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In this issue... 2..... Editorial 4..... Where’s the love for Dirk? 7..... Where does Hendo fit in? 8..... Confessions of a miserable barsteward 10..... Jury’s out on FSG 14..... Adamant on Adam 16..... Our second great No.37 18..... Number 7 20..... Bellends 24..... Wembley 28..... England who cares? 30..... Not going 32..... Book extract: On the march... 39..... Hat-trick heroes 44..... A tale that takes some beating 46..... Cult Heroes: Ronny Rosenthal
EDITORIAL No.13 APRIL/MAY 2012
Keep Kenny and carry on
SO how do you see your glass now – half full or half empty?
There’s a cup in the cabinet – the trophy drought is over, we’ve been to new Wembley, we’re going again and we’re back in Europe. Results haven’t always been what we wanted but the football is better. Oh, and we battered Everton.
Revisionism shouldn’t be allowed to take a twisted stranglehold. Winning a cup, any cup, is good. Always. Ditto the derby. Ditto trips to Wembley.
City out of the competition as well as turfing Manchester United out of the FA Cup. And bogey side Stoke. Again.
It proves that this team, or rather this group of individuals – which has been more accurate for the majority of the season – is capable of top-level performances.
The league, though, has been a different story. Genuinely impressive displays - 90minute performances with the right result gleaned by the final whistle – have been in short supply. Early season we won at the Emirates, Goodison and drew with both
Glass half empty? Well, you’ll be slamming the summer signings, pointing the finger at the 17-point swing in the league that saw us lead Arsenal by seven only to trail them by ten and highlighting the shortcomings. Because there have been shortcomings.
But has Dalglish deserved talk of the sack after 14 months? It was interesting to see Gabriele Marcotti compare Dalglish’s second reign with that of the starts made by Rafa, Houllier, Evans and Souness.
League-wise his analysis read: Dalglish: 44 league games in current stint. 74 points. More than Rafa (65), Houllier (63), Evans (68) and Souness (68). He’s also averaging more points than Hodgson despite a pretty barren league spell since the turn of the year.
So it’s not all bad then... While we were poor in the final itself – and Cardiff were good – the results in the Carling Cup were brilliant. We triumphed in tricky away ties with the minimum of fuss.
Lower league opposition – Exeter, Brighton – were swept aside with relative ease. Bogey side Stoke were defeated at their own place, as were Chelsea. And let’s not forget that we knocked Champions-elect Manchester sets of Mancs at home. Not bad. But poor results in the games we were expected to win in the league saw the optimism drain away.
The draws, the chance conversion, the missed penalties, the obsession with hitting the woodwork – all have stretched far beyond just being about luck.
This is a team with problems. It’s in transition of course, and to challenge takes time. But it goes beyond that, as the latter half of the season has proved.
Simply put, for all the possession, for all the shots (off target), it hasn’t worked for much of the campaign.
All season, Liverpool have largely flattered to deceive, playing good football in all the wrong places. But ask yourself this – on the whole – have you been convinced they are going to score? Do Liverpool build momentum, battering teams into submission, carving out clear cut chance after clear cut chance? Too often it’s a no and a no.
There’s some pretty play in parts of the pitch that don’t hurt the opposition. But get to the business end and too often the delivery is poor, the play predictable and