Forget the good times, the picture has changed

When Liverpool supporters argued and debated about Rafael Benítez and whether he was the right man for the manager’s job,  there was an unspoken assumption that the arguing was all for football reasons and the good of the club.

Sadly, as time went on, fellow Liverpool supporters were starting to hate each other even more than the owners.

But Rafa’s sacking saw unity start to return. Supporters looked at the sacking of Benítez and the appointment of Roy Hodgson, including the contempt shown to supporters and the legend known as King Kenny. They realised that football had very little to do with those decisions.

The club is being run like an ailing supermarket chain, and that tends to get fans’ backs up.

Save for the bleating cynics who were on Rafa’s back the day they realised he was Spanish this club has a fan base with masses of respect for Benítez. All the more so when looking back to how it was before Christian Purslow arrived and made up new rules on transfer budgets and magical “player accounts”.

Benitez won the Champions League in his first season at the club; he turned Liverpool from a side worried about their opposition in Europe to a side respected once more in Europe. He won the FA Cup in his second season and came second in the league in his fifth season with a points total that would have won the league a year later. He brought us players we’ll always look back on with fondness, including Torres, Reina, Alonso and Mascherano not to mention key players who might not attract crazy bids from clubs with bottomless pits of money – but players like Dirk Kuyt, now a World Cup finalist, are worth more than money to a club like Liverpool FC.

But it will be Istanbul we remember Benitez for with most fondness, Istanbul we will forever feel indebted to him for. Istanbul is the yardstick for everything good that happens to Liverpool supporters these days – new fathers being some of the few that actually feel able to utter the phrase “better than Istanbul”.

He left with the genuine best wishes of large swathes of the support, but we move on; we’ve got a new manager now and new targets in mind. But if we do move on, does that mean we have to forget Benitez? Do we have to pretend Istanbul never happened?

Nobody expects Benitez to have gates named after him in the way the absolute legends like Shanks and Paisley have. Nobody really expects the club to allow him a Kop mosaic for the first home game.

But surely the night described as a miracle, the night he made possible, is a night we should always remember? We sing about it – do we have to stop? They’ve made films about it, written books about it, put plays on about it. When we’re in the Champions League again, if we get in again, we’ll wear a special badge on our sleeves that lets the world know we won it five times. Are we going to ditch that?

Of course not. Are we?

From what Anfield Road has been told, some figures at the club want to erase the memories of what Rafa and the team did in 2005. At Melwood, Liverpool’s training ground, there’s a big mural of Rafa Benítez and the lads in recognition of Istanbul. Or at least there was.

Anfield Road has been informed that Paul Tyrrell, recently installed as head of press and described by some as Christian Purslow’s attack dog, has ordered that the mural be ripped down. According to what Anfield Road was told, he was acting on the orders of Purslow.

Save for a new, improved, version going up in its place – and as far as we know there isn’t going to be – there is absolutely no reasonable excuse that comes to mind for doing this. Not without using words like “petty”.  Money’s tight of course, so it’s not like we can afford to go round having murals done on a whim. And with money tight, if it’s not being taken down out of pettiness is it being taken down so players and staff aren’t reminded of what we can no longer aspire to?

Is that it? The end of the Champions League years? Is that what the club meant when it slapped “the start of a new era” on the official website?

When we went to Athens in 2007 we were gutted not to win it – but we never felt we’d never get to the final again. In 2008 and 2009 we pushed hard and put in some memorable performances, pulled off some heroic victories. It feels arrogant to say it, but we should be proud – we were bloody good. Last season saw us go off the rails in that respect, is this an admission we’ll never get back on them?

If it isn’t an admission of sights being lowered then it really does smack of a petty desire to rewrite history by someone who had to fight to keep his own job after the absolute failure he made of his first year in the role.

Christian Purslow told us he was here to find £100m of investment. Yet he turned people with money away without even the courtesy of saying “thanks but no thanks”. He left the manager with the wrong impression of what his transfer budget would be last summer then spent the months that followed watching him like a hawk at press conferences just in case he decided to mention it.

It doesn’t take much imagination to work out how Benítez would feel to read in a national newspaper that he’d been warned to change his managerial style, or that he’d been given £20m net to spend on players when he’d actually brought more in than went out. Or how he felt to hear his boss had been talking to reporters about transfer discussions with Real Madrid that Rafa knew nothing about. This in a season when Purslow saw fit from time to time to invite select members of the press round for tea and biscuits.

When Martin Broughton was brought in as Chairman, above Christian Purslow, it ruffled the feathers of someone who acted like the club was his own personal empire. There was no point Rafa meeting Broughton, the would-be emperor said, because Broughton wasn’t here to deal with issues like that; he was only here to sell the club.

So the emperor kept the momentum against the manager going in the press. We saw leaks about cancelled meetings and unhappy players; he saw no problem in leaking that they were trying to ditch Rafa on the cheap before the deal was even struck – but when those leaks were later confirmed by an official announcement it would be his new boss’s name on the statement. Kenny Dalglish’s name was also on the statement – although we understand he wasn’t asked or told in advance.

When the new manager was officially appointed – after weeks of leaks claiming it was a done deal already – Purslow lurked out of sight of the press conference cameras. He left his new boss to introduce the new boss.

He doesn’t have the power all on his own to hire or fire a manager, even if he can push for the decision to be made. But he has got the power to move photos and paintings from the walls of Melwood. For “Cecil”, as he’s known to many fans these days, that’s an important responsibility. So down the mural came. A show of strength from the little man.

And anyway, it must be quite unnerving to have the eyes of the man you betrayed following you around the room every time you arrive at work.

70 thoughts on “Forget the good times, the picture has changed”

  1. I agree, I was a big Rafa fan and I was appalled at the manner of his sacking by Purslow.
    Rafa got a phone call while he was on holidays in Italy telling him he was sacked.
    Disgraceful behaviour by the little man.

  2. Rafa was holding us together by the force of his will alone. We are heading down the toilet fast. I’m ashamed of those fans who got on Rafa’s back. I just pray Hodgson can keep us in the Premier League until we can get rid of the yanks. We could be Leeds II.

  3. There must be an action from us fans… considering the fact that our first game of the season is a big one against the gooners, we as fans should abandon the game… let them know that we are fed up with the way they are dealing with out club…

    As for Rafa, his main interest was the club and its position, nothing else really… hats off to a man that will always be remembered around here! YNWA

  4. Utter rubbish!
    Beniterz walked straight into another job, not because of his record at Liverpool, 5th, 4th, 4th, 4th, 2nd & 7th, but because that was what was he wanted. He knew his time was up after spending, sorry wasting millions on useless players. You cannot normally get a medical in a week for a new job let alone take up a new job.
    Dalglish was the greatest player but not necessarily the best manager. Instead of raking over a dead issue, get behind the new manager.
    As for Purslow and Broughton, Purslow is a Red! We all want these two yank clowns out and whether you like it or not these two will get rid of these cancerous pair.

  5. Pure claptrap, speculation and rubbish. Kenny was out of management for years (having failed at Newcastle), some fans would have ended up hating an icon. Purslow has swung our biggest sponsorship deal, the club tour is now worth going on and come August we should have new owners capable of building a new stadium. You don’t know the quality of any bidders for the club. The club hasn’t commented so you go on the unsubstantiated comments of a party with an agenda.


  7. The way Rafa was treated was a disgrace, ever since Purslow arrived and before. Rafa was a legend, he embedded himself in the club, the history, the city and had a win ratio of 56% – easily comparable with Fergie and the likes.

    Roy has a lot to live up to – not least the 56%. I am hoping he does well.

    I want Purslow out of this club. The man is clearly suffering from delusions of grandeur. He is incompetent. Two faced. Has NO football background and no respect for the fans. He should resign with immediate effect. Why is our club full of these idiots? It’s an absolute disgrace.

    Purslow has also shown he is a complete coward by offloading Rafa while he was on holiday. What a coward. And I would happily say that to his face. The tearing down of the mural smacks of ‘little man’ syndrome. No matter how hard he tries, little Christian will always be a tiny fraction of the man Rafa is. In years to come no one will remember Christian the idiot.

    He should do the decent thing and go.

  8. Another good article Jim, but I think now is the time to move on from discussing Rafa’s dismissal and the disgraceful way it was handled. That’s not because I disregard him, I’m a firm Rafa fan and hope he’ll be back one day, it’s just that it was several weeks ago now and the new season is almost upon us. And let’s face it, there are enough problems in the present and the immediate future for us to concentrate on.

    Having said that it’s good that Pursnake’s continued crimes and misdemeanours are brought to our attention, but I’m sure pulling down a mural is the least pernicious thing the snake it currently up to.

    Is there any word from the club of its progress in seeking a permanent successor to Parry as CEO? As Pursnake was brought in as MD with, as you say, the remit to find finance/investment, has he now assumed by stealth the position of permanent CEO?

    Also do you know anything of Steve Morgan? I know he now owns Wolves but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was working on something.

  9. @Phileel

    I think you’re talking total claptrap.

    Claptrap No1 It would be highly unlikely that as manager Dalglish would divide the fanbase, whatever the results, as he is perhaps the only person able to transcend the current crisis and unite fans. However discussing either way is engaging in speculation which you’ve criticised Jim for. Which makes you a blazing hypocrite.

    Claptrap No 2 Purslow had no involvement in the sponsorship deal, that was Ayres and Nash

    Claptrap No 3 You’re listing Purslow’ s achievements as a good club tour for the tourists? Now that really is damning with faint praise

    Claptrap No 4 Come August we’ll have new owners capable of building a new stadium? Now really, this beggar’s belief. How many times have we heard that tale? Now you’re starting to sound like Hick’s himself, are you hoping that if you repeat it often enough that it will become true?

    It’s clear where your agenda lies sunshine, you’re a shill if ever i saw one

  10. Tupman you whopper you are the one talking utter rubbish – we finished third in 2005-06 and 2006-07 – not fourth twice as you said, you massive blert. His record at Liverpool also included two Champions League finals and for every bad player he bought he bought a quality one and sold most of his bad buys at a profit. Benitez walked straight into another job because he made Liverpool FC one of the best sides in European football again.

    Purslow is no Red – he is an evil snake who has betrayed our club and this is just the latest example of this odious little man’s work.

  11. @Tupman – Rafa walked straight into another job because he was being subjected to an effort of constructive dismissal by Purslow for months. It’s been known as fact (not utter rubbish) for a while that he was being undermined by the board (will happily show this to you) and his position was being made untenable. What would you do in this position?

    What people need to realise is that its not a case of not backing Hodgson, or longing after Benitez, it’s about the reasons these things are happening. They are happening for non-footballing reasons and it beggars belief how any supporter who recognizes this can be happy with it. Maybe you don’t realise so please have a look back over the articles here and if you have the same opinion then that’s up to you.

    As for Purslow being a red – he is a season ticket holder but his actions are in stark contrast to what you or I would consider to be a red. Did you really read that article and not raise even the slightest concern that Purslow has ordered that our Champion League murual be taken down on pure account of it’s association with Rafa?

    @ Phil Eel – Purslow wasn’t responsible for the Standard Chartered deal – it was Ian Ayre. Purslow played little role in it.

    August – believe it when it happens mate. Have you learnt nothing from the last 3 or so years? I’m hopeful that Broughton is true to his word but you’d have to be naive to what has happened before not to treat Broughton’s “hopeful – no more than that” claim with an absolute minimum of cautious optimism of it actually materialising.

    Bidders – how do you know he knows nothing of ANY of the bidders?


  12. “his record at Liverpool, 5th, 4th, 4th, 4th, 2nd & 7th”

    We’ll be looking back on this record as our glory days in years to come.

  13. well said, Rafa will never be forgotten by those who really care about our beloved club.

    to those who got what they wanted, the Rafa out brigade, you got what you wanted and we are now a second class club, with third class management and scum for owners with no one to stand-up to them, congratulations.

  14. @tupman

    “his record at Liverpool, 5th, 4th, 4th, 4th, 2nd & 7th”

    erm, no it wasn’t

    it was 5th, 3rd, 3rd, 4th, 2nd & 7th and he broke LFC’s EPL season points total twice

  15. I love this column. It is so silly…. but adictive like a soap opera.
    It is interesting Jim, that you removed your last post ‘because Rafa was gone and we now need to get behind the team again’, yet your very next article is bringing up the tired old ‘We love Rafa’ garbage.
    Personally I am glad he is gone, I thought he was a jerk. Zone marking and rotation strategy to mention just a few of his major ‘accomplishments’. Let alone the 17 losers he bought that went nowhere (I posted them all in a previous article). Interesting that El Haza and Ngog aren’t in the WC teams. And Lucas??? isn’t even keeping the bench warm for Brazil.
    Did it ever occur to you that removing the picture of Rafa might be out of respect for the new manager?? You dolt. Did you ever move into a job where the old managers name remained on the door???

    At the end of the day, none of this matters. Even if we get new owners we won’t do any better than 3rd or 4th. and the reason is simple. Only a pure and utter fool would join this dumb bidding war that Chelsea and Man City have started. Who would spend literally hundreds of millions of pounds to finish second??? And that is exactly what either Chelsea or Man City will do this year… It has already started. But there can only be one winner…..
    For some strange reason, some of you seem to blindly believe that ‘new owners’ is the same thing as ‘limitless capital’ and guaranteed success. Well it isn’t. Look at Arsenal…. they are not about to fire Wenger, you know why? ’cause he produces what the Arsenal board wants each year. A respectible finish for a reasonable cost.
    I feel so bad for you ‘yanks out’ crowd. I really want them gone aswell, but if you think we are going to get some kind of genie in a bottle to replace them, you really are dumb.

  16. @Tom, would your second name be Hicks?

    Rafa was a classy guy, let’s not even talk about football, he is loved and respected by the people in the community for non-footballing reasons, and if you think he is a jerk well that just reflects on the kind of person you are.

    Zonal marking gave us one of the best defensive records in the league and won Reina several Golden Gloves, and rotation is a fact of life if you need to compete in the PL, CL, and FA Cup. Do you even know football? Or are you regurgitating the drivel that the shite press and pundits spit out?

    And you’re pretty sneaky to point out a few players who are not in the WC while neglecting to acknowledge that of all teams Liverpool has the greatest representation of players in South Africa. That’s right, Rafa’s lousy team has 12 players in the WC.

    As for removing the mural, since you are too stupid to realise it, let me point it out to you — it’s about destroying a part of the club’s heritage and erasing a memorial to one of the club’s greatest achievements. You do know that the Liverpool Way includes respect for past achievements, right?

    Has it also occurred to you that removing it is being disrespectful to the previous manager, players, and fans? What sort of message does it send out? “Forget about future CL cups, lads”?

    And since the Great Woy might feel he is being treated disrespectfully, why don’t we rename the Shanks and Paisley Gates too? After all, we don’t want him to feel uncomfortable knowing the Gates are named after old managers, right?

    Finally, it boggles the mind that you say none of this matters. The club is leaking up to 110 million pounds a day, it is not a case of looking for limitless capital, it is a case of getting the cancerous leeches out and finding us real and responsible custodians for the club. Christ, do you understand anything?

    I feel bad for you, you clearly lack a brain.

  17. Jim I suggest you stop using our former mangers name in your articles because a large element of Liverpool fans completely miss the point when his name is mentioned.

    This is not about our last manager.

    Whether you liked our last manager or not his dismissal is not going to solve the problems at the club like some of you think.

    I am all for backing Hodgson but the same fans that wanted our former manager out will be calling for Roys head in 6 months time if results dont go his way.

    It may take 5 managers to be sacked for the penny to drop with some that maybe the managers are not the major problem here. They might contribute , they might not but fans need to start looking at the bigger picture.

    I ask you where did we finish in the league in May 2009? 2nd place.

    What was our worst position under our former manager up until that point? 5th in his first season in charge.

    When did Christian Purslow officially start his job t Liverpool? June 2009.

    Where did we finish in the league in May 2010? 7th place. The worst finish in our formers managers time at the club.

    Do people not find it co-incidental that in the 12-15 months since our new MD decided to run things differently we go from 2nd in the league with record points to 7th in the league nearly being pipped by Everton.

    The easy thing to do is point the finger and pull the trigger on the manager. In truth he deserved some of the blame. But if you genuinely think it was the managers fault and the managers fault alone your either ignoring the truth, your in complete denial or you have been so rapped up in the anti campaign against the last manager you can no longer tell the wood from the trees.

    I dont deny Purslow wants the best for LFC, as long as that future contains a major role for Purslow. And thats why I am terrified about what role he will play when new owners are being chosen.

  18. Christian Purslow, you are a twat. The way this club is being run goes from bad to worse. You all need to leave right now.. complete disrespect to a fantastic manager.. what a bunch of wankers we have as owners..

  19. One bad season and its “The end of the Champions League years?”.

    Too many closed minds and open mouths.

  20. Jim – definitely coming down from Purslow? Just that it’s odd for MD to be bothered with the decor at Melwood. Not pointing fingers elsewhere by the way, Purslow’s an odious slimeball but getting the feeling that he’s being used as a lightning rod right now.

  21. OK so we’re in the pooh, but it isn’t all bad. I know its hard to do but cast your eyes over the park at the bitters. Golum has had to sell players to buy players ever since hes been there and they are probably the poorest club in the prem with a smaller fanbase than us, yet they manage to compete week in week out with what they have, Yeah, they have a couple of world class, Arteta and the Gangly Golliwog but they are essentially a tight-knit team of HARD WORKERS, which is what we have ceased to be, we have an incredibly talented squad in truth, they just have England syndrome and can’t or don’t work for each other, and this in my opinion is where Rafa must be held accountable, he seems unable now to get the balance or work ethic into the side. Being an Aussie and growing up watching the fledgling Aussie sides, I have seen sides with precious little talent but MASSIVE energy and willingness to graft and help each other, much like the current Aussie squad, we could use some graft and bonding here.

  22. Oh my fucking word we have some right whoppers following us don’t we. Just curl up under mattress and pull the bed clothes over cos it’ll all go away if you pretend it’s not there won’t it. Cecil is a red? really, show me the evidence of that please.

  23. I have never been part of any Anti-Rafa campaign but I thought it was time he moved on. We finished 7th last year which was not good enough. I don’t care about the lies that were told by Purslow about the money spent when deciding how Rafa used the money available to him. The simple fact is we lost Alonso and replaced him with Johnson & Aquilani. Two signings that did not cover for Alonso.

    We were left short up front as Torres’ injury problems returned again (something the manager could have half expected and made provisions for) and yet no plans were made for cover.

    Does anyone on this forum believe that Rafa did not make a mistake in handing over £18m for a right back when it was clear we had little cover up front? Does anyone believe that the reported £20m spent on Aquilani would not have been better served being spent on Sneijder for £13.8m and then spending the difference on a quality left back instead of playing Insua week in, week out?

    Rafa made mistakes, we need to accept that. Yes lies have been told by Purslow and the Americans but with the funds Rafa had, he did not spend wisely. As you all would agree, you can only do your best with what’s available and I find it pretty hard to argue that Rafa’s transfer dealings last season made the best use of the cash he had available.

    Yes Rafa brough us the glory of Istanbul – for which I’ll be forever grateful, but those people who back the manager no matter what because of their hatred of the Americans (which is justified by the way) are missing the bigger picture.

    I ask the fans who still want Rafa to be boss – were you annoyed when Houllier was sacked? Should he have been given more time? If you look at his record it is uncannily similar to Rafa’s (including his last season) yet he was sacked.

    Was this the right decision? I mean if Rafa is being backed then surely Houllier should’ve been too, after all we won more trophies under Houllier than Rafa.

    Or do different rules apply to Rafa than Houllier? It was clear to me that Rafa had his time and for whatever reason, it was best he moved on. Whether it was because he had enough of the politics at the club and the financial situation is up for debate, but the style of football he was playing, the pressure he was under and the now acceptance by a number of the first team that the time was probably right for him to move on is enough for me.

    If we continue to look back at Rafa and are happy to accept mediocrity, than unfortunately we’ll just end up like Arsenal fans. No matter what Wenger does, the Arsenal fans back him because of what he did IN THE PAST. If clubs want to be successful, you need to look to the future. No room for sentiment etc..

  24. Excellent article. Cecil is a disgrace to the honour and traditions of the club and should leave now.
    Tom – regurgitating the tired old inaccurate nonsense from the Daily Mirror indicates you know absolutely knowing about the game. In every one of the past 5 seasons the club has been in the top three of the fewest goals conceded each season. This would indicate that the system works. Roy also uses zonal marking and so are you also going to criticise him? Rafa rotated less than Ferguson, and considering the amount of injuries the team had last year he had no choice. LFC has the same number of players at the WCup as Chavski – quite an achievement by Rafa when you consider the massive funds Chavski have at their disposal in comparison. There are four current LFC players in the squads of the two finalists. This is not about changing a name on a door it is about respecting the history and heritage of the club. Rafa installed a bigger picture of Ged’s treble-winning season because he understood the importance of heritage. Cecil’s bitter and vindictive actions are a disgrace to this heritage.

    Irish Gaz – Rafa did have cover lined up for Torres but the rug was pulled on his transfer dealing in August. We then had Cecil’s ridiculous claim that the club has spent £20m net on transfers when it clearly had not. How much money was actually handed over in the Aquilani and Johnson transfers last summer? Nothing because the two clubs involved still owed money on previous transfer dealings. This gives an indication of the state of the finances at the club. Rafa had to work under incredibly difficult circumstances and had the rug pulled when he had only completed half of his transfers. It is cowardly to start attempting to criticise the guy in these circumstances. Using your yardstick then Roy will be a complete failure if he doesn’t win the league.

  25. Gordon,

    My yardstick as you refer is that a manager who has had 5 years to win the title (I assume you agree that was his brief) and fails to do so, and 5 years down the line finishes lower in the league than the manager he replaced in his last season is not progressing.

    I would be willing to give Hodgson the same opportunity as was afforded Rafa (i.e. 5 years). If his brief and the expectation of the fans was to win the league within that timeframe and he actually finished lower than the last season of the previous manager (i.e. in 5 years time he doesn’t win the league and finishes below 7th) then he should be sacked as well.

    As for the player he had lined up to cover for Torres – who is this player? Do you have enough knowledge of the intricate dealings of this botched transfer?

    Regardless, he received £30m+ for Alonso and with the money he was given chose to recruit Johnson & Aquilani (note I never send his net spending was in the plus)

    Was this the best way to spend the funds that was available to him? Did he sign players to strengthen the areas needed and was the money committed to these two players a fair price? Did these players perfrom well enough to justify their signing or price tag?

    I think the only answer to all of those questions is no.

    I also note that you didn’t answer my question about Houllier and his comparison with Rafa’s trophy haul and league placings.

    Would you care to refer to this and give me your opinion on it?

    As I don’t know you I would hope that you are not of the attitude that a lot of fans I know have – i.e. if you hate the Americans you must like Rafa. Or the attitude that says if you criticise Rafa you have something against him and back the Americans.

    My standpoint is this – from a business/ running of the club point of view, I believe the Americans & Purslow have done a terrible job and I would like them all gone A.S.A.P.

    I believe that with the money Rafa has had to spend that the team has not progressed to the standards that we all expected upon his appointment. There were clearly issues at the club with the manager at the helm and I genuinely feel that the relationship had run it’s natural course.

    Do you honestly believe the manager didn’t make any mistakes and that his performance can and should only be judged by the performance of the owners?

    I take them as 2 seperate issues – the performance of the owners and the performance of the manager, to which I don’t think either have reached the standards I would like. There was a need for change at the club, unfortunately only half of that change has been made….

  26. Crazy how some of our so called fans know very little about the club. Irish Gaz, £20mill for aqua, are you sure? Do you even know what was paid up front? Did sneijder want to join Liverpool? I cant remember reading about any come get me pleas.

    Great article Jim, keep them coming. Yes, I was a fan of rafas, still am, but I’m deffo backing Roy and I’m not caught up in any sentimental stuff. Purslow is a lier. How many more examples need to be put in front of people before it finally sinks in. This guy sat in front of television cameras and told us that we spent our usual £20mill plus sales budget, the same as per every other year. Christ, if this doesnt tell you all you need to know I dont know what will.

    Jim, dont stop the good work. how can we form opinions without all the information.

  27. Rafa made profit to the club, based on the last three years transfers.

    And who bought Reina, Torres, Insua, Pacheco, Agger, Benayoun, Mascherano, Kuyt? The list can go on and on…

    Still our club is in deeper depth than ever. We’re close to bankruptcy. Face it! Rafa was the guy who kept us up. Not the man who let us down…

  28. Dear Motomoto…
    So critcal and so agressive!!
    I love people who automatically negate any differing opinion by saying they know nothing about football.

    The point I am making with regards to our WC representation is that we DO have more than any other Premire league team…. Unfortunately some of those now representing their country in the WC could not get a space on the LFC team due to our ex-manager who favoured such international stars as Lucas, Ngog, and El Hazar.

    Moreover, as we are represented by more players than any other Premiership club why did we come 7th last year? Wouldn’t that suggest that we have the talent, but it was simply badly managed? So why the need to buy buy buy??

    Also, did you notice the number of international stars playing for their country that used to play for Liverpool but Rafa sold in order to raise funds for such talent as Ngog, El Hazar and Lucas??

    See the problem is that you all want another Man City. Just buy your way to the top. Make all the bad decisions you want, buy bad players (and before you provide me with a list of the good ones he bought, reflect on the numerous mediorcrity that crossed our doors).

    As for a part of our heritage, surely you are not comparing Rafa to Shankly or Paisley? Rafa isn’t fit to tie their boots. And you say I don’t know anything about football?? Oh dear, so sad.

    Oh, and as for Zonal marking, how many goals did we concede last season?? And if it is the panicia you suggest, why isn’t it adopted by more teams? And rotation?? Some rotation is practiced by some teams -generally based on injury, but nothing like the garbage that Rafa introduced.

    Now, with regards to finance. Clearly I understand finance better than you would suggest. If LFC are, in fact, leaking 110 Million Pounds per day (as you say), that equals an amazing 40,150,000,000.00 pounds per year. Do you really believe that? Read my last paragraph again. (actually for the first time would be nice). You obviously didn’t understand it the first time. My point is that nobody can complete with the spending of Man City and Chelsea. Why would any club go bankrupt trying to be #3 or #4? That makes no sense as a business person or an LFC fan..

    Finally, with regards to Rafa as a man. I agree he is a decent guy. I don’t care for his approach to football, which is why I called him a jerk. Not because he didn’t give enough money to orphans with diseases.

    And no, my name isn’t Hicks. But I have been a supporter for just about 50 years, have laughed, cried, and celebrated with the best of them. Don’t ever question my qualifications.

  29. And oh, Motomoto, one other thing….
    So, you have already give our new manager an insulting nickname….. Wow. Some kind of fan you are.

    How about getting behind the guy and providing support, instead of crying over your fallen hero?

    Move on, Move on, with hope in your heart……

  30. If possible, can we see the mural, please? (an older picture when it was still there) Also the picture of the site after the mural’s been taken down…

  31. @Tom

    Please don’t drag up the zonal marking debate. If you noticed, Rafa actually used a hybrid system of zonal and man to man. There was an excellent comparison Paul Tomkins did a while ago comparing zonal to man to man marking and zonal was shown to leak less goals….. BUT……. the goals that were leaked were highlighted in the press/media much more.

    I’d be interested to know who all these mediocre players were/are. For a manager largely restricted to signing players under say 10M during most of his reign, sometimes you do have to take a chance and hope they progress well. Some, Pennant for example, just are not interested in developing.

    I can honestly only see Alonso and Crouch at the world cup that are ex-Liverpool. Are there others I have missed? Maybe Brazil missed a Lucas type player at the world cup???

    I think the players you mention, El Zhar, Ngog and Lucas were intended to be players that could be developed. Not hounded out of the club at the first hurdle. Lucas has come on leaps and bounds but always looks unsure when playing alongside Mascherano, he is much better pushed higher up the pitch which he did in a few games last year.

    As for goals conceded….. wait for it, we let in 35 in the league. The THIRD best defence in the league despite the season we had. Chelsea let in 32. This is only 8 more goals than the previous season when finishing second. This I think tells you the problem was more apparent the other end of the pitch. 08/09 we scored 77, 09/10 we scored 61.

    If you like a conspiracy theory, apparently a deal was in place last August to sign a striker, Jovetić from Fiorentina (or it may actually have been Jovanovic I cannot remember), but the funding was pulled the last minute. Cue press stories that Rafa has walked….. I guess you could make up the rest.

  32. Whilst I understand the terrible situation ongoing in the club with the owners etc and everyone is right to vent their anger regarding this subject. I do wish all true LFC fans would be 100% behind Roy Hodgson. He is our Manager now, so Roy YNWA!!

  33. Harry
    Sorry bud, I don’t need help. But I appreciate your concern, however sarcastic it might be.
    The ‘I love Rafa’ crowd will never die. I just hope they fade away quietly.
    If you haven’t got it yet, Jim has a personal thing against Purslow. He tries to manipulate everything, and everyone, into his personal crusade. To the extent that he is trashing our new manager before he even got time to put on a kit.
    It appears that you are just another cog in the machine. Oh well.

  34. Re: Tom’s statement:

    ‘My point is that nobody can complete with the spending of Man City and Chelsea. Why would any club go bankrupt trying to be #3 or #4? That makes no sense as a business person or an LFC fan.’

    So I guess the rest of us should all just pack up and go home then hey Tom? What’s the f***ing point in even trying to compete hey? I don’t want some mystic billionaire coming in to my club throwing wads of cash at over priced footballers. I just want an owner (and club officials) who have the clubs best interests at heart (take Randy Lerner at Villa for example). And before anyone starts that statement wasn’t an open invitation to tell me where Villa has finished in the league every season since he’s been in control!

    However, the fact of the matter is the majority of this talk is completely irrelevant at the moment. There’s a far bigger picture here than just comparing what Rafa did to what Houllier did, to what Roy Evans did (err?) – this is about the future direction of this great club of ours.

    My personal wish is to see a intensified concerted effort by all fans to drive these asset strippers (and there power crazy associates) out of this club ASAP. I would call on all fans to stay away from Anfield on August 15. This isn’t about not providing support to the team, this far more important than that. The club’s very existence is in danger here.

    It’s all well and good having gimmicks – the green/gold campaign down the road is obviously well organised and co-ordinated. However, those same fans that wave their green/gold scarves week in week out are only succeeding in one thing – lining the pockets of the very men they want rid of.

    So please, do the club a favour and stay away on August 15.

    I love the smell of revolution in the morning.

  35. i was i am a rafa fan but he is no longer at the club, we now have new manager and it is only right we get behind him and give him our support.

    i think fans should boycott the home games to force the wanks out if the money dries up they will naff off.

    when we get our club back we can hopefully all watch in a new stadium, hopefully before im dead but who knows.
    any way it looks like roy ask convinced stevie g and cara that he can do some good for us.
    as long the wanks let him we might do ok.
    we cant have as many injuries as last year can we.

  36. Whitehorsered….
    I don’t think we should just throw in the towel, but there is something to be said for being practical and having realistic expectations.
    My only comment is that one of the richest men in the world owns Man C. Another one owns Chelsea. Both have made it clear through player signings and manager removals that they want to Premier League at ANY cost. It is highly unlikely that we will find an owner who is prepared to out spend either of those two who are, in my opinion, ruining our game and our club. HOWEVER, it is quite possible that a few clubs will go bankrupt chasing a dream. I hope that won’t be ours.
    No, we shouldn’t throw in the towel, but understanding what lies around us, we should have realistic expectations, or we will be firing our coach every year.

  37. Good man Jim, lets storm the gates of Anfield and get that evil Mr Purslow and take him out and burn him at the stake that’s what he deserves. IN RAFA WE TRUST.

  38. For the last two years the closed minded media idiots almost made fun of Rafa because he was intrested in Forlan, after what i saw from him in the last year, wow what a compliment it would have been to see him play along side Torres

  39. Times have changed, it seems from what has been said on behalf of the RBS that the bank has now taken charge of the sale of the club.

    If this is the case that the Carpetbaggers have no so in the sale of the club it can only be good news. The bank will want to have the club in as good a shape as possible to get it’s money back. Selling players will be the last thing they will want.

    Given his track record Purslow may find he’s one if not the first to shown the door when the new owners take over. Good riddence.

  40. Jim, did you see what that little traitor Yossi had to say about our beloved RAFA in the press this weekend. I bet you that that evil Purslow fella paid him to make those commentsand he also paid Reira to make his comments, either way its Purslows fault. Lets blacken Yossi’s name forever now for betraying Rafa. I wonder how many more of these traitors are going to come forward now to betray our beloved – dont worry we take them all on one by one.

  41. @ Joe when the season gone by ended Yossi came out and proclaimed that he wanted to stay at Liverpool until the end of his career but he didnt know if that could happen because Benitez was still at the club.

    Then Yossi’s bluff was called when Rafa got the sack and Roy was appointed.

    He could no longer hide behind the Rafa excuse anymore but he still chose to go to Chelsea.

    That shows him up for being the two bit rat that he is for jumping ship when the club needed him most.

    Its clear himself and Rafa had issues but who says Rafa wasnt in the right, whos to say Yossi is nothing but an impact player. His time at Chelsea will tell.

    Yossi’s the one who left the club, Yossi’s the one bringing all of this in to the public domain. He left because like so many others hes a glory hunter and has jumped ship at the first sign of trouble.

    And Joe your quick to throw the likes of Benayouns comments about Rafa in Jims face but I’ve never seen you mention Torres comments over the last couple of years praising Rafa for getting the best out of his game.

    You only prefer to see one side of the argument. Blinkers!

  42. Juan….
    Not just Yosi, but Alonso, Reira…. How can we have so many dumb people in one club.
    Simply amazing.
    Open yer eyes, son. Open yer eyes.

    ps, thank god El Zhar is leaving….. wish he would take Ngog with him.

  43. @ Tom: El Haza, El Hazar, El Zhar. 3rd time’s a charm.

    It’s difficult to take someone’s opinion about a player’s ability seriously when they don’t even know their name.

    What did Yosi say? Was it the same as what Yossi said?

    Who is Reira ?

  44. Hi Martin
    Is that the best you’ve got?? You must be a teacher.

    In response, it is also difficult to take an opinion seriously when you focus on a few spelling errors instead of the context of the debate.

    I assume that you ignore and discredit all other comments unless they have 100% spelling accuracy? Must be a dull life you lead.

    Oh well, small mind I guess. Have a great day.

  45. @Tom. Evening mate. Nah, I’ve got better but I thought I’d point out the obvious. When you’re watching players play they normally have their names on the back of their shirts. And when you look at line ups they normally spell their names correctly. And commentators normally pronounce their name phonetically. To formulate an opinion on a particular player one would have to assume that it’s only fair that you watch them on at least a handful of occassions. I don’t see how you could meet that requisite requirement (and see said name on back of shirt and hear it) and come up with El Haza?

    The only plausible alternative is that you’re a bit stupid so if that’s the case then I apologise.

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