Liverpool FC’s latest revelation is not in the form of a young prodigy unearthed from their academy like we have seen decades ago with the likes of Michael Owen, Steven Gerrard or Robbie Fowler. Nor would it be a bargain purchase of a remarkable player which became a talismanic name like Kevin Keegan, Alan Hansen or Sami Hyypia.
No, Liverpool’s latest revelation is – it has no ambition.
“Liverpool never aspired to win trophies. They have no ambition whatsoever.”
It has no ambition to win the league. It has no ambition even to build a bigger stadium.
Liverpool the football team in itself, is sadistic in nature. It loves to inflict pain on to itself.
In an after-match interview yesterday, Rafael Benitez admitted –
Liverpool have staged miracle survivals in the group stages of Europe before – and will need another one now.
Benitez recalled: “We have come back before – and we can do it again. We now must be ready for the next match. I have confidence that we have the quality to overcome these problems.
Why on earth would you want to make life difficult for yourselves? Four defeats in a row is not the mark of a football giant. The problem with Liverpool lies with it’s sense of harping too much on its own historical success.
They are too overconfident. And they do it overtly. They brag about strengthening the team when in actual fact, it has the tradition of disintegrating a successful line-up everytime they come near to win the league.
Take for instance, the treble winning year of 2001. They had a successful run in to win 5 cups (League Cup, FA Cup, UEFA Cup, Charity Shield and European Super Cup), but failed tremendously in the succeeding years. They even came 2nd behind Arsenal.
But whatever they did next defies logic. Usually, whenever we want to beat our competitors, we would strengthen our team by adding a couple more big names without losing the current squad.
But Liverpool doesn’t seem to get this. They thought, strengthening a squad means, REPLACING a player, not adding a player.
Just look at Manchester United. When Cristiano Ronaldo left, they filled his position not only by buying Antonio Valencia, they also bought Gabriel Obertan as back-up. Michael Owen also joined in as an added measure to increase firepower. One player leave, add two or three more. This is how we say ‘strengthening the squad’. It’s a matter of simple physics.
In Liverpool’s case, after the success in Europe and the league in 2001, they ‘strengthened’ the team by letting go the able Jari Litmanen, club captain Jamie Redknapp and Nicolas Anelka. And how did they strengthen the team? By acquiring El Hadj Diouf and Bruno Cheyrou.
In 2005, after we won the Champions League, we ditched Vladimir Smicer and Dietmar Hamann just to get Momo Sissoko!
Acquiring lesser number of players is not what we call strengthening the team. What more, the players that you bought are mediocre at best. But this is what Liverpool seems to do every year. When success is within the grasp, they made a backward step the next season thinking that this is the best way to win trophies.
Xabi Alonso, one of the best passer of the ball was sold to Real Madrid last summer. In his place, Liverpool bought Alberto Aquilani – a midfielder of unknown quality. Granted, he has yet to prove his potential. But replacing Alonso with just ONE player is not the way to beat your competitors.
Acquiring just Glen Johnson also proves to be a costly mistake. Especially after we lost Steve Finnan and Alvaro Arbeloa. Both are good right defenders. When Johnson was injured before the game against Lyon last night, the overconfident Benitez had to field a youngster by the name Martin Kelly!
Since when Liverpool had to scrape the barrel just to field an inexperienced youngster in an important European Championship game? Oh right, when they sold their dignity to a couple of American new owners.
A strong team needs to have a magnificent reserves bench.
Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres and Javier Mascherano want to play with the best there is. One look at the teamsheet for the past 3 games, one wonder whether Liverpool is really a conquering European giant.
Without those three, Liverpool is just an average team. A back-up for Torres is Andriy Voronin and David Ngog? You got to be kidding me. A back-up for Aquilani is Lucas Leiva? Who is this guy? A lightweight when compared to Alonso. Liverpool had the chance to get Owen for free but egomaniacs within the management had made the transfer impossible.
The team that we see now is the product of a self delusional management. Liverpool is now languishing 8th in the premiership and yet they still want to muster a feeble attempt to stay relevant. Wishing against hope that they could win against Manchester United this weekend. Benitez had the audacity to say that SHOULD they win this upcoming game, they will only be 4 points apart from the league leader.
Even if they could win, Liverpool will never win the league because the team’s lack of depth will continuously haunt them throughout the season. And a loss would definitely make Benitez living in a borrowed time.
The plan for a new stadium was hatched to ignite and propel Liverpool into the realms of Santiago Bernabeu and Old Trafford. But what kind of owners this club has when new loans acquired to build the stadium is being used to finance business deals in America instead? In the end, not a brick has been laid out and yet the loan has to be serviced.
Sadistic people have short life spans.
Luck has always favoured Liverpool FC. I can testify to this. But with this kind of mentality the management has, the Lady Luck will not smile on you this time.