Progress, our squad, time, investment.. - And why we need a new manager.

Liverpool Football Club - General Discussion

Postby bigmick » Sun Feb 01, 2009 4:54 am

I know I'm going to come under attack on this thread so I'll keep the topic starter short. It'll give me something to come back with.

Broadly, I think we've improved as a team. But in five seasons, given the investment, I don't think it's enough. I mentioned on another thread about the squad:

Goalkeeper-We have a top drawer keeper (bought by Rafa). Charitably, we have a reasonable replacement.

Right back-After five years our best one is Alvarro Arbeloa. Solid enough player without being anywhere near absolute top class, our back up is non existent.

Left back-Our best one is Fabio Aurelio. Decent player once again without being a World beater (when fit), our back up is a 19 year old kid.

Centre Halves-we still have the two which were left for Rafa when he arrived. One of those is still the best we've got, and the other will need replacing soon. We have two which Rafa has brought in who are both good players, without actually being right at the very top of what there is in the Premiership.
Right midfielder-Being totally honest we haven't got one.

Left midfielder-We have Albert Riera who is a decent player.If he is unavailable, we haven't got anyone else.

Central midfielders-We have three top class ones, and a reasonable stop gap.

Strikers-We have one top class one, one who is good but who never gets selected, and nobody else.

The squad is then topped up with a succession of players who aren't in any way shape or form good enough. The progression from say Finnan to Arbeloa after five seasons isn't enough. Neither is it enough to progress from John Arne Riise of five seasons ago to Fabio Aurelio. Ditto Sami Hyppia to Martin Skrtel. There isn't anyone, not a single player waiting in the wings who you watch and think, "feck me he's going to be some player this lad".

After five seasons of Rafa Benitez, the squad needs major work. My guess is it needs major money, time effort and skill. Much more than he has shown so far. He has spent 150 million quid and I think it's reasonable to expect more for our money. His recent conduct has been at best eccentric, and at worst an absolute disgrace.

In my humble opinion, at the end of the season we should get rid.
Last edited by bigmick on Sun Feb 01, 2009 5:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby The_Rock » Sun Feb 01, 2009 5:18 am

bigmick wrote:In my humble opinion, at the end of the season we should get rid.

Dude.... great post. Agree with all the points...

But as for benitez leaving....think thats kinda hard. All signs are pointing to him signing on for 4 more years.
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Postby Bam » Sun Feb 01, 2009 5:36 am

I think the pressure of English football has finally got him, or so it sounds anyway. I dont think its an easy feat playing the media and trotting your team to glory. Something Fergie, Wenger and Mouriniho are all excellent at even if they do sound ridiculous and childish at times because the thing with them in the past  ... There team have walked the walk, while they've been playing the media. I find it no coincidence really that since Rafa's press conferance about Fergie and the facts in hand, our team have not won one single match since. Rafa always came accross to me as a polite humble guy who never made excususes, never crticised other managers and really kept his head down and got on with his job. Like the article Saint posted up in another thread, it does seem Rafa is running a parallel line with Houlliiers last two years in charge, of which were erratic decisions, speach's, excuses and what not. To me it seems he's cracking under the pressure which is a shame to see.

Back to the topic of our spending and improving over the last five years. Well this topic has been done to death aswell, and its nothing new for any poster around here pulling stats out from his @rse to see where we've over spent, brought badly, rushed in and out the revolving door, improved in certain areas and not in others. Its another debate thats almost as old as the rotation one, there for the want of better words is Groundhog questions when it comes to Rafa.

But just to clarify Mick, you told me that for a team to win the title it needed to be in the mix a season prior to that. That you'd be happy with Rafa if he made a real fist of it. Even with his outbursts and drawing consecutive games, and still making perplexing decisions he's in the mix. We know he hasnt fixed the problem areas, he hasnt done that for quite sometime, we know he's blown money of which you used to say by and large he's brought pretty well. So why all of a sudden are you suggesting against everything you've said on these boards pretty consistently, he needs to go at the end of the season ?

I reckon its Knee-jerkish mate TBH, I called for his head last season as I saw no signs of improvements. But from the start of this season up until Decemember 08, improvement in our league position had shown me I was wrong in calling for the man to be sacked. It was/is a genuine improvement in our league position and now January has come and gone, being a sticky month and people are calling for his head. Even though genuine improvement in the months leading to that had been made ? Like I said presure does seem to be getting to Rafa but he's still in the mix as you'd like to call it.

My real and current problem with Rafa now is how/if he can manage to get the team back to winning ways, last season he stumbled on a 4-2-3-1 formation, that seemed to be the formula at a similar stage of the season. This year he's got to do something other than changing a few names around on a teamsheet, he's got to pull a rabbit out of the hat. I dont know if he can do it in the teams current climate, he maybe "loosing the dressing room" another fallacy it seemed that happened to him this time last year, with smart as.sed comments to the media about " I prefer to coach and support my team or whatever the feck he said when in dispute with our owners.

Its funny really, me being labelled a Doom n Gloomer, I wouldnt be so eager to call time on his career at Liverpool just yet, not after heading the league table for the best part of three months, and then slipping into a bliiip. A win against Chelsea could be all the difference and if he can revitalise a stagnant side dare I say it, with this genius and tactical mind of his, your decision to call time on him maybe in more haste then head.

Wait and see at least .... I certainly would offload him off due to his transfer dealings, if we were to go by that way of thinking he could of been shipped out long ago.
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Postby 112-1077774096 » Sun Feb 01, 2009 5:52 am

good posts, bam I can see your point about our improvement in position however this came about because the mancs and chavs struggled early on. I think looking at results we haven't really improved and once our luck ran out and our negativity caught up with us the others reeled us in .

Mick made good points about the players but forgot about dossena :D
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Postby LegBarnes » Sun Feb 01, 2009 5:52 am

You know where I stand mick I felt over last 2 years we have made little progress alot of bad buys 1 or 2 good ones but we was 2-3 years of the manc's 4 years ago now we look 1-2 years of them so in 4 years he has made 1 year progress for me and if we catch up at this rate manc's would be on 24 league titles.

But my worst fear is rafa going and we not bring in the right man.

but I do think it is a chance we have to take there alot of good managers out there and I bet most would love a chance at managing our club.

But who that is million pound(or doller what ever turns ya on) question.

But I feel even with a new manager and parry still at club we will never move in the right direction more then rafa its time he went.

We should have a parry out protest becasue that guy is killing us big time.  :buttrock
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Postby skatesy » Sun Feb 01, 2009 5:54 am

I agree with the points of the post however I do not believe that the answer, or all the points that you have made lead to the departure of Rafa Benitez. In fact, I am of the mindset that in order for managers and teams to be truly succesfull they need to be slowly built over a number of years. Rafa's team has been building for several years now and they have slowly become better and better. There have been some great decisions, good decisions and very poor ones. I don't think the answer lies in letting Rafa go. That is not to say that I am of the mindset that we should just hangon to Rafa for the sake of it, yet that I see where he is going and I have confidence that when he gets there we will be happy. Let's face it, for the majority of the season we have been #1 and the whole season at the top of the league. We are STILL in the title race. I think that, if anything, we should wait until the end of the season before we start coming to a conclusion that the correct fix is for Rafa to go. Even then, if we do not win the PL or the CL, coming to the conclusion that Rafa should go may stll not be the best bet.

Either way, let's wait - hold on and hope for the best in 2008/09.

I really do feel that where a lot of our potential progress lies is with Rafa having more control of our transfers. I am hoping that this comes to fruition with the new contract.
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Postby LegBarnes » Sun Feb 01, 2009 5:55 am

skatesy wrote:I agree with the points of the post however I do not believe that the answer, or all the points that you have made lead to the departure of Rafa Benitez. In fact, I am of the mindset that in order for managers and teams to be truly succesfull they need to be slowly built over a number of years. Rafa's team has been building for several years now and they have slowly become better and better. There have been some great decisions, good decisions and very poor ones. I don't think the answer lies in letting Rafa go. That is not to say that I am of the mindset that we should just hangon to Rafa for the sake of it, yet that I see where he is going and I have confidence that when he gets there we will be happy. Let's face it, for the majority of the season we have been #1 and the whole season at the top of the league. We are STILL in the title race. I think that, if anything, we should wait until the end of the season before we start coming to a conclusion that the correct fix is for Rafa to go. Even then, if we do not win the PL or the CL, coming to the conclusion that Rafa should go may stll not be the best bet.

Either way, let's wait - hold on and hope for the best in 2008/09.

He is not building a team fast enuff by time he is finished with his master plan gerrard and carra have walking frames do you not understand !!!!  :angry:
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Postby bigmick » Sun Feb 01, 2009 6:55 am

Some very interesting responses, and surprisingly so far nobody has gone off on one (Don't worry I know it'll come). There are just a couple of points that I ought to come back on, specifically in Bams post (which is a good one).

You say I've given him credit for buying fairly well in the main previously, and I have. I still thaink that in the main he's bought fairly well, so I've not really changed on this. My problem with the "progress" thing is that specifically we haven't strengthened the areas which need strengthening, and in all honesty we don't look like we're about to anytime soon. By that I mean Sissoko for example was a good signing and IMHO a good player. As was/is Masherano, and was/is/perhaps potentially Lucas. There does come a point though surely (which given we were trailing Gareth Barry we haven't yet reached) where you have enough central midfielders. This is particularly the case when we haven't got a right midfielder, not one (not who is capable of playing in a 4-4-2 in a semi reasonable manner anyway).

Equally, Arbeloa is undeniably a good signing at 3 million quid. He's probably better than that, as Aurelio is obviously better than a free. In that sense, they're both good buys but I have to ask after five years at the helm, is that the best we can do? They're both decent Premiership defenders, but are they really any better (or even as good in truth) as Finnan and Riise were? At left midfield, Albert Riera was a decent buy at 8 million quid. Once again though, same question. Is that the best we can do? Also, in both fullback slots and in left midfield and right midfield, while our first choice players are arguably adequate, our cover is practically non existent.

Up top, almost every Premiership team (with the exception of Everton seemingly) considers at least three viable strikers to be a minimum. Now Torres is obviously a wonderful player and a top notch buy, but what do we do if he isn't available? After five years in charge, our locker as far as strikers in concerned is criminally bereft of quality.

So yes he has had some good buys, but I wonder whether there is a coherent plan to build a title winning team. I wonder whether the obsession with options and possibilities has perversly prevented us from having precisely that. Whichever way you look at it, when you look at our squad right now it is short in too many areas. Whoever is in charge next season has some real work to do, and after five seasons the mountain shouldn't be as steep IMHO.

You got me once again on my "base camp" theory. I did say that and I do still believe it. You really do have your work cut out to win the title from fourth. The interesting thing for me though and the damning one as far as the manager is concerned, is that this is the first time I've seen him involved in a title race, and I'm more convinced than I ever was that he won't win the league over here. I think he has blown it to be honest, and his actions, selection policy, words and deeds have been hugely detrimental to the success of the team. I know many will disagree with that, but I'm simply calling it as I see it. He strikes me very much as if he's alowing his ego to rule his sensibility, and it's no good to anyone. If we beat Chelsea, my feeling is that he'll likely go to Portsmouth, pick a ridiculous team and we probably won't win there. His willingness to jettison his only viable alternative to Torres up front, simply to prove some kind of point demonstrates to me that he is out of control. Again people will disagree with that, but if they do I would ask them if we forget about Keane, who is the viable alternative to Torres?

Overall I think his conduct over the whole Keane affair has been a disgrace. This latest attempt through tame press sources to distance himself from the transfer are the actions of a small and desperate man IMHO. When the chips are down, look into their eyes and you'll see the mark of a man. We've had a glimpse over these last few weeks and I haven't liked what Ive seen to be perfectly honest. I simply cannot imagine any Liverpool manager from the past conducting himself in such a way, it is absolutely unthinkable.

The one bit where I totally disagree Bam was the knee jerk thing. I don't really do knee jerks, even though I'm the "I know it's early" man. I've thought long and hard about this, and in truth I've had the gravest of doubts for some time. Over the last few weeks those doubts have grown to be convictions,  and sad though I am to say it, I think the club would do itself a huge favour by getting itself a new manager at the end of the season. It doesn't make me proud to say that, but it is my heartfelt belief. That belief isn't going to change if we beat Chelsea.

Of course I will always support the club, and I hope he proves me wrong on the winning the title thing. I will cheer the team on till the cows come home but my mind is made up, it's time for a change.
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Postby kazza » Sun Feb 01, 2009 8:35 am

Well at least you are finally saying how you feel rather than the thinly disguised digs that you usually come up with. Getting rid of Raffa well set us back further so it is better to stay the course than backtrack with a new manager (why do I feel you think Moureen will win us the title :laugh: ) and go through all that again. The squad was good enough to go on a roll at the beginning of the season and all was happy now all of a sudden we are not good enough (how fickle).  If you think another manager will come right in and win us the title without missing a beat you are in for a rude awakening and that would be giving those teams that have spent much more than us a disservice.

I am glad you put your marker down Mick so there is no doubt and no painfully long post to hide behind. Curiously those agreeing seem to be the usual suspects that did not seem to post much when we were winning  ???
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Postby bigmick » Sun Feb 01, 2009 8:58 am

kazza wrote:Well at least you are finally saying how you feel rather than the thinly disguised digs that you usually come up with. Getting rid of Raffa well set us back further so it is better to stay the course than backtrack with a new manager (why do I feel you think Moureen will win us the title :laugh: ) and go through all that again. The squad was good enough to go on a roll at the beginning of the season and all was happy now all of a sudden we are not good enough (how fickle).  If you think another manager will come right in and win us the title without missing a beat you are in for a rude awakening and that would be giving those teams that have spent much more than us a disservice.

I am glad you put your marker down Mick so there is no doubt and no painfully long post to hide behind. Curiously those agreeing seem to be the usual suspects that did not seem to post much when we were winning  ???

"Fickle"? A predictable retort, but I knew that when I posted the topic up that I would encounter some choppy waters. My suspicion is that I'll have to respond to deliveries on much stickier wickets than the one you sent down, but that's for later.

One thing I resolved not to do when I posted the topic up was to get drawn into any slanging matches. Ultimately, I have come to my own conclusion and my intention is not to try and talk anyone else into changing there's, it's simply to set out my thoughts.

Though your post has a certain inflammatory edge to it, there is little in there (entirely characteristically) which actually is to do with football.

To answer your points, I think the opposite in terms of a new manager. Precisely my point and what has led me to this juncture, is a close examination of the players at our disposal. Quite simply we are woefully light in too many areas.

We did lead the Premiership earlier in the season, but now one of the bigger guns have got going we have been cruelly exposed, as has Rafa and his inability to consistently win football matches. I would suggest that even if Rafa is still the manager next season (and for all I know he probably will be) the squad needs major surgery. Were it not for the fact that Steven Gerrard played for us we would already be adrift of the top of the table, regardles of any tactical genius on the part of the manager.

As for Maureen ( I think that's who you mean) I'm not campaigning for any manager. There are many I believe which could take us forward, that decision is for some time a long way into the future no doubt. I actually don't agree with your premise that I feel a new manager could come in and win us the title "without missing a beat", as the squad is a bit light. As I already said.

Anyway, it's no surprise that we don't agree. You are as entitled to your point of view as anyone else, and as entitled as indeed I am. We are probably equally bothered as we are surprised that we don't agree, and that's one of the few occasions when I think I can safely speak for the both of us.
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Postby Ciggy » Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:28 am

My take on it, since the yanks took over the whole club from top to bottom has been a shambles, you cannot run a football club by the odd email to the manager now and again.

It all started with the klinnsman saga, the team where doing great on all fronts then they dropped that bombshell that was the worst thing they could have done with rafa being popular with the fans that was the first nail in their coffin.

The team where doing great this season until the Gerrard malarky, Rafa not signing his contract and then grumbles and mumbles from 1 man, at the time what he said about Fergie he is correct but he had to follow that up with the team winning, and they havent since.

Apparently they yanks have offered him what he wants with this new contract, well it would be better for them to sell the club with atleast some stability and a successfull manager in place.

On the other hand if we are to get a new owner he may have his own ideas as who he wants in charge, if he has a few bob paying Rafa off wont be a problem. But he might want to keep rafa to guarentee CL footie every season. Give him around 60 million to add three world class players to the squad and see what happens there.

But if we get a new owner and Rafa continues talking about CEO's, owners, other managers then he will have to go.
A manager should only concern himself with what is going on, on the pitch and I dont like the way he has been filling the papers the last few months, the yanks done it last year, its his fault this year.

Ofcourse if we where turning them draws into wins then I wouldnt give a sh!t about us being in the press, but its all bad news about Liverpool all the time.

Its not fair we are being used as pawns in a poker game, when I was a kid growing up in Liverpool you either choose Liverpool or Everton if I was growing up today I would be on two minds on who to support because quite frankly our club has turned into a joke and its being run by clowns all out for themselves.

The team and fans used to come first but now the team and fans are 5, 6, down the line what a joke only I dont find myself laughing.
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Postby milou » Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:59 am

Some top posts here.

I would agree with Mick that if you examined player by player (in each position), then it will appear that there is not much improvement over the years.. hence the finnan-arbeloa, aureilio-riise comparisons. But we must not forget, individual ability of each payer isn't everything. If it is, then Brazil will win every tournament they are involved in since the beginning of time :D Afterall, we also won the champions league with an arguably less capable players.

Also just look at Man Utd.. Evans, Fletcher, Carrick, Park, Anderson, O-Shea, Rafael, Neville (old), Scholes (old), Giggs (old).. world beaters? Obviously NOT. But the key is they CAN play together.. or perhaps more accurately, bcos Fergie allowed them to. I saw Man Utd vs Everton last night and observed the amount of attacking players that go in and out of Everton's penalty box.. It signaled attacking intent.. as compared to our team who are content with just passing the ball in the midfield. I am sure I am not the only one left frustrated whenever we watch liverpool plays.

Do u think it is a co-incidence that Man Utd has goals coming from all over the park but we can only get winners from a handful of players? I have no doubt that Rafa's more concerned about "structure" and "safety first".. I will also argue that those who are too gung-ho or attacking too much will be told to exercise restraints (esp gerrard).

That brings me to the point about Rafa's transfers. If we set aside the very weird explanation of Parry's over-involvement in transfers, my doubt is what is actually going thru Rafa's mind when he buys someone. Some obviously didn't perform and got shipped out - rightly so (Josemi, Morientes, Krompkamp). But many played ok but got shipped out too, often pretty quickly (pennant, bellamy, cisse, crouch). Then there are some who don't even get the chance and got shipped out too (keane)! Worst of all, Rafa has a natural tendency to use players out of positions.

So I just think Rafa didn't give himself a good chance to build a team, by writing off too many players too quickly and harshly. Remember he was trying to offload Alonso in the summer too!

I think we are not out of it yet.. but very close TBH. It all depends on tonight's game with Chelsea.

I have actually no doubt that Rafa is a top top manager.. Replacing him will be a tough task. You simply don't win all the trophies for being clueless.. But he may have reached a point of no return.. Next few weeks will be crucial for him and LFC, on and off-field alike.

If I were the owners, I would sit on the fence till the end of the season and see what happens before offering Rafa a new contract or asking him to go.
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Postby Owzat » Sun Feb 01, 2009 10:24 am

Carra and Gerrard are STILL among our best 3, 4 or 5 players (depends on your viewpoint), he signed some of the solid members a long time ago like Reina and Alonso, so he's merely been adding one or two top players for every half dozen or more he signs - and not on the cheap most of the time either.

Already here - Gerrard, Hyypia, Carragher
Signed 04/05 - Alonso
Signed 05/06 - Reina, Agger
Signed 07/08 - Torres (£21m), Skrtel, Mascherano (£18.6m)
Signed 08/09 - Riera

VERY SLOW in adding quality, plenty will make cases that Keane and players like that should be in there, but still for FIVE years of adding players we don't have a strong squad and some positions in the team are far from 'filled' adequately. Yet we seem to be only a little bit closer to the title. I read Rafa said we're eight points better off this season than last - that is true, by virtue mainly of our silly losses at Reading at West Ham and our much improved start with less draws. However, if you compare like for like or corresponding fixtures, it's not looking so good. Including only the games we've played this season that we played last season :-

Corresponding Fixtures 08/09 vs 07/08

Sunderland (a) W vs W
Middlesbro (h) W vs W
A Villa (a) D vs W
Man Utd (h) W vs L
Everton (a) W vs W
Man City (a) W vs D
Wigan (h) W vs D
Chelsea (a) W vs D
Portsmouth (a) W vs D

So far in favour of 08/09 (25 points vs 20), but.........

Tottenham (a) L vs W
Bolton (a) W vs W
Fulham (h) D vs W
West Ham (h) D vs W
Blackburn (a) W vs D
Arsenal (a) D vs D
Bolton (h) W vs W
Newcastle (a) W vs W
Everton (h) D vs W
Wigan (a) D vs W

Draws start creeping in, while we may be eight points better off after 22 games, we still have games to come that we dropped points in bigtime last season - Man Utd (AL), Chelsea (HD), Arsenal (HD), West Ham (AL), Tottenham (HD).........

2008/09 : P19 W12 D6 L1 PTS 42
2007/08  : P19 W13 W5 L1 PTS 44

Last season we picked up 36 points from the last 15 games, just one defeat and three draws. We might manage to lost just one game in our last 15 this season, but I fear we not get just three draws nor will 36 points be enough to win the title. We made a better start this season, but we need to make a better finish to be in with a shout. We finished ELEVEN points adrift of the champions least season, it isn't just about bettering our own points tally but bettering everyone's. The mancs have won seven in a row, they have been as far as seven points behind us, but since then ten games have passed and we've picked up 16 points while they've picked up 28.

And they are a mere one point worse off this season at the same stage as last season. In the same spell of ten games they won eight last season so this is one of their strong periods. BOTH seasons they had more wins at this stage than we have now. (17 last season, 16 this) If we draw this afternoon then I think serious rethinks about 'loyalty' to the manager should be widespread, he's shown nothing to suggest he'd come good and fergie is one of only two managers I could find going back to the early eighties who'd taken more than four seasons to win the league.

1st League Titles

Jose Mourinho : Chelsea 2004/05 (1st season)
Arsene Wenger : Arsenal 1997/98 (2nd season, manager in Sep 1996)
Kenny Dalglish : Blackburn 1994/95 (4th season, manager in Oct 1991)
Alex Ferguson : Man Utd 1992/93 (7th season, manager in Nov 1986)
Howard Wilkinson : Leeds Utd 1991/92 (4th season, manager in Oct 1988)
George Graham : Arsenal 1988/89 (3rd season , manager in May 1986)
Kenny Dalglish : Liverpool 1985/86 (1st season double, player-manager)
Howard Kendall : Everton 1984/85 (4th season , player-manager in May 1981)
Ron Saunders : Aston Villa 1980/81 (7th season, manager in 1974)
Brian Clough : Nottingham Forest 1977/78 (3rd season, manager in Jan 1975)
Dave McKay : Derby County 1974/75 (2nd season, manager in Oct 1973)

So only two of the last ELEVEN managers to win the league have taken more than four seasons to do so, that's over 30+ years. None have taken that long since fergie became manager in the mid-80s, maybe four or five seasons is more than par for survival for a manager these days, but that's a fairly exclusive list bearing in mind managers have been at clubs four seasons or more and not done it. Note Evans didn't do it, Houllier didn't, Rafa hasn't yet - and it's not getting any easier. It's no coincidence that teams haven't won the league having been promoted the previous season since Clough did it with Forest. And no side has won the Premiership having finished 4th or lower the previous season. Why? Probably because cash has ruled the roost and it's rare indeed for a club to have a sugar daddy arrive and the previous manager survive long enough to take as long as fergie to do it. Otherwise a manager isn't likely to discover a 'magic formula' in his 5th, 6th, 7th etc season that he didn't in his first four.


I'd like to think Rafa can win the league, however he is making a right meal of management and maybe our league position is somewhat flattering and his (lack of) ability as a manager is what's causing our rapid decline. TEN games to go from seven points ahead of the mancs to five behind - a manager capable of winning the league would be the one reversing a gap.
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Postby Homebooby » Sun Feb 01, 2009 10:38 am

I don't think you can make such a blanket statement like that to be honest. The landscape has changed massively over 5 years. ManU and Chelsea were sucking up all the top talent 5 years ago and offering the biggest wages, now things are changing.

5 years ago, if we're honest, the big players didn't want to come to Anfield as we were not offering them anything other than the possibility of a good cup run at best. Let's not forget that Gerrard was the only promising player in the team and even he looked like he was going to Chelsea.

Lastly the old thing about money crops up. Yes we have had a lot of money to spend in one way, compared to the market rates, not enough to realistically compete.

I think the fact that the club is now considered a contender again, we'll see things change over time and more people want to come and play for us. I think that is largely down to the manager personally and therefore disagree that we should swap him out. There's clear progress and to disrupt that again and start from scratch would be madness and set us back further.

I think Rafa has 1 or 2 more seasons to keep the momentum going and achieve the premier medal we all want to see come our way.
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Postby fivecups » Sun Feb 01, 2009 11:00 am

Good posts here including IMHO the first line of Kazaa's. I don't want to batter Mick - he's one of the main reasons to read this forum, it's best poster. His opinion is often different to mine, his posts rile me up but he may well be 'righter' than me - it's what a footie forum should be all about.

I have always had great belief in Rafa. I'm not planning to change that just yet - I'll reassess things at the end of the season. My belief has been shaken a bit in the last month - for reasons concisely summarised by Lyndsey. The Robbie Keane paradox is becoming clearer - Im deeply disappointed that Rafa appears to have used him as a political tool to the detriment of our club and title chances. It seems like he wanted him but not in preference to Barry and not for £20 million. But, Rafa, once you've got him you should try and get the most out of him for the good of the club. You tried but not hard enough because you couldn't get past the fact that you didn't have complete control over the deal.

However, rather than a complete overhaul and another rebuilding process (how many more of these can we finance in the current economic climate) I think a tweaking of the current setup is all we need. A bit more aggression and risk when it's 0-0 or 1-0  could turn a lot of our draws into wins. Just a slight change in offensive mentality, a bit more willingness to go for it. Let the player off the leash a bit.

I think we're precariously balanced as a club. Owners in financial trouble. The club in debt - with loans we possibly can't repay. Deep and probably irreparable divisions between the chief executive and the manager - surely one of them has to go. And as Lakes talked about - the gloabl financial crises has yet to fully hit fully. I believe that when it does theres going to be clubs that don't survive. I don't want LFC to be reduced to a shadow of it's former self.

Be careful what you wish for those who want Rafa out. Picture the outlook if goes. I think most people on here dont even try and understand his managerial, tactical style. Play your best eleven every game. Play 4-4-2. Always play a striker when he's in form. His first aim was to build a solid spine - no-one can argue that he's done that brilliantly. In the summer he talked about improving our full-backs - to be more attack minded and suit the modern game - miserable  fail. Picture the mass exodus the complete collapse of the spine if he leaves. Not good.

Rambling, hungover post this. I need to go get a flight. I'm going to shout my friggin' head off today especially when the Rafa song starts up (and I think it will). The response of the crowd today to recent events will be massive. :)
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