Welcome to the first edition of The LFC Times which is a new, independent view of the events at Liverpool FC.
I have written a number of blogs on a wide range of subjects related to LFC, as well as being a regular contributor to posts in the LFC website fans forum, simply because Liverpool Football Club is my passion and just like millions of other fans worldwide, I have very firm views on everything to do with this world sporting icon that I happen to love very much.
However, this new project is designed to be more than just another blog and more than can be achieved within existing forums. The purpose of this new, online voice is to counter the vast amount of negative material that is being written and spoken about Liverpool FC by presenting an honest, forthright viewpoint of events at Anfield.
The Story So Far . . . . . . . . .
Let me see. It goes a little like this:
- The tactics are wrong
- The manager is old school, whose failed ideas are rooted in a previous generation that is not compatible with football today
- Our team is too old
- Our players are not good enough
- We have no chance of winning anything
- We were outfought and outclassed by Manchester City when we played them
- We need another striker
When you consider all the ‘expert opinion’ that has been written and spoken about LFC since the start of the season, it is a wonder that we are bothering to even turn up this season.
On top of all that, there is the ongoing saga of ‘The Takeover’ which is currently an issue that has gone very quiet but which seems to be a source of so much depression amongst LFC supporters.
It seems that whenever I pick up a newspaper or tune in to the television or radio, someone is voicing an opinion that amounts to “The King is dead. Long live The King”
Well, if you don’t all mind, I think that rumours of the death of LFC are a little premature. We are alive and well and I have every reason to believe that L4 will soon be buzzing again.
The media have an agenda, or several agendas, actually and the trouble at the moment is, that so many people are being sucked in by the poisonous words that they are spouting.
Let us look at the first 10 games that we have to play, in the Premier league, this season. Arsenal and Chelsea at home plus Man City, Birmingham, Everton and man Utd away, that’s 6 really tough fixtures in the first 10 matches, not to mention Bolton, a notoriously difficult away fixture for any team. If you count that one as well, that makes 5 tough, uncompromising away fixtures plus 2 very tough home fixtures.
Given that sort of start to a season, I would be happy if, at the end of that run, we had only lost a couple of matches and were within 6 to 9 points of a top four place. Currently we are 2 points from that goal!
Let me repeat that.
After what the pundits are describing as a wretched start to the season, we are just 2 points away from 4th place. Hmmm . . . . awful start eh?
How come, I wonder, no one seems to be writing about the early demise of Spurs and free spending man City? Have you had a look at their league position? Taken a peek at how many points they each have?
Well, just in case you haven’t, let me enlighten you.
Man City and Spurs both have 5 points, which is exactly the same as . . . . . . . erm . . . . . . Liverpool! And Villa have 6. Add in to that the fact that Everton have 2 points and you can see that, apart from Chelsea and Arsenal, none of the expected top 8 clubs have yet performed this season.
I don’t, however, see or hear the same terminal diagnosis for any of the other slow starters.
Liverpool, though, have become the number one, easy targets and so, this onslaught is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. Allow me to explain why . . .
Firstly, they make an easy story. Journalists don’t even have to think. All they need to do is rewrite all the old stories, over and over again. Stories about the failings of LFC are easy to write but have you noticed, when you read and listen to this stuff, that there is nothing new or original about any of it?
- Torres has never recovered from his injury
- Torres is lazy and disinterested
- Liverpool are short of quality and have a weak squad
- The manager doesn’t seem to know what he is doing
- Our players are lacking in motivation
These same old phrases keep getting written and rewritten by every Tom, Dick and Harry without any thought, research or imagination whatsoever.
Let’s have a look at Liverpool’s strongest 11:
Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Skrtel, Koncheski, Kuyt, Gerrard, Meireles, Maxi, Cole, Torres.
Then let’s look at the choice of subs: Agger, Kyrgiakos, Aurelio, Lucas, Poulson, Pacheco, Kelly, Ngog, Babel, all of which are either established full international players or Under 21, promising and talented young players and I have left a few out, too.
That makes 20 players who are somewhere between good and brilliant.
So, spare me the rubbish about the quality of our players. They are more than good enough for the top 4 this season.
Next we have the backlash from 4 successive decades of being one of the top sides in England, and for 2 of those decades we were THE top side in England, Europe and, truth be told, probably the world, at club level. During that time, in fact, we probably would have beaten most international sides.
So, there are a lot of reporters and ex players out there with an axe to grind, who have been waiting 20 to 30 years for Liverpool to stumble, just so they could gloat and exact some revenge. Most of those are part of the southern press machine.
And finally, we have the awful PR job that we have carried out these past 3 years, meaning that some of what we are currently receiving is to be expected.
Our owners have made a right pig’s ear of overseeing club business matters, we had a chief executive (Rick Parry) who just made matters worse by being inept in the transfer market and then we had Rafa, the subject of some sort of misplaced and misguided folklore status by so many of our supporters.
Rafa, with his smug, self serving media attitude did us a lot of harm and brought a lot of the poor perception of LFC down upon us himself. Had he been a bit more media friendly, I am convinced the press image of us would be much better than it has been.
Having said that, lets look at what we have won during the past 5 years:
- Champions League
- FA Cup
- Super Cup
- Charity Shield
Then, on top of that, we have been League Cup runners up, Premier League runners up, World Club runners up and Champions league runners up as well, plus Champions League semi finalists and Europa League semi finalists.
How bad is that, eh?
Last season we lost 19 matches in all competitions and so is it any wonder that we have started off in an uncertain manner? The squad has had to exist through endless rumours of takeovers, a new manager, the loss of 2 very influential players, plus continual speculation (again, magnified by the media) about key players and then, we have new players who need time to settle into the team and the team is having to get used to new personnel on and off the pitch, new ideas, new ways of doing things.
You don’t go from losing 19 matches to suddenly playing great football all in one seamless movement. It takes time.
The first thing is that a team needs to tighten up and become hard to beat, which we are in the process of achieving, in my view and then, from that comes confidence. Then, bit by bit, that confidence grows and shows itself in the type of football that is played.
On top of that, new players have to bed in and the manager has to discover, through trial and improvement, through experimenting, which combinations of players is the best suited to achieving what he wants.
It just takes time.
But be in no doubt. The players are plenty good enough. The manager is good enough. The fans are good enough.
Let’s give the team and the manager a break. Let’s be patient and see out the first 10 matches and then, once they are out of the way and once the early season international fiasco is over, maybe we will start to see the revival become stronger.
I am most certainly not walking alone. Remember, we are LFC. We are proud, we are strong, we are knowledgable and we are passionate.
Bring it on!
In the meantime, please take part in my LFC survey. I would like to build a database of views and opinions and then publish the findings. Thank you