30 Nov 2012

'They're poor' - Argentina icon slates 'below standard' LFC stars. Fair?

Spurs Legend Ossie Ardiles has delivered a withering assessment of Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool team, claiming that the Reds are no longer a force in English football.

In an interview with TalkSport this morning, Ardiles - who spent 10 years at Spurs between 1978 and 1988 - admitted he is 'very sorry to see Liverpool in such a predicament', adding:

"They [Liverpool] are nowhere near the force they used to be.

"It’s only the name [that is left] in a lot of ways and it’s a big pity for such a big, big club to be so poor.

"They have one magnificent player in Suarez and Gerrard is still very, very good, but the rest of the team is well below the standard required to play for Liverpool.”

There are problems at Anfield, and the club has been on a downward spiral ever since Rafa Benitez's atrocious final season. However, Rodgers did not *cause* these problems; the club's decline is down to the previous three managers, the previous ownership situation, and FSG's negligence in blindly handing Dalglish ridiculous sums of money.

Rodgers is now trying to pick up the pieces, and he's trying to do that with one hand tied behind his back. Granted, the jury is out on his purchase of Fabio Borini, but Joe Allen is a superb buy, and until FSG loosen the purse strings, Rodgers will not be able to properly transform the team.

Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better. Under Benitez, Hodgson and Dalglish, I had absolutely no faith that they could turn things around in the long-term.

With Rodgers, it's different - I feel confident that he is the right man for Liverpool, but long-term success will require short-term pain, and that is what is happening right now.

I vehemently disagree though with Ardiles' nonsensical suggestion that every player at Anfield bar Gerrard and Suarez is 'well below the standard required to play for Liverpool'. There are a few that meet that description, but for the majority, it's just not true:

Definitely Good Enough

* Gerrard (Though playing poorly at the moment)
* Suarez
* Agger
* Allen
* Suso
* Shelvey
* Sterling
* Sahin
* Lucas
* Wisdom

Borderline (i.e. Solid players, but could be improved upon)

* Johnson
* Enrique
* Borini
* Coates
* Reina
* Skrtel
* Assaidi
* Kelly
* Skrtel

Below the standard required

* Downing
* Henderson
* Cole

(Just my opinion)

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. take your rose tinted glasses off and stop defending rodgers some of it his is fault you cannot just keep making excuses for him hes had time to turn things round what makes him so different to the other managers ,is it because he invented the passing game

  2. None of those players you suggest are good enought bar the top three would make it into any of the top four teams in England, which is more than enough proof that he is right.

  3. Wisdom, Shelvey and Sahin as good enough, Johnson, Reina and Skrtel as borderline. LOL.

  4. Jason, open your eyes - I criticise Rodgers a lot, and you know that.

  5. ok m8 but your 100% must be getting down to 99 lol

  6. Reina is increasingly error prone; Johnson is a defensive accident waiting to happen, as is Skrtel.

  7. Spurs fan, though I'll defend Rodgers. Given time he will turn things around at this once Great club.
    As far as your assessment of Definitely good enough it's a stretch to say the least.
    Suarez is world class
    Stevie G has been one of the worlds best, though currently is struggling but will come good again (maybe)
    Joe Allen has been very impressive for 1.5 seasons in the premier league (good buy)
    Lucas will help things
    But how can you say that Sterling, Shelvey, Wisdom, Suso and Sahin are all definitely good enough to make Liverpool great again based on 5 or 6 reasonable appearances in an average premier league team.

    Brendan is going to need a couple of years to turn things around there with smart healthy investment to compliment the "potential" they have with this group of youngsters

  8. What a stupid comment. Liverpool need change and isn't going to happen overnight. As much as it pains me to say it this season is going to be crap at best mid table, whilst we get rid of the dead wood and try and buy in better players (if they will come) or bring on some of the younger players from the reserves. Rodgers needs this season to start putting us back on track. We wasted 73 million on 3 players last season and FSG are not going to let that happen again and I don't blame them. What I do blame is the management team that allowed it to happen. Everyone is a critic and can do better, what a load of crap they wouldn't know where to start. The glory days have gone for a while but they will come back. YNWA get behind the team and get behind the manager and stop bleating until he has had a proper chance.

  9. BR will strives for many many years but he wn,t succed, his philosophy is the cause, Simple question : How long has CLarke been to WBA? Does WBA have better players than LFC? What do these show?

  10. if all those players you rate as 'good enough' are actually good enough, why have Liverpool won 3 Pl matches all season.

    Suso, Sterling, Sahin, Wisdom 'definitely good enough'? What, definitely good enough to win European cups, which is what the Pool teams Ardilles is talking about did? You are optimistic beyond belief. If any one of those players makes it to that level it would be a bonus. If all 4 make it I will hunt you down and give you a million quid.

    And if you think Allen is in the class of the great Pool players of the past, you are simply deluded. Mid table PL player at best.

  11. Rodgers has managed to rid the club of alot of high wage earners and dead wood so major props to him, he has a few of the previous managers buys to deal with and once the likes of downing, cole, hendo, carroll have all been moved on he'll have the core players he wants to work with.

    He did well to move on the amount of players he did in the summer and i believe given this rocky season corrects itself in January we should be fine to get us through til the summer when again he will move out the remaining players he doesnt feel he needs.

    Support and backing are what we need to get through this time and once its past we can look forward to competing again.

  12. This is only your view which is a very poor view....majority don't see it the way!!!

  13. I suspect that Ardiles is speaking from a position of ignorance. He will have looked at our league position and drawn his conclusions without taking in the whole 90minutes of every game we've played. With the exception of the opening day debacle against WBA I think we've played exceptionally well at times and reasonably well the rest of the time.

    Consider. Skrtel doesn't make his calamitous backpass against City. Two extra points. Suarez's "goal" against Everton isn't incorrectly chalked off. Another two points. There's four points. Let's say that we'd had the rub of the green with Enrique's disallowed goal against Swansea - and it was certainly debateable given that any benefit of the doubt is supposed to go to the attacker and that's another two points.

    Those additional six points - which we don't have but really we might have expected - would have us in fifth and within a win of taking fourth. None of that takes account of the handful of stonewall pens which haven't been awarded.

    I know that a lot of people are calling the optimists deluded but if one simple error hadn't been committed, one legitimate goal hadn't been chalked off and one marginal decision had gone our way things would appear a lot rosier.

    Have faith.

  14. The fall of Liverpool is because Kenny spent 83 mil on 4 British crabs....

  15. Sorry I have to disagree. Joe Allen is not a superb buy. I think he will get better but for £15m? Not sure about that. We bought alonso for £10m back in the day. The value is in European players. Always has been and south American players. African players etc. we need to re evaluate where we are recruiting players from especially as our budget is limited for now! Skrtel is one of the best centre backs in the prem.

  16. Well, I'd agree for one.

    Reina simple looks disinterested; Johnson is okay going forward and while he's improved as a defender there are still a few too many positional mistakes; and the number of times Skrtel is caught flat-footed is scary - he's turned far too easily by a tricksy attacker.

    And I would remind you of the passback against City - an abberation perhaps, but one which hints at a lack of concentration on Skrtel's part.

  17. Stunning insight. Thanks. Obviously it's only my view. Guess I should change it so I fall into line with the 'majority', eh?

  18. Come on chaps Ardilles is spot on, the rot started towards the end of Benitez's tenure. Remember Albert Riera's comments he described LFC as a shinking ship which is entirely accurate. Benitez lost the plot towards the end, H&G were hustlers (but I don't blame them entirely). Yes Hodgson & Dalglish were also partly to blame but the anti-LFC award falls squarely on Rick Parry & David Moores. Judging by Benitez's experience Rick parry was a major hinderance. Perhaps if we had DIC bank rolling us we'd be more competitive.

    BR needs needs to be backed in the next 2-3 transfer markets before we can comment, our club of ours is in a real mess & it will take years to fix. Poor BR has been here for even 6months & he's expected to clear it all up Meanwhile the "In Kenny We Trust" brigade was still supporting an archaic, out of touch manager even after he spent over 90 mill (please don't start the net spend nonsense!) just to take us 10 steps backwards. Double-standards! Until Rogers has had a sizeable transfer fund at his disposal then we can judge until then he is managing in scarps left by the incompetent legacy of past managers & chairmen!

  19. Some good points have been made here. Bottom line for me:
    1. Liverpool is definitely more than a two-man team. Furthermore, it's just not possible to have a team of 11 superstars, it's how the pieces of the jigsaw fit together that matters. That's why teams like Chelsea and Man City struggle at times and why QPR have not won a match despite having some decent players.
    2. Liverpool do need some serious investment and in the correct areas. Borini is the type of player we needed, but not for the money we paid. I still can't see why we paid £15M for Joe Allen. A decent player, but that money could have been used to strengthen elsewhere. We've always had numbers in midfield and I don't feel Allen brings an unprecedented level of pace, skill, physicality or presence to the midfield that justifies his signing over that of a forward.
    3. Rodger's 'football philosophy' is bewildering. Pass, pass and pass some more. Despite having a supposedly weaker team last season LFC enjoyed just as much (may be more) possession, goal attempts, together with a better defensive record. Go figure! He plays Enrique as a winger because he carries more of a goal threat than Downing (which I understand), but leaves Downing as a left back, creating a liability - as we saw in the game against Spurs
    4. I would hope that Cole and Downing will be moved on in January and that Rodger's will bring more height, pace and physicality to the team.

  20. We bought Alonso in 2004. That was eight (almost nine) years ago, as a relatively unproven kid of 22.

    Joe Allen is also a relatively unproven kid of 22 and I'm pretty sure that £10m in 2004 was worth a fraction more in real terms than £15m is in 2012.

    People also tend to forget that the reason Alonso fell out with Rafa was because Rafa dropped him after he had a completely lousy penultimate season with us. He was shockingly bad but all that's swept under the carpet and forgotten now.

    Anyway, I don't see Allen as an Alonso type player so I think any comparisons are spurious. I tend to see Allen as more of a Hamann-type player. Breaking up attacks and keeping the ball moving, tiring the opposition. It doesn't matter if the ball goes sideways, forwards or backwards. Keep it in perpetual motion and keep the oppositional chasing it.

    I like him. I think Joe Allen could be a very important player for us in the future.

  21. Ouch, Ossie.

    Agger and Suarez are the two main players for me. If Sterling keeps this up, he will join them. Gerrard's and Reina's have been out of form for ages.

    Wisdom, Shelvey, Suso, etc, and the rest of the puppies haven't proven anything yet, in terms of long term. Yep, Sterling has made a great start to his senior career but lets see whether he keeps it up and whether he suffers from second season syndrome next season. We got to take it easy with the hype. One thing having the talent, the hype and potential, its another actually proving and applying it. Most of them haven't done the latter as its very early days.

  22. Wonder where you would have put Brad Jones, "boderline", perhaps?

  23. Your points just gave my faith a boost! But am still optimistic abt LFC this season

  24. 'a relatively unproven kid of 22'

    He was unproven in relation to PL, yes but to be fair, the guy was playing regular La Liga football for at least 3 seasons , was captain of the team and I think already a full international of a big international side. Sociedad even finished SECOND in one of those seasons in La Liga. So, imo, quite a considerable difference between the pair's level of "unproven-ness" at the respective times of signing for us. Putting rate of inflation aside, Xabi had more value behind the fee due to his experience of top tier football but also its to be expected with British players, the premium for British players

  25. In comparison to our greats and Rafa's strongest team we are miles behind.

    Our only dangerous players in an attacking sense are Suarez and Sterling.

    We need a new forward, top class creative midfield player, more wingers. Gradel and Ince would be a start.

  26. Please Jaimie i'm very interested to know what Allen has done to be considered a 'superb buy'. potential, yes. Good, maybe. But superb? Are you not doing exaclty what you criticise Rodgers for?

  27. Shelvey - (not good enough) possibly one day but personally i doubt that as i really dont rate him, Sahin - (borderline) has not really shone like i expected him to which is unfortunate as he looked great before joining Madrid, Allen - (bordeline) not really done anything of note and any player in the world can build up a high pass completion percentage when they only pass it 5 feet.

    The rest i generally agree with, problem we face is the players who definately are not good is highlighted so often by the media we will struggle to get rid of them and if we do we will definately struggle to get a decent price if any as its probably gonna be on loan deals, so unless FSG inject a significant amount of money again were basically in the sh!t

  28. I don't think the majority of British supporters fully appreciate the art of keeping the ball.If you play in midfield and don't shoot from distance or play Hollywood balls people ask the question, what does he do?
    Maybe that's why combined with technical deficiencies our teams (international tournaments) are hopeless at keeping the ball against foreign opposition.
    Football teams need balance,SUAREZ is a fantastic player but for every bit of brilliance in terms of dribbling he does give the ball away a lot.STEVEN GERRARD for every defense splitting pass he has a tendency to force a pass that isn't on.
    These type of players are given more of a green light by management to squander possession in order to make things happen.JOE ALLEN's contribution to the team is to retain the ball and as a result the more creative players have more of the ball to make a difference.
    Apart from one dreadful display against CHELSEA (if my memory hasn't deserted me) he has been playing well and has done a decent job of covering for LUCAS.
    Your last line echo my thoughts!

  29. Ossie played in a different era so he is comparing the players he played against and then the time after her finished playing.

    IMO Suarez and Gerard would walk into any of our great teams of the past 40 years but being honest who else would get close?

    Even 5 years ago we had Gerard, Alonso and Mascherano in midfield with Torres up front, need I say more? England captain, Barca and Real Madrid!

    Can anyone honestly say any other current player would challenge Neal, Lawler, Lindsey, Kennedy, Smith, Hughes, Hansen, Lawrenson, Gillespie, Yeats, Hall, Case, Heighway, Keegan, Callaghan, Mcdermott, Soueness, Mcmahon, Beardsley, Barnes, Rush, Aldo and KK!

    Ossie is right but he is comparing the current players against some of the finest teams in history. The young players have potential, but havent done anything yet.

    FFs we are behind WHU, WBA, Fulham and Swansea and have only won 3 games by December!!

    Take your rose tinted glasses off and have a reality check, this is more than a blip, we have the worst team since the early sixties.

  30. is that why you listed him twice?

  31. Get real - What has Shelvey done to prove that he is 'good enough'? Same with Suso? Don't start me on Sahin, he is garbage. Allen is a good player but he hasn't proved anything. Wisdom?

    The rest of your 'good enough' players have consistently performed over the last few seasons. But some of those names haven't even featured in 30 games for Liverpool.

  32. This list is stupid anyway. It's better to rate the performances such as 'Excellent', 'Average' and 'poor' rather than saying a player is 'good enough', 'borderline' or 'below standard'.

    That way it's a bit fairer, rather than saying x player is 'good enough'. Because of course KD's players are 'below standard' but any player BR has introduced is 'good enough'...

  33. THANK YOU!!
    Finally someone says it. everyone wants to look at the one amazing pass or that one twist that beats the defender but dont look at the players game as a whole.
    I was recently asked why liverpool arent playing Sahin or Assaidi and after thinking about it besides the goals Sahin has gotten he is relatively non existent on the field, gets bullied off the ball, slow getting back and isnt really showing the play making passes that made him great at Dortmund.
    Assaidi is a fire cracker, always looking like he can split defenders and causes all kinds of chaos one on one but for all the step overs he does, he turns the ball over almost always (besides when winning us throw ins and corners) and his defensive play is incredibly lazy! He has no link up with anyone in the LFC team (But this is most likely due to lack of time on the field).
    People dont appreciate a balanced player anymore.
    Everyone wants Flash and Bang but hard work in quality mean nothing.

  34. how much time ?rodgers has had money as well and made the team no better results don,t lie