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WELL RED INDEPENDENT LFC SUPPORTERS’ MAGAZINE No.4 OCT/NOV 2010
CONTENTS3EditorialOur view 4 Red round up News, views and massive heads 6 Takeover talk What now? 10 Joe Cole Cover story 12 Bye & Masch Did Javier really go on strike? 14 Ticket prices One fan’s rant over the rising cost 20 The McMahons John & Steve – how it happened 26 The Big Debate Is David Ngog good enough? 30 1987-88 A classic season remembered 36 Paul Smith Jnr The British champ talks about the Reds 38 Tony Barrett The Times man on our big problem 40 Ian Rush Neil Scott pays tribute to the legend 42 Testing our faith Neil Condron looks at times we’ve cringed as Reds 44 A Life in Liverpool matches Everton 1987 46 Why not Kenny? John Anthony on the King 48 Martin Kelly Is he the new Carra, asks Martin Smith 50 Tom Saunders Bill Shankly’s greatest signing 54 My first time Nick Harman 56 Paul Tomkins On Hodgson 59 Jovanovic A cult hero? 60 Steve Nicol Johnny Greaney on ‘Chico’ 62 A kit special? Dickie Felton’s retro secret 63 Eye On The Enemy
Reserve-team boss John McMahon
WELL RED is completely independent from Liverpool FC. It is produced by fans, for fans. If you would like to write for Well Red, get in touch with your ideas. Submissions that are well written, researched and show considered opinion will be printed in the magazine, regardless of whether we agree with your stance or not.
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Exchange Street East, Liverpool, L3 2AB VISIT OUR NEW WEBSITE: wellredmag.co.uk With hope in our hearts? Doubt it
STUCK between hope and doubt. On every level, that’s where Liverpool are right now. It’s hoped the ownership issue will quickly be resolved, but we doubt it.
Until the names G.N. Gillett Jnr and T.O. Hicks are removed from the boardroom door, we won’t believe it.
Newspaper reports suggesting that the Royal Bank of Scotland have had enough – that they too want to see an end to the leech-like reign of the co-chairmen – raise hopes.
The bankers can call time on the debt that props up the Hicks-Gillett house of cards. If they can’t pay up – or refinance – both of which seem highly unlikely, then they are out.
But we still doubt it. And what’s to say that would be the end of it?
Can we really expect the American duo to skulk off into the sunset never to be seen again?
Or will they challenge RBS? Drag it through the courts? Generally make a nuisance of themselves?
Such questions come with good reason. There have been too many false dawns.
The club remain tight-lipped so that leaves us with sources and speculation. And frankly we’ve had enough of both to last a lifetime. Whispers continue that a buyer is waiting in the wings. That a name already linked could return to pull us from the mire.
Hope and doubt, hope and doubt, all the time.
Time will tell of course and this stressful charade must surely come to a head soon. We hope – for once – that it leads to some good news.
On the pitch, it’s the same story. We hope for brighter days. Dream of nicking a top-four spot.
But after the early performances, it’s the doubts which are shouting loudest, not the hope.
The transfer window saw Liverpool operate in a way which has become depressingly familiar in recent times. Sell big – buy little. So the trade down in players continued. Out went Javier Mascherano – widely regarded as the best midfielder destroyer in the league, if not the world, and in came Christian Poulsen, an ageing Dane that many felt was past it.
His performances at the time of writing have done nothing to contradict that view and a central midfield of him and Lucas Leiva – as was demonstrated against West Brom and Birmingham – is not the answer.
Raul Meireles offers hope, mainly because most fans know relatively little about him.
But money talks and you get what you pay for these days so the doubts are there again.
Of course we hope he’s a superstar and he adequately fills the gaping Mascherano-shaped hole that Manchester City strolled through
Editorial so easily at Eastlands. But he’s a £10.7million, 27-year-old player as opposed to a £22m, 26-year-old player. You don’t need a calculator to work out what’s going on there. We’ve already seen what happens to the midfield when a force isn’t replaced like-for-like. How often does the name Xabi Alonso STILL crop up?
Up front, we remain short, too. A last-minute deal for Carlton Cole was muted (not that it would have set hearts fluttering) but why was it left so late? We’ve been crying out for an additional striker ever since Robbie Keane left the club in January 2009.
But yet again a Liverpool manager is left to try to meet sky-high expectations with a wafer-thin squad.
And let’s be honest, there are doubts about the manager, too. It doesn’t mean you’re not supporting him, or the club, by stating them – it means you can see problems. No more, no less – no-one is throwing lighters at him at Anfield (like they did at Inter Milan) or calling for his head.
But Roy has brought with him some very rigid – defensive – tactics. Sitting deep is the order of the day, the full-backs have less freedom and, at the time of writing, we are struggling to get among the goals.
Early days? Yes. But two goals in four Premier League games did not inspire confidence.
Hodgson also seems reluctant to change things at times, even when it’s clear to see it is not working out.
As for going 4-4-2 at Man City, well that just came across as naive.
It’s all well and good saying the players will need time to adapt to what is being asked of them by a new manager. This is true.
But Hodgson needs to show he can adapt, too. Fulham tactics will not necessarily work for Liverpool – different team, different players, different expectations and different reponses from the opposition.
Interview-wise too, Hodgson has sown the seeds of doubt.
Yes, we know Liverpool’s situation is crisis-like. We know it’s dark, dark days. But we don’t want to hear the manager say he doesn’t have high expectations at Birmingham.
Good home record or not, they are a team we should always be aspiring to beat. A draw at St Andrews isn’t bad – but it’s not to be celebrated either.
And for the record, Roy – entertaining? It wasn’t you know.
But still we can hope. Hope Joe Cole can come good. Hope Milan Jovanovic can move on from his so far passable attempt at an impression of his namesake Baros. And hope, most of all, that we finally get the club on an even keel with owners that care about the club, the manager and the fans.