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Results not Excuses…….

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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My Interview with ‘What a Fantastic Run’ – The Return Match

Posted by Spencer | Posted in Liverpool FC, You'll Never Walk Alone | Posted on 13-05-2011

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Well its been a while since I have posted anything on my site and apologies but the last few months have been rather busy. However we have all enjoyed the return of King Kenny and what he has done for our club. I have a few ideas for some new blogs and will start writing them in the next few weeks.

In the meantime I have recently been interviewed again by the Spurs blog ‘what a fantastic run’ (www.whatafantasticrun.com) for our upcoming game on Sunday. Thanks again to Dom from What a Fantastic Run

WFR: It would appear Liverpool have had the mirror image season to Spurs. How has it been for a Liverpool fan?

This season has certainly been a down and up season. 35 years as a fan i have never seen a Liverpool team so disjointed and lacking in confidence as seen the first half of the season. What has happened since January has been in some ways a miracle and now we all don’t want the season to end!

WFR: Obviously there has been an upturn of results since Kenny took over. What do you put this down to? A change in tactics? A better motivator?

The upturn in results has exceeded in my opinion most Liverpool fans expectations. At the time of Kenny’s appointment we were just all happy that the king had returned. What Kenny has done is change the way we play. Over recent weeks in particular you have seen the team pass and move like the old teams of the 80′s. He has played players in their ideal positions and played to their strengths but in my opinion he greatest asset has been his man management skills and his ability to get the best out of every single player at the club with a smile on his face. Lets not forget the very important role Steve Clarke has played in our resurgence. The players have commented publicly how training has improved and become more enjoyable. This in turn has been carried out onto the pitch.

WFR: Jay Spearing has done a great job while Gerrard has been injured. What do you think will happen when your captain returns in the new season? Should he still walk straight in to the team? Has his absence shown that he is in fact very droppable?

What the absence of Gerrard has proved is that Liverpool are not a one man team, something the media and “experts” have labelled us for years now. As you say players like Jay Spearing have come in and performed to a level that we haven’t seen prior which is a testament to them and the new management. Giving players like Jay Spearing a run in the team and him performing to a high standard has also proved that our squad wasn’t as bad as first thought. Obviously having Gerrard back next season will be a massive boost and in my opinion it would be difficult to leave him out but what recent weeks has shown is we have a good strong crop of local youngsters coming through the system and able to step into the team if our best players are injured which is only a good thing. And more importantly Kenny has the faith and belief in the youngsters to come in a do a job.

WFR: Spurs fans are currently spilt on whether they want the club in the UEFA Cup next season, is this a game that neither sets of fans would fancy winning?

I can understand why fans are split on this subject as over the past few years the competition has become very poor. I think if the prize was a place in the Champions League next season then you would see an improvement. In the case of Liverpool fans the majority would like to see us in the competition next season especially after not having a chance in hell of qualifying 4 months ago. I personally think that it’s a winnable trophy but also think it’s an opportunity for the squad players to perform and gain experience which in turn helps the first team. In Spurs case it’s a trophy there to be won and surely that’s what a football team aim is, to win trophies.

WFR: After your win over Birmingham I commented on my Twitter feed that Liverpool fans were telephoning TalkSport to claim they are true title contenders next season – do you believe this is the case?

The are stats flying around at the moment that say that since Kenny has taken charge we have scored more goals and are second to only Chelsea in the number of points achieved in the Premier League so do i think we can challenge next season……yes i do. With more additions likely to be added and the style of football we are playing we have to be seen as a challenger for the title next season. Remember we have outplayed Man Utd, Man City, Chelsea and drawn away at Arsenal in the last few weeks and not many teams have done that this season. The appointment of Kenny and Steve Clarke has given the whole club the belief and that has been transferred onto the pitch. I also believe that Chelsea, Arsenal and even Man Utd have to improve their squads with, in the case of Chelsea and Utd, having too many older players past their prime. It’s going to be very interesting.

WFR: Tottenham fans a a little annoyed at the club for not taking the same gamble as Liverpool on both Suarez and Carroll, many feel this has cost us dear in the latter half of the season. Just to rub it in further, how are they doing in your eyes?

I personally think that the reason for your decline after January was the fact Harry didn’t go and spend some money. When you are in the champions league and wanting to ensure you stay there the squad needs improving at every opportunity. Im not sure what the finances are like at Spurs but did they have a spare £50m to buy both? In the case of Suarez i think it would have been difficult for you to buy him as he had indicated his desire to move to Liverpool and was holding out for that move. However I believe he has been the buy of the season. At times he has been unplayable and if you are a defender it must be an absolute nightmare to mark him as he is always on the move especially when he hasn’t got the ball. To be honest we haven’t seen too much of Carroll yet due to injuries but what he did show in the Man City game recently was how he has the ability to score goals from anywhere and also bully defenders. I think the partnership of Suarez and Carroll will an exciting one next season and I cant wait to see them play more games together.

WFR: You also have Daniel Comolli within your ranks, a man who was very much in the firing line at Spurs. With rumours abound that Kenny is due to take over Liverpool on a full time basis, how do you see that relationship panning out?

That’s an interesting question and as i write this Kenny has signed a new 3 year contract along with Steve Clarke which is the only news we have been waiting for. In terms of Comolli’s relationship with Kenny i think it will be a good one. I’m not an expert on Comolli but didn’t he buy some of your better players at the club? What he has shown so far is that we are looking at the right kind of players who are the right age and will fit into the way Kenny wants to play the game. I’m confident it will be a success.

WFR: Who has been your player of the year for Liverpool?

Without a doubt it has been Lucas Leiva – he has improved dramatically over the past 2 seasons and has now shown what a good quality player he is. I am not afraid to admit that during his first 2 seasons I thought he wasn’t good enough but now happily admit i got it wrong. Under Kenny especially we have seen a side to his game which means he gets forward more and also provides killer passes to the front men. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Lucas is one of the first names on the team sheet as he has now become a very important part of Liverpool FC.

WFR: Do you think there will be many comings and goings in the transfer market this summer? What areas need to be looked at?

I believe it will be a busy summer for us. There are obviously players that are surplus and will be moved on but what the new owners did in January by spending £50m on 2 players (albeit they received the same from the Torres sale) was their intention to spend money on the right players. In my opinion we will be looking at 2 wingers, a midfielder, a left back and a centre back with names such as Ashley Young, Jose Enrique, Charlie Adam and Gary Cahill being talked about as possible signings. I’m sure there are other names and im sure that we will sign at least 2 marquee signings. In all the summer looks like it’s going to be very exciting for all Liverpool fans and for once it will be all about who is coming in rather than star players leaving!

WFR: What has been your stand out Liverpool moment of the season

There have been 3….The appointment of Kenny as caretaker manager, Liverpool destroying Manchester United at Anfield and the appointment of Kenny as full time manager. If you had asked me this question back in December I wouldn’t have been able to think of any….

WFR: And the worst?

The worst moment for me as a Liverpool fan this season was the period between August and December – I have never seen a Liverpool team play so badly on such a regular basis and as a fan going into every game thinking that we will lose was very depressing times, but thankfully that period is now far behind us.

WFR: And finally, lets get some score predictions

As you know from the last game at White Hart Lane I rightly predicted a 2-1 win to Spurs (proving my point above) but this time it will be different. So i am going for a 3-1 win to Liverpool on the basis that Anfield has become a fortress again and the type of football we are playing will be too good for Spurs on the day.

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