Ronnie Whelan, Nigel Spackman, Kevin MacDonald, Xavi Alonso, Joe Allen. What do they all have in common? Well, according to some fans of Liverpool football club, they are all players who were not good enough to wear the Liver Bird on their shirt. That was, until those fans saw them play. All of those players were signed by managers who had an insight into how they wanted their team to perform, and they had a plan. The managers who signed them for Liverpool, if not the fans, knew exactly where those players would fit in and exactly what they would bring to their teams.
"This is a results business and it is results that matter at the end of the day." That is the often used truism of both incoming and outgoing football managers these days. Everything is relative though, and not even results can ensure a positive press for managers once the fans choose to adopt a more challenging approach.
Last week, five time European Cup winners Liverpool FC took on the not so illustrious FC Gomel in the first leg of a Europa League qualifier. This is a tournament increasingly considered a distraction by Europe's top sides, a league that is viewed as sub-standard compared to the Champions League, and a tournament that most Liverpool fans don't even want to be competing in. Yet here is Liverpool FC, needing to qualify over two legs to even earn the right to enter the tournament at the group stage.
Patience the key to transfer window success for Liverpool Football Club.
By Kevin Morley.
And so, the European football transfer window is now open. This is a time that the majority of football managers dread, hoping the window closes quickly and they can get back to working with a settled team again. It is also a time when fans of the biggest clubs in Europe get over ambitious, over excited and over heated at the thoughts of who might be joining their illustrious teams in the coming weeks.
Football remains a simple game, according to Brendan Rodgers.
By Kevin Morley.
Last season Liverpool suffered from one major problem - they could not put the ball in the net. If you do not score goals, you do not win games. It matters not, how great your play has been, how much possession you have had, or how silky your football was. No, the only thing that matters is that you scored more goals than the opposition. Do this, and you get the points, deserved or not.
The fans could see the problem last season. The ex-players could see the problem. Even the media pundits could see the problem - Liverpool just could not score the goals that their build up play had deserved. There is one other person who saw the problem - Brendan Rodgers. So, this week he went about taking strides to solve it and bought a forward who scores goals. Not just a forward who scores goals, but a young forward who scores goals, and one with a resale value higher than what the club paid for him. This is good business sense, good football sense and, more than anything else, plain and simple common sense.
"Football is a game played over 90 minutes and then the Germans win."
Whether forecasting the result of a European Championships or a World Cup, this has traditionally been a fairly safe statement to make, and certainly not a prediction that would end in you being embarrassed after making it. Recently, however, things have changed in European football and the change is all a result of natural footballing talent.
Spain is now the national team that 'wins after 90 minutes' and when they lifted the European Championship trophy on Sunday, the critics who had dismissed them as boring suddenly returned to wearing the colours of La Roja, or The Red Fury (the name given to this recording break team by their own media).