6 Feb 2008

Liverpool's winning mentality has been eroded by a team of weak-minded LOSERS...and Jamie Carragher is the biggest culprit!

There is a sickness shrouding Anfield, and it is not the anti-football, technical ineptitude and perennial underperformance in the league – it is the death of Liverpool’s winning mentality.

Quite simply, the current Liverpool team is full of defeatist, whining LOSERS.

Bill Shankly once said: “A lot of football success is in the mind. You must believe you are the best and then make sure that you are.”

Liverpool's current squad and management have a serious problem with collective defeatist mentality, and The huge number of pessimistic comments in the press this season has exposed the 'loser' mentality eating away at Anfield.

I've chosen a selection of public comments from the last couple of months to illustrate my point, but the entire season has been full of public defeatism.
Let’s start with Ryan Babel. After the recent Sunderland VICTORY, he stated:

"Fortunately we saw off Sunderland on Saturday”.

Fortunately? According Sunderland such respect to the extent of suggesting that Liverpool struggled to beat a team in the relegation zone is ridiculous. Even if it’s true, Babel should put a positive slant on it. He continued:

"Hopefully we have taken a first step towards regaining confidence, which is a bit low at the moment".

Is there any benefit in telling the world this? And he went on:

"We haven't been doing well the past few weeks. Our captain Steven Gerrard already said that confidence is a bit low at Liverpool at the moment”.

Such comments should be no surprise coming from a player who clearly has no self-belief:

"I can't physically cope with the terrific pace of the Premier League. I invariably face a tall task, even also against the so-called small teams".

Is this what Liverpool fans want to hear from players? Here’s a thought – GROW UP. Stop acting like a baby and start acting like a MAN. If you can’t hack the Premiership, keep it to yourself, instead of inviting ridicule and making yourself and the team look weak.

It gets worse. Let’s move onto Dirk Kuyt, who recently whined:

"We are struggling at the moment in the league. We know we can do better and win games like West Ham away. It's been disappointing to lose a lot of points at home this season”.

What purpose is served by confirming the obvious fact that Liverpool are struggling in the league? The trend continued with Liverpool's so-called 'inspirational captain' Steven Gerrard offering his own inimitable rallying cry:

“Confidence is a bit low at the moment”.

Great. So after a victory, Liverpool's captain focuses on the negative. Why? Perhaps it has something to do with the pessimism spilling down from the top. Rafael Benitez is no stranger to public defeatism, as his comments after the Sunerland vctory demonstrate:

“It was important to find our confidence. We need to find the confidence we had when we had people scoring goals and winning games”

What about Jamie Carragher? Surely positivity from him? Think again! Carragher has been a fountain of pessimism over the last few months, as illustrated by the following assorted public comments:

"We've got to sort it out very quick, otherwise fourth place is going to be in danger as well. We just need a couple of results to get the confidence back”.

After the West Ham defeat:

"At the moment, the confidence isn't quite there, we're not quite at our best”.

After the West Ham defeat:

"At the moment, obviously, the confidence isn't great and we're not playing as well as we can. We realise that, we're not stupid. A draw wouldn't have been that bad, but we've got to move on now”.

In another interview:

"We should be doing a lot better, but we've just got to try to get through this period and come out the other side."

In a recent newspaper interview:

"We are not good enough. It is not one particular 'this' or 'that'. It is just that other teams have been playing better than us. We have obviously got to improve both as individuals and as a team".


There seems to be an obsession with Liverpool players telling the world that confidence is at rock-bottom. Such comments are maddeningly counter-productive and give other teams a psychological advantage: if Liverpool are weak, struggling and lacking confidence, they are BEATABLE.

Whilst it may be true that confidence is low, WHY SHOUT ABOUT IT IN THE PRESS? Who does this help? NOBODY. It just perpetuates the negativity hanging over the club and lets every other club in Europe know that Liverpool are there for the taking.

It doesn’t stop there! More examples include Gerrard complaining that Liverpool’s off-field problems were affecting the team and, in the last few days, Benitez criticizing Xabi Alonso in public.

With such a negative, defeatist attitude coming out the club, it is no wonder Liverpool’s season is tailing off into ignominious failure.

Anfield needs WINNERS in the team – players with an unshakeable winning mentality – not mewling ladyboys who cry about lacking confidence every five seconds.

You never heard Graeme Souness moaning about lack of confidence. Emlyn Hughes never whined about not being able to ‘cope’ with the league. Kenny Dalglish never threw in the towel and continually whimpered about how confidence was low.

Why? Because they were winners with the right mentality.

All the comments I have highlighted above are not what Liverpool FC is all about, and such an astounding level of defeatism has no place at the club.

I am not suggesting that there should be blanket optimism and blind faith – far from it. There are, however, ways to present a united, positive front in the face of adversity, and at the moment, Liverpool just do not have a clue.

A massive overhaul of the club's media strategy is needed, and this should start with players being banned from talking about poinless, negative things 'like lack of confidence' to the press.

It needs to start from the top down, but this will be difficult to achieve with arch pessimist Steven Gerrard and petulant sulker Rafael Benitez running things. Both are supposed to be club leaders but both have a tendency to exacerbate the negativity with repeatedly ill-advised public comments.

Until the club sheds the losing mentality (on and off the field) and rediscovers the never say die, winning attitude that made the club great, the mediocrity and chronic premiership failure will continue.

And won't that be fun?


  1. I wholeheartedly agree with you on this one. The negativity helps only the opposition. Why can't the club see this for themselves??

    PS: Did Babel really say "I can't physically cope with the terrific pace of the Premier League. I invariably face a tall task, even also against the so-called small teams".

    If he did he should be flogged - behind closed doors of course ;-)

  2. Hi JP. Yes, Babel did say those things - it's a direct quote: http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/29012008/4/babel-t-cope-premier-league.html

    Staggering isn't it? I can't stand such weakness being displayed. if babel can't hack it then he shouldn't be shouting about it for all the world to hear.

    I don't rate Babel anyway. As his comments prove, he does not have the strength of character to make it Anfield. He's a dreaded 'confidence player' - unless he feels loved and is wrapped up in cotton wool he won't do the business.

    Whatever happened to the real men in football? The likes of Souness et all have been replaced with a bunch of mewling ladyboys.

  3. I hope you're wrong about Babel (long-term) as I had some hopes for him.

    He is no Souness, thats for sure, but my feelings for Souness can fluctuate - as they did when I recently saw this video of him on YouTube trying to neuter an opposition player.


    It made me gasp. Can you imagine the reaction today? A season ban?

  4. Ouch! Did he even get a yellow card for that?! As you suggest, in today's climate he would be crucified by the FA and demonised in the press. He'd probably be arrested for assault and the player on the receiving end would would sue for damages too!

    I hope I'm wrong about Babel too but I just can't him staying the course. Sometimes you can just tell about a player. In Robbie Fowler's first season you just knew he was destined for greatness. Same goes for Michael Owen, Steve McManaman etc - young players who were full of self belief and were unfazed by all the pressure. They grabbed their opportunities and never looked back.

    Babel is the opposite in my view. Always looks miserable; clearly short of self-belief to the extent that he admits weakness in public. He's had one season and everyone says 'but we'll see the real Ryan Babel in his econd season'. Well, that remains to be seen.

    A small part of the blame for his underwhelming performances lies with Rafa playing him out of position and forcing him to defend all the time, but Babel himself really needs to step up.

    I laughed hysterically at the time but I remember when Babel was signed, people were saying such ridiculous things like ' Babel will be the new Barnes'. What an insult! Babel is not fit to clean Barnes' boots.

    If it was down to me I would sell him tomorrow.

  5. "Babel is not fit to clean Barnes' boots."

    Perhaps, but in his first few games we did see some clinical finishing under pressure and that is what we need to see more of.

    I do think he deserves another season before the axe comes down, and of course you are right about positioning - the lad needs to be played as a striker.

    So lets hope* Rafa gives him a good run in his preferred position and we get to see what he is made of!

    * Sounds a bit desperate doesn't it ;-)