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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Liverpool FC...temporary or terminal decline? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

muse
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After last week's snatching from the jaws of two supposedly avaricious American owners, and rescue by a group of supposedly more cuddly American owners, are Liverpool FC now on the road to recovery?

They should be capable of mounting a decent recovery to an extent, but if they want a solid base from which to challenge for trophies rather than one-place-above-relegation, they have some obvious structural problems to address.

The stadium is one, as the supposedly impressive Anfield looks ever shabbier in comparison with the new breed of stadia, and the number of bums on seats fails to generate enough cash. And even Arsenal, who have managed to combine consistent qualification for the Champions League with the move to the Emirates stadium, have not actually won anything for years, so the trick of regenerating both team and ground is a very hard one to pull off. Personally, I think they should ground share with Everton, as even though construction tender prices are low at present, there is still a huge financial risk involved in such a major project, which would to take years to complete.

The regeneration of the team is the other obvious difficulty, and the one which is perhaps even more critical. Gerrard is getting older and slower, and while his 'big kid in the playground' act has saved Liverpool on many occasions, there is a limit to how much longer he can do it. Gerrard's leaving would not necessarily be bad, however, as he is not a team player in the sense that he can't play to the needs of the team. If the team plays around him, it can work, but if not (see also Lampard and Gerrard for England), he muddles the tactics. Post-Gerrard, Liverpool may be able to knit a team together again, as at present they are Reina / Gerrard / Torres and their supporting cast, rather than a cohesive unit. There is unlikely now to be much sell-on value in Gerrard, however. Torres' transfer worth is likely to have decreased dramatically over recent months, as he looks capable of never reaching his past standard, and selling Reina would be a huge risk.

So where does the money come from to rebuild or build a new the stadium, and to revive the team? Every season they are out of the Champions League allows Spurs, or Manchester City, or whoever to build up their income at the expense of the non-participants. Liverpool used that to their advantage for years to give them an edge over the chasing pack, but now that system is working against them.

Even in recent years where they have won the occasional trophy, the standard of football has become poor, dull, defensive, utilitarian with only the odd sparkle. The team, and the club, has essentially been in managed decline since Graeme Souness took over as manager, and look like they may have a way to go along that path yet.
abc
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South African in Taiwan
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I am a big Liverpool fan, but my favorite comment about them in recent years is this.
Which two clubs in the premier league have a swearword in their names?
Arsenal and Liver*******pool.
I really hope they recover though to their former glory days, but it is going to take a special effort and another star player.
My vote - temporary decline but then I am a supporter.
cfrye
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Portland, Oregon, USA
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I'm not a Liverpool fan, but I've always been sympathetic to the Merseyside teams because of the fans' passion and the fact that Everton gave Joe Max Moore a run for several years when American internationals weren't exactly the going thing.

The best scenario would be to have a huge talent come up through the youth system an reinvigorate the fans, as did Wayne Rooney with Everton. Failing that, they'll need to keep a few stalwarts and use their scouting system to bring in overlooked talents to get them into the UEFA Cup, and perhaps then the Champion's League.



Curt
muse
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Joe Max Moore, yes indeed! And more recently, when Landon Donovan was thought not to be quite good enough for the European game after his time at Bayern, he completely disproved that in his spell with Everton where he showed what a classy player he is. And Tim Howard, of course, has been consistently excellent over a number of seasons, so overall Everton have had a good impression of US players.

Maybe Liverpool need to look at the US market to see if they can find some value in the players there?
cfrye
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Honestly, I think bringing in U.S.-based players would better for the American game, at least at the international level, than it would be for Liverpool.

As a side note, I don't count goalkeepers as "American players" in this context...after all, we grew up using our hands. <g>

I hope the new Liverpool owners can breath some life into the team without affecting the organization's character the way the Man U owner did. Surely there's a mix of American and British business practices that can work, even in the harsh light of the Premier League.


Curt
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