Liverpool Message Board
OK we are out of any title race. Thats the first thing. We may improve, we may turn things round, but we are out of any race for sure. Not just because of the results but because more losses are on their way because of our lack of squad depth.
The biggest reason, a fact so stark it glares, is the loss of Alonso, and the fact Mascherano and Lucas are ill equipped to play in his role. To play two holding midfielders, (with no cover for them as well) as well as Carragher and Skrtel, is to play with 6 men when we have posession going forward, all 6 of whom the other 4 have difficulty getting the ball to in damaging areas..Rafa has been long sighted in going for the right player in his opinion in Aquilani. But for him not to be ready now, has cost us dear.
When we needed goals yesterday though who did we turn to?? Voronin? Oh my god! Babel was wretched I hear. Benayoun flitted on the periphery of the game. and I hate to say it, but at 31, has Carragher had his day. It is getting to the point that Carragher and Gerrard are both players we might genuinely have seen the best of.
Gerrard I feel a lot of sympathy for. Our talisman, our best player, he is as he is getting older, being asked to do more work, to carry ever more players, to take ever more responsibility for getting us out of trouble. There comes a point when a player like him has to be treasured for what he can do, and the team step up to help him, match him, get hime the ball where he needs it. Now we've lost the only player that did that effectively, and not replaced him.
We siad two weeks ago we had to lose the draws that we had against the lesser teams last season. My fear is that we meant do away with the draws. I think we might genuinely LOSE some of those games, and have a point less at times. We look woeful at the back, and terrible in midfield.
I'm so upset, and we need action. Not SACK Rafa..........but he needs money and he needs to pare the squad of Voronin, Babel, Lucas, and buy the WINGER we so desperately need.
If I have been able to see it for months why can't Rafa?
SIDESHOW...Very good post 100% with u but why do u ask the question about BENITEZ at end of u post ? oF COURSE U CAN SEE THE GLARING NEED for a winger Benitez HASNT RECTIFIED THE PRoblem because the man is an INCOMETENT !!! Why when we need a second striker have we loaned NEMETH out ??? sURELY THE BOy should have been given an oportunity coming off the bench how could he be worse than Voronin ?
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From an Arsenal fan: the way I see it ur only great players are Gerrard, Torres, Reina and Glen Johnson the rest are either good or avg players. Lucas, Babel, El-zhar and Ngog are not yet ready to put in good performances week in week out.
Alonso is one of those few players who can play CDM AND CAM in the same game, it's very rare to find players like that and he is definitely a big loss to you guys.
I have not heard much abt Aquilani before Liverpool bought him but from what I understand he may not be that kind of player to dictate the tempo like Alonso could, I could be wrong but I would have much preferred if you could replace him with Senna (I know he's not quite young) or with Roma's Daniele de Rossi.
However I wouldnt say the title race is over for u guys yet, keep the faith and best of luck for the season:)
Damn you people are dumb, i was saying this stuff last bloody season. Now you have finally woken up, congrats! Most of you are probably new fans, former west brom or tranmere, looking for a new base. Keep up the good work people, this place would not be the same without your crap, most of all you
Hi again Piers
Thanks for coming back to me and you make some very fair points. I don't share your opinions on changing the manager now but I do share some of your concerns about Rafa.
I guess we'll see how the season develops - if we don't end up there or there abouts at the end then I think his time is up anyway as I'm sure the owners will get rid.
Hello again psred pool,
My apologies if I did not get right to your points - I will try to keep things more focused to your questions this time around.
Q1. You are quite right, Spurs have spent big cash. And for the money they have spent they have exactly what a manager should have - a large squad packed with talent in depth. Admittedly they were not all Redknapps purcheses but as I have said, the biggest difference is that Redknapp is getting value for money out of players - in the terms of getting the absolute best out of them.
However, I disagree that it will be a major surprise if Spurs finish above us. I would hate to think that I am coming across as being against the team - I am not, not now, not ever against this club. We have a GREAT team, with players like Torres, Reina, Carra, Gerrard, Masch, Johnson, all as good as anyone else in their positions in this league. We also have talented youth in the likes of Insua etc. What has finnally ended it for me is Rafa's inability to get the most out of these players. He limits them in their playing style, and suffocates much of our natural creativity. With all that said, these players are good enough to win in spite of Rafa, not because of him. It is not the case that we are going to be as bad under him as we were against Spurs and Villa all season long - I wouldn't be suprised if we won something. It is simply that we will never be as good under him as we could be.
Has anyone stopped to question why Spus and many others have a much deeper talented squad than us? It cannot all be put down to money - the moves Rafa has made in the transfer market are also largely to blame. How many times have we seen the likes of a N'Gog, a Voronin, a pelligrini, a gonzalez, a Degen, Josemi, Nunez, Zenden, Krompkamp, Barragan, Hobbs, Leto, Plessis, Itandje, signed when a single quality player out of all that lot would have put us in a much better position. When we sold Morientes, at a loss, we were in the market for a striker, at the time it was between Kuyt and Defoe...
The Keane debacle was a shambles, as was the Barry situation, though I extend credit for the ability to get the most out of Madrid for Xabi. So yes, money has come into it, but it is not everything. Yes Benitez makes back a good deal of what he buys, but it may come as a surprise to some, that is not what he is there for! How much was spent on Babel? £11 million or so - what have we got for that money?
Q2 When should Rafa be let go? No time is good for a manager to leave the club, it always causes disruptions. Obviously the best of a bad lot would have been the summer, but since that is past logic dictates that the sooner he goes the better, so as to allow a new manager to come in. The argument that the new manager would have wanted money to spend does not hold, as we have none anyway. Of course who comes in, is a difficult decision, and depends upon who is available, as well as personal tastes. If it came to it you could do a lot worse than tempt Aragones out from Turkey. No premier league experience accepted, and you might get the odd racial slur, but capable of handling big players, big ego's, would fit in with the spanish connection, links to top players etc. I would only ever offer him a provisional contract until the end of the season, and assess the situation from there. Obviously, as I said, WHO should replace Rafa is always a contentious question.
Is that an offer to sacrifice Voronin? ;oD
We just need to do what we've been chatting about on here and drop SG back into midfield, we looked more in touch with the game (even with Voronin on and despite the pen being given away) and seemed to play a better game of football when SG dropped back.
Benni should be dropped into SG's position because he narrows our playing style too much on the left of midfield allowing only Insua to be lofting left footed balls in when we could have the combination of Insua and Reira interchanging on the task.
I'm looking at the following
Johnson - Carra - Skrtle - Insua
Kuyt - Gerrard - Masch - Reira
This team caters to the fact that Xabi's passing and vision is replaced by SG's passing and vision (not much difference) and Benni's habit of narrowing the pitch is replaced by Reira's baseline action.
Its time for us to start getting some results and I believe the team above can do that.....as thin as it is.
On the issue of Lucas, I still think the lad can be useful to us. Its dark days like these (especially when the kop is on your back) that a player can make or break his career. Luckily he still has time to make some positive steps forward to add to his excellant pre-season and quality game against Stoke.
Thanks for the considered response and a lot of your points are valid although I'm not sure you answered my question.
Spurs have spent lots of cash over a number of years now and I'm sure their own fans expect big things from them this season. They have a big, talented squad and a very experienced manager capable of getting the best out of players - things you think we lack under Rafa. So surely, if Liverpool finish above Spurs it will be a major surprise in your opinion?
Regarding getting rid of Rafa can I ask who you would replace him with and, more to the point, when we should replace him? The way I see it, unless the Americans are just waiting for the right man to come through the door before splashing the cash, then the new guy will not have the money to buy his own players and, if the change is made before the end of this season, he'll not have the opportunity (2nd transfer window being notoriously bad for business).
Surely it's best to see where we are in March/April before deciding Rafa's fate? Who knows, we may even finish above Spurs :-).
But we did just challenge for the title didn't we?
I agree that with the time he has been giving, we have a right to expect that we will be fighting for the title each year (not necessarily winning it) but I'm not ready to give up on us challenging again this year yet. We've been dreadful in two out of three games but there is no point in changing Rafa now - any new manager wouldn't have the cash or the opportunity (transfer window) to bring in his own players. My thinking is let's see where we are in Oct/Nov - if we are miles off the pace then fair enough.
A good post
speaking of gerrard and carragher getting on... where are the top youngsters?
The Robbie Fowlers, the new Gerrards, the owens?... has lfc's yout accademy gone to shit?
or is rafa too focussed on loaning the youngsters and filling the squad with older players from abroad?
Some good views expressed on this thread.
The thing about money (and Rafa nearly ALWAYS moans about the lack of it when things don't go to plan for him) is that he has been given more than enough I think to construct a squad capable of challenging. Other managers have achieved much with far less (ok maybe not a title challenge, but performance has to be relative to investment in the squad surely).
83 signings really is a damning figure. Pennant has been mentioned - he was only signed by Rafa because his first choice target at the time got too pricey. He wasn't Rafa's first choice, he just had to settle for him to fill a gap. Not surprising then that he was moved on after a sub-standard period at the club, just another example of getting what you pay for.
Why I don't get is why Rafa now publicly slating his senior players? What a great way to build confidence in them. He sees himself completely beyond blame. Denial perhaps?
Yes I agree that Redknapp has inherited an expensive squad, and has spent money - you are correct, rather a lot of it in fact.
The point I keep returning to, and please don't think that I am putting 'Arry on a throne here, he makes mistakes like anyone. I am generally quite patient with managers, players etc, as I would hope my previous posts would indicate.
Back to the question you posed - there is a very good chance Spurs may finish above us, but of course nothing is gauranteed. I should add that my rejection of Rafa is not based purely upon league finishes etc. As I have said, I think he is playing the wrong kind of football for this club, and especially for what the fans of this club deserve. I think he is damaging our reputation and image in the game. I think that he has become more obsessed with proving HIS system right, than with the welfare of the club.
Now redknapp may have spent money and inherited an expensive squad (lets not pretend we have never spent any money here), but it is what he has done with the players he inherited, and the ones that he has bought which shows Rafa's relative weakness. You could put it reasonably by simply saying - 'you form a system which suits what you have, or you buy the players which suit your system'. Redknapp has done done the former in the first instance (recognised the pace, strength and atleticism of his team) and created a fast counter attacking pressing style. He has then bought players which compliment that system, and give him other options.
Rafa on the other hand has been trying to change the system since he got here, and not without good reason. However, it seems that the system he wants is both incompatable with various elements of our squad (Kuyt in particular) AND the players he has bought in do not seem particularly compatable either (again Kuyt is the obvious example). I repeat, do 84 signings in the years he has been here point towards the vast, vast, majority of those players somehow just losing all their ability, or were they not able to perform in the positions they were asked to play, or did they simply not have the talent to begin with? In any case the answers are damning. By way of example I give you Kuyt, Babel and Johnson.
Kuyt, striker when signed, now playing right wing, with no pace, first touch or crossing.
Babel, showed promise as a left winger but repeatedly innefectual and expressing a clear desire to play striker, where the Dutch have used him. Innefectual left winger repeatedly used on left wing. Possibility of a good striker - behind N'Gog and Voronin for even the backup slot.
Johnson - incredible talent as an attacking defender/wingback. Has showed for England what he can do when allowed to overlap with the right mid, and run with the ball at his feet. Good control, crossing ability, can cut inside, beat a man, and a good shot/scoring record. So far so good. Rafa's policy in the games against Spurs and Villa - long balls out od defence either through the middle, or up towards Kuyt (who can't control them), but in either case bypassing Johnson.
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