I’ve lately become bored to the bone reading articles, comments and worse still watching video clips with the intent of pouring ridicule on Liverpool’s manager and players. I felt I had to post another brief column as an addendum to my previous article as the situation is now reaching epic proportions, and, it must be said that this site has been lately pictured, by some quarters, as fuelling such revolting attacks. This is certainly unwelcome news. I was once an editor of a fan site (The Mighty Reds) back in the days when NewsNow was in its infancy and I can assure you that maintaining such a site was a daily headache. EOTK is a brilliant idea and one can only commend Antoine for bridging the communication gap between the Liverpool FC fan community. This an opportunity for all to post thoughts and feelings about games, tactics, performances. It is not, however, a place for those armed with venom in their fangs, those who spread gloom, those who willingly never see the big picture.
We all have a right to voice opinions and certainly we can constructively criticize a club which has been in perilous waters ever since the cancerous previous ownership was allowed entry into the delicate quarters of Anfield. We’re all unhappy about Liverpool’s inconsistency – an issue which has plagued the club ever since that last league trophy was lifted – and we may all agree that Roy Hodgson has shown little to prove that he is here for the long term. It is then childish and useless continuously asking for Hodgson to be relieved of his duties. This is a decision which can only be taken by those who expertly pulled us out of the tyranny status which was the previous ownership. We, fans are just one member in a three-piece structure including manager and players all glued together by those who sign the cheques, who ensure the club is a profitable business and who have foresight to take the club to better shores.
I liken Liverpool’s situation to Juventus who similarly were left stranded at the end of last season after a terrible campaign. In came Delneri early in the Summer and immediately sought to stabilize a ship a few years back rocked by corruption claims. A macro comparison of Juventus and Liverpool will result in many concluding that Delneri would have probably done a better job at LFC given that Juventus are currently enjoying the best of forms in recent history. Delneri is not exactly what I would term as top class if one had to review his CV – he was manager of a host of clubs and that includes AS Roma which he parted company with after a few months following a series of defeats. Not Juventus material some fans would have suggested. What Del Neri inherited was little in comparison to what lay in store for Roy in the Summer. The situation at the top for Juventus was never an issue and all Delneri – and Juve’s players – had to do was concentrate on football matters. A different scenario at Liverpool when Roy was appointed manager. He had to liaise with an ailing ownership, make amends for the damaging loss of Javier Mascherano, convince the big names to give Liverpool another chance and secure the signature of a few players with limited funds. This, naturally delays any attempt at stabilisation. I was and still am bitter at Roy’s sincere approach during interviews; I’ve always thought that managers should be emotionless infront of the camera, towards rival managers. This is one reason why Rafa Benitez is so much loved as he really proved to be a spoke in the wheel of Ferguson and other tough characters. Such positive arrogance transcends to the players, an emphatic example being the days when Liverpool enjoyed successive convincing victories against Man. Utd and Real Madrid. Rafa Benitez’s only fault was to succumb to the media’s game by throwing in the now famous Rafa rant which, although, understandable and spot on, resulted in a cloud of negativity eclipsing all the good the Spaniard had done previously.
It is easy for anyone to criticize how managers relate with the media and this includes gesticulation during matches. The truth is that a manager’s football charisma is a fine line between being seen as a steady no-nonsense motivator or a little child crying his heart out at being dragged by his mother to his first day at school. Rafa managed the former at one point and results followed suit but crossed over to the other side after the famous rant and when “promising” Liverpool would have secured a Champions League placing. Roy doesn’t quite fit in this formula yet and his managerial traits reflect his personality, one which depicts him as a well versed, sincere and apologizing type which is not your typical Liverpool manager. Roy’s politeness and apparent respect of other managers, most notably Alex Ferguson has trickled down to the playing staff and this naturally will always prove counter productive.
We know Roy has faults but we also recognize that given the circumstances at the time, he was the best possible candidate for a job not many would have been interested in. Faults can be rectified and storms subside. The message to fellow fans is simple – we need to support the club through thick and thin, condemn those who think Liverpool can be thought of as joke and strive to use the power of the Internet to oust – not Liverpool’s manager – but the bad odour left behind by those who never had Liverpool at heart, those who assumed Liverpool was all about money, those who tarnished the rich history of this football club.
See you next time.