Category Archives: Liverpool Football Club

Luis Suarez Liverpool’s Greatest Striker –

Loathe him or detest him but like a Norwich City defender do not ignore him. Luis Suarez has this season seemed inspired, game after game producing scintillating displays, with goals from the footballing God’s, Suarez’s performances have had many comparing him to the very best that Liverpool Football Club has ever had to offer.

If we contrast the attitude felt by the masses of supporters during the close season, left with the possibility that their want away hero was about to disrespect club & fans with a departure from Merseyside after less than 3 years hard labour, with the now euphoric eulogizing of said same hero, it becomes clear that the pro’s & con’s for Suarez being included in Liverpool’s hall of fame is fraught with the menace of danger.

The King with his silver

The King with his silver

Liverpool’s undisputed greatest ever – King Kenny Dalglish is lauded as one of not only Liverpool’s greatest players, but also one of Europe’s greatest players, those like me who grew up on a diet of Dalglish and his cohorts rampaging around Europe’s major cities in defiance of some of the World’s greatest players, have no hesitation in popping Dalglish in the category of “The Greatest” –

Dalglish was a magician whose feet would turn their very own tricks, either foot being more magical than its counterpart when in possession of a football, and like Suarez adored by his public, he could do no wrong. The longevity of Dalglish’s career at Anfield would see him surpassing even greatness, a relationship, a bond unbroken with Liverpool and its people – Where Suarez is our black sheep, Dalglish is our family.

Suarez on the other hand is portrayed as some sort of enigmatic football deviant, a cheat, a racist and all around serial offender, a constant moaner forever baiting the referee and officials. A more dubious character would be difficult to find – If we are to believe the myopic media that surrounds Luis Suarez.

It is said that comparing players from differing eras is an impossible arduous task, how “The Game” has changed, players unable to tackle without the lightning flash of a referee’s card, diving, cheating added with the financial implications of failure, millionaires dancing to the tune of the dollar.

There would be a time when Dalglish was the very best that World football had to offer, he would reside in the highest echelons of the footballing God’s – Right now Luis Suarez is most certainly at that place, the true greats don’t have moments where they assume that position, they have era’s, a consistent level of achievement they don’t become hindered or held back by their genius, rather they thrive.

Why then can’t Suarez be considered amongst Liverpool’s greatest? His history, the moments of madness that have damned him, and surely his on field persona have been judged at the detriment to his footballing ability. Suarez has been accused and condemned of being unhinged, a mad man on the edge, uncontrollable by his paymasters, tempered with the accusation of his mercenary nature, Luis Suarez the footballer has baggage to contend with.

Anyone who witnessed Kenneth Mathieson Dalglish in the flesh knows that he was no angel on a football field, Dalglish would be known for being a serial moaner, at his own teammates, opposing players & constantly he would be harassing referees and officials. Kenny could more than look after himself against aggressors. Where Suarez is a cheat, Dalglish would be described as clever, but both players possess the ability to play with their backs to opponents, stealing free kicks, constantly putting officials under pressure to make decisions on foul play.

Luis Suarez celebration

Luis Suarez celebration

Cunning only the chosen few have in their locker, but despised by those lesser souls who would take the stance that they are being cheated, a jealousy or ignorance to the ways of the modern game – Thou dare not challenge unless 100% sure you will not touch me.

If Kenny is “The King” then for me Suarez is “The Prince Regent” – Suarez has it all, an abundance of talent, yet footballing pundits talk like they have been taken by surprise this season, many have been blinded by Suarez misdemeanours, being quite happy to ignore his personal success on the field, their faux rage overtaking reason when it comes to the debate & argument of his greatness.

Right here, right now Luis Suarez is in the top 3 footballers in World football, Ronaldo & of course Messi being ahead of the Uruguayan. It is interesting that Ronaldo & Messi have also been accused of being unsporting, interestingly their footballing ability allows for this to be mainly overlooked as they pillage personal glory and trophies – World Footballer of The Year……European Footballer of The Year and so on, whilst Luis Suarez is denigrated for such awards in England, as was the case last season – Was Luis Suarez not The Footballer of The Year in England last season?

The arguments will continue throughout the land, within Liverpool it becomes a question of Suarez seeing out his contract & only then will fans consider him for the crown currently held by Dalglish. If at the very least he were to leave at the conclusion of this season, then for me he will still be the most exciting talent I have ever seen in the red shirt, yes more exciting than Dalglish, Fowler, Gerrard and a young Michael Owen. When the ball arrives at Suarez toes my blood sugar levels assume the highest levels, the heart pounds & pupils widen as I witness greatness.

 

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Luis Suarez Bitten By Madness –

So once again Luis Suarez becomes embroiled in a drama all of his own making, and tryst like we are dutifully challenged to support our idol whilst not having our own morality brought into question. Is there any more hurt or damage Luis can do to the football club, will this seemingly never-ending saga “The Suarez Story” conclude with the villain departing these shores?

Let us for one moment take a step back in our footballing morality stance, and firstly state where I position myself on this latest controversy to surround Suarez – For me he is guilty of serious foul play and a quite despicable act, so therefore he must be punished and fined by both the club and those suits and protectors of our not so beautiful game – The F.A.

Every now and then in sport a moment of pure madness will thrust itself to the fore and with a sensationalised if sanitised media exposure, it soon becomes a far greater and much more extraordinary incident. Ever forgetful of our own failings we enable the passing of judgement like arbiters suddenly finding ourselves passing sentence.

Suarez goes a bit mad!

Suarez goes a bit mad!

Unfortunately our own prejudices leave us unable to avoid hypocrisy whilst blatantly subjective our opinion becomes flawed – That is the dilemma of the football fan. You are either independent in your assessment of Liverpool’s number 7 or you are an opposing football fan. Alternatively if you are not a football fan then a clouded social morality exists which does not take into account the intricacies of the sport.

Footballer bites footballer – Is the act itself any worse than the two-footed challenges that end careers?

I was far more concerned by the constant diving of Suarez and that whiney moaner attitude he possessed last season, and for part of the early season this campaign – That alienated me far more, than him biting an opponent ever will.

Footballers have responsibility to the fans especially the younger more impressionable children who hero-worship their idol, whilst copying his every move. God only knows how many kids will be bitten in Liverpool playgrounds this Monday dinner time.

As is the norm with these mountains from mole hills, everyone has opinion, usually the question of morality rises alongside highly opinionated former pros, however becoming ever forgetful of their own questionable acts, as they become compelled and obliged to pass comment.

Gary “whiter than white” Lineker suggesting that Suarez be struck of the list for Footballers Footballer of The Year to in some way set an example, to stop people biting people? Where does that kind of precedent stop then Gary? Quite happy for the award to go to a man who cheats on his wife and kids with his brother’s wife – Slightly different because nobody was bitten on a football field. For Gary and those who agree with the MOTD front man – There is a clue in who chooses the recipient of that award – Footballers themselves, surely if they are so disgusted by Suarez then we can assume they won’t vote for him.

Which moves me on to Sky’s coverage of the whole palaver – Thuggish behaviour of the type Suarez so exemplified with his choppers is a constant on Rugby fields around this and many other countries, indeed the world – Biting, kicking, stamping and attempting to pop your opponents eyes out, which get buried beneath the “man’s game” tagline all occur with hardly a murmur from the self -righteous Sky custodians – Whilst the smallest drama within football is met with reel after reel of constant footage like some macabre movie with outrage as its leading man.

Graeme Souness him of moustache fame and one of the hardest(dirtiest) footballers to ever disgrace a football field – Also a very good midfield general I might add. In Souness condemnation of Suarez he had the audacity to state “In this week more than any other” in reference to Hillsborough and the club remembering the 96 along with Hillsborough campaigner Anne Williams – As if Suarez bite could not have come at a worst time.

I will remind the uninitiated – Graeme Souness whilst Liverpool manager sold his personal story on his heart bypass operation to The Sun newspaper on the 3rd anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster. To disparage Luis Suarez with such a comment is the height of hypocrisy. Without even taking into account Graeme’s own misdemeanours on a football field he makes Suarez look positively saintly.

For those fans still intent on hanging Suarez out to dry, let us not forget Kung Fu kicks, career ending tackles, spitting incidents, head butts, diving and downright cheating. Memory loss occurs when we attempt to kick our footballing dogs as they die. We are all guilty of one commodity that of support, we support our team and its players sometimes in the face of a barrage of abuse. We don’t defend the indefensible – Blood is thicker than water, whilst footballers, well sometimes they are incredibly thick.

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Blame Luis Suarez If He Does Not Pay His Debt

SOMETIMES in life as much as your head tells itself the heart is wrong, acceptance of  truth can & will override both. Another international break and yet another story pertaining to come from the lips of Liverpool’s “want away” striker Luis Suarez.

Liverpool fans once again charged with the arduous task of the parental protagonist, leaping to the defence of their sullied hero Suarez, fearful perhaps that a grain of actual truth may lay in the stories coming out of Montevideo protectionism sets in and the disparaging claims of the Worlds media are swept aside in a sea of red rage.

Luis Suarez will not be the first, nor for that matter the last professional footballer who although idolised by his adoring public – would still appear to court a perceived greater alternative, sold as a footballing challenge whilst its mercenary nature is disguised as career defining decision, as said footballer wonders off across the hallowed turf of a more stunning magnificent Spanish/German/Italian horizon.

Whilst Liverpool supporters continue with this guessing game of “Will He” or “Wont He” the media begin to circle the Anfield wagons looking for any chink its armour. Some on the outside of the club seem continually intent on building a wedge between supporters and players & also supporters and owners. This week even former players have expressed opinion on Suarez leaving the club, with a consensus being that he has every human right to have his head turned by a more suited specimen, perhaps with “European Pedigree” if it were to show interest.

We are told to accept this under the guise or illusion of acquiescence. The clubs progression ultimately from the incentive of finance – Like some kind of Venture Capital speculating to accumulate, however football cannot be run like this. One only has to look at Arsenal to see the effects of selling your best players for huge sums, then purchasing two or three cheaper alternatives.

It has become increasingly difficult for the clubs to keep talent, fearful that same talent has eyes for another enjoying the constant flirting & head turning. The biggest loser in this travesty will be the supporters. Loyalty has become a dirty word within football aligned with its ugly sister allegiance with the unfaithful ruining the experience for us all.

At this very moment Luis Suarez remains a Liverpool player & suggestion of him leaving the club although the probing and questioning continues on the subject – Is purely speculation. Liverpool supporters have been here before, they & the club have form – Fernando Torres and Javier Mascherano spring to mind, whilst further back Steve McManaman and Michael Owen all raised similar queries moments before the door slammed shut as they left the building.

Suarez Supported To The Hilt

Suarez Supported To The Hilt

If Luis Suarez were to leave after just two full seasons at Anfield, this would incontestably represent the most disappointing and damaging of all those aforementioned occupants of the office of hero, where veneration would be thrust upon them by an adoring public, only to be reciprocated with dishonour.

Suarez would be indebted not only to the supporters of Liverpool Football Club its owners and management now & previously but rather the whole institution of Liverpool Football Club. Under Kenny Dalglish and the preceding management the complete ethos of the club, its history & integrity would be perilously put on the line. All in the pursuit of what history may tell us was a misguided attempt at complete loyalty to Luis Suarez. To this day the slur on the club and its supporters of being racists while supporting racism remains. Whether founded in truth or not, has become irrelevant – we remain guilty as charged.

Credibility of an institute built upon fair play has been brought into question. The diatribe of disgust and hate would not only be thrown at Suarez and the club. Rather more importantly levelled at its supporters. The people who built the empire complicit in its downfall – Take Dalglish for example, he who would put his entire footballing legacy on the line in his support of Suarez with his defence over those allegations. One of the institutes greatest and integral parts vilified & abused. Indelibly the slurs remain.

The question on Luis Suarez future will always remain. Here you have one of the world’s greatest footballing talents a brilliant genius blessed with footballing ability from the Gods. Why would the good and great of world football not want to court him? There is no doubt that one day a more beautiful intelligent suitor will come rattling the Shankly gates enquiring whether Luis is coming out to play – For now those gates must be slammed shut and padlocked with the key kept well away from Luis Suarez.

The biggest question lies at the doorstep of Luis Suarez “Does he fell indebted to the club?” only Suarez can answer that, not in broken English more so in his actions as he twinkle-toes across that great turf nutmegging his way toward the Kop end for at the very least another season.

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Liverpool Fans – Feasting On Horse Meat

VALENTINE’S DAY –The day when one shows the love of one’s life how much they really mean, using this one day of the year for a momentary glance toward romance. Clandestine we covertly direct our inner thoughts in the guise of a card, whilst exchanging gifts to show our affection. More likely a moment to question that love, to doubt it, where suspicion raises its ugly head & reservations become enhanced –

Which nicely leads me on to “The love of my life” Liverpool Football Club – Well we have fallen out quite a lot lately, I feel like she is cheating on me with some other whom I shall call “The Dollar” where once I was the most important thing in her life, it would now seem not to be the case, I feel like I am being ignored or being taken advantage of where she expects me to pay for everything.

With every passing year she costs me more, my side of the bargain seems to have been reduced, and with every passing moment she seems to want me to buy a new frock to bring my wardrobe up to date – Red ones, Black ones, White ones it is getting like Josephs Multi-coloured coat, it actually got that bad that she tried getting me to buy one with BLUE in – she knows me & all my friends dislike BLUE.

Red Sox & Horse Meat

Red Sox & Horse Meat

She has become furtive to the point deceit quite the mendacious madam – The fine-looking lady that I fell head over heels for, has changed, unrecognisable at times to the point where I find myself wondering what it was I saw in her so long ago.

This week Liverpool supporters were once again treated to mediocrity, in a season that has seen more than enough of such run of the mill displays the natives would not rest easily. Two steps forward with gutsy performances against Arsenal & Manchester City which should have yielded more than the two points gained would be followed by a below par display against West Bromwich Albion – Knee jerk reactions would ensue.

Honest and constructive criticism of Liverpool has become complicated and complex, wary that the great institute is already the standing joke amongst its greatest rivals & those not so great, many believe to support the club then blindness in that support is a factor in remaining a supper-fan, I tend to disagree.

Liverpool’s owners FSG are slow becoming another area for the fans anger – we have to appreciate that we have been here before and we have assumed the position of “Won’t Get Fooled Again”. Honesty with a slight piece of integrity is not a lot to ask.

I was always prepared to give the owners support, the support of a football fan to those who seem not – By their deeds you will know them, well they would rather stay away from Anfield in their support of our club & their franchise, for me that is the start of my problem – The Franchise.

If the franchise appears not to be working you can bet your bottom Dollar that these guys will change things & not always in ways that Liverpool are accustomed to, but we are fast learners after last season. When it suits FSG & Ian Ayre whom I include when I critique the owners, they will quickly shout out loud – Shirt deals, sponsorship deals and anything else that they believe will appease the masses disguised as more Dollar coming the clubs way. At the moment they are asked about a new stadium or renovation of Anfield – Silence is assumed.

The problem with such owners where trust is an issue for many fans – Pandemic it ravages our club, it leads to mistrust of not only the owners but also managers, the case with Roy Hodgson & now with Brendan Rodgers. The fans are quick to jump up and down stamping their feet asking for heads to roll whilst oblivious to how we are being perceived – I like Rodgers & not for a moment have I thought he should be removed from his position, moreover I believe we should stand by him for the duration of his three-year contract, has he made errors? Of course but so have many more with lots more experience.

It is worth remembering where we are, where we stand at this moment in our history – Transition, not on the precipice as some would have us believe. We are not a top 4 side or squad, we lack experience and constantly seem to be lacking when it comes to consistency. When we do play with the correct intensity and attitude we are more than capable of performing with the very best sides, we are not capable of sustaining a full on assault of the top 4, Brendan Rodgers should have accepted that on all the occasions he tells the World we can finish fourth – He makes our lives & his much more difficult – One game at a time please Brendan.

My frustration is with FSG who seem reticent toward the club – Which in turn makes me feel like I am being sold Horse Meat!! The reality seems that they are not interested in guiding the club, other than from behind a big desk in Boston & with that the relationship has no foundation.

Please don’t expect a card this year Liverpool or John W Henry – Roses are Red…….

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Liverpool FC “A Letter From America”

MY MOTHER always used to say “Never spoil a good apology with a poor excuse” a stolen quote from somewhere in the long distant past no doubt, but of relevance all the same.

John W Henry has once again decided to send an “Open” letter to Liverpool supporters in what is seen as a way to attempt to placate the rumblings and dissatisfaction that is raising its head amongst the KOP faithful, after what was seen by most as an embarrassing episode around the transfer window – Liverpool’s lacking in signing a striker whilst allowing their own number 9 Andy Carroll to leave the club on loan.

I certainly don’t believe that Liverpool Football Club are anywhere near the situation it found itself under the previous ownership of Hicks & Gillett, but I also refuse to go silently along until we once again find ourselves in that position – We as fans/supporters now find that blind faith that had always been an ingredient of any true reds fan has been replaced with a more realistic approach – Eyes wide open, wary of all whilst total consumption remains.

 

Are You Sure You Are Listening John?

 

With all that in mind I have a few issues of my own –

Dear Mr Henry

“After almost two years at Anfield, we are close to having the system we need in place. The transfer window may not have been perfect but we are not just looking at the next 16 weeks until we can buy again: we are looking at the next 16 years and beyond. These are the first steps in restoring one of the world’s great clubs to its proper status”.

 What exactly is this “System” you talk about? One where we have no CEO in place, where promises of a new stadium still remain dormant with very little information being released – I suggest a letter maybe? A change of policy from that initial plan we were informed about 2 years ago, is this part of such a system?

“We will build and grow from within, buy prudently and cleverly and never again waste resources on inflated transfer fees and unrealistic wages. We have no fear of spending and competing with the very best but we will not overpay for players.

How exactly do you balance such a statement having a competitive nature as regard our competitors whilst at the same time restricting the manager as to whom he can recruit at the top end of the transfer market, surely this statement is at best misleading and at worst an unqualified and impossibility.

Quite clearly FSG do exactly have a fear of competing with the very best – A much more honest approach would have been to state “The big spending days are over, get used to it” at least then we as supporters can have a much more appreciative response, the truth is the truth or surely it is a lie.

“The transfer policy was not about cutting costs,” said Henry. “It was – and will be in the future – about getting maximum value for what is spent so that we can build quality and depth. We are avowed proponents of Uefa’s Financial Fair Play agenda. We must comply with FFP guidelines that ensure spending is tied to income.

“Spending is not merely about buying talent. Our ambitions do not lie in cementing a mid-table place with expensive, short-term quick fixes that will only contribute for a couple of years. Our emphasis will be on developing our own players. Much thought and investment already has gone into developing a self-sustaining pool of youngsters imbued in the club’s traditions.

If it is part of the said policy about getting maximum value, then I am at a loss to see such value at letting a player that the club paid £35 million (Yes overpriced but still a fact) for and who it seemed was just getting into the swing of things both at the club & international level – Leave on loan for a reported fee of £1 million. Add to this our own manager stating this is a financial decision, to me it stinks of desperation – similar to the desperation so frequently on show when the transfer window is about to slam shut – Are we not learning anything fast John?

Buying talent is not merely the only criteria, which I totally agree we must build for a future, too many times in the past we have failed to hold on to the very foundations we amass, purely at times because those players are just not good enough, if however you are going to manage our expectations I suggest a less disingenuous approach where you blame previous regimes or managers which in itself just alienates the supporters, we want to deal with the now – we can support you, we will support you – One thing that rankled with us is when we assume we are being lied to, purely because we are not in receipt of a truth.

“I am as disappointed as anyone connected with Liverpool Football Club that we were unable to add further to our strike force in this summer transfer window, but that was not through any lack of desire or effort on the part of all of those involved. They pushed hard in the final days of the transfer window on a number of forward targets and it is unfortunate that on this occasion we were unable to conclude acceptable deals to bring those targets in.

“But a summer window which brought in three young, but significantly talented starters in Joe Allen, Nuri Sahin and Fabio Borini as well as two exciting young potential stars of the future – Samed Yesil and Oussama Assaidi – could hardly be deemed a failure as we build for the future.”

I am sure there was no lack of desire or effort as you stated in regard the recruitment of new players, however the fact that once again 24 hours away from the transfer window we would find ourselves in a similar position as previous transfer windows – how was this allowed to happen, are we really lacking that professional approach where deals cannot be conducted at an earlier stage? It was muted that Damien Comolli would be replaced, but months later this has still not happened – What exactly is happening behind the scenes at Anfield? On the field we are making strides, yes we have acquired some potentially great players – Our gripe is not about our team and nor will it ever be, if indeed you were to field a side full of 17 year olds those players would get as much encouragement & support as any of our multi million pound purchases – if not more.

Finally John we do not mind if we have to rip up any previous plan and start again – we have done this many times before – I am sure you don’t need a history lesson on our club, I intent to give you one anyway, that’s just the sort of guy I am – When Bill Shankly came to Liverpool he would move on (polite for showing the door) 24 players in his first year at the club, it would be described as a “Bloodbath” these players would be seen as either lacking the style in which Shanks wished to play or being too old – William Shankly had what could be described as long-term vision.

We all know how that vision would end.

One last thing your thought John on an American journalist whom I am informed you have a close relationship with in terms of baseball – Jon Heyman the sports writer for CBS recently described Liverpool Football Club – The club you own as an abomination??? Good to see there are some quality American journalists still at play.

Another note from America

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Liverpool FC You’re Not Famous Anymore

So once again we find our club along with ourselves the supporters held up to ridicule – as others look toward us with an undeserving contempt, what is it with Liverpool and the transfer of players, how we portray the club seems very unprofessional and where we were once revered in the way we conducted our affairs in-house “The Liverpool Way” now replaced with finger-pointing and laughter from our foes.

 

I have read that the way forward for Liverpool football club is to support the Club, Manager and FSG the owners, which is all well and good, but these owners seem to be stumbling their way through their own initiation into the world of football, it must not be forgotten that they came to the club with no knowledge or experience of the game in England.

 

My concerns are that we are a club in decline off the field – whilst on it we have a style of play which bodes well for our future, the way we played and competed against Manchester City proved that we will be capable of holding our own, young players who seem more fearless and generally seem less weighted down by the clubs huge expectations.

 

The loss of Andy Carroll which we are told by Brendan Rodgers was a non-footballing decision but made purely to balance the books does seem like a crazy resolution when in effect the £1 million fee West Ham are paying for such a loan could surely have been raised in other areas – then we have a scenario where Jordan Henderson is offered to other Premier League clubs in a week where we find that Lucas is out for some months, it does seem nonsensical , the fees we paid for these players under the reign of Dalglish with the help of Damien Comolli is constantly being used as an excuse as to where we find ourselves.

Loan Signing Of Our Number 9

 

We have to worry when we are seen as a selling club – even if to balance books. When England internationals are assuming the position of make weights in deals, these are young players with careers ahead of them, not the type you sell for short-term gains – My own thoughts are that Carroll will be a huge success at West Ham and this in turn will heap more ridicule upon the club and Rodgers can sugar coat it any way he wishes to, but if our manager did not wish to sell/loan Andy Carroll then he would not have, this one decision has left many Liverpool fans with a nasty taste – this is not how we do our business, not how we treat our heroes!!!

 

We don’t all of a sudden find the club in this predicament – we have not won the league for over twenty years, the blame game and culture is never a healthy thing, it just allows excuses, which people who are in a position to make progress taking the club forward find a necessity to throw into the pot – are we suddenly being run by politicians, which leads nicely on to Ian Ayre –

 

The owners have employed Ayre and we have to ask what exactly his role is? Headhunted by the cowboys Hicks and Gillett in 2007 as Commercial Director, a role where we are told he excelled, what is more likely is the fact that previous under-performance had seen Liverpool fall way behind our competitors in commercial areas and improvement was always going to be on the cards, however Ayre had done a fantastic job in the overhaul of the commercial department, and deserves great credit for that – my fear is that currently in his position he is out of his depth.

 

Yes as always we must support our club and our players – but we must not allow ourselves to be hoodwinked, questions need to be asked, the
communication from our owners needs to be improved, as was under the management of Dalglish they seem to leave all types of communication to the Football Manager, but the questions are of the owners – The new stadium and the type of funding we have for personnel are key topics, our owners seem to be getting a much easier ride than they get in their own country.

 

Answers on a postcard Mr Henry…….

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Tika-Taka Tip Tap Toe The Rodgers Revolution

So we can now begin to gauge the difference in philosophy and tactic beginning to be instilled by Brendan Rodgers, as the start of the Revolution begins at Anfield via America.

Clearly from the outset we can assume that a certain style of player cannot & will not fit amongst the Tika-Taka style endorsed by Rodgers at Swansea, now being implemented at Liverpool – Namely Andy Carroll, as much as we can be disapproving of the alleged way in which the big man appears to be being treated by the new manager, it is also quite clear that the new style and tactic applied by Rodgers has no place for a centre forward of the style of Carroll.

Liverpool side V AS Roma in Boston

 

The main reservations I see in the managers thinking are linked to that high pressure line, where forwards & attacking players alike are given the task of putting pressure on opposing defenders and midfielders within the last 3rd of the field – something it must be said that not only Andy Carroll appeared to lack in his game at Liverpool last season and indeed previously at Newcastle, but also Luis Suarez is no Ian Rush when it comes to pressurizing defenders on the ball.

We can then take a look at the midfield of Liverpool and we can quickly pick holes in players with a less than perfect record when it comes to this same tactic – Downing, Adam and although Spearing does at times attempt to do this, unfortunately he constantly gives away that yardage gained in winning the ball by giving it away soon after.

Charlie Adam is the one player we could assume would fit nicely into the Rodgers mind-set and system, especially now he has his Anfield baptism season behind him – contrary to what a few around Liverpool believe, he is a quality player needed by this new system for sure – unlike Downing who I believe will add nothing to this type of tactic. We can also with confidence believe that Jordan Henderson will thrive in this type of play, having looked like an ideal player for the pressing game.

Even though we have only witnessed two games into the American tour, friendlies at that, lined with reserves and young players – It does give a clear impression, clearly on show is the way that Rodgers wants this side to play. One worrying aspect from my point of view is the lack of a plan B, not once, even when the side was behind was the ball lumped up the field by the goalkeeper or outfield players, indeed with 3 minutes of extra-time still to play, with Liverpool a goal behind – The philosophy continued pass, pass, pass. With every Tika-Taka on show another nail was driven into the coffin that has become Andy Carroll’s Liverpool exit.

However great the personnel recruited by Rodgers to complete this system may be, it has become very relevant that at the heart of the revolution is “The Defensive Backbone” which has to possess the confidence to PLAY within the system and with that a great deal of trust must come from the terraces – The odd stray pass is inevitable within Tika-Taka unless you are amongst the games greats – A new system also adds its pressures.

Brendan Rodgers contemplates at Fenway Park

We do have those that we can rely upon and TRUST – Agger, Skrtel, Johnson who have all appeared comfortable with a football at their feet, also Enrique whose form has without doubt dipped, has the tools to play.

The return of Lucas is a massive plus for Liverpool akin to signing a £20 million holding midfielder – someone who without any doubts can slot easily within Rodgers new system and tactics. I believe that Steven Gerrard’s role within the system will also find itself redefined, a much more defensive role where our captain will have to choose his moments much more cleverly to burst through defences. One of the modern games greatest passes of a football you would assume will be in his element.

Whether Brendan Rodgers already has it in his mind as to which of our youngsters he wishes to promote to the first team ranks , is yet to be seen. Once the senior players join the tour, my guess is that he most probably has an idea as to who fits the bill and more relevant who does not – So far from what has been seen ALL have worked incredibly hard to incorporate the system to their own game – Clearly the strikers are the most worrying decision that Rodgers will have to make – Morgan, Eccleston and Sterling, do we send them out to educate them or throw them back to the reserves – For me none are quite ready yet for the vigour of The Premier League and maybe a top Championship side may hone their skills and undoubted talent.

Clearly the system is designed around passing that football in triangles and as an opportunity presents itself – STRIKE. Unfortunately if the opportunity does not appear then we need someone to make some magic, a point not lost on Swansea last season, or Arsenal for that matter – This is where Tika-Taka can lose its beauty to a less than patient watching public – Lately Liverpool fans have been anything but patient, but it is essential that we allow this system to grow, nothing will happen overnight , certainly when we see our opening fixtures scattered with the very BEST defences in not only England but Europe and the World.

Even if we do have a quite magical little Uruguayan – It is a well-known fact that the 2nd season tends to be the hardest, we all know it cannot be any worse than his previous season – can it? My thoughts are that Suarez will get a hat full this season, unless the FA start charging you for being foreign and not speaking the lingo….Oh hang on!!!

I for one wait with mouth closed and brain engaged – Over to you Tika-Taka and Brendan Rodgers – Let The Games Begin……..

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