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FA Cups and League Cups matter

Kenny Dalglish

Every competition that Liverpool Football Club participates in naturally has to be placed in an order of priority. I don’t think any Liverpool fan would deny that. What’s interesting though is how the modern day Liverpool fan is now happy to completely rubbish the League Cup and even devalue FA Cup. Yet, when it comes to arguing out trophy hauls with rival fans, they suddenly become important to those fans that constantly try to tell us that crashing out of either competition was “a blessing in disguise”. The same morons even said this when Liverpool failed to secure European football for this season. Having no European football would, of course, enable us to mount a serious title challenge: no distractions and all that jazz. Well, that’s really been a great help, hasn’t it? Where are these numpties now?

Thankfully, Jamie Carragher works for the media and hasn’t been employed as one of the many Liverpool FC ambassadors that FSG have close to them. He can speak honestly and openly. He, like anyone with an ounce of intelligence between their ears, can see that the current squad isn’t strong enough to compete in one major competition, as well as the Champions League or even the downgraded FA and League Cups. To the confused, Jürgen Klopp is the first manager in living history who doesn’t want to spend money and strengthen his squad. The reality, of course, is that he clearly had one eye on his planned summer spend and knew that what happened in January would be taken into account in the summer. You won’t hear a football hack at Melwood asking him: “Jürgen, is is true that had you spent a £5million premium on a player in January, that the £5million would be taken from you in the summer or is it a case of what happens in January is totally separate from your summer transfer budget?” You’d need balls of steel to ask that question at a pre-match press conference.

One of the biggest excuses played in recent years is that [insert manager’s name here] really wants to give youth a chance. What that really means is [insert manager’s name here] hasn’t really got a f***ing choice so of course, the kids will play in the next round. There are exceptions and blooding kids is important but I know that I’m not alone when I say I’m sick of hearing about kids, hot prospects, tomorrow’s stars, the future. The only thing that Fenway Sports Group (FSG) care about in the future is the future resale value of those youngsters if they manage to mature into players that can attract sizeable transfer fees. Philippe Coutinho will be next, mark my words. I’m sure they also care about the future value of the club, too.

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Some of our rivals aren’t interested in the FA Cup and League Cup for the simple reason that they’re busy winning Premier League titles. We are not close to doing so, so for me, the domestic cups offer some hope of winning silverware. After all, Liverpool Football Club used to exist purely to win trophies, it didn’t matter which, and win them they did – for fun. A day out at Wembley for our loyal fanbase creates memories that they can look back on in the future. But it’s not just those fans at Wembley that soak up the occasion: Liverpool fans all over the world, be them positioned in their local boozer or crowded around a television with their kids, siblings, parents or pals, are also creating memories. Memories are worth EVERYTHING to us peasants.

5 years to the day my mum passed away. I often look back at the games we attended together, one of which included the 2001 UEFA Cup final against Alavés. It was the same with my dad who took me to my first Liverpool game back in 1986, a certain FA Cup final against Everton. I’ll also never forget chomping away on some jacket spuds in our local when Liverpool beat Sunderland in the FA Cup final in 1992. Running for that last train in London after Leeds had beaten us 5-4 in the Charity Shield is another memory that sticks in my mind. As the train was pulling away, Leeds fans were reaching out of the doors grabbing myself and my then girlfriend to help us onto the train, this despite knowing we were Reds. They pulled us into the train to ensure we got back to the north otherwise, we’d have been stranded in the capital. It’s a good job that they managed to rescue us because had she not made that train, she might not have gone on to give me a son and a daughter! I’m not even going to touch on all the visits to Cardiff in 2001 but those years were without a doubt some of the best. My kids have only experienced one trip to Wembley and that was thanks to Kenny Dalglish who was shamefully dismissed by the owners because results “weren’t good enough”. In his place, an inexperienced mush from Swansea who FSG hoped could be schooled and then overachieve. That was the level of their ambition.

Today, we have the right man at the helm. They got something right. But I already fear that we will lose him within a couple of years unless policies at Anfield are changed. He can’t moan, though (not that he is doing). He knew how the job would work at Anfield. He accepted the terms that were laid out to him and there’s no suggestion of any u-turning by FSG at all. However, I do not believe that they will ever provide the investment that Liverpool Football Club needs. A League Cup win is all they have to show to date and as much as I still respect the domestic cups, that is not good enough for Liverpool Football Club. You cannot replicate Dortmund’s success on the cheap in the English Premier League. I think there’s a little naivety here.

FSG cannot be held responsible for the failings before them but they can be held accountable for the failings since they arrived. The average net spend per season is shocking. This summer I guarantee you that they will buy more time and win people over again (although you can expect some positive news before then and it won’t be another bus). During the next transfer window, they will present a number of convincing signings that will cover up the cracks but I won’t be convinced. Every summer I wipe the slate clean and allow myself to be as deluded as the next Red that just wants to think positively. They won’t reel me in this time. I will resist all temptations!

Aguero is available and linked with many of our rivals. Griezmann another. But could you imagine Liverpool landing either of these? Forget whether you’d want them as I’m sure you’d all rather have Origi over them, but do you think we’ll ever compete for the game’s top names under FSG? Like me, when you hear of a world class player becoming available, I bet you immediately say to yourself ‘We’ve no chance. He’ll end up at one of our rivals. Anyway, we’d be stupid to pay those kinds of wages.’ Stupid maybe, but that sadly is the modern game for you. Our rivals have better and more committed owners. They are also willing to invest substantially and before you start banging on about Fair Play rules or stability, ask yourself how many of those clubs have come unstuck. FSG are very wealthy but their love is baseball. The Red Sox will always be their priority. Liverpool Football Club deserves owners who make her a priority again.

I love Liverpool Football Club and I will always cherish my cup final memories. Our bird will rise again, but she’s going to need the fans to rise on her behalf first. Nobody needs to be driven out, although the sooner they leave the better as far as my current mood is concerned. They just need to be kept under constant pressure and trust me, when they feel the heat, they’ll start rethinking as to how things should be at Anfield and if it gets too hot, that’s when they’ll bail. My opinion is they will exit much sooner than expected.

‘Be careful what you wish for!’ Sorry. That line doesn’t wash with me. I believe George Gillett and Tom Hicks would have been better owners had the financial markets not collapsed. I’m not forgiving them for trying to cling on or the shit they pulled when the turmoil started, but it’s easy for someone else to walk in and “steal” a problem on the cheap as Henry admitted to in his not so private emails. I touched on those a year ago but it was nice to see some of the other LFC sites finally catch up with those over the last few days. FSG are another set of cowboys: they’re just a bit more polished and clever. We have a chairman that doesn’t even turn up and a principal owner that cares more about American football AKA rugby for wimps, crash helmets and all that! Now Linda might be a bit tidy and as much as she grates me because I don’t trust her either, she’s the only one that actually interacts with Liverpool supporters on Twitter. Admittedly this tends to be only when things are positive at Anfield but the other stooges hide away behind her like cowards. When Henry bothers to Tweet about Liverpool it’s usually to take claim for something: think ‘stands’, ‘cup finals’, and ‘buses’. He makes the odd appearance to take the piss out of someone in football or to post links to articles about stuff that only people at UEFA would find slightly interesting. He is so distant and far removed from even your wealthiest of genuine football supporters. If it’s not baseball, if it’s not to do with the Stars and the Stripes, then it’s unlikely he will touch on it, although I was informed that he might come gunning for me soon which is a concern as I’ve read all about the gun laws in America! Maybe you’ll see a @ DuncanOldham dig on Twitter sometime soon. He wouldn’t be the first and he certainly won’t be the last 😉

Anyway, over the last few weeks, I’ve been following West Ham’s executives on Twitter. I’ve witnessed Chairman David Gold and Vice-Chairman Karren Brady interacting with supporters daily from their own Twitter accounts. West Ham have had some problems this season but they don’t hide away. I started following them to see how they handled the fans, dealt with club matters etc. Now it’s not for me to say whether they are good owners or not or if they run their club well, but even when things are going wrong, they at least ***try to explain***. They’re certainly not cowardly. It’s refreshing to observe. Brady respectfully gets stuck right in when some loud mouth Hammer abuses her. During her interaction with fans on Twitter, she realised that the club should have a Twitter account dedicated to fan’s questions and support etc. It was created instantly and it’s now helping fans in real time. Liverpool FC obviously have stacks of Twitter accounts. I know this because the club is constantly boasting about how many followers they have etc. I’m actually blocked from following the main one even though I’ve never followed it or ever messaged them. I actually find that very amusing. When I found out that one of their monkeys had blocked me I laughed so hard I nearly slipped into my swimming pool. All those accounts are of course to target ‘customers’ which is understandable but I just wish our executives could be a bit more open with the fans rather than issuing apology letters and pledges that are never kept via the official LFC website. Would it really be that difficult for the owners to address fans’ concerns from time to time?

I’ll end this editorial by saying that I’m looking forward to seeing who Jürgen recruits in the summer. It’s not all negativity. I had the same opinions about FSG when we once challenged under Rodgers and at the start of this season when we looked like we might be in with a shout. My KopTalk.TV (free Youtube channel) subscribers will also verify that I have made videos defending them at times. The owners aren’t scum, they’re just losers. They’re clearly not winners in football that’s for sure. But they’ll hand over plenty of cash for the manager to spend, it’s just the conditions that go with it that concern me. Until then we shall address each Liverpool FC related talking point as they crop up.

Jürgen has my full support and although he needs to learn the English game, when he’s cracked it, I’m sure he will do the job to the best of his ability with the resources that are provided to him.


Duncan Oldham
KopTalk Editor

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