Posts Tagged ‘Big 4’

‘Do you know what I don’t understand?’ I said to the other half, in a serious monotone. ‘Quantum physics!’ she laughed; probably more out of pity than anything else. My jokes have never been the best.

It makes sense that I don’t understand quantum physics – hence why my joke was so funny. But what doesn’t make sense (and what I also can’t comprehend) is this feeling of optimism I get at every ‘new season’s eve’.

I even had it last year. Well! It was a little different last year. Maybe more along the lines of ‘it won’t be that bad’. Even the signing of Joe Cole made me wonder if we could push our way into the top four. Maybe he’d just gone stale at Chelsea and he’d be rejuvinated in red. Oh, how wrong was I? Poor misguided fool.

It’s not wrong though, is it? It’s perfectly normal to get questions running through your mind:

What if all the signings turn out to be first class, can we push for top four or maybe even better?

Will it make a big difference with us not playing in Europe, while others around us are?

Have Arsenal blown their chances of top four, with two of their best players on the way out of the door? (obviously not the best of poets either!)

Can Kenny Dalglish carry the team to silverware, given the form he got out of a weaker team at the end of last season?

Despite my current optimism my brow has become increasingly furrowed with each signing we’ve made. I’m not sure I understand the logic of paying such a premium for English players. The signing of Andy Carroll still makes my head spin. Not that he’s a bad player and not that he can’t become a great one. Just because the level of improvement we’ll need to see to warrant such an expensive investment is vast.

There is clearly a strategy in play. A plan has been formalised and is being followed with great rigour. Inexorably leading us to fielding the highest number of british players a Liverpool side has seen in a long time. After harping on so many times last season about the need for Fenway Sports Group to plan fully and think differently. I would be a hypocrite to start complaining now.

You can’t help but feel that we’re at a tipping point though. The last chance saloon? If the plan doesn’t work, worse – if it backfires completly, the top four could be a long lost forgotten dream. Our owners don’t appear to have the same financial clout as the clubs we’re competing against, they’ve even admitted as much. So if this doesn’t work – is there money for a plan B? Doubtful.

And yet, I feel optimistic. That optimism is bourne out of trust. Trust in Fenway Sports Group, Damien Commolli and in particular Kenny Dalglish. Three parties all pointing in the same direction, singing from the same hymn sheet with the same goal in mind. What would we have given for that at the start of last season?

No European football will undoutbtedly have a telling impact on how the season unfolds. How many times did we see strong European performances followed by lacklustre domestic showings a few days later. European games put an additional pressure on squads, which in the past has been quite telling. Let’s face it none of those teams in European action are going to want to face us a few days after a trip away.

As for the signings. Well I have to trust those who make such decisions. I’ve been puzzled by them, but I believe those, who know far more than me, believe in why they have made them. Even at a premium. None of them are bad signings, just expensive ones. But if we get greater team cohesion from the outset (and into the future) who’s to say what might actually happen next season.

Cards on the table time. The bit I’ll probably cringe at come the end of the season. But I am going to be brave and set it in cyberspace stone. I think we’ll finish top four, probably with a cup. That will be a platform to build from for the future.

With a dose of good luck, or maybe even just avoiding the dose of bad luck we’ve been known for, I think we could possibly achieve even more. There’s a plan – it’s different and seems to be getting followed meticulously. Put that together with our great club’s key figures all pointing in the same direction and the worlds greatest fans behind them – who knows. Maybe we’ll just skip straight past the platform step.

Coming Soon… Blogging

Posted: July 5, 2011 by mcdonaldtaf in Business, Finance, Site News
Tags: , , ,

New job, relocating, close season and only one contributor to this site means only one thing – no posts! Apologies for my lack of posts and tweets and everything else. Normal service will resume when the new season kicks off (or shortly before). I’m looking forward to getting settled and writing again if the truth be told.

So just one quick LFC snippet for you to think about. I read an excellent piece about LFC and UEFA financial fair play rules on The Tomkins Times by Dan Kennett. There is one thing that concerns me about the whole thing though. That is while other clubs may find a way to navigate the rules in one way or another we’ll use it as a reason/excuse for tightening the purse strings.  Given the importance of top 4 football and the financial strength of the opposition there could be worrying times ahead. UEFA’s new initiative may well ensure the financial viability of the top clubs in the league. Whether they will be robust enough to stop the steroid like financial injections into club’s balance sheets is yet to be seen.

I’ll keep pondering on it. No doubt, more soon!

ad·vent
n.

1. The liturgical period preceding Christmas,  beginning in Western churches on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and in Eastern churches in mid-November.
2. The coming or arrival, especially of something extremely important.

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Such a fitting word for Liverpool fans isn’t it? Advent. We are currently in the 21st Christmas advent since our club last won the league title.  So for many of us it feels like we are in a continuing period of advent all year round, with no end in sight. Indeed some would question whether we have ever been further away from the league title, having come so close in the 2008/9 season. Others will try and point out that the core of that 2008/9 season squad is in tact; a new manager is all it will take they’ll tell you.

Maybe they’re right. To my mind though football has become more competitive, technical and complicated – against a backdrop of forever increasing transfer budgets for some managers. Can you buy guaranteed success? No. Are some teams at a clear advantage with their squad depths and deep pockets? Yes – no doubt. In time things will no doubt equalise themselves out. Albeit I think the tiers of teams will remain, and those tiers will be largely determined by either the financial prowess or power of the clubs in each tier.

Personally I have been through quite a journey over the short life of my blogging. I came to the blogging community in October last year as someone who promoted the idea that business had to play a key component in football, for the good of the sport. After a year of writing, researching and contemplating I have done a complete U-turn. I’m a realist and accept that to remain competitive we are now in a situation where business has to play a key role. That does not alter the fact though that business has also taken something from the game. It has come close to destroying some clubs and damaging those communities. Is it sport anymore?

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As the season finally draws to a close the inevitable speculation surrounding Rafa Benitez has intensified to the point where we, as fans, really don’t know what’s going to happen. It is fair to say the number of fans demanding his removal have increased, but it would also be fair to say that a number of hardcore Rafa fans have galvanised their defences for the man.

In some ways Rafa is a victim of his own success. Driving the club forwards, despite the problems around him and without the spending power of his main rivals, like he had done prior to this season was never going to be replicated every year. Meanwhile the club has reached a critical stage across all of its operations off the pitch.

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Just did a double take… yes there are only 12 premiership games remaining this season. Only 12 games but, as we are all painfully aware, so much to play for. The coveted fourth spot quite possibly being essential to the future prosperity of our club. The loss of revenues would be significant in itself but then you add in prestige and brand considerations and well… we have to finish fourth.

Finishing fourth may not be as easy as we think, hope or wish though. Manchester City have their billions and while the transfer window is closed there is little denying the quality already littered throughout their squad. Much the same can be said for Tottenham, while Villa remain resurgent under Martin O’Neill. However, not one of these clubs (luckily for us) has taken advantage of our fall from grace earlier in the season. By now it is possible that, had any of the three clubs had the mettle, they could have cemented a fourth spot for themselves. A lack of experience has resulted in inconsistency for the ‘wannabes’ and for that we are thankful.

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