By Steven Forshaw
I’m a Liverpool fan. A big Liverpool fan, I have been to a lot of games, I’m not a guy who sits on his couch playing football manager (I do play football manager and its ace) thinking its easy or a guy who just has a look at the league table every now and again and passes opinion from afar. I watch Liverpool on TV as I work a lot, gone are the trips to Cardiff and the best night of my life in Istanbul! Business does not allow me the pleasure to go to all the games anymore, but what I have noticed whenever I read the fan sites or blogs online is a huge growth in negativity and hatred towards our manager and the owners.
This really annoys me. I’ll tell you why.
Before FSG took over we had Gillet and Hicks running the club into the ground and talking so much Sh*te it was unreal. They were in the news more than the team were! The club was dragged through the mud and eventually we were taken over by our new owners FSG. Now to have normal owners who understand sports and business at the same time in this day and age is a bit of a privilege. Football nowadays is a business, big business. You have to be financially sensible as to not put your whole club at risk, look at Leeds!
FSG came in with a business model and an idea, they hired a young and hungry upcoming manager in Brendan Rodgers, now I’ve seen the TV show and it was very cringe worthy! Brendan came in and straight away the man who has been around Europe and has learnt from people like Jose Mourinho at Chelsea tried to implement his idea of passing entertaining football into our stale English 4-4-2 Roy Hodgson and Kenny Daglish inspired ‘Big man and little man upfront’ style football team. We really needed bringing into the modern game sharpish.
Fast forward to last season and possibly the greatest season I have ever seen us play as a 29 year old it was some of the best football I have ever seen in my lifetime! We lost Suarez as soon as he sunk his teeth in at the world cup and Brendan set about spending the money given into creating a squad rather than the 13 or 14 players we had that were good enough for the previous season.
Now you can say he has wasted the money but will we really know until the youngsters he has bought come to fruition? I think not! Balotelli was a gamble who didn’t pay off as was Rickie Lambert although at the time I like many fans thought he would be an ideal back up plan and something different, a plan B. Daniel Sturridge has been injured most of the season which has had a huge effect on the amount of goals scored. This was a season that just needed to end as quick as possible, its not been great at all but we have been to two cup semi finals and finished 5th. So as the 5th richest club in the premier league realistically is it that bad of a season? Should we then sack the manager?
Sterling looks like he will go, but most fans most would sell. I believe Rodgers deserves another season minimal, modern football is crazy and managers who want long-term success need at least 5 seasons to get the team into their mould. He has had 3, he knows the youth setup and we all know they are starting to come through now, I think he will have learnt from this season were he went wrong and try to sign appropriate players to make it right next year.
FSG meanwhile are expanding the stadium and have acquired many sponsorship deals which the club lacked when Rick Parry was in the hotseat, we were still in the 70’s when Parry left in terms of money coming into the club, Man United left us behind in that sense, FSG have a bit of clout behind them, they want a self sufficient club bringing youth through with a few signings per year to keep the squad fresh and look to the long term goal rather than short term gain and I believe they will achieve it and I believe Brendan will come good.
The fans I see calling for his head have short memories. The fans I see criticising the owners are just as bad, a business should be run to break even or to run a profit surely if you own a shop or work for a business you wouldn’t want them to run at a loss year on year? Otherwise you would be at the job centre rather quick!
Of course they want to win as winning makes more money for them and also keeps the fans happy! So why wouldn’t they want to win the league and Champions league? Silly to think otherwise!
So I beg all fans on social media and ‘fan’ sites, whats the matter with you? We are moving forward it just takes time, if you want a sacking every poor season support Real Madrid, they can afford it, we can’t. Eventually we will be making as much money when the stadium is finishing to start to even compete with the bigger boys! They really are the bigger boys, Arsenal have been run so well and are the most self sufficient club in the league I believe, Chelsea have good backing as we know but also have the best manager in the world at getting results in a results driven business. Man City can pay wages twice as high as our highest, but have an ageing squad now and need to spend again.
Under FFP rules we will be in an excellent position to compete the way the club is going forward and that is exciting. Then we will see where our young squad can take us and hopefully under Brendan Rodgers because I think he is a top manager and also because I think he will win us the league one day.
I’m a fan but I’m also a realist.