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Liverpool Are A Long Way From ‘Being Liverpool’

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As Manchester United played our greatest rivals on Sunday I thought it time to assess their progress towards adding to their titles in the light of their highly publicized documentary.

It’s often said that at the end of the season the league doesn’t lie. After 5 games Liverpool have their worst start for over 100 years, and sit in the relegation zone with no wins yet and 2 home defeats to top 4 teams.

Brendan Rodgers blames Sunday’s defeat on the Referee, a tactic that led to the sacking of his predecessors. But is that true?

A highly charged Anfield, in a week following the revelations of a cover up at Hillsborough, created high emotions, adrenaline and expectations to beat United.

Liverpool set up as expected, with their strikeforce lightweight, but with 3 in centre midfield, and one winger.

United invited them to dominate possession playing 4-4-1-1, expecting Michael Carrick and Ryan Giggs to play against Jonjo Shelvey, Steven Gerrard and Joe Allen. The 3 dominated the 2.

This dominance led to lots of chances for Glen Johnson to attack Rafael, and Raheem Sterling attacking Patrice Evra. Fabio Borini and Martin Kelly supported them well but the attacks floundered as only Luis Suarez competed against Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans. It was good until the ball came in the box but Liverpool were hoping for a lucky bounce as opposed to taking us apart.

Meanwhile the poor clearance kicking of Pepe Reina gave us hope when there was little else created from the 33% first half possession that belonged to United.

A fast frantic half of flying tackles, injuries and Liverpool possession ended with Shelvey first clattering Ryan Giggs before diving at Evans and being shown red, leaving the field finger pointing at Sir Alex Ferguson (who would be foolish enough to dot that?) and claiming he had influenced the Referee. It’s hard to resist chanting “always the victim” when players behave like that but Shelvey swung the game towards United.

Both wide left players were withdrawn a halftime, Borini was poor and Suso replaced him. Nani was taken off for Paul Scholes to gain some measure of possession.

Suso was bright and intelligent, and created the goal for Gerrard.

Scholes brought a measure of control as Giggs drifted left and vanished from the game.

With 10 men Liverpool continued to get to our box, but relied heavily on Suarez who creates openings only to show what a poor finisher he is.

As Johnson failed to understand that he was alone on the left side so the space for Antonio Valencia opened up and the 2 goals came from that area. This wasn’t smart play from the England fullback.

Overall what we saw was a team that has no edge up front, that relies on luck to win rather than skill and where hot headed players. I watched Being Liverpool episode 2 when Rodgers tells Shelvey he has all the tools but “stay on your feet”, yet look what he did!

Indiscipline which Rodgers has to deal with as he is at a Club where discipline is missing. Johnson cost them the game through his indiscipline and Shelvey let the Club down on their big day.

Liverpool are far from a top 4 team. They are weak on the left side, need 3 strikers that they can’t afford now Kenny Dalglish has blown the budget, and with little cover at the back beyond Jamie Carragher.

The 4-3-3 set up that Liverpool are playing lacks a front 3 to deliver the goals that their possession deserves.

The stats don’t lie! They have had more shots on goal than any team in the Premier League yet sit in the bottom 3. The league doesn’t lie, this is not a team that will be in Europe next season, unless they buy big in January. 

Liverpool are a long way from Being Liverpool.

By Steve Burrows CBE @ifollowsteve

29 thoughts on “Liverpool Are A Long Way From ‘Being Liverpool’”

  1. This united side are so rubbish. luckiest team in the world. without world class strikers they would struggle at midtable. liverpool dominated even with 10 men.

  2. How has are budget been blown? When FSG spent 39 million last transfer window? You're a lucky side when two players should of been sent off, Evans and RVP. Utd are not strong as they use to be. We showed that to you on Sunday.

  3. 'United invited them to dominate possession' ROFL LMAO…what game were you watching…..you have a perception problem mate lolololol…priceless

  4. this story highlights utds problem they honestly believe they are brilliant and think they control games when completely out played.
    they are so used to cheating they do not know when it is happening .
    they also can not see they are in a steady slow decline.

  5. I just love the fact that you're taking time out your day to assess us at length. Maybe you too can finally see growth and direction in this squad rather than just buying stopgaps and hoping for some results to go our way. Probably not this year for top 4 but think, if Sterling, Suspect and Shelvey can be this good at 17, 18 and 20 respectively then we can really build a team around them. Add to that Coates, Kelly and Yesil and I'm not surprised you're watching us intently.

  6. Really good assessment of the Liverpool performance, nice, honest and unbiased. Really good to see a few from someone outside of the supporters! In essence, you hit the nail on the head.. We're not there yet, not by a long shot, but we 're showing positive signs!

  7. Are you sure?? What I saw was a Liverpool side actually trying to play a passing game and doing it pretty successfully with 10 men.

    Looks like Rodgers has got Liverpool closer to beingLiverpool in one month that the last 5 managers were able to.

    What game were you watching???

  8. Thanks Joe – there are some one eyed fans as you can see from the comments but no question that Liverpool outplayed Utd but don't have the strike force to turn possession into goals. I thought Evra marked Sterling well, despite him being our weak link over the last year, but then switched off and let him in a couple of times.
    Honestly, Andy Carroll would have thrived on the service from Sterling and Johnson but Suarez is greedy, and selfish and a poor finisher. He threatens goal but blazes away wildly in good positions, a top striker doesn't do that.
    There is no question Liverpool were the better team but they lost, and United now have more points at Anfield this season than Liverpool, that's the problem. From keeper thru midfield Liverpool could threaten a Europa league place, but going beyond that is unlikely with this team.
    As for budget, John Henry has made it clear Dalglish blew the transfer budget and attempts to offload Carroll and Henderson for £20m or so total, losing more than £30m in the process failed this summer with just Adam heading to Stoke. Until you sell you won't buy big, and if you had bought RvP you wouldn't be inteh bottom 3.
    The league tells the truth, Liverpool are nowhere near where they need to be, they have never won the Premier League and they are far from ever winning it again.
    One good game played, that you lose, doesn't fix years of neglect.
    Silly comments on websites, aeroplane gesture mocking of Munich by your fans on the field after the game ,victim complaints by Gerrard and Johnson against Suarez diving and awful remarks about the Ref on Twitter, show how low you have sunk.
    Remembering the 96 was incredibly emotional but what has followed has been a disgrace and all real fans should stand up and distance themselves from this behavior. That's what I'd like to see.

  9. Steve burrows talks crap it's hilarious. We HAVE budget you moron. Unlike you who had to sell shares LMAO!!!! We need a goal poacher. Suarez creates to many chances. But we waste them. We've played top teams so we be fine now…. You've struggled to beat Fulham,Southampton. Lol…. And we outplayed you… You got lucky by the sending off and poor decisions. 11 men against 11 men we would of won…. That's a fact.

  10. Liverpool FC accounts showed a £49.4m loss in 2011. The Club are still servicing their debt which takes money away from transfer funds, as evidenced by their inability to buy Dempsey from Fulham without offering Henderson in p/x. £49.4m is a huge loss, beware the loss size that scuppered Rangers who owed £21m in back tax.

    United raised £300m by selling 10% of the Club to private investors as non voting shares. The debt at United is hindering transfer funds to rebuild the midfield, as evidenced by the performance of 38 and 37 year olds on Sunday and the failure to buy Dembele.

    Spurs beat us both to players we wanted.

    Uniteds debt is crushing the team, Liverpools is hampering rebuilding the team. Not crap, just fact.

  11. 49 million loss you know why that was? Scrapping stadium plans. We got rid of a lot of players. We have saved are self nearly 30 million a year. If it was affecting us so much do you think FSG would of forked out 39 million? Erm no but they did. And we wasn't planning to sell Carroll and Henderson for 20 mil together…. We have already 19 million for Carroll. And we could easily get 10-12 million for Henderson who only 22. You don't build a team in one window… Takes time. And you didn't raise that much. You told you're shares for cheaper lol…

  12. Your article is really twisted and diabolical and deceiving. United were outplayed for most of the game even giggs said they were lucky to win. Infact United played like a championship side and when lfc were one man down United were still dominated by them. It had to take a referee to side with united, thus becoming United' s 12th man against lfc 10 men in order to win. Come on open your eyes to see the truth of this match! Without halsey's help umited could have only drawn or loss this match. By the way again you are twisted and diabolical to say that welfc are a delegation threatened team…hey boy, the season just started and from now you will see the Liverbird fly!As for united they really are no match for the title this year or even the champions league. The slide in united is starting. Get worried boy about united while we lfc fans rejoice as we know we are a good team in the making…watch out for us in the return match at old trafford! Who knows by then, we be neck and neck with your United in the standings. We aint no relegation team and thats for sure boy ! 🙂

  13. As of today United is worth $2.2bn based on share value.

    Liverpool lost £50m on their Stadium, which hasn't been properly explained yet. How can you spend £50m on drawings ? Of course the reason Liverpool said they needed a new Stadium was to compete financially. Now it's the reason they can't compete financially. Which is the truth ?

    Arsenal have a new 60000 seat Stadium, City and Chelski have rich backers and United have 75,000 seats. What is the capacity of Anfield ?

    Income drives spending, and Liverpool are behind even Newcastle in spending power. That's the reality of life for Liverpool FC.

  14. You talk crap, honestly. We are redeloping anfield to 60 thousand are stadium now is 45 thousand. An we are not behind Newcastle. Because are sponsers are highest in premierleague…. 45 thousand altogether. Also shirt sales. 2nd highest in the premierleague. And “city and Chelsea have rich backers” SO!? Are owner is a billionaire who gives a shit? When FFP comes In they will struggle….fact…

  15. So 15000 seats at £150m means £10k per seat.

    Over 20 year loan that's £7.5m capital repayment and at interest of 4% that's £2.4m per year, lets say £10m outgoing.

    Return is £30 a seat, and that's generous as these will be bad seats at the back because Anfield is fully developed, so say 25 home games a year that's £11.25m income.

    So assuming no more stewards (unlikely) and not going out of the Cup early (unlikely) you would make £1m a year.

    Charlie Adam cost £6m I thnk. So don't spend it all a once.

  16. They will take all seats out put new ones in… And dug out new. You're a clown honestly complete joke…. We are fine financially. And here the thing the sponsers we are getting will pay for it;-) look @ city deal… Since are owners have come in are revenue has gone up.

  17. Put smaller seats in ? Really that's just brilliant, the Stadium is he same size it just has smaller seats to get the capacity up. Pure genius. Now if only Snow White was a Liverpool fan and she could find 59,993 more dwarfs you'd be onto something.

    Apart from your spelling problem, I'd advise you also have a scale perception problem.

    And as for sponsors saving Liverpool financially, well don't rely on that, because they only sponsor success and if you don't win anything they disappear. And frankly you haven't won much recently.

    Like it or not, money is a problem for Liverpool and raising £150m won't be easy, especially when 70000 seat stadiums now cost £500m, somehow you're going to build at 50% more per seat which will blow your returns and make the banks very nervous.

    Also playing in a stadium under construction will mean 2 years of reduced capacity to below 30000. How will that work for you ?

  18. Are you a retard? They are not going to shove 15 thousand more seats in without re building it. Idiot. That's why it's called “redeveloping” an we got a new 25 million deal this summer? More than utd lol…. Shows you're wrong… Last 10 years we've only been out of Europe once. And that was last year. You should really do all these facts about you're own team they are the most in debt in the premierleague….lol…. And how's money a PROBLEM? Jheeze you're so stupid. We are spending money and we wanted to spend more money in the summer but Rodgers didn't have his targets sorted but that will be sorted in January were we will spend more money…. If we had problems with money do you think we would be spending 39 mil on players and staff? Also the other windows where we spent money but on wrong players.

  19. Aside from the insults you continually throw around, the fact is that if you do the simple sums you can see that you won't have new seats for everyone because the budget isn't enough to knock down the old stadium and build a new one. It's just a few seats at the back of the stands – that's what redevelopment means.

    Also see it won't generate enough revenue to pay for itself. Look at my maths, tell me where im wrong.

    Income minus spend equals transfer kitty. This gives you none.

    What part of this don't you understand ? Liverpool will need to play in a reduced capacity stadium for at least 2 seasons while you add a few seats at the back or demolish the Kop and build a 2 tier stand in its place. These are your options.

  20. I didn't say we wasn't goner play Infront of reduced crowd? Because I know we are if we are going to knock stands down to build bigger ones, I'm saying we are looking for sponsers ships which will pay for it. FSG Did the same with red soxs in America. And they still backed them in the market and even breaking records on spending on players. Also the council will pay some into the stadium just London council helped spurs with theirs. And income we bring in 200 million a year…. even more after sponsersships with warrior,betting business's,and Chevrolet

  21. Boston Red Sox seating capacity was 35000 in 1912, 100 years later its 37000. So what are you talking about ?

    Boston are almost bottom of their league and miles behind NY, Baltimore and Tampa at 20 games back. They have had a terrible season which is almost over for them as they are out of the playoffs.

    It might shock you to learn that FSG don't have a big sporting success story on the field, nor is Fenway Park a major stadium redevelopment.

    Also an apology for the retard comment would be in order as its that sort of loose language that gives your fans a bad name.

  22. Oh my you're annoying!, their business people…. Why else is Red Sox worth $ 1 billion when they came in Red Sox wasn't doing well they spent money and started to win things…. Now they are re building them again. Same as Liverpool young manager new approach…. You saw that against you Sunday totally out played you…. Then you had to bring a scholes on? Shows you that you need to re build too lol… This is over not wasting my time on a utter idiot.

  23. Red Sox decline was 2007 World Series winners yo playoff losses in 2008 and 2009 then missed the playoffs 2010, 2011 and 2012 as their slump continues.

    There are only 5 teams in their league and the top 2 make the playoffs .

    That's not rebuilding it's a slump.

    Perhaps that's why it's called the Liverpool Echo ?

  24. Liverpool are on the way up…. We've smashed team playing wise…. Utd,city,Sunderland,west brom…. Problem is strikers that will be sorted in January 🙂 that is all! Looking forward till we get started on the stadium! But anyway I'm done goodbye 🙂

  25. Goodnight, sweet dreams…..missing you already !

    So, for those of you who like these things how about we turn the table upside down so that when he wakes up he gets really really excited and thinks Liverpool have climbed up 15 places to 3rd ? What a wheeze.

    Right now he is dreaming of not selling Alonso, Mascherano, Arbeloa…..bringing back Rafa to win Champions League and not buying Carroll, Henderson or Adam, wishing bad thoughts about King Kenny and hoping Lucas and Kelly get well soon, asking force money back for that £20m Italian and wondering why Torres was sold to a bigger Club.

  26. Mate we be fine we got 3 teams out of the way. You still got to face city and arsenal but we know what happen last season when you played city 😉 an lol… We sold them and what? They went to big clubs…. That's stupid LOL…. Ronaldo left you for a bigger club? Real Madrid haha. An bet u wish u never signed… Hargreaves? Veron? Forlan? Bebe…. 😉 youu dream about that! An Chelsea bigger club? Hardly. But anyway we all know you want a reply… But people have work in the morning. Bye 🙂

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