2 Nov 2009

Liverpool fans: It's time to KEEP THE FAITH!

Despite 8 defeats in 15 games this season, JODY DANIELS refuses to give up hope, and is confident that if Liverpool fans keep the faith, their loyalty will eventually be rewarded.

In my view, fans publicly chastising the club Manager/Owners (or accepting the pessimistic, bias and prejudiced stories written by the media) is totally against the spirit of Liverpool FC.

What happened to “You’ll Never Walk Alone”? What happened to giving credit to where its due?

It took Bill Shankly two years to get Liverpool FC promoted back into the League Championship (in 1962), and only two years after that did he win the First Division title in 1964.

In 1965, Shankly guided Liverpool to winning our first ever FA Cup. All this after he made some radical changes at the club, getting rid of many players and transforming training facilities and routines.

The point is it took Shankly five years just to get the club promoted and then win its first major trophy in years. Five years to drill a certain mindset and system of play into his squad of players which would transform them into a trophy winning team.

Rafael Benitez should be granted the same luxury – time. In Rafa’s first five years, he has already guided the club to winning four trophies, and that’s with a club in transition.

We should not allow our lust for silverware stand in the way of a long term vision, which our new MD, Christian Purslow, calls “The Plan”:

“You only have to look at the Premiership era and our two major competitors in the last 10 to 12 years to see the benefits of longevity.Liverpool Football Club is on a long-term journey and that journey is to be the most successful club, firstly in our country and secondly in the world and you don’t do that by worrying about short-term results. You do that by having long-term plans centring on the people and the strategy. Rafa Benitez is absolutely central to that plan.”

I am tired of hearing fans, commentators and “football experts” saying that Manchester United are the most successful football club in England.

They are not!

The claims that Liverpool FC is a mediocre club or plays boring football is complete and utter rubbish! Lies like these get repeated ad nauseum in the media and eventually end up being accepted as fact.

First we need to ask - What makes a club successful?

The committed support from fans? The amount of money and resources invested in a club? How this money and resources are used? Consistent quality performances of a team?

The Answer should be obvious: All of the above.

Now, what proves that success?

The Answer - History! Record books don’t lie, it might not tell the entire truth of what happened throughout a season, but it does present the outcome of match results.

Liverpool FC is still the most successful football club in the United Kingdom (based on trophies won from 1871 to 2009). There are some pundits and “experts” who wish to refute this because of their bias toward Manchester United, but the facts are plain to see:

It is quite close, but Liverpool FC has won a total of 58 trophies to date, while Manchester United has won 56. Clearly, Liverpool FC is still the more successful club in England. That’s not arrogance, that’s just taking a snapshot of what the records show - both these clubs are only deemed successful because of what they have achieved in the past.

Now some may say this is just another manifestation of an inferiority complex, but I think its essential to know your past so you understand where you have come from – only then you can plan where you’re headed.

Is Liverpool FC a boring team – do they play boring football under Benitez? Are they mediocre? NO! Liverpool FC were top league goal scorers last season (2008/ 2009) with 77 goals (9 goals more than Arsenal, Chelsea and United), and this season, we are already riding high in the goalscoring charts despite our poor run of form.

The above statistics do not mean that fans should not criticize the team when they don’t play well. Neither does it mean that Rafael Benitez is infallible or beyond reproach.

All I’m saying is treat the manager and team fairly, and cut the club some slack by not jumping onto every media-inspired anti-Liverpool campaign that surfaces.

As far as trophies go, the records show that Liverpool FC is always in the mix for winning top honours – that is part of what makes Liverpool the club that it is.

For the short term, we need to be patient; support the club; keep the faith, and believe in the possibility that successful new chapters will be added to the club's already illustrious history.

Jody Daniels


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  1. Brilliant post. Easily the best on this site in ages. Well said Jody. YNWA.

  2. To emphasise the point correctly made by Jody, Liverpool are playing fantastic football when the core of the team is available. People used to accuse Rafa of playing negative football, now it's the defence that comes up for scrutiny, but at the end of the day the issue is the same: Rafa has managed to build the core of a great team but still needs time to produce a great squad. If we are brave and keep the faith (as the Mancs did with Fergie) then LFC will be able to develop into the kind of team Shankly was able to build. And then, maybe, just maybe, the first and second best team in the countries will be LFC and LFC Reserves once again :)

  3. Good man Jody.. That pathetic idiot Jaimie could do with taking a leaf outta your book fella..

  4. The big picture, the long term plan, the future.
    It's great to see a bit of common sense at last.
    Managing the most succesful club in the world involves a little bit more than just turning up, picking 11 players and going home again. Rafa is working hard for the future of our great club and should be supported, when Kenny Dalglish is quoted as saying Rafa is the right man for the club then that's good enough for me.
    Excellent post, can you give that Jaimie Kanwar a few tips on how to write a constructive positive article rather than most of the tabloid mish mash he conjures together.

  5. Unfortunately we live in a "i want it now" era and this seems to be a disease spreading to some of the  most patient fans.
    I have to admit i have become a little disillusioned with some of Rafa's tatics, taking yossi off with 20 minutes to go when we clearly needed his creativity seems a bit odd. 
    He has been given 5 years and spent  £270 about 70 players, only about half a dozen of them quality.
    The question is have we really improved that much in 5 years, we won the champions league with what was mainly Gerard Houliers team and a bit of lady luck.
    I fear Rafa's biggest problem is his stubborness and seemingly not learning from his previous  mistakes.
    We have only 1 prober striker and I think 19million would have been better spent on another quality striker rather that a defender.
    I truly hope things can be turned around but i fear this season will be a disaster and qualifying for the Champions League will be our only realistic achievement.

  6. I am loving life, all the deluded liverpool fans. In rafa we trust blah blah, the longer he stays the better for all the other teams around them. Stoke will win the premiership before Liverpool.

    Well done Liverpool fans you make me laugh

    please dont leave rafa please please please dont leave

  7. Good article! It really is pissing me off lately the amount of so called experts, former players and even our own so-called fans not seeing the "bigger picture".
    Whilst I dont agree with everything Rafa does ( but then again I wouldnt expect to ) he has done a fantastic job getting us to where we are now and its only the continued problems with our yank friends that is causing the majority of our issues at the moment. Rafa has rebuilt the club ( 1st team, reserves, youth etc ) on a very tight budget, buying (what we know to be ) average players but making them perform in our system to take us to the next level and then selling them on ( at a profit in a lot of cases ) to bring in players to take us to the next level after that. All will take time but it WILL be worth the wait. We are now in a position where the 1st team squad is very good to excellent in certain positions and we just need 1 or 2 stronger squad players to make sure that when we get 2 or 3 injuries/suspensions we dont suffer too much. In saying that even with this we would struggle at the moment with the number of players unavailable!
    Since Rafa came in we have improved year on year - that is a fact no-one can dispute (not even Ronnie Whelan who I now no longer class as a former Liverpool great due to his recent attacks on the club and Rafa inparticular ). We are now classed as genuine title contenders whereas 4 years ago we were looking at 4th at best. I admit this season hasnt gone well so far but we must trust the manager, we must demand more from certain "experienced" players who are simply not performing (Kuyt, Skrtel and Masch in particular ) and we must get behind our younger players rather than put too much pressure on them to perform miracles week in week out ( Lucas, Ngog etc ).
    People point out our net spend is more than Utds in the last 5 years but that is not only because of the sale of Ronaldo but also because we were miles behind them anyway in most departments so of course we have to spend more - but what has this got us......................well last years final table shows you the progress we have made!!!!
    Look at the Chavs spend over the last 5 years and again at last years final table!!!
    The biggest mistake the club will make is to sack Benitez as it would set us back a good couple of years because I really dont think there is another manager whi would be prepared to work under the conditations that Rafa has and still does work under. So, come what may on Wednesday night, lets get behind the team and prove why we are the best supporters in the world. YNWA!

  8. Love it - when did it become our god given right to win the title year in year out. We have to come to terms with the fact that before Benitez arrived we were miles behind the likes of utd chelsea and arsenal. Up until this season we have consitantly closed the gap on the top teams and we have qualified for the latter stages of champs league. At the minute everything that can go wrong is going wrong but chin up and keep the faith.

    In Rafa we trust

    P.s what really pisses me off is Stan Collymore coming out now saying i told you so.

    In the words of Kevin Keegan 'i would love it' if we proved that twot wrong, this season and go on a crazy 25 match winning run. Not going to happen but you never know, i never would have imagined 8 defeats in first 15 games this season.

  9. Dear all, I'm so heartened to see so many liverpool fans defending Rafa. He obviously make mistakes but bear in mind that without him, we will be probably 4th every year at best. He took us to 2nd position last year and we now boast the best and defensive records. The only reservations I have this year is the use of attacking fullbacks to improve Liverpool's attacking ability. Could it be the reason why Liverpool has been conceding goals recently? With due respect to Rafa, I am not a coach and definitely not qualitifed to answer this. Nevetheless I only have this to say to Rafa - We are all behind you!!

  10. eh!!!!!!!!!! has the plan since RAFA been there the future?

  11. Jamie is bang on, truth hurts boys, we are still mediocre

  12. I would like to trust Rafa but results dont lie. Am a liverpool fan since the 80s and remain so to see my great club conquer all again. I have given Rafa many breathing spaces but still no good result. The team needs to play with heart like the way they played against ManU and won 3 times. Agains the lower teams they seem to be complacent, loose and defence--hopelessness. YNWA....

  13. when refering in your article to it taking shankly 5 years to drum a certain mindset into his players and so we should give rafa the same chance blah blah blah... HERE'S THE DIFFERENCE:

    "if you are first you are first. if you are second you are nothing"
    - bill shankly

    "we dont need to win trophies to be succesful"
    - rafa benitez

    so what mindset would you rather have you idiot...

    you are all blind! we will never win the league with rafa! hes a total joke! he doesn't know what it means to be a liverpool manager 'coz hes too thick!

    and for god sake you know you're a crap manager when souness starts havin a pop...

    so all u little rafa fans should stop bein mugs and boot him out... YOU'RE AS MUCH OF A PART OF THE PROBLEM AS HE AND THE YANKS ARE!!!

  14. It takes five years to bring full glory to a football club, but it only takes one year to fall flat on your face. Liverpool FC is never a boring team. In recent days they even gave their fans a heart attack with the decisions Rafa makes on the pitch. "You'll Never Walk Alone". But I think Rafa wants to be alone. I truly hope he would watch and study the lower teams in the premier league and respect them before he makes any "silly" decisions because they are no "SOFTY". For them to beat the lights off Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and YOU KNOW WHO is as good as coming runners up in the premier league.

  15. i agree regarding stan collymore, i liste to talk sport a lot and all he ever says is ive got two word for u liverpool fans!!! jose mourinho, and he just cant wait to stick th boot in, however, i am starting to think that maybe rafa is coming to a natural end at liverpool, clearly he's not a bad manager, and he can attimes be too cautious, but maybe hes just taken us as far as he can? i dont know, but ive said it before, if they owners are going to sack him do it now so that a new manager can have the rest of this season to make the changes he wants to make, and then next preseason all the players are not coming back from the world cup with a whole new way of doing things and we can hit the ground running, like i say its just an idea, im a little disillusioned with things at the mo, and some of the things i say may be a little contractionary, who knows whats the best way forward??

  16. Im sorry to disagree here but the truth is five years of mediocraty. We have not got a better chance of winning the title this year than we did in rafas second year in charge, Its easy to say that the manager needs more time, well how much time does he need? 5 10 20 years? Theres has to be a limit on the amount of time we can sit by and say hes building for the future. YES it takes time to build a strong squad and a good first team buit Rafa has brought in 65 players in his tenure as manager and yet we struggle to replace any midfield or striker losses because we only have one creative midfielder and one recognised striker. When will it be time for us to say we dont believe Rafa is going to win the league? will it come if we dont finish in a top four spot? or maybe we should all just blindly follow Rafa without dissent and to hell with the future of the club because youve written an article that attempts to make those of us who dont follow the Rafa line look like we are being disloyal

  17. Obviously we want a winning mindset, and we also want Liverpool to win games and trophies. But that's as much as I will agree with you.

    You are taking Rafa's quote out of context - Rafa NEVER said "we dont need to win trophies to be successful" - that's what was written in the media - I'll believe that if it was a live press conference and he said it verbatim - but he didn't.

    What Benitez did say was:

    "In the build-up to yesterday’s game, Benitez insisted: ‘I don’t agree with people when they say you have to win trophies. I always say the same, you have to be there. You
    have to improve, you have to create a group of players who can fight for trophies."

    Read more: <span>http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1224391/Liverpool-boss-Rafa-Benitez-claims-dont-win-trophies-success.html#ixzz0ViT061rx</span>
    That doesn't sound like a manager who doesn't want to win trophies, that sounds like a winning mindset to me.

    Shankly also said that the championship race was like a marathon race - a certain mindset for bigger picture had to be adopted to fight for it.

    Paisley was right when he said "we dont celebrate coming second around here" - but this comes from a man who inherited a solid foundation from his former boss, an established team and system of play which he helped devleop with Shankly.

    You need to take things in perspective.

    Benitez is trying to build a team and squad that can challenge and eventually win trophies.

    "Trophies mean a lot to everyone. But the most important thing is to see progression and evidence that you are improving and able to fight for trophies." - Rafa

    I'm not excusing Rafa's decisions or saying he is perfect - I am saying, take things in perspective.

  18. He has spent loads of money though.. only point i have to disagree with you on:
    Babel 11.5m
    Torres 20-26m
    Aquilani 18m
    Johnson 18m
    Kuyt 10.5m
    Mascherano 18.5m
    Dossena 7m(not much but waste of money cpuld have been spent wiser)
    Alonso 10.5m
    Cisse 10-13m(not sure if he bought cisse or not)
    Keane 20m
    Morientes 10m
    Sissoko 8-10m
    Bellamy 6-10m
    Garcia 8-10m
    Crouch 8m
    thats about 130-160m there and more people have bought like 60 more and also he maks stupid decisions that lead to our downfall e.g taking benayoun off or not starting him, not giving babel a chance instead of his beloved voronin...fair enough he has improved but hes basically chucking it back down the drain this season with idiotic mistakes

  19. Hate to be pedantic, but 8 defeats in 16 games. 2 league cup, 3 CL, 11 PL. Good article, though. I can't stand any fans that boo the manager or players.

  20. yes it has hence the overhauil of the youth system......it takes time to produce the quality thru the youth team and hopefully in the near future we will see the likes of pacheco, nemeth, amoo etc making an impact.

  21. how much $$ do u think it takes to catch up with the likes of ManU, Chelsea and Arsenal who already had a GOOD team platform> We have been playing catch up for a long time. It takes alot to catch those in front of u but it takes even more to pass them. The man is not perfect and makes mistakes but we are on the right track

  22. Everyone focuses on the number of players but not the quality of player. I suppose u would say then that he didn't spend his $$ wisely and in some cases that maybe true. IMO the true measure of the situation is this, the other big 4 teams could afford tyo make a mistake in the transfer market due to the good team platform they've had since the start of the EPL. Truth of the matter is that we have been behind them from since Dalglish retired and have hjad to rebuild on a modest budget. If u think its easy to build a challenging team in these times on a modest budget (compared to the other big 4 clubs) then for u Rafa should  be fired. Some of us just think that the manager has had to operate under difficult circumstances. While we had hoped to have the EPL title by now he has shown those us enough for us to give him a bit more time. At some point yes he has to deliver the title but i dont think that he has reached the end of his rope just yet.

  23. Stop all this analyzing and whining. The players got injured. This happened in the Shankly era too.   Cut the nonsense and don't be cry babies.

  24. It's all well and good spouting that we have to see a plan through, look at the 'bigger picture' etc. etc. but why not think about this....what if the plan is wrong? What if they spend the next 5, 10, 15 years executing this plan with Benitez in charge and we still haven't won the league? Have any of you blind fans thought about that?
    I cannot stand people who spout the same 'In Rafa we trust' and 'YNWA' and the 'Liverpool Way'. Was it the 'Liverpool way' when we brought in Houllier to undermine Evans, or when Houllier was sacked for Benitez? I think you all have this rosey coloured picture that Liverpool FC have never done anything wrong and that football is in the same state as the 80's. Football is a business, and as such positive results are necessary. If they aren't seen, then changes should be made.
    Rafa has had 5 years now in which to mould a squad and make us title contenders - and the 'yanks' (as people like to call them) have given him £20m every year (yes NET like all you clowns love to spout off about) plus sales. And where are we? No closer to winning the Premier League, and about to go out of the Champions League, a competition Rafa is a 'genius' in.
    It's time for change, Rafa should go, as he's reached the same point Houllier did. And, furthermore, any of the players who are there just for Benitez can go too. I support Liverpool, not Benitez. I thnik you should all look at what it is you actually support, is it Liverpool or is it Benitez just because he's opposed to the 'yanks' like us fans? I want Liverpool to win the league, and I don't think Rafa can do it, so that is why I think we need someone else. The big problem though is who would stake their reputation on a club seemingly in termoil and civil war?

  25. Spot on, Nick.  The blind faith brigade really does my head, especially those that go around spouting 'In Rafa We trust' as a way of indirectly criticising those who do not worship at his altar.

    People have every right to support Rafa but the way some pro-Rafa fans try to suggest that those who do not share their views 'are not real fans' is ridiculous.

    In my view, fans who display blind faith are a problem for the club, not those being analytical and critical.

    Criticism highlights flaws; forces people to think and (re)evaluate, and pushes for improvement.  blind faith glosses over flaws, embraces incompetence and allows responsibility to be shirked.

    There are plenty of valid reasons for Rafa and the players to face criticism right now.  8 defeats since the start of the season is a pretty valid reason for dissatisfaction, is it not (?!).

    I don't think Rafa should be sacked - I think he should have the good grace to walk away at the end of the season.

    I think this Liverpook squad is capable of winning the league but I don't think Benitez is the man who can make them realise that potential. 

    And you're spot on about allegiances, Nick - I support Liverpool FC, not Rafa Benitez FC.  The blind-faith brigade clearly have their priorities wrong, as their allegiance is to Benitez, not the club.

  26. Why do you and others fixate on how many players Rafa has bought? A lot of these 70 players are youth players.

    Between 2004 and 2009 Rafa has bought 76 players. Of these 76 players I would say the following were bought as youth players.

    Godwin Antwi - released as a free agent
    Jack Hobbs - sold to Leicester City
    Miki Roque - sold to Real Betis
    Paul Anderson - sold to Notts Forest
    Ryan Crowther- released as a free agent
    Martin Hansen - reserves
    David Martin - reserves
    Astrit  Ajdarevic - on loan at Leicester City
    Nabil el Zhar - first team squad
    Daniel Pacheco - reserves
    Alex Cooper - reserves
    Jordy Breuwer - reserves
    Francisco Duran - reserves
    Ronald Huth - reserves
    Daniele Padelli - loan signing
    Gary Stevens - youth team
    Mikel San Jose Domingues - reserves/first team squad
    Daniel Ayala - first team squad
    Gerardo Bruna Blanco - reserves
    David Amoo - reserves
    Damien Plessis- first team squad
    Andras Simon - on loan at Cordoba
    Emiliano Insua - first team squad/1st XI
    Dean Bouzanis - reserves
    Krisztian Nemeth - on loan at AEK Athens
    Lauri Dalla Valle- reserves
    Emmanuel Mendy - reserves
    David Ngog- first team squad
    Vincent Weijl - youth team
    Vitor Flora - reserves
    Peter Gulacsi - reserves/first team squad
    Zsolt Poloskei - reserves
    Nikola Saric- reserves
    Christopher Buchtmann - reserves
    Victor Palsson - reserves
    Chris Mavinga - reserves
    Diego Cavalieri- first team squad

    So of the 76 players Rafa has bought I count 35 as young players who are either playing at youth level, in the reserves or developing into the first team squad. Other have been released or sold, or are out on loan. None of the players listed above were bought as first team players; all of them were bought as players who would come up through the system.

    So that leaves another 41 players who were bought for the first team. Of these 41 the following still remain at the club;


    That's 17 players still out the club. That leaves another 24 players who I believe were bought specifically for the the first team squad who have come and gone. In 5 years thats not really a huge amount. An average of 4.8 players per season.

    It very easy to be conned by the sensationalised headlines - Rafa buys 76 players in 5 years rubbish - but when you break it down, and see that approximately half of them were young talent of which most are still at the club in either the reserves of youth team, and that another 17 are still at the club playing regularly in the first team, it doesn't seem so bad.

  27. Surely it's no coincidence that the clubs who have won the Premier League are those that fall in to two categories:

    Clubs that give their coaches time (Man U / Arsenal).
    Clubs that build from a vast outlay of money (Chelsea / Blackburn).

    We have no hope of falling in to the second category so we have only one option,besides the nuclear one proposed by Jaimie.

    Rafa Benitez has consistently taken this club forward, building and improving year upon year whilst receiving nothing from the owners but uncertainty, under investment and a lack of stability that many managers would have run a mile from. This summer he was offered €6m per season on a four year contract and millions to spend at Real Madrid (source: Guilleme Ballague. Sky Sports News. 3/11/09), he turned it down because he has shown an almost insane (and quite frankly undeserved) loyalty to Liverpool Football Club.

    These comments are not born out of blind faith as JK likes to put it but out of realism and informed opinion.

    You speak of how Torres should not have been subbed against Fulham on Saturday. Listen to Ballague again, speaking today:

    "The manager AND THE PLAYER have negotiated the idea of not playing the full match against Man U, Fulham and Lyon. In order to get him to the international break, where as I understand it, Spain will not call upon him. This will give him the 10 days r&r such a groin injury requires. It is NOT a hernia and it DOES NOT require an operation".

    You like to talk about his many poorsignings when you fail to recognise that many of these were youth team signings. Those that were not either work or do not.

    You like to talk about the paucity of the squad. 12 senior players injured. A flu epidemic and major injuries brought on by internationals.

    You like to talk about the lack of striking options when in reality we cannot afford to pay top players like Peter Crouch, Craig Bellamy and Robbie Keane huge wage sums to sit on the bench. The club is broke. No fault of Benitez, look at David Moores and Rick Parry for that. We were run like a corner shop for years, when other clubs were maximising revenue through commercial and merchandising we were stuck in the 50's. Unfortunately our period of dominance did not coincide with the sport becoming a mega bucks industry.

    We are supposedly all in this together as supporters of not Rafa FC but Liverpool FC. What does not help, in an already bitter, voracious and sensationalist media environment, is the constant bile filled and spiteful sniping from ex players like Collymore and Whelan, and forum editors like JK.

  28. 6 or 7 premier league position
    Group Stage in UCL
    are the honours that liverpool can win this season 

  29. Nick, I agree with your caution regarding the plan, it would be unreasonable to wait 5 to 20 more years before LFC wins the title again. Although, I dont think all the details of that plan has been released by Christian Puslow for a reason, he probably does not want to create doubt in the minds of fans and stakeholders - although I'm pretty sure Benitez knows what is expected from him (i.e. poor performance and fruitless seasons without trophies cant be tolerated).

    Liverpool is being run more and more like a business - and that fact will require that this plan recognises trophy success as a requirement for its longevity (to my logic anyway).

    The new Director seems intent on re-inventing and reviving Liverpool so that the club will be successful on and off the pitch - and through his plan he concedes that this is not a short term venture, but a long term commitment. Whether Benitez will be allowed to stay if the team continues to perform badly is probably unlikely, but that depends on their understanding behind the scenes.

    I am a Liverpool fan first and foremost, and there's nothing more I would like than for Liverpool FC to win every trophy and tournament that they play in. So regarding your comments on getting rid of Rafa with immediate effect, I would have to disagree - as I dont believe that would be in the best interests of the club.

    Getting rid of Rafa now means a new manager with new ideas, and a new system of play - it means player unrest and uncertainty - and these are things we dont need now.

    I am willing to wait and see how things pan out at the end of this season, hopefully Liverpool will bounce back mightily and these discussions will be a mere memory; BUT if the club has not progressed since last year/ season, then management/ Purslow must reconsider how to progress "the plan".

  30. I didn't realise all honours had been set already. We may as well all go home and stop bothering then.

    I think you'll actually find that Liverpool can STILL statistically win All competitions including the two you forgot about mate!

  31. criticising for criticising sake is also detrimenta to the club Mr. Kanwar

  32. certainly does not seem like a liverpool fan to me!
    Go back to ur mommy boy.

  33. Oh, shut the F up, Jaimie!