man:   Right! My mam and dad both had full time (thirty-six hour a week) jobs with five weeks full paid annual leave, which paid enough money to put real food on t' table, and a couple of holidays abroad. The NHS gave full treatment free of charge to everyone with free prescriptions, and th'ambulances turned up on time ev'ry time. Ev'ry time you set foot outside o' door o' yer three bedroomed council house (wi' spare room) you saw Bobby on t' beat. Uncle Albert (him wi' one leg since t' war) had employment rights and expectations like ev'ryone else and got special 'elp wi' mobility  and such like. Kids all went to a good school with manageable class sizes and when they left school they all got real jobs manufacturing British goods that were exported all around t' world. Politicians took decisions that were f't' benefit of all not just them 'as voted for 'em, and public utilities was owned by us and used as employment sink so no-one had t' go wi'out work.

1st Old Man:    Aye but you try telling that t' younguns nowadays...........

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Offline kavah

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Offline 24/7

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #843 on: August 20, 2015, 10:48:25 AM »
Want to see more of this please and less of the doom-mongering.

2 games in, 2 wins, 2 clean sheets. Only 3 shots on target faced meaning that we have the best defencive record in the league. The only thing you can possibly criticise is the fact that we've only scored 2 goals but even then that's moaning for the sake of moaning when we sit 3 points ahead of Arsenal and 5 ahead of Chelsea and Spurs

We went to Stoke and did the job. We got battered last season so we went there and changed that. We were tight, we had fight about us and in the end we won through a wonder goal. Overall we deserved to win

Bournemouth came to Anfield and did what every team that comes to Anfield does. They played out of their skin in what is probably the biggest league game in the history of the club. They had a goal correctly, yes correctly, ruled out early on and after the adrenaline wore off in the 1st 20 minutes we were massively on top. Yeah we scored and it should have been ruled out but then again Coutinho should have scored on his left and Henderson was very unlucky to hit the bar from the corner routine. Other than the disallowed goal did Bournemouth create anything in the 1st half? 2nd half comes around and they start brightly again but when they fail to create any clear chances they drop back and it allows us to take control again. We should have wrapped it up when Benteke saw his effort pushed onto the bar but we never and that meant that the last 10-15 minutes where cagey from us and we sat back happy with the 1-0 win and they got around our box a couple of times, once hitting the outside of the post

Overall, we defended very well again, Mignolet had nothing to worry him and dealt with crosses/corners well and we got the goal that won the game. Yeah we should be beating Bournemouth at home easily but then again Chelsea should be beating Swansea at home easily, Arsenal should be beating West Ham at home and Spurs the same with Stoke. It doesn't happen every time

So can we stop with all this shit about Arsenal twatting us on Monday and get behind the team and manager. 36 more 1-0 wins and we've won the league comfortably  8)
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Offline Chakan

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #844 on: September 16, 2015, 02:07:43 PM »
Regarding 2008/09, since Steven Gerrard has brought it up: it’s disappointing, if undeniably predictable (given that the frosty relationship between player and manager which seems to be so faithfully outlined in the book was obvious for most of their time together) to read him make so much of something that meant so little, but let us be fair and even-handed here at least. He is of course entitled to his opinion without being insulted, but so are we. The quotes I’ve seen so far show clear evidence of tunnel vision. I wonder does he acknowledge in his book, for example, the fact that he and Fernando Torres were only able to line up together in 14 out of Liverpool’s 38 League games that season, or make the comparison to Manchester United who were able to call on Wayne Rooney (signed for £25m as a teenager four years earlier), Cristiano Ronaldo (on his way to obliterating the world transfer record in an £80m+ move to Real Madrid), Dimitar Berbatov (signed for £32m that season) and Carlos Tevez (a £30m+ player who, as I recall, eventually left Old Trafford primarily because he wasn’t guaranteed first-team football)? I doubt it, but it might reflect better on him if he did.

Rafa Benítez admittedly made some poor signings, as virtually every manager does, particularly towards the end of his time at Liverpool (but, I would argue, without sufficient finances to paper over those mistakes), and he had the option to keep £19m Robbie Keane that January as cover despite him clearly never really fitting into the team. But when you can’t pay Peter Crouch and Craig Bellamy enough to keep them happy sitting on the bench (both subsequently stated that the issue of first-team football is why they left Anfield) and you’re left with no choice but to find replacements in the same bargain bin populated by a blonde, ponytailed Ukrainian with a penchant for denim and a timid, ineffectual French youngster, the two signed for a combined fee of £1.5m, then losing the title by four points (and building a team that would ultimately be ranked number one in Europe around the same time) seems like a minor miracle in itself, especially when you’re only able to field the most lethal strikeforce in the League (arguably in Europe at the time), the fulcrum of your team, in less than 40 per cent of your games and you’re going up against a club with four of the best attacking talents in the world to choose between (it’s often called Ferguson’s second great team for a reason: because it was great).

These are factors that render connections between the infamous pre-Stoke press-conference in January 2009 and Liverpool not winning the title a few months later thoroughly moot. We have seen the statistics that Liverpool’s points per game and goals per game statistics actually improved afterwards, but even that doesn’t matter nearly as much as the fact that when Liverpool won 4-1 at Old Trafford in March 2009, Manchester United had Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Berbatov and Nani sitting on the bench. Liverpool, by contrast, had the relatively inexperienced Lucas Leiva deputising for the absent Xabi Alonso, 36 year-old Sami Hyypia filling in for Alvaro Arbeloa at short notice and Jamie Carragher moving to right-back where he hadn’t played regularly for five years or more. Manchester United had a marked advantage over Liverpool in terms of squad depth, and whether you blame the manager’s signings for that or the amount of money made available to him for transfers (and I personally would lean more towards the latter than the former, though both were undeniable influences), it was this factor that eventually saw Liverpool fall short, nothing else. As Rafa Benítez himself once said, “you cannot win mind games if you have a bad team…it’s easy to talk about mind games when he has a good team and he has won, and that was the case”.

Granted, I obviously wasn’t in the Liverpool dressing-room in the days and weeks following the press-conference, but common sense nonetheless makes it difficult for me to believe that Champions League winners like Alonso, Gerrard, Hyypia and Carragher, Argentina captain and double Olympic champion Javier Mascherano, and European Champions Pepe Reina and Torres (and Alonso again) would have been adversely affected to any great degree by their manager’s comments, especially when the Manchester United players had been listening to worse from their own boss for years (I wonder how Steven Gerrard would have reacted, for example, had Rafa ever said that he’s “from Liverpool and everyone from that city has a chip on their shoulder”?) Furthermore, Stoke was a ground where they themselves had only narrowly escaped with a 1-0 win a couple of weeks earlier in a game which might have seen both Rooney and Ronaldo sent off for violent conduct (the former for throwing an elbow, the latter for kicking out at an opponent) long before they managed to fashion a winner. Even then, Liverpool (without Torres for much of the game, who was returning from yet another injury, and Alonso for all of it) hit the woodwork twice and might have won with a little luck.

Steven Gerrard would appear to disagree, and that’s fine. I don’t believe that he or his ghost writer are sensationalising anything to sell books, I think it’s clear from the bits and pieces I’ve read that this is how he really feels. The quotes I’ve seen also lead me to wonder whether there is a connection between “I can pick up the phone and speak to all of my previous Liverpool managers” and Gérard Houllier’s comment in 2010 that “after Rafa Benítez left this summer, one of the players sent me a message. He said, ‘Boss, he hasn’t beaten you.’” They also pretty much confirm my long-held suspicion that when Henry Winter (who co-wrote his first biography) welcomed the Liverpool manager’s exit in June 2010 with a relish that appeared thoroughly at odds with his position as a supposedly objective writer and journalist, he was simply channelling the Liverpool captain’s own feelings. In fact, I would suggest that the following paragraph wouldn’t look at all out of place in this latest biography: “Now that this cold political animal has gone, Anfield requires a manager who can empathise with players, who understands they are human beings as well as professional footballers. Sometimes players need a boss who asks after their family or tells them ‘well done’”. And who doesn’t say anything out of line in press-conferences, of course.

“One time he did suffer a meltdown involving Manchester United and Mr. Ferguson…I was grabbing the couch, digging my fingers into the arms, feeling embarrassed for him. When I met up with England all the Manchester United players told me Fergie was just laughing at Rafa, saying: ‘I’ve got him. I’ve got him.’”

So what if they did? So what if he was? Any objective, clear-eyed analysis with the benefit of even two months’ hindsight would have concluded exactly the opposite once Ferguson rose to his opposite number’s bait after Liverpool’s 4-1 victory at Old Trafford in March and admitted putting his club’s sports technology department to work to disprove the claim that “the difference between us is maybe £100m spent on players and a big stadium”. Even Patrick Barclay, not noted for his love of either Liverpool or Benítez, acknowledged that “you don’t need a sports technology department to know how wrong the United manager is, just the back of a cigarette pack.” And the conclusion as to who truly “got” who would have only been underlined a few weeks later when Ferguson and Sam Allardyce bizarrely joined forces to fabricate charges of disrespect against Benítez based on the most innocuous of (self-deprecating) hand gestures during a 4-0 win over Blackburn in what had all the hallmarks of a coordinated attack.

“It seemed so unlike Rafa to talk in such an emotional way. You could see the anger in him”.

Er, no, no you couldn’t. This is just demonstrably false. You could tell he was nervous and outside of his comfort zone, but emotional? Angry? “Meltdown”? Absolutely not. This wasn’t, contrary to popular belief, a Kevin Keegan-style rant. Keegan, already broken under the pressure as he would be again a few years later in the Wembley tunnel as outgoing England manager, reacted to prompting from Richard “Did you smash it?” Keyes after the penultimate game of a season which was already basically over and let rip with a wide-eyed tirade, voice cracking, finger jabbing towards the camera. Benítez was led by nobody, made no physical gestures and never once raised his voice. There was nothing spontaneous about it; it couldn’t have been more deliberate had he been reading from a typed, bullet-pointed list…oh right, he was. One man had meticulously sketched out a plan of attack, the other just snapped. That’s the difference between an emotional response and a calculated one.

“He then railed against the fixture list and the timing of matches being skewed in United’s favour. Rafa was sounding muddled and bitter and paranoid. He was humiliating himself. It was a disaster.”

Hang on now, who was it that “railed” against the fixture list again? As recently as a week before the contentious press-conference, Ferguson, an arch-purveyor of the “siege mentality” approach, had stated the following: “I’ve been saying this for a few months, but our programme didn’t do us any favours and I think we have been handicapped by the Premier League in the fixture list. They tell me it’s not planned. I’ve got my doubts. I’m not saying what they do down there, but next year we will be sending somebody to see how it happens, I can assure you. I just don’t understand how you can get the fixtures like that.” The part in bold would appear to carry an implicit accusation of corruption, one that the Liverpool manager was, in part, responding to, so I would love to ask Steven Gerrard to expand on who was truly sounding “muddled and bitter and paranoid” at that time, or why it’s not ok or even embarrassing or humiliating for one manager to speak about Ferguson’s behaviour towards referees but it’s fine for others to do so (afterwards, incidentally, Graham Poll, a retired referee himself, stated that “Rafa Benítez has articulated what referees have been thinking for years – that Mr. Ferguson can say what he wants about them and the FA will allow him to get away with it”).

Back in 2005, in comments that evoked what the Liverpool manager would say of Manchester United some four years later (“they are always going man-to-man with the referees, especially at half-time when they walk close to the referees and they are talking and talking”), José Mourinho stated after the first-leg of a League Cup semi-final that “I know the referee didn’t walk to the dressing rooms alone at half-time…maybe when I turn 60 and have been managing in the same league for 20 years and have the respect of everybody I will have the power to speak to people and make them tremble a little bit”. Which was perhaps fair enough, unlike his baseless accusations of corruption which resulted in death threats to Anders Frisk and his family in 2005, or making more veiled charges of corruption involving Barcelona and UNICEF and gouging Tito Vilanova’s eye in 2011, or spending much of his second spell in charge of Chelsea shouting about conspiracies against his team. Sounds pretty muddled, bitter and paranoid to me. Steven Gerrard’s view? “For me, the ideal situation would obviously have been for Mourinho to have managed Liverpool”. Good grief.

“I couldn’t understand Rafa’s thinking in wanting to take on Ferguson, a master of mind games, when we were sitting so calmly on top of the table early into a new year”.

Well then Benítez, whenever he comes to write a biography himself, will no doubt be forgiven for expressing a similar failure to understand why his captain and most important player was out drinking and becoming involved in needless physical confrontations and landing himself on affray charges “when we were sitting so calmly on top of the table” (after a 5-1 away win). As for the “master of mind games” bit, there is no greater evidence of how large a grain of salt with which any reader of this book should take many of the opinions contained therein. He’ll make a fantastic English football pundit someday, Steven Gerrard, no doubt about it (assuming that Brendan Rodgers or a future successor doesn’t assign him that coveted coaching role at the club). He’s already drank the Ferguson Kool-Aid, which seems to afford automatic entry to the pundit club in and of itself. Never has the process of acting like a dickhead, sounding like a dickhead and, generally, just being a dickhead been given such a lofty title as Alex Ferguson’s “mind games”, and these people just queue up to regurgitate it.

Of course, a cursory glance through Ferguson’s “greatest hits” would tell you that Liverpool won the title handily in 1988 following his statement about Anfield that he could understand why teams “have to leave here choking on their own vomit, biting their tongue, afraid to tell the truth” (and Kenny Dalglish’s withering “you’ll get more sense out of her” response); Blackburn won the title in 1995 after he stated that they would have to do a “Devon Loch” to lose it; and Arséne Wenger won the double a season after he called him “a novice” who “should keep his opinions to Japanese football”, following up by clinching another title at Old Trafford in 2002 and going undefeated in 2004 as Ferguson protested that “they are scrappers who rely on belligerence – we are the better team”. Even Keegan in 1996, reacting to comments that Leeds and Notts. Forest wouldn’t try a leg against Newcastle, wasn’t a proper victim since the title was already gone by the time he snapped, due to his team’s utter inability to defend. And as for Rafa, well, he wasn’t putting members of his own staff to work refuting anything his opponent was saying or getting some other manager to fight his corner.

It’s an odd one. Ultimately the lesson from what I’ve read would appear to be that it doesn’t matter what you say or do as long as you end up winning in the end. “Fighting with the board, other managers and the press wasn’t the Liverpool way” he says (did Rafa ever really fight with the press, incidentally?), and yet calling a respected manager like Wenger “a novice” (or, perhaps, a “specialist in failure”), not speaking to the national broadcaster for years or poking a finger into another coach’s eye (literally fighting) all appears to be acceptable behaviour because there were trophies to show for it and because, as he says of Mourinho, “he created a special bond with each squad he managed…you heard it in the way his players spoke about him…I understood how they felt because they had shared such a big moment in their careers together…I never had that with Rafa Benítez. I would have had it with José Mourinho”. I wonder if that, then, is Rafa’s defining failure in Steven Gerrard’s eyes: that he wasn’t Mourinho? If so, it’s no surprise that so many of us are at odds with him on this one.

In truth, we can sit here and wonder all day, wonder why some behaviours are ok and some aren’t, wonder what Steven Gerrard must think of Pep Guardiola, for example, and whether it would have been more acceptable for Rafa Benítez, instead of reading out a list of “facts” in January 2009, to say of Ferguson that “in this room, he's the fucking chief, the fucking man, the person who knows everything about the world and I don’t want to compete with him at all. It’s a type of game I'm not going to play because I don't know how. Off the pitch, he has already won, as he has done all year. On the pitch, we'll see what happens”. On such matters we have but two options: (a) buy his book and find out, or (b) read his view of Mourinho that “the Liverpool fans would have loved him” and save our twenty quid.

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Offline The 92A

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #845 on: September 16, 2015, 02:11:57 PM »
Just beat me to it

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #846 on: September 16, 2015, 02:18:34 PM »
Just beat me to it

As if you would have said all that.
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Offline cookie-monster

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #847 on: October 14, 2015, 04:56:57 PM »
I think that the mods should seriously look into prohibiting war comments even if it is humor. RAWK is probably the most frequented football related football forum in England if not the world, and it's impossible to vet who is watching what.

We have the habit of shooting ourselves in the foot, and this cannot be allowed to take off. not even as humor.

Please keep in mind that Germans are extremely sensitive on ww2. It's a hated and unwanted boulder that they have to carry for eternity, even if it was perpetrated by 2/3 generations ago. I have seen 5 year old German children on a school day out with their teacher at Dacau concentration camp. They were all noisy and frisky outside, but suddenly they turned dead silent and I could see in their eyes and faces that they were aware of something understood only by adults under normal circumstances.

Inside there are informative stations in 2 languages, English and German. The German version says much more then the English one, as if it is intended to make sure that there is no doubt in the German visiting minds as to what really happened there.

WW2 and what was perpetrated in it had incredible effects that destroyed lives, families, and even nations, with ramifications lasting to this very day around the world. So please think before joking about it.

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Offline Red_Mist

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #848 on: November 3, 2015, 10:17:57 PM »
I thought this was a bit of a cracker from the Supporters Committee meeting with FSG thread...

I'd like to add my view into the knowledge of the people who do work for this cause to keep the local people, especially the youngsters, in close touch with the club. At first it's probably important to let everybody know where I come from, even if it might be relatively easy to make a good guess because of the way I write in english - or maybe not, it's impossible to say when you're a foreigner.

Anyway, I've begun my fantastic trip with the club in the early 80's when I was way less than ten years old. It's funny nowadays to hear the young footballers dreaming to one day play for LFC, I couldn't even dream to see the team play at Anfield! It was just unimaginable. I've been there a good few times now, fulfilling my dream that was not even a dream in the beginning.

First time I went to see a game at Anfield was around ten years ago, and I have to say that a lot has changed during these years. The biggest difference for a tourist would be the pubs close to the stadium. When I first got there those pubs were packed but mostly by the English supporters, obviously I can't tell if it was locals or not but the atmosphere was amazing with all the singing and chanting. I think there's no need to write here how it's changed during the years, but it was very different last time I was there, and of course, not in a good way.

It's well known that the atmosphere has changed a lot inside the stadium and during the games, too, but I have to admit that I've never got the tickets for the big games. The biggest must have been when we played Man City early in the season and Lucas put Yaya into his back pocket... 1-1 draw it was and still a great game with very good atmosphere, but the whole thing around my trip had already changed.

It seems I just can't write shortly, sorry for that, but I try to get to the point now. For me, as a 'tourist', even if a 'hard core lifelong boyhood supporter' who I think I am, the local people around the club are the main thing. I want to be the outsider who's got a rare chance to see this mystery stadium and the team with all the exitement the local supporters bring into it. The locals singing in the pubs before and after games, and of course during the games at the stadium. To have a chat with local supporters to get to know what these LFC specialists think of the team and the way it plays, the difficulties to understand a word they say and this frightening feeling when they ask you something and you need to ask for the third time what was that they actually meant with the question.

All the above would be needed to make a perfect trip to Anfield to see my heroes play. And to make it possible now and in the future, the club should really pay attention to what the Supporters Committee has to say. I agree with all that was said in the first post (well, all I wanted to say could've actually been written with these few words...), and I ask all the people involved to be strong and continue these efforts. The young generation is the key. The main thing for me is that the owners might not see that even for us foreigners it would be very important that when we get there, we want to see mainly local people in and around the stadium. We are ready to wait to get the tickets even if it takes years, especially because nowadays we can watch every game from tv or through internet. But if we'll only find other tourists over there, what's the point to make the trip at all?

So, all my best for the hard work to give the locals a chance to remain as the spine inside Anfield. There are too many of us foreigners in every game already, and something has to be done to save the club and all the exitement in travelling to Liverpool to see LFC play.

Edit: just realized how long a story I wrote... I try to make them shorter in the future...

Offline Callaghan.

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #849 on: November 16, 2015, 08:31:37 PM »
Not important, but quality. Not about Liverpool either, it's about Viz magazine (in 2009):

Seems to have gone downhill in the last year.

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #850 on: November 16, 2015, 11:46:01 PM »
Nope. Over my head.

Offline Chakan

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #851 on: February 5, 2016, 02:42:34 PM »
So, do I or don’t I?

Before we cover that off lets set a scene. Granted that whatever is painted is done with the brush of the artist therefore it’s what I want you to see. That bias I cannot remove such is the way of the world but hopefully by the end we all have food for thought in regards to all that is going on.

Ticket prices are changing. Depending on where you sit some will be heavily impacted and others may see things go down or up slightly. Season ticket holders are in or out of pocket and members who qualify for bulk sales are going to enter the gunfight for the Kop seats that haven’t really changed price. Everybody else will have to pay more on the face of this give or take a few rows around the ground in other stands.

There has been much in the way of efforts to try and ticket prices to come down. We’ve taken a lot of hits along the way and just accepted them and continually sleepwalked into each change it feels. Premier League matches can cost £50 and over but the corresponding league cup fixture against the same team is half that price (Chelsea away springs to mind… twice!). What do we do? We take it. Because the club know we will take it. They know our emotional connection to need to see the team play is like a drug and we are like junkies. They know it and love it. They must do – they know how to push the buttons like nobody else.

So they push another button. The multi-coloured one that changes seats, categories, tiers into a rainbow with a pot of gold at the end for Liverpool Football Club. Once again those emotions are challenged and the drug seems to be getting away from us. Like junkies we clamour again to cling on to the very thing we’ve expected to be ok…getting a ticket to go the game. I must add it’s not a privilege to be able to get a ticket. Season ticket holders or members that have the ability to go to a match balance that with the cost every single time going home or away.

Members tickets. It’s right royal pain truth be told. Members sales are littered with tales of frustration and woe. Away days are near impossible to get a foot in the door and European matches away worse still. We still do it. We still cry and emotionally drain ourselves twice a year and see the money leave. Now more will leave and an online system more frail than Liverpool hamstrings leave us at the peril of baskets unfulfilled. The sting in the tail will be at the end of the whole process post the aforementioned turmoil only this time it will cost more. More because someone says so. More because you know you’ll do it somehow. More because they know that too.

Lets think for a while though. What if you can’t pay more? What if each season you’ve gone through the whole twice yearly process to buy home games and already know it was hard. I suspect if you rang up to complain you’d get through to the following automated message after “you have been charged for this call”.

   “thank you for calling Liverpool Football Club, your call is important to us. Should you wish to buy tickets please don’t press one. You previously pressed two to register your dismay at the price increases. Liverpool Football Club wishes to inform you that you can’t come if you can’t pay. You can’t pay so you can’t go. You may have come for many years and now will cry many tears but You. Can’t. Come. Please hang up and try again later”

But what can you try for? Category C because you’re worth it? The autocup scheme is no longer your friend either with price changes so the marketplace for tickets is no longer a place where you’re welcome. What do you do? You’re alone it seems because “I’m Alright, Jack” from anywheretown can go but not you. Isn’t football supposed to be affordable for all?

“Don’t like the prices? Don’t buy” I hear them say. Allow me please to explain. Habitually people have been going to matches for a very long time. Even before memberships and fan cards came along. From near and far I’d like to add before someone pops along with any localised references here. Ask yourself this – does someone who’s been going for the last 10/20/30 years deserve to feel unwelcome now? Do we just go “soz abaar you” because they haven’t got the money? Does that actually feel good to do that to your fellow comrade? The Liverpool I’ve come to know and love didn’t exclude anyone and I should know this more than many… I’ve experienced looking and being different all my life!  I’ve never felt more at home than sitting with those who love supporting our club through thick and thin.

“But think of the cheaper seats” I hear them say. Again how many actually are there? Refer back to turmoil of online sales. Add turmoil of a world renowned ticket office that tells us things later rather than earlier. Add more turmoil when it dawns upon us all that there aren’t a lot of these seats and robbing Peter to pay Paul didn’t actually happen. Both Peter and Paul have been fleeced!

“We need it to be competitive”, I hear someone heckle. Well that’s worked. A while back I wrote that for all the off field progress in revenue streams we’ve not seen that translate to performances on the pitch. The internet is full of rage these days of persons pitted against players then pitted against each other and then the beauty of this rage manifests itself in the almighty Twitter poll (or RT for x and like for y). Something is wrong in all that. A preaching of hate to cure hate doesn’t really work I guess.

“We need to move with the times”. Pardon my French but you can fuck that shit right off. Have you seen what these times may lead to? I’m leaving economics aside as I’m sure by the time you finish reading this we’ll have someone else as our new preferred car battery supplier. These times you talk of have resulted in half and half scarves, staff to fly flags and don’t get me started on things left on seats for you as you arrive novelties. Our times have been expressed on a Kop that is beginning to ebb away. Already rinsed by photography and marketing material, it’s a surprise they haven’t attempted getting sponsor logos as banners. Could you imagine it? Bob Paisley’s huge flag in the middle of the Kop with “sponsored by Burger King” brandished somewhere… we’d become home of the Whopper indeed!

What’s all this got to do then with the boycott? Well, everything. By changing the dynamic of what comes to the game now we shape the future. Is where we are now really where we want to be? Do you really think everything that you see around you is because of Out of Towners vs Locals and atmosphere on its arse due to that? It really isn’t. It’s probably more akin to the fact that should you not be able to afford the current prices then you can’t go. You’ve been priced out a long time ago or are soon to be priced out. You who had been going for such a long time. You who have experienced highs and lows. You who’s been brought up on Liverpool Football Club. You who’s been let down by the ones next to you?

It’s not survival of the fittest here folks. WE are Liverpool Football Club. From the regulars who trek over 4 hours week in week out to get home or away to the first timer drawn to the Kop and “that” atmosphere. The very atmosphere that’s being served notice because mark my words when you make it so that’s it’s not affordable for all then it soon becomes nothing to see at all.

We’ve taken stances before against all odds and won. We owe it to all those who are impacted to be as one with them. I’ve heard many say this won’t have an impact. We won’t know until we try. You may read this and think that so long as you can afford it you’re ok or that you’re not really impacted as you don’t go enough to be. It’s not a time to be thinking of just yourself, truth be told.

You may be someone going for the very first time. This makes leaving even harder. I hear you. My first time was magic. I wouldn’t want anyone to feel any different about their first time to Anfield. I would say this though. This may be your only time. For someone else it’s already become a last time and it happened without us realising too late. What if that person was you?

Whatever happens tomorrow no-one should be chastised for staying. Emotions are a difficult thing. Hopefully the next time the spirit grows.

Offline fredfrop

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #852 on: March 11, 2016, 12:53:08 PM »
From the UEFA tie with MUFC post-match thread.

Have to hold my hands up here and admit that I didn’t hear any of these chants / songs from the Utd fans about the ‘S*n was Right’ – but that was purely down to how loud the Anny Road was !  We were in the Upper Anny Road, right by where the BT crew were and it was quite comical as you could see the expressions on Scholes’ and Rio’s faces close up as they saw their team being dismantled in front of their eyes.  I could hear the ‘Fergie’s Right, Your Fans are Shite’ chants loud and clear, and genuinely thought they were due to the fact that their lot were virtually silent throughout the game ….. it was only after I got home and watched the highlights at 2am on BT that I realised what they had been chanting.

Anyway …. On to the main reason for my post ……

I’ve been a Liverpool fan for more years than I care to count and I’ve spent many a happy day standing (and sitting) as part of all four stands of our famous ground, and I have no doubt bored my kids to tears on numerous occasions about the atmosphere that made the hair stand up on the back of my neck …… the occasions that really gripped my soul and wouldn’t let go.  My wife experienced it back in April 1996 when Collymore hit the last gasp winner against Keegan’s Newcastle from a spot roughly 40 yards in front of where we were standing with our hearts in our mouths, barely able to catch our breath.

I bring my kids as often as I can get tickets now to Anfield more in hope than expectation that they will get chance to experience that special atmosphere that truly hits you like no other.  Sitting at work prior to the game yesterday I could feel it building – there was a definite tension.  On the drive towards the ground, I mentioned it to the kids ……. ‘Tonight is the night, lads – it’s against ‘them

Suffice to say that we took our seats in the Upper Anfield Road and took in the sight of the rest of the ground …. But particularly the Kop.  Obviously there was the usual flag waving, songs and chants, but then it started ……
‘When You Walk, Through A Storm ….’

I looked to my left at my kids and I knew, and what’s more, they knew …… it had got them.   Totally and utterly.  Heart and soul.  100%.  If there had been any doubt before, there was none now.  I could see it in their eyes.  They had never felt it like this before – yes, they had been to games, good exciting games.  Games with good atmosphere, but this was different.  This was visceral …… and this will stay with them forever.

The absolute best rendition of our anthem I have seen, heard and been part of …. Maybe ever ?  How many times did the chorus repeat ? In my heart it’s still going on now.

To all of you who helped make it happen, I salute you.

Thank you.

* * * * *

Offline Alf Garnett!

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #853 on: May 9, 2016, 11:28:42 AM »
Yes. This.

Also, I'd like to add a word of warning to anybody who hasn't watched it yet: this film makes for a really difficult and uncomfortable viewing. I felt a tightening across my chest at certain moments last night, especially during the first hour. I've never suffered from panic attacks or anything like that; however, watching certain parts of this film brought back memories of being on a packed football terrace during the 1980s. I was lucky that day in April 1989, I was in the North Stand but had mates on Leppings Lane. I didn't experience half of what they went through, but it takes little imagination to put yourself in that end, behind that goal. With those unlawfully killed people. Even on the Anfield Kop, during the early 80s as a kid, I've had that feeling that the pressure was never going to cease and that I could be crushed against the barrier. A fleeting thought that was easily repressed because of past experience: you knew it would eventually ease off. Somebody older, more experienced, would highlight your plight, make space so you could manoeuvre your way clear from the worst of it. Or you could duck under the barrier if need be. Get your back against that firm steel holding back the pressure of the sway and the push. You'd catch up with your mates later. You knew they'd be okay too.

Think that's why I instinctively held my hand against my chest watching it last night during the scenes behind the goal. The Missus was alarmed for a second. Even though I was lucky not to be on Leppings Lane, (long story) I can still imagine being on that terrace. Up until yesterday, I could never really imagine those fans' final moments. Still really can't. However, this film comes as close as anything to giving you the chance to do so. It's that harrowing. Don't watch if you're easily upset or easily distressed. The warnings beforehand don't fully capture this film's power, or ability to put you at the heart of this tragedy. I don't know what it was like to watch for people who didn't attend the game that day. To be on that pitch within minutes of the players leaving for the changing rooms, like I was, looking for friends, arguing with ineffectual police, trying your best to be of help...It was extraordinary powerful and emotional. For me, this was the most difficult watch on the whole subject I've seen in 27 years.

And that's just the first half. What the families went through is incomprehensible.   

What this film also reveals, and it can't be stated enough: this tragedy occurred because those poor people being crushed to death on the Leppings Lane terrace were not thought of as human beings by the authorities, with a range of inalienable human rights. They were football fans first. Human beings second. A striking distinction during the 1980s. Something you took for granted as you travelled the length and breadth of the country back then. And something you rarely questioned, unless you wanted a copper's truncheon waved in yer face. As a football fan, your were stripped of most of your rights. That's why people were allowed to die. That they were from Liverpool, or associated in some way with the city, made the task of blaming the fans easier. We were reviled by Thatcher's government. A city fit to fall into managed decline...Who would give a fuck about them! Football fans. Scousers. Liverpool fans. The low of the low. That was why the cover-up, the conspiracy, the perversion of justice was allowed to continue for so long.

Watching this, you will cry with rage. Cry with pity. Cry with sympathy for the deceased and their families. Cry with disbelief. Cry with exasperation. Cry with joy at the verdict of the inquest. Then, return to rage again. The emotion that is most difficult for me to overcome.

I literally had to get that off my chest.

This too:

The city council need to get its act together sharpish.

Justice delayed is justice denied.

We can't thank him enough. Thanks Phil. 

Some crackin posts recently.

Offline markedasred

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #854 on: July 22, 2016, 10:10:41 AM »

An easy pick for this digest of the best from Nessy76 on the 22nd of July, mid silly season:

Re: An early look at the 2016/17 Liverpool team

« Reply #306 on: Yesterday at 03:54:55 PM »



The Kloppeffekt is in full swing here.

Before the summer, I was concerned that we might be about to once more sign a large number of new players, needing to give them all the customary six months to bed in, by which time the season can often be more or less over.

We've got form for this. Despite a lacklustre first transfer window as Liverpool manager, when he only brought in Joe Allen and the somewhat untried pair of Assaidi and Borini, from a recruitment perspective, Brendan Rodgers' tenure here now looks like a flurry of mis-matched signings. Promising talent going undeveloped, square pegs in round holes all over the place, fallback options being signed apparently without fallback tactics for taking advantage of them.

And to be fair, he'd inherited a squad that was a bit of a mess. True, it was still in better shape than it had been at the end of Hodgson's disastrous run, but it wasn't a side fit for purpose to play the sort of tiki-taffa Rodgers' Swansea had showed to such great effect. Dalglish and Comolli had sometimes appeared to be trying to assemble two very different teams at the same time. Adam, Henderson and Downing seemed to have been brought in to get the best out of the aerial gifts of Andy Carroll, but it was the mercurial Suarez who was soon revealed as the heart of the team, and who would get the best out of a declining but still vital Gerrard.

A few quality additions finally came through in January 2013, when Sturridge and Coutinho arrived in majestic fashion and set the scene for the title challenge of the following year. And then came summer, and the first of what would become an annual splurge. Having had a year to establish what he wanted to impose his vision on the game and his style on the club, Rodgers bought six players and loaned another two. While Luis Alberto and Tiago Ilori were seen as names for the future, the fees paid (widely reckoned around the seven million mark for each) raised expectation. Chelsea might buy prospects for that sort of money at the drop of a hat never to be seen again, but our kids from Iberia were clearly expected by many to provide an instant impact on the first team.

Sakho and Mignolet were to bring a new look to the back line, with Toure coming in for cover. Questions were asked of the Belgian keeper's distribution, surely a vital asset for a pass and move side? His shot stopping was never in doubt, though. Maybe we were just spoiled after having Reina there so long, spraying it like Molby.

Iago Aspas arrived with some excitement from La Liga followers, although it was never clear how he was to be used in a front line that already had Sturridge and Suarez, with support from Coutinho and that young Sterling kid. With the S&S combination first and second in the goal chart at the end of the season, the answer was that Iago never really got a look-in.

Finally, a couple of loans for Ally Cissokho and Victor Moses, both players who had been lauded but had points to prove. Again, neither was really able to make an impact as the team came within a whisker of the title.

Now most of us were following all of this with a feeling that things generally were moving in the right direction. We'd been right in the hunt for the league, playing sumptuous, glorious football, handing out thrashings to lesser sides all over the place. If the loan players hadn't worked out, well no problem, just send them back home and we could move on. And both Ilori and Luis Alberto had time on their sides.

And then came the blow that would eventually topple Brendan Rodgers. The sale of Luis Suarez wasn't really a surprise when it happened. And the circumstances seemed to make it inevitable. But at least we got a good fee for him. £75m. That was enormous money. And it fuelled another summer of frantic signings.

If Rodgers had assembled his team the previous year, then 2014 should have been the polish. It should have been when we added quality. Of course with the two loanees departing, Suarez leaving, Agger returning to Brondby and a minor clear out of fringe squad and former youth players like Coady, Kelly, Robinson and Suso, things were looking a little thin. The team that had come close to the title was one of the smallest in the Premier League, and the youngest. And club legend Steven Gerrard was starting to show signs of decline. Add to that the side's first Champions League run out in several seasons, and it was clear that the Suarez money would need to be stretched thinner than we might have liked.

A triple raid on a Southampton side that was being purred over by pundits started us off. Rickie Lambert's homecoming. Lallana to add a bit of magic in the final third. Lovren to shore up the defence that had ultimately cost us the title.

Then more young prospects. Versatile and indecently manly German Emre Can arrived alongside much fancied Serbian winger Lazar Markovic. Origi was signed but would stay on loan for a season. £40m for those three players was a smart investment in the club's future, it seemed.

A pair of Spanish full backs, Moreno and Manquillo, arrived. One on a permanent move, the other a two-year loan with an option to buy at the end of it.

That was a lot of transfer movement. And I think most people would argue that overall, those were not a poor set of players to buy at all. But of course, we still hadn't replaced Luis Suarez in any way. Lambert was there as cover. Origi wasn't here at all yet and wasn't ready for that kind of pressure.

A move for Alexis Sanchez, in many ways the ideal replacement, looked to be going ahead until the player decided to move to Arsenal instead. The club's fall back option, Loic Remy, apparently failed a medical. With the need to bring in some kind of forward clear, a lowball offer for Mario Balotelli was accepted and he joined the club for just £16m

We all sat back in wonder. Not long before, Rodgers had given short shrift to the idea of signing the controversial Italian, but with little apparent alternative, Mario was what he got.

This mix of players was always going to take time to settle. The club had just lost one of its greatest of all time, and it wasn't just the goals and assists that were going to be hard to replace. With the side effectively in shock, we threw in some kids and a few Southampton players who at first looked to be out of their depth. Both Lambert and Lallana had come from lower league football, and along with Lovren, to begin with they struggled to impose themselves on this new patchwork side.

I don't want to dwell on what exactly went wrong that season, and it would be a mistake to put it all down to signing too many new players at once, but clearly that didn't do us any favours, even if it was probably necessary one way or another.

At least we now had a core, a big squad. It was a bit uneven, certainly. And with Sturridge going through a nightmare period of injuries, its deficiencies were exposed far too often. However, there were very bright signs in there. There was clearly a lot of talent at the club, even if it wasn't all focussed in the right direction or used to great effect.

And then Sterling left.

Now, unlike Suarez, Sterling was never the heart and soul of the team. Even when he was the best player on the pitch, which he certainly was some times, he wasn't the type of player who lifts the team, gets others closing down space, forces things to happen. Sterling was all about potential. You'd watch him and know that in five, six years, he could be a potential ballon d'or winner, but his actual return of goals and assists was fairly modest. What we lost in selling him wasn't the Sterling we had, but the Sterling he might one day be. It didn't disrupt the team in the same way, because the team was never built around Sterling.

And now, we'd lost a good player, and a great prospect, but there wasn't the need for major surgery again, just to plug a few gaps. The club was in poor form, and there were any number of ways that form could be picked up relatively simply. The new look defence was no less porous than it had been before the arrival of Mignolet, Sakho, Lovren, Moreno or Manquillo, who was sent back home again. It wasn't more defenders we needed, it was more organisation of the ones we had.

And the midfield, well Gerrard going was arguably a bigger blow than Sterling, but the writing had long been on the wall, we had needed a replacement for a very long time and everyone knew it. You don't really replace a player like that, anyway, you find a way for the team to replace what he used to do, and we'd had a couple of years where we'd been doing that already in many ways. In Henderson, Can, Allen, Lucas and Milner, we had the ingredients for a good midfield, that might become great with time.

It was the front line that was in trouble. There were questions over whether Sturridge would ever play again often enough to be called upon. The Balotelli experiment had failed disastrously. Benteke was held up as a possible solution. There were doubters. To some he was just Balotelli mark II, a big lump of a lad, decent in the air, but surely we'd had that in Andy Carroll when Rodgers took over? That was unfair, and Benteke certainly has more to his game, but as a fit for this team?

And the problem was, by this point, nobody could really tell you what this team was any more. We weren't playing tiki-takka, we sure as fuck didn't rest in possession. We had become a side that tries to score all the time, by whatever means necessary. And when we conceded, which was still far too often, we tended to panic, throw everything forwards, making us prone to a sucker punch. There was little organisation, little planning, and no clear direction. Defenders were encouraged to play the ball to feet, even when under pressure, so capable ball playing defenders like Sakho and Lovren were being forced into making daft mistakes rather than clear their lines. If they did get it back to Mignolet, his weakness in distribution had been flagged up, so he would have to give it back rather than try a long ball out.

The solution to this should have been a lot of sessions of tactical coaching. Getting the quality players to remember the basics. Coming up with a simple plan, back to square one, back to basics, instead of which ever more baroque and byzantine systems seemed to overlap.

So of course, you add another seven players to the mix.

By now, the squad was heaving, players were going out on loan not because the club didn't want them or couldn't use them yet, but just because there wasn't any room for them. And it's not that we signed poor players. You can argue the toss about Benteke's suitability, but there's a cracking player in there. Firmino would walk into any side in the country on form. Clyne is the most convincing right back I've seen at the club in a decade. Milner is an experienced and versatile player with title winning pedigree. Ings was a bargain, and might have been our top scorer last season if not for that injury. And Joe Gomez has an amazing future ahead of him in the game.

I have no real problem with any of those players. The problem was, we signed too many in too short a space of time and now have an enormous squad to contend with.

There are currently twenty nine senior players in the squad. In Brendan Rodgers' tenure here of just three and a bit seasons, nineteen of those were signed by him. And that doesn't include any of the players still under 21, or those we've sold on already.

Now, I don't much care for the "transfer committee" conversation, all parties agree that Rodgers had final say on signings, and all club managers will take advice from scouts and get clearance from the money men before making deals, it's no different to any other club.

And you'll note I'm not saying he wasted money, signed dross, or was a poor judge of talent. For me, most of the permanent signings he made were or are good players, although some of them weren't or aren't the right fit for this club. That's all normal. That's all fine.

The point is that we've gone from the sleek squad of enfants terrible who came close to winning the title to a huge corpulent mess of a squad in a very short space of time, and my concern is that we are again signing LOADS of players.

So am I worried?

Well, not as much as I might be.

There will be teething troubles. I don't doubt it. You cannot throw thirty people together and expect them to mesh perfectly. It takes time and work to build those understandings and relationships, to get to know each others movements and where they like the ball. And for each new player, those problems extend exponentially. They aren't just getting to know the club, but one another at the same time, and nobody can help them out because nobody else knows half those players either.

There will be flops amongst the signings. It's the one thing that's always true of football, get three out of four signings more or less right and you're well, well ahead.

But, and it's a big, huge but, Klopp knows what he's doing, we all agree on that. And it's his first summer at the club, his first with the kind of financial muscle LFC can flex and he's had time, as Rodgers had, to run the rule over the current squad and decide what and how he can improve it. I am completely committed to giving Jurgen Klopp all the support he needs.

I do think it's worth looking at how this is different. For one thing, Klopp does seem to have a clearly defined strategy that hasn't become distorted in the way Rodgers' did. Klopp is more of a pragmatist. He tells defenders to clear their lines when they need to. His methods are praised because in some ways they are very simple. New players aren't just meshing with a disparate group of strangers they never met before, they are being inculcated into a system, their individual talents subsumed into a wider pattern of play. This hopefully means that each player just needs to be told his own role in the system. When to attack, when to back off, when to close down. So long as there is vocal leadership on the pitch from the people who already understand the system - and while this was something else we lost with Gerrard, I wasn't convinced towards the end he was tactically on the same page as Rodgers to begin with - it should be easier for a new player to step into that role.

And at least we should be set for a few years here, mostly. You can always upgrade a position or three, but we shouldn't need to do a major rebuilding job like this again for four or five years, at least. And with proper maintenance, not ever again.

« Last Edit: Yesterday at 04:01:13 PM by Nessy76 »

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Offline Medellin

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #855 on: July 25, 2016, 01:23:50 PM »
One Mottman posted last year,fantastic.

Cry me a tear

Cry me a tear. Wipe it away.
Does it make you feel better about that terrible day?

Cry me a tear. Wipe again.
Good days we had. Will it ever be the same?

Cry me a tear. Maybe you don’t understand
what went on that day in that horrible stand.

Cry me a tear. Wipe it away
How come that tear keeps appearing each and every day?

Cry me a tear for the hurt and the cost.
The Kop is still silent for the people it lost.

Cry me a tear. We are still here.
Wipe it away but you won’t stop the tear.

Cry me a tear for the lads and the lasses.
We cross many borders and are loved by the masses.

Cry me a tear for the loud and the proud.
We won’t ever walk alone; even lost in a crowd.

Cry me a tear; I think not.
The 96 victims the media conveniently forgot.

Cry me a tear for the fans that survived.
Think of the grief and tears they hide.

Cry me a tear for the families that grieve.
With your help and mine lets hope they receive.

Cry me a tear for the faith and love they had.
With hope in their hearts, it’s terribly sad.

Cry me a tear. The future is bright.
It’s time for the red phoenix to flex its red might.

Cry me a tear for the true people you are.
Whether local or away from afar.

Cry me a tear. Let it run down your face.
Remember dignity, pride and grace.

Cry me a tear for the pride that we bear.
It’s our life and a hope that we share.

Cry me a tear for the sick in their hands.
They mock us and skit us, one day they’ll understand.

Cry me a tear for the weak and infirm.
They have been true reds, history can confirm.

Cry me a tear for the loved ones we’ve lost.
Whatever the pain or values it cost.

Cry me a tear for our ancestors who walked alone ahead
They set standards high for the men dressed in red.

Cry me a tear. Don’t ever forget.
Lift your head up proud, lest never forget.

Cry me a tear for the youth of today.
Let’s hope they never forget that horrible day.

Cry me a tear. King Kenny was boss.
He felt it all and cried at the loss.

Cry me a tear for the team that we had.
It’s glory is rich but terribly sad.

Cry me a tear with hope in your heart.
Think of loved ones drastically pulled apart.

Cry me a tear for all true Reds
Let’s hope you can settle in your comfortable beds.

Cry me a tear. We don’t know your name.
We may walk right past you each and every game.

Cry me a tear. As long as I last
with God’s will and strength I will never forget our past.

John Alfred Anderson (62)
Thomas Howard (39)
Colin Mark Ashcroft (19)
Thomas Anthony Howard (14)
James Gary Aspinall (18)
Eric George Hughes (42)
Kester Roger Marcus Ball (16)
Alan Johnston (29)
Gerard Bernard Patrick Baron (67)
Christine Anne Jones (27)
Simon Bell (17)
Gary Philip Jones (18)
Barry Sidney Bennett (26)
Richard Jones (25)
David John Benson (22)
Nicholas Peter Joynes (27)
David William Birtle (22)
Anthony Peter Kelly (29)
Tony Bland (22)
Michael David Kelly (38)
Paul David Brady (21)
Carl David Lewis (18)
Andrew Mark Brookes (26)
David William Mather (19)
Carl Brown (18)
Brian Christopher Mathews (38)
David Steven Brown (25)
Francis Joseph McAllister (27)
Henry Thomas Burke (47)
John McBrien (18)
Peter Andrew Burkett (24)
Marion Hazel McCabe (21)
Paul William Carlile (19)
Joseph Daniel McCarthy (21)
Raymond Thomas Chapman (50)
Peter McDonnell (21)
Gary Christopher Church (19)
Alan McGlone (28)
Joseph Clark (29)
Keith McGrath (17)
Paul Clark (18)
Paul Brian Murray (14)
Gary Collins (22)
Lee Nicol (14)
Stephen Paul Copoc (20)
Stephen Francis O'Neill (17)
Tracey Elizabeth Cox (23)
Jonathon Owens (18)
James Philip Delaney (19)
William Roy Pemberton (23)
Christopher Barry Devonside (18)
Carl William Rimmer (21)
Christopher Edwards (29)
David George Rimmer (38)
Vincent Michael Fitzsimmons (34)
Graham John Roberts (24)
Thomas Steven Fox (21)
Steven Joseph Robinson (17)
Jon-Paul Gilhooley (10)
Henry Charles Rogers (17)
Barry Glover (27)
Colin Andrew Hugh
William Sefton (23)
Ian Thomas Glover (20)
Inger Shah (38)
Derrick George Godwin (24)
Paula Ann Smith (26)
Roy Harry Hamilton (34)
Adam Edward Spearritt (14)
Philip Hammond (14)
Philip John Steele (15)
Eric Hankin (33)
David Leonard Thomas (23)
Gary Harrison (27)
Patrik John Thompson (35)
Stephen Francis Harrison (31)
Peter Reuben Thompson (30)
Peter Andrew Harrison (15)
Stuart Paul William Thompson (17)
David Hawley (39)
Peter Francis Tootle (21)
James Robert Hennessy (29)
Christopher James Traynor (26)
Paul Anthony Hewitson (26)
Martin Kevin Traynor (16)
Carl Darren Hewitt (17)
Kevin Tyrrell (15)
Nicholas Michael Hewitt (16)
Colin Wafer (19)
Sarah Louise Hicks (19)
Ian David Whelan (19)
Victoria Jane Hicks (15)
Martin Kenneth Wild (29)
Gordon Rodney Horn (20)
Kevin Daniel Williams (15)
Arthur Horrocks (41)
Graham John Wright (17)

Cry me a tear for those left behind
who live each day with thoughts in their mind.

Cry me a tear. Cry for the 96 that died.
Cry me a tear for the press that lied

Cry me a tear with hope in our heart.
Think of the loved ones drastically drawn apart.

Cry me a tear. Some say it’s just a football team.
It’s bigger than that. It’s more than a dream.

Cry me a tear. Wipe them all away.
We love and feel for them everyday.

Cry me a tear. Bill, Bob and Joe welcome you with open arms

The 96 are now immortal, never to be forgotten.

My heart still bleeds and feels for you and those you left behind.

One day we will all meet up in heaven. My thoughts are with you.

Cry me a tear, because I haven’t stopped crying yet.

Justice for all.
Support the team,Trust & Believe.

Offline Medellin

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #856 on: January 29, 2017, 06:53:50 PM »
Whatever happened to Cyn?
Fantastic archive of the best of probably everything posted on reds forums waay back..and Owenfootballdream from .tv too?
Anyways..dug this out,a great array of quotes etc..

Also, I am not sure if Red in Holland posted this here, but he posted this on RAOTL (he found all this on ViewfromRow29)

BILL SHANKLY (1913 - 1981)

One story concerns a young player who Shankly had hopes would one day replace Ian Callaghan. The only problem was that the youngster was a bit on the thin side. Shankly, Fagan and Paisley decided that the lad needed a diet of steak. Paisley was given the job of ensuring that steak was delivered to the lads family every day.

The diet of steak continued through the end of the season and all through the summer. On the first day of pre season training the lad knocked on Shankly's door.

'Jesus Christ, son, you look like physical poetry. You're muscular. Those steaks have worked a treat' said Shankly.

The young boy tried to explain that he wanted to speak to Shanks because he had a bit of a problem. He wanted a week off because he had a few things to sort out because he had got a girl pregnant.

Shankly darted to the door of his office and shouted down the corridor,

'Joe, Bob, come here, quickly! We've created a bleeding monster!!!!'

When he was surrounded by a group of Italian journalists at an airport Shankly told the interpreter,

'Just tell them that I totally disagree with whatever theyre saying.'

After signing The imposing figure of Ron Yeats.
'With him in defence we could play Arthur Askey in goal.'

Shankly talking to Tommy Docherty who had sold Shanks Tony Hateley for £96,000 in 1967. Shankly sold the player on to Coventry.
'Youve got to admit though Bill he was good in the air,' said Docherty.
'Aye, so was Douglas Bader............and he had a wooden leg,' was Shanklys instant reply.

When Shankly met former Liverpool centre forward Albert Stubbins by chance at a railway station, the pair had not seen each other for nearly 20 years. Shankly had no times for hellos or small talk though.

'Hello Albert. If the opposing centre half moves up into attack do you think your centre forward should go with him?'

Everton had just signed Alan Ball so Shankly decided to welcome him by phoning him.
'Congratulations on your move son. You'll be playing near a great side.'

In the Liverpool team hotel two old ladies were watching Coronation Street as Bill and the team walked into the television lounge.
'You dont mind if I turn the tv over so we can watch the boxing do you ladies?'
The old dears protested that they did mind because they never missed Coronation Street and they had been there first.
'Tell yer what I'll do,' said Shankly looking at the lads in the Liverpool team and then looking at the old ladies. 'Im a democrat. Hands up in this room who wants to watch the boxing'.

Liverpool were in the dressing room prior to an away game at West Ham. Shankly told his players, 'Theres nothing for you to beat today. Ive been watching the West Ham players come in. That Bobby Moore can hardly walk and Geoff Hurst looks ill to me. I dont want you to be too cruel to them though so I want you to stop when youve scored 5.'

Early in the second half it was 5-0 to Liverpool. Peter Thompson ran past the dug out and shouted to Shankly, 'Shall we put the shutters up now that weve got 5?'
Shankly shook his head and called out
'No. Humiliate the bastards!!!'

In Bucharest before an away European tie Shankly was raging because the hotel had no Coca-Cola for his players.
'Its a conspiracy. A war of nerves.'

Shanklys opinion on Brian Clough
'Hes worse than the rain in Manchester. At least that stops occasionally.'

Shankly talking about the effect off The Kop on the opposition
'When theres a corner down at the Kop end, they scare the ball'.

During Shanklys playing days he was asked if it was true that he would tackle his own grandmother
'Dont be stupid,' Shankly retorted, 'She would have more sense than to come anywhere near me.'

Shanklys appraisal of a defender who played against Liverpool in the early 70's.
'If he had gunpowder for brains he couldnt blow his cap off'.

When a newspaper sportswriter suggested to Shankly that Liverpool were suffering a dip in form Shankly retorted
'Aye, youre right. We're struggling at the top of the league.'

Shankly on Tom Finney.
'He was a ghost of a player, but very strong. He could have played all day in his overcoat.'

Shanks gives his opinion on referees.
'They know the rules, but they dont know the game.'

Inspecting the grass with the players at Anfield.
'See this grass boys. its amazing. Its green, professional grass.'

His reply when he was asked if he had a good Christmas.
'Aye, not bad. We got 4 points out of 6.'

After Don Revie had been appointed England manager.
'Christ, hes only 48 and hes gone into semi retirement already.'

Shankly speaking to a crowd of close on 100,000 outside St Georges Hall after Liverpool had won the FA Cup in 1974.
'Since Ive come to Anfield Ive drummed it into my players time and time again that it is a privilege to play for you people. If they didnt believe me then they do now. Ive drummed into them that they must be loyal and they must never cheat you, the public. The Kop is exclusive, an institution, and if you are a member of the Kop you feel like you are a member of a society. Youve got thousands of friends around you and they are all united and loyal.'

When travelling in a car with Frank Worthington they passed Goodison Park. Worthington was nearly signed by LFC but failed the medical. Shankly pointed a finger at Goodison.
'Take no notice of that laddie. Theres only 2 teams in Liverpool. Liverpool and Liverpool reserves.'

Shanklys assessment of Bayern Munich before a Cup Winners Cup tie. He told his players that
'Bayern Munich arent a football club. Theyre a Christmas Club.'

As Shankly was driving home from Blackpool after signing a young Emlyn Hughes he was stopped by the police.
'Do you know who you are talking to?' Shankly shouted at the police officer.
'Yes its Mr Shankly isnt it?' Replied the policeman.
'No, not me, him.' Snapped Shankly pointing to Hughes. 'Dont you recognise him? That lad there is the future captain of England.'

Shankly scorned some of the training methods of other clubs. He was particularly critical of Evertons methods.
'Some people may say that we are lazy, but thats fine. Whats the point of tearing players to pieces? We never bothered with sand dunes and hills and roads. We trained on grass where football is played.'

Having a dig at Don Revie who was well known for his files and dossiers on his opponents.
'Football matches are played on football pitches and not in exercise books.'

About the essential learning process requred for competing in European football.
'All the time we are learning. Taking a particle from here and a bit from there, building ourselves up like a hydrogen bomb.'

Before a game in 1963 against Wolves Shankly told his players
'Remember you are the best. Wolves are just a name, a team of the past. We're the team of the future.'

Shankly was trying to convince Ron Yeats that it would be a good move if he signed for Liverpool from Dundee Utd. Liverpool were still in the 2nd division at the time.
'Where is Liverpool exactly?' said Yeats
'We're in the 1st division son.' said Shankly
'Thats not true.' Yeats retorted
'Ah, but we will be with you in the team.' replied Shanks.

Shankly to defender Peter Wall
'I've had my spies out and I've been told you were in a nightclub until 3 o'clock in the morning. Who do you think you are........Errol Flynn?'

Shankly appearing as a guest on the t.v. show 'This Is Your Life' when Jimmy Tarbuck was the subject of the programme. As he passed the shows host, Eamonn Andrews, he said
'You know, Eamonn, I've been on this show more than you.'

On meeting Tommy Cooper backstage at the London Palladium.
'Bloody 'ell Tommy, what size shoes do you take? I've sailed to Ireland on boats smaller than those.'

When he was in charge at Carlisle United they were 2-0 down at half time in one game. When the players came into the dressing room Shankly vented his anger on his captain Geoff Twentyman.
'What did you call at the toss up?' enquired Shankly
'Heads,' Twentyman replied.
'Jesus Christ laddie,' screamed Shankly. 'Never call heads'.

Shankly decided to put the record straight concerning the false story that he took his wife Nessie to watch Accrington Stanley on their wedding anniversary.
'Do you really think I would have got married during the football season?' Shankly blasted. 'I'll tell you the truth about that. It was her birthday and we went to watch Tranmere Rovers'.

A journalist once shouted to Shankly after a Saturday game that both Manchester United and Manchester City had lost.
'Theyre bottom and next to bottom in the league.' said the journalist.
'Aye,' laughed Shankly, 'and theyll take some bloody shifting.'

A journalist once commented to Shankly that Tony Currie reminded him of the great Tom Finney.
'Aye, yer could be right,' agreed Shanks. 'Mind you, Toms 57.'

In 1973 the Daily Express newspaper ran a computer international match between the present England team and an England team of old. The computer generated match report appeared in the newspaper. Part of it reported that Tom Finney had to be stretchered off the field after a tackle by Liverpools Emlyn Hughes. According to Shankly, Finney was the greatest player he had ever seen.
When the Liverpool players reported for training Shankly burst into the changing rooms and threw a copy of the paper at Emlyn Hughes.
'Listen son,' Shankly shouted. 'If you ever touch Tom Finney again I'll kick you up the arse.'

Shankly to Radio Merseyside journalist Bob Azurdia.
'Do yer know something, Azurdia? I've been asked a million stupid questions in my time and you've asked all of them.'

After Shankly rubbished Anderlecht before a European Cup tie in 1964 Liverpool won 3-0. As his players returned to the dressing room Shankly beamed
'Congratulations lads. Youve just beaten one of the best teams in Europe.'

After failing to sign Lou Macari who signed for Manchester United instead.
'It doesnt matter. I only wanted him for the reserves.'

'If Everton were playing at the bottom of my garden I'd close the curtains.'

Phil Thompson had been left out of the team. Liverpool had just lost 2-0 and Thompson went to tell Shankly how disappointed he was to be left out of the team. Shankly replied
'Disappointed son? You should be grateful that I left you out of a team that played so badly. You should be thanking me.'

Shankly hated players being injured. Chris Lawler was in the Anfield treatment room after making 241 consecutive appearances for Liverpool between October 1965 and April 1971. Paisley told Shankly that there was no way that Lawler could play in the next game because his ankle had swollen up like a balloon.
'Hes a bloody malingerer,' snapped Shankly angrily.

Tommy Smith was injured and had to go off during a game. Shankly ran over to see how he was.
'Are yer alright son?' Shankly inquired.
'Its my leg boss. Its killing me.' was Smiths reply.
'Correction son,' Shankly said. 'Its not your leg, its Liverpools leg.'

Shanklys appraisal of one aspiring youngster.
'The trouble with you son is that your brains are all in your head.'

When it was pointed out to Shankly that he had put Anfield as his address when he signed a hotel guestbook he replied
'Thats right. Thats where I live.'

Shankly to over 100,000 people outside St Georges Hall when they won the FA Cup in 1974.
'Even Chairman Mao has never seen a greater show of red strength than this.'

Shankly hated to lose. Even when he was playing 5 a side at training his team were not allowed to lose. One day his side were losing and it was starting to go dark. One of his team shot and Shankly screamed goal!!!! 'Thats 2-2 lets call it a day.'
The other team though insisted that the ball had not crossed the line and a row developed. 'OK!!! I know how to settle this.' said Shankly.
He went to Chris Lawler who was nicknamed Silent Knight by the other players because he hardly said anything and never argued with anybody.

'Youre an honest man Chris,' said Shanks. 'Was it a goal or not?'

Lawler replied that the ball had not crossed the line.

'Jesus Christ!!' said Shankly,angrily. 'You dont open your mouth for 5 years and when you do its a bloody lie!!!'

Shankly giving new signing Alec Lindsay instructions about his role as a Liverpool player.
'Listen son. I want you to take men on, go past them and lash in those shots that brought you the goals when you were playing at Gigg Lane'.
'But that wasnt me boss. That was Jim Kerr.' protested Lindsay.
'Jesus Christ, Bob.' said Shankly to Paisley. 'Weve signed the wrong bloody player.'

Shankly met the Everton player Terry Darracott by chance one day. Shankly asked him how he was. Darracott said he was fine and that he had no problems.
'No problems?' rapped Shankly. 'Ive got problems, youve got problems. When you havent got a problem, thats the problem.'

Shankly was asked which part of the game he disliked
'The end of the season.' was the reply.

After losing the first 3 home games of the 1963/64 season he told the Liverpool directors
'Gentleman I assure you. We will win a home game this season.'

Shankly went for a haircut in 1963. The barber asked him if he wanted anything off the top.
'Aye, Everton.' he replied.

Shankly talking to Tottenham manager Bill Nicholson the day after a Liverpool defeat.
'I see you got beat 2-0 yesterday.' said Nicholson.
'No, no.' replied Shanks. 'We murdered them. We were all over them. They never got a shot in. Their first goal wasnt a goal at all, and the second, well you've never seen anything like it.'

Peter Thompson was called into Shanklys office after a series of bad results.
'You've been smoking youself to death son.' said Shankly
'I dont smoke.' protested Thompson.
'You've been on the town with women in nightclubs. Every night youve got a different woman.' Shanks continued.
'But I havent been doing that boss.' pleaded Thompson.
'Youre drinking yourself to death. Ive heard from my spies in town that you are practically an alcoholic.' said Shankly.
'Boss, I havent done any of those things that youve said.' insisted Thompson.
'Well son. The way you are playing at the moment you must be doing all those things and plenty of other things I havent found out about yet.' concluded Shankly.

To a policeman who had kicked a Liverpool scarf off the pitch at Anfield when Shanks was participating in a victory lap of honour.
'Dont do that. That scarf is somebody's life.'

He then tied the scarf around his neck.

When asked how he would like to be remembered he said,

I'd like to be remembered for being basically honest in a game in which it is sometimes difficult to be honest. Sometimes youve got to tell a little white lie to get over a little troublesome period of time.
I'd like to think that I have put more into the game than I have taken out: and I havent cheated anybody, that Ive worked for people honestly all along the line. For the people of Liverpool who go to Anfield, I'd like to be recognised for trying to give them entertainment.
I'd played at Anfield and I knew that the crowd were fantastic. I knew there was a public just waiting. So I fought the battles inside and outside. I was interested in only one thing, success for the club. That would mean success for the people. I wanted results for the club, for the love of the game, to make the people happy.'


Rest well, Bill. You did us proud, mate.

YNWA and Anfield4ever

PS.. I took the above from ViewfromRow29.. an excellent site.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2017, 06:57:36 PM by Medellin »
Support the team,Trust & Believe.

Offline kavah

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #857 on: March 12, 2017, 11:07:28 PM »
One of the best writers on here

It’s great to see the team showing what it’s capable of again, and a relief as well. Liverpool’s vanquished opponents on Saturday have undoubtedly plateaued as a club over the last decade, pretty much ever since that Champions League final defeat in Paris and the opening of their new stadium bookended the summer of 2006, so the frustration of Arsenal supporters with Arséne Wenger is understandable in some respects (even if the vitriol expressed by some of them for a man who should rightly be regarded as a legend of their club is utterly repugnant). Nonetheless I don’t envy them the step into the unknown they’re about to take, which is why I’ve been shaking my head in recent weeks at the notion of some Liverpool fans wanting their own club to begin considering breaking out the managerial dice and rolling them once again after a few admittedly sub-standard weeks.

The wrong appointment after Wenger, particularly in the context of a top division which arguably hasn’t been as competitive since the early-1970’s, could easily set Arsenal back half a decade or more. Why any Liverpool supporter would want their club to consider doing similar a mere 17 months into Jürgen Klopp’s reign is a prospect so far beyond me that it might as well be in orbit around Pluto. Have we ourselves not been here as recently as 2010, watching on helplessly as men like “the Fernando Torres of finance” and Merseyside’s version of Easy Rider sacked a Champions League-winning manager who had led the club to the top of European football over a five-year period? Liverpool have subsequently played 6 Champions League fixtures in over 7 years and counting, and the man who subsequently arrived to “steady the ship” that was 7th and a European semi-final departed himself 6 months later with the club sitting 4 points above the relegation zone in 12th.

The circumstances are obviously different and I wouldn’t argue that a parting of ways after more than 20 years could ever be considered premature, especially after going out of Europe 10-2 on aggregate, but depending on a Board stocked with bean-counting businessmen to make the correct decision regarding the club’s future on the pitch is fraught with danger all the same. Arsenal are unlikely to end up with a Roy Hodgson or David Moyes figure as Liverpool and Manchester United respectively did, if only because they have the mistakes of their rivals to use as a reference point. Hell, they might even end up with everything they’ve ever dreamed of and more, although even successful managers like Massimiliano Allegri or Diego Simeone, if they could get them, would be unlikely to bring anything nearly as aesthetically-pleasing as the style of football they’ve enjoyed for 20 years under Wenger. Whatever happens, the business of replacing managers is always a roll of the dice to some extent and unforeseen chain reactions are a given e.g. who would have foreseen Kenny Dalglish taking over Liverpool after a sabbatical of 11 years from full-time management?

Wenger’s time at Arsenal does, on the face of it, appear to be coming to an end. Klopp’s at Liverpool should only be in its infancy. At anything approaching its best, as it certainly was in the first-half on Saturday evening, his side retains every bit as much potential for the irresistible as the version we saw during the 4-3 win at the Emirates back in August, the first leg of Liverpool’s first League double over Arsenal since 1999/00. With Gini Wijnaldum, fast becoming my favourite Liverpool player, and Adam Lallana running hard, intelligent yards in midfield, the front three were able to ensure that the benching of Alexis Sanchez (who suddenly didn’t seem to mind the dugout as much on Tuesday night) developed into the self-inflicted wound it became for the visitors rather than just a temporary setback rectifiable by his arrival at half-time. Performances like this are always within the scope of Klopp’s Liverpool when the key components are fit and present, even if it’s a possibility rather a consistent probability for the time being. That’s important and shouldn’t be forgotten.

The second-half on Saturday, less overtly impressive than the first, was nonetheless encouraging in its own way, not least for the tenacity shown by Liverpool in protecting the 3 points, exhibiting perhaps the kind of anger that Klopp has previously referenced in relation to visiting teams who “want our points – that makes me angry so it’s easy for me”. Emre Can’s rugged play in particular gave the home side an edge that has sorely been missing, from both the player himself and the team, during recent setbacks. He may have been fortunate to stay on the pitch after fouling Theo Walcott but the incident only served to illustrate once again that, in football, fortune tends to favour the bold most of the time, on the pitch as well as in the boardroom (more on that point later).

None of the above changes the fact that supposed blips have begun to join and multiply since the turn of the year, or that bad days at the office have morphed into what remains a wretched two-month stretch during which Liverpool have exited both domestic cups and taken 9 points from a possible 24 in the League, giving the prospects of continued Premier League tenures for Sunderland, Swansea, Hull and Leicester a shot in the arm in the process (a full set of points from those games, incidentally, would have seen Liverpool currently sitting in 2nd place, just 3 points behind Chelsea with 11 to play). Sean Dyche, fresh from somehow finding fault in a referee who awarded his team a penalty for their own blatant handball, is up next, and you can be sure that he would love to once again put one over on the foreign manager who “came in and played sort of a 4-4-2 and ‘let’s run really hard and press’. People thought it was incredible. Wasn’t Sean Dyche doing that three years ago when he got here?” So let’s hope we see a repeat of the last two home performances tomorrow.

Anything less is likely to see the grey cloud which has been shadowing the club since the early weeks of January once again darkening our horizons with a familiar, niggling feeling of frustration that shows no signs of disappearing even if those impressive recent results against Liverpool’s rivals from north London have eased it somewhat. It’s familiar because it’s nothing new, a restlessness borne of an opportunity passing by without you having the wherewithal to actually reach out and touch it. At a club whose League title drought will now almost certainly end up stretching to at least 28 years, it has long been a recurring affliction and one which shares a certain amount of common ground with the frustrations regularly vented by Arsenal supporters in recent years, a sense that your club is thoroughly satisfied with having a good team and ambivalent, at best, at the prospect of having a great one.

From a Liverpool perspective, previous examples include running arguably Ferguson’s greatest ever Manchester United side so close in 2009 with a squad that regularly contained David N’gog, Andriy Voronin, Andrea Dossena, Albert Riera and Nabil El Zhar, and 2014, where Victor Moses, Iago Aspas and Luis Alberto typically provided the only attacking depth from the bench. As such golden opportunities have presented themselves, title challenges lost by four and two points respectively, so the supporters have naturally become restless at times, not so much at the fact that the club has failed but at the apparent reasons for those failures. Eventually, you begin to recognise the warning signs.

Both title challenges mentioned above were driven by seriously impressive first elevens (the former good enough to beat Manchester United and Real Madrid in consecutive games by an aggregate score of 8-1, the latter scoring in excess of 100 League goals over the course of a season) and perished on the deeply flawed squads that housed them. This season, perhaps, rightly or wrongly, felt like a similar kind of opportunity. And when Liverpool beat Manchester City 1-0 on New Year’s Eve to go 4 points clear in 2nd place at the halfway point of the season, it seemed to confirm their position as Chelsea’s primary competition for the League title.

A monstrous fixture list, however, began to take its toll, starting against Sunderland on 2nd January. 10 of the players who had started the game against City less than 48 hours earlier were picked again at the Stadium of Light and, looking at the names on the Liverpool bench that day (Karius, Moreno, Lucas, Origi, Stewart, Ejaria, Alexander-Arnold), the decision to do so was perhaps justifiable. From there, arguably the club’s best player this season, Sadio Mané, would miss a month of action away at the Africa Cup of Nations, only returning (jet-lagged) for the visit of Chelsea on 31st January because of Senegal’s quarter-final exit. Along with him went any semblance of real pace and much of the movement in Liverpool’s attack, for an entire month, remember.

Lucas, meanwhile, a central midfielder whose mobility has declined sharply over the years due to injuries, began starting games in the centre of defence (alongside another midfielder, James Milner, who has become the team’s reluctant first-choice left-back this season). This was due to a variety of factors, including injuries (Joël Matip, Dejan Lovren), disputes with the Cameroon Football Federation (Matip), tactical reasons (Ragnar Klavan left on the bench, Joe Gomez not considered) and the decision to send Mamadou Sakho to the under-23’s and then on loan to Crystal Palace without a player of comparable ability being brought in to replace him. On the latter point, that player is certainly not Klavan who seems a much better fit as Martin Škrtel’s replacement, and if Matip now represents a substitute for Sakho rather than a quality addition to build on what was already there, then last summer’s business, which although much-maligned of late did deliver 3 quality starters in Mané, Wijnaldum and Matip, becomes a whole lot less impressive.

In other words, it has become hard to shake the feeling that once again a quality Liverpool side, good enough to lose a staggering 1 out of 23 against the other members of the current top-7 under Klopp across all competitions (Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United and Everton), and that a 0-1 loss to Manchester United where their goal arrived against the run of play and represented their only shot on target across the 90 minutes, scoring 41 goals and only conceding 19 in the process, is being undermined by a squad that lacks sufficient depth of quality to cope with key absences. And despite the fact that this team is still clearly in the earlier stages of its evolution, it feels like the kind of opportunity which hasn’t come along very often for Liverpool since 1990 (aside from the two campaigns already mentioned, only 1996/97 really compares) is being, or has been, squandered.

The pundits, a group which typically favours the shortest possible route between A and B, are focusing on an apparent ongoing inability to break down the lesser lights as a nice, easy explanation for Liverpool’s deterioration since the turn of the year, but that doesn’t necessarily tally with what we saw in the closing months of 2016. Leaving out the other members of the current top-7, Liverpool’s record against the rest of the League in the first 19 games was P13, W9, D2, L2, F37 A16, for a tally of 29 points out of 39 and a goal average of 2.8 per game, not a bad record at all. Out of those 13 teams, only Burnley and Southampton conceded less than 2 against Klopp’s men. Bus-parkers were being routinely swatted aside and individual errors (e.g. in consecutive games from Loris Karius versus Bournemouth and West Ham, Matip also against West Ham) were more responsible for poor results than any systemic issues.

It’s possible, of course, that the crack team of David Moyes, Paul Clement, Marco Silva and Craig Shakespeare (and with three clean-sheets in a row against Liverpool this season, we can probably add Claude Puel to that list) have simply “figured out” Klopp’s team over the past couple of months. Only time, in the form of upcoming visits from Burnley, Bournemouth, Crystal Palace, Southampton, Middlesbrough and trips to Stoke, West Brom, Watford and West Ham between now and the end of the season, will ultimately tell on that front. The spectre of burnout, meanwhile, from either training or games, does not appear to have been the issue either given the abundant energy shown in recent weeks against Arsenal and Tottenham.

There are two possibilities, it seems to me: (a) maybe this team just isn’t good enough right now to maintain a realistic title challenge for an entire season, a fair argument perhaps, or (b) maybe the team is good enough but the squad isn’t. Maybe it’s both? Maybe that’s the reason for the aforementioned restlessness, the presence of which around the club has become so prevalent over the past two months that even the manager spent part of his press-conference last Friday addressing it: “If we perform at the highest level nobody asks for new players but if you don’t everybody asks for them…we are working on it already…we will spend money in the summer…we all have the same plan: sporting director, scouting department, owners, myself…we want to make this club as big and as successful as possible”.

The manager was awfully specific in his comments too, expressly addressing two of the key recent criticisms of the club’s transfer business. The first of these is the failure to adequately mitigate for Mané’s month-long absence (“One or two players in January, when we had problems with injury and the Africa Cup would [have been] cool…could we have had more? Yes, but the transfer window in the winter didn’t give us any”). It could be added on this point that if opposition teams are indeed working out Plan A, then additional wrinkles to the system in the form of reinforcements would have been one way of getting around that. The second, perhaps of more importance in the context of next summer, is the sense that outgoings now appear to govern incomings (“Will it be a similar transfer window as last summer when we broke even? I don’t think it is possible. Now there will be a few other faces”).

This question of the club’s ambition, its ability or desire to compete with the best, is nothing new. It has raised its head throughout FSG’s reign as owners. Before them it was a repeated, very public bone of contention between manager (Rafa Benítez) and owners (Hicks and Gillett) stretching from the aftermath of Liverpool’s loss in the 2007 Champions League final (“We must spend big and spend now…we need to pay the price needed for each position”) right up to his sacking in June 2010. And the sale of the club to foreign ownership may never have happened at all had previous owner David Moores not felt compelled to “sell my shares to assist in securing the investment needed for the new stadium and for the playing squad”, investment he was unable to provide. In fact, it would probably be fair to say that it’s been a recurring theme pretty much every year since the last time that Liverpool were genuine heavyweights at the top end of the transfer market, breaking British transfer records for a player (£8.5m on Stan Collymore) a defender (£3.6m on Phil Babb) and a teenager (£2.3m on Mark Kennedy) within the space of 2 seasons in the mid-1990’s.

By the time Manchester United were breaking the world transfer record for a defender, spending in excess of £10m on Jaap Stam in 1998, the rules of engagement were clearly changing on but Liverpool were still buying key players for similar prices as a few years earlier. £2.5m and £3.5m on central defenders Sami Hyypia and Stephane Henchoz respectively in the summer of 1999, for example, were very similar outlays to what the club had spent on Babb, the difference being that these sums certainly weren’t troubling transfer records anymore half a decade later, British or otherwise. By the time Manchester United again broke the world record for a defender in the summer of 2002 (£30m+ on Rio Ferdinand), Liverpool’s central defence was still anchored by those same two players, signed 3 years earlier for a combined £6m, now representing less than one-fifth of Ferdinand’s cost.

And so it went. Roy Evans apparently tried to sign Teddy Sheringham back in 1997 before he ever joined Manchester United, but in their wisdom the Board felt that, at 31, he was too old. By 1999 he was a European champion. The club again lost out to Manchester United a few years later in securing a young Cristiano Ronaldo’s signature, who was supposedly quoted at the time as saying that “Liverpool are one of the best clubs in England and it would be a dream for any player to represent a club of such traditions...I will have to hope they make an offer that is good for both Sporting and myself”. Instead, Manchester United nipped in to complete a deal while Liverpool were supposedly still attempting to play hardball with the player’s agent. The fee they paid was far in excess of what Sporting Lisbon had already accepted, but they obviously deemed the additional cost worth it to secure the services of a youngster who would go on to become one of the 21st century’s greatest players. Nemanja Vidic’s experience summed up the difference in approach between the two clubs: “Rafa Benitez called me and I nearly went there. I was interested in going, but my English wasn’t good and I was struggling to communicate…then Manchester United came…United were decisive. Everything was done very quickly, within two days”.

These instances, where both the Liverpool manager of the day and a great player wanted the transfer only to see it undone by apparent hesitation or reluctance in the boardroom, are just the ones which have been explicitly verified (by Evans, Phil Thompson and Vidic respectively, in this case). There were other targets over the years too (for example Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott, Simao) where signings which would have undoubtedly helped Liverpool and even hindered rivals were strongly rumoured to have fallen through because the club was either too slow in moving for the player or didn’t show sufficient interest, in the form of transfer fees or wages, to secure a signature. This is to say nothing of arguably Liverpool’s most important player of the last 30 years, Steven Gerrard, coming within a hair’s breadth of joining a rival because of the club’s casual approach to offering him a new deal. Eventually Benítez was prompted to publicly lament that “if we are to improve then we have to move faster”.

But ok, you could argue that Liverpool F.C. in the time of Moores was simply not affluent enough to be able to throw money around as a means to quickly close transfer deals. And it’s not like the club’s record was spotless in this regard before the Premier League era either: in 1983, with Liverpool in their pomp and about to enjoy arguably their most successful season ever, winning the League Championship, League Cup and European Cup in 1983/84, they missed out on Michael Laudrup, one of the greatest talents of his generation, for the sake of an extra year on a contract he would never sign. Flash forward to 2017, however, and Deloitte have recently named Liverpool the 9th richest club in world football, this with no Champions League football in 6 of the last 7 seasons and having not reached the knockout stages of the competition since 2008/09. With the club now apparently in such rude financial health and secure enough to have finally addressed the long-running stadium saga that Moores and his lieutenant Rick Parry had never even come close to resolving, surely, you would think, it is no longer in a position where it needs to watch the pennies at the risk of missing out on talent with the potential to really contribute on the pitch?

Bafflingly, not so. In fact the list of real, verifiable targets that Liverpool have missed out on during FSG’s 6 and half years in charge would make even Moores and Parry blush. In alphabetical order: Dele Alli, Ben Chilwell, Diego Costa, Clint Dempsey, Memphis Depay, Mario Götze, Yevhen Konoplyanka, Henrikh Mikhtaryan, Christian Pulisic, Loïc Rémy, Mohamed Salah, Alexis Sanchez, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Alex Teixeira, Willian. Some of these players may not have improved the team at all in retrospect, but the gift of hindsight doesn’t change the fact that the incumbent manager wanted them at the time. And while some, like Sanchez and the draw of London over Liverpool for example, no doubt had other motives for turning the move down, there is no evidence to suggest that the club ever proposed any additional incentives in order to offset those other factors.

At its worst, Liverpool’s recent approach to transfers has actively left the team short in key areas. For the sake of haggling with Fulham over £1m (Dempsey), Brendan Rodgers was forced to enter his first autumn/winter in charge with Suárez as his only fit senior striker. It’s easy to forget now that this nonsense so galvanised opinion that John W. Henry, whose ownership style often tends towards the reactive, felt compelled to write an open letter defending it. That Dempsey’s career tailed off from there changes nothing: this fact would only matter if the transfer was scuppered by someone who had sufficient knowledge of the game to see his decline coming rather than businessmen who seemed to be trying simply to minimise risk. And Chilwell, a youngster who admittedly may or may not make it at the very highest level, would almost certainly have been given the opportunity to become the club’s first-choice left-back this season had an agreement been reached with Leicester. It’s possible, of course, that they were trying to pull Liverpool’s trousers down with the amount they were asking, but I’m sure that fact would have been leaked to the newspapers were it indeed the case. Instead, Liverpool began and will finish the season with a midfielder manning the left side of the defence.

Dele Alli, meanwhile, supposedly could have been a Liverpool player, according to Rodgers, had he been deemed worth £4,000 per week by the club’s hierarchy. He’s certainly earning more than that now. Sigurdsson, too, apparently asked for what was considered too much money. Chelsea nabbed Salah from directly under the club’s noses, then did the same with Willian (via Tottenham). Mikhtaryan preferred Dortmund, Costa to stay in Madrid. Was it impossible to turn the heads of these players, or did the club simply not try? Did they instead throw up their hands and say “fine, suit yourself then” at the first sign of negotiation? What of Konoplyanka and Teixeira, both of whom at one point seemed to be Liverpool’s for the taking? Or Rémy – was it truly the heart condition, which was already known about, that stopped the deal from going through or perhaps the fact that QPR were unwilling to accept less than the value of his release clause? Mario Balotelli was Plan B on that occasion – we know how that worked out.

All of this is speculation, of course, but a pattern of prevarication has now long since been established when it comes to Liverpool’s transfer business. The difference now is that instead of David Moores, whose pockets and acumen were never quite deep enough, or the first lot of American owners, who were certainly mean and greedy enough to make money but were seriously lacking in any obvious signs of competence, the club is now run by shrewd, dead-eyed, money-making businessmen who could probably make a few hundred thousand dollars for themselves in an empty room with nothing but a paperclip and an elastic band, the MacGyver’s of finance. Any piece of merchandise or corporate partner is fair game for a Liverpool badge, and the truth is that nobody gives a fuck, not really, not as long as there is success on the pitch to show for it. The game has changed and we all know it. As Nikki put it recently:

And yet despite Liverpool apparently being in excellent shape financially, it strikes me as a club which, from top to bottom, is currently structured for and geared towards annual assaults on 4th place and maybe a cup run if the gods are good, thoroughly at odds with the world-class manager in the dugout and exactly what the team has delivered so far this season: a semi-final exit in the League Cup and 4th place still attainable with 11 games left. It calls to mind one of those famous quotes attributed to Bill Shankly: “Aim for the sky and you’ll reach the ceiling. Aim for the ceiling and you’ll stay on the floor.” If 4th is what you’re working towards on a practical level, if that’s what all of your spending and planning is aimed at, then the very real prospect of finishing 5th or 6th in such a competitive League should hardly come as a surprise to any of us.

The failure, for example, to even attempt to provide quality cover for Mané in January may have contributed to the club falling out of contention for the League title, but given that the top-4 is still a very realistic possibility, the owners probably wonder what the problem is. The club’s average finishing position has been 4.7 across the 26 full seasons since Liverpool last won the League title, 20 of which were under the guidance of FSG’s predecessors. 4th every season would represent an improvement on such previous performances, would it not? They would also no doubt argue that the club is the 5th richest in England, with the 5th biggest stadium. It also had the 5th largest wage bill until recently, and while the club accounts to 31 May 2016 appear to show that Liverpool’s spending on player remuneration had surpassed Arsenal and Manchester City at the beginning of last summer, it remains to be seen whether this is a permanent state of affairs. So with Liverpool currently sitting in 5th place should Arsenal win their game in hand, they might even be moved to repeat the words of a former manager who once went so far as to explicitly state that “5th place, having reached two cup semi-finals…is probably on par with where we are at”.

If we accept this proposition, then, provided the team retains the kind of form we saw against Arsenal over the next couple of months, there’s really nothing to see here. But “where we are at” is something about which the supporters can do nothing. Having in and around the 5th largest wage bill isn’t up to us (then again, maybe it’s for the best that it isn’t). Likewise, you can be sure that if we had our way Anfield would already be a genuine behemoth of a stadium, the type Klopp no doubt envisions when he says things like “I believe in atmosphere…I believe it’s a big, big part of the game, a big part of the joy…the decisions are made in the small moments, in the detail, and atmosphere is more than a detail but it makes everything easier”. But it’s not up to us; instead, it’s up to people who say things like this:

If these are the kind of people who have run Liverpool for the past quarter of a century, and it certainly seems that way, then no wonder the club fell behind. The Premier League was in its infancy when Manchester United began redeveloping Old Trafford. Between 1995 and 2006, the ground’s capacity would increase from roughly 44,000 to 76,000. That work began 22 years ago, in the early days of the Premier League, the Sky television deal, the Champions League and the riches they would bring for clubs like Manchester United. Another rival, Arsenal, would later build a new 60,000-seater stadium which opened in 2006. Now Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham are announcing stadium projects which will bring their own capacities over the 60,000 mark, and yet over two decades after Old Trafford’s capacity began its transformation to 76,000 seats we have Liverpool’s chief executive stating that “somewhere between £60m and £70m” to bring Anfield’s capacity up to 60,000 is “not a smart investment for the business”.

It seems to me that we’re still in a place where the people who run the club see football as just another type of business where the same rules of risk apply as they do in any other. Ayre’s replacement, Peter Moore, whose CV highlights include positions with Microsoft, Sega and EA Sports, is unlikely to view it any differently. Well I’m no business expert, but you don’t have to be “the Fernando Torres of finance” (in fact, it’s probably better if you’re not) to know that, in football, the risk is in not spending money if you want to be successful. That doesn’t mean you have to chuck it around like confetti, just be prepared to meet the opportunity cost when it comes along.

Nobody is expecting Pogba-levels of spending, but the club is competing in an environment where last summer Manchester United, who had already finished ahead of Liverpool for the past two seasons, brought in some people’s pick for the best manager in the game and broke the world transfer record with an outlay of £90m on a single player, all to win the League Cup and scrape into the top-4 picture (so far: other trophies may yet be added, of course). Add to that the signings of Mkhitaryan and Bailly, and this was a spending-spree necessary just to get to where Liverpool appear to be aiming, a club which in contrast was happy once again for the bulk of its major transfer spending to come from departures, in particular those of Christian Benteke, Jordon Ibe and Joe Allen.

I make no claims to be capable of running a football club but it’s a genuine wonder to me that “value” is as much of a concern to the hierarchy of Liverpool as it apparently is, with the club supposedly one of the top ten richest in the world. Surely they can’t think that Pogba’s signing was intended to represent “value”, outside of the usual inflated shirt sales claims? Maybe that’s a bad example given that Manchester United are frequently winning games at the moment in spite of Pogba rather than because of him, but the transfers of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale to Real Madrid and, closer to home, Luis Suárez to Barcelona were very similar in that they were solely designed to bring on-pitch success to the purchasing clubs. Value? Suárez cost north of £60m and Ronaldo/Bale in excess of £80m in transfer fees alone, before you even start to skirt the matter of agent’s cuts, bonus payments, signing-on fees and weekly wages. The best don’t come cheap, the biggest don’t care.

I can only imagine what Liverpool’s current hierarchy would make of Manchester United’s decision to buy the 23 year-old Ferdinand from Leeds United. That fee (£30m+) was mind-blowing for the time and made him the world’s most expensive defender. When Paul Tomkins’ Transfer Price Index was applied to take account of transfer market inflation in the meantime back in 2015, it became £82m. In no way, shape or form did Ferdinand represent “value” in the traditional sense of the word, and when he eventually left 12 years later the club didn’t even receive a fee for him, instead having to make do with the 6 Premier League titles, 3 League Cups and Champions League he helped them win. The same will also soon be true of Wayne Rooney, signed for £25m as a teenager in 2004 (also £82m in 2015 money according to Tomkins) who will likely command a vastly reduced fee when he leaves Old Trafford. I doubt they’ll care.

Perhaps all of this is just a refusal on my part to live in the present. The truth is that FSG represent the inevitable conclusion of a journey that both football in general and Liverpool in particular have been on over the past 25 years or so. Arsenal and Wenger, who himself has never seemed particularly enamoured with modern football, have been on it too. Liverpool’s current owners likely wouldn’t have even had the opportunity to buy the club, much less at a knockdown price, had their predecessors not taken so long to adjust to the new reality represented by the Premier League. Everything else flows from that. Almost three decades of subtle, creeping mismanagement, never quite all-out collapse (well, once, almost) but nonetheless consistently operating at a level inferior (often vastly so) to what rivals have been doing in the same period followed and has long since culminated in death by a thousand cuts to another of those famous Bill Shankly mantras, one of the few not already laid to waste by the coming of the Premier League era, namely the one about building Liverpool into a bastion of invincibility and conquering the bloody world.

The resulting mistakes, inadequacies and near-misses have seen to it that ideas of the club dominating anything have long since gone the same way as notions that well-paid footballers not giving their all for the public are a menace who should be put in jail, that the various appendages of players belong to the club rather than themselves, and beliefs in everybody working for the same goal and having a share of the rewards. In fact, the only part of modern football with which a reincarnated Shankly would likely be familiar is that he would still no doubt close the curtains if Everton were playing in his back garden. The most striking change he would find, of course, is to his professed belief that directors are only there to sign the cheques. In the first instance, this idea presupposes that said directors are actually “there” in the first place rather than 3,000 miles away on another continent, and in any case, SEPA transfers are the preferred way of doing business nowadays. More importantly, it vastly underestimates the power of modern owners and their assorted underlings.

Rafa Benítez once said of Chelsea that “the key to them is Abramovich”, and he was right. In the decade or so before the Russian’s arrival, they had admittedly already moved from being a club purchased by its previous owner for £1 and with a carpark behind one of the goals as the Premier League era dawned to regular contenders at the top end of the table, but it was the billionaire’s purchase of the club in 2003 that started them on the path towards being one of the biggest names in modern football who, despite protestations to the contrary, now have going on 20 years’ worth of serious history to their name defined primarily by silverware and famous European nights in April and May. We all said that Chelsea won the lottery the day Abramovich showed up on the doorstep of Stamford Bridge with his billions, but their fortune was every bit as vested in his willingness to actually spend it as the number of pounds and pence to his name.

That’s one side of the coin, the transformation of a club whose most expensive signing was Paul Furlong as recently as 1994 to one which can routinely demand the attention of the world’s best managers and players. The other side is that, at their worst, the suits in the boardroom now have the capability, in a sport whose relatively recent enrichment would surely be far beyond the comprehension of a time-traveller from the 1960’s or 1970’s, to literally destroy football clubs, or at least inflict serious damage. I wonder what Shankly would make of Leeds United, for example, one of the club’s greatest rivals during his time in charge who are still slowly working their way back from the cataclysmic events wrought by the mismanagement of a businessman in a suit named Ridsdale (who, incidentally, almost repeated the trick later at Cardiff and is now an advisor at another of Shankly’s clubs, Preston), and whose current owner’s highlights include sacking 7 managers in his first 2 years of ownership, brief disqualification from running the club after being found guilty of tax evasion and another suspension upcoming for sanctioning an illegal payment?

And he would surely be downright baffled at the power now wielded by the likes of Jorge Mendes (I wouldn’t know where to begin), Mino Raiola (sufficiently cocksure of his place in the world to call no less a manager than Klopp “a piece of shit” earlier this season) and Aidy Ward (who was instrumental in an 18 year-old deciding that he had outgrown one of the most storied football clubs in the world). This is the era of money and moneymen, and the idea of players, manager and supporters forming a “holy trinity” into which the suits daren’t step is now as antiquated as terraces, tight shorts and perms.

Liverpool’s owners hold the fate of their club in their hands to an extent that would have been unimaginable and maybe even horrific to Shankly, and the fear, of course, is that their definition of “success” has already been achieved and then some. Having bought Liverpool for in and around £300m back in October 2010, they now preside over a club valued by Forbes last year at over £1bn. Their investment was shrewd, a massive return already pretty much guaranteed. With that being the case, and regardless of how much revenue is being generated by the club, their approach to running Liverpool has every appearance of seeking to minimise risk above all else. Even Arsenal, a club at which the amount being spent on players has similarly long been a hot topic amongst supporters, have had a number of transfer windows where the amount spent massively exceeded anything recouped (2014/15 and 2016/17 in particular).

With regard to Liverpool, I find it hard to shake the feeling that very few major transfers during FSG’s stewardship have been completed without a comparable sum, or the prospect thereof, coming the other way. The £23m signing of Suárez in January 2011 came a few months after Javier Mascherano left for £18m; the same month, Andy Carroll arrived for £35m on the same night that Fernando Torres left for £50m; the following summer, the £19m signing of Stewart Downing was offset somewhat by the departure of Raul Meireles for £12m; Sakho arrived for £18m in the same season that Andy Carroll left for £17m; the summer of 2014 saw a host of players signed primarily out of the £65m fee received for the departing Suárez; Christian Benteke (£32m) and Roberto Firmino (£29m) arrived as Raheem Sterling (£50m) left, Mané (£34m) and Wijnaldum (£25m) as Benteke (£27m), Ibe (£15m) and Allen (£13m) departed. Only Allen’s arrival for £15m in the summer of 2012 really bucks the trend in any meaningful way, and most of the original fee was recouped from Stoke this season.

That feeling, I assume, is why Klopp was moved to explicitly discuss the matter last Friday. The last time the club had a manager of this stature guiding it, he was far more vociferous than the German regarding the need to sign players. Liverpool’s current boss has been more circumspect, but I don’t believe for one second that a coach as obviously driven, talented and passionate about the game as Klopp doesn’t want to work with the very best and to win. Speaking of Pogba’s transfer earlier in the season, he said that “other clubs can go out and spend more money and collect top players. I want to do it differently. I would even do it differently if I could spend that money”. However, he went on to qualify this by saying that “if I spend money, it is because I am trying to build a team, a real team. Barcelona did it. You can win championships, you can win titles, but there is a manner in which you want it”.

If the transfer business of Barcelona, who haven’t been afraid to spend to spend huge sums over the years on the likes of Suárez, Neymar, Fabregas, Sanchez, Villa, Mascherano, Ibrahimovic and others to reinforce what they already had, is a benchmark for Klopp, then it’s safe to say that he is not adverse in principle to "spending big" on players he wants. Mané and Wijnaldum certainly weren’t cheap. The question then becomes whether he receives the backing this summer that he seems to be counting on (“We all have the same plan: sporting director, scouting department, owners, myself…we want to make this club as big and as successful as possible…Will it be a similar transfer window as last summer when we broke even? I don’t think it is possible. Now there will be a few other faces”).

We can only hope so because, regardless of how disappointing the performances have been over the past couple of months, the majority of the current squad, which took 43 points from 19 games to start the season, should surely be retained and reinforced with three or four players of the highest quality. That, it seems to me, is not just how you “build a team, a real team”, it’s how you build the kind of squad required to support it. Sakho, maybe Lucas and, the way the signs are pointing, Daniel Sturridge are likely to be the only major exits from the club this summer, along with Markovic who in any case will have been on loan for two years by then, that’s if Barcelona leave it a little longer to go all-in for Coutinho and the club can convince Emre Can to sign a new deal. Breaking even with the income generated by those four is unlikely to be enough in itself, especially given that the style of football Klopp favours tends to rely more heavily on individual ability than, say, Conte’s Chelsea, where perceived weak links like David Luiz or Victor Moses have been able to form key cogs in a system built on defensive organisation (Luiz in Klopp’s system, for example, with Jordan Henderson frequently providing the only midfield protection, would surely be a different proposition to the one who has Kanté and Matić in front and a centre-back either side on a weekly basis). The talent required for it to function properly is likely, therefore, to come at a premium. All of this is not even considering the longer term issue of what happens if/when we reach a point where the manager wants to keep everyone during a transfer window but would like to add a couple more.

Klopp’s Liverpool, occasionally dodgy defence and all, has frequently looked as good as anyone during his time in charge. To do that consistently is a tall order which will only be achieved by showing real ambition in actions as well as words, the kind of ambition that other top clubs are likely to be showing. Failure to take advantage of this opportunity will only result in more restlessness as the club falls further behind its rivals. Whether or not a top-4 finish is secured between now and May, this really does look like being the defining summer to end all defining summers.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2017, 12:13:54 AM by kavah »

Offline 007.lankyguy

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #858 on: March 12, 2017, 11:12:11 PM »
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Offline Mactavish

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #859 on: May 20, 2017, 06:58:11 PM »


Remember this absolute beast of a post from him in 2013?

My writing generally comes from the heart, and what's in my heart right now is...

I came for the football. I was a young boy, seven years of age and falling in love with the game after watching Diego Maradona, Careca and Michael Laudrup, amongst others, doing their thing at Mexico ‘86. And with every other kid in my class, my school, my street supporting a club, I suppose I figured that I should too. Liverpool happened to be that club.

The first team I really remember comprised Barnes, Beardsley, Aldridge, McMahon, Hansen, Gillespie, Houghton, and so on. You know the one. It was the team that annihilated Nottingham Forest 5-0 at Anfield one evening in a game that the legendary Tom Finney was moved to describe as “the finest exhibition I’ve seen the whole time I’ve played and watched the game” [for some context, there are two quotes attributed to Bill Shankly that sum up his feelings about Finney: “Tom Finney would have been great in any team, in any match and in any age…even if he had been wearing an overcoat” and (asked how one contemporary player compared to Finney) “Aye, he’s as good as Tommy – but then Tommy’s nearly 60 now”]. This was the same team that equalled the record for most games unbeaten from the start of a season, and which did so not merely through defensive strength but attacking majesty, scoring 87 goals across 40 games. The same team that warranted the entire 1987/88 Match of the Day ‘Goal of the Season’ competition for themselves. I still have that footage saved somewhere and I still can’t pick a top three, it’s utterly impossible – McMahon chasing a lost cause out to the touchline against Arsenal, a move that ended with a typical Aldridge finish from inside the six-yard box, or clipping the ball into the top corner against Manchester United with the outside of his boot; there was Nicol’s run down the wing and sublime chip at St. James’ Park against Newcastle; what about Barnes escaping from the corner against Forest, taking out about four players in one flowing, majestic run before squaring for Beardsley; there was Beardsley’s lofted pass from the halfway line earlier in the same game that sent Aldridge away for the opener; there was the magnificent volley from the little Geordie magician in front of the Kop in the Merseyside derby; oh, and of course that Barnes goal against QPR.

What a team, and what an introduction to the game for this young lad. This was like arriving into a restaurant for the first time and being served fillet steak, Cuban cigars and 100 year-old Scotch by a bevy of lingerie models, payment optional. I came for the football, and I got my fill of just about the best kind I could have ever hoped for. But that’s a long time ago now. These days I’m a man, 33 years old, and a lot has changed. I looked at the game back then with a kind of innocent, wide-eyed wonder that has evaporated almost entirely in the intervening years. It was naivety, in truth. Football, even the kind played by the likes of John Barnes and Peter Beardsley, seemed awfully similar to what I was doing with my friends in the street (and, in fact, I’m pretty sure that the green in front of my house had a better surface than Plough Lane ever did, dogshit and all). As I got older, however, I learned that football wasn’t just a game but a ‘sport,’ and with that came a certain amount of knowledge. Then that sport began to change in front of my eyes, and as time went by, there was less and less to like about it. If you had handed me a pen and paper back in 1987 and asked me to write out a list of what I loved and hated about football, the former would have outnumbered the latter by at least ten-to-one. These days, I wouldn’t even waste my time or yours. These days, when even the things I love about it seem to drive me towards hating them too, we’d probably both be fit to self-harm by the time I was done writing. Now, a lot of that might simply be down to the wisdom that comes with age, and maybe it was always like that to some extent. Yet so much has changed that it feels like I’m in an entirely different place now from where I started some 26 years ago, even though I never moved a muscle. I started off sitting in the living-room of a cosy little three-bed terraced house which, after years of refurbishments, extensions and alterations, has now become a towering ten-storey apartment block massed around me, and you know what? I fucking hate it, and I don’t even know why I’m still sat here.

Well, that’s a lie, actually. I do know why I’m still sat here, but sometimes I need to remind myself because it’s not something you can stick on your mantle, sit back and admire every day. It’s not something you can wear, or something you can reach out and touch, something you can take a snap of and then upload to your Facebook page; it’s not tangible, in other words, and so sometimes you forget. It’s even easier to do so now that football has become some kind of Vegas Strip where the senses are continuously being bombarded, where it’s so hard even to adjust your eyes to the glare of the bright lights and, once you have, all you see is a hundred colourful signs flashing hypnotically and directing you here, there and everywhere to empty your pockets. Luckily, it’s something that the moneymen and marketing experts of this world haven’t quite figured out how to slap a price tag on just yet, although we can be sure they have their best people working on it. It’s certainly been used to shift replica shirts and other assorted merchandise, hospitality packages, match tickets and God knows what else in the past, but it’s something that has yet to be packaged and put on a shelf in the conventional sense. And although it has taken heavy fire over the years and suffered quite a bit of damage along the way, it remains the one element of modern football that provides a connection to another time, that unites us with our dads and granddads, our uncles and granduncles, perhaps to those people who were present back in December 1959 when Glenbuck’s most famous son arrived at Anfield and changed everything forever, allowing someone like my younger self to discover and fall in love with this great club 28 years later even though I had never even set foot in the city of Liverpool.

Part of what I’m describing is obvious, and it’s something that every football supporter, regardless of affiliation, has shared for as long as they’ve been supporting their team. It’s imagination, a spark that sets the mundane afire; it’s inspiration, even as we struggle to pay our bills, raise our families and be a rock to the people we love, the seemingly routine but utterly essential shit we do every day of our lives. Back then, there was work and home for five or six days of the week, maybe even seven, then the release of football on a Saturday; these days we have different things to occupy us, other priorities, altered work patterns, and football can pop up on any day of the week at virtually any time of the day. The essentials, though, remain the same. It’s what has me salivating at the prospect of tomorrow’s game, at the prospect of couple of pints and watching my team hopefully make it back-to-back wins to start the season. How will they line up? Same as last week? How will we limit Benteke’s influence? Will Henderson start, or maybe Allen? What about Aspas? Will Mignolet still be as nervous under high balls as he started last week, or will those two saves from Walters and the one from Jones settle him down? And so on. It’s the kind of stuff supporters have been doing for years, and when you take away the bells and whistles, it’s still far and away the most exciting thing about football.

There is, however, something more fundamental and infinitely more important at play here for me that goes beyond mere football. Honestly, if it was still just about the football for me, I would have walked away a long time ago. The modern game is not who I am, but the club I started supporting 26 years ago, amazingly, still is. I’ve wondered about that plenty of times, believe me, but something has always drawn me close even as I contemplated pulling away. At the club’s lowest ebb, when RBS was knocking on the door, when Hicks in particular was trying feverishly to refinance his loans, when our best manager for a generation, one of us, had been allowed to walk alone out the door and be replaced by a man who was advertised as someone who would ‘steady the ship’ but instead seemed happy to merely maintain its course towards the rocks, it was the concerted, gutsy campaigns of the supporters that ended up saving the club. And when the new owners came in and remained aloof, essentially running the club from hundreds of miles away and dragging one of the biggest legends this club has ever seen halfway across the world to sack him, there was still the realisation of what the man represented and continues to represent, they could never take that away. And all the while, there was the Justice Campaign which finally bore fruit last year and threatens to bear even more in the near-future, the work of a group of courageous mothers and fathers (ably supported by the fans) who were put through Hell by the establishment and whose tireless work, 23 years after the fact, got an unequivocal apology out of a Conservative Prime Minister in front of the entire world. Even during six and a half years where the club had been sold into foreign hands and almost ceased to exist at one stage, there was still Rafael Benítez, Kenny Dalglish and Steven Gerrard; there was still Anne Williams and Margaret Aspinall; we still had inspiration coming out our ears. And there was still us.

We lose sight of the fact that this remains no mere club, that it represents something far more than just football. It’s so easy to forget when we’re sent scurrying in a million different directions by the loud, brash distractions of modern football, but football and football clubs can be sold, ideals and principles cannot. It’s why I’m happy to embrace the past, to celebrate the people who went before and the things they did and said, even at the risk of being labelled ‘sentimental’ by those who simply don’t get it. People either talk up the relevance of history or talk it down, depending on what point they want to make. I cherish it, not because Liverpool won more trophies in the past, but because history tells you who you are. One of the reasons we were all so lucky to be born or drawn to this particular club is that it already had a sense of itself that resonated with us. It’s a reflection of its city, and also of that man who arrived in 1959. We saw it when Rafa cried at the Hillsborough service, when Kenny greeted the players coming off the Anfield pitch after the League Cup semi-final against Manchester City with tears in his eyes; we saw it when Steven Gerrard refused Chelsea (twice) and when Simon Mignolet’s penalty save was greeted by a deafening, sustained roar last Saturday that seemed to just keep going and going. We see it time and time again. And I see it in our manager. It’s easy to laugh at the language he uses sometimes, but when he said things like “I grew up, not with a silver spoon, but with a silver shovel” and “we have a standard at Liverpool and I will fight for my life to retain it”, I thought “alright, Brendan, you’ll do for me, lad.”

Belief is a fragile and valuable thing, but somehow, after all these years, I’ve still got it. I believe in Brendan Rodgers and I believe in his team. I believe in hard work, respect, honesty, courage and, most of all, community. Some question whether we're getting any of that from the boardroom; I don't know, but I believe we'll get it from this manager and this team, regardless of trophies. And I believe in us. That’s why I’m still here; I came for the football, but I stayed for Liverpool F.C.

Offline Tepid T₂O

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #860 on: June 27, 2017, 09:39:35 PM »
From the transfer forum... a rare moment of sanity

Once upon a time, Lovren was very good at Southampton and when he signed for us, a lot of people expected him to slot in and raise our defense to levels. However, our defense, which had not been any good for a quite a while against Brendan due to systemic issues compounded by the fact that we had the Moreno beside him isolating Lovren out wide facing pacy players and not really the strength of most CBs affected him. All those obviously put more pressure on him and broke him when he couldn't cope. Yes, he had a poor season, but that's a long way ago now.

A lot of supporters could still not recover from their expectations, and they use that as the basis to still think he's 'poor' or 'liability' etc. Some have even mentioned him alongside the worst CBs that they have seen. And none of those comments have had much of a basis. It's time to start reading those comments with a pinch of salt, as it has already been two years since Lovren has recovered from the horror start here. It's been two seasons, two good partnerships already with two other good defenders. Lovren and Sakho together had a good record whenever they played together. That has changed to Matip and Lovren last season. However, the three of them were unfortunately injury prone during that period and we couldn't see more of those partnerships. Just because there has been a massive step down to their replacements in Skrtel, Klavan and Lucas doesn't mean he has to take the brunt of criticism when he hasn't played with another good defender. If Hyypia played with Bramble for a number of games, do you think Hyypia would've by himself dragged the defense to clean-sheets left and right?

Yes, Lovren does make a few errors here and there, but it is not fatal. Other good defenders in the league make errors as well, other defenders can be dissected and analyzed. I have no doubt that if Matip and Lovren stay fit for majority of the season, we will concede much lesser than when one of them is not available and we have to play Klavan/Lucas instead (if we do not sign any CB). It is crucial to buy a CB, not because Lovren is not a good defender, but because we have to cover for the absence of Matip or Lovren without much of a drop in quality. I honestly can't see why Lovren is criticized this much by Liverpool supporters. Other supporters regard him higher and yet, we are still living in Brendan era and full of prejudice.
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Offline Corkboy

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #861 on: June 27, 2017, 10:15:27 PM »
Good post.

Offline John C

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #862 on: June 30, 2017, 12:44:59 AM »
Yep, I don't get the Lovren hate at all. Thanks for re-posting mate.

Offline Yorkykopite

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #863 on: June 30, 2017, 12:11:29 PM »
Yes, it's a good one that.
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Offline BeautifulGame91

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #864 on: September 9, 2017, 12:12:06 PM »

Not really. This is completely revisionist. He was definitely interested in spaces, not in the same way as Firmino obviously because they were different players. But he often played one-twos with other players in attack while moving into spaces that got him through. He has scored and setup players by making runs into space and finding balls into space for other attackers to take advantage. Comparing him with our front three is absurd, considering he wasn't an inside forward or a false 9, so his game was obviously different. His game was putting through forwards through his passes and through-balls, making little one-twos to progress the game forward and switching play - all of these are tactical parts of the game which are essential. You cannot criticize Salah for his lack of tactical intelligence because he is not good in Switching Play. His areas of strengths are in making runs behind the defenders with clever movement. You're basically confusing style of attack with tactical intelligence.

Apologies for the Off-Topic content, but I thought this had to be on to clear air on some 'perceived' weaknesses of one of our greatest players one final time as part of this discussion and the comparison. I think I owe him that much, but if required it can moved to a different thread.

Gerrard was exceptionally good in medium/long passing which clouded people into thinking he did not use the short passing game. This is negated by the fact that Rafa, in his own blog mentioned that Gerrard, Kuyt and Torres were his main weapons in terms of triangulation. They played frequent triangles between them (sometimes players like Benayoun got involved) to get through the opposition defense. Gerrard's combination play was as good as anyone in attack. Gerrrard's range has proved to have covered the entire pitch, so I have no idea why you think his Short Passing was not that good. He used the short passing game well, only he was looking forward. Statistically, I'm sure Gerrard played in and around as many/more Short Passes in a game than Keita is playing now (Obviously Opta was not around when Gerrard was 21/22, but during his later years he was playing a large number of Short Passes in games and he managed to clock around 100 passes in some games, that which only modern Shot Passing experts such as Thiago are able to do now. His average number of passes clocked around 70 for a major part of his last few seasons. I understand this Gerrard was not the early version, but Keita is a similar kind of player in terms of short passing so I'm not sure why you think their styles were different. Keita mostly looks forward like him. He's not a Xavi or even an Alonso who prefer to recycle the ball. He keeps looking forward with the ball for solutions, just like Gerrard only their solutions are different. Keita uses dribbling as a weapon, while Gerrard prefers his range of passing or combination play for the same.

To again bring the context to the level of revisionism here,

At 22, Gerrard had won the FA Cup, League Cup, UEFA Cup, UEFA Super Cup and even scored in the UEFA Cup Final. He was as established as any youngster could be. He was already known as one of the most talented youngsters coming up at that time just like Keita is now and many managers realized his potential then. Example - Ferguson obviously got bitter towards the end when his multiple attempts to tempt Gerrard failed (even had Neville go on about it in Gerrard's ear during England duty), but this is what he said in 2000 when Gerrard was 20

‘He is physically and technically precocious. He’s got a good engine and remarkable energy. He reads the game and he passes quickly. I would hate to think Liverpool have someone as good as Roy Keane."

Imagine, a Manchester United manager considered him when he was just 20, to be as good as Roy Keane who was one their midfield greats, that shows the potential he had as a 20 year old.

In 2004, when Gerrard was 24, he said this

If you were looking for the player you would replace Keane with, it would be Gerrard, without question. ‘He has become the most influential player in England, bar none,’ Ferguson enthused. ‘More than Vieira. Not that Vieira lacks anything, but I think he does more for his team than Vieira does and has way more to his game. I’ve watched him quite a lot. Anyone would love to have him in their team.

And Gerrard still had not gotten close to his peak at that time.

Vieira himself agreed

In my opinion he's in the top three midfielders in the world, maybe the best right now."I heard what Alex Ferguson said about him being better than me. He's probably right. Gerrard is England's best player and he single-handedly got Liverpool into the Champions League. He is the complete player. He can score, he has a great final ball, he can tackle and he drives his team forward. He is a winner on the pitch, which is why I really admire him.

A few years later

"The best midfielder I would say is Steven Gerrard. I really rate him as a player and as a man.


'Yes of course [Gerrard’s one of the best I’ve faced]. For long periods when Liverpool were in trouble, everyone looked to Gerrard and nine out of 10 times he did it. He’s a huge player and what I liked is that he’s shown great loyalty through his whole career to play for Liverpool. It’s very difficult to see how because he had the calibre to play for any big club but he stayed loyal and I have big respect for that. When you look at his qualities it’s hard to see what he didn’t have in the locker. He’s quick, a good passer, good technique, could score goals, a dream midfielder. He had every single quality needed for midfield.'


"Liverpool's Steven Gerrard, Lionel Messi or Xavi from Barcelona deserved the award more. "Ronaldo is only focused on finishing in front of goal. "I love Gerrard's qualities as a player and a leader. Technically and tactically he is the best. His passion is enormous, he means as much for a great team as George Best. "He is a player who fans can identify themselves with and a man who carries the love for his club on his club badge. There is not another player in the world who combines all those qualities. I like him so much more than Ronaldo."


"Obviously he's one of the best players in the world and I'd like to manage him one time in the future. If you can manage the best players, it's easier to win. I don't know him as a person. I think he's a good man. But the reason I would like to manage him is because I've managed a lot of fantastic players, and he's one of the best players. In Italy, when I played, there were players like [Giancarlo] Antognoni at Fiorentina, Rainer Bonhof in Germany. Today, Gerrard. Full stop. He can be a holding midfielder. He has fantastic shots, passes and skills. He is the complete midfielder."

In later years

“I have an incredible admiration [for Gerrard]. When I was at Milan we tried signing him, but it was not possible."

"He's one of the players I would have loved to coach, and I thought about him so many times in the past when I was at Milan. But it was impossible because he was very much linked with Liverpool. We had sounded him out but Gerrard's bond with Liverpool was unbreakable. I don't remember exactly what year it was but we did try. Of course, I wanted to pair him up with Pirlo, it was a fantastic combination. Putting Gerrard in midfield with Pirlo. It would have been fantastic."

Rafa, in a preview to a game as a neutral years after he left,

Once again, the captain who did so much for me at Liverpool, is the tactical key.

What is that? What could be that actually?

Another preview of a game

 'Stevie will remember all about Zlatan and Juventus. He missed the Turin leg with an injury but he was very strong in our win at Anfield, driving the play. He is playing far deeper for Roy Hodgson and driving forward far less but I think that is correct. He is the England
midfielder who can pass the ball and switch the play better than all the others. He can also be that shield to frustrate Zlatan, who definitely won't have forgotten him.

Don't tell me again that Stevie doesn't understand the tactical aspects of the game. Rafa himself congratulates Stevie on following them here. He says Zlatan won't have forgotten Stevie, because Stevie was on top of Zlatan in the CL game that Rafa managed.

Rafa on Gerrard when he played deeper in the later years

“It was interesting to see him playing in the deeper regista role in the win against Stoke City, because regular readers of this column will know why I think he has the qualities to be an influence there. It is his anticipation, ability to pass long and short with incredible accuracy and also dictate the tempo. Not many players can do that.

Rafa, one of the most tactically astute managers, consider him to be able to dictate the tempo and follow tactical instructions in defense and offense. However, people have always read between the lines that Rafa didn't consider so because he played him in different positions. The truth is, Gerrard was able to perform at a high level and adjust tactically to a number of positions, which was why Rafa trusted him. He wasn't moved around because he was not good tactically.


“Steven Gerrard is for sure one of my favourite enemies and for sure my dear enemy, the one who made me a better manager. To stop him or try to stop him has been very, very difficult.'

"But speaking about Liverpool and speaking about honouring the champions, this is my time to honour a champion. It is my time to honour Steve Gerrard.It is with opponents like him that I am the manager that I am, because I learn with my players and I learn with my best opponents. I tried to bring him to Chelsea, I tried to bring him to Inter (Milan), I tried to bring him to Real Madrid but he was always a dear enemy."

I thought stopping a tactically deficient player should be easy, you just mark him with a strong physical player and he's done. But no, eh?

Why would all the big clubs in the world from Real Madrid (more than once), Bayern, Inter, Milan (Ancelotti even discussed with Pirlo on pairing Gerrard with him), United (attempts to tap up multiple times), Chelsea (not that they're a big club, but Mourinho wanted him) want to sign up such a tactical deficient player? Hardly makes sense when most of these coaches were very tactically tuned and insistent would be a mystery. Especially considering that Ancelotti and Mourinho are tactically rigid ans stubborn managers is a bit of a head-scratcher isn't it? Only, it isn't.

With as much of a handicap in tactical intelligence as mentioned here, you would think he was a headless chicken and these are said about a completely different player with all the superlatives being thrown around. 

Most of the great 'tactically brilliant' players found it difficult to play against him.

This is what Ronaldinho said of Gerrard

""Cristiano is a great player. But Steven Gerrard is, for me, one of the very best in the world. For the job he performs, for me, he is one of the greatest."

Kaka at Milan

‘The time has arrived to re-energise a group which has many players at the end of their contracts. Gerrard is a complete player and can play anywhere. I could see him fitting in really well at Milan."

Later, Kaka mentioned him when he was asked about the best players in and around late 2000s

"That’s a difficult question," he replied. "If I had to choose three, I would pick Cristiano Ronaldo, because of his skill and speed; Messi, because of his flair and skills; and Steven Gerrard, who for me is the complete modern player."

England have always had individually strong players and I am a huge fan of Stevie Gerrard, He has the heart of a lion and is the icon of the modern footballer with his ability to attack and defend so well."

For me, and I have always said this, he will be regarded as one of the greatest midfielders ever when he finishes his career. No doubt.


"I have played alongside some of the greatest footballers of my generation, but there is only one ex-team-mate I would rate higher than Steven Gerrard. The biggest compliment I can give him is he is second only to Zinedine Zidane in terms of his world-class status."


"I would say he is the hardest player to play against in midfield because he's got everything. He is a very complete midfield player. He's the stand-out one in England. Maybe when we play Arsenal and they are sometimes on top form, you could pick one of their players but Gerrard is the main one for me. Stevie is one of the best players in the England team and probably in the world to be honest, so it's always nice to play with great players and against them as well."


"I had the chance to play with so many great players and saw so many in this league. Alongside Paul Scholes, he is the player I would have like to have played with. He could do anything well, whether it was a nice tackle or assist, everything was done well. The quality that he had was at the time, especially in Europe, underrated. He was just an amazing player."

'I find it a disgrace that he didn’t win European Footballer of the Year in 2005 after Istanbul. For me, he is one of the best ever. Whenever you play Liverpool you know you have to get him out of the game. If not, it’s all over for you. “He’s a midfielder and if you look at all the important goals he’s scored - well I can’t even think of a striker in the world who has scored as many important goals, never mind a midfielder. How many times has he done it in the dying seconds of a game? I am trying to think of a striker now who does it - there aren’t any. Think about it.'

Henry talks about having to take him out of the game. How many top managers (the likes of Ferguson, Mourinho, Wenger in the league, Ancelotti, Rijkaard, Capello, Mancini in CL) over the years failed to take him out of the game? Why, you wonder, if he was a mug tactically.


"I'd put him in the top three, not just in England but in the world because he's a complete player. Would I have liked to play alongside him?" I think anyone would love to play with players of that calibre. He's a terrific player; he's a match-winner, so I think he's a player any club in the world would want. Gerrard is a complete player because he can play in every position and can do everything with a football at any time in a game. He's a player who scores goals, who builds the play, he's a sensational player."


"What makes him so good? Well, there is nothing he can't do. He is clever. He sees the game quicker than anyone else. He sees the picture. He can play the ball first time round corners that aren't even there. He has got intelligence. He has got physical attributes. He can bomb past people. He is quick. He is a proper, powerful athlete. Give him a header, he will score. He can play in behind the front man. He can get the ball off the back four and control the game from the quarterback position. He is just an immense all-round footballer. I have never seen anyone put it all together like him, never seen someone with so many qualities. I have played with a lot of talented players, but he was better than any of them."

Bryan Robson

'For me Gerrard can do everything and that's the reason I'd say he was the best of the three if I had to split them ahead of Scholes and Lampard in that order. They are all top professionals and each brought different attributes and strengths but Gerrard can tackle, defend, score goals, head it, make a telling precision pass, dictate the tempo and is a powerful runner. He has a bit more to his game."


"For me, it's not about Gattuso against Gerrard, despite what he said. For me, Gerrard is the best player in England. He is a technical player, who plays very hard and with his heart. He is a legend for his club and the best player they've got. I have more respect for him because I remember that final in Istanbul. We had won it but then he played a great game and changed everything. I watched him against Chelsea on Tuesday and he was amazing, unbelievable. I still say I have respect for him and like the way he plays. I am looking forward to playing him again and looking him in the eye before it starts. This will be a very important game for us both.


I have said in the past that at his peak he was the best in the world. I think it was the summer of 2004 I was having a conversation with Florentino (Perez) and I told him I wanted him to partner me in midfield for Madrid. I know the club tried twice but he wouldn’t leave Liverpool. Not many players turn down Real Madrid but I think that tells you a lot about the loyalty of the man.”

Zidane, a few years later

"He's a player that I really thought a lot of, I had a lot of time for him and rated him. I can't say that about everyone," "Why did I like him so much? Perhaps there was something about him that reminded me a little bit of myself. He made a lot of noise out there on the field but was quiet off it, meaning that he was someone down to earth and grounded away from the game who just said what needed to be said. He preferred to do his talking on the field, using his voice, his combative spirit and above all his ability on the ball that could make the difference in a game. I would have really liked to have played alongside him. But he has always remained loyal to his own club, Liverpool, the club of his heart. That also is another characteristic that is particular to him, I don't think there are too many players who have spent their entire career playing for just one club. That is a great strength of his too. It was never possible, because of course he stayed with Liverpool, but I would have loved to play with a guy like him. It's simply that he's one of the few players, and I must come back to his combative spirit here, who is a superb technician, who is great on the ball, but who mixed in those fighting qualities with everything he did."


"For you guys, he was an example for all the others. I think Steven has been and is an absolutely complete player, because he had personality, technique, he could set the play and also defend, and he could score goals - penalty-kicks, free-kicks. So really a modern, complete player. I have a very clear memory of the final we lost in Istanbul, when he was helping his teammates with difficulties in defence. He started playing at the back and tackled every single player of Milan. But I must say that what probably made the difference was his example for all his teammates."


‘Gerrard is an excellent player, absolutely world-class. If I was a manager, everywhere I went I would buy Steven Gerrard. ‘He is what Brazil needs, because he is always looking forward and has a big heart. ‘Two years ago I saw Gerrard play and then I saw him in Tokyo in a game against Sao Paulo. I said then that Gerrard is a great player. To me he is one of the best midfielders in the world. He is an excellent player.’


'In my own position, I was crazy about [Steven] Gerrard. I remember in the Champions League final comeback by Liverpool against AC Milan, you saw him up front, on the wings, and a moment later he was back, marking the playmaker, I have never seen such a complete midfielder."


When people talk about the best footballers in Europe, they always single out Messi, and Ronaldo, but Gerrard is just as strong, Messi and Ronaldo are special talents and the fact that they are in teams winning the important trophies means they stand out from the rest. Maybe you need to win something to earn the big awards, I don't know, but we all understand how good Gerrard is. "I'm spoilt having a team-mate like Gerrard as I can count on him supplying me with perfect passes. You make the run into the space and however tightly marked he is, he finds a way to get the ball through in perfect condition. "The highest compliment I can pay him is that he's as creative as a Xavi at Barcelona, with something extra as well. When you add his energy, toughness, leadership and goal scoring ability and the result is a fantastic all-round player. "Maybe I am biased because he is my team-mate and friend, but Stevie does not get the credit he deserves either in England or with European fans. This can change in 2010 when he has a chance to confirm his class with Liverpool and in the World Cup.

De Rossi

'Gerrard has been my idol for 10 years and is one of the best players in the world. He is the example of what all midfield players aspire to. He is always there in the heat of the battle, leading by example. He is everywhere you look - in defence, in the middle of the pitch and in attack. I would love to be close to that level.'


"He could play in any national team in the world because he has so many great qualities. He is flexible.He can play at the English pace or he can associate with the ball very well. He is a very intelligent player,so he could play anywhere - not just any national team but any club in the world. But he has been a one-club man and that's something i really admire. He will absolutely be remembered as one of the greats."

Come on, a player can't be as deficient as you mention and be admired by coaches and players who played with and against him that much. Some of them specifically sound out his game in 'spaces', 'technique', 'precision', 'game intelligence' even 'tactical' aspects of the game.

His biggest disadvantage in terms of being credited for the player he was, is that he's English. If not, he would be regarded by fans and everyone else in a different level. The players and coaches know though.


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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #865 on: September 15, 2017, 07:11:11 PM »
I don't necessarily agree with all of this post but I think it deserves a place here:

The biggest concerns I have around our defence is the lack of communication, the lack of aggression and just all round lack of desire to actually defend. Moreno for example, yeah he will defend when he needs to but does anyone honestly get the feeling with him that he has a desire to do it? Same with Lovren. Same with even Matip.

This is as quiet a defence as you are likely to see. Nobody is screaming at each other to get in to position, or to track runners or to just switch on. Look at the state of our defensive line for the first goal at the weekend. Not a single defend in line with another. None of them paying attention to the position of their other defenders never mind the position of the attackers. Carragher was constantly switched on. Desperate to defend. He was always talking his fellow defenders through every second of a game and leading the defence. It was everything to him. This defence just feels so laissez faire. Oh if they need defend then they'll try when it gets to them personally, but they don't work as a unit in the slightest. They aren't constantly thinking and aware of where they should be and where their team mates are.

I was just thinking back to our team from a decade ago, and it was just so different in attitude. Yes, we didn't always win. Yes we would lose games etc etc. But we had communicators and people who really CARED if we concede. It made them angry. Pepe Reina, Jamie Carragher, Javier Mascherano. If you didnt pull your weight with them they'd rip your head off. Who gives out that impression now? It's all to nice. Every one of them. Even lads like Arbeloa were snide fuckers. Lads who cared about defending. Carra got in his face and he didnt back down in the slightest. Who would do that now if Carra shouted at them?

Joel Matip, our first choice CB, a good player. But far too nice and far too passive. When have you ever saw him get in the face of a CF he is playing against? When has he ever got in a heated argument with anyone? Any time he fouls lads, he's putting his hand out picking them up and apologising right away. Nasty fuckers like Costa last season for example. I remember him trying to leave one on Matip. A couple minutes later he fouled Costa and was apologising profusely right away.

It's the biggest issue our defence has. The lack of absolute desperation to defend well. And it is hard to sign lads who will fix it because it is difficult to know who has that drive. It was the thing I adored most about Suarez. Not his skill. Not his creativity. Not even his work ethic. But his absolute desire to do anything and everything to win. He'd put his life down if it meant winning a game of football. He was so driven. He'd lose his shit more if we conceded a throw in than our current lads do if we concede a goal. When did you last see someone lose their shit at conceding a goal. It's just shrugs. Nobody willing to dig each other out and pull someone up. It's all about drive. Remember Suarez going fucking mental at Sturridge for not passing him the ball when we were 4-0 up in a derby? That's the attitude our defenders and in general everyone needs to have. Thankfully we have Naby Keita joining next summer and I think he has that mentality from what I have saw of him.

We need leaders and communicators in that back line, and we need them ASAP.  I'll be honest, it obviously won't happen because it would be too much change at once, but I'd have no problem with Klopp replacing any of our back 6. Matip is the one I like most in there, but even he has questions marks around him due to his mentality.

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #866 on: September 19, 2017, 01:38:47 AM »
Probably the best first post I've read on RAWK. In the defence thread that I somehow missed up until now (thanks for the link to it above HBHR). Althought it's already been locked so I'll have to wait before spewing my own tactical nonsense into it. For now though I can just nod in agreement with most of the below.

Please post more U-238A aka Circled Triangle Down aka Uranium-238a.

First post, long time lurker - Don't think there's a more fitting issue and time to hop into head first.

A lot of the time when people speak about the 'defence', they refer to the back 4 specifically. Not the goal keeper, not the midfielders, but the back 4. The back 4 (Moreno, Lovren, Klavan) are 'not good enough'. Why? Because they concede goals? Name me a CB or back 4 in the world who doesn't. Anyone who has watched football or analyses it to any extent SHOULD be able to understand that the goals we concede, are not simply down to having a 'defence' that isn't good enough. I find it strange that pundits and so called experts attribute our poor 'defence' to our back 4 so often, rarely mentioning anything else. Note, I'm not arguing that our back 4 are good enough, I'm simply arguing the fact that our poor 'defence' and goals conceded being blamed on the back 4 is being completely overstated.

Klopp's philosophy and style of football is what is causing us to concede goals. Whether his philosophy works in the EPL compared to the Bundesliga is for another discussion. But if last year is anything to go by, we did alright and if not for key players being injured or unavailable, we'd have done better - and these players weren't the defenders... Food for thought.

When you play this style of football, your defence begins up the field in the front 3. Firmino, Salah, Mane are the vital cogs in this system for defending. The midfield is just as important, and LEAST, the back 4. Pressuring the ball up the field so the opposition has no time to play the ball is the key to this style. They're forced to play risky passes into midfield to attempt to retain the ball (where our engines nick in and start the counter) or they play long and play against the odds. Defending in this system is quite basic if your forwards and midfielders do their job and do it well - See Arsenal game as an example. They had shit all to do.

Now, when it doesn't go right - ie. Man City/Watford - where we lose a player or any of the front 6 have a bad day or choose to slack off or not defend, we concede just as many goals as our 'sub-par' back 4 are responsible for.  I've analysed the key moments/goals in both Watford and Man City games and find that the problem begins up the pitch. First goal against Watford - Firmino (a forward) doesn't contest the ball. 3rd goal - Gini loses concentration and doesn't clear the ball - Gini, looked to be struggling late in the game - he's a midfielder.

City first goal - Mane doesn't contest the clearance from Mignolet (he's offside yes), and gives Walker a free header back into midfield. Gini loses his 50/50 against Fernandinho (can argue it's a foul) and the first and really only one to react is Aguero. Can is caught ball watching the entire time and reacts far too slowly to the threat that is De Bruyne with time and space. He should've realised as soon as walker had a clear header that this was going to be a sequence of 50/50 contests and should've moved back into position. At this point, Klavan is marking 2 players (but could've stepped up) - so any of Moreno/Matip or Klavan himself could have done better. My point being - any of the forwards, midfield, or defence could have done more to prevent that goal throughout the entire sequence. The rest of the game is history as we've already gone down a player.

The 5-0 is not a reflection of our 'defence' or back 4. The back 4 far too often is blamed. Being 1 man down against that City side is game over. When you cannot press the likes of De Bruyne and Silva, coupled with wingbacks having little to no responsibility defensively, any back 4 in world football would have struggled to keep them out. Neither is the 3-3 or 4-2 against Hoffenheim a reflection. Every defender that plays the game is susceptible to mistakes. Our system and philosophy amplifies them when they rear their ugly heads.

The key is to have a solid and balanced front 6 who know their roles and responsibilities in both going forward and defending - When to press high, when to drop and become compact - and when, or when not to, 'switch off'. A solid defensive midfielder who protects the back 4 is the key we're lacking. Henderson is not a natural DM - his positional sense and tactical awareness is not at the level required. I find him ball watching far too often. Hopefully Keita will prove this.

With all this said, of course, it would be beneficial to have better, solid, consistent, reliable defenders. But replacing the entire backline will not guarantee an improvement in 'defending' or conceding goals. A leader who understand the ebb and flow of the game and has the ability to control it (whether a midfield general or a defender), improved tactical awareness (through training) to understand when to press and when to drop deeper is what will guarantee an improved defence.
Gonna stay behind at work and wait to see what happens.

I am betting some split arse and crying.

Offline BabuYagu

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #867 on: September 28, 2017, 06:16:48 PM »
I have some sympathy with the sentiment but it represents a growing irritation I have with 'online analysis' which I am exposing myself to.

Essentially, the online commentariat is excruciatingly fickle but simultaneously all-seeing and wise. In fact the wisdom has no limits - all the solutions are there, clear as day. Managing a team? Easy. The answers are ALL 'easy' apparently.

Easy until you actually consider how the criticisms come about. I haven't done the stats on this but the 'answers' people have for an apparent squad flaw usually appear in the immediate aftermath of a poor result. They are kneejerk and reactionary. For example, all of a sudden we need a clinical striker. That's the conventional wisdom following Tuesday's disappointment. However, if you scour this forum for fans calling for more forwards over the summer you'd find slim pickings. In fact, it was rarely spoken about. That's because the forward players were all regarded as being goal threats. But following Tuesday a series of angry posters have helpfully highlighted this really 'obvious' failing. Forget the excitement following Hoffenheim and Arsenal; forget the high goal count during last season; forget the sheer talent the squad has in the forward positions...forget all that.

The hindsight police have identified a kneejerk problem that anyone can see...apart from even them as little three weeks ago. That's because these football geniuses only vent following a poor outcome. They neither consider the nature of a given performance nor even hold opinions for more than a week or two.

Yes, the online commentariat is a very wise community. They see all - but only express wisdom after the team has disappointed.
Gonna stay behind at work and wait to see what happens.

I am betting some split arse and crying.

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #868 on: September 28, 2017, 06:38:12 PM »
Good, was just about to put it in here. :)

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #869 on: October 1, 2017, 10:15:46 PM »
Eel Lobo in the Newcastle post-match thread -

If that’s what it takes to flush a load of them out.

I love the club and what it stands for, and I love watching football. But I absolutely hate what modern football is becoming, and we’re meant to be different. But we’re not. We couldn’t have got a more perfect manager for this club, unless he was Scouse. And he’s doing a good job, but because these spoilt little brats haven’t seen us win the league and don’t like their mates taking the micky out of them when we lose, they impose this ridiculous pressure on a manager who we all KNEW would take a few seasons. We all fucking sat there and said we’ll give this one time, we know there’ll be bumps, there might be bad seasons, but this is long term. We all sat there fucking giddy that we’d got a manager like Klopp, and he WANTED to manage us. And here we are, seven games into a season (twelve if you want to be picky), six (or eleven) of which we have unanimously dominated and but for sloppy finishing and sloppy defending we’d be ecstatic sat here with eleven and maybe even twelve wins. We’re not playing shit, we’re not ‘easy’ to play against, we’re just a bit off it. We big up Salah as ‘bargain of the summer’ and five games and how many goals later, he’d not good enough. We big up Firmino as almost the perfect forward, a few games later and we need a ‘proper’ striker. We watch Henderson have two excellent games, and don’t speak a word. And as soon as he doesn’t....floodgates.

Fewer and fewer people want to give him time, that’s the point. The fact we’re even having this discussion after seven leagues games just proves it. These whiners, these spoilt brats, they always know what we need. Always. Once it happens. They know we ‘need a 20 goal a season man’. They didn’t in the summer, they didn’t five games ago, but they do now. Now that Firmino missed some chances. We’re average, apart from Coutinho. And he’s off. None of our midfield are fit for purpose, none of our defence are fit for purpose, none of our goalies are fit for purpose, not of our attackers apart from Coutinho are fit for purpose. I think I saw someone say apart from Coutinho, the rest of the side is mid table at best.

I get the frustration, I get the ‘missed opportunities’, I get people are frustrated because we looked so good for half of last season. I get that. But honestly, if this wave of negativity continues then we’ll have the biggest missed opportunity of them all and it’ll be entirely our (the fans) own doing. And he’s not just a few on RAWK, and you know it’s not.

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #870 on: October 2, 2017, 09:36:45 AM »
Again, you're looking at this in absolutes. In your view people either think Klopp is infallible or or they think Klopp should be sacked. I suspect the vast majority don't think either of these things however. It's perfectly possible to think Klopp will get it right eventually and should have time to do so but that at the moment things are not going well and mistakes are being made they need rectifying.

And again because it seems to be difficult to grasp - criticising the manager or his decisions doesn't mean you think you know better than Klopp. Nobody on this forum knows more about football than Klopp. Ultimately my opinion, your opinion and everybody else on here's opinion means absolutely fuck all. This club has been so starved of success though that you can't blame people for being frustrated with how things are going. That's not Klopp's fault but impatience is a natural symptom of waiting 5 years for any trophy and the best part of 3 decades for the trophy we all want above any other. The frustration is only compounded when so many saw the problems that needed to be fixed in the summer and they weren't. Of course there's fuck all we as fans can do about it but venting on an online forum is a pretty harmless way of expressing those frustrations in the grand scheme of things.
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