Restless Natives

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Restless Natives

Liverpool are on the verge of their first trip to the “New Wembley” after a great result in Manchester last week, and also right in thick of the race for a top four place, and yet amazingly many Kopites are still not happy with life. Short memories indeed, this time last year we were languishing near the bottom of the Premiership and wondering if we would avoid relegation, never mind challenging for a top four place. Even the calibre of players we had playing for us last season was worrying, with the likes of Kyrgiakos, Jovanovic and the legendary Christian Poulsen to name a few.

Kenny came into a club in such a mess not seen since Shankly arrived. Liverpool was really in a shambolic mess. Since Kenny returned the only promise he has made, is to do his very best and he has steadily and gradually made improvements over the year. Dalglish was dealt a blow in his first month in charge when he lost his star striker, but he moved swiftly to bring Carroll and Suarez in and then he used many of his younger players in the remainder of last season. Dalglish used the likes of Flanagan, Kelly, Spearing and Jack Robinson to name a few, in the first team, and showed great faith in these lads.

The improvement in the latter part of the season was amazing and Liverpool was unlucky, just missing out on European football as they climbed the league. In the summer Dalglish strengthened the squad by bringing in experienced players like Adam, Downing, Doni, Enrique, Bellamy along with youngsters with great potential in Henderson and Coates. Liverpool’s squad is certainly stronger now.

Hopes were very high at the start of the season, even talk from many supporters about winning the Premiership. But results have been a bit up and down in the first half of the season and this has led to the supporters’ frustration. Liverpool has only lost four matches in the league all season, and all away from home. But the lack of wins at home has been the biggest problem with seven draws at home, although no defeats.

But with results being up and down all season there has been criticism aimed at everyone from Dalglish to the new signings, no one has escaped. The new signings have suffered the most, with Downing , Henderson and Adam being criticised for not producing enough quality, but Andy Carroll is the biggest scapegoat. The price tag has not helped the big man or the injury which prevented him starting for so long. But with so many new players coming into the side, the supporters have to be patient for the team to gel.

Since the Stoke match the criticism on Dalglish has been ridiculous. The mood of the supporters changes from game to game. Dalglish knows this is work in progress and the supporters need to appreciate this too as results will suffer along the way. The Stoke match was probably the first match at home this season where we never created many chances and probably didn’t deserve to win. But with all the other drawn matches we have created chances galore, we just haven’t put them away leading to the frustration.

It looks like Liverpool lack a predatory striker to finish of those chances, but it is easier said than done to go out and get one when you need one. It’s not like Kenny can just go down the shops because he needs a new striker and buy one in the local shop. Kenny will be working to improve Liverpool, it’s just that he is not going to share his ideas with the public. I’m sure Dalglish knows where we need to strengthen and he will be doing everything to improve us. We are not too far away from being great again as we have proved against the top teams in the league in the last year.

The supporters have to be patient as there is no better man to get Liverpool back challenging for the title again than Kenny Dalglish.

written by Jamie McLaughlin website at


  1. Jamie, your point is well taken about LFC’s position this time last year and the strides we made last spring to ensure that the club could build and move forward. But the reality is that the club is not performing to expectations, and not just according to the LFC faithful; it’s generally agreed (it seems) that our attacking talent has not manifested itself for various reasons.

    Downing, brought into service big Andy, simply hasn’t and while Henderson looks a solid addition for the 13-14 season, his lack of creativity through the middle of the park is depressing at times. These are Kenny’s additions and therefore he should come under scrutiny, full stop; and no matter how successful this season is, relative to the former two, I think you will have to acknowledge that we are, indeed, a long way off from being ‘great again’.

  2. I totally agree with you. The problem I have with Dalglish is not bcos we’ve been faltering. I definitelt do not expect us to challenge right away for the title! My point is, for a team that has spent 100m, we definitely expect better. Now this is the cut, for the players we got, there are better players out there that cost less;

    carroll 35m, downing 20m, henderson 20m=75m= waste.
    Adam, doni, enrique, bellamy are great additions for a combined fee of about 15m.

  3. Carroll 35m= Luuk de Jong 10m, Papiss Demba Cisse 8m, Luc Castaignos 5m

    Henderson 20m= why sign him wen u have shelvey!
    Kevin Strootman 5m, Shinji Kagawa 15m, Lewis Holtby 10m, Markus Henriksen 5m, Marvin Martin 8m

    Downing 20m= diego perrotti 8m, giorginio wijnaldum 5m, adam johnson 16m

    Sign: mathias jorgensen 5m.

    Sell kuyt, aurelio, cole, aquilani, ngog, spearing, wilson, meireles to raise about 36m. In addition to the 56 from torress babel sale, plus some 25m put in by FSG, we could have had a team that reads;

    reina, doni, agger, skrtel, coates, carragher, jorgensen, kelly, johnson, flannagan, robinson, enrique, martin, lucas, shelvey, strootman, gerrard, kagawa, henriksen, holtby, a.johnson, perrotti, wijnaldum, castaignos, de jong, demba cisse, suarez. Imagine the possibilities!

  4. I disagree totally.
    Were very close to being top again.
    Here’s why.
    Well turn the draws at home into wins.
    Our defence is already def in the league.
    If we can start putting those chances away up front well be very very strong.
    1-3 new signings at the end of the year: Striker, Winger…plus 1 more maybe….well be right up there.

  5. Good article Jamie. Kenny has got the club pointing in the right direction. He is a clear leader and so someone we can have much more faith in than the last manager.
    It is pathetic he can come in for such criticism. The only fault you can call on this great guy is his loyalty. Downing needs time out of the team to learn that he can’t waste so many chances when he is picked. How many goals has he scored. Kenny is sticking with him but I have seen Kelly and Gerrard give better service to the strikers than Downing and these two haven’t played nearly as many games. He never seems to go to the line and wants to cut in all of the time.
    The rest just need a kick up the backside and we need more creativity as Matt had rightly pointed out. I think when Carrol gets going he is going to be unplayable. I was patient seeing Crouch miss hatfulls of chances when he was at the front and I can do the same for Carrrol too. Hus control will improve and he will get hungrier and Kenny is the man to guide him.

  6. don’t forget about lucas !,

    MASSIVE blow loosing him, i can’t emphasise this enough

    had lucas been playing gerrard could be used in a more advanced role and wouldn’t have to babysit charlie adam for the duration of the whole game.

    downing looks ALOT better on the left to me, although bellamy and enrique are unfortunately the obvious choice for exploiting a weaker right defense.

    i hope we go for de jong (if the rumours are true about him not negotiating a new contract), and let gerrard get forward to link up with suarez.

  7. I agree with matt,s points above,i dont see how kenny could sign these players and ask for patience they should
    be up to the job from the off,little suarez was so tell me
    what makes carroll different? he cost 35 million mate thats a total waste in my world,and downing is crap he plays like a girl as does henderson always flicking his hair its embarrasing!the three of them need to take some
    time to have a look in the mirror and ask themselves if
    they are doing themselves and the red jersey justice,maybe
    all men up in the north east are pansies,and adam dont escape the wrath of my words because he aint even justified his 8 million,as somebody else as already said on another post he has paid back a tenner and a bag of crisp worth towards the team.This current team are not a hundred million plus better than last season and i hpoe
    dalglish realises his mistakes and offloads these four players next season,i have doubts for the near future because of our lack of firepower up front and from midfield (gerrard excluded)kuyt needs getting shut of that is plain to see,but still we are not buying a forward in this window according to kenny,whats going on?
    i cant see us beating city next week for the above reasons and can see us getting turned over in the FA cup against man ure,and before anybody starts accusing me of negativity the simple facts are we cant at the present with the players kenny bought score goals and win games
    and that is a truth,as this season rolls on and we have no silverware to fight for and we are fighting to get in the europa league more fans will turn against the king
    and see that these years out and away from the club have blunted his once sharp eye and vision of what a class liverpool type player should be.

    1. Hear. Hear. While we unquestionably have more depth than we did this time last season, I would argue that the degree to which we are a “stronger” team is marginal. Especially after having pushed players like Meireles and Aquilani out – both of which KD is responsible for.

      Seriously, does anyone think that Downing, Henderson and Adam are better than either of those 2 players?

      Does anyone seriously think having Carroll on our team makes us stronger than when we had Torres on deck?

      But as you say, it’s also about value. While we are certainly not 100 million quid stronger, the more accurate figure to use would have been our net spend. I don’t even think we are 50 million pounds stronger.

      Also this argument that the boys need time to settle doesn’t really hold up in the face of the evidence so far this season. We actually played better at the start of the season than we have done for the last couple of months. It wasn’t just the game against Stoke, we have been steadily less assured in our play and negativity has been setting in of late. Unless the rot stops, dare I say it, we will return to the form that we had in the darkest of days under Woy.

      I am not too badly fussed if we miss out on silverware and CL qualification this season. What I want to have see some hope for the future of this team that I love and have supported for over 35 years. Some spark of inspiration that we have the makings of a good (if not great) team.

      I certainly started the season thinking I saw that. But right now that is fading and fading fast.

    2. That is the most disgusting rant I’ve ever heard. Our performances this season have not warranted that kind of cynicism. And to say things like that about players wearing the red shirt goes completely against the philosophy of our club. Liverpool fans talk endlessly about the history of the club and with good reason. It’s steped in glorious traditions and great victories. Real fans support their team, so instead of spreading negativity and flaming our players why don’t you try cheering them. You’ll Never Walk Alone is what we sing to them. Words a real Red understands.

    3. Before anyone starts accusin’ U of negativity. THAT’S WHAT U ARE: NEGATIVE. We had a couple of good matches @ da 1st half of da season. Even if we are not @ our best, i think da club deserves a wee bit of chance from ‘fans’ like. Maybe U shouldn’t celebrate when da club win anything this season for being so negative. Plz don’t apply such negativity to yr personal life ‘cos U wont achieve much wit’ such mentality.

  8. okayy here is why I criticise Dalglish…majority of the comments are saying we lack creativity…BUT i tout we had 2 amazing players in Meireless and Aquilani that were Creative but insted we decided that Henderson was da way forward..i think its fair to say Dalglish’s decision to loan Aquilani and da club (indirectly) forced Meireless out!! dat decision is Haunting us..Henderson offers NOTHING to the team same as kuyt just nothing!! da first place NO one wanted Roy..anyother manager we appointed wud av done a wayyyy better job dan hodgson..dalglish has done well..but like rafa hes made SHIT!! signings…so for those tryna defend dalglsh am ashamed..just because he resurrected liverpool doesnt mean he shudnt be criticised for wasting money..20million for Downing!! add jst 3million extra and we cud av had Mata who is younger faster quality..Henderson is as good as not buying anyone at all coz his signing makes no sence to me …u have aquilani and meireless but u prefer Henderson dumbest decision ever..carrol is understandable he was a panic buy

  9. RE: Shaun – No doubt, it seems that Kelly and Gerrard provide better service than Downing at this point.

    RE: Jim – It’s scary question to ask, yeah? 100M spent on THIS squad…THIS squad.

    But also, it’s not simply that the strikers are not getting service, its that when our wing backs do stride forward, they fail to hit the target, even if they do shoot. Take a look at Johnson’s stats throughout the season, you’ll see a dismal figure regarding shots-on; and El Toro never even takes a pop! Instead, they pull the ball backwards and squeeze infield, allowing the defense to resettle their lines.

    Again, Jamie, you point out the frustration of the Stoke match is perhaps undeserved. With 70% possession and 15 shots on goal, you would hope to challenge the keeper more than, say, once? For 100M, I think we could atleast manage to pull of 2 shots on goal at Anfield.

  10. The first half against city we were superb, until the quick passing of Spearing was replaced by Adam. The game instantly slowed down and then we retreated. . backs to the wall.
    The stoke game was a 7th place play off and we didn’t look any better than them. The 100m worth of signings have seemed to be overpriced and under skilled making me worry about who is buying the players??

    It is true that much of the dead wood has been replaced but due to lack of ability, average perfomances, there is very little to get excited about. Gerrard returning is showing up the dross around him (Downing, Carroll,Henderson).
    Spearing is a big miss, his direct approach and quick passing brings the ball from defence through midfield much quicker and I hope he secures his place before Lucas (the crab) returns.

    As for wembley on the horizon. . I fully expect all the city big guns to perform on the day . . .but I will be delighted if they don’t!

  11. Jesus Christ, what’s depressing is those shouting about how poor we are, or how much we’ve spent for so little return, either can’t spell (dat instead of that wtf? Are you Gangsta?) or can’t count, we may have spent approximately £110m but we sold a lot of players and raised around £70m so we’ve only added about £40m to the squad, it’s really simple. This is just above Carroll’s fee, which everyone knows and agrees that it wasn’t a fee that represented value for money, espectially not expected after 5 months of his first season, in total 32 appearances ffs. Surely if you engage your brain and realise how little time it has been, you will realise that we have improved greatly in the last year.

    When bringing so many players and selling so many you’re never going to get everyone firing within the first half of a season ffs. Take a step back and think about it. We are improving, some of the signings won’t work out, that is for sure, then we’ll replace them and we’ll keep building, but it’s gradual not instant, therein lies the problem, too many fans expect things to happen NOW, this is pathetic. Nobody is above scrutiny or critisism but to be acting the way some ‘fans’ are after such a short time where there has been obvious improvement is shocking, and they should be ashamed of themselves, how can you even call yourself a supporter?

    Confidence as one of the biggest factors in how a footballer performs or indeed anybody, ask yourself how their confidence is after the type of comments from fans a fired out like they are now, the performances have been by and large very good this season barring a couple of games, with a little bit of luck on our side we would have cruised through a load of those draws and things would have been so different, the trick is to keep playing like that so that it does change, however once fans start turning on the player and manager, that confidence starts to drain away and performances start to deteriorate. Before pointing the finger at the players look at yourself, the atmosphere on Home days is crap when we’re playing ‘lesser’ teams that we should be beatin, as if everyone has turned up and sat down and thought this will be easy, entertain me. How is that supporting your team? That’s how the ‘prawn sandwich brigade’ act? Is that what you are?

    If you don’t like paying almost £50 for a ticket, don’t. Let someone else go who will get behind the team and give them the SUPPORT and CONFIDENCE to go on and when the game.

    It’s not surprise that our best results have come in cup games and against better opposition, because the atmosphere and SUPPORT is much better!!!

    Our fans have changed in the last few years, not surprisingly after what we’ve been through, but we need to get back to what we do best, and that’s supporting our team, not slamming them after every little miss and every little hiccup while we’re building a team.

    So depressing!

    1. GenuisChrist: I think that you’ll find that the vast majority of those hailing ‘criticism’ you find so despicable agree entirely with your claim that

      “We are improving, some of the signings won’t work out, that is for sure, then we’ll replace them and we’ll keep building, but it’s gradual not instant, therein lies the problem, too many fans expect things to happen NOW, this is pathetic.”

      The club’s situated rather precariously at the moment and we would do well to recognize that, after all the drama off the pitch and the lack of drama on it, we are ‘rebuilding’. HOWEVER, when renovating or rebuilding one cannot look at net spend as you would have us do, this simply tells the overall investment rate, NOT THE RATE OF RETURN. Sure, LFC is almost up evens from the past year (in terms of our accounts) but the ROR is not on par of that expected from such an extensive outlay in the market.

      Perhaps you should examine the role of ‘leverage’, and how it plays into the mindset of, not only the talent scouts and backroom accountants, but the punters and supporters as well.

  12. These points made above(mine and a couple of others are stating a fact,i dont believe we have improved that much
    and just because i say that certain players are crap and a waste of money does not make me less of a supporter than someone who thinks a little different,this is called freedom of speech!i love this team as much as i love my family and friends,the essense of my soul is pure red,
    and kenny dalglish is my football god,but if i think that his buys are lousy i will defend my right to say so.

  13. Matt I understand your point on Rate of Return, but should we be judging that now? After such a short time. To be fair the Rate of Return would effectively be judged over the length of the contract (not that you always have to wait that long), but some of the players (Downing) have only played 20 or so games, surely that’s far too soon to be saying that they’re a waste of money, or the ROR isn’t good enough?

    Jim, I respect that you love Liverpool FC as much as any other fan, but my point is about support, the very definition of the word goes against slating players that wear the red shirt (whether deserved or not), occasionaly we will sign poor players that will not succeed for us, however many times we will sign players that under the pressure generated by the stature of our club and the demand of the fans will appear to be poor but in actuality are not, this is compounded when after 20/30 games those ‘supporters’ start getting on the players back. In my opinion it’s far too early to be judging the latest signings, especially as they all have scope for improvement, and with a little bit of ‘support’ when struggling for form, could really shine.

    All I want is a little bit of perspective, at the minute there seems to be too many rash judgements. Slight concern at the teams form or individual players’ form is normal, but within reason.

    Jim every manager has good buys and bad buys, a good rule of thumb I think is 50/50, while it makes matters worse when you pay over the odds on a bad buy, but it remains 1 bad buy, as long as it doesn’t affect the club too much financially it’s not the end of the world, this is part and parcel of every managers job.

    As much as our target was top four this season, I didn’t come into it expecting us to get it, we are chasing those above us, and have performed as much as expected for me. Without our 2 best players for the last few weeks form and confidence has dropped, but we shouldn’t be jumping down the teams throats for it. I have every confidence that we will have a strong run to the end of the season and push for 4th place, hopefully with a trophy too, this I would consider a satisfactory first full season for KD, then decisions will be made as to who goes and who stays and who we bring in for the following season. It’s a good time to be a red again after what we’ve been through the last couple years, let’s not spoil it before it’s even begun.

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