Crisis again at Liverpool. Season over after just 5 games

Posted by

By Mark Sproule

Follow on Twitter @MARKIESP

I was listening to Adrian Durham and Darren Gough on Talk Sports drive time this evening and nearly crashed the car when I heard them open a debate asking for Liverpool fans to call in, questioning the credentials of Kenny Dalglish, his signings and league position to date, suggesting after a mere five league games that a top four finish could be beyond them. Forgive me if I am incorrect but is there not a further 99 points to play for? Are Arsenal not lying in 17th and Spurs in 11th place. Is Liverpool not a mere 3 points behind Chelsea in third place?

Prior to Sundays crushing defeat at Tottenham Liverpool had performed extremely well in their previous four league games, and with a bit of luck and a couple of favourable refereeing decisions having gone their way Liverpool would be sitting on 12 points, just behind City and United, even given the abominable display at White Hart Lane that followed.

Let’s not forget that four of the starting line-up at Tottenham hadn’t played together before August and six of that line-up were new additions to this premier league team since January. Seven new players once Coates was introduced on 26 minutes. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Yes it was an inept performance from start to finish, an early Spurs goal was scored deservedly by the better team. Add to this a lack of discipline which saw the team go down to nine men and the three goals which followed summed up a disastrous trip to North London by the visitors.

So, that’s that then for the hopes of Liverpool’s Champions League qualification this year? Four good performances where they only managed to amass 7 points and one terrible game where they got exactly as they deserved. I don’t think so.

I can understand the hope and expectation which surrounded Liverpool fan’s prior to the season beginning, some promising new signings, quite a few pounds spent since January and King Kenny back in the dugout. Add to this the excitement of watching the latest No.7 Luis Suarez perform in the latter half of last season and as usual expectations went through the roof. I myself, like many Liverpool supporters, and senior Liverpool players, saw Champions League qualification as a more realistic achievement as the new team grows and gels. After all, how many teams have gone from 7th and 6th league positions to become champions. When Dalglish last did it at Blackburn it was 4th and 2nd before finally lifting the crown. Sure, anything is possible in this wonderful game and Liverpool fan’s know that better than most, but in order to avoid too much disappointment let’s be realistic and be delighted if our team exceeds our expectations, that I believe is the Liverpool Way.

No better man than Kenny Dalglish to have spoken some harsh words to the players involved on Sunday (behind closed doors) and analyse with his staff exactly where we went wrong. Dalglish has seen, heard, coached, played, managed, and player-managed it all before. There is nothing new in the modern game unfamiliar to the Liverpool manager who was never afraid to make bold decisions or leave people out. Like Fergie, players were unceremoniously moved on by Dalglish if they didn’t fit into what he was trying to achieve in his previous tenure. The beauty with Kenny and the squad he now has at his disposable is there are no dead certs on the team sheet, bar maybe Reina, an in-form Suarez and fully fit Steven Gerrard. There are plenty of options for Dalglish if he needs to ring the changes.

Rewind back 12 months and look at the mess Liverpool Football Club were in both on and off the pitch. Liverpool fans have a lot to look forward to now under this transformation of excellent owners and management, not least the re-introduction of Steven Gerrard and also seeing a bit more of Craig Bellamy. I firmly believe that despite Sunday’s grave disappointment, this was only a set-back and perhaps the best thing that will have happened as the season unfolds. Some of the players might have seen a different side to King Kenny for the first time and endeavour not to repeat a performance like that. Joe Fagan and Kenny Dalglish both suffered similar defeats in their previous managerial tenures 4-0 and 4-1 respectively, and both times went on to win the league, so I wouldn’t read too much into what was just a very bad day at the office. I also firmly believe that Liverpool Football club will be back where they belong next year. Cold Tuesday and Wednesday nights at Anfield with that famous champions league anthem ringing over the tannoy.


  1. Finally – someone speaking a bit of sense among the doom laden defeat mongers calling for the Manager’s head….

    Unbelievable really – short termist glory hunting mediocre media led idiots out there (get yourself a dictionary if you don’t get it) – one team one manager one club YNWA

    Good article

    1. You’re right – there is only one team and one manager and one club in the premier. Unfortunately, it’s not Liverpool.
      We all know who it is. Liverpool were utterly and totally outclassed by Spurs and – God knows – Spurs are nothing special.

    2. Please guys, c’mon.
      This is not the end of the season.
      Kenny must understand that Carroll is not fitting there.
      Put Maxi back.

      1. It is obvious that selling the portugues and loaning the italian the manager had faith in his british talents. It was a folly and it smirks of. . .Lemme not say it. Anyway henderson and caroll are not playing by merit which is ironic to kenny’s mantra on fair play in terms of Chances for players. The team is starting to play the ball backwards because apart from downing and suarez, no one else has bmw creativity up front. And please jamie should cease shouting at other defenders because he is the worst of the lot anyway.

        1. OH PLEASE!! To me Caroll was good for the 1st time!!! and if Suarez (Mr I want to do everything) hadnt jumped to the ball caroll could have finished it!! he is too involved! Its one time and GREAT GREAT ARTICLE!!!!!!!

  2. Adrian Durham is a plank who spouts garbage just to be 4 continues to be the realistic aim and kenny the right man at the helm

  3. I am sorry to say I had loads of txts and emails since Sunday complaining about Dalglish from so called supporters in my family. but and it’s a big but Comolli has to take a lot of blame, he was bragging last week about our complete squad yet as anyone with a modicum of sense would have bought more experienced defenders knowing the frailties of Agger, Auralio, Kelly and Johnson

  4. Yet another article written by a Liverpool fantasist in a bubble. Let’s be honest, shall we? The signings are bloody awful and time won’t make them any better. Played well before Spurs? Nonsense! Is a draw at home to Sunderland playing well? Is defeat to Stoke playing well?
    The really sad thing about Liverpool is that a whole generation of supporters have grown up without knowing what a half-decent team is like. All they can do is to come up with one excuse after another as the results go from bad to worse. Face it – United will win their thirtieth league before Liverpool make it nineteen.

    1. Really? The results weren’t good but the performances so far this season have been spectacular if you exclude tottenham, which is a hard place to play at, and the second half of the sunderland game, which no team except city looked good for. Liverpool are going to bounce back. It’s five games into the season we have plenty of time to achieve top 4. Have you not watched Suarez or Enrique play? The are quite the oposite of bloody awful. The rest need to step up but Kenny can bring the best out of them. You’re a sad pessimistic man if you can’t see the changes happening at lfc. We will be threatening for the title very soon and It’s unlike Kenny to go long without a trophy.

      1. The performance was spectacular only in the Bolton game. At Sunderland we crumbled, at Arsenal we were awful until Suarez and Meireles came on, Exeter can’t really be used an example because they aren’t in the premier league, at Stoke we couldn’t even put away a chance and at the first real test against quality opposition we were absolutely demolished. That performance Sunday was worse than under Hodgson.

        Dalglish needs to go back to the way he was managing after Christmas. Put Kuyt, Suarez, Maxi, Downing, Gerrard and Lucas in the side together and we’ll be somewhere near where we need to be. Apart from Downing, Enrique, Coates, Suarez and Doni Commoli’s transfer work has been poor. Carroll is just not up to it. Adam can be decent but he’s found out under pressure and Jordan Henderson was supposed to be one for the future yet he’s started every game. Not replacing Meireles or Aquilani with any quality was also a mistake.

        It’s Dalglish’s persistence with Carroll, Henderson and Adam that gripes most fans. Good players like Kuyt, Maxi and Spearing are being unfairly left out of the team because Dalglish is so stubborn in his determination for his signings to work.

        Put them on the bench and when they earn the right the start they can have a go again.

        Blind faith and abuse are equally as bad, but constructively bringing the decisions at the club you fund into question does not make anyone less of a fan.

    2. Honestly, for those doubting our squad and backroom staff, go glory hunt Manchester fucking United (Remember Slur Alex nearly got sacked and look at them now). 2 losses and a draw means absolutely fuck all at this stage of the season. I couldn’t care less if we finished 5th. As long as this season is a major improvement on the last that’s all that matters. I have faith in our signings, and I have faith in Dalglish. Once the team gels, everybody will see the difference. Okay, Suarez is a very gifted player being able to twist and turn past handfuls of opponents, but that isn’t and never has been how a successful Liverpool team operated. All about pass and move and you can see glimpses off it every game (bar Spurs), but it is all about progress. It’s no good criticising the team just because we haven’t had early season form like City or Man Ure. Who knows, this could be our bad form whilst they are on good form. Form doesn’t last forever and once the tables turn, the wait will be worth it. Just have some patience!

      1. THANK YOU!!! my thoughts exaclty!! Suarez twist and turns but this is no dance floor!!! we need him to stop trying to be top scorer and think of the TEAM not his personal glory!!!!

        1. hey noura…i dont think suarez s tryin to be the top scorer, i think he s jus out there tryin to bring some honour…. i wont be suprised if he handout a transfer request at the summer… apart from bolton do u think we had a convincing display this season….

          1. What honour if you think he will hand in a transfer request this summer… It seems to me although we complain about fans being glory hunters, its the players that that forced us to such…
            I like him dont get me wrong, but he is too enthusiastic and involved, and sometimes compromises potential goals, he doesnt think with his head all the time… He needs to show the other players trust so that they can trust themselves… I am no expert in FB, but its just an impression. Yes I agree our performances were not always convincing, nut there is potential, and alot of it…but our constant expectations ruin things, the management did say we are hoping for 4th spot, and in jan they will reassess, 4th is still attainable, so lets just wait til Jan…
            But I cant explain my faith in the team, and to be honest I think this defeat will serve us well, and I am GLAD it came now rather than later to shed light on things to be changed… and to show players the other side (i am sure) KK has…

  5. Sorry mate, but optimism is something different than blindness. If KK cannot see that is a matter of time that Skrtel will be sent off, if he insists on playing Carroll who is always out of the game and cannot even control the ball properly, then we have a serious problem here…

    1. You do realise that Carroll has played around a dozen competitive games for us, don’t you? Clearly time to write him off completely.

  6. Excellent article mate, unlike most of the dross spouted on here. I replied to another article earlier, saying compare where we are now, against where we were on the 1st of January this year. I believe progress is being made, and what a lot of the doom merchants seem unable to realise, is that it’s a long term process of rebuilding, and not an instant fix over 5 games.
    As I said in my reply to earlier article, ‘if you want instant glory and success, f**k off and support the manc shite’
    If not support your club, stop knocking it.

  7. spurs aint just!the issue.shocking cock up though it was.shouldve beat sunderland,and at least drew with stoke.should have minimum 2 more points.7points behind aint a crisis,but real/ puts us under microscope too early.however why i feel people arev kneejerking was manner of defeat=utter fkin shambles

  8. well said, ive said all summer after the ammount of coming and ngoing that it wont be until xmas onwards that we really start playing as a team/squad.. everyone having minutes next to dirrent team mates to get to know there game. if where still near 4th by then then we have a real chance for europe. ynwa

  9. LFC are way off the pace as always and even though its still early in the seaon it really dont matter. LFC will struggle to get in uefa let alone champs league. Carrol and hender complete waste of money

  10. I don’t know about kneejerking. I feel this is the second time this season already failure to pick his best XI let us down. I can’t for the life of it phatom how Kenny arrived at the conclusion Kuijt should be dropped. Also, while it was blatantly obvious the team was clueless, he did NOTHING to change the game – he kept playing Skrtel as RB despite Carra having deputised in that position well over a decade, he kept Carrol on despite getting no service and when he did he was found isolated, and don’t get me started on Henderson.

    I’m not sure this strategy of playing underperforming players for the sake of it, is gonna help us reach 4th. The best way to build confidence is to win games and you win games by playing your best team. I think it’s a small club syndrome Kenny feels a need to play Henderson just because he payed over the top for him. Wasn’t he bought for the future anyroad? Why not focusing on playing a team capable of winning games. That would help Henderson.

  11. Have to agree that the signings just dont look up to it.

    £35M for Carroll and he cant get in the team! For the same price you could have gotr Aguero! Who would you prefer?

    We got rid of Mereless for £10M but bought Henderson for £16M?

    Downing made his name as a winger but we play him centre-mid?

    Adams was a big player for Blackpool but can he cut it at a big club? Remember Rangers were glad to get rid of him only 3 years ago?

    Only Suarez looks like a player who will improve the team. I hope things pick up quickly as we NEED to be in the Champions league for next season.

  12. you really listen to those two fools?….remember Adrian Durham crapping when Carra phoned him….i stopped listening to talksport when brasil had to be woken up in his car to present his show

  13. A manager who is trying to prove he spent wisely sticking with the players that are not performing week in and week out. We were playing well toward the end of last season and had something going. Fair enough we needed a couple of players but he has replaced a good midfield that worked. Our highest goal scorer on the bench ahead of a player who doesn’t seem to want the ball, you never notice Hendo is even in the game. Please Please Please play last years team with Downing and Enrique included, forget Hendo and Andy for now let them get into their stride in the reserves for a while and when they are ready then bring them in, they are clearly not ready now.

  14. It not all doom for Liverpool. Calling for Kenny to be replaced is ridiculous. Sure there are issues with the team at the moment but certainly doesn’t warrant a change in manager.

    Kenny is only into his first full season with players that he brought in and you expect L’pool to win the EPL title? So naive. Ferguson took years to build the team into a championship side. The direction of the club is right but the way we play is a problem.

    We do not press opposing players quick enough and do not close down players fast enough. The EPL plays a fast game with a lot of quality players. You simply cannot give players time on the ball. There is also a lot of space between the defence line and the midfield and the forwards. Perhaps we need to play higher up and be more compact.

    The mobility of our players is also a problem. The players need to move into space quicker. Lets see how Kenny takes the team forward. I don’t think we played very well before the Stoke game but certainly better than we did last season which is an encouraging sign.

  15. The performance against Spurs was filthy & the other 4 games were patchy at best. Pre season I held high hopes for the big revival,now just hopeful of a top 6 finish unless drastic improvements which….we can only hope. For me Henderson & Carroll’s money could have been spent much, much better. Will reasess when Stevie G gets back, up with Suarez as a true world class player.

  16. Personally, I’d follow Kenny Dalglish down the divisions if he still wanted the job. Yes that’s blind loyalty, but of all people he’s earned it. It makes me cringe to read some of the criticism he’s been getting. The man loves the club more than anyone and would be the first to step aside if he thought he wasn’t up to the job. Five effing games and people are calling for his head? Absolutely disgusting.

  17. Seems like 1985 again. After five games, Liverpool had 2 wins, 2 draws, and a loss. Man Utd had won all five (and in fact would continue to win their first ten). Coincidentally that was Dalglish’s first season in charge of Liverpool, and we all know how that one turned out.

    But why let that get in the way of a good story. Let’s just endf the season now and give Utd the title, and why not relegate Arsenal while we’re at it cos obviously they’re shit and they’ll never recover in a million years.

  18. Adam – out of his depth, couldnt get near any spurs players
    Carroll – carthorse, no movement, to slow
    Skrtel – embarrassing, out muscled by Defoe
    Agger – Mr Glass, gets out when the going gets tough
    Henderson – anonymous
    Downing – did he touch the ball
    Suarez – Whinger
    Everyone else ok
    Does anyone else think they have just wasted millions?
    That was a test Sunday, no game all week?

  19. This unfair attitude by Media and some section of fans, summarises the worst of modern football fans.
    They are fickle, knee jerking and They are not able to understand that a new look team needs time to gel, and desperately need to grow in experience. 4-0 loss to White Hart Lane will be a lesson to learn. True Fans know well that Kenny is the right man at the elm. Liverpool are work in progress and there are a lot of things to do.

  20. YNWA

    Our team is totally off the pace of the game. They are slow and sluggish. The coaching staff is doing nothing to show me improvement in our pace/speed of play. Caragher walks the ball out from defends and takes for ever to make up his mind. Our midfielders don’t run spaces to give more options for creativity. We are sooooo bloody slow to get to the ball and even slower to make up our mind on what to do with the ball, it is imbarrising. The fact that they react and think slow, is nothing compared to the endurance factor, by the time it gets to second half, every one is walking to make tackles, they are huffing for air!!!! I cannot believe what i see. Our midfield runs towards the apponent that has the ball, but does not pressurize the player, then he walks to the next player and loose the plot. This is unreal, I cannot believe that KK allows this. What do they think, how are they going to keep up with the pace of Man U. I AM SO DISGUSTED in our pace of play and even more upset that KK does not do anything about it.

    1. Denzil i feel your pain mate! i agree with some of your points about the midfield and carra is sadly at the end
      of his time as first choice in the team,i also think that
      carrol for some reason is playing with a lot of fear
      maybe the price tag or his personal life as had some effect on the lad? iam sure kenny will get carrol through
      this and carrol will show in the end and justify his price
      tag.Henderson at this moment looks like he is in hiding
      (it was easier to find saddam down the hole)during the
      few games,and iam not sure what he has to offer us ?he is
      a million light years behind stevie g and people who compare them at the same ages just dont have a clue!!!
      I also believe that skirtel is not and never as been good enough for this club,and that lucus looks lost without a
      solid player next to him (gerrard)these are problems kenny and the players have to sort out and very quickly
      or the fans will turn because we expect no less than 100%
      effort and players who dont hide from their duties of playing in the red shirt of liverpool.

  21. When Adam and Hendo scored against Bolton,i could hear the crickets chanting their names.After the hammering by Tottenham they are now useless.Carroll was benched against bolton,and i think the performance was fantastic.Hendo and carroll should be reserve players,but considering their price i don’t think kenny will.Hendo and carroll should be benched.Maxi or kuyt and craig in their respective places.For us to test champions league football again.

  22. I have a serious pain in my face looking at comments made by so called “fans” after my team looses a game.
    Have any of you actually played football??
    Since when did trophies get handed out after 5 games??
    Are you seriously telling me that after watching a player for a hand full of games you can tell me whether he is good enough, what all his strengths and weaknesses are??
    I’m sorry but if you can why aren’t you applying for a job at LFC? Surely you can sit KK down and show him where he is going wrong and what he needs to do to sort it and of course you will get 5 games and if it doesn’t work for you another all knowing messiah will come along to tell you where you are going wrong and so on. With a bit of luck we will finish the league with around 11 or 12 managers and a squad capable of not only winning the league but solving the global economic turndown and give us world peace.

    KK is more than qualified to pick this team and get us to where we need to be. I think we all should stick to being FANS.

  23. Totally agree with you the signings are know where good enough for us should of bought much better, I knew that once we started to sign more British players that we would still do rubbish as British players are shite and overpriced. I have never rated Downing even though he is doing well for us, I have never rated Adam and I knew that he wouldn’t be good enough for us cause if he couldn’t make it at a big club like Rangers then there is know way he would at us and yes he did well for Blackpool but Blackpool aren’t Liverpool. At the moment I don’t like what iv’e seen of Henderson and Carroll and Carroll was a panic buy and should of got Aguero instead. The club want a new ground as we would get more money every year but at the moment it wont make much difference because if we carry on spending the way we have been on over priced players they will just spend on even more overpriced players when we move but for even more money.

      1. Antoine, it’s more than just salary. Whether we like it or not would Aguero have signed for LFC? I really really doubt it…

          1. mate i am jus depressed by the way we play…no creaivity ,no we have a midfield guys.?…only panic rules…i think carroll will make a good defender…all the british signings flopped… wat was kenny thinkin on goin british …ENGLISH VERSION OF BARCELONA….Only one convincin play against bolton…though its only 5 games i think with such a squad with the exception of suarez, enrique n reina we r not gonna make t… I am an optimist , not a superoptimist or a hyper optimist…

  24. Some interesting views here. The Team is new and young we have to let play alot of football and its the same for all the clubs Man U will keep there rate up because of experience, City will keep there game up because they are buying wins.the EPL is a close league now and teams are alot stronger and confident at there home ground, spurs was a bad game but the first goal came from a truly world class strike which is a one off and from a player who all respect would rather be at another club. The rest of the match the team took the eye off the ball and let there tempers play the game that’s why we lost. Again I relate that to lack of experience and the team needing to gel. I agree that carrol is a hard player to understand in my group of friend we relate to him as White Heskey maybe unfair but his english ego let’s him down. He ment for the long ball game and I think and hope that is disappearing from Liverpool. This season is interesting we have to cheer harder than we ever have and the team will hear and perform. It’s about the journey not the destination!


    1. First of all Henderson was 14 million, 2nd of all remember it is all about the salary not the signing fee, 3rd. I can see why some think that Henderson is not good, he doesn’t have a good rating on FIFA11

  25. Some interesting views here. The Team is new and young we have to let play alot of football and its the same for all the clubs Man U will keep there rate up because of experience, City will keep there game up because they are buying wins.the EPL is a close league now and teams are alot stronger and confident at there home ground, spurs was a bad game but the first goal came from a truly world class strike which is a one off and from a player who all respect would rather be at another club. The rest of the match the team took the eye off the ball and let there tempers play the game that’s why we lost. Again I relate that to lack of experience and the team needing to gel. I agree that carrol is a hard player to understand in my group of friend we relate to him as White Heskey maybe unfair also his english ego let’s him down. He ment for the long ball game and I think and hope that is disappearing from Liverpool. This season is interesting we have to cheer harder than we ever have and the team will hear and perform. It’s about the journey not the destination!


  26. Agree. The article was written borne out of frustration at knee-jerks reactions by commentators and even those claiming to be LFC fans. One awful result will hardly define the season. Performances have been encouraging since Kenny came back and in particular up and until Sundays game at Spurs for this season. Lets all get behind the team and manager and move on, plenty to look forward to.

  27. Kenny has only had 9 months back in the job and this is the criticism he gets? Unbelievable. When we beat man sh**** 3-0 last season were they calling for mancinis head? Get a grip.

Comments are closed