Shortly after his appointment, Brendan Rodgers promised that for as long as he is the manager of Liverpool FC he will fight for the club. He has since talked about how he intends to instil a style of play similar to the one he was rightly congratulated for whilst at Swansea. He’s correctly said this will take time in order to stop fans from getting over excited about our chances this year. But at the same time he’s talked about how strong the group of players at Liverpool are. How, since his arrival, he’s been impressed with the squad at his disposal. And how tactically he knows how we can improve. But although he talks calmly, eloquently and with a steely determination, I wish he would just stop talking. The same goes for the players and the owners.
I know the media plays a massive part in football nowadays, with reporters writing about anything and everything on a daily basis. But I wish the people at Liverpool Football Club would stop coming out with promises about what they’re going to do, backing their opinions up with facts and statistics about why the future is rosy, when the proof isn’t in the pudding so to speak.
During pre-season we heard Joe Cole talk about how he wants to be remembered as a success at Liverpool. He pointed out that he had a lot to prove to Kopites. And he predicted he would do just that this season. Well so far, both times Cole has played a game he’s gone off injured. Thanks for the words of encouragement Joe.
He’s not the only one.
According to Jonjo Shelvey, the arrival of Joe Allen has raised everyone’s game. Training has never been so competitive. I’m not saying Allen’s arrival hasn’t been positive – it’s fair to say he’s been one of our best players in the opening games. But this competition for places hasn’t resulted in, well, results.
Enrique was also keen to wow us by declaring that he would like to play as many games as Carragher for Liverpool and be remembered in a similar way by the fans. Maybe he should concentrate on playing, learn to stand on the goal line rather than behind it at corners, try to block crosses and start eradicating the defensive errors he made last season before he worries about becoming a Liverpool legend.
Last week fans were given peace of mind by Skrtel when he assured us that the club can handle a long run in the Europa League. How about handling the Premier League first? So far we’ve lost two games (badly) and drawn a game, albeit against Manchester City, which we should have won. And our performances against Hearts in the aforementioned Europa League left a lot to be desired.
Even the youngsters have got in on the act, telling us how they just need to be patient and wait for their chance to impress. Well be patient, wait and try to get the manager’s attention in training rather than via an interview.
Liverpool supporters were then treated to the open letter from John W Henry, where he reiterated FSG’s commitment to making Liverpool successful again and attempted to pacify concerns about the club’s transfer policy. This came a day after the club sold Adam and loaned out both Carroll and Spearing without replacing them.
Forgive me for coming across as negative but am I the only person who wishes they would all shut up? Am I the only supporter who wants the players to do their talking on the pitch and the management to stop making the club look stupid? I’m sick of hearing and reading about what the team is going to do, only to see them come up short.
The result against West Brom acts as a stark reminder of the task facing the club and it should have deterred the players from talking themselves up. It was a woeful start to the campaign, which followed an average pre-season. I know the team easily dispatched Bayer Leverkeusen, but prior to facing us they hadn’t enjoyed the best results either. We failed to win any of the friendly games we participated in during our tour of America yet we were meant to believe our pre-season had been a success and would stand the team in good stead.
I’m not going to give Rodgers too much stick. I like the guy. He brings an exciting style. And he’s facing a mammoth task in turning our fortunes around. But that is exactly why, personally, I would never have sacked Kenny Dalglish. Because he faced the same mammoth task a year ago and he deserved longer. I don’t like that fact that we’ve had 4 managers in three years. The club needs stability. And I believe we had that stability under Dalglish’s stewardship. I know our league form last year wasn’t up to scratch but we got to two cup finals, won one and would have won the other one but for a better header from Carroll or barring a wonder save from Cech (you decide which.) Also, our style of play last year was not too dissimilar to the style that Rodgers is trying to implement, although admittedly he puts more focus on pressing and winning the ball back. But attacking football, good passing and keeping possession were all elements on display during Kenny’s reign. We were simply missing a top class striker to turn many of those draws, and even defeats, into wins. Remember the Arsenal game where we outplayed them, only to lose 2-1 courtesy of a Van Persie brace? I know Kenny took a lot of stick for some of the players he brought in and maybe that, coupled with the PR disaster surrounding the Suarez situation, cost him. But let’s be honest, without Champions League football or the lure of inflated salaries it’s difficult to attract the top players. Unfortunately Liverpool are unable to offer either. If we look at Manchester City, they signed players such as Emmanuel Adebayor and paid him £160,000 a week to get where they are now. Only once they had qualified for the Champions League could they bring in players like Aguero, Silva and Nasri.
Now that Rodgers is here I obviously hope he can turn things around but he’ll quickly realise that 3-0 defeats go down a lot worse at Liverpool than they did at Swansea. And that’s exactly why he, the players and the owners need to stop delivering false promises. Every time they talk about what they’re going to do, they only turn the spotlight on themselves when they fail. Of course they have to give interviews, it’s part of their job. But how about they use those interviews to apologise for the way things are instead of trying to convince us that things aren’t that bad?
Liverpool once had one of the most outspoken managers ever in Bill Shankly. But he only became a legend because he backed the things he said up and turned the club around. So until the people who are at the club now can back up the things they say, maybe they should stay quiet.