|A truly bitter- sweet campaign: One trophy in the cabinet and three Wembley appearances but stark contrast to the poor league form...|
A lot has changed since my last post. Liverpool reached the Carling Cup Final,outplayed Cardiff City and won very luckily on penalties.Since that win,the club's form took a pathetic nose dive.An undeserved loss at Anfield against Arsenal after the League Cup win at Wembley kick started the club's worst run in so many decades.
Liverpool's ineptitude infront of goal emanating from conspicuous mediocrity(considering the huge amount of money invested in average players and the inability to secure the services of an out and out goal scorer)was elucidated and bared over the past few weeks,as that wastefulness coupled with apathy driven showings left the club finish a staggering 37 points behind champions Manchester City at 8th place,with hitherto average teams like Newcastle and Everton finishing above it and ''smaller'' teams like Fulham,West Brom ,Sunderland,Swansea and Norwich breathing down it's neck.
Its has been a sad time for all Liverpool fans.This season has been awkward and weird. The club won the League Cup(its first trophy in six years) and went to the Final of the F.A Cup(Losing 2-1 to Chelsea as part of a third Wembley appearance).This would have been great if we had at least,and I must emphasize least,secured 4th place and Champions League football.Trust me there has not been many clubs who have won a trophy in a season after a trophy drought and STILL have fans dissatisfied. Now you understand just how weird the status quo is. Liverpool could hardly manage three consecutive wins during the season.
At some point,in one of the disgraceful losses against Wigan at Anfield,Kenny Dalglish said something after the game that lost him my trust and support of him. He said the club does not have enough players to deal with the demands of the many fixtures Liverpool have had to deal with this season! This same gaffer said in January that Liverpool needed no new players and that he was satisfied with the quantity and quality of the side! Sense something?
For a coach of his calibre to make such pathetic excuses is just not acceptable.Liverpool only played in three competitions ONLY! Some clubs played in 4 and five, but yet still did not complain and still found themselves in respectable positions on the league log,which tallies with their investment they made prior to the season. Liverpool spent a cumulative sum of £ 80 million on Caroll (£35 million)Henderson( £16 or possibly £ 20 million)Downing (£ 20 million) and Charlie Adam(£ 9 million) all of whom have proved to be grossly over priced mediocre British players,costing us so much this season.
Everyone who has followed my posts on here and on twitter all season know just how much I defended Kenny when he was being mercilessly vilified earlier this season.But now,I will just say I'm not sure if he is the right man for the job.Should the owners resort to keeping him, theres still so much he has to put in place and change in order to gain back my trust, and I firmly believe,the trust of all other dissatisfied Kopites across the length and breath of the globe.
He kept sticking to maintaining Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing in the starting line up ahead of Maxi Rodriguez, Dirk Kuyt and Craig Bellamy: all of whom individually and collectively had contributed more to the team's performances/goals over the course of the season. I personally felt it would only be right to keep the duo on the bench as they are both very ineffective, so as to give the more effective and experienced trio the chance to make an impact.
Even though Henderson and Downing(£40 million cumulatively) hardly put up a substancial performances to at least repay one millionth (no sarcasm intended) of their colossal transfer fees, Kenny still believed they are better than the others. Also,Jamie Carragher,who is now aged(football wise) and clearly poor(performance wise)was also fielded ahead of a young and effective Coates (who is a tried and tested defender in the Copa Libertodores and Copa America) whenever there was an empty slot in defence.
In short,Kenny is presided over questionable decisions,and his legendary status is insulated him from objective criticism, creating an auror of infallibility around him.This was not healthy for the football club. He is was by virtue of his managerial capacity and not a legendary capacity. Everyone just kept quiet and handled the failures as normal, just because he is King Kenny the legend. Any time I saw teams like Madrid,Manchester City,AC Milan,Barcelona and Bayern Munich(just for comparative analysis in terms of quality of players as against the financial propensity to acquire them) as a Liverpool fan,it was inevitable to escape the intense inferiority complex that griped me. Class VS Mediocrity is a simple but harsh summary I can come up with.
Its especially frustrating since we were in such a financially powerful position, with John Henry and Tom Werner at FSG pumping in millions of dollars, bringing in Warrior Sports(Kit Manufacturers)in a record deal and giving Kenny such immense support. I'm was surprised and disappointed in how he stuck to buying average Brits over exceptional foreigners.I'll always say, if you want to build a core of British players, you use your Academy(in Liverpool's case,very endowed academy) to that effect, rather than going out to buy average Brits at ridiculously high prices as against buying quality foreigners who can make a huge difference in matches.Clearly,Kenny and Commolli failed in the transfer market, perhaps thats why the latter parted ways with the club by mutual consent
For a team that is in Kenny's own words ''work in progress'' surely this is not the way to go.It is even justified to think the club could have gradually introduced prodiguous talents like Suso,Sterling,Coady,Eccleston,Morgan and co into the squad and groomed them professionally to save money than go out for pure mediocrity(I'm aware I'm abusing the word).
I'm not saying Caroll ,Henderson, Downing and Adam are 'wack' players who will never come good.
No.Far from that really.
All I'm saying is that if Kenny did not spend/waste (I know its harsh) so much money on them and bought them at low prices that tallies with their current performance value,nobody would complain.This Liverpool team lacked star players of skill and impact. It was filled with a host of average players who lacked the required character. As simple as that.
That 1-0 loss at the Liberty stadium on the final day was one of many frustrating losses Liverpool fans have been used to all season.The team's performance oscillated between highly impressive, average and unacceptably poor far too rapidly and frustratingly.
Kenny Dalglish always blamed poor showings on bad luck, and always claimed it'll get better one day. Sad. A manager who depends on luck and fails to correct blatant weaknesses is a remedy for disaster. He clearly lacked the tactical acumen to steer the club to greater heights. An 8th place finish for a club that invested over £100 million is just failure,to be brutally honest.
Kenny does not cut it.
And worst of all, he seems to show no signs of changing his ways that have made the club the personification of pure mediocrity over the past season. He failed to meet the pre-season target of a fourth place/Champions League spot finish despite the huge investments.He should've known better not use the Carling Cup win and F.A Cup Final appearance as an excuse for the disappointing failure the season has been. Moreover,it'll be incredibly surprising to see him keep his job whilst all other key personel who were part of the season's clear debacle have been axed. He is the manager and should also be held responsible. Its only right and fair.He should not be immune to ''the sack'' due to his legendary status,as he wields his current office on a purely professional basis.
At this rate and in this direction, I beg to differ with people who say Liverpool has made substantive progress. A great, great deal has to change.
Unless more quality is injected and the mediocrity (theres that cliche again!)is seen out or worked on for massive improvement,the club will still be stagnant,(even if it has won a trophy),as incongrous as that sounds.
Fiifi Anaman. ( @fiifianaman )