Date: 16th August 2011 at 10:00pm
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With everything that’s happened in the last few years it’s sometimes easy to forget how far we’ve come in just 12 months under the new ownership. Reading an article in the Echo today brought it all back to me though – ‘Ex-Liverpool FC owner Tom Hicks sued by former club Texas Rangers for allegedly ‘enriching himself at team’s expense’. It seems our illustrious former benefactor is being accused of using the baseball team as a means of securing loans to enable him to build a real-estate empire, rather than investing in the actual team and playing staff. Sound familiar? You bet it does.

Remember the era of Hicks and Gillett? Not that long ago, was it? Remember four consecutive transfer windows with a negative spend, remember losing our midfield maestro and not being allowed to spend the money on a replacement, remember having to bring in Maxi and Kyrgiakos at a combined cost of £1.5m because that was our budget? Remember dreaming of Pellegrini or Sanchez Flores and getting Hodgson? Remember all that, and then remember how lucky we are to have the current owners and management team.

I can’t quite believe looking back just how bad things were this time last year; the Cowboys were still clinging on to the club with their fat, greasy fingers, we’d lost a manager who in my opinion is one of our all time greats, and in his place we were treated to a man whose record paled in comparison. Much as the press tried to talk him up, a cursory look at Hodgson’s ‘achievements’ revealed that he’d only done well when bringing structure and predictability to relatively weak teams, and that when taking charge of teams with good players and higher expectations he’d failed at every attempt. At Inter for example the fans disliked him so much that they pelted him with coins and lighters. At Udinese he gave bizarre interview after bizarre interview, blaming everyone but himself until the owners were forced to sack him. At Blackburn he spent a fortune on utter dross and doomed a team that had been Champions just two seasons previously to relegation, again blaming everyone else and steadfastly refusing to resign despite a run of results that saw just two wins in fourteen games and Blackburn languishing bottom of the league.

Many of us felt he wasn’t up to the job but we were admonished in the press for our ungratefulness and our undeserved sense of entitlement. We were told that we were getting a gentleman, a distinguished and decorated coach who spoke five languages fluently don’t you know (my wife speaks as many but I wouldn’t want her in charge either, although if you’re reading hon I’m sure you’d do a cracking job) and a man who would ‘steady the ship’. And steady it he did. Sadly he’d set a course to mid-table rather than the top half, but by God he was determined to stick to his mission at any cost. Suddenly we were being told to lower our expectations and accept mediocrity, that Hodgson’s tried and trusted methods which had served him so well for 35 years would eventually start to kick in, that the players just weren’t trying hard enough to adapt and that no other manager could do a better job with that group of players. Suddenly we were sliding down the table and with each lifeless, uninspired performance we were greeted by a manager trying to convince us that there were positives to take, and that the situation he’d inherited was far worse than we’d been led to believe.

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8 responses to “Comparing Liverpool one year ago to today”

  1. Marc_the_Red says:

    Why is it that every time someone refers to Hicks and Gillet it’s as “the Americans”? But when mentioning the new owners they’re just FSG, not “the new Americans”. Why is that? You trash us as cowboys, but don’t give us any credit when we come in to save the day.

    • Joel says:

      I haven’t called them ‘the Americans’, and I call them cowboys because they are in the British sense of the word. Thieving con-artists.

  2. sneh says:

    luvd the article mate!!!keep it up!!if v had the current owners during benitez’s tenure,v would have surely not lost him,cuz he brings in pure foreign talent!!!although king kenny is no less,bt i think benitez deserved more..surely hicks and gillett were the worst owners v have ever had!!

  3. john babsa says:

    FSG want success in business too like the two fat guys who were in charge before. Although, the group at FSG also want the club to regain its prestigious place among Europe’s elite clubs by winning titles. And so far they have proven to us that money is not an issue when it comes to signing players. I have been a Liverpool supporter for so long, and I will die a Liverpool supporter too. However, I am more hopeful now than i was last season when I had to watch the team I love passionately slide down the table and face relegation. We were with no doubt the laughing stalk in the eyes of other people, but this season we will be the team that everyone talks about and fears. Once again the “THIS IS ANFIELD” sign will be an intimidating factor for players visiting our beloved home ground.

    • Joel says:

      Good comment, I think the main difference between FSG and the previous lot is that the aim now is to exploit the Asian and American markets for long term profit rather than bleeding the club in the short term. Our new owners have a proven track record in the States of doing just that and have given us plenty of reason to trust them so far.

  4. Abdor says:

    This article is great. I never understood Hodgson’s appointment, not because I thought I could do better than him, but because I didn’t see any major trophy in his career. That is what we needed, someone who is used to big European games, aim at winning the league (not stabilizing the ship). That is what Rafa was, and fortunately, that is what King Kenny is. He is one of us, has a winning mentality, spends invue of the future, and sure enough, knows none is bigger than the team (in reference to his quick approval of Torres disgusting transfer request), and has a deep respect for the team.

    LFC isn’t tipped to lift the trophy, but I am very much confident they are genuine contenders this year – but it feels good to be underdogs and know we can…

  5. Ronel says:

    What a bilnrialt idea – A cash rich American company that would be able to afford everything that Liverpool require to become #1 again.For the rubbish players such as Christian Poulsen and Glen Johnson you could rename them Christian Bing and Glen Yahoo! just to highlight their status as also-rans, although based on that thought it would be fair for Ryan Babel to become Ryan Alta Vista!I don’t think there would be many Liverpool fans that would mind the world’s biggest search engine taking control of the world’s biggest club!