Comparing Liverpool one year ago to today

That’s not to say that Hodgson is the worst manager in the world. He’s not. In fact, if you’re a mid-table side struggling with relegation he’s clearly very effective at restoring discipline and tactical rigidity. You only have to see how well he did in reviving Fulham and West Brom in recent seasons to provide evidence of his aptitude. What he isn’t able to do though is take a group of talented international players who are used to modern training techniques and tactical flexibility and force them into his old-fashioned system. Some of us remember the supposedly ‘leaked’ whiteboard from last season, and although its origins remain somewhat questionable the mere fact that so many of us could believe it at face value says much about the way we were playing at that point. Hodgson is a manager who works best when he has a group of unfashionable players in need of strict instruction and exacting direction, not when he has a group of good players who simply need inspiring after one disappointing season.

Thankfully this marriage made in hell was ended by the new owners, and to their credit they listened to the fans and made it possible for our greatest living manager to take his place at the helm again.

I’ll never forget the moment I learned King Kenny was being appointed. It made me feel like a kid again, and it brought back an overwhelming but much-needed sense of excitement and hope which had been almost hammered out of me by the Americans. I couldn’t stop smiling and I knew that we once again had a man in charge who felt the same way about the club that we do, who suffered with every defeat and celebrated every win as hard as us, a man who understood that Liverpool F.C. are the greatest club in the world and that for it to be languishing around the Europa League spots was an absolute travesty. He was one of us, and he would fight with every ounce of his strength to get the team back where it belongs at the top. Sure he’ll make some transfer choices that we’re unhappy with (I’ll address this in an article after the window closes) and sure he’ll get his tactics and team selection wrong sometimes, but what we mustn’t forget is that the high standards we judge him by are the same that he holds himself and the club to.

What’s clear now though is finally that we have a squad with decent depth and variable options for once; a fully-formed left side, a set-piece specialist, a talented group of youngsters who should see some decent action again this season, a world-class striker/superstar who has already glossed over the loss of that Spanish fella, and a couple of raw but exciting England internationals who might just form the basis of our first team for years to come. We have a manager and assistant with pedigree, a prodigiously talented reserve team manager, a Director of Football with a proven track record (as proven as anyone given the unpredictable nature of signing players) and a worldwide scouting network that should be the envy of every other club. Look at the recent influx of young talent from across the world for proof of that. One of the quotes about our club of which I’m most proud came from none other than Pep Guardiola recently when he declared that “La academia del Liverpool es la unica que puede competirle a ‘La Masia’ del Barcelona FC.” This translates as “The academy of the Liverpool is the only one that can compare to La Masia of Barcelona FC.” If that doesn’t fill you with hope for the future then nothing will. We’ll be back up there challenging sooner or later, but it’s important not to lose sight of how far we’ve come already and how much damage the previous regime did to our club.


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!