Saturday 22 October 2016

No future for faint hearts at Anfield

NO pride and no future for this bunch of weak men. Liverpool football club is in a very bad place now and it's hard to see a route out of it.

Before they were beaten, battered and humiliated by Stoke City, I thought the work which needed to be done to rescue Liverpool was considerable. Now, I think it's unmanageable.

There will be many people out there who will want Brendan Rodgers removed but anyone thinking that way should first stop and think. Who would want to manage Liverpool in this state? Juregn Klopp?

Would he be bothered and would he get the kind of money needed to repair a team which conceded nine goals in two games against ordinary football teams?

But even ordinary is better than this band of faint hearts. To see Steve Gerrard score a goal against Stoke, his last act as a Liverpool player, was to understand all that is wrong about the current squad. His only thought was to do something, anything to help his team.

Around him were players who don't understand that core professionalism or if they do, they never show it when the pressure comes on.

I've watched this squad now for three seasons and these players go into their shell when the real pressure comes on. It has happened too often for comfort and there is only one answer to it. It must be broken up.

But that really worries me. In all the time in the Premier League wilderness in terms of winning a title, I never felt that that the goal every Liverpool fans wants to see achieved was impossibly far away.

Two or three times in all those years Liverpool came close and my feeling was always that the club was three or four really top quality Champions League standard footballers away from competing meaningfully at the highest level.

Now, it's the whole squad. The one truly world class player is off to America and the people he's leaving behind do not deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence.

So much of last week was taken up by a wall of noise around Raheem Sterling that I almost forgot the bigger picture.

Sell him. It's a no brainer for me and more so after a 6-1 hammering at Stoke.

I'm not as a bitter about Sterling as a many are because it is very obvious that with him and his agent Andy Ward this is business. Fair enough. If that's what they are about, well good luck to them.

But during the week, Rodgers spoke about a different type of Sterling. This was no mercenary but a nice young lad who has continued to do his work in a professional way since this whole thing started.

That's the very least I would expect from some earning £35,000 a week and doing the best job in the world.

I can only take Rodgers' word for that because Sterling hasn't been doing it in matches but I would always accept the word of a manager in a situation like this. He is best-placed to make the best judgement.

Rodgers doesn't have to say these things and while he does have a habit of exaggerating when he would be better off keeping his mouth shut, I think he is giving this one to us straight.

Based on that, Sterling could definitely do with better advice. He cannot be enjoying any of this and if none of it has been initiated by him, he cannot be comfortable.

I think he will leave this summer and I don't think that John Henry and the owners are thinking in any other way. At best, they will get £50m for him.

At a rough guess, Liverpool needed to spend £200m to repair the squad but I can't see that happening for a second.

I don't think Henry and his partners want to spend that kind of money under any circumstances and that's why I fear for Liverpool football club.

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