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  • John John Nov 29, 2012 20:23 Flag

    brendan please shut the hell up

    me personally i am sick of hearing how we "dominated the game" i hate to break the bad news to this great manager dominating games without scoring is just completely pointless

    so we are 14 games in with 16 points thats a third of the season gone based on that and the simpliest of maths come the end of the season 48 points maybe

    not good enough

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    • It’s all about perspective my friend, and that is extremely subjective, so I take your point.

      But I'll also say I'm not going to get fixated on league positions, or how many points we are above relegation, or how many we're behind the 4th place, or first place positions. This year the table more than any in recent memory is extremely fluid. Look at the ups and downs of Arsenal for example. It’s amazing the contortions some of the talking heads have done talking down, then talking up then talking down the gunners season so far.

      But the bottom line is not where we are at any given point in time, but the direction we are going in. I know you'll appreciate this, but is the same argument I used many times when backing Rafa on a board that was becoming increasing hostile to him. It was not about whether we yet again failed to win the title, but whether or not we were progressing at an acceptable pace toward that goal, and for all but one season he was with us (his last), I kept saying we were moving forward, so it was worth sticking with him.

      Now I see us in a position in the league I don't find comforting, but I also see a squad with huge future potential, and a style of play demonstrated in the vast majority of performances this term that is getting closer and closer to something really great imo, which for me is signs that progress is ahead of us.

      But then again, maybe I'm just wearing my red tinted optimistic specs again!

    • I think I posted somewhere before that a pessimist is what an optimist calls a realist - it's all about your perspective and point of view.

      You think you're more realistic than me which is fair enough but at least recognise that actually you might be being optimistic and maybe I am the one being realistic.

      I always understood that our club wasn't going to get into the CL spot this year (I think most fans did even if our owners did not). The difference is that I don't think that 4 points off of a relegation spot come the end of November represents a reasonable return. As I've posted quite a few times it's my view that BR has had rather more resources at his disposal than a number of clubs above us in the table. You disagree which is fine.

      Let's hope that come the end of the season this is a meaningless argument because BR has us up in 7th/8th. If he does, then I'll consider that a decent first season.

    • I don't see much wrong with that, and don't think we really disagree. Other than I think I see our current situation with a little more realism that you do in terms of the team BR inherited, the state of the club, and what is realistic at this point in the season.

      End of the day football is all about expectations. For me I think we have to recognize there is now a big difference between where we'd like the club to be and where it realistically can be at this present point in time. That is not a lack of ambition, because I still think it’s not just possible, but is inevitable that we will again be challenging for high honors in the not too distant future. But it is a heavy dose or realism of the shock our club has suffered over the last few years.

      Some want to blame managers when clubs slip up, and managers do need to take a healthy portion of the responsibility. For us that of course means asking questions of Roy, Kenny, and yes Rafa as well. But I think we also have to look beyond the managers and look at what they all had to work with and what they had to deal with that was beyond their control, and that means asking tough questions of the board and owners. We were hours away from possible liquidation, had massive negative investment in playing staff, and fell not just in terms of league position, but also in terms of earnings.

      We've had to rebuild, and not just on the playing side of things. Therefor I think we have to be realistic in terms of how much work still needs to be done, how long it will take, and how long it will take to translate into results on the pitch.

      But think of it this way, other clubs who have faced similar shocks we've been hit with have quickly fallen out of the top flight, some down many tiers, and some out of league all together. Prime example of a big club is Leeds of course, but I’m also talking about the history of football in England, and what happens to once great clubs when they are financially mismanaged. We also know mistakes during our rebuilding have occurred (at least ownership have admitted to mistakes) so in terms of expectations, maybe we're actually doing better than we give ourselves credit for.

    • But to be fair I'm not sure that is a fair representation of what we've been debating. The subject of the thread is that BR should shut up, so I assume from responses people are upset with what he's saying, or how he's saying it, which I'm not. For me that is a completely separate question from whether we're happy or not with results or league position (which is why I answered your other question in a separate post).

      But maybe that is the crux of the issue. It’s not the message or how it’s being delivered. BR could be saying anything, but until the results improve people will lash out because they are not happy, and the post-match interview becomes the lightening rod. And let’s be honest when was the last time an interview posted a point on the league table!

      Actually makes me think of a few years back. I used to watch Hodgson when he was Fulham manager and think he was so refreshing in post-match interviews. Honest, analytical and did not spin, just told it as it was. Then he came with us, and I'd get so frustrated that he was so complimentary to our opponents, hardly ever had a go at officials, and just seemed to lay back and take it.

      Now had Roy changed? Had I changed? To be honest neither had, but what had was that I cared about the LFC result, but I did not about the Fulham results. A Fulham game was just entertainment, and the post-match interview was interesting end point. But I'm invested in LFC results, and I wanted my manager to be also, rather than sounding like a BBC weatherman who just reports what is happening, rather than someone who is actually trying to control what is happening.

      So I can understand why some are frustrated with BR's post match comments. Yes he is saying the same thing quite often. But it seems to me he is invested in what is going on, and really telling us how it is. But he's also saying there is light behind the clouds, and the sun is about to come out. Not because thinks it might, but because he is actively working on blowing away those clouds. And, I for one do see those chinks of light, even if others can't.

    • To try and put a positive spin on things it could be argued that if (huge if) we could convert opportunities we would be in a far healthier position.

      If I'm honest I am starting to become critical of the performances of Gerrard and Sterling as well as the usual suspects. Those two should have scored more goals for starters and Gerrard also has a naughty habit of losing the ball at a bad time

    • Hi Noo Noo

      I think that's well put.

      "increasingly aprehensive" is probably a good description of how I feel at the moment.

      That said - good run of fixtures coming up so hopefully we'll feeling more positive come January

    • I'd like to butt in if may on what is a nteresting discussion.

      Firstly do I think we are under achieving? Yes I do but not by much. The form of the second half of last season seems to have been very quickly forgotten and we weren't hugely better before that. Simple truth is that our first 11 has been in decline for a number of years, all the way back to when Benitez was around.

      Add in a fair crop of youngsters with the naivety and inexperience that brings along with a squad that's been thinned out through sales (much needed IMO) and injury and we are where we are. Plus also have a new manager, again with little experience and LOTS of new ideas. Simply trying to get them all together was never going to happen over night.

      I expect things to improve, they've got to. January signings can only really improve the squad let's be honest however I am increasingly aprehensive about our ability to sign good quality players at reasonable or even bargain levels. Do you honestly think we could have found Michu for £2m as an example? I doubt it. We've paid "bargain" prices for Assaidi and Yesil as 2 recent examples but they don't contribute much so jury's still out I guess.

    • Dave

      I don't think we're going to see eye to eye on this because we see the central issue differently.

      You think Liverpool being 4pts off relegation (as they were) as not underachiveing so it follows that you don't think BR has anything to take responsibility for.

      I disagree.

      Let's leave it there.

    • Hi Dave

      Thanks for answering the question. From your reply, I'm taking the last para as the answer - you think they are underperforming but you would expect that from a young squad.

      I have a different view.

      It's my view that the manager is responsible for our results so far this season and that those results aren't good enough. The tools he has at his disposal are bigger/better than many of the teams above us.

      I don't want him to resign or be sacked. I want and expect him to improve.

      I think he has a great chance to turn it around and hope he does so. If we finish the season strongly then that will do him and the team a power of good for next year.

    • So you don't think I'm side stepping, and since you did not like my previous two answers or responses to your question, I thought I'd post a 3rd response in a separate post.

      First off I'm not sure and you've clarified what you mean by the squad he inherited. If you mean the players that were on the books when he walked in, plus 25M, then I'd agree with you we should be doing better.

      But if you mean the squad he had to work with coming into the season including those players he bought then no.

      Now it might sound from that statement that BR took decisions that deliberately took us backward between when he walked in the door and the beginning of the season, but that would be glossing over a few facts such as the players he lost out of no fault or action of his own. Of course I'm talking about Kuyt (took option already in his contact to leave), Bellamy (who was asked to stay but allowed to leave on compassion grounds), and Maxi (who also was allowed to go home).

      Now maybe a different manager would have tried to replace these players with like for like replacements. But how much do you think it would take to bring in 3 experienced attacking players, each able to consistently provide goals in the prem? Personally not sure we could have got 2 let alone 3 for the 25M we had, so right there we would have taken a step backward, plus not have been able to reinforce anywhere else where we might have been lacking.

      So instead BR went a different way, rather than replace like for like, he went with younger players and different kinds of players. For me that does mean the squad that started this season was weaker, and for sure had less goals in it that the one that ended last season. But it’s also a squad that has much more potential to get better in time imo. It’s a younger squad, and while it may be more raw in terms of talent, I also think its technically a better squad of players.

      So to plainly answer your question, I do think the squad as it is right now, is currently underachieving. But that is what I'd expect from a young squad that is still getting up the learning curve its new coach has provided for it. But the real question, and what imo will determine if BR has been successful or not, is first do we think this squad plus some incremental investments has the potential and ability to outperform last term, and can it go on beyond that in the seasons to come to take us back to where we think we should be, solidly in the top 4 and competing for major silverware?

      For the answer to that question so far is yes, but of course time will tell, because only time can tell.

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