Liverpool FC: Crisis, What Crisis?
Like many other Liverpool FC fans I followed the activity surrounding the club this summer with excitement. A new young manager arrived with big ideas and a whole new philosophy to instil on the players. That brought with it much anticipation and now that we’re a few weeks into the new season it’s fair to say we’ve had a bad start. We’re 3rd from bottom in the Premier League and the recent defacing of the sign at Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport sums up how many people feel. Everywhere you look there are prophecies of doom. Where’s the excitement gone? I see many articles with headlines like “Is this the way forward for LFC?” and “Liverpool In Crisis”, stopping just short of “We’re all going to die, save yourselves!!!” which you know they’d love to publish. That sort of hysteria and narrow minded reporting gets us nowhere. Let me assure you, this IS the way forward for LFC and today I hope to convince you.
Whatever you think of Brendan Rodgers’ past record (which is mixed) it’s more than a little harsh to pass judgement when he’s barely gotten his foot through the door at Anfield. In many ways this is the larger problem with football today. Everyone expects instant results, anything else and you’re out on your ear. I can’t help thinking Sir Alex Ferguson wouldn’t have survived to make Manchester United the most successful British club of the last 20 years if he’d started out today. For the first few years of his reign things were not good and Fergie was famously one defeat away from the sack. That was the first few years, not weeks, years! Oh how I wish he had been sacked as a Liverpool fan but instead he and his teams would torment us for so many years to come. All because Utd had faith in his vision and his ability to build something for the long term. Many great managers throughout history have had shaky starts and I’m not trying to claim that Rodgers is the next Shankly or Paisley, but how will we ever know unless he’s given a proper chance? By which I mean 3 or 4 years minimum. He’s young, hungry, ambitious and has a clear vision for the club. He’s trying to build new foundations. His use of many youth players already this season demonstrates that.
Right now everyone is highlighting one major flaw in our game, the lack of a goalscoring threat. That’s undeniable. The amount of times I’ve watched Liverpool dominate a game for 85 minutes and then lose 1-0 exasperates me. The manager has openly admitted that letting Andy Carroll go without a replacement was a mistake but he was also let down by administrators at the club and promises were broken. I like Carroll and believe he could do a job for us but his lack of mobility isn’t what the manager wants and he clearly doesn’t fancy him. That’s his prerogative and we must trust that he has his eye on the bigger picture. With the likes of Samed Yesil playing brilliantly and other young players coming through we have prospects for the future. But the key is that it will take time. Rome was not built in a day, as the cliche goes. Our style of play has vastly improved already. Our domination of possession in most games is clear to see. It’s only a matter of time before we settle into this new regime and start using that possession more effectively. I firmly believe in the coming weeks we’re going to absolutely murder some unfortunate team 4 or 5 nil. Norwich City at the weekend might be good candidates. Fingers crossed.
Right now Brendan Rodgers doesn’t have the players he’d like and the players he does have are still trying to learn his style of play. It’ll come. Just have a little patience. No fan likes to see their team near the bottom of the table but this is a false position, we’ll rise up the table. You may think me a naive optimist but let’s revisit this prediction in a few weeks time. If I’m wrong and we’re still near the bottom then I’ll hold my hands up and you can all throw eggs at me.
Trying to pass judgement now is the equivalent of handing Rodgers a million piece jigsaw (with a few pieces missing) and then sticking your head round the door every 10 seconds going “haven’t you finished that yet?”, it’s pathetic. Worse yet it’s as if people are saying “He’s messing up the jigsaw, I don’t think he can do it, we need someone else!!”. Get a grip. Give the man a chance. I’ve taken the jigsaw metaphor as far as I can I think. As for those who call for the return of Rafa Benitez… there aren’t enough expletives in the world for me to adequately answer that one so I will refrain. No, just no, alright.
If you completely disagree with me then feel free to let me know in the comments but for now here endeth the rant 🙂
Thanks for reading,