1. To engage in a course of reasoning often based on inconclusive evidence.
2. To engage in the buying or selling of a commodity with an element of risk on the chance of profit.”
It’s a very relevant word to Liverpool FC, is that.
The first definition is what drives all the message boards and sports pages, and the second is what drives Hicks and Gillett.
Same word… very different meaning.
We all know how the net works… speculation turns to rumour, then to fact before you’ve even finished typing the sentence! So with all the misinformation and infighting I’ve been left wondering… What exactly is wrong with Liverpool FC?
The Holy Quinity.
Bill Shankly talked about the Holy trinity at a football club… the players, the manager and the supporters. The owners weren’t meant to be important and in some respects that’s as true today as it ever was.
But nowadays, in the age of businessmen and erratic billionaires, I think you’d have to accept that they now have a role at the table. And, especially in the case of the big clubs, the media also have a part to play.
So now there’s a Holy Quinity at a football institution. The players, the manager, the owners, the supporters and the media. Each affects the other. When each one is doing their job well the players play, the manager manages, the owners make the money to pay for everything and the media keep us, the supporters, posted.
A quinity with unity.
So if I’m ever going to make any sense of this mess then I guess I’ll have to look at each part and see how they’ve performed their jobs.
Much has been made of the apparent deficiencies in our squad. Lack of depth, inexperience, underperformance, absence of cover, faltering confidence, Riera. And each one is true in a sense. Especially Riera.
However a couple of factors support my belief that, essentially, the squad is more than capable of mounting a serious title challenge. Firstly the fact that pretty much the same squad did exactly that the year before, and secondly, that as many as 13 claimable squad members are present at this years world cup (I’m claiming Jovanovic after the game against the Germans! ).
More than any other club in the world. And not small nations, either. England, Spain, Argentina, Holland.. we have significant players in some of the worlds biggest teams.
Now that doesn’t sound like a poor squad to me.. throw in a couple of players from teams that didn’t quite make the world cup and a number of promising young players – in fact I’d suggest it’s a damn fine squad.
Which only serves to makes their underperformance last season even more baffling. However, underperform they did. And, with multiple injuries that created a lack of depth, which exposed the inexperience, which led to faltering confidence, which created an absence of cover, which led to poor results and further underperformance, it was a season of ‘never befores’. But I’ve gone through that in another article… all that matters is that it happens ‘never again’.
That means that the players who were hurt by last season will want to stay and make up for their performances this year. Those that don’t should leave. Now. Mascherano, Torres, Benayoun, Gerrard… whoever. If the desire is not already within them to fight back.. then they simply do not have what we need and, in my opinion, we would be better off without them. No matter how good they are.. as last season proved.. it won’t be good enough.
So players will leave… and some have already left. They need to be replaced. Do I think we need multi-millions to replace then?
Well, actually no. It’ll take money, for sure, but in fact there are a wealth of options depending on who leaves. Mascherano, for example may go, but he will generate a lot of cash in return – more than enough to identify a cheaper and even more effective option. The same applies to all the players. I could go into the specifics of who I think should leave, and who we should buy.. but that would be pure speculation (and so I’ll leave that for another day!).
With some astute purchases to add to an already strong squad and the benefits of the Academy yet to come – all it takes is for a good manager to manage it all into a winning combination…
Rafa Benitez has gone. Done. On to the European Champions – who feel they need what talents he has. I think it’s a great match. Rafa is a superb tactician… which is displayed most obviously in European and international competition where two legged games are often a tight, tactical battle. The league, however, is not a tactical battle. It’s a war. A series of 38 battles where attitude and bravery are sometimes much more important than tactics.
I think Rafa would have himself learned valuable lessons from last year and had much to pay back for. Whether he would have or not is now just an idle flight of fantasy. Personally I think it’s much more in keeping with ‘the Liverpool Way’ to have given him the chance. However, some things just do not work out that way.
Farewell, Rafa Benitez. Good Luck in your new venture. For Istanbul alone you’ll never walk alone.
And now we need a new man. Someone who has the ability to instill bravery, confidence and an understanding of responsibility. Someone who has a deep knowledge of football.. but also a ‘feel’ for the game. Someone not afraid to try something new, or different. They will inherit a strong squad and the tradition and history of the club to call upon. That’s all the right man should need.
I’ve heard the role of ‘Liverpool manager’ be described by some as a “poisoned chalice”. Are these people mad?
If you care at all about Liverpool FC then you will want to manage the club. I do. Jesus.. I’d expect that most of you out there would jump at the chance! That holds true of professional managers too… past and present.
Enough said on that subject, I feel. I have no say in the proceedings.. so I’ll just have to wait and see. And rely on the owners to select the right man.