It seems one minute I’m reading about how winning the Carling Cup is going to put Liverpool on the map and make Liverpool more attractive to top quality players but then I read statements from Damien Comolli stating that it’s unlikely there’ll be any major signings in the near future. Naturally, I’m hoping it’s the former as the reality is the current squad isn’t good enough to achieve the one goal that goes before all others and that’s winning the Premiership.
It’s not about a top four place, it’s about winning the most coveted of trophies that clearly delineates a team as being the finest in England. Just ask John Henry what the goal of the Boston Red Sox is each season. It’s winning the World Series. Nothing less will do. And Liverpool have to get into the same mindset that nothing but the Premiership title is what each seasons target has to be. We cannot accept that finishing in the top four is the new measure of success. It isn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Champions League, seeing Liverpool play amongst Europe’s elite and savor those fantastic European Anfield nights. I also understand it’s critical for revenues to fund the squad but it’s not the ultimate prize.
The thinking has to focus on having the best manager, the best support staff and the best squad. Tough decisions have to be made especially by recognizing that some of the latest buys haven’t been good enough and some likely never will be. We don’t need to look any further than the home loss against Arsenal. Arsenal were there for the taking and Liverpool didn’t have the quality to put them away. It’s been the same story throughout this season and for too many previous seasons. Even though £100m was spent on new players over the past 12 months it doesn’t mean they’re the right players and not accepting this fact is going to cost Liverpool dearly next season. There needs to be carefully thought out changes and Comolli needs be scouring the planet to find top quality players. If he isn’t why have him there at all? Now it may be well be that the statements being made about there being no major new signings on the horizon are not exactly true. Perhaps the thinking is with only a few months left in the season and with there still being an outside chance of making the top four it might not be the brightest idea to start announcing there will be big changes in the summer as it will undermine the confidence of the current team. On the other hand, players need to know they are performing for their Liverpool careers and that if they don’t deliver then they could be on their way. That’s how football works. What I do expect though is the acceptance that some players will need to be sold and replaced with better quality even though they were recently bought. Is Adam really good enough? Can Henderson develop into the new Gerrard? Will Downing sustain his current improved performances? Can Andy Carroll start scoring goals on a regular basis? If there’s any doubt then changes have to be made.
I feel for Dalglish at times. When you see your team dominate games but fail to take chances, hit the woodwork countless times (not always down to bad luck) miss penalties and show lack of creativity, it’s the players that need to be questioned. Yes you can be critical of Kenny’s tactics and team selections, which he seems to want to over-complicate, but once out there out on the field it’s the players who have to take the responsibility to perform at the highest level.
Whichever way the management team at Liverpool decide to move forward it’s going to be a very interesting summer.