SUBSIDENCE is a peculiar concept. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing either. Has your anger subsided yet?
A lot of Liverpool fans got angry about the way last season tailed off. A lot of Liverpool fans got angry that FSG didn’t sack Brendan Rodgers and replace him with Jurgen Klopp or Carlo Ancelotti. A lot of Liverpool fans got angry that we signed James Milner and Danny Ings. A lot of Liverpool fans got angry about the whole Raheem Sterling debacle. Some of us got very angry. Some of us stayed angry, while others put their anger on the back-burner for another day. Fuming is popular round our way.
Subsidence is a peculiar concept. It can be a very damaging thing.
How far have Liverpool Football Club subsided in the great scheme of things when it comes to football in this country and is there a way back for us this season?
We’ve again drifted through a summer where we’ve lost our widely presumed ‘best player’. We will see the transfer window close with another prudent final net spend. We essentially operate by sleight of hand when it comes to transfers. Three upturned plastic cups, a small ball beneath one of them. Keep your eye on the one with the ball under it and see if you can find it. Is it the one on the left, the right or the one in the middle?
While you’re considering where the ball is you’ve had your wallet slipped from your pocket and the family silver has been sold.
FSG are very, very clever in what they do. In many ways clever is what we need. Especially in the absence of a filthy rich owner that simply wants to lavish us with an open cheque book. Shrewd is the watchword. We have to be clever, we have to be shrewd and we have to be cunning.
It was quite shrewd of FSG to silence Brendan Rodgers for much of the summer. It was a bit like the Conservatives hiding George Osborne away during the General Election campaign, before bringing him out with a baseball bat to club baby seals once a majority was won.
Rodgers has basically been backed into a corner this summer. Told he still had a job to return to for 2015/16, but also informed that his coaching team would be removed and replaced. To all intents and purposes he’s gone from being free-range to caged, but he’s also been given the chance to escape his new found confined workspace. All he has to do is succeed. That’s easy enough eh?
There is a strange degree of a do or die/finality for Rodgers this season, coupled with a re-birth of sorts on the playing side. The Steven Gerrard era is over; a new era begins, although what that new era might necessarily entail is open to interpretation. My instinct suggests we have a set of players that can be moulded into something very, very interesting. The only question I have is whether or not Rodgers will earn himself the chance to create that something very, very interesting.
We embrace a fresh campaign with a fresh squad to large extent, with an old legend gone and a new captain leading us on to the field of play. New heroes will rise; highly priced new arrivals will stall. Someone previously written off will prove us wrong by coming good.
Simon Mignolet grew in stature during the second half of last season, we have plenty of options in defence, although it’s stability we could do with there, rather than another merry-go-round season of both personnel and formations. We have a number of possible midfield scenarios open to us and going forward it’s more or less Christian Benteke for Mario Balotelli, Danny Ings for Rickie Lambert and Roberto Firmino for Raheem Sterling. At least two out of those three will improve on what their predecessor produced last season. Daniel Sturridge is to return and there are several points to be proved by a reasonable number of players.
Rodgers has however been handed a pretty unforgiving start to the season. Stumble over the early games and the anger levels will reach boiling point. No Liverpool manager to have brought us to within touching distance of the title since 1990 has still had his job two years later. While Gerard Houllier limped on for two years beyond his 2001/02 crack at the title, Rafa Benitez and Roy Evans were gone long before the two year mark after their respective title flirtations of 2008/09 and 1996/97. If Rodgers is to avoid repeating previous history he will have to break new ground this season.
We are about to enter an unpredictable and potentially volatile period. If you do go off the deep end at some point, then make sure it’s for a valid reason. Either way around, should the club eventually stick or twist with Rodgers, a wrong decision being made will set us back half a decade once again, when we’re already arguably half a decade to a decade behind the clubs we seek to chase down. Despite everything we’ve been through, despite everything we put ourselves through, in spite of ourselves as much as because of ourselves even; my gut instinct is preparing itself for good things rather than bad things to come.
Subsidence is a peculiar concept, it isn’t always a bad thing, yet it can be massively damaging. It can also be self-inflicted. Be careful what you wish for and maybe cut Rodgers a bit of slack if the anger rises early on. We don’t always need our enemies to bring us crashing down, as we’re more than adept at doing it for ourselves, but we can also move mountains when we put our minds to it.
The coin is spinning. Heads or tails?
Pics: David Rawcliffe-Propaganda Photo