“The fans expect too much at Liverpool FC,” says former manager


Former Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier has given his full support to Kenny Dalglish to steer the Reds in the right direction of glory, and says there is far too much expectation at the club.

Houllier, who was replaced by Rafa Benitez in the summer of 2004, believes Dalglish has had a lot of problems to unpick during his first year back in the Anfield hot seat.

He says winning the Carling Cup this season has been a bright sign to a turnaround of fortunes on Merseyside following a turbulent few years of no trophies and financial problems.

“The League Cup is a good sign for the future,” said the Frenchmen. “I think Dalglish is heading in the same direction, just give him some time.

“Liverpool need another year to kick in. They have had a lot of recruitment done and a lot of problems, so give him some time. There is too much expectation at Liverpool – they expect you to win the Champions League every year.

”But the obsession is the league. Rafa finished second and I finished second once but, for all the cups we won, they wanted us to win the league.”

Is Houllier right? Do we expect too much from Liverpool due to our decorated history? Let us know in the comments below, on our Liverpool FC forums, on Twitter @thisisanfield or on Facebook.


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  • The Anfield Faithfull

    Most Fans are prepared to give KD another season at the helm,but next time we need to return to Europe’s elite,but with the current crop of players its difficult..Only player who has shown signs of improvement is Downing.Others have been either static as Hendo and Carroll  or have faded away as Enrique and Adam.Now that is worrying..

    • scouser_danny

      Are we so disloyal as to only give him one further season? Lets not forget there are around 6 or 7 new players who have gone straight into the 1st team this season + some key injuries (Gerrard, Lucas, Johnson, Agger) – all 1st team regulars when fit. Hardly suprising we’ve been inconsistent in the league.

  • Bobnod1960

    Yes we do expect too much, we want the best but unfourtunatley we now have a support that is bereft of football knowledge and full of punditry and internet and not 100% behind the club not so long ago alot of Reds went along with the press and booed Lucas and gave stick to Skertle both have stuck with it and prooved how good they are now it is up to the crowed to back the team. and maybe cut Henderson some slack,

    • Jay

       we got too many fickle supporters, no patience. this is a new team, new ideas, new philosophy. everyone (almost everyone) wanted a return to the Liverpool way.
      Kenny was/is the best person to return to the Liverpool way. no one else can do it.
      but to do it, it will take time. if people take thought for a moment, Kenny got the team playing some silky smooth football, the other teams couldn’t touch us. we spanked Arsenal, but we were not ruthless, it was Liverpool v Van persie.
      so the way i see it, Kenny going the right direction, the ingrediants are there….a few more good signings and come next season, we should be in the top 4.
      and lets all not forget, it took a while for fergie to start winning at manure….

      • Shaz

        No title win in the modern Premier league era is testing my patience a bit; and I am already in my forties!!

      • Craig

        Completely agree mate, Liverpool fans need to be patient and get behind the team/manager! A couple of good signings and a bit of luck maybe next year we will be competing for top 4! Baby steps

        • Shaz

          That should be Liverpool’s Slogan:
          “There is always next year.”

          Define: “A couple of good signings”.

          • ash76

            Spot on Shaz, these people really need to take off their blind folds!

          • Me

            blind folds??? those statements are what every top club says every year. how many teams do u think win the league?

          • ash76

            You’ve miss-read what I meant and aren’t making much sense either.
            What I meant was that it shouldn’t be asking too much for our team to be in the running for 4th place, or at least make a good fight for it and we’re not!

          • Me

            Totally support u in the aspiration 4 us to be winning something, not sure fourth place means anything but $$$.
            The idea that we’re not fighting for it is total bollocks.
            Are we being over run, are we making chances, are we dominating games?
            What are ur answers?
            I’m for u venting, but ur inventing crisis to justify ur invective.
            As for making sense, my point is that only one team can win the league. None of the runners up / “losers” are sitting there going “at least we made it into fourth spot”.
            They go looking to strengthen, and look to next year.
            what has that got to do with blind folds?!

          • ash76

            4th place means a chance at champions league football and that is a big thing!…By doing this we can attract better players, players who will improve our side and will therefore help Liverpool’s gradual climb towards actually fighting for the title.
            Struggling to score goals against relegation candidates and championship sides, losing to teams like QPR and Wigan.  Wasting our transfer budget on 4 mediocre, mid-level British players, being in 7th place and a massive 8 points behind Newcastle.  Does that seem good enough to you?
            Those teams that achieve 4th spot and beyond, are looking to push on in the race for next seasons title, but they are also looking to consolodate the position that they managed to achieve in the previous one.  We however, can only look on in envy as these sides are vying for the title, buying the type of players that we can only dream of.  You know, the type of World class players that only come with your side involvement with the champions league.
            You seem to be one of those people who think that it’s wrong to demand that there be signs of progression at the club and we should be (at the very least!) amongst those teams fighting for that 4th spot.  I however, don’t think that ambition is a bad thing and if I feel that the club is being taken in the wrong direction, I should be allowed to say so. And this is where the “blind fold” comes in.  You get my drift? 

          • Me

            of course ur allowed to “say so”
            just seems that u think buying players is like steriods, fast gain, no pain.
            i’d think again.
            like i said, totally support ur ambition.
            we are back in europe again next season, and that means better players i agree.
            yes CL will get us “even better” players, I just think ur over-reaching by thinking we could have done that this season.
            especially without european football, it was always gonna be about building the squad. (not buying elite)
            we’ve had 3 false starts bringing in quaity players to “climb up the ladder” (Alonso, Javier, then Torres) – so I’m willing to see if the “build the squad, blood the youth, and then buy the cream” strategy works.
            u appear to be A LOT more impatient than that. although not quite as impatient as the AVB detracters were at Chelsea, where CL is an obsession.

          • Aweccan

            mediocrity loves company

    • Gary352

      I for one never booed Lucas or Skrytl. But I do boo Carroll when I see him on the field. The most untalented waste of a player I have seen in my entire life. He can’t function as a football player, how did he make it at this level?

      • Me

        either way ur a scum bag fan.

    • http://twitter.com/CorbettsBritain Corbett’s Britain

      My word what has this club come too if we are now told that Liverpool supporters expect too much?

      I hate to think what Shankly would think of us now. Seeing how his beloved club is happy with a carling cup win and Europa football.

      It is so sad to see where Liverpool are in the league and it is even sadder to see fans having a go at those who are rightly concerned.

      • Livster

        Ahh but Shanks himself was given time, go back and check our results.

        Its a fact that we want instant success. Look at City after 4 years of over spending what have they won?

        This is a project so next year we should see some real progress.

      • ash76

        Spot on, I’m fed with same old fools that have barely ever played football before, trying to tell me that winning one Mickey mouse cup and being 8 points behind an over achieving Newcastle side, is somehow a good thing.  The reality is that we’ve wasted roughly 77 million pounds on 4 squad level players, and they haven’t made a blind bit of difference to improving our league position!
        Yes, let’s give it time?…Dear oh dear!

        • Me

          its not a good thing, but it aint the “bad thing” that ur whinging about either. ie., winning the PL is not progress from last year – its a bloody miracle. sort out ur expectations… i.e., get real bud.

          • ash76

            I didn’t say we should be winning the premier league, as that would be asking for far too much.  What I do expect is for Liverpool to be using the money they had wisely and to be realistly in the race for 4th spot, but I think that you already knew what I meant.  You’re just another one of “King Kenny’s” fanboys, whose trying ignore the bad job he’s been doing, by deliberately taking someones opinion out of context.  My expectations are in check, yours on the other hand, are symbolic of what’s holding this club back!

          • Me

            Fourth place means something, why? You SHOULD BE looking for us to be champions.
            LFC are in the race for a top spot, it just isn’t thecake walk u think it is.
            I would respect ur opinion more if u were targetting top spot, and gauging progress on our ability to fight on all 4 fronts.
            However, now i fully understand ur just a fourth spot fanboy.
            Arsenal is a great club 4 u to support.

      • All Red 65

        Think about the team Shankly inherited, the time it took him to build our great Reds teams and most importantly, how different the football world is today. I share your frustration with our place in the league but, I always felt it was going to take more than a year to undo the damage the previous owners did.

      • Me

        when expectation turn into “feeding on your young” , then too much is an under statement. what shanks knew as fans, was something more than op-ed whingers.

        • http://twitter.com/CorbettsBritain Corbett’s Britain

          I think you will find it is called a debate and everybody should have there views listened to without uneducated nobodies jumping on them.

          Grow up.

          • Me

            “What has this club come to”, “i hate to say”, “its so sad” is not a debate. I’m for a debate, at best ur just pitying LFC.

          • http://twitter.com/CorbettsBritain Corbett’s Britain

            A very fair point.

    • Scottie

      Well said mate!

  • scouser_danny

    yeah i think our fans expect too much sometimes. then again, we have been waiting a hell of a long time for the league title.
    i think some fans should maybe put themselves in other club-supporters shoes, look at everton, they haven’t won a thing since 1995, Arsenal have gone years without silverware, spurs dont win much, newcastle havent won anything for 50+ years, the list goes on. the game changer has been teams like city & originally chelsea effectively buying titles – ask yourself, with our tradition & history, is this how you want our blessed club to be run?

  • Imran Khan

    Houllier once again demonstrates a capacity for foot-in-mouth like his best friends Hodgson (the sight of them sitting together for Carra’s testimonial was vomit-inducing).

    All LFC fans wanted was good football & the sense of progression made – something he screwed up royally by rejecting the purchase of Damien Duff & instead buying El Hadj-Diouf, Salif Diao & Bruno Cheyrou for £20m & calling 4th spot “a massive achievement”. Rafa is a winner who was screwed by the rednecks. Therein lies the difference….

    • scouser_danny

       If you look at where LFC was when Houllier took over from Roy Evans & then look at what we won under him AND THEN look at what 80% of his squad achieved in Rafa’s 1st season…..(only Garcia & Alonso really made the difference)
      Did Rafa get screwed when he signed Josemi, Kromkamp, Nunez, Morientes & about 30 foreign youngsters for our academy?

      Stop hating

      • munyuktae

         agree danny, but i would make an exception to face rubbing hodgson

      • John Boy

        With Roy Evans liverpool played the most entertaining football i’ve ever seen. We won nothing. But it was thrilling to watch.

        With Houlier we played the most boring football of any liverpool team i’d ever seen. We won a few trophies but he killed what was an exciting attacking team. 

        Your so called 80% would never have won the champions league without Rafa. 

        So let’s all stop hating. 

        • Me

          why? because he won the europa league with Sevilla. oh dear.

  • Ger

    Is it too much to expect Liverpool to beat Wigan, Qpr, Norwich, Swansea, fulham(to name but a few)? I don’t think it is. The negativity that is around now is bore out of the money wasted and opportunity spurned last summer. I honestly think we are in free fall and will become a villa type club. I see darker times ahead and it kills me to say that.

    • scouser_danny

       “villa type club”  piss off

    • Johnnyevans

      Spot on. Spot on.

      We expect too much?? Now it’s our fault. I’m sorry I expected more than one win in 7 league games against bottom half table opponents.

      I hadn’t realised my expectations were too high.

    • Rederik

      I agree with you mate, we are now as far as I can see progressing backwards, what makes it worse is the fact that so many supporters seem to think expecting champions league football every year and winning the premiership occasionally is setting our sights to high.

    • Me

      yes it is. especially when u obviously believe that expectation = birth right. Any club that disrespects its opposition DESERVES to be beaten by them. End of.

  • Dragatara6

    Can we look some where else than England.
    It seems there is not just a big shortage of forwards but real managers too.

  • J Cronin

    I never liked him as a manager….he simply is a buffon!!

    • Jay

       i never liked you as a writer, you are simply a buffon!!!

  • DaveWestAus

    Houllier is a PLONKER !  Tried to take the accolades when Benitez won the European championship !  He never had a tactical brain like Rafa, so he cannot understand that Dalglish will fail again !

  • Rederik

    You won,t hear old red nose saying the scumbags expect to much, I loved K.D as a player but for the modern game we need a manager who like old red nose expects 100% all the time from his players and excepts nothing less, Kenny is to much a players manager the fact he is making excuses for the players almost on a weekly basis proves this, as for the supporters expecting to much the fact is simple do we want to become a small time we took part club or do we want to be playing at the highest level, a good run in the champions league every year is not to much to expect and we are further from that now than we have been for a very long time.  

    • Me

      u have a short memory mate. it wasn’t that long ago that he was in some trouble – and funny enough it coincided with the new yank owners. KD has much more pedigree that AF.

  • Artigas Cruz

    being from Uruguay i blame my fellow country man for lfc not winning more games, he has to concentrate on playing and STOP the crap of always complaining it makes me sick. 

    • Me

      u need to be complaining on another site bud, although it is getting hard to tell recently.

  • Bekim

    Get lost mr Houllier. How’s to much to expect yr team to try and win PL and CHL. When we spend the money we keep spending than u really expect more than to b 7th in the league.

  • Sureshotemo

    To many people living in the past. We havnt won league in 20 years yet alot of our susporters call for manager to be sacked every year we dont win it, its sad really…

  • Shaz

    Lets take Top 4: City, United, Spurs, and Arsenal.  Look at their fans. I think United and Arsenal fans expect more from their teams. City and Spurs are having their moments in the sun. United and  Arsenal has consistently been in the Top 4; that is what their fans came to expect.  

    We have won the league 18 times; yes 18 times. We were once the most successful team in England. 

    I have to be content with “Form is temporary and class is permanent.” 

    Form is now mid-table performance. 

    Don’t get me wrong, winning the Carling Cup was an achievement; we could not even win Cardiff outright. Captain Fantastic misses a penalty, so does wonder-boy Adam.  

    I do and always will expect more from my team. And I do have the right to criticize.  I live in a democracy;  I buy the sweaters and socks and I pay to see my team play; I expect them to at least take me as a fan into consideration and play some decent and exciting football.

    Mr Henry runs a business and I and millions of other fans are his customers. 

    What we doing now is complaining  about a product that is not performing as we expected. Telling the customer to buzz off and buy another product will never make good business sense. 

    • Me

      u can either be a fan or a customer. only a fool thinks they’re both!

  • Ridhwan_ghani

    give carroll some time. he is still young. even van persie didn’t perform during the age of early 20. more experience can benefit the young striker.he is a quality striker during his time at newcastle. he just need a wide player that can cross the ball into the box frequently. i’m sure he can do it again in liverpool. after the massive spending over the player, city need 4 years to challenge for the tittle. and i positively believe and sure that liverpool won’t take that long to win EPL. YNWA!

  • Tommygun

    Do we expect to win the CL every year?  No we don’t.  But are there fans who lack perspective and maybe expect too much, who fail to take certain conditions into consideration? Yes there are.  There are many supporters though who do have a sense of perspective, yes we have expectations for the club, but those expectations are tempered by certain issues.  Gerard gave us some good times, that treble year in particular was a fantastic time for the club.  But I’m sure he must be aware that he didn’t seem quite the same after his illness & he made a string of awful purchases, thing’s really did go into decline after his illness & While the only time I’ve ever called for a manager to be fired was with Hodgson, but it was time for a change back then.  A club like Liverpool rightly has certain expectations, we expect the clubs owners to run the club in an efficient and dignified manner. We expect anyone pulling on that red shirt to give 100% in each and every game, we expect them to take thing’s one game at a time, we expect them to treat opposition with respect & not hold the opinion that all they need to do is turn up in order to win.  We expect our players to have a high level of ability & to show that ability in their play on a consistent basis.  We expect our manager to represent the club properly, to try their best to push the club forward, to gear their teams towards playing proper football ie. pass and move attacking play.

    There were years when we were disappointed by the club only finishing 4th.  But this year we would have considered it a successful season if the club had finished the season in 4th place because that would have represented progress.  Because we all know that the sooner the club regains Champions League football, the better it will be for our revenue, for attracting top talent, and for keeping existing top players happy in the belief that the club has ambition and is moving forwards.  So our expectations are high, rightfully so given the club we support.  But they do shift and change given the circumstances we are in at any given time.  Most of all we want to see our club acting with ambition, forging forwards, pulling together in order to stay at the top and honour the memory of all the great managers and players who helped to forge our great history & make us one of the most successful teams in football.  Our history should act as an inspiration to managers and players, an inspiration to go on and do their bit in maintaining the proud history and traditions of this club.

    Is it wrong to want the best for your club, to want to see Liverpool competing with the very best teams in Europe, to be fighting for the league?  No, it isn’t.  

  • RedReg

    Cant believe some of you people are having a go at Houllier and Rafa, What would the last eight years have looked like without them? LFC was in the doldrums when they came along, slowly slipping into mediocrity.They brought pride back along with success. @fe0b4f575632abe2dbba7cbe4d542329:disqus here’s not a team in the premier league, besides the scum( possibly) who doesn’t envy the trophies we’ve won. They were both great servants to this club and both deserve respect. If gerard had not become ill or Rafa was given the cash to buy quality players and hadn’t had to deal with all the crap that went on off the pitch we probably would have turned those two second places into league titles. Uefa cup, carling cup, FA cup and charity shield in one year, by Gerard. Two champions league finals in a row and consistant appearances in the latter stages under Rafa and a record points tally in the league, plus an FA cup.Not to mention all those delicious victories over the scum, Priceless! Maybe its only the Lfc bandwagon who are having a go, but I remember the 90’s. Kenny will get it right we are making progress, if you want an easy life go support Celtic.

  • REDRhys

    This is a project and looking at it if we get the league cup and fa cup thats great to me. Next year if we get no improvements in the league then the team will have to put up with the criticism and do better.

  • yahaya

    he who much is given, much must also be expected. one can’t imagine QPR at bottom to beat liverpool. Its disheartening.

  • Jonty

    You know, we can still save this season but some things need to happen first.
    First, KK needs to realise that he has done a poor job and if he really loves this club more than money, he should resign at the end of the season. But, at same time, he should be fuly motivated to win the FA Cup for us and to repair the damage he has done in the PL and help us finish at least 7th (above Everton).
    We need to hire a new manager and give him at least £40-50m (net) to spend and bring in two or three quality players (foreign only this time, please!).
    Thirdly, we need to retain our top players and hope that they are ready for next season (I have serious concerns that Reina and others might either leave the club or lose interest in playing well as recent indicators have shown).

    If these three things happen, we might well consider this season not to have been a waste. I also think that Adam, Downing, Hendersen and Carroll should be kept as squad players next season to see if they show signs of improvement and not shown the door straight away.

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