Ten reasons why things at Anfield have gone so horribly wrong.
How did this happen? We finished last term on a high but then a succession of errors have led us to a low that will take some work to dig ourselves out of.
Bad Transfer Decisions
Surely we should have improved our squad and not worsened it? I am pretty certain that most teams attempt on a season by season basis to move forwards and greater improve their line-ups. Oh no, not us. We lost Xabi Alonso and Alvaro Arbeloa and brought in Glen Johnson and Alberto Aquilani. That’s not good. Whatever you say about the intention both Spaniards had to leave for Real Madrid it seems clear that Rafa had made his bed with both players. Alonso was probably rightly angered by Benitez pursuing Gareth Barry the previous summer and Arbeloa didn’t know where he stood when he returned from the Confederations Cup to see Johnson had been purchased.
Spending 20m on an injured player makes no sense and no one will convince me otherwise.
Getting Ahead of Ourselves
I think we all got a bit sure of ourselves about how we might just win the title after this seemingly endless barren spell. This feeling seeped through from the squad to the backroom from the board and was present amongst all us fans. We thought we had a good chance to keep up with the Jones’s but we were all wrong. We got ahead of ourselves.
George Gillett and Tom Hicks
A lot has been said about what the Americans are doing to our club. You have probably all heard me talk about it at length previously and I feel no need to further spell out my feelings towards Messrs Hicks and Gillett, they are both bad influences who will lead us further into the mire unless they are replaced. I would love to see us copy what the Old Trafford masses are doing (and whether you despise Man United fans or not you have to respect the way they are trying to overthrow the Glazers) and hopefully before too long the Yanks will be off.
Being Overdependent on Very Few World Class Players
Now we all know that Liverpool Football Club isn’t just Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard but that being said we do depend far too heavily on about four or five World Class players. This season has seen that pressure finally tell.
Not Enough Character Shown by Too Many Important Individuals
Big time players and usually mentally strong individuals have not pulled their weight this season. Steven Gerrard, up until a month ago, was a shadow of his usual self. Jamie Carragher likewise. Clearly we need the whole team to turn up week in, week out, but if the stalwarts of the team do not do so then expect the others to follow suit.
How many times have you watched on from your Anfield seat and stared in bemusment at the fan to your right or left in mutual confusion as Rafa Benitez once again does the exact opposite of what any sane or decent managerial mind would do. He leaves out players who show signs of good form, continually plays those who haven’t got a clue and then tops it off by making substitution decisions that appear to be the work of a crazed scientist.
Everyone Else Got Their Act Together
Perhaps the biggest factor in our downfall has been the continued improvement of those around us. Tottenham, Manchester City and Aston Villa have taken great strides towards the top four and whilst we have been expecting/hoping for them to experience a serious blip they have merely carried on regardless.
Let Off Field Issues Effect on Field Performance
Everyone knows things have been very chaotic behind the scenes. Rafa has little or no support from his superiors and the continuing attempts (reported attempts) of individuals trying to buy portions of the club as well as the massive debts that have been accrued by Tom and Jerry. All of this should have been ignored by the team and Rafa should’ve kept his players minds on the jobs, unfortunately this has not been the case. Umpteen players have spoken out about their own little irritations from Ryan Babel’s Twitter to Albert Riera having a good old moan to the Spanish press. Look at Man United, if you can bare to, they don’t look like a club who are financially crippled do they? They get on with the job in hand. As much as I can’t stand Sir Alex Ferguson at least you can respect the fact that he will not allow off field interferences impede efforts once the ref blows the whistle.
I ask any Liverpool fan if they honestly think our squad is good enough to challenge for the title. Or even if its even worthy of a top four finish. Take a look in their eyes. Ask me to my face and I will tell you the truth. I have supported the club all my life and been a season ticket holder for most of that time as well and I can state with no fear of inaccuracy. This squad is poor. We have far too many players who are just not good enough. We were on the right road when we offloaded Andrea Dossena and Andriy Voronin, but there are at least a half dozen more names who should be scratched off our squad list. Look at the players the other sides in the top six or seven have to call upon outside their first eleven. Then look at ours.
Sorry to say but Rafa’s time is up. I have supported our Spanish gaffer fully for almost all his tenure at Anfield but we are simply only going backwards under Benitez. His stubborn attitude, his inability to accept responsibility for his actions, his inability to motivate the team, his pretty average use of the transfer market, his at times woeful tactical decision making and most of all the way he appears to be losing the dressing room all point to a desperate need to look for alternatives this summer. I credit Rafa with enough backbone to leave on his own accord. He will always be remembered for Istanbul but if he stays around much longer even that night will fade into vague memory.
So the reasons we have fallen so low this term are more than just Tom Hicks and George Gillett, more than Rafa Benitez, more than just being overdependent