FINAL whistle goes and I’m furious. Furious with Liverpool, furious with them for losing when there’s a big Saturday night planned, for placing that in jeopardy. I’m furious with them because Basement Jaxx are playing in Sefton Park and they shouldn’t do that to that night out. I could be the most furious.
Indulge me and think about this for a second — you were presumably furious too. Possibly, probably for different extenuating reasons. We’re different people, you and I. We don’t have the same experiences, the same context, the same pressures. What links us is loving Liverpool, not necessarily anything else.
There’s a problem in writing and talking about football at the moment in that the immediacy and breadth of reaction and collective fury becomes a race. And it’s a race that appears to be placing every Liverpool performance — and every performance by a Liverpool player — in the explicit context of being about whether or not Brendan Rodgers should be Liverpool manager.
I wake this morning to see the Liverpool Echo’s James Pearce getting dog’s abuse online for a piece that is intensely critical of Liverpool’s players and approach. The abuse he gets isn’t for being too harsh on our heroes but instead for not going further and openly slaughtering the manager. It means he’s in his pocket. Or in, up or around his arse (these people are very much into anal references). Does he deserve that? Really?
One thing that should link us in addition to loving Liverpool is a bit of decency and respect for one another. There’s talk today too of death threats to Dejan Lovren on Instagram. True or not, he’s closed the account. Debate beneath these pieces recently has been mostly dreadful. Lacking in decency, lacking in respect. Everything ramped up.
So while my fury around the game and performance was first around the night out being potentially ruined for others it was extended to the endless, exhausting narrative around Liverpool’s manager, and how Liverpool being discussed without the manager explicitly being discussed is deemed a shortcoming in discussion. A shortcoming apparently warranting abuse.
Let’s nail this. If Liverpool are rubbish Brendan Rodgers will pay for that with his job at the end of the season, if not before. If we are discussing Liverpool being rubbish then we, me, James Pearce, Gareth Roberts, whoever, are discussing Brendan Rodgers by extension. It doesn’t need to be explicit and sometimes footballers have to take responsibility to some extent as well. It’s fine though because they won’t lose their job at the end. They won’t take the ultimate responsibility.
But let’s allow them to take at least some responsibility. Let’s treat them like men. Dejan Lovren has to take responsibility. Let’s treat him like a man. A man who is determined to back himself and make it at the highest level. He is also seemingly easily distracted by the crowd for both the daft step over and the frankly criminal error. He has to take responsibility for his inner buffoon, most of us have one, most of us have to take responsibility for it and not let it out in the workplace. Stop backing yourself. Do the belt and braces football.
Elsewhere, get going, get playing. Be better. Move the ball faster. Emre Can. Oh, Emre Can. I can’t watch a season of that. I can’t do it. I’ll end up clawing more folicles from my head. And I’m of an age where I can’t take these chances.
Liverpool made me so furious I needed to have a night off. I couldn’t write this. I couldn’t make this happen. I needed a night off. I needed to clean my brain. I needed to stop this. I needed the football to go elsewhere. Sometimes we need that.
In the end Basement Jaxx were great. Face was danced off. Brain danced clean. Now an international break to negotiate and Liverpool’s attacking play needs to improve and improve quickly. The shape needs to be better, the guile needs to be better. The Reds have already left themselves with limited room for manoeuvre.
Seasons can get away from you quickly. Liverpool were dreadful. Liverpool were genuinely bad. No messing round, if this persists people will get their cards bad. Red alert, red alert, a catastrophe. Don’t worry? Don’t panic?
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Fair points. There may have been a feeling abroad that the AW boys and girls and the local journalists had got a little too excited on the back of one good half of football this season. I’m ok with that; we’re supporters, we’re supposed to back our team and get excited, that’s what it’s all about. The problem with that, is the sceptics will use it as a stick with which to beat you and in this case they may have a point. Only time will tell.
Yesterday was a reminder of all the bad stuff from last season. Lovren impression of a terrified and yet strangely over confident clown: check. Poor formations and over-complicated substitutions: check. Woeful penetration and pedestrian midfield play: check. It could just be a bad day at the office, as I say, only time will tell, but it was haunting.
As for the Lovren Instagram stuff: people need to get a grip. That’s never acceptable.
I’ll only speak for myself, but the problem wasn’t the feeling that the AW folks got too excited with the very poor, but result-bearing, three games (and they most certainly did so). It’s that they went on a crusade against the lot that are making death threats on Instagram, while at the same time drawing a very distinct line so that you’re either with them or, if you’re foolish enough to suggest our attacking play bottom-half quality, well you must of the other lot, the RodgersOut camp, the plane banner folk, fume brigade.
And they’re still doing it btw.
“you were presumably furious too. Possibly, probably for different extenuating reasons.” What is that? Does Neil really think that the people threatening Lovren on IG are his readership here? Cause if they are, they’re masochists of the highest order.
But now, what do you know? We need to learn how to score. It’s goals, goals, goals again.
A week ago, you were a bluenose for not being on board with Lovren’s ability to keep a clean sheet, and Coutinho’s to score a worldie being a foundation of LFC’s success.
That’s utter bullshit, mate. Go back to the old posts and find me the comments where anyone was claiming we’ve been playing fantastic football so far this season? The idea that likes of you have been confronted for sounding notes of caution is pure fantasy. The confrontations happen when, despite a win in a difficult fixture at the start of a season when new players are bedding in – say, away at Stoke, for example – the comments threads are still of doom-mongers predicting dire seasons and the loss of jobs. That’s what causes the conflict. Not differences of opinion about our level of play.
We are ahead of Chelsea and level on points with Arsenal and United. Before the start of the season I’d have settled for that after 4 games. Apart from City, everyone has been shit so far. Anyone who claims what they’ve seen so far tells them anything about how we’re going to finish the rest of the season is guessing. Pure and simple. Guess away, if you like. It’s a free country. But don’t then defend that position like it’s some sort of incontrovertible truth and then get all hissy when someone calls you on it.
Go back to the match ratings/reviews, Andy heaton’s BR’s a loser when he wins article (that week alone there were about 5 out of 6 articles going on about the same point from a different angle – any fan criticizing anything is a knobhead, a rodgesout lunatic, fumer etc.)
And yes, not a lot of people commenting claimed we were brilliant in those games, but their positive posts (or silver lining posts, or imagine when we click and we got 6/6 or 7/9 posts) started with “i’m so sick and tired of these so called fans saying something negative, when we’ve won 1:0 against the giants that murdered us 6:1 before. Marginalize the fuming idiots.”
I’m not looking to be proven right about my negative observations on the team, I wanted nothing but to be proven wrong. But it’s a fact, a stone cold fact (and you can go through the comment sections from opening day til last Friday), that you weren’t allowed to say anything bad about any aspect of LFC – manager, owners, players, performance, without being consigned to the raging lunatic, fake fan, fumers and crackpot bin. 99% of, let’s call them “positive” people including TAW, had nothing but quips, insults, condescention and dismissal to give. You won’t find more than 5 posts (and that’s being generous) of someone saying “I understand your point, here’s why I think you’re wrong to think so.”
But now it’s the TAW consensus, we’re back to needing goals and Lovren is shit again, so I guess none of what i’m saying actually happened in your world.
You’re delusional, pal. You even conceded that on-one was claiming we were world-beaters after the first three. There were no comments threads replete with ‘we’re gonna win the league’, contributions, so the idea that you can’t come on here an question a level of performance after any game is something you and your ilk have invented. Anyone can do it and plenty do. The issue that some of us have is with fans who, even after a decent start, are claiming to know that the season will pan out badly; who level unfair criticisms without making any accommodation for the fact that half the team is new, some players are still not match fit following the Copa, etc.. The game is about opinions, but negative *conclusions* on the back of what at the time were pretty good results is unfathomable from people who claim to have the best interests of the club at heart. That makes no sense. Once again, if we win but play scrappily, no-one is going to called for writing “good result, but I’m a bit concerned about X, Y and Z.” I know that’s true because I’ve done it myself. But if you write “We may have won, but we’re still shit/Arsenal are going to smash us (I saw several examples of this) / Rodgers should go”, don’t be surprised if people react. And when they do, defend your position (if you can) instead of whining like an 11-year old.
You’re completely missing the point.
Of course, nobody was calling the league after 2 or 3 games. (There was over-excitement, no doubt, though.) It’s not about that.
It’s about the way that the majority of folks here, and fueled by the TAW narrative of the past few weeks, went on Rodgers defense mode so hard, that you couldn’t say anything critical without being called names and having your club allegiances questions.
By the way, a lot of them went to the same school as you when it comes to trying to win an argument. “You even conceded that on-one was claiming we were world-beaters after the first three.” Again, that wasn’t the point. Still, it’s your exhibit A for me being delusional. Good one.
You can read through the comment section, or recall articles with claims about how those fans (the ones hating on BR for his teeth or whatever) have now found a new stick to beat him with, he abandoned style for substance and solidity, making it as if those are the same people – and yes, some fall into both categories, but what about the ones who support BR but want him to to be the BR of 2012-14, not this “let’s be solid first” guy? Well, I guess they’re fine now. Everything’s OK, fine and understandable. All it took was a horror show at Anfield against a midtable side, and since now the word coming from the wonders of TAW player is that we need to show the ability to score goals, guess what? Everyone’s on board. Goals, goals, goals. It was all coming, all there to be seen in hindsight.
(I made the same point. That I need the team to show me the ability to score goals, and not a lucky 1-0 against a newly promoted team, to start praising left and right. I was told in these comments that football is a results business, and I’m better of catching a movie than watching my team. One of the more polite replies.)
So, feel free to disagree and think me delusional, all it does to me is reaffirm the hypocrisy. I hardly have a problem, or feel the need to crack open an ink barrel so I can write 20 articles on twitter users posting outrageous things about LFC. I have no trouble ignoring them, as I have them figured for what they are. It’s the likes of yous that annoy me. The arrogant parrots regurgitating everything served by these pseudopundits, all with a belief that you hold a monopoly over who gets to be a Liverpool supporter. (Well, until they unfortunately prove you wrong. Then none of it actually happened. Those were all your own views from the start.)
Let others support their club as they see fit. Nobody needs a keyboard offensive from you. Even when they’re making death threats on IG, there are actual people whose job it is to make sure it doesn’t happen, and when it does, to punish them.
Dismissing everyone who disagrees with you (because WTRWWAW and all that shite, how dare you not sing praises for barely winning at the Britania? You know they beat us 6-1 before, like we’re fucking Sunderland or something.) is bound to have you look like a hypocritical twat on weekends like this one.
I haven’t checked past responses to your posts but I’m assuming you are right. Given that I can understand why you feel the need to post on here and reply to the commentators that have given you grief.
I don’t understand though why you bother to continue to use the site/read the articles. It’s clear from your posts that you don’t rate TAW (e.g. “the arrogant parrots regurgitating everything served by these pseudopundits” & “word coming from the wonders of TAW player”) so why bother to continue to read the articles? I don’t mean that to come over as aggressive – it’s a free site and you can choose to read it or not – it just genuinely interests me what posters with your opinion of TAW get out of it.
I don’t want to leave your post unanswered.
You’re right to a degree, and I will say I have become more and more uninterested and selective about both the articles and the shows. Then again, TAW is still probably the best non-official place of LFC coverage online (feel free to point me to another site I may have missed) – and that’s not as big a compliment as it maybe comes across.
It is my opinion that, over the last year or so, there’s a newfound arrogance when it comes to the reporting coming from TAW. Their treatment and interaction with people commenting with differing opinions or criticisms is at times appalling. And parts of their listeners and readership who seem to be taking their word for gospel, are an even bigger issue for me – their arrogance and ways of expressing their feeling towards the people they believe to be RodgersOut fumers or whatever they like to call them are just disgusting.
On the other hand, I love Liverpool FC and you can probably get me to read or listen to any sort of insignificant piece that mentions the club in the slightest of ways. I don’t know, I guess that’s my reasoning, if it makes any sense to you.
By the way, don’t expect me to be like this throughout the season and the future. I didn’t post much in the past, but I don’t think a lot of it was in the same vein or even close to it. I am very annoyed at what was the narrative of the 3 games, 7 points, 2:0 gd, part of the season (I would point you to the articles written in the week between Bournemouth and Arsenal, the theme of which had close to nothing to do with the actual happenings on the pitch), and now with the sudden turn to it being a narrative of 2 goals in 4 games, there were signs of the problems of the West Ham game throughout the 1st three, and such, when only a few days ago you were being called an Evertonian for suggesting the very same thing.
Thanks for taking the time to reply.
I can certainly understand that – I agree that TAW is the best source of unofficial LFC discussion out there.
It’s probably not my place but I would encourage you to keep posting – it’s always good to hear alternative views – but also to try not to take the TAW optimism to heart even if you think it misplaced. They seem by nature to be positive guys, don’t get too annoyed with them for that. When they have a pop at fans who are blaming Rodgers for his new teeth, they aren’t having a pop at you or people like you (& me) who have genuine concerns with his management. There really are people who want to blame him for everything, just like there are people who will blame everyone but him – both are as ludicrous as each other and that is where the TAW contributors are aiming the comments in my opinion.
For example, you took exception to Neil’s “you were presumably furious too. Possibly, probably for different extenuating reasons”. Read that again without feeling like you’ve been beaten up by other commenters and you’ll probably see that he just meant that we’ve all got our own individual reasons for being annoyed with the performance (as opposed to taking the leap that he meant that his readership are responsible for sending death threats).
Anyhow – onto footy. Ignoring BR as he’s obviously here for the foreseeable – what changes would you like to see for the next few matches to get the best out of the squad?
Thanks Paddy. Will take all of that into consideration.
As for footy:
Well, first of all, I’d like the impetus to be put on the attack. It seems to me that every time there’s a crisis of result, BR puts all of his efforts into making us defensively solid, and every time the attack suffers immensely. Yes, when it works to perfection (the defense I mean), we’re always capable of getting a goal or two (it’s not like Coutinho forgets how to play as an attacking mid or Benteke a striker, or Hendo or whoever). But when it doesn’t, we’re clueless in response to our all too often questionable defensive unit. I know that teams who take the lead at Anfield tend to put 10 men behind the ball, but it doesn’t excuse having a single shot on target from outside the box. I think we should look to learn from Man City in that regard, look at the way they pull off the combinations in front of the opponent’s box, or overload the opponent’s flank with triangles of players (for them it’s always Silva + winger + fullback, we could make that happen with say Hendo + Firmino + Clyne, or Milner + Coutinho + Moreno).
Always put the attack first, and work on the defense during the season – it should be a continuous altogether process, not one at a time. That might be a naive observation, of course they work on everything all the time, but it just never seems like it when they’re on the pitch, in the periods of defensive solidity.
The long ball to Benteke so he can chest it down to midfield runners who are supposedly around him needs to be designated from first option to just one of the options.
I also think we need to settle both Milner and Henderson into proper CM positions with a holding player behind them, whether it’s in a 4-3-3 or a diamond (personally I hate the 4-2-3-1). I think the best part of their midfield partnership is the amount of goals we can expect from the pair from arriving late into the box. It’s a waste having either one playing in a deep midfield role.
As for that holding player, it can be Lucas, especially when you truly need a specialist DM. But I happen to think a midfield three of Can, Milner and Henderson can be one of the best in the league. You’d have to play them enough and coach them enough so that they can get good at covering for each other (mostly for when Can gets to flying forward).
The tricky part is the winger situation in a 4-3-3. (Sidenote: I think the Markovic loan is a big mistake) I’m not sure what to do there. I want Coutinho and Firmino in the starting XI, but then having Gomez at left back makes our left flank rather useless in attack. So Moreno to start, and have the full back flying, while the AMs (Coutinho and Firmino) set up camp around the corner edges of the opponent’s box. Or just go with the diamond, maybe play Firmino up top. Or against Utd, Ings with Firmino playing in the hole.
The United game is a bitch right after the West Ham game and the international break. I’m sure BR will go all out to keep a clean sheet. I’d hold nothing against him if he were to go all out attack and lose, but the Norwich game then becomes a keep your job or fans from turning on you important.
As for the two home games after it, attack attack attack. You go 1:0 up, go for the second. You’re at 2:0 with 10 mins to go, go for the third. Scare the living shit out of every midtable side in the league coming to Anfield. Get Benteke to about 4 or 5 before the derby, Firmino off the mark, maybe even Ings gets a goal or two coming in off the bench, Hendo and Milner getting some assists. Because you know from then on (after Utd, Norwich and Villa at home) it’s Eve (A), Tot (A), Sou (H), Che (A), Cry (H), MCI (A), Swa (H), very difficult run of games in the league until the end of November. We need to click before it.
I know there are cup games in between, but everything seems to suggest we’ll play some sort of reserves side in those, which I also don’t really like, especially for EL, but let’s see what BR’s plan is before passing on judgement.
I’d like to see our home side for Norwich and Villa be:
Mignolet – Clyne, Skrtel, Sakho, Moreno (or Lovren, it’s fine, I want Moreno at attacking full back) – Can – Hederson, Milner – Coutinho, Benteke, Firmino (and Ings to get significant game time).
I agree with pretty much all of that (especially the focus on attack – I reckon BR has taken too much notice of the “can’t organise a defence” criticism).
The only thing I slightly disagree with is the midfield. I’d like to see Can prove he can do the defensive midfield role in the cups before trying him in the league. I think I would try (injuries/suspensions allowing) to use different personnel depending on whether or not the opposition are coming to play or park the bus (or probably more accurately whether we would view a draw as a good point or two lost – I know we want to win every game but you know what I mean).
Lucas with Hendo & Milner with your front three for the “one-point is decent” games I think is alright. For the others I reckon we need to get one more goal scorer into the box alongside Benteke. For that I would go with either
4-3-3 – midfield of Hendo, Milner & Coutinho; Firmino, Benteke & Sturridge* up top
4-4-2 diamond with Coutinho on the left, Firmino at the tip and Benteke & Sturridge* up top
* Ings/Origi until Sturridge is fit
I know it’s old fashioned but for width I’d have Moreno (agree with you for these games) & Clyne taking it in turns to try and provide protection from the counter.
So, looks like we pretty much agree – must both be talking shite eh? :-)
Definitely agree on a lot. Especially the midfield set up varying depending on the opposition. It even looked like BR was on the same page (using Lucas for the “one point is decent” fixtures) until he went and played the same side on Saturday.
I just don’t like using either Henderson or Milner in a DM’s position. You know Joe Allen there could be another good option, like a tactical bridge between a three of Lucas+Hendo+Milner and Can+Hendo+Milner, for when you don’t necessarily need a DM, but someone more organized, tactically more experienced to keep things ticking over from midfield to attack. What’s Allen’s injury status anyway?
Good point on Allen – forgotten all about him to be honest.
I know when he first came he played deep and looked pretty good for the first few games and then seemed to get found out. That said, it’s a few years further on and he’s might be better equipped now. Love to see him there in the cups to see if he can do it.
Dunno about his due back date though I’m afraid – can anyone else reading this help with that?
It’s not a match review yet it is the best match review from Neil that I have read.
Context, context, context.
Big game against Utd now. Liverpool (and by extension BR) dont need the 3 points but they do need a performance. This has to be the first 45 against Arsenal extended for 90 minutes. It has to be Chelsea away in the League Cup Semi. If this is Villa in the FA Cup, Stoke away, Palace home etc etc then it might be the end of him and us.
I think the bigger acid test will be against Norwich, there’ll be another park the bus team, let’s see if BR learnt anything or will it go back to the same old.
In a strange way it’s easier against the bigger teams in terms of creating/scoring goals.
Forgot – although don’t know what Norwich capacity to counter attack is
A lot less furious now the mancs lost. We go again.
Great piece. I’d love someone to put the social media clowns in their place. Seriously, Lovren made a balls-up of shepherding the ball out of play, with admittedly woeful results; do you know what is not going to erase the possibility of that ever happening again? Being a grade A tool and showering the guy’s Istagram account with bile. Yeah, magic, well done.
Neil, a legitimate question: leaving aside the instant frothing at the mouth we all engage in (sadly) after a bad loss, isn’t there a fear here that this kind of result is going to push Rodgers even further into the schizophrenic ‘safety first’ mindset that didn’t work for large chunks of last year? If we’re supposed to brace the madness, think differently, target goals goals goals, then this kind of thing – and the ensuing response – just makes all that harder to achieve. Or maybe the whole ‘one striker at home’ thing is actually what landed is here in the first place? Anyway, I’m confused. It’s easily done.
No matter how much time u take to cool down, it’s still an unforgivable performance from team and by extension the manager and they are adding up now over last 12 months. Same mistakes being made as last season by average manager who is turning us into average club. Wouldn’t be accepted by any other manager I can remember in my time watching the Reds, can’t see why Brendan would be any different. Take no pleasure in saying it, we all want the Reds to win..
Two teams that like to counter so the first goal killed us. Bilic could only have dreamt of that kind of start. We have to judge only at the because this is shaping up to be a weird old season.
Almost a kick off in the bogs at ht. Glad to say that the blowhard was shouted down and quickly backed off. Agendas all over the place on Saturday.
Lucas & Milner ran their legs off, but a couple of chickens roosted and Rodgers has some big calls to make. Hendo can’t get back quick enough. Let’s twat the mancs and all’s well with the world again.
I’ve backed Rodgers since the start. 2013/14 was euphoria. Last season was purgatory. I think I’ve always felt a bit sorry for him to be honest. The position he’s in as a Liverpool manager is unique, really unlike that of any post Shankly. Both as a player and manager he’s won nothing and he’s constantly reminded of that fact. The character assassinations from our fanbase only make me more empathetic and forgiving.
Yesterday was an appalling tactical error, and worrying not because it was a loss, but because it suggested that nothing had been learnt, that a ceiling has been reached. Maybe I’m beginning to recognise it was never going to work (and then someone will mention the slip).
Cracking read, Neil.
Don’t panic, don’t worry but don’t decide it’s not that big a deal due to the Chelsea and Utd results. Rodgers must realise that and attempt to recapture the bingo bango.
Some fair points in this piece, but my view on this (and it’s far from isolated) is that Brendan Rodgers should have paid with his job at the end of *last* season. One humiliation in the form of the 6-1 loss to Stoke is bad enough, but to repeat it within about 3 months with the loss to West Ham is criminal
After being an ardent fan since standing in the boys pen on 1954, I am amazed to find myself indifferent to this season. I watched two games on the Australian tour with the same old tactical shite, seeing Dejan wandering around absolutely cluelessly amid rumours of Lucas and Sakho out, and said to
my son that this season would see us mid-table.
I won’t say it.
I must confess to feeling the same Kevin. It just feels like a season too far and the risks are high. I’ve had the same feeling watching the England cricket team over the last couple of years as they lurch from one disastrous decision to another, scapegoating individuals. Couldn’t really engage with this summer’s Ashes as a consequence. Sad days.
There was a bald, combative presence running the midfield against the Mancs today. He’s just been called up into the England squad as well. Looks like he just needed a clever young manager to believe in him and show him the right way.
I think there was a broad consensus that Shelvey was always going to be a good player (he was always a favourite of mine), although how good was a still a matter of debate. The real question was always whether we could have given him the amount of time and mistakes he needed to develop into that player.
Because of that I think it has been a really good move for him to go to Swansea and I wish him all the best. However, I don’t think the change in manager comes into it very much. I mean Rodgers literally taught Monk almost everything he knows about management so I doubt he is doing things much differently.
I’d agree with almost everything apart from the fact that James Pearce deserves it, before the Stoke debacle he was blaming the team’s performance on the committee rather than analysing anything on the pitch. The other journos in the Echo are far more balanced than he is
Hate losing before the International break but time to judge is after ten games. Half a new team out there and our skipper missing. Henderson, Milner and Coutinho has to be the first choice midfield. Chelsea , Mancs, Arsenal and Spurs have all been pretty shit too.
Could have done with a couple of morale boosting home friendlies before the season started.- can see the Anfield jitters becoming a problem now. And Brendan’s well-intentioned building up of his players always seems to backfire when they start thinking they’re better than they actually are – viz Mr Lovren.
I’m starting to wonder if I’m in touch with my anger. Seriously, I feel kind of numb regarding the football right now. It might be because I have more important things to think about but maybe it’s just a response to the online presence and a desire to not become part of it. The problem I have is that I live in New Zealand. This country is wonderful in many ways but footballing knowledge across a fairly apathetic population is not one those things. There’s a brother and a father who are ardent supporters but with them it’s the same arguments/agendas that have raged for time immemorial. So basically in light of my situation I turn to the Internet. Therein lies the problem. I made a conscious effort to stay calm in the face of bad performances, to try and be constructive and to stay away from insane personal attacks. But bottling this anger may ultimately make it worse.
It is extremely easy – in fact the path of least resistance – to vent online after a game. In fact for many the whole summer was spent venting over things that hadn’t happened yet. Thousands upon thousands of words about individuals that we collectively barely know. my biggest problem with this attitude is that it only goes in one direction. Someone who spent page upon page slagging Jordan Henderson off, may admit error with a perfunctory 8 word reply. That may be an exaggeration but conservatively the fume to calm ratio is way out of whack.
I used to be a primary school teacher and for one reason or another (mainly a conservative government) I gave it away. One enduring memory though was early Saturday morning taking a glance at my work emails and seeing that I was being eaten alive by parents unhappy with my cricket team choice. You could get a real sense of a bottle of wine, some serious winding up and then a vomit over an email. They probably woke up barely thinking about it while I was left picking up the rest of the weekend. Footballers and managers are highly paid humans – but they are humans none the less. Ultimately, they were crap but that was not through a lack of effort. I worry for Rodgers (and obviously the club) that we are getting undone in the same manner by the same sort of opposition. It has become a template for crystal Palace, Villa, Chelsea and now West Ham. There doesn’t seem to an end to the park the bus then hit at lightening speed approach. Our central defenders struggle to cope with raw pace and power while our midfield can be bypassed with width and directness. These are real concerns but I’m not sure how personal attacks on the individuals involved is going to help. Or getting out the same agendas that you bludgeon everyone around you with.
None of this helped me at 3am NZ time when my hands were itching to slag off everything associated with the football club, Or when I was cursing myself for lack of sleep in the face of an early rising two year old. But it did give me some perspective the morning after.
New Zealand will do that to you Luke. I know, I’ve been there :-)
I can empathize with you; although my exile isn’t as far as NZ; more like a small village in Somerset. 3 kids, a wife and a mortgage have curtailed my match day exploits significantly.
My last days as a regular @ Anfield were in Rafa’s final season; I also endured with far to much regularity Houllier’s final season; which was turgid in the extreme.
I barely class myself as a fan now, more a ‘motivated observer’ (although not so motivated I want to assassinate the manager – metaphorically, or the playing staff – literally; which is proper shithouse behavior by the way, & I hope they are put straight should that nonsense get peddled from the stands, although I doubt very much it is);
Out of the ‘bubble’ of Liverpool I’ve been forced to deal with supporters of other clubs aside from Liverpool and the Ev, in much greater numbers than I ever have previously; – the villages are filled with fans of Arsenal, the usual plethora of United fans and those who assume football started in the mid 00’s and follow Chelsea from afar.
Most (although under the age of 30), don’t consider Liverpool a threat to the league and see the club as a disillusioned throwback from yesteryear, similar to Newcastle.
Frankly, it’s difficult to argue; the club is bang average in every facet of it’s being; from the nonsense you see on ‘Twitter’ from the fans / support base (alright every team has it’s bellend supporters), to the transfer policy, the playing staff and the management team, and finally the owners;
Personally it’s difficult to blame anyone element, everything seems so disjointed; the fan base can’t agree on anything, whether that be the relevance of an OOT’s view, the management, the playing staff, the ticket prices, the lack of ambition in the transfer market, James Pearce Bums BR (as you pioint out Neil always with the Arse’s these KB warriors, one arm of the fanbase reckons this section is a bunch of C**ts, blah, blah, blah,
The owners seem happy to do the bare minimum to keep the club treading water and seem reluctant or unable to invest in the playing staff as is clearly required;
The manager is learning on the job (not very quickly either), seems to have an awful habit of playing favorites and alienating seemingly better players, always to the determent of the team (god knows what morale must be like in the dressing room);
There is an interview with Bob Paisley from the late 70’s / early 80’s in which, when asked about buying players, he says something loosely along the lines of ‘we always say to the players we bring in, we’ve bought you because you can do a job for the team, play your natural game – that’s why we bought you…’; surely when you have a limited budget, these tactics apply even more so?
I don’t know what the answers are & I’m not paid to have them, the foundations of the club where built on socialist beliefs that belie the money talks philosophy of the modern day Prem; maybe the answers aren’t in the past, but they don’t seem to be in this version of the future either.
Personally I don’t think BR is the man for the job, I don’t think he ever was; I don’t blame him, who in his position could turn it down and what’s he supposed to do, tell the world he is winging it with one hand tied behind his back (either give him complete control with transfers or none)? Again, personally, I would move the earth to get Klopp.
That said, even if you get rid of BR, if the guy you bring in is forced to work with the same discord in transfer strategy & lack of ambition form the owners, it’s unrealistic to expect a transformation to a title wining side, or even top 4 challengers, because that isn’t the level we are at.
On the flipside, you have to admit to the possibility of BR getting Suarez right at the cusp of him reaching Messi/Ronaldo levels. He had a season and a half (or better, a half and a season) under Kenny. First time in a big league, period of acclimatisation, plus he was magic from the start, actually won a throphy with Liverpool and that Kenny side had the worst luck in front of goal.
If he’s so good at getting so much out of strikers like Suarez and Sturridge, why not buy one like them since? He certainly had the money. Hell, pluck some Brazilian nobody who’ll make the same runs as Sturridge. Instead he gets Balotelli, Lambert, Benteke (no diss to Rickie and Benteke).
I’m not trying to say BR had nothing to do with that season, but given how his attack has functioned in the two years since and with the money spent, it’s hard to just dismiss how much of an impact it had having Suarez in the team during that part of his career. I don’t think there’s a manager who doesn’t get 20 goals and 10 assists out of Suarez in 13/14.
What I’m trying to say is, this argument over how much Suarez improves when compared to his 1st, or 1st full season, under Brendan, to me always seems to kind of slightly disrespect Kenny, and kind of hugely fail to ackowledge the fact that we had a Messi in the team. You don’t think Henderson’s numbers go up with Messi in front of him?
Shit. It’s the phone’s fault. @samsung&walter down below
Here is a link to an extract from Suarez’s book where he explains the tactical shifts that turned him from Mr. Woodwork to someone in the same breath as Messi and Ronaldo. Ball on the ground, aggressive pressing, narrow vertical play, balls reaching him as he arrived into the box on the move, Sturridge and Sterling actively creating space. These are not accidents, and they did not happen before Rodgers.
Also, keep in mind that the Suarez goal tally had much to do with Rodgers’ decision to run up scores to create a psychological fear in opponents. Rather than sitting on a lead, we set up to counterattack. Our attacking set up meant we conceded goals, but it looked wonderful for Suarez in particular (who surprisingly did not score as many vital goals as Sturridge).
Here is a link to an old story mentioning how Sturridge won us more points, especially against rivals:
This is not to say that Sturridge was a better player, but just to reinforce that 13/14 was anything but a one-man story (not even mentioning Gerrard’s leadership and passing range, which earned him a sport in the PFA Team of the Year).
OK. I totally see your point and to some extent agree with how much of the 13/14 season was down to Brendan’s management.
But then I have to question all of it, and again to an extent lean towards the “it was the brilliance of Suarez” theory, when taking a look at the season and a bit from when Suarez left. Why haven’t those same ideas been put to use? Why have we been buying the types of strikers that came (and went) to the club in the past year and half worth of transfer windows?
Take Balotelli, for example. If BR is a manager that can do that much with a Suarez like striker, or a Sturridge like striker, how did he ever OK Balotelli? I know – transfer committee, calculated gamble, it’s him or Eto’o. But I would think that a manager as progressive and with as good an attacking philosophy as those Suarez quotes suggest would have enough sense, power, credit and influence to say “look FSG, I don’t care if he costs us 16 pence, he’s not the striker I need, my teams don’t work around the type of striker he is.”
You can make a similar argument for Benteke (and I do think much highly of Benteke than Mario, don’t get me wrong). BR was adamant about not being able to work with a player like Carroll, and an in-form injury-free Carroll isn’t that far away from Benteke (you may understandably disagree, but I’d say look at Carroll goals and play for West Ham during what little he played for WH last season).
I don’t know, my point is, I can give BR all the credit you do for the 13/14 season, but then I have to wonder, where has that guy gone? And if (and I hope this doesn’t happen) this season turns out to be like the last one (the 4 games so far are a bad indication of our attacking play reaching previous heights under BR, and imo, we’re hanging too much of our hopes on Sturridge returning and being “the most goals in 50 games Sturridge” anytime before latter half of this one or maybe even next season), I’ll be more and more inclined to give Suarez a lot more credit, for our form, for inspiring (or influencing) BR when it comes to our tactics, for other players upping their games, etc.
Honestly, the internet bile is so pathetic that I disconnected my Twitter and Disqus accounts. It is just not worth having a discussion with people who use the internet as a psychological vomitorium, forming all of their life’s frustrations into a pinata shaped like Brendan Rodgers.
I used to enjoy a vigorous debate about the merits of Joe Allen, but there is nothing enjoyable about these discussions anymore. There is something a bit creepy and even chilling about them.
Part of me hates to cede the ground to a bunch of yahoos hell-bent on shattering the reputation of Liverpool fans, but it just isn’t worth it. I’d rather watch the games, read a couple of pieces of thought-out analysis and listen to the podcast.
It is depressing that, in effect, my voice as a supporter has largely been silenced on the internet, robbing me of a part of the pleasure of football. YNWA
Why validate the sorry individuals on twitter or instagram by even mentioning them? Just stay away from social fucking media. It isn’t real.
On the football, somehow I think it’s peaked. I mean in general. and I mean the big money footie. Too much bullshit media, too many knobhead fans, too many knobhead “fans”, too much hatred and anger and so many opinions stated as indisputable facts. I’m losing interest.
As has the whole ponzi scheme that neoliberalism is built on, hence the backlash. Football isn’t in a bubble, despite arguments to the contrary, it reflects changes in society as changes in society reflect it.
Let me guess…
Every time mate. And let’s not get into an argument about that here. I have my preferences, you have yours. The world is changing. It was always going to after 2008. I suspect I think its changing more radically than you do. Each to his or her own.
I can picture a horrible scenario whereby Rodgers has made his position untenable by January, but the best candidates to replace him are all unavailable. The more time Jurgen Klopp spends out of work, the more likely he’ll get snapped up. I’m not in the knee-jerk “get rid now” camp, because the time to do that was the summer, and we’ve made our bed now, so Rodgers deserves to at least be given enough rope to hang himself. I just have a nasty feeling we’ll look back on the summer as a missed opportunity to upgrade the manager.
Or maybe BR’s sacking happens in the same week as Rafa’s, which would be jokes!
I’m sick of saying it, ‘Rodger’s has reached his peak. He’s a mid table manager.’ No offence to him. But he is. (And don’t come back with the Suarez season).
But I’m not a lucky man. I know what will happen :after spunking all that money on Lovren and other wasters they’ll bin BR off in Jan. I’ll be rubbing my hands waiting for the Ancelloti announcement (Klopp has no premier league experience ) only to find out we got Eddie Howe coz FSG wanna do it on the cheap. Sorry I mean potential.
Sorry to hear someone actually repeating the “It Was All Suarez” nonsense. Dalglish only got 21 goals in 44 appearances from him. Rodgers got 61 goals in 81 appearances out of him. Plus Sturridge. Ignoring Coutinho, Gerrard, and Sterling.
From the end of 2012 (post-Stoke), we finished the season 10-6-3 as we scored 42 goals and allowed 17 goals. Put that with the following season and our record was 36-12-9 with 143 goals scored and 67 conceded. That is a phenomenal record.
Don’t forget that Suarez was banned for 10 games, during which we went 7-2-1 with 19 goals and just 6 conceded. Suarez was highly disruptive at the time, and it is taken for granted how Rodgers kept squad morale high and brought him back in the fold.
Meanwhile, Sturridge scored 36 goals in his first 50 games – the highest total by any Red since before WWI. That’s more than Suarez (21), Torres (34), Fowler (31), Dalglish (31), Owen (28), etc.
Scored 50 goals faster than ANY PLAYER in LFC history. He scored in his first three games. Only the second player in Premier League history to score in eight games in a row.
We looked set to continue where we left off in 14/15 until Sturridge was injured, and even in a deeply depressing season we had a 13 game unbeaten run as the form team with Mignolet getting joint-most clean sheets.
During the “Suarez Season,” Rodgers frequently left the opposition trying to work out our approach, by which time we typically had already knocked in a goal or two. And there were several games were Rodgers’ tweaks and in-game management changed the dynamic of a losing situation to get us a result. And supporters tend to remember the Chelsea loss, rather than the 11-game winning streak that preceded it. You don’t win 11 games in a row because of one player. The fact that we did so with a limited squad including the likes Aspas and Victor Moses (rather than, say, Costa and Willian) only gives Rodgers more credit in the bank.
We are currently out of the CL spots on goal difference, tied with Arsenal and Man United (who we play next) with 3 points ahead of Chelsea and 4 more than Spurs. We have a team that is steadily clicking together as a unit, and Daniel Sturridge (see above) is back in training.
Our supporters want to pat themselves on the back for being legendary fans, but I only see them becoming more and more plastic by the week. Three clean sheets and we bomb a defender’s personal social media accounts for a bad game? Death threats?
When did YNWA turn into FFS?
Liking the positive vibes.
All of this.
I agree with pretty much all of that apart from the “We have a team that is steadily clicking together as a unit” bit.
I hope they do (very early days yet) but I don’t think I’ve seen any signs of that in the first four games.
I also think that BR made mistakes in setting up the team for the last game – no problem if he learns from them and we grow from here.
I agree about the set-up, and the team did seem bereft of ideas (and width). But I think Milner and Henderson are very much on the same page, Coutinho and Benteke have started to develop a sense of each other on the pitch, while Firmino has been growing an understanding of how we do things. Clyne looks like he’s been playing with this squad for years, Gomez was virtually MOTM against Arsenal.
Hopefully, the shambles at the back this weekend was just a blip (a recall for Sakho would be appreciated), and we enter into a new phase with Sturridge and Benteke forming a partnership up top. Benteke had 49 goals in 100 games at Aston Villa, while Sturridge has 40 in 66 games. That’s a lot of firepower in the pipeline.
It seems like there won’t be a better time to play Man United at Old Trafford. I would just feel a lot more comfortable if Coutinho was part of the picture.
Thanks for the reply.
You make good points – Milner/Henderson & Coutinho/Benteke are good examples of partnerships in the team developing.
No one used to judge teams until 10 games had gone & I guess that’s still relevant now even though we all like to try to read good/bad seasons after each results.
Utd is the perfect game I think – COYR
I wouldn’t be at all surprised were Eddie Howe lined up.
I don’t think Howe is as big of a joke as some would make him out to be if he were to succeed Brendan. Both him and Gary Monk (and that’s totally what FSG’s shortlist looks like) have a better CV and/or reputation than BR did at the time of his appointment. I wouldn’t mind either one as LFC manager, to be honest.
Brendan needs to ditch the black suit and tie. I think we have all gotten the message. Four games in we all need to lighten up.
4-4-2 to be considered more for home games. The last time deployed in a significant run of games was 13-14 and we all know what happened. Both opposition centre halves would be occupied and it would put us on the front foot. We knew West Ham would park the bus. Too many centre players started Saturday, lack of natural width and pace. Presumably the manager went with this to attempt to keep Can, Lucas and Milner all happy thinking that we would have enough to beat West Ham.
Over the first four games, 7 from 12 is an okay return. Promising individual performances. Didn’t expect any points from Arsenal and maybe a point from Stoke. Two week break can hopefully help.
Get him out…NARRATIVE OVER!
Before a ball was kicked, we’d all have taken 7 from the first 4 games. Yes, we’d have preferred 8 or 10 or even 12, but we’d have taken 7 and we’ve got 7 – so for that, I’m as happy as can be expected.
I’m not happy that BR seems not to learn and wonder how long he’ll survive, but then I also remember we were awful at Hull in 13/14 (and probably a couple of others, but that one jumps out) and then I hope it’ll all work out like it did then, when we also weren’t exactly proficient in front of goal early on.
I hope he remembers he dropped Lovren last season coz he was pants and hope that he now sees that despite what he may get on the training ground, in the reality of a matchday, the guy’s a liability.
I worry that we concede too many from being rubbish at defending the 18 yard line – and that’s been consistent whoever’s been in defence. Don’t know the solution – I’m not a manager (well, not a real one as FM doesn’t count).
But I’m also over the moon when we win and love it when we’re playing well and I’ve seen all these ups and downs now for the 45 years I’ve supported the Reds and will see them again no doubt coz I’m a Liverpool fan and that’s what matters most. We’re all in this together and we all want to see the team win things, but I do worry that the veracity of some of the “debate” would have knives drawn if it weren’t online. How about we cut that out and just agree Saturday wasn’t very good?
Love that last para – 100% spot on.
Dem never did go to basement jaxx school. Simply a crap day at the office a against a team that seems to be goid at playing defence and scoring when they get the chance. Aa long as we can find some goals it’ll alllllll be nice