Si Steers

Columnist

The transition from digression to progression

In the build up the FA Cup Final, Si Steers looks at the task facing the owners and management at Liverpool to turn the club around long term.

This has been one of the strangest seasons in the illustrious history of Liverpool Football Club. Success in the cups has been diluted by a woeful league campaign. There have been so many ups and downs it is difficult to define exactly where we are in our overall progression.

To make a judgement about where we are, it is important to look at where we have come from, and where we want to be. Our success in the cups this season cannot hide our league performance; but they do give us enough signs that the green shoots of progress are evident. Perhaps the best way to judge where we are is by looking at it like this:

Where we have come from

In the last year of the Benitez era the club started in a downward spiral that was symptomatic of the ownership turmoil and politics that had engulfed the club.

The appointment of Hodgson was the white flag to progression. It was a clear sign that we were a club that was in reverse; we were going backwards at an alarming rate. The mediocrity of Hodgson and his signings confirmed that we were no longer looking to compete with the elite; we were happy to be hanging onto the coat tails and hope for the best.

By the time the ownership issues were resolved in October 2010, we were flirting alarmingly with the relegation places. On the pitch we were absolutely dire; our good players had been dragged down to the level of mediocrity that Hodgson was comfortable with.

(Whilst I wish Hodgson every success as the New England Manager; I fear that once again the expectation that comes with a big job will be too much for a man that is uncomfortable in a situation where winning every game is expected.)

I also think people underestimate the scale of internal turmoil. Structurally, the club was a complete mess. The poisonous reign of Christian Purslow created a culture of distrust and cliques throughout the club. To put it into context: in October 2010 Liverpool Football Club was on the brink of fading into oblivion. The digression had been rapid, and the rot had well and truly set in. To this day; I still believe some Liverpool fans do not grasp the seriousness of the situation the club was in during that time. The damage done by Hicks and Gillett cut deep at every single level.

Recently in Liverpool there was an amazing street festival to mark 100 years of the Titanic. The Giant Sea Odyssey was a spectacular way to remember the City’s links to the doomed cruise liner. To translate that into what was happening at Liverpool FC: when FSG came into the club in October 2010 the club was heading towards an iceberg; it really was in danger of sinking into oblivion.

FSG had a duty to find a captain and crew that was going to turn that ship around; and they duly did so with the appointment of Comolli and Dalglish. The task wasn’t helped by Torres abandoning ship; albeit he is now on a lifeboat aimlessly drifting at sea.

Where we are

The critical task for Comolli and Dalglish was to turn the ship around; to pull it back from the brink and change direction. But make no mistake, Liverpool is a big ship. Turning it around has been a difficult task; and whilst we have changed direction: we have yet to set a new course.

The Liverpool journey was always going to look a little bit like this:

Digression >> Transition >> Progression

The key task for the club hierarchy was to steady the ship; and by and large that has been successfully achieved. If you look beyond the results in the league, everything around the club is now very much looking forwards. No longer do we have to sell to buy; or do we have the burden of huge debt. The club and dressing room are united. The entire atmosphere at the club has changed since those dark days of Hodgson.

But we are still at the very early stages of the transition; Comolli came in very quickly post sale and was given an opportunity to develop our football strategy. Footballing strategy is all about looking long term: making the decisions that will get the club back into the Champions League and beyond. The owners have a very clear plan and idea about how they want to see the club progress; and have decided that Comolli isn’t the right fit to implement that plan.

Whilst many were surprised at Comolli’s sudden exit; FSG obviously felt that his transitional appointment wasn’t the long term answer to defining our direction; he wasn’t the right man to take us forward.

Whether or not Kenny Dalglish will get another crack next season remains to be seen. There are far more complexities with the manager role than Comolli that I will come onto. But; there are very persuasive arguments either way that Dalglish has done enough to earn another season, or that the club would benefit from new ideas. I suspect many of these questions will be answered once a new Director of Football / CEO is in place.

Where we want to be

Where we want to be is simple. We want to be back in the Champions League. That is where the elite play; and from the FSG perspective, that is where the money is. The Champions League opens up so many doors: in terms of revenue, recruitment, and global appeal; every year we are not in the Champions League is a further setback to progress.

That is why next year everything has to be about Champions League qualification. It has to be the club’s number one priority. In reality, we cannot even think about the league title until we are back competing in Europe’s elite competition.

That is why the club faces another critical summer. The decisions we make now will determine if we face another season of transition; or whether we can translate transition into progress. It is a difficult task. Unlike Benitez, Dalglish didn’t enjoy the luxury of CL qualification on his appointment. This means that he has had to play a game of catch up; and work within constraints. Whilst we have had money to spend: getting the right players to the club hasn’t been easy.

What the club needs is a clear vision and blueprint for the future. Our history and our heritage are both USP’s; but they are not enough for players that have ambitions to compete amongst the best. We have to stop looking backwards and start looking forwards. I have written an article on how I believe the club can progress within a new structure; but whatever the owners decide on our strategy and direction, it is what happens on the pitch that counts above anything else.

There is still a huge amount of work to do off it as well; the new stadium is still a shadow hanging over the club. Structurally, decisions need to be made. We continue to perform well commercially; but our revenue will be influenced by our performance; and if we want to see continued growth, we need to see progress on the pitch.

All in it together

If Liverpool is going to get back to competing at the top of the game the supporters are going to be essential. I have recently written an article looking at the cultural differences within the fan base; and the difficulties that can bring in decision making. If the club is to progress, it needs to find a way to blend our traditions and heritage with a modern and forward thinking approach to the game. It is a challenge, there is a minefield of sensitivities within our culture that all need to be factored in to decisions. The following snapshot is how I defined the three core views that sit within our cultural framework.

The’ traditionalist’ view

If I was to define a traditionalist it would be a fan that was staunchly against the commercialisation of Liverpool FC. A traditionalist will never be comfortable seeing Liverpool Football Club as a business or a brand, and will feel that the club is selling its soul if decisions are taken for business reasons before football ones.

There will be a lot of scouse fans who are traditionalists and proud of it. They have a deep understanding of the club and its history, remain staunchly loyal to Shankly’s values, the manager and players, and will criticise constructively.

They see themselves as the guardians of The Liverpool Way and what the club stands for, and will hold to account anybody that seeks to dilute our identity, anybody who doesn’t ‘get’ the club. The Spirit of Shankly union would be the embodiment of traditionalist support.

Traditionalists may not be resistant to change, except perhaps at the furthest end of the traditionalist scale, but they will vehemently oppose the modern view that football is about finance first. They will take a keen interest in the club’s direction, and always keep a wary eye on modernisation and the pitfalls that go with it.

The ‘progressive’ view

Whilst sharing some traditionalist traits, the progressive supporter will take what they see as a more pragmatic, balanced view of the direction the club is taking and how it needs to evolve with the evolving world of football. The progressive fan like to see the bigger picture, and will be more open to what they see as the modernisation of the club without losing sight of what it stands for; so they are more likely to support proposals and decisions aimed at taking the club forwards – even if they don’t sit comfortably with the more ‘traditionalist’ view – and be more accepting of the role of commercialisation of football and big business as decisive factors in future success.

In short, the progressive fan will believe that the club should not let its history act as a barrier to its future; as a result it is likely that they will hold some views that do not fit in with the club’s cultural fabric, but are perhaps more closely aligned with how the footballing landscape has changed and is changing.

The ‘new generation’ view

The new generation supporter is all about instant success. They may well believe they understand the club, but there will be little or no consideration of what the club stands for; are perhaps more detached from what it means to the ‘traditionalists’. They will determine progress game-by-game, make judgements based on results and be quick to question every loss.

As such they will not be interested in the bigger picture, and are the least likely to be behind a long term plan or strategy. They will often be the group that expects the club to be competing for the title year on year and attracting the elite names in world football.

The new generation fan will have the club’s best interests at heart, but will be more in tune with the culture of modern day football than the culture of Liverpool Football Club.

Reasons for optimism

This snap show of supporter views can breed division when the club is in transition; but all of these views are relevant to the club’s future. If we can find a way to blend the progressive / traditionalist view points I think we will find modernisation easier to navigate.

Despite lots of work needing to be done; there are still plenty of reasons for optimism at the club. On the pitch we have some young players with great potential including Henderson and Carroll; and of course Raheem Sterling who may well be an exciting factor next season.

Whatever happens in the summer; the second coming of Dalglish has given us another trophy (possibly two!) in 18 months. Whatever the future holds; history will determine that both of his reigns at the club were a success.

Off the pitch, we continue to make progress on modernisation and commercial growth. We are looking for long term, sustainable success. We are not there yet, but we are developing a business model that will be an ideal fit into UEFA’s financial fair play model: and that will give us solid foundations on which to build.

Above all: despite a season that has produced more questions than answers; there is a strong argument that tweaks to the side and a change in fortune may be a much firmer indication we have successfully made the transition from digression to progression.

Professional communicator and fanatical Liverpool fan. I write for This is Anfield, Paul Tomkins (The Tomkins Times) and Liverpool FC.
All posts are reactively-moderated and must obey the comment policy.
  • Stuartfearon

    FSG didn’t come into the club in 2008, it was 2010. Getting basic facts wrong detracts from the article.

    • Sisteers

      Cheers mate, typo, amended.

  • Ldhawan

    We clearly saw the long term plan when Rafa was in charge. We don’t see that now with Kenny. 

  • Toucan

    This sounds like a CD that’s stuck due to a big chunk of dust stuffing up the laser read. We are in about the same position as we were this time last year (probably worse), and scribes like you are writing the same things. There has been very little progress made this season. Winning domestic cup (s) is good but it is secondary. Kenny needs to lift his game, especially in the player market. His signings (CHAD) have been at best ordinary and at worse dire.

    • Tim Jones

       ‘There has been very little progress made this season’

      There hasn’t been any. What says it all is that Kenny’s record in the league this season is worst than Roy’s stint last season – something fans wouldn’t have thought possible at the time Hodgson left – and certainly not under the management of Kenny

      Every Liverpool fan loves Kenny – he was the best player to ever wear the Red shirt, but that shouldn’t stop us recognising that as a manager in 2012 he’s as waaay out of his depth as Hodgson, and all the evidence is that if we stick with him we really will be a mid table side next season – and you could ask the likes of Tottenham and Everton to confirm that thats a position a lot easier to achieve than it is to reverse

      • Erin

        Exactly, we are on course to beat another record. Fewer goals scored in a season since 1900 . Way to go kenny. Break all records .
        I truly don’t understand the fans who are still believing in him. We have a section of our fan base that either need to be sectioned or need to lay off grass

        • Index1000

          and they would be fans who disagree with you would they?

          • Groomsinoz1

            no, those are  fans who continue to think that results this year are acceptable because we have got to 2 finals beating a championship side in one who was probably hard done by. We love KK as much as anyone, but look at the table, the results the spending.

  • Truba9

    This is the same piece written a million times before. First you have the answers then you ask the questions that fits the answers.
    “Digression” “Oblivion”. Well, the club was sold for whatever G/H owe to RBS in a deal that was beyond dodgy. It is clear to everyone that there were a lot of interest for the club. The £235 mill FSG paid would most certainly have attracted numerous of buyers. Maybe even better owners than today. Based on this I don’t buy the “oblivion” perspective, not even a bit.

    Reason to optimism?
    Looking back, King Kenny, is not the way forward. Big mistake done last january. Bigger mistake than firing Rafa, bigger mistake than hiring Hodgson.

    • Murrayschofield

      You cannot just write the net spend argument off because you don’t like it ! It’s still true ! Kd has made mistakes but to say he is over rated is just insulting to a man who has won plenty as a manager and has added a further trophy this year. So disappointmented when Rafa left but he was also very divisive. Been going since 1975 and I do feel extremely disappointmented, however sacking Kd will not help , deserving of another season in my opinion. You cannot just replace alonso, mascherano, and Torres at the drop of a hat. For all those criticising the signings , how many honestly said so at the time.

  • Graham

    I think you are over analysing Si and there’s fruit in the saying ‘paralysis by analysis’. Comolli was brought in very quickly into a ‘general’ capacity. A part of his role as DOF is to provide long term strategic planning. However he also has short term ‘tactical’ planning to consider also. He was given £100m to get into the top 4. For granted that money was also there to achieve longer term goals by investing in youth but nevertheless the objective set by the owners was no less than 4th place.

    I think it’s wrong of you to suggest immediate short term success is demanded by new generation fans. I’m a local supporter of 30 years. My view is that we sign players who are able to challenge day one. Not next season or the season after. They need to be good enough to wear the shirt immediately. Dalglish and Comolli combined signed players who wouldn’t get into a Man Utd, City or Arsenal side. Personally I don’t think even Suarez would get into those sides. The point I make is that: how are we to achieve the owners objectives by signing mid table players or stars of the future? We won’t, it’s as simple as that.

    I don’t think asking for a top 4 finish is beyond any generation of fans expectations. It’s an expectation based not only the previous successes of the club but also the investment that was placed in the squad at the beginning of the season.

    The club didn’t have to let Torres go. Comolli and Dalglish made that decision. Better players left and left very cheaply. I’m sorry but this season has come about purely with the decisions in the transfer market. The events of previous ownership struggles are almost as dead as an excuse as ‘net spend’ arguments.

    • Papa

      I agree with some of the things you are saying but who would you have suggested we buy?
      Given the fact we were not in the CL!! Who would come to Liverpool when Arsenal, Chelsea, Man U, Man city  are all in the Champions League???Its not a shop that sells players that have no choice. It’s not like you walking onto a car lot and choosing a ford focus when you have the money for a porsche.Players have a choice, their agents help with that choice and so on. And as for torres… bar his hat trick the other night I think Andy Carroll had scored more goals. So would you rather us have kept  a player that did not want to be here and was playing crap????Keep Kenny for at least another season and give him a chance to correct his mistakes as everyone makes mistakes, then see where we are. If at the end of next season we are no where near where we want to be, then I am sure FSG will pursue other avenues.

      • Erin

        Give him another season and we get relegated. Which part of it do you find hard to understand .
        Newcastle are streets ahead of us
        Everton are finishing above us
        Our home record is a dissaster
        On course to beat a record for less goals scored since 1900 …. Over 100 million spent. How can you justify it?
        If kenny has any dignity , he must go.
        We based our transfer policy on less than 1% of the market. Take downing and Adam. Combined fee 30 million. How? If these two honoured their contracts they would be in the championship !
        On the whole Chelsea, arsenal and city. Never mind city. Chelsea were in turmoil, arsenal were crap for long periods…. We lost a massive opportunity to get to top 4.
        Owners backed us 100%… Kenny out please. Show merci to him, and the generation who see the mistakes made.

        • Papa

          Again, I have to agree with what you say as your points are valid and true. But I think the problem comes down to the finishing and not the tactics. We had as many chances this season, as much as man u or man city, if I am not mistaken, but those chance were not converted. Is that really Kennys fault?? If he would have kept torres and not bought carrol do you think torres would have done better??

  • Muhammad Kara

    I dont think most fans understand what is a transition,ofcourse we want to get back to the glory days as soon as possible but fans need to understand it’s going to take some time to get there..

    • saraceninc

      Transitions dont cost £120 million!

      • papa

        How much did the transition cost man city???? I think it was something like 400 million. And what have they won? Success does not, can not and will never come quickly!!

      • Adrian

        MAN CITYS COST FOUR HUNDRED MILLION AND CHELSEAS

        • Guest

           It costs 400 millions to transit from mid-table to league winning. It cost 120 millions for us to transit from top 4 ocntender to mid-table club. Know the math.

          Man City never drop in rank during their transition. They went from 8th to 5th to 3th to possibly 1st this year

          • saraceninc

            Hey Guest, that is cool! 

          • Papa

            That does not make sense to me. When were we last a top four club??? 
            It certainly was not when Kenny took over, cos I’m sure we were 13th then.
            When was the last time we saw a final of anything?????
            was that not 2007?? nearly 5 years ago.
            We had not been a top 4 contender for years before Kenny arrived.

  • Sisteers

    A couple of things: It is fair to say that a lot of this has been said before. But it is important perspective and very relevant to what is happening / will happen at the club going forward. Categorising views in the fanbase is always going to provoke debate; but whatever decisions / direction the club takes seems to cause tension in parts of our fanbase. This is an attempt to look at what has happened / is happening at the club from a neutral standpoint; whilst recognising that there are very different views from people that support the club.

    • saraceninc

      The shortest distance between any tow points is a straight line. The simplest explanation is that the team and current management are rubbish. This has nothing to do with the patience of the fans. LFC fans are smart and recognize rubbish when they see it. 

      • Papa

        So do you suggest we buy a whole new squad and management??? as that would be the ‘shortest distance between the “tow” points’.

        • saraceninc

          “tow” should read “two” and yes logically that is correct, so lets get rolling!

          • Papa

            cool! so all we need is a about a billion pounds and that should do it. given the fact man city have spent 4 hundred mill in four years and still have not achieved the league. 

  • Tim Jones

     ‘The new generation supporter is all about instant success.’

    I disagree – what they (like some Liverpool fans, although evidently not enough) want is not for the club to have won 5 out of 18 home games, be 13pts away from 4th place (our target at the season), not to mention 34pts off top,  and being beaten by the likes of Wigan, West Brom and Fullham at home

    No one expected us to challenge for the title – but after the money Kenny was given (and has largely wasted) there was a general agreement that we could get 4th

    What we’re witnessing is a team being transformed into a mid table side by arguably the most overrated manager in club football, who fans want to pat on the back for the predicament he has brought into our club

    Like Newcastle do we have to get relegated until fans recognise that Kenny isn’t our messiah

    • saraceninc

      This is spot on, more fans should wake up to this reality rather than live in dream land.

      • Ross

        It’s sad but true

        • ozzy1

          agree

    • Bekim

      Spot on mate. SPOT ON. I never expected Lfc to challenge for the title but not in my wildest dreams did I expect to finish below Newcastle who two years ago were in championship.

    • Papa

      Agree with the home losses point. But I think that comes down to the players on the pitch and their attitude to playing for Liverpool at Anfield. That dont play with pride and bust a nut to make sure we don’t lose. This is the same team that have beaten Chelsea and Man u and Man city…….so they are capable.
      As for being transformed in to a mid table team, that would suggest we were a top four team last season. 
      Remind me where we finished last season??? And the season before??
      It saddens me to say this but we have been a mid table team performing above our station since Rafa tried to sell Alonzo.  Xavi was a man that loved Liverpool. Not just the club but the city too!!!!
      Shame.

    • Ross

      I personally feel very sorry for the new owners as they must feel like they are stuck between a rock and a hard place.
      Sack KD and have a fans backlash or keep him on and risk watching Liverpool go down the toilet.

      Liverpool fans must think with their heads and not their hearts on this one. 

      We find ourselves at a junction right now and I fear if we do not make the right turn history will see this as the year Liverpool fell from the top table.

      What is more important, Liverpool Football Club or Kenny Dalglish? 

      People must not underestimate the terrible situation Liverpool are in, to be a top club you must play Champions league football and we are no where near the top four. 

      The longer we are out the harder it will be to get back in.

      Liverpool do not have the right to be a top club, they have to earn it! The day you stop believing that will be the day you find yourself supporting a mid table club.

  • Ross

    The simple fact is after sacking Hodgson and spending over £100m on new players Liverpool are worse off than before.

    People can make excuses all day long, go on about how great the future looks but people need to live in the real world and see that LFC have dropped miles behind the top four.

    I don’t agree with the author where he writes ‘It has been a strange season’. No, I would say this has been the saddest season I have ever witnessed in 25 years of supporting the club.

    Forget the shape of the club, right now the team on the pitch is an absolute shambles and KD is responsible for that. No more excuses, put your hands up Kenny and just admit you messed up big time!

    • Tim Jones

      ‘I don’t agree with the author where he writes ‘It has been a strange
      season’. No, I would say this has been the saddest season I have ever
      witnessed in 25 years of supporting the club.’

      I totally agree

      Even sadder is the amount of ‘spin’ some Dalglish backers come out with – which boarders on outright lies

      The above article I’m afraid is another example

      • saraceninc

        Tim, I agree about te spin, mus have been hanging around T Blair’s gang to pick this up!

    • saraceninc

      This is very true, the team are in shambles.

    • Erin

      He won’t do that for the following:
      Pride
      Loss of status
      A belief that he can turn it around

      Oh yes. He does know he has messed up, however he want the chance to fix it. Can u trust the man with another 100 million? If he was your son running your company, would you?

      • Ross

        I want to trust him, my heart wants to see him have another season and make good progress but I’m just not sure he is good enough.

        If it were up to me, with a very heavy heart I would ask KD to step down.

    • robbieisgod

      “after sacking Hodgson and spending over £100m on new players Liverpool are worse off than before”…….that isn’t a “simple fact” as you state.

      Your wrong there.

      When KD turned up = team in 12th, no where near 4th, playing terrible football, no sign of silverwear.

      Now = team in 8th, 13 points behind 4th, playing good pass and move football probably 75% of the time, 1 cup SO FAR, with another possibly on its way on Saturday.

      It’s his 1st season, overnight league success’s rarely happen, and if they do, are rarely sustained.

      Lets give KD, the time and space he deserves to get on with his job, and have a little faith.

      • Ross

        Nobody is expecting 
        overnight league success but what the owners and fans do expect is signs of progress and if you think finishing 8th or even lower in the league and having recently promoted Newcastle miles ahead of us in the table is progress then I have no idea what planet you live on.  

        • robbieisgod

          calm down la, I’m mearly pointing out that your statement, which you describe as “FACT” was INCORRECT.

          I’m not happy with our league position either, but if you look at the bigger picture, which obviously the likes of yourself and ‘tim, nice but know’s fook all’ don’t have the capability to do, you’ll see that we have made progress since KD took over. I can see that we’re in a position to make progress again next season.

          12th in the league, and just been knocked out of the cup by Northampton at home, to 8th in the league, 2 cups finals, and getting back to playing the football that made Liverpool successful over the years might not be as much progress as some people wanted at the start of the season, but it’s still progress, and something for us to build on again next season.

          As for this Newcastle bollocks – they’ll be no-where next season. This Cisse is scoring a goal every 2.5 shots. No one can sustain that, just look at Ba, He was the same,15(or so) goals before ACN, 1 after !!!!! Those 2 will do nothing for Newcastle next season.

          • Tim Jones

             ‘As for this Newcastle bollocks – they’ll be no-where next season. This
            Cisse is scoring a goal every 2.5 shots. No one can sustain that, just
            look at Ba, He was the same,15(or so) goals before ACN, 1 after !!!!!
            Those 2 will do nothing for Newcastle next season.’

            You’re the dim one on here

            You’re saying the above as if its all fact

            How do you know that Ba and Cisse will do nothing for Newcastle next season. It’s your opinion and given you think Dalglish is the right man to take the club foreward (despite the fact he’s spent the past 12 months taking us backwards) – I would suggest it should be taken with extreme caution

            Ba and Cisse have already done more for that club than the likes of Downing, Henderson and Carrol are ever likely to do for toyr club – no matter how long they stay – and they cost about a seventh of what we stumped up for these three

            You say Kenny has got Liverpool back to playing the football that made us successful in the past, whilst forgetting (because it doesn’t suit your ludicrous argument) that they key differrence is we used to win when we played that way, wherdsas now our team is soi feeble, weak and unclinical that we get beaten bvy teams like Fulham , West Brom and Wigan at home

          • robbieisgod

            I’m not getting into it with you Tim, I can’t bare the idea of getting into another debate with you. Why is it that they who know the least, always shout the loudest !!!!!!

            You are right, that what Cisse & Ba will do next season is only my opinion, tho. I’m just going off my experience of watching English Football, how often do we see a Kevin Phillips or a Marcus Stewart take the Premiership by storm when they first arrive, then they quickely disapear the season after – as, in my opinion, so will Cisse & Ba.

        • Papa

          Ross, would you say that winning a cup and getting to the final of another is not progress. When did we last win a cup? Winning a cup when you have not won in 6 yrs is progress. 

          • Tim Jones

            ‘It’s his 1st season, overnight league success’s rarely happen, and if they do, are rarely sustained.’

            If that’s the case its make what the likes of Houllier and Rafa did in their first seasons in sole charge even more commendable

            Hpullier got us back into the top 4 with relative ease in his first sole season in charge – and Rafa won the champions league – arguably the biggest prize in club football

            And both sustained it the following seasons where in Rafa’s case we finished with what atther time was our highest ots tally in the leagfue – 82pts (which incidentally is almost twice as much as what we’re likely to achieve this season) and Houllier won 3 cups and qualifued for the Champions League

            So yes, it can happem, it does happen and it did happen under LFC – as Houllier and Benitez showed in their first two seasons

            It just makes Dalglish’s failings this season all the more stark

  • saraceninc

    Rhetoric and none sense I am sorry to say.Talk of large ships that are difficult to steer would only work if we had not spent £120 million. These signing are poor not because they have not settled , it is because they are poor. Other than Suarez, the team has zero flair. We have been lucky that many of the teams around us are stuttering otherwise we would be in an enviable 12th. Next year will be worse since all the young players appear just as useless. Thats it, simple, no ships and no steering and no excuses, We are just a pile of rubbish.

    • Pavkorpal

      Net spend £37.5m, if we didnt sell Torres etc we would not have spent the figure you quote. We also missed 3 of the best and most influential players for large parts of the season, Suarez, Lucas and Gerrard. 

      • saraceninc

        This is true but we sold Merieles, and Aquillani , and ngog ( most people say he was useless but he scored more goals per match than Carrol and downing and henderson put together !!!!) Most clubs lose their stars at some stage or another.

        • Index1000

          For F*** sake man, Ngog was bloody awful.

        • Papa

          Merieles was also overated, imo. Ask Chelsea fans what they think of him.

  • Gladstone

    Just when we were slowly coming back to life, spending £120 million on deadwood (with a few exceptions like Enrique, Bellamy, and perhaps Doni) thwarted a possible top 4 comeback this season. And let me tell you, you have no idea how far-reaching the consequences of that is going to have in the next few seasons. For now though there is nothing we can do about it. As a matter of fact, we’re back to square one. We’ll just have to wait and see and hope against hope that the new season will usher in some real change. The ball’s back to FSG.

    • Adrian

      Was suarez a bad signing or is it convienent for you to leave him out.

    • Papa

      The consequences of winning the league is playing in Europe. How bad is that?????
      Thats also progress on last season!

  • Gray

    I would say that I am a progressive suporter and I firmly believe that the club has been held back for too long by the traditionalist owner David Moores and we have been paying for that ever since. Had he sold LFC to DIC, I believe we would have been in a very different moment…ala Man City, perhaps a new stadium almost built if not completed. Don’t get me wrong, I admire what Shankly achieved and the aura that he created it makes us really unique and our identity is never deminished.

    But something should have rung alarm bells in the mid 90’s when United were winning titles and expanding Old Toilet. If that wasn’t a wake up call then the Abramovich era should have been a kick up the backside.

    I think that Moores at this point was so eager to sell the club to anyone who waved some money, it clouded his judgement and sold the club to the wrong people, setting us even further behind United, Chelski and now Man City

    You mention Christian Purslow and some of his decisions and the cliques that he created. I was cross with him for letting Rafa go but .he was fighting Hicks and Gillet tooth and nail to get us sold to someone who had money and would run LFC properly, so he along with Martin Broughton and Ian Ayre should take a lot of credit for what they did.

    As for next season Kenny should start talking about having respect for the premier league, like he did with the cup competitions, if the players apply that from cups to league then we might just make progress. But after last nights game, some of those players should not be their next season, regardless of how long they have been there. I also don’t agree that Henderson is an exciting prospect, he is the exact opposite. If he plays on Saturday after last nights performance he better turn up or us fans will be calling for him to be sold. Or given away for free. Sunderland are laughing all the way to the bank with that one. Some incredibly poor signings apart from Suarez and Coates. Kenny has got to sort it or the second coming will end in a second exit!

    • Papa

      I agree. Good players play well regardless of who is on the pitch with them. All those guys against Fulham look shite. 

  • Bekim

    So according to u is everybody’s fault but Dalglish’s. The worst season in the clubs history has nothing to do with Dalglish. Well mate whatever category I belong in your list of fans and I’ve supported Lfc since I was a kid things r not that great under your favourite mngr. Every club r making history at the mo Fulham winning for the first time at Anfield, W Brom, Wigan and whoever not. All this under KD. So hes blameless alright. And for u to take a cheap shot at the best mngr we had for the last 20 years BENITEZ is right out of order.So u and lots of supporters keep dreaming that things will b any better under KD but that will only b a dream cos if still there next season we will b exactly where we r now.

    • Adrian

      Worst season in the clubs history get a grip benitez last season seventh place and no cups

      • Guest

        BULLSH*T!!

        Rafa last season go tus 63 points, 23 points from top and 33 points away from relegation.

        Now with 2 games to go, we are 49, 34 points from top and 15 points from relegation.

        • saraceninc

          This is interesting and scary! well done lads

      • Bekim

        Under Benitez I looked forward to Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Something we will have to wait long time b4 we see it again under KD. The table doesn’t lie mate. Just look at it. Officially the worst season in the clubs history. 4 me it’s not quite the same to watch Lfc v Milan in the CHL final to the CC final against Cardiff.

  • Sisteers

    Lots of interesting and passionate views. This article was written without agenda; and tries to be an accurate description of the clubs journey under FSG. It isn’t pro-Dalglish: it is just an account of well documented moments in our recent history; and an attempt to put some context behind them. All fans are frustrated with our league form; but personally I’d rather our owners were considered and pragmatic in approaching decisions that will affect the clubs future. Not kneejerk.

    • saraceninc

      How close must a patient come to death before you class his treatment as not a knee jerk?? If one is close to a club and writes for them one must still face facts that may not sound pleasant to the principal, i.e. LFC or any of the related sites like this one. many of your views and comments are good but don’t drive the singular fact that we are now first rate rubbish

  • Peterwhiting78

    Total nonsense! Under Benitez we had a plan, expectations that were high, and always met [until his final season]. All this talk of transition, rubbish. Older fans need to get rid of there rose tinted glasses before, they, and Dalglish ruin it beyond repair!! Seems there are fans out there so intent with there own agendas [Dalglish] they will watch the club devolve and defend him to the hilt, citing that thats how far Benitez had taken us backward, that we now must be “PATIENT” while the king restores all…..FUCKIN RUBBISH!! get him out at the end of the season, move him upstairs doin a job he can do……cause to be quite frank, being a manager hasnt been a strongpoint of his since Blackburn….?

    • Adrian

      your the one thats talking nonsense we are going to our second wembley final this season but winning trophys means nothing. 

    • Mugemastevo

      i agree with you KD is more of a dad not a football manager in 2012+ espcially for a team like liverpool fc. thanks kenny you were a good stop gap but you cant do the long haul. please resign.

  • Guest

    There are only 2 types of fans.

    The “ordinary fans” who support the clubs. And the so-called “superfans” who believe that  only those agreeing with them are true “supporters”.

  • naja

    Excellent level-headed and dispassionate analysis, Si. I genuinely enjoyed reading it. It is an intelligent way of looking at what is after all a short period of time, and putting it in the context of the long term, as opposed to the strident cries of half-baked supporters who believe that 100 million could fix all in one season. Even clubs with silly money at their disposal have taken years to taste success (Man City, anyone?) let alone a club that was staring bankruptcy in the eyes. There’s quite a difference between chasing a second Cup whilst being disappointingly short of 4th place on the one hand, and trying to stay away from the relegation zone on the other.

  • north

    To cure anything / fix anything you have to find & then admit to the problem. Problem for some around here is the ignorance of fact and the gradual debilitating disease of lowered & lowering expectations. DiMatteo said: Top 4 is the priority- period. That’s how you win the league- top4 enables the signing of top players. There has to be a reconciliation between yesterday and tomorrow and the further we move along from yesterday and ignore the Benetiz period or some who actually denigrate it the further we slip into the morass of irrelevance……………………………

  • Anopin76

    we need to get behind kenny we dont wanna be like chelsea changing managers every 6-12 months we need to build slowly and sensilbly like arsenal buy some quality players bring some players through the youth system while work on a new ground is underway we cant just buy sucsses you have to build we want long term sucsses instant sucsses is a fantasy we need a plan we need stability!

  • Dave

    You must be good at your day job Si because this is spin and nothing more. Stick to the day job.