Liverpool Woes Continue

More Pain
Icheck the BBC website sports section to see Liverpool are playing Tottenham at White Hart Lane. I don't have Sky Sports. I have serious reservations about Liverpool's abilities to beat a middling team such as Tottenham. I read that Liverpool are trailing Tottenham 1 - 0.

Liverpool showed how inept they were when they hit Stoke City last week. I see more pain today. I follow Liverpool and feel with their pedigree, they should be at the top, near always.

The Liverpool dynasty was established by Bill Shankly, a tough, no-nonsense progressive scot with a big heart. He took Liverpool from the lower ranks and set the foundations for them to become a major force in English and European football. All feared and respected Liverpool fc.

When Shankly retired in 1974, he handed the reigns to what was to become Liverpool's and one of English football's most successful managers: Bob Paisley. Paisley brought unparalleled European glory to Liverpool. Paisley's time in charge was fruitful and glory-filled. Cup after cup. Title after title. Year after year. European cup, Eufa cup, FA cup, league cup, league title. Liverpool were untouchable. Paisley retired in 1983.

Joe Fagan took over from Paisley and continued the success and the Liverpool tradition. Fagan remained in charge till the Heysel Stadium incident. He retired in 1985 when King Kenny took over.

Kenny Dalglish inherited a powerful all-conquering team which continued Liverpool's success. Kenny stayed in charge till another major spectator incident occurred at Hillsborough. King Kenny retired in 1991.

Graeme Souness, a respected  Liverpool player was appointed manager and oversaw the first stages of Liverpool's decline. He won the FA cup in the '92 season but nothing else.

Souness was dumped in 1994 and replaced with Roy Evans one of the Shankly Boot Room boys. Evans steered Liverpool to a single success, and was eventually replaced by Gerard Houllier in 1998.

Both Evans and his successor, Houllier oversaw the continued decline of a once awesome footballing force. Houllier won a few prizes, but nothing of real substance. Yes, Houllier won three cups, but in reality the football they played was scrappy.  It must be acknowledged that Houllier upgraded, rebuilt the training regime, along with Melwood, Liverpool's famous training facility. Houllier being French brought with him continental training techniques and methods. English football still lived in the days of a bucket of cold water and sponge as being the most common treatment for most ailments.

Houllier was given marching orders in 2004. The search for a replacement begun. It was at the behest of Liverpool's bright young striker, Michael Owen. Liverpool played Spanish side Valencia in a European game and lost. Owen was overawed with their style of play and openly stated their manager should be the next Liverpool manager. It was how Liverpool should play.

The management heard the echoes and duly employed Valencia's manager Rafa Benitez to take the helms. Benitez arrived in 2004 and steered Liverpool to their 5th European cup. The city was ecstatic. The club was ecstatic. It seemed Liverpool had finally found someone to take them back to the top, where Liverpoolfc belonged.

Liverpool under Benitez was a rollercoaster ride. He brought some freshness to the team, but there were many problems on the pitch, off the pitch and in the boardroom. Benitez bought badly, as had some of his predecessors. The team did not gel. Of course this was not helped by Benitez constant player rotation, which unsettled so many players. Benitez was restrained by lack of funds. Given different circumstances, perhaps Benitez could have worked his magic at Liverpool, got them playing great football, and restored their former glory.

For years Liverpool's ownership had quietly contributed to their success. In 2007 Liverpool was sold to Americans Gillet and Hicks. Much has been written of how the 'Americans' milked Liverpool. I don't wholly agree with this view. But the coupling of 'American' ownership and Benitez petulance eventually saw his dismissal in 2010.

Roy Hodgeson was poached from Fulham FC to take charge in 2010. Roy inherited an unsettled squad and did not immediately stamp his authority. Roy was outspoken on some issues that alienated him from Liverpool supporters. Liverpool's efforts on the pitch were dire, leaving them dwindling in the drop zone. Liverpool fans chanted 'Hodgeson for England' suggesting his poor management skills would suit and continue the poor form of the English national team.

Hodgeson was given his P45 and replaced by 'King Kenny', for Kenny's second stint in charge. Kenny along with his new backroom staff took Liverpool out of the drop zone and took them into the top six. It looked like the 'King' was back and he had not lost his 'Midas' touch.

But that was not the case. 'Kenny Dalglish' came back to inherit a poor Liverpool team. A mediocre squad with little self belief. 'King Kenny' sold the unsettled 'Torres' for £50 million to Chelsea and bought two players in his place. The mercurial wizard Suarez and the pedestrian Carroll.

Suarez plays the continental style of football. Fast, sharp, passing and movement. This was how Liverpool played in their 'All conquering' hey day.  Carroll, tall, slow, centre-forward in the traditional British mould. Think aerial. Think high-balls. Think long-balls. Think frequent punts. Liverpool are going backwards.

Whenever a new manager is brought in, the team, any team responds with good results. When 'King Kenny' came back it was the new manager syndrome re-visited. That has now worn off. The initial feel-good factor is gone. Its back to the daily grind and all the associated emotions.

This shows in some of Dalglish's selections and the poor results against mediocre opposition. Some media pundits were predicting that Liverpool would be a top 4 team this season. Bah. Humbug!

If Liverpool finish in the top 6, it will be a miracle. As I finish writing this post, I check the BBC sports page and see Liverpool were beaten 4-0 by Tottenham.  Its downhill all the way.

Last week I posted the 'King Kenny' was not the man to take Liverpool back to the top.

Watch this space.