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What is progress?

Date: 10th December 2012 at 5:30 pm
Written by: | Comments (132)

IS it just me or does coming into work on a Monday morning significantly improve following a Liverpool win? The birds sing, the sun shines, there wasn’t even frost on my windscreen!

Now I could wax lyrical about the Reds this morning, I could add my 50 pence to post-match debate, but you will find that ‘in da club’ (is that a cool rap reference? Is it spoiled by currency conversion rates?). Instead, what I want to discuss is the topic of progression.

This is a subject I have found myself discussing increasingly in recent weeks whether it be on this site, on twitter or in the real world (imagine that!).

Whilst providing a clear cover-all definition for progression is not as impossible (or as messy) as trying to nail jelly to the wall, it is no easy task. Ultimately in our case it will be FSG that decide on what they consider progression to be, but that shouldn’t stop us discussing our own views and certainly vocalising them if we think the difference is too vast.

Now before I begin I want an early disclaimer/warning. I am of the mindset that for a club to be successful it needs stability. I don’t think Rafa should have been sacked, likewise I don’t think Kenny should have been sacked. As for Hodgson I don’t think he should have got the job at all! That is my over-riding belief and I say this pre-empting the inevitable ‘u r way up Rogers arse you nob’ comments.

On with the show as it were. It is always a grey (not 50 shades you naughty people) area when trying to compare managers or sides; for example who was better Shankly or Paisley? One built us from second division obscurity laying foundations and the other took us to the highest heights, but there would be no definitive answer as each encountered and dealt with differing circumstances.

What this example does allow for though is a constructive discussion as we are talking about completed periods of time, and in my mind this is crucial when discussing progression. What I have seen a lot of talk recently centres around our current league position and how this should be used as a barometer to gauge the of Rodgers.

For example, ‘we finished 8th last season and are currently 10th, where is the progression?’ In my mind this is a flawed concept from the start as by 2013 if results favoured us we could be 3rd, likewise on the flip side we could drop further down the table. How can a constructive critique be formed when the subject matter could fluctuate so much? A microscopic view of this can be taken off Twitter at half-time on Sunday. The consensus appeared to be as if Liverpool had been relegated to the conference and children of under 3 could perform better.

As the game progressed the introduction of Messrs Cole and Henderson added to the withdrawal of Lucas added to the hysteria, yet come the final whistle the game had been turned around to 3 points with the aforementioned players having star roles. Once the game was finished, the performance and result can be judged, but at half-time?


Where is this leading you may well ask whilst smashing your head against the wall? Well, in light of criticism being sent Rodgers way we need to make an assessment of progress. To me, the most sensible way to assess progress is to compare to a period of time directly before. It would ridiculous to slate Rodgers for our current position in comparison to the Rafa’s season when we finished second, just as it is ridiculous to compare to our league finish last season which was a result of 38 games and not 16. Therefore in my mind, as Rodgers has been in charge for 16 league games we need to look at the previous 16 league games first and foremost.

So, Rodgers has had 16 league games in which he has won 5, drawn 7 and lost 4 amassing 22 points, scoring 22 and conceding 20. The previous 16 games, under Dalglish we won 5, drew twice and lost 9 times amassing 17 points, scoring 22 and conceding 19. Drawing a very simple analysis would show that in points alone we have begun to move forward and have lost less games despite conceding one more goal. Progress?

Obviously analysis needs to be deeper. Arguments can be made that the games towards the end of last season became meaningless as in the league we had nothing to fight for, but then Rodgers has not been able to call upon the experience of players such as Kuyt, Maxi, or Bellamy. Also focus could turn to the pitch and arguments can be made regarding our confidence and solidity; the nightmare-inducing collapse at Loftus Road still fresh in the mind can be laid somewhat to rest with the response at the Boleyn on Sunday for example.

Obviously I could whittle on (I normally do!) but what I wanted to do was to spark some debate and get an impression of how fellow Reds, and even fans from other clubs assess progress. My thoughts, for what it is worth, is that the large tanker that is Liverpool Football Club is being turned around. Rodgers took over a club in relegation form, confidence freefall and just lost a legend, plus has overseen a rapid overturn in experienced playing staff. This must be viewed as the starting point for me.

For whatever reason we were a wounded club and unfortunately wounds take time to heal. This past 16 games then needs to be compared against the results in the next 16 games. Please get involved and let me know your opinions whether you agree or disagree and how you think progress should be judged. Second disclaimer, I’m not up Rodgers’ bum, or FSG’s bum, or paid by the club, or in fact a Nazi, before some start!

Please come find me on twitter @timdibs


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132 thoughts on “What is progress?

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  • David
    2 years ago

    As soon as I see something along the lines of …”In my mind this is a flawed concept from the start as by 2013 if results favoured us we could be 3rd”… I lose interest. This is nothing more then Re-tinted specs syndrome.

    If you can get the FA to give us a Champions League place when we have finished 8th, on the basis of ”if results favoured us” you’re dafter than you sound.

    I appreciate you go on to say it could be the other way round too, but I do not believe that is REALLY what you think.

    We are no better than last season – worse in my opinion. That hour in the middle of the game against West Ham was the worst performance I have seen from a Liverpool team in 10 years.

    I am concerned that the club is finished for the next ten / twenty / thirty years following the appointment of an unproven manager like Rodgers.

    We had one last chance to appoint a big name European Manager (Rijkaard for example) but chose not too. We will never get that chance again in my opinion and we will be in permanent decline.

    Brendan Rodgers, however, will just go and continue his career elsewhere – Leicester / Coventry ? -

    Reply
    • Tim Williams
      2 years ago

      Appreciate the response David and the fact that you have bothered to support your opinion and managed to do so maturely, others can learn a lesson here!

      The discussion regarding possibly being 3rd by 2013 was meant to highlight the fact that as league poisition can fluctuate so much in such a short space of time is it right to bash the manager with? I dont think so.

      There were times our football was poor on sunday, granted, but worst in 10 years? really? reeeeeeally? Do you think as the season closed out last season we would have pulled out a result like this?

      for you, what would progress have been for Rodgers at this stage? and why?

      Reply
      • David
        2 years ago

        Tim

        My biggest problem is that I never wanted Rodgers and I don’t like his persona and I think his judgement is flawed.
        My god, what is the Manager of Liverpool Football Club doing in Garlands Night Club (this is some 6 weeks after Joey Barton got a belt outside it), in the Early hours of the morning?

        I have a pal whose son is at the academy – and doing very well – who tells me some odd stories.

        For Example, it is pretty much completely accepted that young Sinclair was played when he was, at his age, so Rodger’s could take the credit for playing the youngest Liverpool player ever – Sound Daft – well it does, and it appears to be true.

        He fell out with Morgan because he ”dared’ to ask why he was no longer getting the chances he did at the start – arguably after doing nothing wrong and in the position of having no attackers – especially after Borini got injured.

        Until Saturday, We have NEVER had a striker on the bench in the league.

        I threw out a question on Twitter recently to Swansea fans – their thoughts on Rodgers. While they were – of course – grateful for him getting promotion, as you would be, they were, in the majority, not sad to see him go – the word megalomaniac came up more than once!

        The fact that he decided Carroll was going before (I think) he even took the job, was and remains ridiculous

        Judgement – Borini – he has had him at Chelsea and Swansea. It was widely touted by footy fans, that he could not, can not and will not score goals in the prem. Rodgers already knows this, yet spent all that money on him

        Allen – while he is a nice footballer, I think he is a luxury we cannot afford right now. He is a proven NON-goalscorer throughout his time at Swansea. We didn’t need to spend £15M on him at the time, when we were desperate for strikers.

        We only escaped Siggurdsson by the skin of our teeth but ended up with a Championship backroom – Including the man whose son goes out with Rodger’s daughter FFS!

        Progress – in this league, this season? We should be clear 4th and would have been with Dalglish, or Rijkaard or another serious European manager.

        As it is, we are part of some sort of ‘Fantasy Football Manager” game, where Rodgers can try out his false number nines, his Left backs at left wing and vice versa.His Tiki Taka etc etc.

        Did you see Celtic / Barca – or Chelsea / Barca? Barca would struggle with that type of football in this league, coming up against Stoke, Everton etc every week.

        Best ‘passing completion’ stats this season? Us and Arsenal – the week they got beaten by Norwich – All my A**e I am afraid

        Put Johnson Right Back, Enrique (confidence restored) Left back and Skrtel and Agger in front of Pepe (confidence just about restored)for the rest of the season – sorted!

        No need to F**K about with that and he can concentrate on the players in front of them.

        Maybe Allen will work alongside Lucas with Stevie up ahead. Rodgers MUST though grow the balls to be able to substitute Stevie and Allen during games when they are tired

        We must buy / obtain a PROVEN premiership striker in January. Sturridge or Bent? Bent for me – proven 1 in 2 .

        Bloody Hell, better get back to work!

        Reply
        • Tim Williams
          2 years ago

          again you have no idea how refreshing it is to engage with someone actually able to present their own view point and support them, so thank you and I hope you keep checking back! I will respond to each point:

          Its always going to be tough for individuals to warm to a manager if the initial desire wasnt there, I felt the same with Hodgson. Should we allow this to cloud our judgement though? (more on this in a bit)

          It doesnt sound daft at all about Sinclair to be honest. Throwing this question out, what managers are not ego-centric megalomaniacs? Rafa? Mourinho? Fergie? Wenger? they certainly are.

          The Morgan point is interesting, and it is something I have wondered but a 17/18 year old kid with no PL experience questioning the manager? Regardless of personalities involved, a manager has to maintain control of his dressing room, if he is challenged by a youth/reserve player and doesnt set an example more senior players smell weakness. it may be a case of cutting off the ose to spite the face but psychology is a huge part of the sport. would you agree?

          The carroll point confuses me too. I dont understand why a decision could be made so quickly without actually working with the lad. But in fairness not exactly banging in the goals

          Borini – Im not having widely touted by football fans as any kind of sound judgement. People that work day in and day out with him know what he is capable of. He hasnt shown a huge amount yet but come on we are 16 games into the season and he has missed a large amount with injury. Give the lad a chance to settle and find his feet. Always remember lucas!

          Allen – Im struggling to see the consistent beef with this lad. Im a big fan of his, watched him many many times and I like what he brings. HAs he struggled in Lucas absence? of course, playing that role is not natural. Again, 16 games into his career is far too soon to judge, Liverpool is a big step up from swansea.

          Sigurdsson – well we dont know what he would have done here so we cant claim to have escaped anything. As for the backroom staff, is it fair for us to comment without experiencing what they bring? Managers constantly surround themselves with people they know, this isnt unusual, why slag rodgers off for it?

          why do you think we should be clear 4th? based on what? As the article details our last 16 games of the season were awful, 9 thats right 9 defeats in that run. That doesnt just get forgotten about when the season ends. Add in to the mix experienced players leaving and the age of the squad being reduced and a mcuh larger than average number of young players debuting. Whilst CL should always be a minimum goal, realistically this season it was going to be a struggle whatever
          ? Dalglish would in my mind make this more achievable as he would be into his project a full 18 months before this season began with his players. As for other ‘top’ managers you claim, there is no guarentee of instant success with anyone!

          in terms of experimenting with the squad – we have a thin squad with a lot of inexperience and players Rodegrs just doesnt fancy. Jose Enrique benefited from his stint further up field, and although I can see the theory behind downing at lb it hasnt necessarily been a roaring success, but who is to blame there?

          Your Barca comment is bizarre. Barca struggle against the Celtics and Chelsea’s as that is not a style of play that they come up against in their league. You not think if they were transported into the PL that their play and players would adapt? It like that famous notion ‘messi is good but would he do it on a tuesday night against stoke’? nonsense for me.

          passing stats are part of a bigger picture not the whole show. to work it needs to be combined with ruthless incisive play and that should be the goal for rodgers in the coming months.

          Proven striker is crucial I agree. Bent is interesting, but in the climate we are in and the owners we have wages will always be an issue. Im not convinced about sturridge, i get the impression he is all ‘me me me’. Walcott would be ideal.

          Reply
        • Matt
          2 years ago

          Very interesting David you a valid point. A lot of inside information that people don’t know about.

          Reply
    • Niall
      2 years ago

      Well said David -accurate and true

      Reply
      • Tim Williams
        2 years ago

        Dont piggy back on someone else’s opinions, form your own and present them. nothing to be afraid of

        Reply
        • David
          2 years ago

          I will try and answer some of your points without repeating myself.

          I agree that Morgan cannot start dictating things to the boss.

          More of a problem to me is, that Rodgers fell out with him over it – who is the child here?

          It’s just like Rafa and all the players he fell out with. In fact they are both like my missus – you can’t have a disagreement without her spitting her dummy out and not speaking to me for three weeks!!!

          My point about Borini actually agrees with you to a point – Rodgers HAS seen him in training, at Chelsea and Swansea, and he STILL signed him, despite him not scoring goals at either.

          He is not a premiership goalscorer – and Rodgers knew it and STILL signed him!

          Not a problem with Allen, other than WE, LFC do not need him right now. We needed a £5m striker not midfielder. You make a valid point about the ‘step up’ for Allen and that is my point about Allen, Siggurdson and the back room staff – they were not big enough / experienced enough / good enough for a club with the ambition of LFC.

          You say you didn’t like Hodgson. None of us did, and the main reason was he tried to lower our expectations – Exactly what Rodgers has done both in his own words (it would be a magnificent achievement to finish above 8th!!!) and his actions – signing below par players and backroom staff.

          Why 4th? Because it’s a sh*t League, we have top end players on top end players and top end manager would have instilled some belief. We are LFC, we exist to win things – too many Liverpudlians are forgetting this!

          I truly 100% believe in the Barca scenario. They would struggle like mad in the Prem. No teams in Spain Close down like over here. They would do alright against either of the Mancs, Spurs, Arsenal, Us, but yes, against stoke and their rolling team of axe-men…

          Reply
        • Tim Williams
          2 years ago

          Thank you again David, just wish some others would take a leaf out of your book!

          Is that a problem though regarding Morgan. It is down to the manager to instill discipline in the side. perhaps, not knowing the full facts, the exclusion was a punishment for insolence? lessons that need to be learned. Morgan has a lot to prove and a way to go to ready, I think he will come good, but we cant have players in his situation dictating and ruffling feathers, simple as.

          hahaha I like your point about the missus, i dont know what you possibly mean….ahem….is mine reading this??

          He never got a chance at Chelsea as the curse of a billionaire is to deny academy players progression, particularly in forward roles. He was untested in the PL rather than ‘not a premiership goalscorer’ like any other player coming in from abroad. He has youth on his side and a work ethic akin to the likes of Kuyt, i think the lad needs time.

          I agree with you there, but i still struggle to see how the blame lands at Rodgers door the fact we didnt bring in a recognised striker. I cant imagine many managers turning down opportunites to bolster the squad. I think the transfer failings of the sumer lie solely with FSG and I hope they have learned their lesson. Allen is a player I have been impressed with and admired prior to him wearing a red shirt. Now we are nearing a fit 1st 11 we should see Allen kick on. Has he had a slump in form? i think it is fair to say yes (shock horror football player doesnt perform at their best every single game), but he has played an unfamiliar position and if we are honest isnt the only player to suffer from lack of lucasitis! With the football being instilled in the players he is integral to that with his style of play. Again youth on his side and we know the high levels him can perform at as he was our best player in the opening weeks.

          That wasnt the main reason for me regarding Hodgson. I think in recent years our expectations as fans have been too high and thats a problem. The bare facts of the situation is that the club almost went bust, we lost the likes of Torres, Mascherano and Alonso and then this year Kuyt, Maxi and Bellamy and the players coming in have included Konchesky, Jovanovic, Aquilani, Poulsen and so on. With the state of the club off the pitch and the clear deterioration in quality of the playing squad 4th place minimum slipped further and further away. Lets not forget the run of form LFC had prior to Rodgers, the players who left, not replacing them in turns of numbers (1 in 1 out etc) at the very least and being stuck with players he doesnt rate and yet we are expecting him to minimum improve on last year? very harsh judgement that in my mind.

          I agree we have top end players and a fully fit LFC first 11 is one of the very best in the league, but nowadays it is a squad game and we have no squad depth, thats why we have struggled. I entirely agree that LFC is a winning club, but think back to the bulk of trophies won by this club and what was the common denominator? stability. this club has been crying out for since the H&G days both on and off the pitch. For all their faults FSG have at least brought financial security off the pitch with no debt and no large amount of revenue wasted on interest only repayments, and like him or not Rodgers in his time at the club has improved results compared to the equivalent time immediately before in more trying circumstances. Bringing in a new manager doesnt make sense to me, Rodgers hasnt done a Hughes and a new manager will need time and money resetting the clock again! and even if it was a Guardiola or Hiddink you would get idiot fans hounding them out if we lost a game or 2.

          for all the interesting points you raise and valid points you make I cant agree with your Barcelona one at all. To say they would struggle in the prem is ludicrous. You quote 2 matches, the chelsea one….had messi slotted that pen at the nou camp it would have been a cricket score. As for the celtic one, Barca had nothing really to play for, celtic raised their game so much as the game was so important to them in terms of qualification theyfailed to beat lower level opposition in following games. In a league setup teams can not raise their level each week, and would see the Barca fixture and think if we dont get hammered we have done well. Same thing happens in this country for lower level PL sides travelling to places like United and Arsenal. It used to be Anfield but the spell has broken and teams think they can get something. ARsenal rip teams apart in this league with their barcelona style play but fail to make that final push as they dont have a messi, an iniesta, a xavi or a villa.

          Reply
  • Praveen Soomaroo
    2 years ago

    If Liverpool not in progress how an away win against Wham, without Suarez who’s among Epl top goal scorer where’r Liverpool in the Europa league and other teams suppose they are better than Lfc improvements are not judged in only 1matched it is judge in several matches played and with each players of their improvements what progression you have seen with teams on top? ,

    Reply
  • Andy ,durham
    2 years ago

    Bullsh!t Brendan is useless , and b4 u ask tim , No i dont want to elaborate , its so blatantly obvious why – i shouldn’t need to

    Reply
    • Tim Williams
      2 years ago

      well you have really convinced me! with that analytical mind, incisive view have you considered politics??

      Reply
    • Matt IOM
      2 years ago

      because you can’t Manu fan!

      Reply
      • Peter
        2 years ago

        Judging by your idiotic comments , if you dont like the person’s comment , you call them a man u fan , not very mature is it ? you must be a kid , yes ?

        Reply
    • Jimmy Areabi (Editor)
      2 years ago

      If you wish to keep your comments on here, then you should elaborate – otherwise you’re just firing insults at people, which needs to stop.

      Reply
  • Matt IOM
    2 years ago

    You don’t know your a-se from your elbow – Stick to your Manu sites

    Reply
  • Bejnay
    2 years ago

    Lol @ these clowns crying about what Rogers says to his players, worrying that he’ll hurt their feelings.

    It’s called accountability. Did he not say Enrique needed to shape up earlier in the year, or face a possible move? Sure did. What do we see from Jose now? Right.

    You mope and whine in ANY other sport… ANY OTHER SPORT, about a coach challenging you to be better, to the press, and your @ss will see the sweet pine unil it finds its way off the team. Get it together.

    The same trolls saying the same garbage, in every article. You give a guy 16 games, and say he sucks, he needs to go.

    Please. Tell me what happens if we finish 4th or above, after we add players in January? And don’t spout off your typical “all his signings are garbage, blah blah blah”. Let’s say the club comes together, and we end up in the CL after this year…. What then? Do you continue to rant and rave, and deny due credit to a manager who got us back into the CL, or do YOU continue to make up excuses not to support him?

    I don’t think he’s perfect, and he’s got a long way to go, but top class managers won’t be turning down this promising young squad because of the state it’s in, they’ll be doing it because the lynch mob group of morons like we have here. They talk about having an open mind, but not even willing to give BR credit when it’s due.

    People couldn’t even make change outta common sense.

    Reply
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