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Arsenal defeat adds to Liverpool's off-field worries

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Phil McNulty | 23:45 UK time, Sunday, 2 September 2012

Liverpool's inner workings will soon be exposed to public gaze via a fly-on-the-wall documentary. It may be to their eternal relief that the cameras stopped rolling before transfer deadline day.

The events of the last 72 hours would have held huge appeal for football voyeurs - but may have made grim viewing for manager Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool's owners Fenway Sports Group.

Liverpool's 2-0 loss at home to Arsenal left them without a Premier League win this season and the bright new dawn of the Rodgers era has coincided with their worst start for 50 years. Thousands of empty seats and the ominous sound of silence at the final whistle told the tale.

It was the sub-plot to the defeat that carried the more disturbing undertones, with Rodgers facing an inquisition into his relationship with his American paymasters so soon into his tenure.

Rodgers did his best to dance around the more loaded - and perfectly understandable questions - but one thing was beyond doubt. He only sanctioned Andy Carroll's departure on loan to West Ham with the firm conviction and understanding that he would be allowed to sign a replacement. To his obvious frustration, this did not happen.

The proposed replacement, Clint Dempsey, ended up at Tottenham when he moved from Fulham as Liverpool declined to spend £6m on a 29-year-old. The failure to conclude the deal shone a harsh spotlight on the current financial climate at Anfield after the lavish £100m-plus spending of the brief Mark II Kenny Dalglish era.

After an utterly abject display in defeat, Rodgers was left with the whiff of a manager who had been let down, short of players and even refusing to rule out what would be the desperation measure of Michael Owen's return to Liverpool.

The start of Brendan Rodgers's reign as Liverpool manager has not gone according to plan. Photo: Getty

If Rodgers was not allowed to spend FSG's money on a player of a certain age who scored 23 goals for Fulham last season, what logical explanation could be given for bringing Owen back to Anfield? It is surely the longest of shots.

Rodgers insisted FSG has not misled him but two questions and two one-word answers were all that were required to confirm something had gone badly wrong at Anfield in the two days leading up to the closure of the transfer window.

Would Rodgers have let Carroll go if he was not going to able to bring in a new signing? Answer: "No." Was he confident of a new signing? Answer: "Very."

So if Rodgers was not misled, there was at best a serious breakdown in communication that led to the manager expecting something vastly different from what he got. Namely a squad that he unwittingly weakened by allowing Carroll to leave in the mistaken belief reinforcements would arrive.

The fact that Rodgers was then talking about the possibility of Carroll returning to Liverpool in January almost before he has unpacked his suitcase in London underscores how flawed those final hours were and how frustrated manager and supporters have been left.

Rodgers will hold talks with FSG because, as he put it: "There are just one or two operational things we need to iron out."

This was presumably code for a conversation that will end with Rodgers receiving firm assurances that there will be no repeat of Friday's events, events that left him fielding questions about possible early tensions between manager and board.

It is ludicrous to talk about Rodgers being in difficulties, especially as it appears he is operating under the strictest of financial constraints in reaction to the largesse extended to Dalglish. Rodgers has arrived and reacted in the manner of a new home owner flogging off unwanted items left behind in the loft by the previous incumbent.

Carroll and Charlie Adam have gone, Jordan Henderson was offered to Fulham in a proposed Dempsey deal while 17-year-old Raheem Sterling is being preferred to Stewart Downing.

This has, however, been a far cry from what Rodgers had hoped for when this bright young manager left Swansea City for the biggest challenge of his career.

There was widespread sympathy for Rodgers from experienced Anfield observers and FSG's reluctance to stump up for a player their new manager clearly wanted - and hardly one from the top end of the market - does not square with Liverpool chairman Tom Werner's recent claim that he wants the club to compete with Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The first serious murmurings of discontent about FSG are being heard among Liverpool's support but the owners' answer may just be that they lavished money on transfers last summer, failed to see their investment rewarded and now the party is over. Reality has set in.

It all made for an uncomfortable, unsettling atmosphere around Anfield after what has been a less than sparkling start to the season.

So the last thing Rodgers needed was the arrival of Arsenal to lay bare the frailties of Liverpool's squad on and off the pitch with an impressive demonstration of why there should be real optimism for manager Arsene Wenger despite the sale of Robin van Persie and Alex Song.

Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla scored their first goals for the club in a graphic illustration of why Wenger believes they can lead Arsenal into the light after the gloom surrounding Van Persie's departure. The German's finish was efficiency personified while Cazorla looks a steal at £15m.

The real bonus for Wenger, as well as Mikel Arteta's imperious display, was the magnificent performance of the powerhouse Abou Diaby. Formidable in all parts of the pitch, he made a nonsense of the fact this was his first full 90 minutes in more than 12 months.

And to round off an excellent day, there was a third successive clean sheet in the Premier League in this first win, with the word coming out of the Arsenal camp that much of this is down to the work of Wenger's new right hand man Steve Bould.

As the Arsenal fans went through a selection of taunts aimed at Liverpool, Anfield emptied at an alarming rate and the lack of any reaction at the final whistle was an accurate measure of their team's response to the superiority of their opponents.

Liverpool are attempting to implement Rodgers's passing philosophy but there is no threat. On countless occasions Liverpool approached the penalty area without anyone actually being in the box. It was a blessed relief to The Kop when substitute Jonjo Shelvey at least tried a few shots.

Rodgers has also been presented with an unexpected dilemma. Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina produced the latest in a catalogue of errors that have dotted his recent career when Cazorla's powerful shot went through him and in at the near post.

Once exemplary, the Spaniard is now an obvious weak link in Liverpool's team. He has been poor for some time now, but appears immune from being punished with the loss of his place because of a lack of credible competition.

Even Steven Gerrard caught the disease with an uncharacteristically poor performance and a concession of possession that led to Arsenal's first goal.

So Rodgers will be left to his talks with FSG this week. Plenty would pay for the privilege of being a fly-on-the-wall for those conversations.


Page 1 of 11

  • Comment number 1.

    Rodgers' footballing philosophy just won't work at Liverpool in my view. Good manager but success only facilitated at Swansea by the phenomenal foundation Martinez had already laid. Liverpool job was always incredibly difficult given the dearth of quality in the squad and it's impossible to see them breaking into the top 4 this year.

    However much the owners let him down he must have known broadly how much money was available and he chose to spend £15m on Joe Allen and £115k/w and a loan fee on Sahin. To be fair he would have needed something like the vast sums wasted by Dalglish last year to transform the squad, a side with Suarez and Borini as the only recognised strikers is hardly going to set the scoring charts alight. What compounds it is that Carroll will inevitably prosper at West Ham who will seek to use his strengths, what I was amused by was Rodgers' admittance that he was judging him against the standards expected of a £35m player, given that he and anybody associated with LFC have always taken the opposite approach? Great way to knock his confidence and heap the pressure on!

    Game was a bit surprising as whatever shape they're in LFC always seem to turn up for big games at Anfield. In fact they normally dominate Arsenal for at least the opening twenty minutes or so with a high tempo but didn't look like having any cutting edge. Unlucky with the Suarez penalty appeal but in reality created almost nothing and were undone by an organised Arsenal team who in truth weren't really tested and kept their first clean sheet at Anfield this century.

    Don't know why people are so surprised by Gerrard's performance, he's an absolute shadow of his former self. Still a bit harsh that he got so much blame for the first goal though, he gave the ball away 90 yards up the pitch, LFC still carved apart ridiculously easily.

  • Comment number 2.

    I thought the most humiliating thing for Rodgers was actually having to admit he would have kept Carroll, having spent several weeks trying to show him the door at anfield. Something went terribly wrong, but I would have thought Rodgers would have waited until he got someone in to replace before sanctioning the loan move.

    Further humiliation awaits if he tries and re-signs Owen, those Koppites are not going to like that very much. As for Drogba - why on earth would he want to go there, even if Liverpool would stump up his 250k a week wages?

    Yes. It is only three games in and every manager needs time to implement his philosophy, but things look bleak for Liverpool at the moment.

  • Comment number 3.

    At risk of sounding like an old TV show, don't panic!

    I would rather not pay over the odds for an ordinary striker (Dempsey) than pay over the odds for one (Carroll). I'd also remember that Liverpool have new players who need time to settle - Allen, Sahin, Borini and Sterling.

    Having said that, Reina's form is indeed a problem, and I disagree with the article - there IS an option, in Brad Jones. He's not brilliant but Reina is making one bad error per game at the moment and Jones will be better than that. Even more worrying is Gerrard, who I think has three times already conceded possession with a poor pass that led to an opposition goal. He needs to make sure his passes find the target, even if that means playing shorter balls.

    Most of all, we need a player to stay in the middle, a "fox in the box". Suarez isn't that guy, but Borini might be, and if not him then let Morgan play. There has to be a cutting edge, or at least the threat of one.

    But still: don't panic. Liverpool's opening fixtures are beasts, so be patient and give BR and the new boys time.

  • Comment number 4.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 5.

    Surely the boars must be regretting the Dalglish appointment, he had a dinosaur transfer policy of signing largely British players, and in this age with how expensive they are its hardly surprising in the Gulf for quality between the two teams Jordan Henderson for 16 million, Carzola for 15 million. Think Roberto Martinez turned down the job for a reason and the very fact Liverpool went after Martinez and Rodgers suggests a lack of ambition from the board to me. Fact is they have spent a fortune on players that have little re sale value and the board quite rightly don't wanna hand over another 100 million, people seem to be forgetting that Allen and Borini cost almost 30 million and still Liverpool seem to be clueless. I think Suarez is being put under pressure to step up when in actual fact he is hardly inundated with chances.

  • Comment number 6.

    Depending on whether the board can afford ir, I think they will replace Rodgers with Redknapp in January's with Liverpool's fixture list I can see I real loss in confidence coming and Anfield crumbling as a fortress, teams will no longer fear going there

  • Comment number 7.

    Let's cut to the chase by providing a qualitative and quantitaive analyses of Liverpool's plight & pathetic performances. What or who is the main CULPRIT.

    Given the inordinate amount of scoring opportunities Suarez strike rate is poor. Why isn't he clinical?

    Perhaps we should look at Messi's to contrast. Messi creates or strives to score everytime he gets an opportunity. He does not look for cheap fouls or go down easily. That's what make him the No. 1 footballer currently playing.

    Against the Gunners, Liverpool had more scoring opportunities (17 shots with 8 on target) & better goal opportunities than Arsenal (11 shots with 7 on target). Suarez HOGGED or received more than half of them, some of them clear cut or open goal opportunities (including free kicks) . His on field behaviour leaves a lot to be desired, i.e. more than 50% of the time given a scoring opportunity instead of striving or creating the goal honestly he tries to comp a foul or penalty. Yes his on -field body language reveals it. That's a fact.

    PL referees are wise up to him & so does Liverpool's opponents.

  • Comment number 8.

    "Once exemplary, the Spaniard is now an obvious weak link in Liverpool's team. He has been poor for some time now, but appears immune from being punished with the loss of his place because of a lack of credible competition."

    I'm sorry but that is nonsense, Reina is still a class act and today he simply allowed a powerful shot that he could have saved to creep in, a shot which would have gone in past many top keepers.

    If FSG sack Rodgers before the end of the season, football is in a bad way. Give him a chance, don't buy into a philosophy then jump ship before it gets a chance to work out!

  • Comment number 9.

    OTOH MU today had the same amount of goal scoring opportunities (18 shot vs 9 on target) against South).

    Just imagine if RVP was 'impotent' like Suarez, MU would have lost 2-0. Go figure.

  • Comment number 10.

    You don't win games if you don't score' is very apt.
    Why blamed Reina or the defense? If RVP hadn't score MU fans would have vilified de Gea. No?

  • Comment number 11.

    5. At 01:52 3rd Sep 2012, OChappell35 wrote:
    I think Suarez is being put under pressure to step up when in actual fact he is hardly inundated with chances


  • Comment number 12.

    Why oh why did Liverpool not stump up the cash for Dempsey...He is 29, in his prime and scored over 20 goals last season. A no-brainer really. If you can spend 35mill on Carroll, 15-20 million on players like Allen, Downing and Henderson etc.. then 7 million for Dempsey is relative peanuts

  • Comment number 13.

    people keep saying it's only been three games

    but it was rodgers job to get liverpool scoring wasn't it?

    instead, liverpool are now conceding more frequently!

    there is a misconception that brendan is going to get lfc playing tiki taka football (like martinez did for swansea). but pretty football wasn't last seasons problem. the problem was scoring. Brendans main job was getting a finisher in. He had weeks to do that. I'm positive that steven fletcher will out score every liverpool player this season and sunderland will fc will see newcastle as an example of how teams can finish above liverpool

    I'm sure Everton fans are quite happy at the moment

  • Comment number 14.

    Any talk of Rogers being replaced is silly in the extreme.
    He has to do what Souness did the first time Dalglish left the club in the lurch,namely replace a team not good enough to vie for the title. In the early nineties,the bloke left an ageing team going bakwards. This year he has left a team with players clearly not good enough,and the added bonus of spending vast sums on the said players.
    I have no sympathy.
    The board last year gave the fans what they wanted.
    Liverpool have spent the third largest amount of money since the premiership was formed.
    Unlike other clubs,they have failed to build a new stadium.
    They have been left behind by United and Arsenal and are in real danger of becoming the city's second place club.

  • Comment number 15.

    10.At 02:09 3rd Sep 2012, Goluboy wrote:
    You don't win games if you don't score' is very apt.
    Why blamed Reina or the defense? If RVP hadn't score MU fans would have vilified de Gea. No?

    Probably not as De Gea was dropped for the game today due to his recent mistakes.

  • Comment number 16.

    Liverpool will improve and likely finish in the top half of the table but the top 4 and European football is but a fantasy right now. If it wasn't for that goofball Skrtel, they'd have taken the biggest scalp of all, Manchester Cite-eh and there would not be nearly the amount of pessimism that currently surrounds them. The line between success and failure can sometimes be very thin and Liverpool are currently finding that out.

  • Comment number 17.

    I'm not saying Suarez hasn't squandered a lot of chances but the more pressure he's under the worse. Borini looks far from the finished article and I'm not aware of any other Liverpool strikers so they need to be patient with Suarez and not blame him solely.

  • Comment number 18.

    I said it last week that Liverpool created nothing and wouldnt win a game for a while. I got insulted over and over again. Rogers is a useless manager. Whats the harm having a striker on the bench? Man U has 4 strikers with Welbeck and Henandez likely to be bench warmers,yet Liverpool had 3 and loaned one out. Plus i had to add Van Persie saved United not paul scholes, paul scholes had many incomplete passes and only created one opening. So i didnt see what ferguson and Van Persie saw and i dont like false praises. What changed the game was ferguson reverting to wing football.

  • Comment number 19.

    Rodgers looks completely out of his depth and I'm not sure who could get that team performing consistently in the top 6, Liverpool can't play passing football they don't have the players for it to be honest their best tactical plan would be using Carroll's physical presence, but he's obviously gone

  • Comment number 20.

    @10 you're simply an ignorant Liverpool fan. It's people like you who are 'vilifying' LFC.

  • Comment number 21.

    Agree Van Persie change that game, why Southampton didn't mark him up baffles me

  • Comment number 22.

    Reina has been pants for 3 seasons, dont see how he is a class act. Borini showed why he is a midtable player. How a coach would let a mid table player that have scored more than 10 league goals in his career leave because of a player that has a career high tally of 9. Garth Crooks' done it again, useless team of the week. This Liverpool team looks extremely week plus Sahin was poor. I dont blame Dalglish, he bought average players but its Rogers job to get the best out of them, see arsenal as an example. So people blaming Kenny for rogers failure where the same people blaming benitez for dalglish failure.

  • Comment number 23.

    Liverpool have been in the doldrums so long I'm actually beginning to feel for them.

    Rodgers seems to be between a rock and a hard place. On one side you have the passionate Kop holding up their proud history and expectations, and then the board on the the other side that looks suddenly much more cautious after blowing a cool 100 million last year.

  • Comment number 24.

    Carroll (player) is under contract with LIVERPOOL FC, as is Rogers (manager).
    How come Mr. Rogers can decline to work with Carroll ?

    Further, he sends Carroll away and is then surprised to have a striker missing ...

    Lord Sugar, once owner of Tottenham Hotspurs, has said he found out that professional football clubs are no real business ventures.
    The behaviour of Mr. Rogers seems to confirm that, no ?

  • Comment number 25.

    The most disappointing thing today was the lack of effort having gone 2-0 down. No effort, dropped heads - the exact same groundhog day we had repeatedly last season.

    Gerrard and Suarez have to be singled out as being abysmal. For all Suarez's effort, he is so sloppy and 1 track minded and this results in us giving away possession far too easily to a team that are far more fluent on the ball. Gerrard was poor for the mistake but other then that he kept playing stupid hollywood balls and giving it away. Reina is culpable for another soft goal....again. Borini looks lost - he isn't capable of beating a player.

    Allen and Agger were our only good players. Sterling did OK but didn't get behind enough.

    For both goals it was too easy - both from GJ side. Both times (especially the 1st) we were so slow to get back and get a shape - which is what Arsenal did throughout the game and with our lack of creativity and toothlessness, we made it easy for them to defend.

    I suppose the only positive was we were hacked down twice in the first half just outside the box, hit the post and Suarez had a good chance. Other than that, I have never been so bored or uninspired watching Liverpool for some time. I didn't even watch the last 10 minutes.

    The start we have made is exactly the start that I dreaded. Confidence will be at a low now where I felt if we had beaten City last weekend, we would have probably got at least a point from this game.

    Sunderland away and United at home with 1 point or less and we will start to become credible relegation candidates.

  • Comment number 26.

    Perhaps, the money from the Liverpool owners dried up after Mr. Rogers had publicly (!) stated that he would have spent "many more millions" on the transfer of his former darling-player from Swansea ...

    Quite unprofessional behaviour from a manager, no ?

  • Comment number 27.

    Still baffled as to why BR allowed Dirk Kuyt to move on....he's already scored 6 goals in 7 appearances for his new club - DK is a player who wore his heart on his sleeve during his time at Liverpool, he would have been a huge asset to BR........surely when BR told the owners (in his interview for the job) about his vision for the club - the Barcelona style passing which didn't mean "hoofing" the ball up to a tall front man, they must have, during these preliminary discussions have a mutual understanding as to what areas of the team would need improving to start this that point, would the owners not have advised how much money was available or decided if the changes to the team were feesible? To accommodate any specific system for a team, you need the specific is plainly obvious there isn't the money - so surely slightly tweaking what was an already improving team in the latter half of last season, including a certain Andy Carroll would have been the wisest option based on the circumstances.....even keeping Alberto Aquilani would have made sense for this new passing style that BR wants to implement.....To loan 1 player, sell another and not pick the other two for today's starting eleven from the £70 odd million spent to acquire these individuals is simply embarrassing & suicidal if it impacts negatively the following season (which it seems to have done so far after 3 games and one transfer window).....

  • Comment number 28.

    We're in a dismal state at the moment guys. That is all I can really say.

    Confidence is everything, and we have none. I can only hope we do as well as we did last season, once our signings have settled. Suarez is crafty one, but he's not going to do it for us alone. We'll definitely improve, but not enough for a good finish this season.

  • Comment number 29.

    It was not "an utterly abject display"; Liverpool held their own in the first half and one poor pass in the opposition's half lead to a fortuitous goal that went under the last defenders foot and over the goalie's foot. The second half was more of the same. On another day with another ref' Liverpool would have had a penalty or two. This isn't to say that Arsenal didn't play well, their defence did it's job and they made good use of their two best chances. The problems at Liverpool are obvious and growing to the dismay of the fans, the delight of the Liverpool hater's and the pleasure of lazy journalists. A team that has been on the decline for a number of seasons is not going to be turned around by anyone in a few games - maybe a few seasons if the chance is given. Meanwhile we will continue to provide easy and cheap pickings for the hacks and haters.

  • Comment number 30.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 31.

    Talking of strikers - what happened to Assaidi - signed on 17 August for £2.4m Brendan Rodgers hailed the deal, saying that he was "delighted", and described Assaidi as "an exciting player...that will excite the crowd" - hasn't started a game yet???????
    Or what about Samed Yesil - German Under 19 captain who Brendan Rogers paid £1 million for claiming he could be the next Drogba - he scored 19 goals in 21 games for the German U17's 2 years ago???
    Maybe if he didn't spend the £3.5 million on these two and used that money with the £3 million offered by the owners for Dempsey, maybe Liverpool could have got their man for the £6 million Fulham were looking for...........

  • Comment number 32.

    #4. If I was a Liverpool fan I'd prepare for a very very long time in the wilderness. It'd take a genius like Wenger to fix that and how many of those are there?
    Still if you're in the bottom group come spring there's always Big Sam.
    Sadly they've become a dis-likeable club in recent times and many are enjoying every second of their misfortune.
    Nail, head, there. Count me in as enjoying it. No-one likes arrogance and Liverpool had it for years, and for long after they faded. In fact delete 'enjoying' and insert 'relishing'.

    Truth is though, beating Liverpool is not the achievement it was. In fact, I would suggest it may become routine for the top six, of which Liverpool are a million miles from joining, for the next few seasons.

    Radical surgery and lots of money will be required. BR looks to be the best man to carry it out though.

  • Comment number 33.

    Both, Sir Alex and Mr. Wenger are examples of a capable football manager.
    Most others are not ...

  • Comment number 34.

    Dalglish has led Rodgers up the garden path with the woeful signings during his tenure. To his credit he has realised how poor some of them were and released several but it appears there is no money to splash out even on ageing strikers.
    There is not going to be instant success at Liverpool so the option is to stick with Rodgers and give him time rather than look at his position in January and make rash decisions.
    One thing that Rodgers has to realise immediately is that he cannot build a team around Gerrard anymore. His performances are becoming anonymous and whether he has the passion and commitment for the fight is questionable.
    Liverpool will improve but it will be a few seasons before one can see them challenging for Champions League football which will not please the Kop faithful

  • Comment number 35.

    I seem to be reading blogs about Liverpool on a weekly basis, surely I'm not the only person who has lost interest?

    On another note, my team have moved to third in the table after collecting 7 points against sides that should probably end up in the top 8 and no-one has even batted an eyelid!

    Any danger of a West Brom player ever making Garth Crooks' team of the week?

  • Comment number 36.

    @ReformationPostTLC - challenging for Champions League Football may still prove to be difficult in a few seasons time.....without CL football there's no substantial money coming in.....there's no players I can think of that have a high "resale" value in a year or two - it ill be up to the owners to invest a lot of cash or for Brendan Rogers to really work on the youth team and bring them through...........

  • Comment number 37.

    As I see it the problem isn't with Brendan Rogers it's with LFC. Last season Suarez behaviour was deplorable, acting like a racist and diving all over the place, LFC backed him to the hilt and everything that has happened since is down to bad karma. Throw him out of the club and all the misfortune will end and other fans may even stop hating you.

  • Comment number 38.

    Too many LFC players are living on their reputations built up by blinkered pundits and analysts. (1) Stevie G is a shadow of his former self as a player and as a captain he doesn't have the fire anymore. Anybody who sees him as anything but past his best is sadly deluded. (2) The same must be said for Pepe Reina who has been average for many seasons and is no better than any other GK in the Prem, in fact he is a lot more prone to howlers than most other GK, QPR's Green excepted. (3) Skrtel is a one footed liability (4) If Suarez stopped acting like a second rate panto performer and actually tried to hit the target once in a while rather then trying to nutmeg entire defences in a single attack and walk the ball in, LFC might start scoring (a few) more. (5) Henderson was the best bit of business Sunderland could have wished for, 23 million unbelievable! (6) Downing appears almost to be in a trance like state and I am not sure if he knows what day it is.

    BR got rid of Carroll before getting a replacement (what kind of idiocy is that) and let Kuyt and Aquilani go when both would have suited BR's style of play. LFC would not pay 6 million for a 29 year old who consistently scores goals in the Prem and yet paid 10 million for Borini who wasn't that special in Serie A.

    The transfer policy is a sham and LFC is no nearer becoming a force once again than at any time in the last 20 years. Its a mess with no remedy in sight.

  • Comment number 39.


    so we lost to arsenal lots of teams will, the draw
    with city was a good result considering they are the
    best team its not like we have had easy opening
    games we have played two of the top four
    already.we lost to arsenal its not like we lost to mid to bottom table teams like norwich, newcastle or

    Mmmmm West Brom.

  • Comment number 40.

    I'm not a Liverpool suporter, but they were always one of my favorite clubs. Ever since Suarez came on the scene I smile when they lose. The point here is that new owners see their clubs as brands. Suarez might be a good footballer, but there's a dark side that may of seriously hate. Liverpool is a brand that I now reject.

  • Comment number 41.

    @38 - I agree with most of what you say - but BR has spent over £30 million this summer....Allen may come good but I agree - Borini is average (only scoring 9 goals in 24 appearances last season at Roma).......I agree keeping Kuyt & Aquilani was a must for BR.......the sad thing is they both went for peanuts with minimal return for the club.........

  • Comment number 42.


    Spot on, now the new player that would fall victim of this is Sterlin. He even has an analysis about him written on BBC, forgot to mention Enrique and englands best right back glen Johnson. To me only Allen is worth the hype.

  • Comment number 43.

    Brendon Rodgers has to go I dont know why he was hired by Liverpool in the first place he is not half the manager king kenny was, i say fire mr rodgers aand reinstate Kenny then we can start team building even if it means going down a division we may learn something

  • Comment number 44.

    Brendan did pretty well with his loan/transfer options at the Swans, but even then made a hash of deadline day. Ironically, both he and Joe Allen must have had some fears about battling it out at the foot of the table this year..... Just not at Liverpool.

  • Comment number 45.

    Having watched the reds since 1963 and seen all the great teams, I can at least feel more qualified than most that post on here, to comment, especially those that just plainly hate LFC.
    Firstly, it's not just 3 games - we were 17th in the form table since January - we are showing relegation form over a period longer than half a season.
    Rodgers is the victim and has to pick up the tab for some of the worst transfers in recent memory, although it is the ultimate insult he wants to get US playing like Swansea.
    Trying to justify the Carroll transfer even now, is pointless, he never was, never will be good enough for LFC.
    35m bought Aguero, 25m bought Van Persie - go figure - Carroll was just the first and epitomised the lack of judgement Kenny [and or Commoli] displayed and at so great a financial cost, there's no more money to waste like that.
    As far as Dempsey is concerned - he might be better than what we have - how far we have fallen - but Fulham as a team, only scored 12 away goals in 19 games last season - not a great advert for Dempsey.
    There have been years of mismanagement at our club and the chickens are coming home to roost - too big to go down - yeah right!

  • Comment number 46.

    @43. Kenny was perceived as being the return of the prodigal son, even I was run over by the bandwagon that remembered the glory days as a player / player manager, but IMO he took LFC even further backwards and it is a direct result of his abysmal transfer dealings that have set the parameters that BR has to work within. The handling of the last 48 hours of the transfer window was pathetic but how much were his hands tied by the Owners?

  • Comment number 47.

    Liverpool beware on you way down Tranmere roversmay pass you on their way up.

  • Comment number 48.

    No exagerration, as a true fan for over 30 years, this is the first time I felt worried. LFC has always bounced back from adversity, but I just don't see it this time any time soon.

    Rodgers seems to be obsessed with proving Dalglish wrong. Everyone could see that our problem last year was lack of goals. Rather than getting a striker early in the window, he waited and spent most of his budget in midfielders.

    LFC does have history of supporting our players, but the way he treated Carroll had been ridiculous. Why keep pushing him out in public? Yes, it was wrong not to have a replacement, but I think Rodgers should take a fair share of the blame in this malaise.

  • Comment number 49.

    so Liverpool fans blamed Benitez for Dalglish failings, now they are blaming Dalglish for Rogers failings. Lol

  • Comment number 50.

    no.10 - i would hope de gea wouldnt be vilified,it would have been a tad cruel,the poor guy didnt play! hope your not a man yoo fan....

  • Comment number 51.

    Liverpool fans have nobody to blame but themselves! They callled for "King Kenny" when every other football fan knew he was a dinosaur.
    Spent big money on average players. At least he didnt sign Rush and Barnes like he did at Newcastle.

  • Comment number 52.

    @ 41

    So as a Liverpool fan of course you are going to want some inspiration from a Kop legend - KD was not a bad appointment if he had not been given 100m. Additionally, he did generate 62m from sales of Torres/Mereiles. The problem was he probably signed the players based on Football Manager or MOTD. You can't expect someone that has been out of management for so long to be in touch with the world of football.

    The owners/Comoli are at fault. The owners because they quite clearly know nothing about football and Comoli because Spurs signed as many English players as possible when he was sporting director of Spurs. Conincidence? I don't think so.

    The thing is we have to work with what we have now - the problem in terms of our youngsters is Sterling/Shelvey/Allen look the only players that may be able to propel us back to the top in the next 5 years. There is just too much deadwood and too much of a negative feeling around us that we won't be up there for a while.

    BR - blood the youngsters and chop the chaff. Let's see where it takes us....

  • Comment number 53.

    I know this is off topic but i have to add it because there is no other blog for it.

    The fact that Welbeck signed a new contract doesnt give him the right to play. No way on earth should Welbeck and Kagawa play on the wings ahead of Nani or Young no matter how bad they play. Kagawa makes Man U play too narrow and United have the best wingers in the league. Welbeck is the most overated player even more overated than Carrol. He cant cross or dribble well enough to play on the wings, he cant score goals enough to play as a striker, couple of flicks and good tackles doesnt gurantee him a shirt. Henandez 100 times a better striker, we have ball players in Rooney, Valencia, Nani, Kagawa,Van Persie even Young. Dont see what welbeck can do that they cant do better and Henandez keeps defenders occupied in the 18 yard box. He doesnt need to run about like a headless chicken. Next game ferguson need to revert to his wing football and get a convincing win.

  • Comment number 54.

    What is the point of this article? Finding excuses for Brandan Rogers? Was the loan deal for Caroll the reason why Liverpool lost? Didn't they lose before Caroll left? Besides, it wasn't as if Liverpool needed three strikers to get a goal against Arsenal. Borini and Suarez were there. Why didn't they score? Caroll left because Mr. Rogers thought he didn't need him; he didn't fit the manager's "attacking, possession" football, which BBC and Sky have promoted so much without giving the man the chance to show what he can do. Why is he being missed now? You guys at BBC clearly have your favorites and will find all the excuses you can when they fail. I can't imagine what you would have written if it was the Chelsea or Arsenal Manager. You find all the excuses for Man U, Spurs, and Liverpool, blaming everyone else but themselves when they fail.

  • Comment number 55.

    It's only three games in to the season. Two against top 4 sides. Trying to adopt a different style - I see no reason to panc for Liverpool fans.

  • Comment number 56.

    This blog is wide of the mark.

    It's my understanding that FSG wanted Dempsey for the exposure in America.

    The sale was blocked by Al Fayed, who took offence to the previous statement made in error that Dempsey was a Liverpool signing.

  • Comment number 57.

    FSG employed Comoli. Now they are using him as an excuse not to invest.
    They want a top four finish and they won't invest in their choice of manager.

    This has Hicks & Gillett mark 2 written all over it.
    I've written our season off.
    The parallels with Aston Villa are many.
    Ignorant American owners. Little investment. No stadium expansion or move. Saying things that they think we want to hear, but doing something entirely different.
    TOP 4?
    I can see an uncomfortable lower mid-table finish at best leading to more tired American slapstick platitudes.

  • Comment number 58.

    New manager. New tactics. No players to implement said tactics. No money. Tough schedule to start the season. All this really shouldn't be a surprise.

  • Comment number 59.

    The Media working rigorously to prepare the first grave for the first Premier League manager on the 3rd day of the new season. And all "knowledgeable" fans biting the bait impatiently. What's news?

    What we won't read is all last season's top four have had a poor start this season.

    Southampton were not awarded a clear penalty at the Etihad (Lescott) while City scored an offside goal. City should have lost at Anfield had it not been for two presents from Liverpool defenders. While, against QPR, the final score could easily be 2-2.

    Chelsea scored a clear offside against Norwich while, at Wigan, after the early Chelsea goals Wigan were the better team. Chelsea were embarrassed by Atletico Madrid with the final 4-1 scoreline flattering them.

    United lost the most convincing 1-0 at Goodison, had big-time problems against Fulham at Old Tratford while they shouldn't have won yesterday.

    Arsenal were sweating all over until yesterday about whether they'll ever score again. They've treated a 0-0 at Stoke as a world class event while they achieved a 0-0 at home against Sunderland.

    Spurs.. erm... Spurs. Even Newcastle show signs that last season may have been an one-off.

    It's a tiring replay reading about Liverpool needing a new manager every start of a season. Give the manager a break. It takes time to adjust to a different style of play. What puzzles me is Swansea were playing magnificently last season with Graham as their list of strikers.

  • Comment number 60.

    What a ridiculous statement after the first thing he announced was he was desperate to get rid of Carroll, a ridiculous decision in itself. Scores a cracking goal at Euros, showed good form end of last season, huge investment and he cant wait to get him out the door??!?? Sets up two goals and causes all sorts of problems at weekend and suddenly he has realised what a major mistake has made. Whoever appointed the one season wonder is to blame, but you could see this a mile off, will Liverpool ever learn??? Still paying for King Kenny's madness spending huge amounts obsessed with home grown players, all of which showed massive overspends and slowly being given away for their true value. What a mess...

  • Comment number 61.

    Too many people still think of Liverpool as the club of the 70's and 80's. The club trades around the world on those past glories.

    Past performance is not an indicator of future results, and clearly the owners hid not heed this when going back to King Kenny.

    Brendan Rodgers is a good young manager, but again was his head turned by the past history of Liverpool rather than the actual job at hand?

    It's early days but the Champion's League may be beyond this team again this season, and the finance required to compete with today's top clubs gets further away.

    How soon before people refer to Liverpool FC as "Sleeping Giants" ?

  • Comment number 62.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 63.

    HaHa I was watchng a feed on the internet which had a wally commentators assistant ( some hasbeen player) who kept saying that Liverpool outplayed Arsenal!
    Diaby looking like Vieira Cazorla looking like cesc
    now whos going to do the TH14 role
    we're nearly there

  • Comment number 64.

    Dear god... some of the comments on here are ludicrous.

    The owners desperately need to make some form of press release clarifying exactly what happened to stop the ridiculous amount of unfounded conjecture going on.

    If, as someone's said, Al Fayed led Liverpool to believe they could sign Dempsey, only to reject the move at the last minute, then that's fairly harsh, but I guess he was well within his rights to do it and we should never have sold Carroll before finding a replacement. I imagine there has just been a breakdown in communication somewhere.

    As for our league form, it doesn't seem much different to last year. We're not being dominated and could have won our matches, but fate has been against us. IT's hard to take, but I didn't really expect us to have done much better than this by this stage anyway. Calm yourselves.

    I can see the WUMs are having a field day at the moment though.

  • Comment number 65.

    Perception plays a massive part in football but it doesn't look to good at Anfield at the moment. You look around the squad and Suarez is probably the only top player with Gerrard beginning to age. Liverpool's transfer policy has been atrocious, with Carroll (£35m), Downing (£20m) and Henderson (£20m) seemingly not really part of Rodgers plans. £75m worth of signing not on the pitch. I do admire Rodgers' football philosophy but I just don't believe you win titles with a commitment to 'total football' unless you are the likes of Barcelona and have supremely talented players. You can play good football but there is nothing wrong with mixing things up by getting balls in the box or playing long ball and that's where Carroll won West Ham the game on Saturday. Bad times for Liverpool and either they will stick with Rodgers for the long term, or he will be gone fairly quickly, just like AVB I suspect.
    From what I witness yesterday, Arsenal look pretty decent and I expect them to have a good season.

  • Comment number 66.

    hey Liverpool fans dont worry
    This time last season phil and pundits were writing Arsenal off big time, and yet they finished 3rd
    early days yet
    BBC hacks gott make a living somehow

  • Comment number 67.

    Rodgers must ask questions about not stumping up 6m for dempsey? But then i think its crazy to have got rid of carroll! Kenny played him wrong, but from what i've seen of liverpool they have been putting crosses in for suarez to miss? madness! England player, i think a bright future if worked with and rodgers didn't give him the time of day! I am worried for liverpool, they don't seem to have any answers to scoring goals! suarez needs some work to be the main goal scorer liverpool desperatly need!

  • Comment number 68.

    If you do not score goals you will not win. Caroll leaving has left LFC very short in this area.

    Suarez is a complete embarrassment. Liverpool only have Borini as a striker now! Referees really need to start showing divers like Suarez cards. He spent more time on the floor than on his feet. ANY other striker in the premiership would have scored some of the opportunities he had - including Owen!

  • Comment number 69.


    Apart from hamming up a clear foul yesterday - where did he dive? Metersacker was all over him for a clear cut penalty. Don't get me wrong, Arsenal were far better but if we were United, the tackle on Sterling that wasn't a foul, would have been given in a heartbeat. Then again, I don't think RVP penalty was one. He took the ball then the man - stupid tackle but the ball was taken. Lescott anyone?

    What annoyed me most, hence the name change, is the fact I saw him vigorously kick thin air every time he gave the ball away - this must have been at least 10 times. If he just stopped his petty strops and learned how to score he would be up there with the best. He is our best player but he doesn't give enough, with the exception of passion. A frustrating and hated character from other fans.

    Would rather have Owen than Borini - sign up the mercenary!

  • Comment number 70.

    Should be sold:

    Should be benched:

    Should be loaned out:
    Fernandez Saez

    Should be bought:
    Starting keeper
    Back-up Centre back
    Back-up left back
    Another midfield option
    Starting Striker
    Back-up striker

    Not going to happen. Squad is very poor. Not much Rodgers can do if we suffer a few injuries.

  • Comment number 71.

    I was listening to a football radio program a few days back and they were talking about Premier League revenues from TV cash allocation. Allegedly, next season, the bottom club at the Premiership might earn more than what City earned as champions last season, from TV money. If that is true, clear blame should be pointed to Liverpool owners for not buying Dempsey.

    Surprisingly, Dempsey moved to Spurs who were supposed to be buying a creative midfielder. As a result, Liverpool look poor up front with only misfiring Suarez, while Spurs look nobodies at midfield. Great.

    If there is something puzzling me at Liverpool is their hurry to get rid of Carroll. He was amazing for West Ham on Saturday. You never loan out your plan B' so easily.

  • Comment number 72.

    Having watched both of yesterdays games it really isn't the time for knee jerk reactions. Liverpool desperately missed a cutting edge yesterday but how different could it have been if a penalty had been given against Mertesacker and a red card to follow. It's amazing what a bit of luck can do and afterall it is only 3 games into the season so plenty of time left.

    Man U showed what can happen when you have a class striker. They lacked urgency for much of the game and Southampton looked composed as they moved it upfield. With someone like Van Persie though the defence always looked a little nervy and when cool heads were needed the Southampton defence lost theirs.

    Don't be surprised if the next match at Anfield is quite close.

  • Comment number 73.

    An excellent article from the chief writer, Mr Mcnulty. Thoughtfully presented and clinically analysed, providing a factual background and overview of the current problems at a once great club.

    "If Rodgers was not allowed to spend FSG's money on a player of a certain age who scored 23 goals for Fulham last season, what logical explanation could be given for bringing Owen back to Anfield? It is surely the longest of shots." - I am sure BR will be asking FSG the same thing. Ayre certainly must be in the cross hairs for this transfer dealing. They released the likes of maxi, kuyt and carroll all proven EPL goalscorers and replaced them with Borini (all in all a CFC reject in the mould of di santo).

    "Rodgers has arrived and reacted in the manner of a new home owner flogging off unwanted items left behind in the loft by the previous incumbent." - Except BR has carried out a Stalin like purge and removed useless and useful players from the side. Where was Joe Cole yesterday?

    "The first serious murmurings of discontent about FSG are being heard among Liverpool's support but the owners' answer may just be that they lavished money on transfers last summer, failed to see their investment rewarded and now the party is over. Reality has set in." - Reality indeed must have set in. They cannot compete with the likes of Arsenal, let alone Real & Barca. The Europa League this year will be a big day out and they should relish it as it's unlikely they'll be there this time next year. A top 8 finish will surely be viewed as a success. Shame they released RH when he was doing what now appears to be an excellent job.

    "It was a blessed relief to The Kop when substitute Jonjo Shelvey at least tried a few shots." - It just shows how bad is has become when you read a sentence like this. The only way Shelvey should be at anfield is as a paying fan.

    "Even Steven Gerrard caught the disease with an uncharacteristically poor performance and a concession of possession that led to Arsenal's first goal." - Unfortunately his time has come like some of the other great superstars before him. Some guys like scholes have "got it" to play into their twilight, others like zidane finish in their peak so they don't go through the motions of playing. Your time has come steven.

  • Comment number 74.

    Liverpool Football Club's problems go back several years and any chance of rebuilding the Club to anything like their former glories were severley hampered in the disastrous Hicks/Gillette era.
    The white knights then emerged (Fenway Sports) who seemed, at face value, a Group who understood the culture and history of the Club plus with a business acumen to avoid the largesse of previous administrations.
    However they bent to the will of the Fans by appointing Kenny.
    A legend, hero, demi-God but someone who had been out of management for some time.
    He was given given massive funds but many players he bought were not worth the money allied to some poor additions made by Hodgson.
    It was hadly surprising that LFC struggled and that KD was allowed to pursue other interests.
    This signalled the potential of a new and brighter era.
    The King is dead so they brought in Brendan Rodgers a relatively inexperienced Manager who had worked wonders at Swansea albeit taking over from the Martinez legacy.
    But for a Club as ambitious as Liverpool this came as a big surprise.
    BR might well turn out to be the correct decision but what was needed when he came in was a ruthless programme of rebuilding which in turn meant stripping out all the dead wood/under performing players and introducing players who fit the Manager's mould.
    However he needed to do this within stricter budget guidelines and you get the impression that the Club needed the money in before it was prepared to reinvest.
    But he's still left with a number of poor players and although a couple of signings look just what the Club needs the squad he has right now have too many weaknesses and/or not enough cover.
    Plain as the nose of your face was the need for a recognised striker and how BR got himself into the position of losing AC and not having any further back-up beggars belief.
    However BR is a decent man and this is a testing time for him.
    Liverpool performed well against CITEH and only a suicidal back pass gave CITEH the lifeline they didn't deserve.
    It will be a tough season for Liverpool and BR needs to assess things very carefully so that come the January window he can offload some players and get two or three quality replacements.

  • Comment number 75.

    "Why oh why did Liverpool not stump up the cash for Dempsey...He is 29, in his prime and scored over 20 goals last season. A no-brainer really."

    Because he's 29. There is no way we are going to win the title in the next couple of years, and by the time we could potentially be in that position, he will be too old.

    It makes no difference if we finish 5th or 17th the next couple of years, and that would be the only difference Dempsey would have made.

    We should only be signing players under 26 years old right now, and building for the future. In that sense, we have been making the correct signings recently.

    So it's right that've we've saved the £12M or so (with wages), which can better be invested in the stadium, or young players, and other things which will help our future, not our present.

  • Comment number 76.

    72.At 08:19 3rd Sep 2012, The Academy wrote:
    but how different could it have been if a penalty had been given against Mertesacker and a red card to follow.

    Wow, must be a new record! Only 72 posts before the penalties were brought up!!

    Then again, the usual LFC "commentators" have not posted yet!

  • Comment number 77.

    @Mind the gap

    How would you support a manager that chases 35 million out of the club after one bad season? Even if he is a flop stick with him. Ferguson played berbatov for 2 seasons, Chelsea allowed torres another season. Yet Liverpool did the same thing they did to Caroll to Keane. I know Caroll is not that good, but he is way proven than Borini and that is the coach fault. Liverpool never had a problem keeping the ball last season. In fact Liverpool played better football last season, the problem was goals and rogers did not solve that. He made it worse instead.

    Chelsea has won 3 games, Man City has won 2, Man U 2, Newcastle 1, Arsenal 1 only Spurs are doing badly. Point is that even though the Manchester Clubs are playing badly, they are getting the Job done.

  • Comment number 78.

    I wrote our season off before we played a game with Rodgers being appointed. Why we didn't go for a more proven manager I will never know. Rodgers is completely out of his depth and for those who say there is no reason to panic are deluded. He is another Roy Hodgson signing more mediocre players to replace already mediocre players and he has to be as much to blame as the owners for the stupidity that surrounded the end of the transfer window.

    I appreciate that we haven't got much money to spend but why not appoint Harry Redknapp to do a bit of wheeling and dealing and bring in the 4 or 5 new players that we so desperately need? Those calling for Benitez or Dalglish to come back are living in the past. When you sack a manager you need to hire a replacement that is an improvement on the old boss.

  • Comment number 79.

    Deary me.

    What a disaster!

    The donkey's gone. No replacements. BR could be bringing in the once shining now rusty Owen. This is desperate times for LFC. I had previously posted a top 10 finish at best this season. I could be wrong more like a bottom 5 finish the way things are going. BR is way out of his depth, He should have stayed at Swansea and built his managerial experiance further.

    Dont worry Kop lot.
    YNWA! or in other abbrivates YAWN!!

  • Comment number 80.

    Who came up with the policy to buy expensive British, to buy "players for the future" but insisted on the team delivering within one season? Who approved selling those expensive players within a season at huge discounts? Who failed in signing a top manager, and ended up paying $5 million to a rookie manager who was the only one who did not reject the job offer? Answer: Ian Ayre

    Dalglish was hanged by Ian's policies, and treated like mud by the owners whereas a rookie manager (Brendan) who has won nothing is now treated as a legend.

    Sack Ian Ayre and the tiki-taka snake oil salesman BR.

  • Comment number 81.

    the article is very fair and reasoned unlike some of the crazy comments in response. liverpool do not have a bad 'team' but now have a paper-thin squad. The owners and Ian Ayre should have replaced the players that have been released. The obvious area is strikers. The only shining lights have been Joe Allen, a wonderfully astute young player, and the form of Raheem Sterling. We were outplayed by a very ordinary Arsenal team which is very worrying. I doubt if the top half is a reasonable expectation let alone top four. Three years ago, 2009, that's all it was, that Liverpool had the best squad in England. Two sets of American owners have put paid to that. Along with their counterparts at Arsenal and Man U, they seem intent on taking money out of football whereas the owners of City and Chelsea are putting money in, which should be respected and applauded. In stead it's met with the usual fan-jealousy nonsense. Goluboys comments probably the daftest. Everything was the fault of Suarez missing chances ? We didn't create a single decent chance in the 90 odd minutes. As for Liverpool becoming a 'dislikeable club' well we always were for those who supported others while Liverpool won everything in sight. That jealousy and hatred never went away. Even when United became the dominant domestic team, the first thought was about 'hating the scousers'. LFC are in a bad way, no doubt about that. Personally, i think BR was the wrong appointment but he is not to blame for the shambles of recent weeks. He was made to look a fool by a series of gaffes from above, starting when the americans 'accidentally announced' that we had signed Dempsey. Kuyt, Bellamy, Carroll, Maxi, and Aquilani are all quality players and probably worth 45 goals a season between them. How can Borini alone replace that ? And finally, please, can people stop repeating the lie that Henderson was signed for £20 million, it was £16.5. Even so, offering a young english talent like him as a 2m makeweight in a deal for Dempsey is insulting to him and stupid in the extreme. Its going to be a long hard season for us, but we will be there supporting our players and club, hoping that the dark days will be soon to end, before we end up like 99 percent of the clubs supported by people commenting on here ..... inconsequential

  • Comment number 82.

    I think BR's biggest mistake was not going for the talent available. Look at his signings, Allen seems to have settled but Borini looks like a Championship player, an expensive Robert Earnshaw. Shows his inexperience that he's missed out on a bargain and one of the best & underrated strikers in Steven Fletcher. Signed at a snip for £12m (£1m more than borini) and he's already scored more goals in one game than Suarez & Borini have this season!

  • Comment number 83.


    I support United but the Mertesacker incident, pulling back Suarez(?) from the shirt was a second yellow and a penalty.

    Surprisingly, it's talked down. Just like that Fulham defender pushing Carroll from behind, with Carroll on the air, not touching ground at all. That one had been described as a mere "nudge". Simple physics can explain to primary school pupils that pushing someone from behind, with his full body on the air, has many times bigger effect than pushing someone standing. Still, football experts in these country are legends. Just like that famous "his hand was offside" jewel by the little ginger manager-turned-pundit

  • Comment number 84.

    76: Technically before that but I was highlighting how a small change can completely change the viewpoint taken by some people. If Fonte marks Van Persie a little better and he doesn't score does that mean that Man U are in trouble; of course not. Clearly Liverpool are currently missing someone who will consistently get on the score sheet sometimes it just takes one to get the whole thing going. To my mind they desperately need the midfield to chip in with more to take some pressure off the strikers.

  • Comment number 85.

    Not an auspicious start for Brendan, being a Liverpool fan I didn't expect us to be winning the league or even finishing in the top 4 what I did expect was for my team to have some fight or even some gumption in attack and defense, what we witnessed yesterday was capitulation, we have become a team defeating ourselves, whether that is because the team is getting used to new tactics or something more deep rooted only time will tell.
    Regarding the transfer window I think most Liverpool supporters are bemused if not angry at what has happened, we have paid £35m to allow West Ham to finish above us, it was a mistake spending the money on Carroll in the first place and the previous management have a lot to answer for, but it is even more incredibly stupid allowing him to leave in such circumstances. We have needed strengthening in the attack for several seasons apart from Carroll, it has been ignored, we have allowed Carroll, Kuyt, Maxi, Bellamy and even Ecclestone to go and replaced them with Borina who is untried and looks out of place in the prem, we will struggle for goals and Rodgers must know this, the Carroll debacle is a disgrace and we will pay a high price for the ridiculous transfer policy of the last 5 windows.
    I am certainly worried for the future.

  • Comment number 86.

    It seems even more foolish that FSG were unwilling to pay an extra £2m to land Dempsey on the basis that at 29 he would not have a high re-sale value and the team would not challenge for the title in the immediate future. Well there's two main issues with that:

    1) FSG should take a leaf out of SAF's book. RVP at £24m is looking to be an excellent investment, 4 goals in 3 games. If he stays fit then he'll go from strength to strength. £7m is not a massive outlay for a guy that could get you an extra 20 goals.

    2) If LFC continue to go on a downward spiral then they'll lose their other stars like Suarez & agger, and rather than challenging for honours, they'll more likely be battling with hte likes of Wigan & Norwich against relegation.

  • Comment number 87.

    Lets see here: You got one striker who has a bad conversion ration(suarez), another who fancies a lot of dancing but can't score(Sterling) and one who works well but can't even hit the wood work (Borini). Now even if Carol stayed, would that have changed anything. I think probably not. Liverpool want to rise on the cheap and that is the sad part. You can't reap if you don't invest and invest wisely. Rodgers thought he would come and apply Swansea philosophy to a bigger team and it would work. Sorry but that is not how it done. Fancy passing won't amount to anything when you can't score and players like Glen Johnson and Stewart Downing should be sold or sidelined. The midfield is good enough and defence is ok but Pool need a big name striker who can score 20 goals himself and need another winger or two who can deliver. As for Rodgers...he can start packing because the owners might support him because honestly..he is a cheap alternative in management but the fans will want his head if this abysmal show continues.

  • Comment number 88.

    I have to say Mcnulty, I appreciate that you're now writing about mid table teams, but it keeps being Liverpool. Why not write about the success of Swansea because well, so far this season all your blogs have been about Liverpool.

  • Comment number 89.

    @contented fan

    Like Henderson or Carroll or Charly Adam?

  • Comment number 90.

    @ The Academy & Mind the Gap

    My point was during the match, several of my LFC mates were "moaning" the decision (or lack of) claiming suarez should "take lessons from young on how to win a penalty" and complain about reina.

    Rather than look at the team and see that sahin & allen got outplayed by diaby & arteta. Gerrard was woeful. Their defence was quite poor. Borini was non existent, and suarez couldn't score even if manonne was making himself a cup of tea. And the likes of downing and shelvey coming off the bench are not going to win you the league either.

  • Comment number 91.

    Trying to bring some sense in the Liverpool "picture" after the first three matches into the new season, Sterling looks an amazing prospect. It looks as though Liverpool have found a player for the next 10+ years. Sahin, also, was excellent. Did he give one wrong pass at all?

    When the dust settles, Liverpool will get used to playing a new style of football. Sterling can only improve at 17. Sahin and Borini will get used to playing at the Premiership. The early-season worries at the back about passing the ball instead of playing percentagies will die out. Liverpool are not gone under the drain.

    Look no further from how poorly all the top Premiership clubs started the season.

  • Comment number 92.

    It's too early to take about the word crisis at Liverpool, although having seen how quickly the Kop turned on Roy Hodgson then Brendan Rogers could be in for a hard time in the coming weeks. However, if it's true that FSG wouldn't or couldn't spen £6m on a striker, then you have to wonder how Liverpool are ever going to compete with even the likes of Sunderland and Stoke, let alone Man Utd and Arsenal.
    For all the talk of systems, tactics, managers the biggest determinant as to where you will finish in the Premier League is how much noney you spend. Occasionally teams buck the trend, but usually in a negative manner (Liverpool). Very very rarely, if ever, will a side nowadays get to the position that FSG and Liverpool fans think they should be in without matching or eceeding the spending of those around them.

  • Comment number 93.


    It's never one incident, even though it might change a lot in the match.
    For example, both Arsenal goals were excellent as there were great assists before the final shot. On the other hand, Suarez was shooting, ignoring colleagues in a better position just like Sturridge does at Chelsea.

    It is very harsh to say Sahin was "outplayed". He didn't give a wrong pass in his first match in the Premier League, being in England less than 50 hours. Cool it down. Allen is not Cazorla, neither Hazard. Still, he will only improve. And you can't blame an Italian player for not adjusting to the Premier League, instantly.

    Had United or City had Liverpool's chances at West Brom, they'd be 3-4 up at the first half. Had Liverpool defenders not given presents (not one but two) to City, they'd had beaten City with comfort, last week.

    It's only 3 days into a new season.

  • Comment number 94.

    esg, I thought Allen looked good and Sahin was fine for a debut. Gerrard had one of the worst games I've seen him have and there was little penetration from the wings. I don't know why they didn't try to get Sterling and Suarez isolating players and running at them more though especially Mertesacker after his booking. It does come back to a finisher though as you can play badly and win if you have a good one. Intrigued to see who if anyone will come in.

  • Comment number 95.

    A tiny little paragraph on Arsenal there Phil. Typical as Liverpool seem to dominate these blogs. Liverpool weren't allowed to play by Arsenal yesterday and the scoreline was absolutely correct. Another clean sheet for us and the sole reason for this is Steve Bould. Wenger should have put Pat Rice out to grass years ago and brought Bouldy in as his influence so far has been immense.
    I could always see Arsenal winning yesterday as Liverpool were always going to attack us (unlike the bus parkers Sunderland and Stoke) and we had the players to pick them off. Idiot fans calling for BR's head yesterday though - give the bloke a chance for crying out loud!

  • Comment number 96.

    Early days I know. Just wonder what Brendan Rodgers is thinking looking at the capable start Swansea have made? In all honesty whilst he made very valuable enhancements at the Swans, the foundations for carpet football were set a long time before his arrival at the Liberty Stadium. In addition the relationship he had with the board at Swansea was always going to be very different for him at Anfield. Be patient I would say to Liverpool supporters - be VERY patient.

  • Comment number 97.

    93.At 08:54 3rd Sep 2012, Mind the gap wrote:
    "It is very harsh to say Sahin was "outplayed". He didn't give a wrong pass in his first match in the Premier League," - So what? Diaby and Arteta ran that midfield. It's fact that he was outplayed. For all his pass completion, what did Allen actually do but 5-6 yard crab passes? Look I like the guy, and sahin, but they have to put their hands up and admit they were outplayed by arsenal's midfield. Gerrard didn't help matters either.

    "And you can't blame an Italian player for not adjusting to the Premier League, instantly." - What, the guy who was on the books at CFC and played under Rodgers during his promotion with Swansea? That's like saying you can't expect RVP to start playing well at a new team!!

    All this ifs and buts doesn't highlight how poor they were. Yes, the team can pass it sideways and to their defence, but they have little cutting edge.

  • Comment number 98.

    94.At 08:56 3rd Sep 2012, The Academy wrote:

    To be fair, sterling tried. Jenkinson was just too good for him. Interesting battle really as they're probably two future england players right there.

    Vermaelen also seemed to begin to focus on suarez because mertesacker was on a yellow.

    I'm just baffled that joe cole didn't come on. Would have thought he'd be an ideal dempsey type player? When they put downing on I knew Arsenal had got the 3 points.

  • Comment number 99.

    BR dips into the transfer market thus far have been a disaster. Why wait until the 11th hour to negotiate a striker ?, when you've shown your cards by loaning out your most expensive one and only realistic option to Borini. Not sure how much of this is down to FSG, winning the LC and getting to the FA cup final was scoffed at last year as achievements, what hope has this team now got with Borini carrying the responsibility to score goals- every team in the PL knows they are just there for the taking, least BR has experience of getting out of the championship- might come in handy next season.

  • Comment number 100.

    Had the refree blown a foul for the Skrtel goal or not blown a foul for Suarez goal, Liverpool would be 20th in the table.


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