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Discussion Starter #1
Posted by Liverpool fan in another forum.

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Last night I was out having a Smirnoff Ice or five in Prestatyn (indeed I saw the girl who plays/played "Katie Rogers" in Brookside) when an old school friend came up to me and reminisced about our school/college days in the mid to late 80's.

"You were an absolute fanatic, all you ever talked about was Liverpool Football Club."

(Needless to say I was extremely popular with the ladies).

I've followed the Reds for all of my life, from standing in the Kop as a toddler (my dad was a nut too) in 1973 until last season (I still have a season ticket). In that time I have witnessed some of the finest football ever played on this planet.

I've seen us win the League Title with almost clockwork timing, European Cup's, FA Cup's and League (insert any sponsor with more than 15p and three Dime bars) Cups.

I've been privileged to watch some of the finest footballers to grace the footballing stage - Keegan, Clemence, Dalglish, Souness, Hansen, Rush, Barnes, Beardsley, Whelan, Fowler, Owen, Heskey (;))

I've also seen tragedy at Heysel and Hillsborough.

Apart from the vintage that was 1987/88 I would have to say that 2000/01 was my favourite season following the Reds. The drama of that season will live with me for a long time as to will the performances by, as a very esteemed Red (Mr Alan Edge no less) once said to me (and who could argue) "the hardest working Liverpool team he had witnessed".

2001/02 wasn't as successful trophy-wise, but as a team we grew and were only pipped to the title by an outstanding Arsenal team. The point’s tally we gained would have won us the league in many of the Premiership seasons gone by, but we were faced by a truly outstanding team. This was the season were we lost our guiding light for 6 months. Gerard Houllier came back on "that night against Roma" and guided us into the quarterfinals of the Champions League.

Summer 2002 and the Far East came, and we all drooled over Diouf as he tore France to pieces - yet another Gerard Houllier masterstroke I thought. Bruno Cheyrou also joined after an extremely promising Champions League campaign for Lille. We also signed Salif Diao, scorer of one of the best goals in the 2002 World Cup. Sadly we failed to get Damian Duff who, I believe, would have made a truly massive difference. We also didn't turn Nicolas Anelka's stay into a permanent one.

Last season was poor make no bones about it. Going out of the Champions League to a truly ordinary Basel team was hard to take, as were lacklustre performances and our worse run in the league for half century.

The signings many of us thought would take us from runners-up to Champions failed to sparkle, and indeed turned us into UEFA Cup Qualifiers.

Last summer saw the purchases of Harry Kewell and Steve Finnan. GH could really not afford to spend money on potential; he had to get the "real deal". Both proven, and indeed in their respective positions - two of the best players in the Premiership.

Sadly this season has been a continuation of the last, rather than the "blip" we all thought it would be.

Gerard Houllier has to take much of the blame. His signings haven't done the business and the marauding Heskey of Treble season has given way to a timid, lumbering source of amusement. Even Michael Owen is looking ordinary, and this was a man who three years ago none of us would have dared contemplate swapping for Henry or Van Nistlerooy.

If (and it's a big 'IF') he is manager next season he is going to be under huge pressure to deliver. His summer transfer dealings are going to be the most crucial of any Liverpool manager since the greatest manager ever (in my opinion) bought St. John and "the colossus" that was Ronnie Yeats.

The imminent arrival of Cissé should give us pace, power and more importantly a goalscoring partner for Owen. The move for Mexes is welcome as we need to be more mobile all around the park. The team also need to be playing 10 yards higher up the pitch so we can compress the play. By doing this teams will not be faced with a cavernous gap between our attack and midfield, allowing them time and space in which to play. It will ultimately offer more support to the attack rather than the isolation and long balls we have seen for two seasons.

I'd like to see us try and move for someone like Malbranque of Fulham. A player of his calibre should be brought in whilst we ship out the dross that is Diao, Biscan and Danny Murphy. Also packing their bags should be Heskey who has simply not done it for us consistently for THREE years.

I feel Gerard Houllier has the ability to make us a great team as he proved it in Treble Season. However he needs to be totally ruthless towards the players who have so badly let him down.

I have to be honest and say I like Gerard Houllier immensely as a man. I don't analyse and dissect every sound byte or comment that he makes as football managers more often than not speak a steaming pile of dog's do-ings. I also feel there has been a campaign in the press (not helped by the official site) of taking a comment in total isolation and making him look utterly ridiculous. I've seen countless posts ripping the man to pieces where people (including some fans) have taken a comment in the middle of an interview (where it has a context) and ripped the man to pieces. This is not fair, and does us no credit.

I've also read Liverpool fans calling him "Foullier" or far, far worse.

FFS the man is not deliberately trying to ruin our football club.

Gerard Houllier hasn't sold his story for 30 pieces of Silver to that odious rag.

He's the manager of a football club, not Adolf Hitler!

So why all the vitriol?

This is the one thing that has made me question my support for Liverpool Football Club more than anything else.

Where has all this naked and disgusting abuse come from?

I am not advocating keeping the man. I have to be brutally honest and say that I do have my doubts as to whether he has lost the players. In his defence he has won us trophies and given us back our pride after the dark days of Souness and "the Spice Boys" (where the lunatics really did run the asylum).

My other concern is what I would call the "Ferguson factor". During the 87/88 vintage season Man Utd (in Slur Ex-Lax's 1st season) finished 2nd to King Kenny's Rampant Reds. Obviously their expectations were raised, but in the following two seasons Man Utd finished 11th and 13th respectively and this was after Slur Brown Pants spent a small fortune on the likes of Webb, Phelan and Danny Wallace. The football Man Utd played was lacking in both imagination and passion, indeed in March 1990 they played Everton at Old Trafford and were just above the relegation zone. I forget the times that "Fergie" was one game away from the sack. A Mark Robins goal at the City Ground in early 1990 saved his job, Utd won the cup and the rest is, sadly, history.

My point is the Man Utd board didn't sack him because they could see the work that was going on behind the scenes like the improvements in coaching and the youth set up, and the removal of the cancer if ill-discipline from the club (the legendary drinking culture of Robson and Whiteside).

Just perhaps the board can see this and feel that they have the right man for the job rather than being in a state of inertia?

Whatever it is the abuse aimed at Gerard Houllier is well out of order.

Flame away by all means.

All the best,


Col.
 

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As per my personal moral codex, I have severe problems taking a man seriously, who, being a grown up in his 30s, goes out to drink Smirnoff Ice...

;)

Nice article. Nice and well mannered author too I gather, but if a manager of a club with Liverpool's curriculum, having had 5 years to do business, can get away from severe criticism sporting a 13-11-10 record... being 31 points off the league leading pace... his team playing, in the main, horrendous football for several years running...

...then something is just not right.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Owenization-NRG said:
good article. the man's going to get flamed though.
Let them, what the fu.ck do they know
 

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Glen said:
but if a manager of a club with Liverpool's curriculum, having had 5 years to do business, can get away from severe criticism sporting a 13-11-10 record... being 31 points off the league leading pace... his team playing, in the main, horrendous football for several years running...

...then something is just not right.
Glen, spot on.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Spot on?

Have you been living with your head in a box KOTK, he hasn't got away from severe criticism. He get's it every day.
 

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So Houllier should be sacked with a nice big smile and a firm manly handshake or should Houllier be sacked with firm booting from the Kop?

31 points isn't all injuries and bad luck, right? The dodgy defence, the terrible style and static movement probably has something to do with it, don't you think CR?

He's not good enough and that, is really that.
 

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It's amazing how every manager(or his deluded defender among supporters) that runs into bad results and has his team underperforming is quick to cry "Alex Ferguson"! When will people learn: history never repeats itself and when it does, it does as a farce.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Owenization-NRG said:
you didn't write it did you CR? ;)
Nah, more of a Lager man myself...
 

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It is a good article, but I always have trouble with the notion that long-term dedicated fans have a better perspective on things. In any other situation, the more emotionally involved you are with the subject, the more biased you are in your analysis. That is why people often bring consultants from outside to examine the situation. So when a passionate and dedicated fan with good writing skills gives an interesting story of a true love for his club, with memories of great experiences and his expectations for the future, it is interesting to read. But it does not necessarily represent a good objective analysis of the situation, because it is strongly biased by definition, although it is very understandable that many other fans with similar biases would strongly relate to something verbalized so well.
 
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Good article, but completely one sided, refuses to blame Houllier for anything.

CR: What would we know?? more than you and your smirnoff ice drinking buddy.

Glen: Spot on mate.
 

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GH should accept some of the blame because he has made bad desicions and they have cost Liverpool dearly. All our top players are turning average like Michael Owen. I seriouly hope that GH turns Liverpool into the club they were a few years ago.
 

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CardiffRed said:
My point is the Man Utd board didn't sack him because they could see the work that was going on

and they were right! I can see the work that is going on at Arsenal and Chelsea. Do you see the work that's going on at Liverpool? Tell us, wise man, what is it? Enlighten us! Is it a great new 8 year plan that begins in June? Hey, aren't you afraid that by the end of it your great leader will be moaning that Bolton and Charlton are on a different planet? :D
 

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ESPN
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Having a laugh?

Norman Hubbard

However cleverly UEFA calculate their coefficients, football can conspire to make them appear farcical.

Four English teams should play in next season's Champions League, but fourth place in the Premiership is closer to the foot of the table than league leaders Arsenal. Last year, West Ham finished 23 points ahead of Sunderland. They were relegated. Liverpool are now 22 points ahead of Wolves. They are fourth.


That final Champions League position has become less of a goal and more of an obsession for Gerard Houllier. It has not gone unnoticed. 'Champions League, you're having a laugh' is heard as often as 'You'll Never Walk Alone' at Liverpool games. The Charlton defender Chris Powell apparently joined in after his side won at Anfield. When even Yeovil supporters play their part in the mockery, Liverpool's plight is serious.

It is not, then, the time to visit Old Trafford, as Liverpool do on Saturday.

Manchester United have had an unsatisfactory season themselves, yet are 18 points ahead of the club they envied for two decades. Liverpool's decline can be measured in statistics: in 2002, they finished seven points behind Arsenal; now, they are 31 adrift. Comparisons between French managers are inevitable but they do not flatter Houllier.

Fourth could yet be his salvation, but for a manager who has always tended to attract religious imagery, Houllier is increasingly resembling a false prophet. Fourth could appease Michael Owen, could lure Philippe Mexes as well as Djibril Cisse. It might even help conceal a myriad of problems. Whether it would ease the often audible dissent at Anfield remains to be seen.

Discord has reached the players. Houllier belied his disciplinarian reputation by reinstating Stephane Henchoz to the team after the Swiss centre back voiced his gripes. Henchoz's defensive axis with Sami Hyypia and Dietmar Hamann is creaking, but his grievance  that he had been omitted for the error-prone Igor Biscan  was legitimate.

Biscan's blunders cost Liverpool dearly in their UEFA Cup exit to Marseille and the Premiership defeat to Southampton. On both occasions, Houllier held the officials accountable, saying referees cost managers jobs. Conveniently, he ignored several disputed penalties awarded to Liverpool this season but underachievement has been underpinned by excuses all too often.

Even success has to be qualified. The admirable Steven Gerrard was rightly nominated for the PFA Player of the Year award. But the disparity between Gerrard's Herculean efforts and the performances of his team-mates only serves to highlight their inadequacies.

Jamie Carragher admitted that Gerrard was Liverpool's player of the year 'by a mile'. Identifying an alternative candidate is nigh-on impossible. A £130 million squad have become a one-man team.

Liverpool's descent from championship challengers to contenders for that misnomer, 'best of the rest', has been mirrored by individuals. Hyypia, Henchoz, Hamann, Emile Heskey, Jerzy Dudek and John Arne Riise have fallen short of the form they showed earlier in their Anfield careers. Steve Finnan and Harry Kewell are yet to produce the performances that inspired their signings.

Even Owen, who could deliver a vote of no confidence in Houllier's regime if he continues to stall on contract talks, appears a far inferior player to the 2001 European Footballer of the Year.

Even among the most optimistic fans, talk of progress has mutated into hopes of a clear-out. There are no shortage of candidates, and all are Houllier signings. Henchoz has at least given Liverpool sterling service and even Heskey once scored 23 goals in a season but too many will be discarded as failures, the majority of their transfer fees written off.

And Heskey, El-Hadji Diouf, Salif Diao, Bruno Cheyrou, Vladimir Smicer, Djimi Traore and Biscan (with a collective cost in excess of £40 million) have drawn scornful comments from former Liverpool players.

The Spice Boys at least played with some panache while finishing fourth. Their successors, the Strife Boys, make for rather more painful viewing, a team bereft of confidence struggling to meet curbed expectations. Fourth, their objective all season, is slipping away from a team with one point from their last three games.

In his search for a winning formula, Houllier's tinkerings betray the air of desperation and often take him further away from his strongest side. Like Henchoz, Riise, Milan Baros and Danny Murphy may also wonder why they have not started more often.

Murphy once specialised in goals against Manchester United, but Sir Alex Ferguson's team have won their last three league meetings and their one-time tormentor may not even face them on Saturday.

Manchester United could hand the advantage in the race for fourth to Newcastle, level on points with Liverpool and visitors to Anfield on the last day of the season. Even if Liverpool win their four remaining games, they would only have 62 points. In most other seasons, that would leave them sixth.

Not this year. Even in Italy, where Inter are 23 points behind AC Milan, the gulf between first and fourth is smaller. That should not detract from the achievement of Aston Villa or Charlton if they could edge out Liverpool and Newcastle.

Liverpool, with their glorious history and financial muscle, are judged differently. They could still finish fourth. But they don't deserve to be playing in next year's Champions League.
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As per request, no bolds for fair analysis. ;)
 

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Owenization-NRG said:
Last year, West Ham finished 23 points ahead of Sunderland. They were relegated. Liverpool are now 22 points ahead of Wolves. They are fourth.

... Even if Liverpool win their four remaining games, they would only have 62 points. In most other seasons, that would leave them sixth.

Tell this to the "80 points" Theory Group! :)
 

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zico:

First and foremost, some people, i.e., First Class Fans (TM) will tell you that numbers do lie too. In fact, they will tell you that statisticians also have a conspiracy against Liverpool FC and they can bend numbers to discredit the club and the Great Manager (TM).

I will not be surprised if they (some people) tell you that Liverpool FC has actually won the EPL this season and the FA is blatantly, manipulating the circumstances to allow Arsenal to win it when they are in relegation zone!

:D
 

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First and foremost, some people, i.e., First Class idiots (TM) will attempt to patronise people. In fact, they will tell you that the media don't have a conspiracy against Liverpool FC and they can not bend words to discredit the club and the Great Manager (TM).

I will not be surprised if they (some people) tell you that Liverpool FC has actually been relegated this season and the FA is blatantly, manipulating the circumstances to allow Liverpool to stay in contention for the inter-toto cup!

:D
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Why do I get the impression that some 'supporters' enjoy the fact that we are playing badly and are more interested in themselves and I told you so's than seeing the team do well.

Maybe I'm mis-reading it....
 
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