Wednesday, 15 August 2012

RAOTL Guest Editorial: Another Season is around the Corner

So once again Liverpool FC is a club “Under New Management”.  The days of Liverpool FC being the flagship of footballing stability have long gone.

Since the Millennium we’ve had three different ‘owners’, five different managers and been told that a new ground will be built, won’t be built, might be built or might not be built.  That’s not counting spades in the ground and more blueprints than they’ve got wooden seats inside Goodison.  Is it any wonder some of us are getting a bit concerned?

All this despite winning The FA Cup twice, The League Cup three times,  The European Cup, The UEFA Cup, Super Cups and Charity Shields and reaching a few other Finals as well - some clubs would call that a ‘Golden Era’ but not us!

One thing that Kenny Dalglish definitely did was re-unite the club with the support.  That unity could be back on the fragile list because if things don’t go accordingly fingers will again be pointed—only this time they’ll be pointed towards Boston. I know The Fenway Group came along and saved us from the hell that was Hicks and Gillett.  I know they’ve backed the club since their arrival.  I’d like to think they’d be open and honest because in football those are two traits fast diminishing.  Shutting the club TV channel down when Kenny was sacked wasn’t a good move.

It has emerged that Kenny was sacked because of the poor league form and not as the ‘Salford Know-It-All’ suggested, the Suárez business.  I hope that’s the case because the Suárez affair is another issue where the club seemingly didn’t back either the player or the manager—at least, not openly.
What priority do we give the Cup competitions we’ll be competing in - do they matter or are they simply an inconvenience?  We will soon find out.  Meanwhile getting into a position high enough to gain qualification into The Champions League will be harder than ever.  I never saw us as genuine challengers for a top four slot last season, not that fourth would have been good enough anyway.  Overhauling the two Manchester clubs or Arsenal and Chelsea this new season is a tough, maybe impossible, ask.  I see the Champions coming from either Manchester City or Chelsea [who have spent a massive amount in the summer months] and although I wish I could say differently, you cannot discount Manchester United either.  As for those who’d simply be happy with fourth spot Tottenham might still fighting and their new manager is somebody with maybe a grudge to settle or something to prove.  Arsenal shut people up after a bad start last season and even allowing for the probable loss of van Persie they still look better equipped than a lot of others, including Liverpool.

I don’t know what remit the new manager has, but I have been reasonably impressed by his comments on the TV – LFCTV can now again tell us how great things are looking and normal service has been resumed.  Without wishing to sound arrogant, managing a club such as Liverpool has to be different than managing one such as Swansea and we’re not just talking about expectancy levels.  Only when they spoke to him in Boston didn’t John W. Henry hint at “Lower expectations”?  Are we re-living ‘The Hodgson Mantra’?

We seem to be a club that is moving backwards instead of forwards.  The fixture list hasn’t been kind with three tough opening home games and the top three from last season filling the visitors changing room.  Those games could show where we are at.

Brendan Rodgers will obviously want to impose his style of football on the team.  Only again our pre-season preparations have been disrupted by the absence of several players who’d been given additional time off following the European tournament.  Players such as Luis Suárez, Sebastian Coates and Craig Bellamy where involved at the Olympics.  It always makes me wonder if the pre-season tours are nothing more than publicity stunts aimed at selling a few shirts etc.  At least the weather looked okay in Boston.

Good luck to the manager; he has my total support.  We’ll all need an extra dose of patience but with Sky Sports News pulling the strings and football being nothing more than a rich man’s puppet, patience might not be in abundance.

John Pearman
Red All Over The Land


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