Managing expectations and change at Anfield

Ian explains the need for Liverpool supporters to stick together and avoid the negativity surrounding the club in the media.

The current negativity regarding the recruitment of our new manager comes across very much like a concerted attempt to eke out every possible angle with which to sling mud in the direction of the new owners and create divisions within the club. “Chaotic” and a “scatter gun approach” is the sort of terminology used regularly now with tangible cynicism in headlines such as “Liverpool snubbed again” and “does anybody want the Liverpool job?”

That uncanny ability to snipe from all sides, damned if we do, damned if we don’t, knows no bounds. Whether it be manufacturing candidates, criticising the lengthy number of potential interviewees or condemning the process itself if one of the names rebuffs us, their disparagement is unwavering. If FSG thought they were conducting a thoroughly professional approach to finding the right man for the job, well the bad news is that the British media and others have other ideas. Conversely, had we chosen a successor immediately, I have no doubt there would have been stories now of clandestine “Klinsmannesque” type meetings behind closed doors while Kenny was still in charge and outpourings of how we rushed the appointment in panic mode.

But the criticism is not confined to the newspapers. How come the world and his wife also seem duty bound to stick their oar in? Whether they are wannabe journalists, fans forums or whatever, why are they so bothered? I am not sure about you, but if it doesn’t affect us, I couldn’t give a toss about what happens at other clubs but everyone seems obsessed if we are having a bad time and feels duty bound to take the opportunity to score points.

For example I have just read an article from some Wigan fan implying our success was only limited to the Shankly era in the days of black and white television, decrying Kenny and aghast at a perceived reluctance amongst some of us to accept that their current manager is not the best thing since sliced bread and wondering why we aren’t welcoming him with open arms as our saviour. Equally we have articles from a Newcastle web site, drunk on the rarefied, dizzy heights of fifth place & wallowing in their fifteen minutes of fame to score points against Kenny and salivating at his demise.

Obviously our friends across the park are delighted with their new found supremacy on Merseyside and the situation at Anfield, that was a given, but they are oblivious to the fact that in our worst season in living memory, we beat them three times, won a trophy and only finished 4 points behind them. Still when they rush out the video “above the RS, were having a laugh” they can airbrush out those facts and blame it all on the referees, can’t they?

Seriously though, if thick skin and a sense of humour is all that is required for this type of banter, what pisses me off more than anything is our ex-players coming out with damaging statements to provide ammunition for our critics to come back at us. A case in point is an article attributed to Steve McManaman where he states that the likes of Pep Guardiola or Jose Mourinho are “unrealistic” candidates stating that it is not like “twenty years ago“. The irony was not lost on me that this was roughly the time when our “Macca” lined his own pockets by engineering a free transfer to Real Madrid by running down his contract here. The subsequent loss of his transfer fee played a direct part in our inability to compete at that time and contributed in no small part to the continued success of Jose Mourinho’s current employers.

How the likes of him, Jamie Redknapp, Stan Collymore et al in their privileged positions have the nerve to criticise our club, when they were all directly responsible in some way for the position we now find ourselves in, defies belief. Of course I am not asking them to be “yes men” and tow the LFC party line, but they certainly need to take a long hard look at themselves in the mirror and remember that their inability to succeed in the nineties played a part in our downfall from the golden era of the seventies and eighties and led directly to the prominence of Manchester United from then on.

So with Kenny now gone again but Fergie still there, the most important thing is to back the new manager to the hilt regardless of your perception on the merit of the appointment. We all have our opinions and for what it is worth, I agree with what we are being told is the “type” of candidate preferred: i.e a young, hungry ambitious man who can develop & inspire a dynasty for years to come. I believe he should be given the means to develop and stamp his name on a side with a mandate for bright attacking football and unqualified support over the long term from everyone at the club and fans alike but more especially, the senior players.

Time and time again, we have discussed pivotal seasons and appointments in getting us back to what we believe is our rightful position in football’s top table. Perhaps I am one of the very few who think we are only a midfield dynamo and a twenty goal man away from taking our seat again. But whether I am right or wrong, suitable investment in terms of the right person for the job and the means in the transfer market, is what is required now from John Henry and Co at FSG along, of course, with the decision on the stadium.

Important decisions indeed and that process should not have to be carried out under a back drop of dissension, especially within the ranks of those people over here purporting to have the best interests of the club at heart.

Significant times to be a red.


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"I've supported the lads all my life, started in the boys pen in the days when we outsang the Kop. Graduated over the fence and stood right in the middle of the kop for the halcyon days under Bill and Bob. I was one of the nutters who used to cascade down to the front when we attacked the Kop goal. Veteran of the infamous "Ajax" and "Inter Milan" games in the 1960s, Rome 1977 and Paris 1981. Graduated, like most owl arses to the Lower Centenary. Seen the lads win everything and my last ambition is to see them win the title again now the miracle of Istanbul provided the other half of that dream."
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  • Akash

    Roberto Martinez……..(NO BIG TEAM EXPERIENCE)
    Rafa Benitez…………..(VERY EGO)
    Brendan Rodgers……..((NO BIG TEAM EXPERIENCE))
    Fabio Capello………….(OLD)
    Andre Villas-Boas……..(NOT THE RIGHT MAN FOR LIVERPOOL)
    Didier Deschamps
    Jurgen Klopp
    Michael Laudrup
    David Moyes…………(NOT VERY GOOD)
    Harry Redknapp

    Only FRANK RIJKAARD as Manager and LUIS VAN GAAL as Director Of Football.

    If liverpool appoint middle class manager, only middle class player will join liverpool.

    BUT if liverpool appoint SUPERP manager, sure all the SUPERP and fantastic players will join liverpool.

    Before this, liverpool already try managers from:
    FRANCE (Gerard Houllier).
    SPAIN: (Rafa Benitez).
    ENGLANG: (Roy Hodgson).
    SCOTLAND: Kenny Dalglish.

    So now go for Holland Management… because Holland always got talen, that is Frank Rijkaard who bring Barcelona to the Top & also Luis Van Gaal that win 2 La Liga title in 3 season with Barcelona.

    Both also like to play Attacking Game. So i hope liverpool will appoint FRANK RIJKAARD as Manager and LUIS VAN GAAL as Director Of Football.

    And Give Them Money To SIGN:
    Higuain (Striker)
    Ibrahim Affaley (Right Winger)
    Eden Hazard (Playmaker)
    Kagawa (Left Winger)
    Lucas Biglia (Defensive Midfielder)

    • red&white kop

      What a mentalist !!

    • j75j

      Odds have been slashed on Van Gaal has manager but the Guardian newspaper is saying Director of Sport!
      Looks like a few on here could owe you an apology!
      some of your signings you are still dreaming though!

      • Viewpoint_X

        They also slashed the odds on Redknapp at one time and indeed made him favourite for the England job and look what happened there! Would Liverpool fans ever stop swallowing the sh*t.

        • Gano1

          Forget Harry it won’t happen!!!

          • Viewpoint_X

            I think you need to read my comment again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Scottie

      I don’t think the country the manager hails from has much to do with the quality or ability. There are rubbish and class managers from every country mate. You might be on to something with some of your desires but you’re a wee bit over the top like.

  • joeyg479

    good article, come on liverpool, lets start doing again what made us great – winning!

    • Scottie

      Agreed. Great article mate. I’m sure you’ll catch some flak for it, but I agree 100% that we need to put up some blinders to all the nonsense and stop letting the media work us all into a frenzy. Come on lads – lets support LFC and the new manager “to the hilt”!

  • ME

    What a load of bollocks.
    If we’d supported our manager, half the vitriol on this site wouldn’t exist.
    I appauld the sentiment.
    How about instead of being sacked with noreplacement, OR having secret meetings.
    The club showed some integrity and honoured kenny’s offer to “step aside if there is someone better” and worked with him to create a proper succession pla.
    The owners and board has brought this down on thenselves.
    When the actions speak integrity, the unrest will subside.

    • Scottie

      I think that would have been a better way to have handled KD for sure. Not only that, but it would have been better for the squad and club as a whole. I understand them wanting to start over on a clean slate, but a smoother transition would have created a greater amount of respect for KD while he stepped aside and it would have instilled more confidence and quelled all this unrest we now have. I think FSG wants to do the right thing for LFC, but I really do think they are a tad out of touch with football and how different things are between baseball in the states and football in the English PL.

  • Bekim

    I think we need more than just one midfielder and 20 goal striker to make top four as we have quite few average players. Apart from that u r spot on on everything else. U r spot on about mc Manaman. If he really cared about Lfc he wouldn’t do what he did. J Redknap did little to helP Liverpool become a title challenger. And as for the SC a player who made the front pages more often than back ones its not even worth debating. Personally I would love Benitez to get second chance at the club. But u r 100% spot on that whoever the new mngr is we need to unite and support him and not to give any satsfaction to London maffia ( the press).

  • Doggie

    The media are and always will be total arseholes :o)

  • ChrisJonesZero

    Excellent, my sentiments exactly.
    I am sorry to see Kenny go but onwards and upwards and I’m gonna sing my heart out at the first game of the season. YNWA

  • Doh

    Hey Akash, you should support another team on the continent

  • red&white kop

    A week on, dust beginning to settle. We all need to move on, as much as it hurts to say so, we need to support John W Henry, if all he wants is the best for the club, me & him have something in common !!
    Is Martinez the man?? Is AVB the boy ?? Is Rafa required?? Arguably none are a symbol of improvement on Kenny but a new era is upon us, welcome it with fresh ideas & a new passion to succeed in a whole new way. Thanks Shanks, Bob, Joe, Kenny, Gerard & Rafa but now we begin again 2012……………………..onwards & eventually upwards………..

    • ME

      How about we take the broken record of “we begin again” – smash it into pieces, grow up, and finally act like LFC again.

      • red&white kop

        We can’t go back mate- So inevetibly we start again, I don’t like new starts either but like I said- we can’t go back. My new start is our first new start since 1959 by the way, since then we have had a Liverpool way, a rich history, a way of buying players, a way of choosing managers, advice from within on all matters, its this that has gone! A new Liverpool will be born, hopefully not a one that drops down the divisions (which is poss, we’re not too good).

        • ME

          here’s the thing about starting over, again and again.
          its bollocks.
          I am not convince we are in a new era – it looks like Hicks and Gillett all over again.
          For me the LFC way was to let our football do the talking.
          In this “new era” it is a media driven cluster-f.
          That might be the way that the british and us media want it to be.
          But there has been a yellow streak in the club in recent years – and if it continues it won’t matter how cheap we run the club in order for owners to make money.
          We won’t have a product on the park worth watching – and that hurts more than anything else.
          If I have to put up with another run of boring, negative Roy Hodgson football – or baby face, one hit wonder (AVB) football – it will do me in.
          There was a glimmer of hope in the last 18 months, and now its been stamped out due to $$$ by a Base ball company.
          Seriously!? – New way – no way.

    • Scottie

      I just hope that John Henry or someone in the ownership will make some sort of statement either before or after they make a decision to truly let us know what they are thinking and where they are headed. I think this will calm people down a wee bit and put some confidence back in the KOP. Confidence… Now there’s a word we haven’t heard much of lately. Come on FSG – do this properly and give us a reason to respect and support you.

  • red66

    FSG set the standard for what LFC “FSG” deems as success. FSG announced quite clearly through Ayre what was not considered success, and the time frame acceptable to attain this success. KD is sacked FSG makes the rules and “this last season was the supposed worst in LFC history.” There is no talk from FSG in regards to redressing the average 34.7 million in player resources we are behind out chief competitors, or extending the time frame for this new success. The first potential managers FSG approached say thanks but know thanks. Throughout this a good portion of LFC supporters are not happy with the goings on. The press who just love Liverpool get stuck in and relate the various opinions expressed pro and con. It is not being disloyal to express your views on all things Liverpool FC. I think the majority of LFC supporters will support LFC. Yet this has never meant carte blanche rah rah rah. FSG unilaterally sets the ground rules and bares the responsibility for the fallout positive and negative. You can not blame the fallout in the media on the support. Yes FSG are the bosses and can act unilaterally, however, they are not dictators of LFC supporters opinions.


    Yes your spot on alright and there’s plenty more x players out willing to put the boot in for a few minutes glory on t.v, how ever I have to say John Henry and F.S.G for supposed to be top business people have not done Liverpool F.C any Favors with the way they have handled the whole manager saga, they do not in my opinion seem to have a clue as to who was going to replace Kenny, may be they are only now realizing that to replace Kenny Dalglish is not going to be easy, their demands for a top 4 place in the first year are bound to be putting people of the job especially after what happened Kenny, a lot of good men are not going to risk their credibility on achieving a 4th place or better the first season of their management, which again raises the question why sack Kenny in the first place the man wasn,t given a fair chance to turn things round, and any manager in Europe will tell you that, he was asked to achieve the impossible which again raises the question who has the balls now to take the job on, I think we all know the answer to that, Rafa, but under his terms and conditions, can John Henry agree to that I doubt not. YNWA

    • CW

      their demands for a top 4 season? After all that money spent on players LOTS of people were talking about top 4, it was completely realistic, I saw plenty of media figures and fans EXPECT top 4. It was not unrealistic, after all they only had to improve a couple places in the league, not go backwards.

      • red66

        Top 4 in 18 months “improve a couple of places.” Man C spent 42 million more than Liverpool to attain “a couple of places” and win the Premiership. Man U spent 28 million more than Liverpool and dropped “one place” as runners up in the Premiership. Arsenal spent 25 million more than liverpool maintain “a top 4 place.” Chelsea spent 30 million more than Liverpool to win the Champion;s League and finish “in 6 place.” Sorry top 4 for LFC in 2011-2012 “non-realistic” “un-realistic” but regardless an FSG demand. Maybe these “media figures” and “fans” who expected a top 4 finish in 2011 – 2012 can get a petition going with the reasons they feel the top 4 finish is realistic and a demand to be fulfilled by the managerial elect candiate in 2012 – 2013. FSG can present this to those interviewed for the job and maybe convince them the FSG standard of success measurement is realistic.

  • Viewpoint_X

    Excellent article!! It’s shocking to see a lot of Liverpool fans taking the bait the media offers to split the club into pieces. This club really needs to move on from the past and lead itself into a bright new fresh future. This club should be leading the way, not pointing backwards. I really hope fans realise this before it’s too late.

  • ua6Onnb2Dx

    FSG for the sake of this great club and the supporters and for the whole of the Liverpool Football Club family, please do not appoint a manager who is inexperienced and will be sacked in the next twelve months, or appoint a manager like Martinez who is only used to fighting relegation. Bring us a champion. Someone who can take the fight to our much richer rivals. Someone who can put us back on the map. Permanently! Capello’s name is in the mix. Why ignore Rafa?? He loves the club and knows how it ticks. If you’re looking at Capello in terms of experience, what about Sven Goran Eriksson, a proven winner and a boyhood liverpool fan. What about Marcelo Bielsa, Manuel Pellegrini. If it’s young manager’s you want what about Luis Enrique? AVB could do a job. Brendan Rogers has the potential but since he’s publicly refused, that’s a no-go. FSG please start becoming a bit more decisive and assertive regarding your plans for our club regarding the manager, stadium and so on. We all know and respect the Liverpool way but the silence is deafening all over the world.

    • Viewpoint_X

      I’m not being aggressive here,. But I thought the ‘Liverpool way’ was to do stuff behind closed doors and release news when there was definate news. Yet, when FSG do just that, the fans demand instant answers out in the public. For me, an awful lot has already been achieved in a year and a half that has been completely overlooked because of the false tripe in the media that people continue to swallow.

      • robbieisgod

        Exactly – nothing makes me more angry, than when I see fans on here writing things like “The Club/KD should give the fans more resepect and come out and be honest and admit , rather than refuse to talk to the press/camera’s properly” !!!!! When you consider our history, tradition and policy regarding the press………..why are these fans so shocked?!?!?!!!

      • Scottie

        I don’t think they should tell us everything that is going but I do think they should at the very least give some sort of speech or statement in which they tell us that we need to trust them and that all will be revealed in time. I know that may sound petty, but the amount of unrest that has been caused could be calmed down if they would, at the very least, do that.

  • Ross

    Great blog, more please!

  • Antoine Clarke

    I agree with almost everything you say. LFC fan since 1976, the year of the league and UEFA Cup double.

    We need to rebuild the club. I’d take down the “This is Anfield” sign and stick in the Ladies until we win the Premiership or go one full season undefeated at Anfield. It used to frighten the opposition, six home wins in the league is not evidence that the sign works anymore. Perhaps taking it down will stir the players.

    I like the idea of Brendan Rodgers, AVB or Martinez: I think they want to play the game the Liverpool Way.

    Of course I’d prefer Jose Mourinho (it rankles he went to Chelsea in 2005, cos he was also keen on us then). But our history will not win us anything, we have no more right to be champions than Preston North End have.

    The danger is that by demanding Dalglish and now Benitez back, we are fooling ourselves. We need to start again, or we will be like Wolves and Newcastle “too big to fail” until we get relegated…

    Someone like Martinez or AVB will come and want to be the start of something big. It’s the only hope we have.

    • Intelligent man

      There’s no such thing as “the Liverpool way” is there unless you can tell me what that is? Surely the only thing important is winning and AVB, Martinez and Rogers have a history of not doing this!

  • Gano1

    The press are dogs full of Manc lovers and Cockney wide boys, don’t believe a word of it. I hear Liverpool have a naming rights deal with AIR CHINA, has anyone else heard this???

    • Viewpoint_X

      No, it’s been announced this morning that it’s Aer Arann.
      Oh! and I don’t have a source either.

  • tommygun

    I would like to see someone with experience of working at this level, someone who actually has tangible success under their belt.

    As for the approach to finding a new manager, it is scatter gun. Forget the press, forget opposition fans, forget the likes of McManaman who seems to have no problem playing up his association with our club to earn himself the reddies despite running his contract down deliberately and depriving the club of a hefty fee, all so he could line his own pocket. Plenty of our own supporters see it that way. If FSG and their eminent advisers had a plan, plenty of us would have expected a bit more focus and consideration when it came to their recruitment process.

    When it comes to backing the new manager, I don’t think there’s much point making that request to our supporters, the owners are probably a different matter though. It was they who decided to sack Kenny after 1 full season in charge, two cup finals, and ending a 6 year trophy drought…..because we didn’t qualify for the champions league….which would have actually required a top 3 finish this season. So I assume that’s the standard the owners will expect from whoever they appoint? If that turns out to be the case, I feel sorry for them.

    On the playing front…..More like we need a goal scoring center attacking mid with bag’s of creativity….a right winger with pace to burn, who’s also creative, a pin point crosser of the ball & great with the ball at his feet….A good solid and reliable holding midfielder to provide cover for Lucas….competition for Enrique in order to keep him on his toes…..and last but not least a proven out and out goalscorer, general fox about the box. All need to have real quality and ability in the here and now, not the potential to ‘maybe’ develop that quality in a few years.

    • Scottie

      Well said mate.

  • Laramonet

    Whoever the new manager is he must be backed and given time. the biggest concern is that he won’t be given time or that he be forced into a relationship with a Director of Football that doesn’t work.
    As to the names being mentioned, AVB, Roberto Martinez, Brendan Rodgers and Paul Lambert all seem like promising young managers. None have the proven track record but being that young they wouldn’t have.
    We can’t attract Guardiola or Mourinho, I don’t believe in Capello and Benitez would feel like going backwards. Why has there been little or no mention of Martin O’Neill or Glenn Hoddle ?

  • ssrh

    Could have written it better myself.