Liverpool Message Board
I am very much intrigued as to how this battle will pan out, the victor versus the vanquished (so to speak). I am expecting a Reds victory but I will not be surprised if it ends in a draw or even a shock loss, seeing how we have been playing at home in 2012.
I have to admit that I am not a big fan of either Martinez or Brendan, although when it became obvious that the owners had only them two as preferred candidates, I felt Brendan was the lesser of the two evils, not because he had a more impressive record but because Martinez always seems to be fighting relegation all the time.
Having watched the first 5 months of Brendan's tenure, I can't really say that I have become a big fan. Admittedly we play "nicer" football but to me there is much more to winning football matches than drawing pretty triangles and circles on the pitch, otherwise Barca, Arsenal and Swansea would be the 3 best teams in the world and Stoke and all teams managed by Sam Allardyce would be playing in the conference league. My beef with Brendan has more to do with his philosphies than anything bad that he might have done, I generally have a distrust of idealists (of which Brendan is definitely one), I am more comfortable with realists, people who will work with what they have got and strive to achieve the best with it. Guus Hiddink is a good example, which explains why he has been successful everywhere that he has been (Holland, Australia, Korea, Russia and even England). With Brendan, football has to be played a certain way, with certain types of players. He is one of those people who will boldly declare "I would rather lose playing the right way than win playing the wrong way". Idealists scare me and inevitably in football they can get you relegated at worst. We live in an imperfect world and sometimes one has to sacrifice their beliefs and philosophies to achieve the right result, I cant see Brendan ever doing that.
His man management skills also leave a lot to be desired, his public treatment of Downing and Enrique left me unimpressed. I remember Rafa (who was not the best at man management) when he took over in 2005, he had quite a few players that he was not impressed with, the likes of Cisse, Biscan, Dudek, Smicer etc. He never sidelined those guys in his first year coz he knew he did not have the requisite replacements, he worked with them and surprisingly they helped him win the Champions League. That did not stop him from off-loading them after their job was done. I feel that Brendan should have tried to work with the likes of Downing and Carroll amicably, until such time that he had his own preferred types of players. I am a big fan of Suso and Sterling but I dont feel that at their age they should be starting each and every game, young talent is a very precious but equally fragile commodity and if not nurtured properly came just as quickly disappear. I remember Messi at 17, everyone could see he was special alright but Rijkaard eased him gently into the team, built his confidence and then when he felt he was ready unleashed him, same with Christiano Ronaldo, SAF bought him for 12million pounds when he was 18 but did not straight away throw him into the fray. Playing the lads week in and week out especially in a team that is somewhat struggling like ours might prove detrimental in the long run. The annals of football history are littered with kids who showed a lot of promise but ended up on the sidelines before they even reached the age of 20 or 21. I would hate to see that happen to these two fantastic talents. The more they play, the most likely the opposition will quickly figure them out and coaches will devise strategies to stiffle them, at their age this might actually affect their confidence and ultimately their development.
Anyway back to the issue at hand, I wonder who will prevail, but we should win to be honest.
Good post and would agree with you.
For what it's worth I would love to see us win this but this is the first season I have started to worry about matches (keep thinking we are going to lose).
Your points about man management are spot on.
I know a lot of the fans on here won't see it like this but I do as I forgot to get my rose tinted glasses.