Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Bloggers of the Round Table 1: Liverpool

To keep things interesting over the quieter summer months, Neal & Jeremy suggested a "bloggers round table" could take place to discuss a number of topics via email, which I thought was a great idea & it's something we started to put in to practice a few weeks ago.

Firstly, the people involved -
  1. Mike Hynter - Writer at EuroSport and part of the team that produces The Fantasist;
  2. Nik Argiropoulos - Me! Author of the YFF Assistant Manager blog;
  3. Susiendran Karunananthan - Author of the YFF Scout blog;
  4. Mohamed Kileeny - Reader of FantasyEPL and Top 100 finisher in the YFF game this season;
  5. Jeremy Spitzberg - Co-blogger at Fantasy EPL;
  6. Neal Thurman - Co-blogger at Fantasy EPL;
The first topic raised by Neal was...Liverpool.  His questions? What did we think SHOULD happen at Liverpool over the summer?  What did we think WILL happen at Liverpool? You can read our opinions over on FantasyEPL via the following links:-

The Fate of Liverpool? : Part 1
The Fate of Liverpool? : Part 2
The Fate of Liverpool? : Part 3
The Fate of Liverpool? : Part 4
The Fate of Liverpool? : Part 5 

Hope you enjoy the read - I certainly enjoyed being part of the discussion. Since the first round table we've had further debate on the subject of the 'Top 4 Pretenders', which I'll be posting up on this blog later in the week.

What are your opinions on the Liverpool situation?



Miecio said...

Everything what was written there is true.
To be honest it's hard not to share theirs view.
Benitez is great manager but he knows nothing about making good transfer. He knows nothing about making super-stars from litle, shy and young lads.
Owners did massive job to let Liverpoll drop here (I mean where it is now).
Very, very shitty job by them (I mean all of them Rafa and owners)

Bojan said...

I think that Pool will be in bottom half in EPL next season... 11th or 12th place...

Bojan said...

and if Gerrard leave, they will be between 15th and 17th place...

ToffeeDave said...

I had this discussion in person with a Liverpool fan friend of mine. Here is my thoughts. Liverpool are a club on the decline with Rafa doing all he could have done for the club. Everyone rates Rafa as a manager and his tactics are amazing but frankly he is overrated and is no more than a coach, not a manager.
Firstly, his transfers are the easiest thing to pick out about him as too many times he has overpaid for average players but its hard to say that is his fault. Managing a team such as liverpool, other clubs know you have money so they will try and get as much as they can from any deal meaning sometimes he could have been stuck paying more. But not only was he paying too much, he was buying the wrong players. Why would you spend 22 million on aquilani when you could spend 5 million pounds less, buy a joao moutinho who is still young but has the passing and vision of xabi alonso? The face he bought Keane 2 summers ago or so would have made me eat my words. Finally a striker to support torres and ease his mind when he is injured, but he sold him 6 months later. Why? Rafa has not bought suitable young replacement to build the club over time but simply has let the core of his team age and never progress. With all that Champions league money over the years, it would have been easy to buy youngsters such as macheda, moutinho, velosso, defour, etc. and have a strong core for the future. Rafa has failed all liverpool fans by digging them a hole.
Secondly, now that Liverpool has missed the top 4, and with a clearly demoralized squad, who really thinks they can make the top 4 again? I know I dont. With Man City buying their way to the top and teams like Villa, Tottenham, Everton even Birmingham all progressing, how can this look to the players at liverpool. Torres and Reina have some days left in them but in no uncertain terms will they want to stagnate their careers with not winning or at least playing in top competitions. Players like Benayoun and Gerrard on the other hand, are also world class but on the wrong side of 30 and will not spend more than 1 year of their few remaining years not playing Champs league if a bigger club comes calling.
Lastly, I feel immensely confident that Liverpool is now a delicate set of dominoes or a house of cards just waiting for one of the main pieces to leave. If Rafa goes, Gerrard cant wait for a new coach to build a succesful team again. If Gerrard leaves, Torres will follow him out the door immediately and with his offensive supoprt gone, bye bye Reina.

I cant help feeling Liverpool are just a top 10 team now with all their debt and player staff.

Assistant Manager said...

Looks like he's going guys

Kellz said...

I wish some one could bring something other than the obvious to the table.....

ToffeeDave said...

Wow I guess I was right. Rafa is definately out of here.

Bojan said...

This means that Rafa has great new offer to coach some big club... and only big club w/o manager is Inter...

Anonymous said...

My feedback: part1:
@Mohamed Kileeny,you said " Benitez has spent millions and millions... " . true. but why stop at that? obviously he also recoup MILLIONS ans MILLIONS .
"still has the guts to say that he wants 4-5 players to make the team stronger"
lol. surely every sane manager would said this at some point in their career. lest you forget, players DO GET OLD. you need to replace quantity for quantity and if possible increase the quality.

"What did the “squad” look like in 2005?"
ummm, that's 2005! 5 years on you don't really expect these players to be in liverpool do you?
kewell, injury-prone, wage sapping. Owen-"LOUD MOUTH" get us only 8mil and nunez, Baros-headsdown striker who didn't work out(not even under MON's aston villa, left for 6.5mil), Cisse(broke his feet,poor scoring record) , Smicer(age), Hamann(age), Hyppia(age), Henchoz(age and JC was coming to centre,release free), Finnan(aka mr consistent move due playing style and age), Murphy(left for 2.5mil), Riise( left for supposed under 4mil) . with this "2005" group, benitez recoup around 28mil. guess how much does torres cost?

Lucas-(young, Liverpool's Young Player of the Season ), Aurelio(came for free, off for free, injury plagued), N’gog(goal per mins should be really decent, 1.5mil in), El Zhar(wasn't good, filler-class), Pacheco( so called up and coming? need more games, saw him too rarely), Insua(forced to play on and on and on, something got to give that is consistency), Degen(free in) . didn't cost more than 10mil for this group.

"Mark Gonzales, Sebastian Leto, Albert Riera, Antonio Nunez " made an earning of 1mil odd on MG.made earning of 3mil odd on leto despite him not appearing for liverpool on pitch AT ALL(work permit issue).riera- unhappy issue with benitez despite having a decent to good showing) nunez was forced down benitez's throat(free in , free out). with riera still here, we spend like 4mil on this group. surely this are "awesome" transfer deals.

"plus the quick buying, rejecting, and then selling " if players don't work out, then they've got to go! you don't want inept players staying around do you? especially with only little to no loss as a penalty. lol, quick buy-sell? crouch? 3 season playing for us? no? signed at 7mil sold at 11mil? bellamy was and still is a firecracker. right choice to sell. keane, yes. but look who bought him from us? if benitez is an idiot, someone is a bigger fool. Morientes didn't work out well. just like plenty of footballers moving to other leagues, not a surprise really.


Anonymous said...

my feedback: part2:
" There are exceptions - Fernando Torres, Pepe Reina, Javier Mascherano, Glen Johnson etc, but these are big names that any fan who's had a stab at watching European football would know about" really? torres was already a BIG name back then? reina? you must be joking. JM must be playing plenty of games at west ham. GJ - a plyer who left chelsea? for pompey?

" with only David Ngog as back-up to Torres" there's babel, kuyt. crouch left as he didn't want to be on the bench, most players will have that same mentality when pondering joining Liverpool or not.

" Alas, as soon as the pressure returned with many backing them for the title in 2009-10, they wilted, with defensive systems leading to disappointing football and most worryingly, poor body language from many of the players on the pitch."

injury played a great part. look, 09-10 is a pretty aweful season for plenty of teams, not only Liverpool. alot of injuries and we have a decent long european campaign.

when Aquilani joined liverpool, it was already certain he will be out for a few months. and ummm, he need to get his fitness back WITHOUT a pre-season , fit into a different playing team,country,players.... needing time to prove himself. let's see him next season. as well as why we sign him, well, only his future will tell us if he is a gem or not. why we sign him for so much then? if he is to recovered, and played real well, we will lose an opportunity as he will be costing alot more. he's got to take a risk.

liverpool will always want to give it a go in european tournament. the thin squad of Villa, everton and others clearly can't be mentioned as a positive over liverpool's. quantity however becomes a priority. quality is second( in Liverpool's case since its financially bound). just look at fulham.

@Neal, liverpool need quality youth to fill in. a TD is not necessary. with a youth system that is set up properly, young players will lower the transfer costs as well as wages cost. This is what he demanded when he signed his contract. which i think is correct(business sense wise).


Anonymous said...

my feedback: part 3

"Steven Gerrard cannot leave the club" ummm, if Real bid 40mil? no player is indispensable, its only if the price is right. and remember that gerrard is the highest paid player. his departure will free up even more money than just the transfer fee.

" That would give carte blanche to whoever came in to immediately stamp his authority on the club, bring in whoever he likes and prove he is a wiser owl than Benitez in the transfer market. " On one hand , liverpool will less money after ripping up the contract, meaning the next manager will not have a big budget. selling these players may be a good thing if they fetch good money. On the other hand, even after obtaining a vast budget for rebuilding, will the new manager be able to lure good players here? hardly. what sort of managers out there is available? european-class? work with a tight budget? in a "pressure cooker" situation where result is a must? apart from real's new manager JM(but with a large budget it must be said), i don't think there is any.


Anonymous said...

my feedback:part 4
@jeremy ,
"And quietly, Everton may have assembled the strongest team of the whole bunch heading into next season."

well, their thin squad certainly will look good in a none euro-campaign season. lets see how spurs, villa and man city cope with euro games then . =)

" The cupboard is bare." benitez saw that early on. that's why he wanted to control the youth set up. that's why Rodolfo Borrell was signed.


Assistant Manager said...

Hi Newbie - thanks for your comments mate, I'll respond to some of your replies to my input.

Benitez has never trusted Babel to play upfront alone & Kuyt was really the only option for the right side of midfield, so neither were really in a position to be backup to Torres, leaving Ngog. Not good enough for a side who started the season looking at a title push.

Reina was an outstanding signing, but are you suggesting Torres, Mascherano & Johnson weren't big names? Torres, a Spanish international, a world renowned striker back then, which is why he cost over £20m. Glen Johnson, had just secured the England right-back slot the previous season & cost £18m, Mascherano was an Argentinian international & one of their brightest hopes, he may have flopped at West Ham but that was mainly due to the turmoil at Upton Park. These certainly weren't gems found from nowhere.

As for mentality, Benitez still played 2 defensive midfielders later in the season, even with a full strength squad to choose from. And in terms of body language I mean things like Gerrard's reaction when Torres was subbed vs Birmingham. Both players had a look of "what is he doing?". Don't think injuries had anything to do with that.

As for Aquilani, Benitez spent £20m on a player who would miss at least the first few months. He needed to replace Alonso with someone who could come straight in. By bringing in an injured player he left too much responsibility on Lucas, it was a huge risk that did not pay off & was one of the main reasons Liverpool aren't in the Champions League next season.

Your defence of Benitez is admirable, but a lot of the issues stem from his mistakes & I think Liverpool will be better off next year if they begin the campaign with a new manager.


Anonymous said...

Latest- Rafa Benitez left Liverpool!

gosh! we made a big mistake. a real big one. to say he is the wrong man, since he was here, there are only 2 clubs being winners of epl. And ask yourself why is RB courted by other big clubs? there must be something correct.


Anonymous said...

" I mean things like Gerrard's reaction when Torres was subbed vs Birmingham. Both players had a look of "what is he doing?". "

Torres was injuried and the camera panned to his ice-packed knee i remember. and it help in delaying his operation(which HAD to happen later during the run-in period)
torres- 14 goals in 36 games(06/07) world-renowned???true that Mascherano was already a capable player, but he was "leftout" out west hame. Benitez took a risk with Mascherano. it was hardly the type of hype signing. if any, it was one that was puzzled(and with the amount involved as well). GJ was hardly world renowned, he's just an english player. you must minus the hype around all english players. =)

but, you are spot on on this "Benitez has never trusted Babel to play upfront alone " and i do think it was due to babel's pace that he's better off playing from deep. kuyt did played a few time with ngog and solely in the season i remember. but these are really desperate measures. we even played JM onRB at times. lol.

tbh, i like to fall back on the commonly thrash-out phrase - if only we didn't had so many injuries(we didn't even have fully fit defenders at one point of time). if they were fit, we will not have these problem, AA could have a decent bedding time, then the media's focus on his injury for so long. if you ask me, i believed that Benitez hope GJ's threat down the right would compensate alonso 's departure. and -injury popped up.

i don't like to defend RB or any one, i just want to celebrate victory really =) but RB was doing a decent job, if not a good job during this 4th phase of the PL aka RA-era. being second is the new one?


Anonymous said...,19528,11096_6189645,00.html
Paul Walsh- It's easy to say get rid of Benitez - I'm certainly one of those people, not in a horrible way, who thought it was time for a change - but finding a replacement is quite a big problem.

there's really not an aweful lot suitable ones out there...=(

geez, i'm really upset. on one hand we are burning money for interest that ought not to be there, these could be better re-invest into the squad, can you imagine 25mil or more into the annual transfer budget?

on the other hand , we just open the door for our competitors. Spurs,Villa,ManC,Eve now have an advantage .


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