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Close Your Eyes & Open Your Mind
Sometimes, after a rather underwhelming transfer window with so many expectations and promises
we all feel deflated. Especially, coming into the final third of the season and being in the surprisingly high position we are in, we all would have wanted that 1 name to help us over the final hurdles.
Even I was convinced on more than 1 occasion that a player was either close to joining, wanted to join or had joined, it was utter confusion and in all honesty, a bit of a mess. But why are we where we are and why haven't we been in these positions sooner? In my opinion, there are a number of good reasons to why we are now seeing the best of a Liverpool team who have deservedly under achieved the last few years.
The main ingredient to a cocktail of success is Identity. If you don't have that then you aren't going to challenge. Chelsea for example have a identity of playing pretty rubbish football but winning games on a consistent basis, Manchester United 'had' a knack of winning games in the 110th minute Man City have become goal scoring machines who look like they are going to get 5 a game, it makes other teams fear you when you have found your own way to win games. Speaking to the Veteran fans in the stadium, on the street or in the pub you can see that look in their eye when they talk about a certain goal or a certain player from the good old days. We were institution that created a identity of being the best and nothing less, a mentality of nothing but a win will do and that's why we are one of the great, globally known football clubs around the world today.
So when you talk about identity, and when you talk about Liverpool of new, what identity have we had over the last 4 years? We have totally lost our way, with different managers with different representations of playing football and haven't shown consistency one way or another in the style we want to implement.
We have been in the process of (hate to say it) re-building and I think as a whole, the fans have been sick of the club building sandcastles for them to be washed away and built again.
When Brendan Rodgers arrived, it seemed a ballsy statement from FSG. They went against what
the fans wanted which was the re-surge of Kenny or the return of Rafa, they made a decision which
had been carefully revised for the longevity of our football club. Sometimes you have to close your
eyes, open your mind and give somebody a opportunity, think about the bigger picture and give a man a chance. What impresses me about Brendan Rodgers is the fact he is his own man, he didn't keep players because of the price previously paid or their reputation, he very much believes in his own footballing philosophy and if players don't fit that profile then you will be escorted to the door.
People say we are like Barcelona or Arsenal in the way we play but in my opinion we are much more
like Ajax back in the day, were playing total football in the sense our wingers can play as wing back, our attacking players can drop deep and get stuck in and our defensive options can get forward and create chances. That right there is identity.
Building for the future,
We are a young team with exciting prospects in our ranks, alongside some top quality players.
When you look at the big two, Barca and Bayern they are very unique in the sense that they lead the way with their academies. It's become un fashionable to search for talent from within your club. It seems that fans and rich owners crave that £50m South American striker with a fancy name and cool haircut. Clubs these days focus on the present, i.e Manchester City & Chelsea, I'm not knocking them because if you have the money then why not? But Liverpool certainly can't compete with the wages and fees City and Chelsea can offer. We have to find a different way, a sustainable way of running our football club whilst also competing at the highest level. The foundations of a good football club are based on results and success; the foundations of a great football club are built from the academies whilst operating sustained success. Imagine if Steven Gerrard wasn't given his crack at the first team, Jamie Carragher, Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen and even Raheem Sterling in today's game, where would they all be now? The Identity as I mentioned before isn't just based on the way
we play but the way we build and Liverpool have always built the core from within the club.
That's not to say don't spend because all clubs need to spend in order to compete. It's a balancing act, trying to mix bringing through and bringing in quality.What is fantastic about Liverpool, and what is different about us today is we are one club again. We are run by a constituency that care for the future. They bought a young manager in, who trust in his young players and the academy graduates are seeing other young lads break into the first team and it's giving them belief they can go on and do the same. It also gives the likes of Suarez, Gerrard, Lucas, Agger a new responsibility within the club to help aid the younger lads which they all seem to be thriving from. We are certainly building for the future but the big thing for me is the unity around the club, the confidence and the fact everybody seems to be enjoying their football. Jon Flanagan's technically not the best footballer but he has worked ever so hard to better his game and you can see when he's in the team the confidence that oozes out of him. Sterling is the same, and I'm sure there will be others filtering through to the first team soon that will have a similar impact.
in a way not signing Konoplyanka or Salah might not be a bad thing as the recent emergence of Raheem Sterling has been in-valuable in recent weeks. That's not to say in the summer we can't strength in that area but for now, why try and fix something that isn't broken? There isn't a Reserve team and a first team anymore, everybody is training and embracing the Liverpool experience together and everyone believes they have a chance to play for the first team.
I commend the regime we are under, I think things can only get better and it's only a matter of time before we are mentioned in the same breath as Barca or Bayern. One thing is for sure though, we will only achieve it in one way and that's the Liverpool Way.
06 March 2014
Brilliant article. We may not need players for Konoplyanka & Salah this season, but experience will be a necessity if we make the Champions League next season.
The silver lining is that if we get champions league, will may well be able to attract a player better than the aforementioned.
I think Rodgers in the next few years will look to add 1-2 players a season who can go straight into the first team. The squad players we should be able to pick up from the reserves and acadamies.
I think (apart from this year due to needing more players for Champions League - hopefully) the days of signing 6-7 players every summer are out the window. Finally we have a settled squad.
06 March 2014
Fantastic post Sam. We need to see you more in the banter pages dude.
06 March 2014
A good read Sam