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Liverpool – You Know It’s Getting Bad When…

Alex FergusonWhen Sir Alex Ferguson cited “knocking Liverpool off their fucking perch” as his greatest challenge, he confirmed what we already knew, that his feelings towards the dippers resembled that of the fanbase. Hate is the word that springs to mind. As United manager, Ferguson only had to endure seeing Liverpool lift the title twice, back in 1988 and 1990, which I’m sure was painful enough. Since then, Liverpool have watched United lift the trophy an impressive nine times.

Before last season, there had been plenty of talk concerning ‘United in decline’. Sir Alex Ferguson had apparently lost the plot and should have left back in 2002 when he announced he was going to retire. He wouldn’t be able to reinstate them as Champions and it would be less humiliating for the manager and the club if he just left quietly. In November 2005, The Guardian printed an article entitled “Who is to blame for United’s decline?”, where journalists and former players got to offer up their opinion on where it all started going so wrong for United. Paul Hince from the MEN wrote, “the cracks are so wide that not even a manager with Ferguson’s motivational skills can paper over them. If Fergie can arrest this shocking and alarming slump it will rank with anything he’s achieved in all his years at the club.”

The talk of decline first arose in 2001 astonishingly, when United were lifting the Premiership title for the third year running. They had been beaten in the European Cup quarter finals for the second year running, and in light of the massive success we’d achieved just two seasons before, the press actually had the nerve to claim we were in decline. I suppose if they were expecting Trebles every season, then yes, we were in decline!

However, it was Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier who stood up for United, in the week that saw Liverpool reach the UEFA Cup final, marching on to the Micky Mouse treble. “It is not my belief that United are declining,” he said. “Just because you are out of the quarter-finals of a major European competition, it doesn’t mean your team is on the way down. I don’t think we are even close to being in Manchester United’s shadow, yet. When you are 20 points behind them and they are already champions it gives you a lot to think about. We are not even within reach of being in their shadow yet. We need to improve a lot more to catch up with them in the Premier League. But hopefully the battle with them for the league title will be closer next season.” Next season, eh Houllier? That’ll be their year.

Well, it appears as though Fergie believes one good turn deserves another, and has now offered his support to Liverpool. Of course he isn’t claiming we’re not even close to being in Liverpool’s shadow, that would be preposterous, but has offered his backing to the under fire Liverpool manager.

The Yank owners confessed in recent weeks that they had been trying to talk Klinsmann in to taking the post as Liverpool manager, which will certainly not leave Rafa best pleased. When Ferguson was asked about the situation, he said Rafa would likely feel upset and alone. “That sort of thing can be very upsetting for a manager,” Fergie said. “As a manager, there are quite a few moments in every week when you are very much on your own and people don’t want to knock on your door because they think you’re busy all the time, but you can be sitting there twiddling your thumbs. You can fill your time by phoning other managers and doing other things, but there is a lot of time spent on your own and, in moments like that, Rafa must feel very alone.” Not content at leaving it there, Ferguson went on to talk about how different things were at Manchester United. “But I’ve been very fortunate at United because I have had good directors – people like Bobby Charlton and Martin Edwards – who always supported me very well. At big clubs, however, it is paramount that the board shows its class.”

Whilst we also have American owners who have plunged us in to debt, there can be not a great deal of criticism directed towards the Glazers for their public image. They keep out of the press, rarely commenting on us, and are happy to fade in to the background. In contrast, Liverpool’s American owner, Hicks, can’t see to keep out of the spotlight. The club’s dirty laundry has been aired in public several times over the past few months, bringing embarrassment to the club.

However, things took a turn for the worst today. If even Alex Ferguson is showing pity for Liverpool, they really must be in a bad way!

After all their chants of “USA!” and the American flags they brought to Old Trafford in light of the Glazer takeover, how entertaining are you finding Liverpool being screwed over by their Yank owners? :D




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19 Comments

  1. jsos says:

    of course there’s an element of humor to it when you go back to all the shit they gave us. but on the other hand, its sad too. when fergie has to be the one coming to rafa’s defense.. things ARE bad. and anything a club is compromised like that (with owners getting their mitts into the manager’s business) its bad for the whole league IMO

  2. ben says:

    maybe SAF realises what most united fans think that liverpool will not win the league under benitez…maybe he’s therefore offering support in the knowledge that keeping benitez will mean liverpool will never compete with us domestically

  3. John S says:

    as a Liverpool fan reading a UTD view its obviously very distressing but even though i had a smile when you were bein debted by the Glaziers i felt sorry for you and believe ownership is only good if its by people who can afford to enrich and take the club forward i.e. a billionaire or 2- unlike our situation and yours where wanna be owners saddle clubs in debt.
    How can this be good news for any club, dont these people understand that whichver club you support that the fans want people in who are interested, focused and committed to put in there hard earned cash to make the club winners??
    We all know that there is MUch HatRed between out 2 clubs, however i do enjoy watching UTD play as a fan of good football and i hope that you will want Liverpool to be able to compete with yourselves in future years as we have good bnter and if we cant afford to keep up then much will be lost for us all!,
    regards…..

  4. Jacko says:

    I see what your saying and your right BUT!

    I’m sorry I can’t help sniggering at them because of their behaviour when we where resisting take over! They by way of contrast welcomed them with open arms and now look!

    They’ll be alright in the end! No worse off anyway but in the meentime gotta say loving it!

  5. t smith says:

    Liverpool won the title in 1986-88-90.
    When did ferguson become manager of Man United?

  6. denton davey says:

    When the Glazers bought UTD they did so with “borrowed money” because they knew that a club with a huge fan base, gigantic revenues, AND a sold-out, completed 76,000 seat stadium was a very, very good investment.

    In contrast, Hicks and Gillette bought a “property” to flip, for a quick profit. L’pool might have a large fan base – not a huge international one and the acoompanying gigantic revenues – BUT it has an old, rickety stadium that yields comparatively tiny match-day revenues. And anyone with any experience of the never-never-neverland of stadium building had to know that the cost of a “new Anfield” would spiral out of control. I don’t believe that Hicks and Gillette ever seriously contemplated the five hundred million pound investment that a “new Anfield” would require.

    AND, I simply cannot comprehend why the Liverpool City Council doesn’t sit down the two Stanley Park clubs and tell them some simple facts of life. One stadium for two teams is prefectly feasible and that could be built within a reasonable budget for both of them to be able to afford.

    So, the problems RafaBeneathUs faces are much much more complicated than just working for a couple of Yankee carpetbaggers.

    In contrast, the Glazer “investment opportunity” was made with a keen eye on the middle- and long-term, secure i n the knowledge that the Gill/SAF partnership would get them through the rocky short term. AND, they were right in that assessment. Sure UTD have a big debt but they have gigantic revenues and a growing income stream. Of course, there are some clouds in the blue skies but this has been a relatively smooth corporate takeover. The Glazers’ experience with their Tampa Bay team hasn’t been irrelevant and the sheer ingnorance of the anti-Glazer elements of that experience has been simply breath-taking to behold.

    Of course, SAF is the Glazers’ poodle – he’s their employee but they give him lots of income, job security, and independence so why wouldn’t he spout their line ? He’a also still something of a trade unionist and so it pains him to see his comrades (Jol, Allardyce, and Rafa0 being treated like servants by their know-nothing employers. The old guy just tells it like it is – and you’ve got to admit that he must have really enjoyed telling this one !

  7. denton davey says:

    t smith – L’pool might very well have won the trophy in ’86, ’88 and ’90 but is sure looks like they won’t win it again for a long, long time with this particular circus of ownership “speculators” and a manager who is too cautious and too stubborn to recognize the necessity of winning three points at home.

    So, L’pool are fast becoming part of the “next five” – not the “top four”.

  8. craig mc says:

    John S – I am ManU thru and thru, but I agree with a lot of your post. Both our clubs are in hock, up to the eyeballs in debt, but Fergie’s right about the Glazers having more class than Hicks etc. But then, Fergie has given them much more than Rafa has to your club LATELY!. Still I love the banter between our clubs like you say, but you can’t blame the ManU fans who want to squeeze your fans balls, like you lot tried to do with us with the Glazer takeover I think you were lied to though, because didn’t Hicks say that they, unlike the Glazers, were buying the club outright with their own money. Made chumps of you all, but you can’t expect ManU fans to shed any tears. I want L’Pool to do well though, cos I enjoy the contest..

  9. John S says:

    craig mc- thanks for your comments.

    a true UTD and football fans view (cant always say that!).

    you are right and maybe fergie had given more but the plain truth is your comment re ‘we wont tie debt to club like Glaziers’????

    how can these sort of peeps expect or be trusted, indead Liverpool or UTD fans are very loyal and imotional about their club and expect the same from the manager, owners or anyone bloody else involved.

    the premier league is starting to become a monster with all the billionaire takeovers and money, not sure though if in the future it is going to be good for the average supporter and the league or could make it a joke for all but the lucky few,

    i shall go and enjoy Saturdays goal fest and see what comes, whatever will be will be and events as sual are out of the true fans hands………

  10. craig mc says:

    John S don’t get too down about things, cos your lot are very good at making comebacks!!!!! Think about 3-0 down at half time in European cup against Inter, left for dead, but what a comeback. We can’t do anything about the corporate greed of the money men getting involved in football now, but those who boom, can also bust, and maybe the day will come when ALL TRUE FOOTBALL FANS RECLAIM THE TERRACES. LETS JUST KEEP THE FAITH. Enjoy your goal fest saturday, and I still think your club will finish in top four.

  11. rowan says:

    I’m a scouser and i’ve never hated the mancs. One can’t find hate for beautiful football. the football we once played which resulted in a similar success to the man utd of the 90′s onwards.
    No real red fan would ever despise Utd, envy maybe.
    I’d rather have 5 amazing attacking players and throw caution to the wind so we could watch nice football every week. Even if you loose ,the fans have something to get excited about.
    As things are we rely on 2 real match winners and a load of dross. Most of our players would only get in the sides from 6th onwards in the EPL. The quality is not there. Pennant/Riise/Crouch/Kuyt..All donkeys.
    Mascherano is off, which relieves us of one of the few world class players we actually have.
    I sometimes wonder why you lot even care about us, we have not been a threat since Kenny left, only in your heads!

  12. John S says:

    seems a long time ago now but was a memorable comeback which surprised me after feeling ill at half time.

    maybe there will be a day of solidarity between our clubs, erm maybe i’m just tired and not thinking str8, oh well i do live in Manchester so i suppose thats the closest i’ll get to you lot but it’s been interesting speaking to arch enermies on a civilised note-

    enjoy your football, i;m sure you’ll do well (god its really hard to write those words), if it’s any concellation Ronaldo is a fantastic player who sadly knows it but i still hate Rooney…

  13. mark says:

    Fergie just came out saying that he backed Benitez. No shit! He whoops on Benitez every time they play!

  14. lily says:

    If DIC were to rescue us, LFC will be the Champions in coming years.

  15. Boob says:

    I think Fergie is just being professional really, instead of saying he’s chuffed he knows the pressure that comes with the job and the scenario that Rafa is in. We all hate each other (United and Liverpool) but the majority of proper fans have a massive respect for each other, Liverpool are a great club with a few quality players short of competing with United. I do feel sorry for the Liverpool club but not for the fans who were celebrating when they were took over, how did they think it was going to pan out? The history of H&G isn’t great, things were always going to go wrong.

  16. IndianPunk says:

    well it sure can be worse and we all want that hahaha

    i want to knoock liverpool of the CL perch and i hope we dont see them claiming the Cl spot next year :-)

  17. Tom F says:

    I like any sane Manchester United fan would love United to win T-Shirt on and got a load of Abuse from a bunch of dippers, about how AIG means almost in Greece and I could only reply Alex is God, before the rants came towards me. This a few days before the Champions League final, just after we had won the Premiership title for the 9th time, these lads were older than me but not old enough to have been about in the ‘glory’ days.

    Is it me or do Liverpool fans really believe the Champions League is the top prize? A knock-out competition? Where any random team can get into the Knock-out rounds? I would rather win the English top flight title on a regular basis and never lift the CL cup again, our league is tough and the day it becomes like the Scottish top flight I may see more value in th Champions League. Maybe those guys were just kidding themselves, I would be as happy as anyone to be in the final and to win it, but as a fan my priority lays on English soil.

  18. Tom F says:

    I like any sane Manchester United fan would love United to win the Champions League.

    I was walking home from work last summer with a United T-Shirt on and got a load of Abuse from a bunch of dippers, about how AIG means almost in Greece and I could only reply Alex is God, before the rants came towards me. This a few days before the Champions League final, just after we had won the Premiership title for the 9th time, these lads were older than me but not old enough to have been about in the ‘glory’ days.

    Is it me or do Liverpool fans really believe the Champions League is the top prize? A knock-out competition? Where any random team can get into the Knock-out rounds? I would rather win the English top flight title on a regular basis and never lift the CL cup again, our league is tough and the day it becomes like the Scottish top flight I may see more value in th Champions League. Maybe those guys were just kidding themselves, I would be as happy as anyone to be in the final and to win it, but as a fan my priority lays on English soil.

  19. Joseph Busuttil says:

    Maybe next year we will be playing against LIVERPOOL TEXAS RANGERS F.C.
    “People are worried that I (Hicks) might take money away from the Texas Rangers (his baseball franchise) to go to Liverpool. But it is just the reverse Liverpool are going to throw off lots of extra money which, if I choose to , I can use for the Rangers or the Dallas Stars ice hockey team”

    Can anyone explain this Yank to me?

    UNITED FOREVER.

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