Thursday, 19 April 2012

Shankly - Dalglish (pt2) Similar Situations

I have read many posts on many forums and been infuriated by the modern day fan and their expectations especially in wanting instant success.
I understand their feelings when they say they haven't seen us win the league and are getting themselves so wound up over it to the point of negativity with every failed season.
Without wanting to start lecturing anyone, it was exactly the same when I started going to games in 1960.
We had been stuck in the second division with a club that was as backward as you could get and where the manager had little say.
We were in effect commercially bankrupt as we are now in comparison to the likes of Manchester Utd, as most revenue was through the turnstyles and the only way to amass more funds was by drawing bigger crowds.
Shankly arrived, saw the mess we were in and started to change things. Slowly and surely, step by step until he was able to get the players he wanted and then the stadium he wanted.
I was in the tea rooms in the main stand behind the directors box for a reserve game, when I first saw Ron Yeats and St John. I got their autographs and was delighted. We were still in the second division but as a kid I was more patient than some of the dormant fans who had gone to sleep with six or seven years in div 2, so I was excited about these new players without any expectation what would happen the following season.

The scenes were fantastic on winning the 2nd div championship and I was on the pitch with the  with the thousands of others to mob St John and the rest before they left the pitch and later when they came out in their suits.
The crowds had increased and we won the league two seasons later, acquiring great players along the way, such as Peter Thompson and then the FA cup for the first time.
We were riding the crest of a wave but it still wasn't perfect.

We won the league a second time and then 1969? we were beaten by Watford in the quarter finals which led Shanks to start dismantling the team and create a new one, but it wasn't till 1974 (ignoring the 71 final defeat) that we returned again as a force in that Newcastle FA cup final victory.
That was 14 years of changing a club from inside to out to arrive at a place were we dominated English and European football for the next two decades.
We didn't scream for Bill to go in 68 or 69 when his first team started waning, we hung in there, with a faith in the man, in his vision and what the club meant to him and what the supporters meant to him.

Paisley - the master, Fagan and then Kenny all followed Bill and all the while there was a belief we were there to stay.

If Heysel hadn't occurred who knows what and if Hillsborough hadn't have happened who knows what. And if key people hadn't have passed away and people were immortal who knows.

Now we find ourselves in a similar position as before. OK we are picking up trophies occasionally, but we aren't clawing our way back from second tier obscurity as in Shankly's days.
We are however trying to resurrect the system that served us so well back in the seventies and eighties and more importantly trying to develop an income stream that has left us trailing United and Arsenal. United especially started developing their stadium with a foresight of what was to come in the form of the Premier and later Arsenal with their new stadium and now the wealth driven clubs of Chelsea and Manchester City

While everyone craves a new stadium to increase gate revenue and especially corporate revenues, the drain on resources can leave you back at square one. The alternative is to reduce the outgoings on the wage bill at least until that project is settled on and rejuvenate the squad with some of the youngsters, that we seem to have been blessed with, due to Rafas foresight.

The main similarity to the late 50's and early 60's for me, is that we have a man in the club who understands LFC and the philosophies of our club. A man who understands the fans and what it means to be part of this great family. A man not too dissimilar to his fellow countryman who made the club what it was then.

A man who understands the fans and more importantly the Liverpool Way.

He took over again a club in crisis when asked, without hesitation and he has tried to instil the same values we had before while reshaping a depleted squad. His only desire is to serve the club the supporters and the players. There is talk and rumour that his position is under review and that he may be given an upstairs role, but you know that as long as Kenny is working within the club and the owners are sharing the same vision, that he will do, whatever hes asked to do, to bring this club back to where it was.

His philosophy if he was asked would be to return the club to the same operational staus as previous eras and instil in all the staff, playing, management and adminstration, the beliefs we had before.
I believe only when this occurs can we mount a serious challenge on the title. Not only will the ship be steadied, but it will be seaworthy again .
Just because our revenue may be small compared to our rivals doesn't mean we can't compete. Look what Rafa did with the budget he had and without the academy resource that is near to fruition.

Kenny Dalglish is more than capable of achieving what we want, whether that be in managerial capacity or directorship role or even making the tea at half time for the lads more than anyone else, for whatever role he is operating in, he will act as a unifying agent to make the organisation as competitive and as efficient playing wise, as any big money owned based club out there.
and once the club is running as it was, results will inevitably happen. I believe he can instil that passion in players to make that leap to title winners.
It will require the same patience as we had back in 1960 and it may take the same length of time to get back to that level of enduring quality we had then, but I believe that with Kenny in the club, it will happen.

At my age I may not be around to see that, so I could be excused for being more impatient than the younger fans out there, but I will not surrender to the chop change at every moment of adversity, philosophy that some scream for.
Consistency for me is the key.Continuity of staff. Recruitment from within as it used to be.
I will even excuse those who called for the great man to be sacked or to leave or who doubt his ability to perform any other role within the club.
One shouldn't insult his intelligence or his ability in bringing LFC back to life

Have faith. Believe and when you sing YNWA mean it

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Suarez- Have the FA Played a Blinder

I was shocked to hear the news of Suarez's treatment as any other red and was as outraged after I read the report from the FA as others were.
While I have discussed and argued over details with like minded and opposite views on the whole issue, it suddenly occurred to me that the FA may be actually playing a blinder through all this.
One thing that is for certain, is that the vast majority of supporters including Liverpool fans are against racism, yet we the Liverpool fans are adamant that Suarez was not guilty of racism at all and the conclusion drawn from the report on 'probable likelihood' that he was being offensive, even racially, was flawed.
It seems to me that there are so many probables in the coming to a conclusion that an appeal could overcome the 'verdict', although this is a civil matter and not a criminal court of law.
I suddenly started to wonder if the report has been drawn up to offer an opportunity for an appeal.
Why would the FA do that I asked myself.
We are all aware of the politics of the situation between the FA and FIFA over this issue of racism and how the FA would love to make their stance in defiance of the 'soft' FIFA and as most think Suarez has been offered as the sacrificial lamb to the altar of politics.

Well lets consider the alternative.

The FA dismiss Evras claims of racial abuse on the grounds that probaly and maybe there was a case but we are not going to consider any word against word of racism in the game and therefore we find Suarez innocent.
There would have been an almighty outcry not only from the 'Kick it Out' organisation but from black players and supporters throughout the land, that a black persons word is not given any consideratuion over anothers.
And would hinder any future reporting of incidents to referees in future incidents.
By finding in favour of Evras account, the FA have avoided that collision with ethnic groups within their sport.
So why open it to appeal.
Well, consider Liverpool successfully appeal and dlear Suarez of the racist tag, the FA will still be able to say 'We have shown the world we will tackle this problem and are prepared to give out stern sentences to anybody found to racially offend an opponent'
'Howevere in reviewing the facts we can't be absolutely certain that Mr Suarez meant any racial offence and we have dropped the charge to one of a lesser offence that will carry a two game suspension.'

Is this a likely scenario.
I hope that is the minimum outcome after appeal, and hope that this may have been the only course of action open to the FA in dealing with the whole matter.

The one thing this case has done more than anything, is create a discussion amongst fans as to the issues of racism in our game a discussion that might not have happened in the same way or to the same end as dismissing the Evra claim
Even people who I regard to have an uneducated attitude to race have stationed themselves in the anti racist camps, mainly due to partisanship rather than to any educational process.

I feel sorry for the FA to some extent. They were on a hiding to nothing whatever the outcome. But consider that had they dismissed Evras claims, they would have had no chance of 'redeeming' themselves with the anti racist groups, as those groups could not appeal a 'dismissal' of the charge, but if an appeal is successful then all parties will have been appeased.