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Is this really the World Cup……

After months of waiting the greatest show on earth has finally arrived…..or has it? The first games in each group are almost complete and you can say the tournament has yet to start. I have watched most games and followed the others online (some of us do have to work you know) and I can safely say 90% of the games have all been boring and with the exception of the 1st half of the Germany game and the South Africa game there has been a distinct lack of quality shown by all teams. Are these really what the best 32 teams in the world are capable of? Why have teams struggled to perform? Are we seeing the results of ever increasing league campaigns where players haven’t got anything left in the tank? Another major point could be the lack of ‘true’ atmosphere in the stadiums where you see large sections of the ground empty in each match and the crowd being drowned out by the ever increasing annoyance of the Vuvuzela’s. The England match was a prime example of thisĀ  – normally the England supporters resident band would be playing and the England fans would accompany them but on Saturday all I heard was a sound like a million bees buzzing. I know its an African tradition but how annoying must it be to be in the stadium sat next to thousands of people blowing horns in your ears?? In reference to the empty stadiums what are the reasons for this? Have FIFA overpriced tickets? Surely when the greatest sporting event takes place all tickets for every game should be sold out? FIFA surely must address this as soon as possible as the tournament could be in danger of being a damp squib! Personally I think the tournament will kick off for real once the 2nd round of matches kick off as all teams will now know what they need to do to qualify and in most cases that will be a win. So hopefully we will see the type of football we’ve all been waiting for and that the excitement of the World Cup will really begin otherwise we will be asking ‘is this really the World Cup?’…..

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Results not Excuses…….

Posted by Spencer | Posted in Liverpool FC | Posted on 10-10-2010

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So the news we have all been waiting for may have finally arrived this week with the ever increasing possibility of Hicks and Gillette being forced out of the club after the board agreed a sale to another American J W Henry owner of the Boston Redsocks. But as with all things Liverpool these days it isn’t going to be as simple as everyone would hope with the High Court deciding within the next few days.

With all things regarding the sale I am not going to be convinced it will happen until it happens because there has been too many false dawns over the past few months. I hope and pray that it does even if it does mean we get forced into administration and take a 9 point penalty. Hicks and Gillette have proven this last week that they will do anything to keep a hold of the club so if administration becomes the only option to get rid of them during the next few days then so be it.

However the events of the past few days have also distracted attention away from the team, manager and players following the awful start to the season and especially the defeat at home to Blackpool. In my opinion the current form and confidence of the team is just as worrying and needs to be addressed with the same importance as the ownership soap opera.

Most of you who read my blog will have seen that over the past month or so I have been questioning the teams tactics and style of play adopted by Roy Hodgson and how it has effected the players on the pitch. The loss to Northampton Town at home and then Blackpool have continued to highlight in my opinion whether we have got the right man in place? There is nothing I want more than for any Liverpool manager to be successful and win trophies but as every week passes I am becoming less convinced that this particular manager will fall into that category. At the moment I am struggling to see where the next win is coming from although I hope and pray it comes at Goodison Park in our next match, but the performances on the pitch if we are honest are dreadful.

So is the goings on in the boardroom really an excuse for the performances on the pitch or do the players and manager need to take a good look at themselves?

Personally I don’t buy into the theory of the boardroom soap opera having a negative impact on the players. If the players and management staff were at risk of not being paid then I could understand but as a football club Liverpool are not in that position. In my opinion the manager and players are paid to do a job and as there is no risk of them not being paid I would expect all of them to focus on playing football and trying to win matches, after all that is there job. For the past year the company I work for has been up for sale and as an employee I am expected to come to work and perform to the best of my ability and continue to do the job I am paid to do. At the end of the day there is nothing I can do to influence if and when the sale is going to happen which means therefore I just have to get on with my job. I would expect as professionals all the playing and management staff at Liverpool to have the same attitude and continue to do what they are paid to do.

And this is where, in my opinion the main concern is – since the Arsenal game the players have not shown any commitment, ability or passion and the results and performances back this up. However even more of a concern for me is the manager – his tactics seem naive, defensive and the players do not seem entirely sure of their jobs on the pitch. Players are being played out of position, Torres is being isolated up front and when was the last time a Liverpool centre back was used as a centre forward on such a regular basis? I am looking to Roy Hodgson to inspire the team, I am looking to him encourage the team and I am looking to him to make Liverpool a team. Sadly I am not seeing any of this instead hearing him say we have performed well when we quite clearly haven’t.

The home game against Blackpool highlighted just how poor Liverpool are as a team at present where we saw Blackpool continuously open us up and play by far the much better football. But this performance unfortunately isn’t an isolated one. We are seeing week in week out teams like Blackpool and West Brom playing much better football than us and in my opinion this issue is just as important as the ownership situation. If we continue to keep playing as poorly and show no improvement we will end up in a very precarious position come the end of the season. And this will become even more of an issue if the unthinkable happens and we incur a 9 point deduction.

I know some fans reading this will say that the ownership is the main issue and needs to be concluded – I agree – but we cannot afford to take our eye off what is happening on the pitch because when the soap opera is finally concluded and we focus back on the team it is fair enough to state that we could be in even more of a dire situation than we are currently in.

If we do have to take a 9 point deduction which is a real possibility and end up on -3 points after 7 games then can we really be confident that the current manager can lift the players and get us out of this position and avoid relegation? Yes we can all say the team is too good to go down but at present the performances suggest otherwise and I believe there is a real danger that this could happen. Some fans will say this is too negative and as a fan I shouldn’t even be saying or contemplating such a thing but as regular readers will know I want to be realistic and in my view I am being that. Of course my views are always up for debate.

I never enjoy talking or writing about the need to change Liverpool managers but in my opinion I think that if we continue to give Roy Hodgson more time we will find ourselves staying in our current position. However in this case I would be delighted to be proven wrong…..

In the meantime we await the High Court decision this week and hope that it goes the way all Liverpool fans want but that aside I believe the players and manager should concentrate on the football issue because in my opinion its all about results not excuses……

#YNWA

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