Liverpool – The season so far

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It would seem that the feel-good factor that surrounded the club following Kenny Dalglish’s succession of Roy Hodgson has started to melt away. I wrote in the pre-season that I didn’t think Dalglish had shown through his transfer dealings that he was equipped to mount a modern day title challenge, and I still maintain that.

Given the ailments of our national team, surely the logical conclusion has to be that a concentration of English players anywhere tends to be a bad thing – and Liverpool is the living and breathing proof of that right now. There’s only so long that you can tolerate either the ‘Roy Hodgson damaged the club’ or the ‘Rafa Benitez left a legacy of sub-standard players’ arguments as mitigating circumstances for Dalglish’s record.

Since when is seventh place good enough for a team of Liverpool’s stature? The scaling-down of ambition must be particular galling for fans, as talk of mounting title-challenges has been replaced by ‘progressing steadily back to the Champions League’. That’s fine as an attitude – if you’re a team embedded within the league’s second-tier. Not for Liverpool, not when so much money has been spent.

Another worry has, obviously, to be the team’s home form. As traditional a weakness as this has become, Dalglish has to pick-up some of the blame. Strange tactical decisions, failure to adjust to an alternate approach in games, and naive team selections – that’s the manager’s domain, and simply blaming a string of exceptional visiting goalkeeper’s for a lack of points at Anfield is insufficient.

I like Kenny Dalglish, I like what he stands for and what he represents; he’s a window into the game’s past, and he’s a three-dimensional character in an increasingly 2D sport. The problem is though, that as much as we all love the ‘old guy coming back to rescue his old club’ fairytale, this isn’t going to end well. Nobody wants to see legacies tarnished, and Dalglish is a good man, so he needs to give some serious thought to his future at the end of this season – you suspect that John Henry wouldn’t really have the balls to make that decision for him.


Meh. It’s all very British and underwhelming. Too much has already been said about Andy Carroll, but Charlie Adam? Stewart Downing? Jordan Henderson? No – those are top 6 players at best, they’re not elite calibre and never will be. Jose Enrique is an outstanding left-back, and the defence does look a whole lot more secure without Jamie Carragher in it – and Glenn Johnson will do for the time being.

I like Craig Bellamy, Maxi is under-used, and and Jose Reina is still on the Mount Rushmore of Premier League goalkeepers, but outside of that there’s not an awful lot that’s fueling any optimism.

I know that this is a team that has beaten Chelsea at Stamford Bridge two years in a row, but that’s the exceptional to the rule – there aren’t enough match-winners at Liverpool, the kind of players that are capable of jolting their team out of a malaise against a Stoke/Sunderland/Norwich. Luis Suarez is one of those, but obviously he’s not really relevant at the moment. Steven Gerrard is another, but question marks now have to exist over his durability.

It’s all very ordinary at Anfield.


The club feels like it’s plateaud. There was the slide under Benitez, the free-fall under Hodgson, and then the initial resurgence under Dalglish. But now they don’t seem to be progressing. If, as we’re led to believe, funds do exist for transfer activity this month, then why is nothing happening? It’s quite clear, that without investment – and without shunting a couple of under-performers through the exit door – Liverpool are going to be stuck in the Europa League at best next season. That will not do.

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Posted on January 18, 2012, in General and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I don’t have a problem using English players, but let’s be realistic. When is the last time England has won a World Cup or European Championship?Then to turn around and pay inflated prices for average players, look at what LFC paid for Carroll, could have gotten Aguero for the same price. Suarez and Aguero up front, Wow! LFC need recognized quality players to get them back to the top of the summit. It’s as simple as that. Waiting for cheap bargain buys is not going to cut it. We have enough young players for the future, we need results now, CL that will guarantee players will want to come and play for LFC. Enrique, Pepe and Carragher are complaining because our strikers are not pulling their weight. All the top four clubs have four strikers, while LFC has two, one suspended and the other out of form. Time to act Dalglish!

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