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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 this  – 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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Only Time Will Tell……

Posted by Spencer | Posted in Liverpool FC | Posted on 02-08-2010


Roy Hodgson has been in is job for little over a month now and at the time of his appointment I wrote ‘Mixed Feelings’ (see previous blog) which explained my views and emotions at that time. I tried to explain about how I wasn’t as excited as I should be by his appointment but as Liverpool manager I would be giving him my full support as I would do with any manager.

I have to admit so far I have been impressed with the way he has conducted himself with the players and media and following our first competitive game this season, the way he has backed our youngsters by giving them a chance to prove themselves in the first team. He has also made some good positive signings with Joe Cole on a free being the stand out one.

After a conversation I had on Twitter recently I wanted however to raise with Liverpool fans what true expectations we all have for the forth coming season. One particular fan confirmed to me that he was expecting Liverpool to be challenging for the title and maybe win the FA Cup and that the Europa league wasn’t important. This was in response to me highlighting that the Europa League was a trophy (even though a somewhat annoying distraction) that Liverpool were capable of winning with their current squad, but prior to the game I was concerned about where the goals would come from and if in fact we were capable of winning that particular game with the team Roy Hodgson had available. (Of course my fears were short lived and we went on to win the game.)

However the response I had on Twitter got me thinking about whether winning the Premier League this season is a realistic expectation and if not what is?

Those of you that read my blogs on a regular basis know that I try to have a balanced and realistic view on events surrounding our club be it on or off the pitch, however winning the Premier League this coming season is in my opinion is one thing sadly I don’t think will happen. Some fans will jump on that statement and say that I am being too negative and that I am not fully supporting the club. Those of you that know me know that is just not the case. One thing being a Liverpool supporter for over 30 years has taught me is to be passionate yes but also the need to be realistic too.

So why don’t I believe we can win the league this year?

The main reasons for this are in my opinion quite obvious – we lack quality and depth to our squad and that together with the obvious lack of money available in the transfer market, is there for all to see. Last season we saw that when we had injuries to key players such as Gerrard, Torres, Agger, Johnson we didn’t have similar quality to come in. The lack of striker cover was an issue (and still is) with no direct replacement for Torres. So when Torres was injured for large parts of last season it fell to David Ngog to take on the responsibility of scoring the goals. In fairness to Ngog this was always going to be too much of a responsibility for him but as main cover  and the second ‘preferred’ striker to Torres he was and in my opinion still is never going to be good enough. I am not trying to solely pick Ngog as the main reason but am merely trying to highlight the above point.

As things stand we cannot compete with the likes of Man Utd, Chelsea, Man City, Arsenal and now Spurs who all seem to  have at least 2 quality players for each position. This is a luxury that Liverpool at present cannot afford but you don’t need me to point that out.

So is it then realistic for Liverpool fans to expect the team to be challenging for the league title knowing all of this? Yes we can dream and hope that come May 2011 we are challenging for the title but surely we also have to be realistic don’t we?

With the news today that a Chinese consortium have put a serious offer in to buy the club this may change everything but until (if) that happens then the best I am hoping for this season is a good solid run in the Europa League and a 4th spot finish in the Premier League.

But with almost everything only time will tell……….


Comments (2)

Another great blog Spencer. Finising in the top four next season is a must. Anything else is a bonus.

Thanks for taking the time to read.

I agree – all our efforts should be focussing on that 4th spot which is going to be difficult. There will be 6-7 teams going for top 4 and we have to hope that our top players stay injury free for large parts of the season.

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