23 Jan 2012

European Cup Winner blasts: Liverpool have FAILED Andy Carroll...

Former Liverpool striker David Johnson has questioned the club's tactical handling of 35m striker Andy Carroll.

Speaking to LFC TV, Johnson - who won the European Cup three times at Anfield - argued that Liverpool had not done enough over the last year to intergrate Carroll effectively into the team. He said:

"We bought Carroll for what he did at Newcastle, and he was successful there because they gave him the service.

"He was a threat in the air; he was dangerous, and he scored goals, but now we've brought him to Liverpool, he's basically been told to just get out there and play without giving him the same sort of service he was getting at Newcastle.

"If you'ge got a 35m asset then you've got to play to his strengths. The wingers should be instructed to get crosses into him, and I don't think we're doing that enough".

If Carroll is in the team then you have to play to his strengths, and Liverpool have not been doing that, especially whilst Luis Suarez as been out injured. Two examples:

* STOKE: Liverpool start the game with Stewart Downing on the bench, then replace Carroll with Downing in the 60th minute.

* BOLTON: Despite Kenny praising Downing's crossing ability prior to the game, he's once again left out, yet Carroll starts.

I think I've made it clear many times that I am not a fan of Downing or Carroll, however, Downing was surely bought to provide crosses for Carroll, so what is the point in NOT playing them together?

Downing is Liverpool's most prolific crosser of the ball so it makes sense to play him alongside Carroll, does it not?

Having said that, I'm not sure there's merit to the contention that Carroll is not getting enough service overall; how many times has he been handed a gilt-edged chance and missed this season?

The service has often been there but Carroll's finishing has been woefully poor at times, and the latest example of this came in the the Bolton game:


Johnson played alongside Kenny Dalglish for five years, so he knows his temperament and personality, and even he was surprised by the ferocity of Dalglish's reaction to the Bolton game:

"That's the worst I've ever seen Kenny in terms of how a game affected him. He's let them know that if that's the kind of performance they want to put on they won't be at the football club much longer".

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. That was the worst performance since Kenny took over. Too reminiscent of the Hodgson reign in fact. It was both gutless and unimaginative and – barring an honourable effort throughout from Craig Bellamy - the team lacked any kind of leadership or courage until Henderson went into the middle and took over from the abysmal Charlie Adam. Within five minutes of the start it was clear that a group of Liverpool players were badly out of nick. Johnson fought fresh air several times to control the ball – fresh air winning the contest each time. Then he decided it wasn’t his day and went into a shell, trying his best to avoid getting involved in the action. (Why Kelly wasn’t given a chance I don’t know). Enrique also struggled against a stronger and apparently faster Eagles (the Man of the Match) all evening. Skrtel’s inner donkey came out on several occasions - and he was badly fault for the first and third goals, arriving far too late for that kind of ‘all or nothing’ challenge for the first and jumping tokenistically, with his head sunk in his shoulders, for the second. We all expected a powerful Liverpool come-back in the second half but we got surrender instead. There was something shameful about the performance and I’d quite like to hear Kenny say that. It’s surprising that players get paid after playing like our boys did in the second half. Maybe they don’t. Two Liverpool players stood out though. They were Charlie Adam and Andy Carroll. I can see why Adam played in a team that got relegated last year. He’s nothing when we don’t have the ball. In fact he’s a danger to his own defence with his stupid late tackling and his inability to read a developing play. Most of the time he seems to be back on his heels, rarely offering himself for a pass and evidently unable to anticipate the movements of the men he’s meant to be marking. When he does get the ball it often takes two or three touches (all with the left foot) before he’s got it just so. Inevitably the ensuing long pass (and it’s always a fucking long pass) never finds its man because the whole field has changed since he last looked up. Whether in possession or without it, the fella seems to be about 2 seconds behind where he should be. I’d be happy not to see him again for the Reds. He’s barely an improvement on Poulson. In some aspects of his game he's actually worse (and this is not praise for Poulson)Why not give Shelvey a go? What’s he done wrong since he excelled in our victory at Villa Park? If he chose to play for Scotland would that increase his chances at Liverpool? And then there’s Andy Carroll! Bolton fans were laughing at him today. It was awful to hear because we know he’s a fragile character. I hoped when we bought him that we were buying John Toshack. But it looks very much like we bought Alan Waddle instead. His limitations are so obvious now that it’s both futile and cruel to point them out. I know it was a panic buy last January. I know we came out of it still clutching a 15 mill profit. But the longer this goes on, the longer we’ll struggle to get anything back on our outlandish investment. The idea that he’s young and has a secure re-sale value will soon be shown to be pure wishful-thinking. 'Moneyball'? I don't think so. 'Balls-up'? It's looking that way. Carroll's had lots of chances now and, if anything, he’s worse than when he first arrived (having, let’s not forget, arrived injured because he’d fallen off a Newcastle bar stool and damaged his thigh while thoroughly pissed). Anything good today? Pepe setting attacks rolling quickly. Agger – excellent throughout, both defensively and in attack. Bellamy – love him. Jordan Henderson. Well done lad. If you can play like that surrounded by zombies you’ll have no worries in the long run.

  2. The game has changed a lot since David and Kenny's time. The players have all the power now. I doubt that anything Kenny said to the underperforming players he speaks of will have much of an effect in all honesty - they have to want to sort themselves out. And most of them don't look strong enough mentally to be able to do that - to truly believe in themselves.

    That, and most of them are crap. Well below the level that the management naively thought they were at when the management naively purchased them. That doesn't help either of course.

  3. It is odd though how KK has used tactics that aren't necessarily the best to suit the players that came in the summer. 

    Playing Downing on the right seems to cripple any sort of wing play he has to his game to a bare minimum and having to depend on Johnson. The likes of Kuyt and Maxi are not known for their wing play. 

    Regardless of the above, Carroll has got to do better himself. Not only in terms of his finishing but also in his hold up play. He has got to be more aggressive, explosive and assertive when it comes to hold up play. His technical ability and movement in relation to that might be dud but he still has strength and height, which he has to put to good use, regardless of KK's tactics. Bully opposition defences, Carroll. He is rather too tame and lethargic. 

    Fine, for a top club striker, you want to the striker to have more than this kind of limited hold up play and be more aesthetically pleasing with crafty movement and technically better but at the end of the day, he and the club have got to get the best out of what he does have.

    Even if your finishing is not going for you, at least work your hardest to contribute more in other areas. Yes, he showed one or two bits there and there but that is not enough. He has got to put himself about more. Be assertive dammit, big man!

    So I think the tactics, the team and Carroll himself have all got to do better in getting the best out of him.

  4. Agree with Johnsons comments - The service to Andy has been extremely dire with the majority of crosses attempted not even clearing the first defender or being played along the floor. The chance against Bolton is actually a lot more difficult than it looks but confidence helps with such chances. I am a fan of Andy and I believe he will come good, although for that to happen LFC must play to his strenghts and stick with him for a run of games.

  5. I would say that Carroll has been handed an as you say  "gilt-edged" chance far less than Luis Suarez has.....Luis has that excitement factor that people are willing to ignore the lack of goals with him. Andy is improving all the time IMO. The assist to Bellars vs Bolton was superb as was his strike VS Oldham. The lads young, give him time......yes im aware the concept is foreign), but he will be immense in time. Mark my words.

  6. *here and there in recent games

  7. the service has often been there ?are we watching the same games??
    yeah hes had chances, but very little. id say hes almost match fit from the forgotten injury.
    its a team game and when we got at least 8 players playing to there best and carroll is getting better service regularly then judge him fairly.
    the team as a whole has been obviously lack luster, and clearly kenny doesnt know his best 11 and formation when were missing 2 of our best players.
    come this time next week hopefully we will praising them all

  8. 'was superb'?

    Talk about over the top.

    It was a poxy flick on with his head. 

    What next? Win the award for 'assist of the season'? 

    Superb? Pssh.

    That aside though, should boost his confidence the assist regardless of how it came about, and what he can do in the air. 

    Even if you haven''t got the confidence in front of goal yet, at least win those aerial battles in the air, Carroll. 

    I think because Suarez contributes a lot with the build up play, his woeful finishing has gone under the radar to a certain extent, compared to spotlight on Carroll's. But yes, Suarez has been dud in terms of finishing and should expect better, as he is known for his finishing back in Holland.

  9. caroll is good he can become better but needs better assists. i think only gerrard is getting crosses to him, the rest very poor cross. as an lfc fan i can see we r not progressing as we sell our good players for mediocre ones at expensive prices. i think its time to learn from our rival manu and arsenal. they sold ronaldo but still wins, got players like nani, hernandez very cheap and they are goal machines. same as arsenal, how were they perfoming, common lfc look at arsenal they sold fabgregas as nasri and now they still fighting for the top 4. the team needs big reshuffle. suarez is good but 2 goals only not good at all. iw ould keep henderson, adam, kuyt, maxi as subs. sell downing and maybe caroll, see if torress can be back at a cu off price, get tevez if available, adam johson..apart from suarez who can dribble and have pace in liverpool no one. look at manu they got plenty like rooney nani valencia hernandez, chelsea anelka, torress, sturrid, mata, arsenal, lennon, van persie they new french guy, tottenham got bale, lennon, defo, vander vart, city no need to comment, that is why we are below all these team coz each of them got more than 3 player that have pace dribbling ability that can break defences in a brink, what happens if gerrard and suarrez are injured, our team are only as good as bolton probably and that was even worst with a 3-1 defeat...

    We dnt need big names we need player with talents that need to be given chance becoz those big names were talented player initially but given chance to prove.

  10. Lowee.....The service has not quite been right has it.....Remember when Stevie came on and suddenly Andy looked very dangerous - as he was receiving the correct service...
    IMO the service Andy needs is the pacey early crosses.....crosses from deep are not tailored for him unless they curl away from the goal.

  11. exactly, you can see the frustration on the poor lads face. another problem is, he wants to be more involved so hes coming deeper to get the ball which dont suit his game or style and its making him look bad.  just a tought, maybe kenny could put shelvey spearing or henderson in the middle and push gerrard just in behind carroll.
    gerrards crosses dont have to be from the byline, anything over from edges of 18 yard box.
    adams is the bigest problem for me he offers nothing, and henderson doesnt offer anything out wide but a good player with potential.
    been saying it, johnson right wing with kelly behind

  12. Carra (if Spearing injured)-Henderson/Adam



  13. I dont think David Johnson was exactly Blasting anyone. And the chance Carrol missed on the video at the top is act a really hard chance to convert. You can see on one angle the ball was actually played behind him. I would say that to score from there was impossible.

  14. There is someone who has escaped all the insults and that is Gerrard.He was pathetic ,no leadership,no effort,no heart,no pride.Like Dalglish gerrard has got away with plenty,time has come for him to stand up and be the leader of this bunch of wasters.Liverpool are the third highest spenders in the league over the last five years behind the rent boys .

  15. Kuyt was also known for his finishing in Holland, as was Mateja Kezman.

  16. TThe best solution is kenny does the honourable thing and admit that he has messed up and that the job is too big for him...and resign..and keep his respect with us.....because there will come a time very soon where he will be sacked.

  17. That's not a very fair comment. He was doing everything he could in the middle of the park, but it's not very possible to do that with virtually no cohesiveness nor understanding between any of our players bar Carroll/Bellamy and Agger/Skrtel. Most of our boys weren't playing as a team, supporting one another on pitch. They were almost all doing their own thing for various reasons and it was probably this that didn't sit very well with Kenny.

  18. Touche. As was RVN, Van Basten, RVP, Makaay, Samaras, Tomasson, Alfonso Alves, Hasselbaink, etc.

    A mix bag indeed.They all can finish but its the act of getting in the places to have the opportunity to finish that limits some of these players in tougher leagues. With Suarez, he is finding the positions but just hasn't been finishing them off, which I think he can do with a bit of luck and getting some confidence back in front of goal, as well as playing bit more forward instead of doing a lot of donkey/creative work. I just don't think you permanently lose the ability to finish off chances, regardless of league. Its whether they have the ability to find those finishing positioning/movement in a tougher league that hampers them potentially...in my view.Thats just my 'thoughts', of course, on goalscorer difficulty. Maybe I have a little too much faith in Suarez finishing, who knows.

  19. That was the problem, he tried to do bit of everything but to very little success and was quite non-existent as he was trying to do too much, instead of just sitting in the middle and holding the fort for at least a while in the first half, to help deter the Bolton midfield runners coming through and gain some sort of control of the game. He was playing alongside someone, Adam, who has rarely played the primary holding role position. For such a experienced player, one would think Stevie would know better but thats his nature, that box-to-box instinct of his in central midfied.
    His box-to-box/do-everything style when in central midfield can be suicidal at times for the team as it can be reckless in terms of midfield balance. He can be bit of a liability like that at times in the middle. 

    It was not only Adam that was at fault for the soft central midfield performance, it was Stevie also.

  20. Oh my "Puki Mak", Johnson is still living in the past. It's time to act now and not defending Caroll. Kenny bought the birtish wingers and failed miserably and Caroll has poor positioning. you jus dont score goals with headers alone besides there are giant centrebacks to deal with crosses. It's "Kunkit" time now, bye!.

  21. Over the last number of years we have seen games when the top players  ran the show when things were going well.When things are going bad where are they[Gerrard].Bolton and Stoke are prime examples of this lack of leadership on the field but it has been there for years against so called inferior teams.Look back at Utd over the years they never lost these games even playing badly Keane and Nevill would kick anything that moved and they dragged under performing players back into the game and go on and win.No more head in the sand stuff ,If Liverpool need to progress they require a top manager with new ideas and a captain that can get the best out of under performing players.The time at looking at the past is long over its the future that needs attention.

  22. Clubs like Chelsea and United have bought big flops but they still have won things and reached Champions League finals, whilst playing with these so-called flops in their first XI (e.g. Berbaflop was playing plenty in his first two seasons and they still won things, so may indicate that he did indeed contribute in those seasons as he has a decent assist rate. The same with Crespo, he won the title with Chelsea and played quite a few games). 

    Whereas we are not looking anything like a top side, like they have been despite those so-called flops. Does that mean the quality of our squad is too poor to help mask the bedding-in period of the new players? Or are the new players simply cack?

    Carroll is our first XI striker, whereas the mancs could afford to use Berbaflop as a rotational striker. Just goes to show good their squad and mentality is, and how far we are away that we have to basically forfeit an entire season in honour of bedding-in new signings as we don't have the squad to make up for it.

    At the end of the day, for me, its far more variable and complicated than you make out, in terms of how a player develops and the excuses for players who settling in. Yes, one can use another player's development to POSSIBLY highlight/excuse the development of another but its not guaranteed and nowhere near guaranteed, that player X will develop in the same vein as player Y as there is still a big possibility player X will be a flop, regardless. Some players will be flops. 

    We are very lucky that other sides have had problems too, otherwise we wouldn't be in the race for top 4 still as this squad is weak badly, especially in attacking areas.

    I don't rate the signings we brought in, especially at those prices, even before they put the red shirt on but yes, they need more time to settle in. Even then, I don't think Carroll or Downing have it in them to be a deserving first XI player at a regular top 4 club, not even close. Squad players yes but then that leaves space in the first XI.

  23. Unfortunately, yes. It does mean the quality of our squad is indeed too poor to mask the bedding-in of our new players. The Mancs had more than 2 decades to build and maintain their squad. The emergence of their kids coincided with their new found wealth under Peter Kenyon, which put them streets ahead of any other club during that period. They could afford to sign a major flop every season and get away with it. Their current squad may not be able to match us man-for-man in terms of quality, but since those days, they have established a certain team ethos that enables them to win consistently. We have yet to even achieve completion of a squad to get that ball rolling and this is what Kenny is trying to do, and as Man City has shown, it still takes 3 seasons after a massive wealth injection (1 under Thaksin/SGE, then subsequently under Mansour/Hughes/Mancini) to become credible. Chelsea had already begun amassing talent from Gullit's days where we continued regressing. Mourinho didn't have to buy Terry, Makelele, Geremi, Gudjohnsen, Duff nor Lampard. Even Crespo wasn't Mourinho's signing.

    In our case, we were where Spurs are today back in 08-09, but we failed to strengthen following that season and when Rafa was shown the door, Roy wrecked our squad further. Of course Kenny didn't have to make so many drastic changes, but FSG did want a massive overhaul, which is what they got. In any case, such a major overhaul was always going to result in the problems we face today. Our new squad players are here today precisely because we didn't even have such squad players for over a decade due to tight purse strings. I don't really rate Downing nor Carroll either, but I do rate Dalglish and if he sees something in Carroll, then I'll get behind KD till FSG decides it was a mistake buying Carroll. At any rate, even Rafa had been desperate for a big stiker who was good in the air, seeing as besides our defenders, none of our players can head the ball to save their lives. As for Downing, he was probably Comolli's signing, but most probably, so was Suarez. DC is going to make both massive hits and misses, but as long as he makes the hits regularly, we shouldn't complain.

    We're still in the first phase of squad strengthening and we only need to look at our bench to see how far we've come in terms of players who can play a match. Yes, our new players may not be as good as we'd like them to be, but this is so that they will be in a state to win matches when we buy better players which will happen. Gerrard, Carra, Kuyt, Bellamy and Maxi are all not getting any younger and if it is taking our new signings so long to gel, think about our reserves and youth who have yet to feature. We don't even have an adequate enough platform to ease them in yet.

  24. For me, the damage was made initially by Rafa and sort of snowballed from there. 

    The key failure was the high player turnover. Not necessarily the amount spent but the amount of times the revolving door was used. This has a big impact on squad stability.Rafa tried to get build a pool of squad players to back up the first XI but he failed miserably at it. His transfer turnover (i.e. ins-and-outs) was terrible and gave very little chance of squad stability. Like I have always said with Rafa, he does a damn good job with his first XI but beyond that, he is poor. The players he bought in were simply shockingly poor as well as Rafa not having the man-management skills to get the best out of them when throwing them into a game when a first XI player is injured, a la Ferguson/Mourinho.He might have left us some good first XI players but he left us a dire squad. That was one of the key things FSG moaned about, in relation to Rafa's so-called legacy.RH made things worse but though more to do with the tactical and mental side of things, even though he bought some forgettable players (though Meireles was important and a bargain). Rafa failed to fix the wing problem in the 5 years he was there, with the likes of Riera, Gonzalez, Pennant, hot-n-cold Garcia, polyfila Benayoun, makeshift winger Bellamy, Babel, etc, going through the much-used revolving door. That is a ridiculous amount of wingers/wide players he tried. Can't imagine how much money must have been wasted in terms of transfer fees and agent fees, because of his high player turnover. At the end of the day, for me, Rafa did the initial damage with his ridiculous high player turnover. What chance is there of squad stability a la Chelsea/United when the manager keeps on buying and selling players by the truckload.For me, the problems started quite early in Rafa's reign but because he was doing a good job in Europe and getting a good first XI together, his inability to build a squad got swept under the carpet for a good long while.KK has opted to boost the squad with either potential or average British players but hasn't boosted the first XI, apart from Enrique and Suarez (though not sure how much of a part he played in the Suarez deal). The wing problem is still clearly there on BOTH sides and we lack real quality up front yet again, since Torres' poor form in his latter days under Rafa.The mediocre transfer dealings continue.Frustrates me so much that we have wasted so much money in the last two decades. We also sat on our arses in terms of not exploiting our commercial potential in the 90s, whilst the mancs steamed ahead. Got no one to blame for that but us.

    We had the same potential (I would say more, because our success was more recent in public minds (70s/80s)) at the beginning of the 90s than United but over and over again, we keep shooting ourselves in the foot.

  25. Good points, Paddy. I think you're spot on with the squad vs. first team point. Kenny has bought *expensive* squad players when we needed first teamers. Agree also about the winger issue - why has this not been prioritised? how friggin' difficult is it to find a decent winger in world football? It's ridiculous that Liverpool still haven't replaced McManaman. Kenny has tried with Downing but he is not the answer.

  26. A lot of points here are very valid but one point which is head in the sand stuff.That Utd have had two decades to build teams/squads.Since Liverpool last won the league they have spent 85,000,000 million net [players in and out] more than Utd.That is not including management payoffs.

  27. I still think Carroll needs to play alongside a big man.  Just as Heskey (& Collymore for 1 game in which they both scored hat tricks) and Shearer (& Newell/Sutton) to name but two played better when playing alongside a 'real' target man so does Carrol.  We shouldn't be fooled by Carrol's height and width, these physical qualities are not what led to him scoring all the goals he did for Newcastle (here comes the controversy) What led to him scoring his goals was the size movement touch and unselfish play of Shola Ameobi. 

    It doesn't matter how you dress it up Carroll is NOT a target man and struggles to play with his back to goal.  He is a player who plays on the half turn and until we realise this and stop pigeonholing him for his apparent size we will forever fail to get the best out of him.  Carroll's stats when playing alongside Ameobi or upfront in a 3 is what has bared most fruit.  Just as Lucas was asked to play in midfield in a completely different role to what he was used to we are now asking Carroll to do the same from a central striker point of view.  It will take arguably take just as long as it took Lucas for Carroll to get accustomed to playing this new role (as target man) so maybe we are being a little unfair on a man who has been brought up at Newcastle as being a second striker as apposed to leading the line.

    Again this is bad judgement from Kenny.  The difference in the two roles is night and day as Owen and Chicharito would be more than happy to tell us.

  28. Just to add.  The Liverpool fitness boys were shocked at the lack of Gym work Carroll was doing and how physically weak he was.  This is mainly because he relied on the chaos of others to score his goals.  Nolan and Ameobi were crucial and constantly created space for him in the box and in Newcastle's build up play. 

    Another example of misused talent is when Frank Lampard as a very good goalscoring midfielder was asked to play further up the pitch....he struggled.  We really need to assess how Carroll scored his goals at Newcastle as we are asking him to play a 'back to goal' game in a 4-4-2  which is completely alien to him.

  29. Just to add... again (for the last time)

    Jon Dahl Tomason was signed....BY KENNY...to play off shearer a few years ago.  However in the same season Shearer did his knee and Tomasson was asked to lead the line with disastrous consequences.  Tomason was bombed out at the end of the season and became a national laughing stock even though he was never given the opportunity to play in the position Newcastle originally signed him for.  Playing a few yards deeper or on the half turn as apposed to back to goal makes a hell of a lot o difference to a natural second striker. 


  30. 35m striker my assr, hes a 2m bench n average brit player and thats it.he wasnt that good before and neva will be.

  31. Why does'nt KK play Shelvey? He has goals in him, and excellent link up play. Why recall him on loan if you're not going to use him?

  32. Just because he was used alongside out-n-out striker, doesn't mean he was a  second striker at Newcastle. He was used right up front, alongside Ameobi, when the latter was fit and not on the bench. Yes, both drop deep at times to get involved in the play but didn't drop deep consistently to be seen as a second striker.

    It was more 'sharing the work load', rather than a 'i play deep, you play further forward' Its like Ferdinand and Shearer at Newcastle back in the day. Neither played as second-striker when alongside each other. It was two out-n-out strikers playing as out-n-out strikers in a classic English 4-4-2, just basically outmuscling, outpowering, and bullying the opposition. None of this modern fascination with having a attacking midfielder/second striker behind a out-n-out striker.
    It was basically 'twin strikers' with Shearer and Les, whose game was about ' assertive power', both of them. Kinda similar to what Ameobi-Carroll had.Carroll may not have a similar partner anymore but he still can be expected to try and outpower and bully defences. Like Les and Shearer, Carroll was a menace in the air at Newcastle. 

  33. agree with theycallmemrburt, a lot of Carroll's goals involve chaos in the opposition box. And if its not Ameobi, or another big man causing it, then it is due to the team playing with pace. We don't play with much pace. We hardly ever get the ball out wide, either. As a result, he simply is not getting the type of chances that he was getting then. So, it is true, he is not getting the service. But i would think that this is what training is for and he is not the only player who has had to move and learn new styles of play. I'd also imagine that our coaches would know that a change of style was involved and plan accordingly.

    Unfortunately, it does not look as if we have planned well and, quite frankly, a lot of the time our team does not look tactically prepared. Until this changes, we can sign whoever we like, it won't make much difference.

    And while we are criticising Carroll, how many goals does he have this season? Two? How many does Suarez have? Five? How many minutes have they both played, not sure there is that much more productivity from our star man, to be honest.

    And if Gerrard cannot show some responsibility, he's only the team captain after all, and fill in for Lucas in his absence, stick him out on the right to get the crosses in for Carroll at least. This idea that Gerrard is too irresponsible to hold his position is not acceptable from the team captain and supposedly our best and most experienced player.

  34. We're seeing different sides of the same coins here. Rafa's emphasis on our starting 11 whilst neglecting the squad was indeed down to poor funding and he did blow the lion's portion of whatever we had on players we could start, but only so that we could compete at the top. Of course the dross he filled our squad with, bought with the remaining peanuts, was always going to be our achilles heel when we lost a few key components of our starting 11 and it did cost us when the plugs were pulled on the funding altogether from 08-11. The aim was to remain competitive, but we had to pick a priority because we didn't have the money. This is also precisely one of the things Dalglish has desperately tried to remedy in bringing in more expensive English replacements, but given we need 7-8 homegrown players on our squad, these supposedly better than average players we can keep for the longer term will provide the platform to buy better value foreign stars in the future.

    Granted, Rafa never had an eye for cheaper players. This, together with the need for decent backups was what inevitably led to the revolving door you mention. Unlike United, until FSG, we couldn't afford to splurge on squad players, but we needed to fill those positions.

    As for the wing problems, it was the main bone of contention for those who wanted a British manager in place of Rafa. Continental managers did prefer to keep play narrow and it is evident looking at Arsenal, Chelsea and even City. City only have 1 bona fide winger in Johnson. Chelsea and Arsenal virtually no longer have any genuine wide men (Malouda isn't getting games). Mourinho did have 2 pairs of wingers although Cole wasn't an out-and-out winger, but he used them very sparingly, prefering a midfield diamond at the time.

    Regarding our failure to capitalise on our success in the 90s, we can never blame the manager nor the players. Indeed it is the fault of the club, but it was all down to our board and the tossers who sat on it. Maybe it was the noble thing not to sell out at that point. United sold out readily and are now reaping its rewards. Until FSG, we never had the right people on top to take us forward. We had traditionalists, conservative blokes who believed more in accounting to stakeholders than fans, the money grubbing Yanks when what we needed was intelligent businessmen who are glory hunters simultaneously - and that we now have in FSG.

    Speaking of FSG, it is interesting how a bulk of us attack Kenny, Comolli or the players when our transfer policy is largely FSG's directive. The emphasis on English players and youth serves a two-fold purpose. As I mentioned above, we get squad players like Carroll and Henderson, and they will be at least 2 out of 7-8 homegrown names on our squad while we gradually buy better players. Young players may be more expensive to sign, but their wages would be lower. Kenny keeps talking about players who want to play for us. This too keeps wages down and is probably why we have Downing and not Young nor Johnson. Downing was a necessary evil because we needed a left winger. Left footed natural wingers are indeed a rarity and it's perhaps why we paid a premium to sign him. His stats from last season were also fantastic and it's available knowledge out there that John Henry and Comolli are numbers fans. How much can Kenny then disagree with them? Kenny did sign Barnes and Macca. It would be interesting to know if he did indeed want Downing or simply agreed with his bosses because he thought he would be able to use Downing effectively.

  35. Suarez is a striker who totally understands the game, but he can't create and finish simultaneously. When he creates, either someone else is better placed to score, or he has to shoot for lack of support. He hasn't lost his touch. He's still brilliant for Uruguay. Your faith isn't unfounded!

  36. I don't agree that Rafa had very little to spend on squad players as he spent plenty on Babel, Aquilani, Pennant, Morientes, etc. Plenty of managers who spent the type of money Rafa had on squad players, on first XI players and found some great players with it and success with it. No excuses that nearly every single one of his squad signings failed to make it truly good here. So I don't see myself agreeing on that, as he should have done better with squad players and juggling both the CL/PL at same time. Ridiculous to give up on the  league by Xmas, nearly every bloody season with him. 

    It wasn't as if he inherited a absolutely rubbish squad from Houllier. Even if it was, no need to fill more rubbish with more rubbish, he could have just kept the old rubbish.Sometimes, he sacrificed players far too early and wasted money on replacements. Such as Riise out, in Dossena, who did bugger all.
    From what KK and Comolli have said in public, KK along with Comolli takes responsibility for transfer signings. So far as I am concerned, KK head is on the block too, in relation to the players bought. Just like with Rafa, some are too eager to pass the blame on other people apart from KK. In relation to wing problem, well Rafa did try again and again to solve the wing problem with wingers as why else would he have tried the likes of Pennant, Riera, Babel, etc. So tactically, he was looking to solve the wing problem. He didn't have a attacking right back to make up for that until he brought in Johnson. Jose's best success at Chelsea was with Robben and Duff/Cole on the wings, in a 4-3-3, with Drogba as the beast of a centre forward, with Lampard running in from behind. Essien and Makalele in behind him. What other first XI players are there in their place, to suggest Hendo and Carroll are here to be squad players? They should be squad players yes but instead, they are first XI players. If they are squad players, only choice is to wait and pick up some bargains (as I don't see us spending big like last summer for at least another summer) next summer, that turn out to be first XI players straight away.There is a strong possibility that the likes of Hendo and Carroll are first XI players from the off and may well be next season too, if we don't spend right. If that is the case, than we may well be in for a tough time yet again.Remember, this season we were not in Europe. So we had no need to build a squad as we just needed to focus on PL. So it would have made more sense to bring in first XI players now and squad signings later. So maybe Hendo and Carroll have been brought into be first XI players, after all.Maybe its just wishful thinking that we will spend big next summer to bring in first XI players in the positions that Hendo and Carroll play in.We have really messed up this season, considering we aren't in Europe.

  37. Liverpool are the highest spenders over the last five years other than the rents boys.The money that has been spent and yet the club is not progressing.There are two conclusions I have come too.Firstly,With the amount of money spent and the numerous games lost against inferior teams the managers appointed including Dalglish have been poor appointments.Secondly,just taking the last five years into consideration and the high amount of inept performances against the so called lesser teams It is very obvious there is no leader on the pitch.Questions have to be asked of Gerrard as captain/leader and his untouchable tag.All these players that I see printed that would be good for Liverpool is rubbish.The most important factor in signing a top player is can he fit into the system of the manager.Not all players can do that and thats why they fail,they still are top players but under different managers.