The tide is turning (by john_mac)

Posted by john_mac on December 15, 2003, 12:13:44 PM

Saturday was terrible. The first half was as bad as anything I can remember; as bad as Bolton and Bristol City, if a bit less dramatic. The thought of the players that started without Steven Gerrard is a nightmare; similar to Sounessís team without Fowler, it just does not bear thinking about. Seven, possibly eight of the players let us down miserably, and why we went into the game without Pongolle is beyond me. With two big clumsy centre backs surely his pace may have exposed them?

Perhaps the most worrying sight was two players chosen on the bench at a cost of £10 Million, neither deemed good enough to enter the fray in a game which had seen our worst performance in a long, long time. Both players' preferred position is middle of midfield and watching Danny Murphy tamely give the ball away time after time after time, it is mystifying how he lasted ninety minutes.

Iím not going to change my beliefs based on Saturday and Iím not going† to make any rash statements calling for the managers head but to say that it was a low-point is to say the very, very least. How the likes of Murphy, Diouf and Riise can walk away from a performance like that is beyond me, it really is. I know that people will say that the manager signed two of those three players and extended the contract of the other, but does anyone really believe that any of them has not shown enough before for us and Gerard to expect more of them?

I donít know where we go from here I really donít, I feel that low. It is clear that some players have neither the heart nor the desire to play for Liverpool and something has to be done and done quickly to arrest the decline, and even taking into account the injuries there is a decline. Iím made up to see Stephen Gerrard saying that he will have to think about leaving Anfield if we are not in the Champions League. If we are not a top four team then we are not good enough for the likes of Gerrard, Owen, Kirkland and Kewell.

The tide seems to have turned against the manager, perhaps irreversibly. The incessant booing his appearance on the Sandon television brought was a complete embarrassment. Like it or not, Souness never received the vile abuse that I heard Gerard receive on Saturday. Like him or not, I doubt anybody would deny his passion for Liverpool Football Club and I donít think he deserves that. Of course Gerard must take his share of the blame for our position, and at least a share for Saturday's debacle. To lose would have been bad if not a disaster, but to lose in such a heartless, incompetent and spiritless manner was nothing short of a disgrace.

I genuinely believe that the manager can get over this but, if Iím honest, would not have been surprised to see him resign yesterday, Iím not sure how many days like Saturday he can survive, I donít know how many days like Saturday that I can survive. There is no way he can unless he gets the support and effort from everybody at the football club: fans, officials, coaching staff and especially the players he has invested his time, beliefs and heart in; players, some very talented, who are patently letting down everybody associated with Liverpool Football Club.

Saturday will not be easy and I hope that everybody at Wolverhampton knows what it is about, the scene of one of Liverpool Football Club's greatest triumphs and a great evening to be a scouser, is again a place that will become an important, if not integral part of our future. I really do wonder if Houllier can survive another crushing blow against the club nestled at the bottom of the table, but I canít help but wonder about what type of support will be witnessed in the arena which once saw one of the best away supports any ground has ever seen in this country.

I hope that Gerard can turn things around but have to admit that for the first time I have real doubts about him being given time to do so by the board. It has become increasingly obvious that the tide may not just be turning but may have turned amongst the fans, not just the internet idiots or the 606 gobshites but amongst a sizable majority of match-going fans. Like it or not there are clearly many people who think that Gerard has gone as far as he can, Parry, Moores and even Gerard himself must be aware of this, and the pressure is now on the powers-that-be on the Liverpool board to either have the courage of their convictions or seek a new direction. I cannot help but think that Parryís own fortunes are inextricably linked to those of the manager.

It is a difficult and testing time to be a Red, on a morning with gleeing Toffees, enthusing at our result and the future of our manager far more than they are ever interested in their own.

Whatever happens and however the board and manager react to things, I know that some of the things Iíve heard about a man who undoubtedly cares deeply about Liverpool Football Club, its fans and its fortunes has been completely out of order.

It's not a time for the faint hearted.


© john_mac 2003

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