4/13/2012 04:35:00 pm

Reds Legend: If LFC finish *tenth* in the league, it 'doesn't matter'. Agree?

At various times this season, both Kenny Dalglish and Steven Gerrard have tried to convince fans that winning domestic cups is more important than finishing in the Premier League's top four. Several Anfield legends have joined them in trying to get the fans to lower expectations and celebrate mediocrity, with the likes of Steve Nicol and Ray Houghton being the worst offenders. Obviously, the idea that cups are more important that the league is not even close to being true, and FSG's expression of 'dissatisfaction' yesterday over the club's poor results emphatically underlined that point again.

In his statement yesterday, Tom Werner warned Dalglish that Liverpool must finish the season 'strongly', a direct reference to the club's remaining league games.

According to Anfield Hero Ray Houghton though, finishing in the top four is not all that important for Liverpool. He told TalkSport:

"Does it really matter if you finish out of the top 4, or if you finish 5th or tenth? They [Liverpool] already in Europe for next season.

"Everything I hear about is about the top 4; in my time, if you finished 4th it was a failure, but now it's a success, so if you finish fifth or tenth, does it really matter?"


Houghton is entitled to his opinion just like anyone else, but for me, this is a damaging view, and it's indicative of the worrying willingness to accept and condone mediocrity this season.

What makes it worse is that such comments are clearly underpinned by personal allegiance to Dalglish, not the club, and I think it's fair to say that no fan who prioritises the club over the individual would argue that finishing 10th 'doesn't matter'.

Additionally, we all know that if it was Roy Hodgson, Rafa Benitez or Gerard Houllier in charge right now, ex-players like Houghton, Nicol and Alan Hansen would not be making endless lame excuses for such a catastrophic league failure.

Jaimie Kanwar




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68 Comments :

Adamplatt said...

Win nothing yet finish in the top 4 every season, like Arsenal for example and be considered a success, or finish outside the top 4 and win a few cups and be considered a failure.
It's ludicrous, it is just an other example of how football has become all about money, because all finishing 2nd, 3rd or 4th guarantees is more money. It doesn't add to the honours list, it keeps the trophy cabinet bare, the fans have no cup finals to enjoy and the players get no medals either. So I can see Houghtons point, at the end of a players career, would he like to show off his cup medals or be able to say I was in a team that finished 4th every year.

Adrian said...

not often i agree with you but not getting top four in the first season is one thing being tenth is not good enough

Yeahsure said...

Werner warned Kenny? Bwaaaaaaaaaaahahahah Yeah sure. Read the article again. With glasses this time.

RedX said...

Houghton's comment is quite ambiguous. On one hand, he seems to be saying that only winning the league is good enough for Liverpool "In my time, finishing fourth was a failure, but now it's a success." However, in this same quote, he is also kind of downplaying this season's failures. 

Houghton seems to be covering up his disappointment with LFC through this ambiguous argument. It lacks a logical pattern which hints that he is not very confident in what he is saying. 

shoot bayi singh said...

Kanwar, how low will you stoop to mud sling at KK? Are you really an LFC fan, or just carrying rafa's balls?

Gary352 said...

The way I see it is, if your not making it into the Top 4 then you still install that fighting spirit to be competitive even if its 5th 6th 7th or 8th. I'd rather not have the team keep playing like s*** one every 2 weeks because that just installs a losing spirit.

And not getting into the champions league is just like losing the title IMO, because getting into that top 4 is like a stepping stone to winning the league. Winning the Carling Cup isn't going to make you title contenders.

Iwantbox said...

I don't understand his comments, finishing in the champions league places is vital to Liverpool(revenue,moral,attract top talent). Europe is where the club made its name and without it for much longer Liverpool will become a mid table "also ran" club.  

Adrian said...

ITtake time to do the things you speak of and kenny deserves a bit of time

Adrian said...

winning more trophys than any other epl club is were liverpool made its name

scallyryan said...

Spot on judgement. I used to love watching LFC in Champions league and paid nearly £2000 to get to istanbul but the truth is that the FA cup is still a major trophy and clearly undermined by most within this blog. Not for me, I am not going to Wembley but will have great pride watching the sea of passionate red fans loving the day out supporting the great team on way to winning trophies.
I do not want to be a cup team but want undermine the success of winning the FA cup, next year Dalglish can prioritise the league and play the kids in domestic cups!!!!

Honours list never mentions any champions league seasons!!!4th place means success, I agree with Houghton, we finished 2nd 2009 and may as well be 10th as we didint get out of group stages following season!!!!Same old debate devaluing the FA cup!!!!

Sfg2012 said...

I have to agree with Houghton, KK and Gerard.
Look, we've been aiming far to high in recent seasons when we as a club are nowhere near the current top 5 in terms of quality players, finance and spending power.
KK has made real progress in a season and a bit when all the factors mentioned above were and continue to be against us.
We're not finishing top 4, that is a disappointment but perhaps finishing with a few trophies this year (a transitional year) & pushing on next year to a top 4 league finish will be more realistic.
By then we'll have a had a run in Europe, the current underachieving young players will have had more time & experience to settle in let's just be positive maybe by then they'll be proving their worth.  Carroll, Adam, Downers and Hendo are not bad players.  They're young and just need a little more patience.  They'll find it easier next season in so many ways not least because they'll have a few more (&hopefully) better players around them in the correct positions (eg striker, right winger and getting Lucas back will be like a new signing).
Be patient, be realistic - we're not Utd, City, Chelsea, Arsenal or even Spurs right now but KK is building.
Last point is this:  Old red nose was a hair's breadth from the sack in 1990 but a little patience (&one trophy!) saved him - now look at his record..... 

Karlsutton27 said...

You claim to be an lfc fan , all you do is criticise Liverpool football club I never read a positive article from you ever, you are exactly the type of guy the club don't want as a fan and I don't want you as a fan you play FIFA and lma manager and think you know everything , bull, Jenny daglish forgot more about football this morning than you will know in a lifetime he has lived the game his whole life. You need to realise that shit goes wrong sometimes and I agree bad signings have been made 100% true but we have dominated so many games and had bad luck bad finishing etc you have points there but it's not always about being the best and winning every yr wat fun would that be , have some respect for kk , he's a legend and he wants and cares count lfc

PatrickTheRed said...

Look at Arsenal always finish in the top 4 but win nothing. I rather win 1 or two cups than that happen every year. 

PatrickTheRed said...

Some good points there, hopefully Carroll and the new boys will be much better next year, I hear Downing always takes a year to settle. Now that Kenny is definitely staying, we should give him 100% support and see what he does next year.
What happened to Liverpool since Lucas got injured, god, you'd have to say he's the best midfielder in England.

Gerconroy said...

As i said many times Jaimie..avoid all ex player comments..the lot of them are part of the Dalglish cheerleading community. it's not honest, it's nor transparent and it's totally bias and blinkered.   I understand it's worthy of debate. 

gabweb said...

As long as we have 40 points and come 17th and win the carling cup every season and insult a few reporters and opposition players, everything is fine, what could be the problem? Anyone who disagrees with this is clearly not a LFC supporter because thinking outside of this logic and using life experience, morals and logical judgement to form your opinion clearly means you must be supporting someone else and you should get back to their website.

Once i get my tongue surgically removed from KD's ar$e, I might have a different opinion, but until then, the resistance must be put down! 

Bekim said...

Yr spot on Jamie. I can't remember him saying anything like that in Rafa's last season.When Rafa was there everyone was saying that the league is is important. Hypocrisy or what. Thank God the owners seem to think what most of the fans do. That the league is more important than wining the mickey mouse cup.

gabweb said...

p.s. We've been unlucky as well, hit the post 117 times at least. Not to mention that Ferguson had at least 5 years grace. Oh, and remember how bad Lucas was? you have to give the new players time. Better than being like that loser Wenger, not winning any Carling Cups but having to go to utter dives like the Nou Camp. Lucky us.

Allenvanwyk said...

The fourth spot and the  CL money is essential to LFC's financial stability as well as the cachet of rubbing shoulders with Europes elite. Does anyone fancy Lokomotiv Tractorshed on a wet Thursday night? Nope me neither ?

Jaimie K said...

I agree that many ex-players are Dalglish cheerleaders, but I'm still interested in their views, and I know many other fans are too. RH talks sense a lot of the time though; just not this time!

Scrapack said...

Come on lets be honest the only reason Arsenal must get 4th  is down to their stadium , they need the finance from champions league.We need to remember that we had not won anything for 6 years except the carling cup (we haven't won the FA cup as many already believe).....and on top of that unlike Arsenal we have not built a £300 million stadium... That is why its important for arsenal to be in the champions league... because in the long term the stadium income will be a huge benefit...

We haven't got a stadium, spunked £100million and all we have to show for it is....a carling cup.

Do you think arsenal would have been able to build a stadium without the champions league.

Do you think Arsenal fans would swap their stadium (long term furture) for a carling cup (maybe an FA cup if we win it).

Dave Thomas said...

No one is happy with us finishing outside the champions league places, However finishing 7th and winning 1 or hopefully 2 cups will give Kenny time to get it right, If there isnt a vast improvement in the league by december 2012-13 then like any other manager Kenny would sadly have to be replaced, by then he would have had 2 years.

Sfg2012 said...

Lucas was not one of my favourite Rafa signings but boy were many (most) of us wrong about Lucas.  His absence, Aggers absence, a lack of r/winger and arguably our biggest problem this year - a lack of clinical finishing, have all been costly.
Lucas provides quality cover & good (if often simple) link play  between defence and attack. We've missed that immensely this season but none more so than recently when Agger has been injured.  He is also proving to be a really important player, also in that link between attack and defence - just look at the impact he had against Blackburn?

I re read my original post and it may look heavy in favour of KK and while I think he is a legend, he is not untouchable.  FSG have simply taken away anything they view to be under performing or in the way of the manager. Now the pressure is on KK alone.  He'll be gone by Christmas if he doesn't turn our league performance around soon.  

Scrapack said...

Do you think arsenal would have been able to build a stadium without the champions league. 

Do you think Arsenal fans would swap their stadium (long term furture) for a carling cup (maybe an FA cup if we win it)

Zulkifli said...

Houghton, do you honestly believe in your own statement? For God's sake we are not brainless.In Kenny's words you need your head checked.

Sfg2012 said...

In my opinion it is not just the fact that they are biased in favour of KK, they are so for good reason - they know how good he is both as a player and as a manager.  They've experieced it.
The main problem with these ex players is this - they played in an era when LFC were like Utd are now, champions and continual high achievers.  They don't know or forgot what it's like to 'not be' the very best.   In the 80s LFC were head and shoulders above most other clubs if not all.
Whether you like Rafa or not, he pushed the team on to not just dine with the elite (of Europe) but beat them regularly.  He had his detractors & abuse from ex players & that looks (imo) way off the mark now.  It is clear LFC are not a top 4 team in England anymore & haven't been for years.  The club needs a new stadium (increased revenue), better players (in key positions eg striker & rwing) & patience with a manager who knows the club well.

KK needs time and some money - the owners spotted that by removing the guy who agreed to over inflated fees for potentially excellent players (they'll come good next season & beyond i really believe that).  Now all the fingers are pointing at KK so if he doesn't improve the league position considerably he'll be rightly condemned.  In the meantime let's give him our support and if at the end of the season we finish with two trophies and entrance into Europe is that not significant improvement on the the last 2 seasons?

scallyryan said...

Any of ex players will be labelled as talking sense if they are in any way negative about Dalglish, just as the media band wagon jumped on Aldridges comments last week

j75j said...

Give us a D give us a A give us a L give us a G give us a L give us an I give us a S give us a H 
What you got?  DALGLISH!!!!!!!!!!

Sfg2012 said...

These issues and arguments are both irrelevant & also important!
Irrelevant:  we don't have the new stadium(that's the elephant in FSG's board room); don't finish in the top 4 in recent seasons & don't have the same attraction for TOP players - Torres, Machers and Alonso left remember.  
Important:  We changed direction when KK tool over, we aimed at british based players and youth in equal measure. They need time, a trophy is a little piece of history always on show, the 2nd, 3rd or 4th place league finish is meaningless other than to raise revenue and attract top talent - it isn't history meerly helping to get there.

OriginalChan said...

'in my time'

But it isn't your time anymore, Ray. Its another time and top 4 matters more than before, much more. To the accountants, for our future stadium plans, to the fans that want to see this club play in the biggest club competition in the world and hear the CL anthem played out at our stadium, etc, we need a top 4 place.
Seem to be coming out in a big herd, KK's old pals.

OriginalChan said...

Do you like seeing Liverpool play in CL? Is there no joy or buzz seeing the club play CL football? 

Don't know about you but regardless of our chances of winning it (its not like we were huge favourites for the last time we won it), I love seeing us playing in the best club competition in the world. That CL anthem being played out at Anfield is a buzz.

Yep, the Arsenal needs CL for financial reasons but I'm sure their fans love seeing the club in CL, just like most fans of any club.

OriginalChan said...

Finishing top 4 guarantees (if go through qualifying round) that the fans have the pleasure of seeing their club play in the biggest club competition in the world, even if they might not have a great chance of winning it.

OriginalChan said...

Did you have us down as one of the favourites to win CL in 2005 at the start of that season? Or did you think 'we should not bother turning up for CL as we haven't got much chance and we'd just get knocked out in the first phase'?

tallpaulp said...

like roy did!  we as far as i can see dont seem to have our own individuality of play, every team has a blueprint that it works from,we seem to play a different way or system every few games. we need more consistency.

tallpaulp said...

the problem is, you can see where arsenal are going.  here's a question, if tomorrow you could wake up and have the arsenal squad in a complete swap, would you?

Chan said...

Where does it say KD is definitely staying?

Gano1 said...

If we win 2 cups why should anyone care where we finish????

Titi_Camara said...

it's ok,kenny can pick the team now because that evil commoli lad is gone and we can all live in disneyland together while the rest of football moves on.

Titi_Camara said...

another transfer window where we'll miss out on top players is what we're facing because that's what happens when you miss out on the top 4.
being irish,i'm unfortunately exposed to alot more of houghtons media work(he's still living off his euro 88 goal)than lfc fans in the uk and can honestly say that 99% of what houghton says is bollox.
he's a kenny apologist like most of the ex reds.
houghton is the most critical ex player i've ever herad commentate on a football match,you'd be forgiven for thinking he was pele his attitude and over the top hyperbole is so bad.
yet when it comes to kenny,the worst league campaign in years is ok because they are golf buddies.

Madness said...

Think John Henry / Tom Werner would - CL Revenues... they invested in the club for a reason... a return on investment, CL provides that and is more important when revenue from tickets is scarce compared to Utd and Arsenal

Davekernow said...

No one here likes Dalglish much eh? must be on the wrong site!

Pro_Benitez_Cult said...

Houghton, like most ex players, have double standards. It is as simple as that. It's shambolic that they hold much influence over some of the fans and sections of past and present boardrooms. The Liverpool Way wasn't meant to be set in stone doctrine used for ex, hypercritical players to bring up when it suited them.

Pro_Benitez_Cult said...

In 50 years time, people will speak of the great european nights of the Benitez years, specifically those Chelsea semi finals...I wonder whether people will speak with such passion and detail about the Carling Cup encounter? Doubt it

lowee78 said...

one of the best carling cup finals to date in fact. history still to be made this season possibly.  could look back hopefully and say, we made the toffees  look stupid in the semi then smashed chelsea/spurs in the final.
a cup double to remember you never know.
reply to me this time tommorow lol

Pro_Benitez_Cult said...

One of the best Carling Cup finals to date...really?! A laboured performance, we faffed at it and I still not sure whether Adam's penalty has landed yet! Haha

judgestevep said...

1st is 1st, 2nd is nowhere. I am of the opinion that trophys are what its about. If you don't the league, then you pick up a cup. That's how Liverpool always used to be, and perhaps by winning at least one trophy this season will have a lasting effect on the players who have done it for the first time. It's vital, as only Gerrard, Carragher and Reina have done it before. We need to insert a winning mentality, and there is no better way than putting the bitters to the sword tomorrow.

The target each year should be the league title. If you don't win it,then you have to pick up a cup, minimum. If we are in the top 4, then that's great, but you still should pick up a cup. End of story.

Titi_Camara said...

we had to beat a championship side on penalties.
oh wait,downing's man of the match performance is proof that kennys masterplan is coming along perfectly.

Pro_Benitez_Cult said...

Parallels could be made between Cardiff 2012 and Birmingham 2011. But I saw the Birmingham win at the time as the start of something special. The Cardiff game had more parallels to the 2003 final win, papering over the cracks of a very disappointing league seasons.

Simon said...

The only difference is £500,000 per place, so one quarter of Stevie G's salary for a drop of 4 places, it would be extra embarrassing though

Hopefully we beat Toffees tomorrow and make the final

lowee78 said...

yes really, oh sorry forgot we were supposed to roll them over 5-0!!
edge of the seat stuff as poor as we were, credit to cardiff.
glory hunter or wat hahahahahaha

Pastor of Muppets said...

No, but I'd take Arsene Wenger!

Rajpdxusa said...

I'd stay off the drugs for a bit if I were you :)

Rajpdxusa said...

Yes it has changed tremendously in the last twenty years. Robots, square balls, time-outs, cheerleaders. Brand new rules.

I just want to see one player or manager actually in football to come out and say they think Kenny doesn't know anything about the "modern game". Just one.

Rohit05mehra said...

Neither DELUDED fans who travel in the delorean..SO DO ONE AND NOB OFF KD SOMEWHERE ELSE.

Rohit05mehra said...

People are banging on about lucas absence. Just remember how poor he waz when he first came to lfc and at best he's good squad player, phyiscally a lightweight for a DM role and if we had money to spend i would get a african player who are physically stronger and would be ideal in that role. For me lucas gets pushed off the ball to often and yeah he's ok but again some people are getting DESPERATE AGAIN thinking when he comes back he'll be this amazing player. Dont get me wrong he may well do an ok job but for a start he's a backward step to mascherano and like many other positions in the team where we have left world class players leave. If lucas was world class then chelsea etc would be after him.

OriginalChan said...

Why all this fuss over a Carling Cup victory? I'd understand if it was a Leicester, Birmingham, Boro, Cardiff, etc, fan but Liverpool? Are the standards really that bad now?

Xxcell2010 said...

Dude! u r right! If we want any football club to function like a profit-making organization, I'll take Arsene Wenger over anyone else. In this aspect football, he must be the best of the best in the whole world.

Xxcell2010 said...

If anyone of you want Liverpool to spend money over players that come with transfer fees every summer, then qualify for CL is a must. It is a fact now football clubs are completely run based on money, else who will dig into his own pocket for players like JH, SD, LS and AC etc, with each cost at least 15 mils pounds and upwards. All football clubs in Europe should look up to Arsenal as the successful model for an elite football club with excellent financial records. It does not make any financial sense to say that domestic cup wins are better than 4th place in the league. 

Chris said...

Bear in mind thought that Arsenal are hampered in their ability to spend on players because they're paying off their new stadium.

It's often said that Liverpool right now are building for the future, so are Arsenal but Arsenal are building for the next 20, 30 and 40 years, Liverpool are building for the next 4, and even that's not going as well as was predicted it should.

gabweb said...

Why? Because i think you need them!

gabweb said...

And, what you dont mention, teams that come 8th in the league don't usually challenge for top 4 in the next season anymore. But keep taking the medication!

Rajpdxusa said...

So where did Newcastle come in last year then?

(12th)

Rajpdxusa said...

Is that how you get people to agree with you then :)

Pro_Benitez_Cult said...

Glory hunter? No no, I wanted a performance that befitted not only the occasion but also the traditions of the football club. That's all. I'm sorry if hoping for a confident and decent performance in a cup final is classed as glory hunting these days.

I found the 2005 final "one of the best carling cup finals to date" not this instantly drab affair

gabweb said...

its called clutching at straws.

OriginalChan said...

Absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that.

gabweb said...

No, it's how i ignore people who are not making any sense.

gabweb said...

Where are they now? 5th? Now, that's progress, don't you think? Did they just overtake us? Any chance of Watford, Southampton, Norwich, Ipswich challenging for the title any time soon?

And that is why i said 'don't usually', did you miss that part?

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