‘El-bow’ Benitez?

November 5, 2009

There is a storm brewing over the Red half of Merseyside a storm that hasn’t been witnessed in their illustrious 117 year history. This current squad of Liverpool is one of the worst and most under performing sides I have seen to wear the ‘Liver bird’ shirt.

Let’s put it into perspective, Liverpool fans and the club are living in the past, and have been for the last 20 years. Yes, they have a rich history: 18 league championships, 7 league cups, 5 FA Cups, 5 European Cups. But if you look closely it tells a different story.

Since 1991 Liverpool have won 3 League Cups, 3 FA Cups, 1 European Cup (Champions League) and an UEFA Cup. Looks good doesn’t it??? How our illusionary vision can fool us!! The Holy Grail is missing the now renowned Premier League Title. In which time rivals Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea have won no fewer than on 16 occasions!

Liverpool fans and their management are blind, the curtains need to be drawn wide open and let the sun shine on the reality of this football club. Here’s why:

 1. They heavily rely on Messrs Gerrard and Torres.

 2. Liverpool has a small squad, with a weak and under-used second string of players: Voronin, Ngog, Kyrgiakos are not the quality required for Liverpool to be successful. Benitez shows little confidence in starting Babel.  Benyoun (who offers more creativity) only starts when Riera is injured and Kuyt has been converted to a workman-like right-side midfielder, (who was originally brought to score goals). 

 3. Liverpool only perform well in extreme adversity, when the chips are down, when all odds are against them. Champions League Final ’05, FA Cup Final ’06, matches against Fulham and Portsmouth away last season, recent league game Vs. Man United, are to name but a few examples. They’ve become a re-active football team, not putting the onus on themselves to be the ‘Game Changer’ and lead from the front (like all successful teams do), jerking responsibility and hoping Steven ‘God’ Gerrard or Fernando ‘Messiah’ Torres save their behinds. 

After last night’s 1-1 draw with Lyon the knives are getting sharper for Benitez and his tenure with Liverpool.

 But while many will say give him the ‘Spanish Archer’ I will say to keep him, he is still the best man for the job.  Despite his evident flaws there is no-one better for working a way out of a hole. He is a world class tactician, with a proven track record at club level both domestically and on the continent with Valencia. Also and most importantly for Liverpool they will not have to fork out £20m to buy out his contract (money always talks in Football)

 Liverpool will not progress in the Champions League, or win the Premier League title – maybe the best chance of silverware is the Europa League.

 If he is going to stay at Anfield, Benitez must realise the no. 1 priority to Liverpool fans is winning the league, not the cups – it is all about being called ‘Champions of England’.  If he doesn’t know this by now then has he allowed his ego and pride and his own vision for Liverpool get the better of him and his job? Are Mr. Gillette and Co’s elbows eyeing their target?

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Are Arsene’s Kindergartens ready or still in their nappies?

October 29, 2009

Are Arsene’s Kindergartens ready or still in their nappies?

October 29, 2009 by marshallalwaysmatters

Around the district of N5 London, The Carling Cup is now known as The Kindergarten Cup as last night’s match provided another opportunity to showcase their talents including senior members who are well out of pre-school.  As League Cup ties go this was a high-paced, high-octane game, with Arsenal and Liverpool showing evident signs that they are in dire need of finding the keys to the trophy cabinet and dusting off the cobwebs!!!

Wenger constantly persists with youth in the competition as an opportunity to gain valuable experience (and to keep that trophy cabinet locked!!).  This was eventually proved the right choice in a 2-1 win as the Young Guns Merida, Gibbs, Gilbert and debutant Craig Eastmond all shone, but the gold star went to Aaron Ramsey.

At 18 years of age and into his 2nd season with Arsenal he is beginning to show maturity and promise which warranted his moved from Cardiff in June 2008.  He has been involved in every team squad so far this season (a complement from Wenger as a testament of his growing development) and has recently opened his Premier League account with a goal against Portsmouth.  He showed quickness in vision, positional play and skill that has a scent of Eau De Fabregas about it!  A class apart in the mealy of the midfield, although tiring in the last 10 minutes – a big thumbs up!

The key question that remains as the competition draws closer to ‘Wembley Way’ will Wenger sacrifice youth for experience in order to bring silverware to The Emirates Stadium? Or remain stubborn as he has in previous years and let go what could be Arsenal’s best opportunity to win a trophy.

Recent seasons have shown that Arsenal lack a core ruthlessness backbone, a cutting killer-edge to put opponents to the sword. A naivety to play football ‘for show’ and not put the result out of doubt? and hold on like a boxer waiting to hear the bell.

A serious level of Ego? Arrogance? Stupidity? Or do they simply not have the desire or hunger to win trophies?

The future of Arsenal is very bright and the long-term ethos is shared throughout the club, but what about the fans? Can they afford to wait another year whilst rivals Man. Utd and Chelsea seem to achieve success season in season out?

Or has football pressures and our society meant that we no longer allow a process to adhere? Is patience a thing of the past? Are billionaires the only way to win trophies? If so does Mr. Kroenke hold the key?

Free thinkers welcome.

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October 29, 2009

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