It was believed that with the departure of Gerard Houllier and the arrival of one Rafael Benitez, Liverpool would finally turn the corner from being constant underachievers to being persistent challengers. There was hope that the bunch of 11 footballers, who under the Houllier era had similar haircuts throughout the squad, would be an attacking and aggressive team, playing “beautiful football” There was hope. The defence was quite strong, the midfield has marshalls like Hamman and Murphy. Gerrard was comming into his own as a footballer and the attacking Harry Kewell was forming a good link with Michael Owen up front. I agree, teams like United and Arsenal were not shaking with fear, but there was hope. The hope of taking the next step.
And up stepped the new manager. (see Benitez, Rafa)
There was considerable optimism with the arrival of the former Valencia manager. He immediately went about setting up the Spanish contingent at Anfield. Alonso and Luis Garcia came, but so did Antonio Nunez, Mauricio Pellegrino, Momo Sissoko and Boro Zenden.
Nunez was so uncomfortable on the right wing that even I would have looked a high quality player in comparison. Pellegrino had his head so high up in the sky that he didnt realise that football is played at ground level, by footballers, and not a fleet of gliders. Sissoko put Paul Scholes to shame with his tackling abilities, or the lack of them. He couldn’t pass, tackle, cross or shoot. What was he doing in the midfield, or on a soccer pitch for that matter, completely beats me.
Some were sold, some left on their own and things went from bad to worse when the transfer came along. Jermaine Pennant and Alvaro Arbeloa? Mark Gonzalez and Peter Crouch (Or Peter Ouch)? Andriy Voronin? Why? The teams that Liverpool are competing against wouldn’t have taken them, even if they were available for free.
This brings me to the latest transfer window. Gareth Barry, is the number one target. Rafa somehow believes that this player, from a certain mediocre club, can somehow conjure up performances that will make United, Chelsea and Arsenal really worried and revisit their drawing boards. Can someone please explain how or why is he considered better than Xabi Alonso? The simple fact of the matter is that he is not. Alonso is a way better player than Barry will ever be. He has formed a great partnership in the midfield with Stevie G. The problem has been the lack of goals up front, not the midfield play.
Towards the end of last season, it was believed that Liverpool wil have a transfer kitty in tune of £50 million. and some outbound traffic will add a bit more to that. The bubble burst as the crunch time came. All Rafa has is what he earns by selling from the existing bunch. So he sells some players, i wouldn’t even bother remembering their names, and in come Dossena and Degen. Ever heard of them? The former is a left back, and the latter is a right back.
And thus continues the never-ending pursuit of Barry. (I still dont get it).
Modric came and was gobbled up. Deco came to the Russian part of London for around £8 million (yes. and Barry is for £18 million!).
And thus continues the pursuit of Barry. (whew, this is now getting on my nerves)
The basic problem is that Rafa has still not developed any formation which he would want to play this season.
If he wishes to play a 4-5-1, then where are the Wingers? Pennant and Babbel just dont cut it. And even if they do, who are the backup, if they get injured?
If he decides on the traditional 4-4-2, then where is the second striker to support Torres? The word is Voronin is going back to Germany, then do we end up playing Torres non-stop through the season? (Insane)
If he thinks of a 4-3-3, with this squad, I will shoot him in the head.
While he is in pursuit of Barry, why not pop in to Old Trafford and ask for Dong Fanghzuo? Chelsea have the rubbish SWP. Bentley, Downing and Milner? Lets also bid £2 million for Cristiano Ronaldo, simply to waste some more time in the unnecessary arguements as the clock ticks down to the new season.
I plead with all concerned at the Liverpool Football Club to please stop wasting time and money (which we already dont have) on third grade players, find a Pound, and bid for someone like a David Villa or a David Silva.
To all Liverpool fans, if we keep saying “This is our year”, every day of every year, then the law of averages state that it is bound to come true sooner or later.
To the start of the new Barclays Premier League season. I hope that we at least get Fourth in the table.