Is the Liverpool Way dead?

Is Purslow (centre) sleeping with the enemies?

Lack of leadership killing Liverpool

By Ned Doig.

“Blow me, ****face. Go to hell. I’m sick of you,” was the rather blunt message sent from now ex-Liverpool board member Tom Hicks jnr to a fan earlier this week, but given the absolute chaos that has embroiled the club, it could quite easily have been sent from the States to Melwood and back again at various points over the last 2 years.

But as the last realistic chance of domestic silverware disappeared over the horizon, the rather colourful missive may as well have been directed at the team and its manager for the very first time from the real powerbrokers at the club, the fans, given the reaction to the loss to first division strugglers Reading.

As shameful as the booing was that greeted the final whistle, behaviour that would usually be sneered at by the normally ultra-loyal Kopites, it illustrated the growing discontent at the sorry state of affairs following another listless, gutless, insipid, pedestrian display from the men in red.

Despite how it may have appeared to the casual observer, what happened at full time on Wednesday night was not a knee jerk reaction to a result in isolation. For much of the season, a growing tension has been bubbling under the surface. Against Reading, it finally spilled over from a group of fans whose relationship with a club is not just fractured, but extremely close to breaking point.

Poor performances, although frustrating, are a fact of life, but to give up without so much as a fight is unforgivable.

Injuries to key players obviously haven’t helped, but even when fit, none of Carragher, Torres, Gerrard or Mascherano have played anywhere near their potential or with any consistency. Only the goalkeeper, Reina, can take any real pride in his performances over the last 5 months.

Xabi AlonsoFactor in the loss of the calming, intelligent influence of Alonso, then replacing him with a player who is still yet to get anywhere near match fit, not to mention the huge hole left by Sami Hyypia, and you have a recipe for disaster.

But what has been the most disturbing and damaging aspect of the season so far is the clear lack of leadership that is running through the club from top to bottom, and which threatens to tear the club apart.

We have a captain who has played at times this season like he has lost interest, and at others like a petulant teenager.

A manager who has spent so much of his time politicking and fighting fires with his higher uppers that he has seemingly taken his eye off the ball and as a result now has a squad absolutely shorn of confidence, tactically impotent, a shadow of the side that finished so close to the title last year.

This inevitably leads to the boardroom, where we have Christian Purslow, the bi-lingual, silver-tongued managing director who stomps around in a manner that would make Peter Ridsdale blush.

A man who, when not spinning tales to the local paper, contradicting himself on transfer budgets or jumping in front of television cameras, spends his time in the inner sanctum of the dressing room or shadowing his manager at press conferences carefully observing his every move.

You have to wonder how he manages to dedicate any time to actually running the club. One can only presume he works every hour God sends, Blackberry permanently charged.

Gillett and HicksThen you have the two at the very top of the tree, Tom Hicks and George Gillett, who get on so well that they can just about stomach each other’s company long enough for the paparazzi to get their quota in.

Not to mention the debt, false promises, stadium within 60 days, fake sheikhs, interest rates and Jurgen Klinsmann.

Between them they’ve managed to engender an acute culture of paranoia right throughout the club, is it any wonder most of the time is spent pointing the finger, shifting the blame and making excuses?

There is a decent team hiding somewhere within the confines of Melwood, as has been proven over the course of last season, and the odd occasion this time around, and in Benitez a world class manager.

Albeit one who’s got a bit of a God complex, who is easily distracted when the mood takes him and has a penchant for holding a grudge.

He is also certainly a winner and has stuck around when maybe it would have been easier to walk away on occasion and deserves more patience to turn it around than he is currently getting from some quarters, especially given the volatile conditions he and his squad are expected to function in.

Regardless of Rafa’s position, great players and managers have come and gone, and of Shankly’s Holy Trinity, there is only one constant, the supporters, with whom there is a bond shared like no other club in the land. For them to be turning on each other, as has been happening, has much more to do with the instability off the pitch as it does matters on it.

Of course, with a club the size of Liverpool, they could lose the supporters and replace them with customers.

Maybe that is the strategy.

But if they continue to run Liverpool FC into the ground in the in which they are doing, further alienating the supporters of the most successful club in the land, they may as well do what they are so fond of in the US and move their franchise to the Lake District, because the club and everything it stands for would be dead.

And at a time when there are a few signs that the Premier League, as a product, maybe reaching saturation point, those that run the club might want to think a little more carefully about how they go about their business before they lose the one constant of the Holy Trinity that the club was built upon.

You’ll Never Walk Alone?

Don’t make me laugh.

13 thoughts on “Is the Liverpool Way dead?”

  1. Rather a knee jerk reaction. The Liverpool Way was evident today at Stoke. We gave the players and Rafa the support that makes us what we are. The result was gut wrenching, but the spirit was there.

  2. A very thought out and spot on assessment, of facts at LFC, these last few months but, as the saying goes and, hopefully, it can only get better.


  3. brush spot on today at stoke was what i think is what a proper liverpool fan is all about .you support the team when they are strugling we had 5 1st team players missing today they showed they play for the shirt and the manager.rafas still the man for the job weve been so unlucky so far this season just look at today should have had 2 penalts it almost looks like the refs and media want rafa/lfc to fail.

  4. Time is up for rafa. He’s a dead man walking. The team will improve it’s performances for the second half of the season. However it’s not going to be enough to dislodge city, Vila and spurs.  It seems rafa still hasn’t listened to the supporters and pundits views! that his failure to buy a back up for torres has cost him dear. Many fans have made this point for 12 months what has he done? Glenn Johnston transfer was a bad call, great going forward but we could have used these funds more intelligently to buy a cheaper reliable full back and a back up striker. Looking at Ngog and Kuyt these two look very poor compared to other 2nd string strikers of the top3. The purchase of aqualani has been shocking we should have never bought a player in his condition. As much as the directors have been bad news rafas made some stuborn and terrible calls and his failure to create a back up roster of players could of been addresed more effectively considering the resources he’s had!

  5. Today was one of many gut wrenching result of the season and what is it about these late goals we are letting in in the 80s we always got the late ones the lads just turn of once the 90 minutes arrive.i think we should just stick with benitez at least until the end of the season cos i mean if a manager comes in we dont have a penny to give him and will still have the same average players to work please god we bring in another few singings before the month ends and get babel out take the damn money 9 million for a disaster aint bad i mean what the hell did he do against poor reading when he came on he had a full second half and extra time and he just strolled about like it was pre season.a 6ft plus strong target man is what we need cos for me we are a highly weak team that gets bullied and we could have him back helping out to clear them damn corners

  6. And that jones lad from sunderland aint gona solve our problem hes a donkey we have enough poor players and as for heskey no thank you hes been and and annoyed us all

  7. I fully appreciate the good times rafa intially brought but we have to face facts Liverpool over achieved last year! If CFC had Hiddy or even Avram as manager LFC would not of beaten them twice and I have a strong feeling we would of finished 3rd. Since the pre-season there has been huge problems with injuries and lack of fluidity in our play. I understand the level of patience should be shown to Wenger because he has won the premiership and with a extra striker his team are in the right position with great strength in depth and youth in his squad. Unfortunately benitez has a first 11 but no back up. I estimate we will end this season 25 points off the top spot this is on top of the lack of CL Action next season and trophies is unacceptable. Unfortunately with the global crisis and the improvement of villa, man city and spurs we have been caught out! LFC  board missed a great chance to make the investment in new players last summer which could have assisted rafa shame that rafa has had 20million taken away from him. Despite this he has invested badly in what players he bought. Lfc are at cross roads because we have Gerrard suffering many groin and hamstring injuries. This situation is not going to massively improve as Gerrard is reaching a stage in his career where he will be more succeptable to injuries. We will need to be looking at replacing him along with Carragher. The cost of doing this will be immense as we have no players near this quality comming of the conveyor belt. Without major investment and a new manager we better get used to playing in the Europa . Maybe a hard pill to swallow but it maybe an option for the board to move gerrard on whilst we can get an top price for him. A lot of fans may initially disagree with my comments but without major investment we need to raise funds for a new manager to buy a collection of stars for the future. 

  8. The game against Stoke is the first game of THUG BALL I have seen for a long time. I feel sorry for the Stoke fans if they have to put up with that kind of play each week.
    BUT – the real game is the future of LFC.
    I regret to have to say this, as my support for the Manager has been constant but, something needs to change and Rafa needs to step down, he shows all the signs of having lost control of ideas and stragegies. A new Manager always acts as an injection for the players. At present LFC is seen to be muddling through. THAT IS THE ON FIELD PROBLEM..
    Please LFC, don’t get some poor sucker to invest 100 Mil, it will only make the off field problems go on longer, the owners also, urgently need to be replaced, as they are at the heart of so much confusion, discontent, interference. lack of direction and last but not least lack of money.
    Bill Shankly used to say the only purpose of having Directors was for them to sign the cheques, our 2 can’t even do that. IT IS TIME FOR ON AND OFF FIELD CHANGES, URGENTLY.

  9. I would choose Guss Hiddink as LFC next Manager, he did an excellent job with Australia and solves all of Chelsea’s problems. He has that quiet efficient manner about him that reminds me of Bob Paisley.
    Mourinho, a good Manager but is too interested in promoting himself.

  10. Never thought i’d ever see the day – but i think its safe to say that every LFC and Man Utd fan are in total agreement…… Get rid of the Yanks!

  11. A good few people (including me) having been predicting for some time that Hicks & Gillett will ruin this club and it appears that this prediction is coming to pass. Whether Rafa stays or goes is secondary to getting rid of the Americans who at the end of the day will never understand football ( sorry soccer ).
    It is time for the fans to close ranks and pull together for the long term good of the club. I personally would accept a few season’s mid-table mediocrity with new owners building a squad worthy of challenging for the PL and CL. From what we (and by that mean all English football ) have learned in recent years it would be best if the owners were based in the UK. Pie in the sky ? Maybe, but surely its better to retain the heart and soul of the club rather than see it turned into a global marketing brand, and an unsuccessful one at that.

  12. ‘When you walk through a storm hold your head up high’

    this is what liverpool supporters have sung at every game for years this is our anthem and our belief.

    I have heard a lot of talk and done a lot myself but the fact is we are experiencing a bad time that hasn’t been seen since Souness was our manager.

    We need to roll our sleeves up and push on with what we have and give the redmen our total support at EVERY GAME.

    What goes on behind the scenes we have and never will have any control over but we love our football club and we need to show that despite all these setbacks we can win through and OK not great but ensure that we qualify for Champions League next year and win the UEFA Cup.If Chelsea Man Utd and Arsenal don’t get to the final we will be the only English Club bringing home a European Trophy AGAIN.

    Keep believing it took the Mancs 26 years to win another title and on that we’ve still got time on our side.

    Never forget

    ‘At the end of the storm there’s a golden sky ‘


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