Doom, Gloom and A Nightmare that is Gathering Pace Around Anfield
On Saturday afternoon Liverpool faced Sunderland at Anfield in a match that had already been termed a must win game. We are now six games into the 2010-2011 premiership season and Liverpool are lying in 15th place in the league, which simply is not good enough.
Why is this most supporters are asking? Here we have a team that includes world cup players and yet we are struggling with form and attitude. Saturday was no exception although Roy had played a better side than the one that was pulled apart by Northampton on Wednesday. All of the top players were now back including Dirk Kuyt, who is still recovering from his shoulder injury. We also had the misfortune to have Stuart Atwell as the referee, who at 27 is in my opinion not really experienced enough to referee a premiership game.
Within minutes of the game starting, it became obvious that it was going to be one of those games. Torres, who has been struggling to find his form, scored a goal which was then ruled offside. Several minutes later Dirk Kuyt scored after Stuart Atwell allowed play to continue after making what some people class as a strange decision. This of course angered the Sunderland players and a very animated Steve Bruce was spotted on the touchline. Liverpool then enjoyed a period of play, which in all honesty should have seen them take command of the game, but as appears to be the norm at the moment, they took their feet of the pedal and the mistakes began all too quickly. Poulsen gave away a penalty and the score was levelled at 1-1. In my notes I have written that Poulsen is a liability and honestly believe this to be case. He was making mistake after mistake and I believe that Lucas would have been a better choice.
The second half was no better and it appeared yet again that Liverpool had gone to pieces. Darren Bent popped up very quickly for Sunderland and put them into the lead. With Liverpool now in a panic, tempers began to fray and yellow cards were quickly dished out to Torres and Dirk Kuyt.
Roy who had been very quiet (I used to complain about the lack of action from Rafa) suddenly woke up and decided to bring Ngog on for Poulsen. This made an immediate impact on the team and they seemed to find a new zest of energy but it still took Stevie G to do what he does best to bring us back into the game. We were now level with Sunderland and the game was there for the taking. But it was not too be and it finished 2-2. Liverpool had drawn a game that in all honesty they should really have won.
Saturday crowned what had been a disastrous week for the club. As I said earlier in this article we also lost on Wednesday to Northampton Town in the Carling cup. This was another one of those games that should have been a dead cert. In fact it was such a dead cert, that Roy decided to play what is classed his second string, but as these things do, it turned out to be the totally wrong decision because the standard of play was diabolical. What is also worrying is that rumours are surfacing, that the team was in fact picked by the new sports scientists at Anfield. This of course, could explain the total lack of interest that Roy appeared to have throughout the game. Sammy Lee was the man that appeared to be doing all the shouting from the touchline. I sincerely hope that was not the case because if it was, they do not have a clue and the team can look forward to a disastrous season.
I know that there are a lot of problems surrounding the club but the desire to play simply does not seem to be there and the rot needs to be stopped in its tracks. Can this happen though, we have a manager who I fear may not be able to cope with the task in hand. I will be honest when I say Roy was my second choice and I am all for giving him a chance, but he does not seem to realise what the Liverpool team can and should be capable off. We are not Fulham and do not deserve to be where we are. He has come out and said that the players still need time to bed in, which I guess is true, but surely those players should be playing in the second string until they are ready. What is the point of throwing players who are not used to the premier league into the first team before they are ready? We have a big enough squad to cope with this and I am sure to be honest that some of the youngsters could have played a lot better. I was also uneasy about Joe Cole joining the club and I stick by that, because I honestly do not believe that he will fulfil what is expected off him.
Saturday of course was also the day when the Spirit of Shankly and several other organisations decided that with the 15th October (this is the latest date given) approaching it was time for their protests against Tom Hicks and George Gillett to be stepped up. They had arranged an Extraordinary General Meeting at Zeligs in Liverpool One where several things including of course the planned action and the setting up of a Credit Union were discussed. The minutes of which can be found on their website. This was too be followed by a sit in at the ground following the Sunderland game.
The game finished and 3000 plus supporters stayed behind chanting songs and unfurling banners to show their dislike for the current owners. The club, who also want the owners to leave, appeared to show their approval for this by announcing it as the game ended. What of course was a good sign was the acknowledgement by Stevie G and Jamie of the supporter's actions when the team came out for their warm down. This finally confirmed what the supporters wanted to hear, the players are behind them, but of course have been unable to say so publicly.
This though brings to mind another question, Are the board really alongside the supporters in their quest to get rid of Tom Hicks and George Gillett? On Saturday, Martin Broughton, Christian Purslow and Ian Ayre were in the Directors box and to be honest I would really love to know what is going on in their heads. Last Wednesday we had the indepth question and answer session with Christian Purslow on LFCTV and having watched it several times, I am still not sure whether they were answers from the top of his head or already scripted for him. There certainly was not any emotion or emphasis placed on anything he said during the interview, which I feel should have been there.
Martin Broughton we learn this morning will earn ÃÂ£500,000 if he sells the club before the end of his tenure in April, which is now looking to be a more realistic date for the club to be sold. I would really love to know where this money is coming from because the club cannot afford it. Yet another chance for Tom and George to do some bribing or fiddling I suspect though. Ian Ayre is the quiet one and nobody has idea of where his true feelings lie.
This of course is made worse by the enforced silence that engulfs the club. I know Christian tried in his interview to put the supporter's minds at rest but it hasn't. The only thing it appears to have done is fuel the idea that the board are on the payroll of Tom and George and will only sanction a sale if it means that they can walk away with a profit.
The doom that they are causing will continue to surround the club until new owners are found and at the moment this seems to be as far away as ever. The loan is either due to paid in full or refinanced by the middle of October and we have Tom Hicks dragging the good name of Liverpool Football club around the world, whilst he tries to find a bank who are stupid enough to grant his wish.
We have a manager, who appears to be out of his depth and players are not up to the standard that the club requires. Again this is something else that will not be sorted out until, new owners are in place.
Lastly we the supporters are doing all we can to save our beloved club by spending all our waking hours, sending out emails, writing letters and watching Tom Hicks every move. Why, because we will not have the club that is a major part of our lives be dragged under any further by a thief and it appears that the Royal Bank of Scotland are too scared of Hicks and Gillett to call the loan in.
All this of course is part of the nightmare that now surrounds the club and it is one that must come to an end soon, one way or the other. Liverpool Football Club needs to be able to rise from the ashes with its head held high to ensure that its rebirth will be one of success on and off the pitch.