Liverpool are, as we all know, the most successful team in English football history. 18 league titles, 5 European Cups, 7 FA Cups and 7 League Cups. They are only behind the giant clubs of Real Madrid and AC Milan in the European trophy count. They’ve had some world class players down through the years.
Dalglish, Rush, Souness and more recently Torres and Gerrard. They’ve had some of the greatest managers such as Shankly and Paisley. The problem with all of the aforementioned is nearly all of it in the past. Liverpool Football Club have a great pride in their trophy haul, but it’s been a very long time since they’ve had to build an extension to their cabinet.
The decline of LFC has been very much been portrayed by their signings this summer. Joe Cole, Milan Jovanovic and Danny Wilson. Not exactly names that would strike fear into the likes of Chelsea or Manchester United. Joe Cole is just a poor man’s Yossi Benayoun in my opinion, except Cole is slightly faster. Jovanovic was only got because he was free and couldn’t really be a bad signing because of that.
Danny Wilson won SPL Young Player of the Year in a league that is declining so fast it’s almost as laughable as the League of Ireland. The departures for Liverpool are worse though with Benayoun and Degen almost gone. Mascherano wants to leave as he knows he’s going nowhere at the moment with Liverpool.
Don’t get me wrong I’ve great respect for Liverpool Football Club and the new owners might turn fortunes around but at the moment that seems to be only a pipe dream. It’s not just the transfers or last season’s league standing which is why I think LFC is in decline. I’ve been around the cities of Manchester and Liverpool and been on tours of Manchester United and Liverpool. The difference is staggering it has to be said between the mindset of the people running each club.
Old Trafford is the home ground of United and recently reached 100 years of age. It’s a magnificent 76,000 seater stadium that is continuously being updated and renovated to keep it fresh and modern. The trophy room is astounding with hundred’s of trophies on display and possibly thousand’s of pieces of memorabilia also for public viewing. Anfield is not exactly the same. It’s 46,000 capacity stadium lacks any further idea’s or extension.
The proud people of LFC have put all their eggs into one basket of a new stadium being built soon enough and Anfield will be knocked down. It’s no wonder they want it knocked. Significantly, it was a historical landmark but now it’s a bit of an eyesore. Outside, it looks a bit dilapidated and in need of some renovations. But it was the trophy room which struck me the most.
Yes, it was massive but it was like taking a step back to the 1980’s. Literally. The place didn’t look to be touched since it was last really updated in the late 80’s. The plush dressing rooms at Old Trafford with their cushioned seats and televisions for the manager to show video’s of what he wants are in stark contrast to Anfield. One long wooden bench going around the length of the dressing room for the players.
That’s all that was in the room. Oh and a non-slip floor which cost them £15,000 which seems to be their most prized asset. Also, when the Premier League began, a room called the Boot Room was demolished to make another press room as was the case needed for the new Premier League. Incredibly, they blame the demolishing of this room for their inability to win the league ever since. So much so even Rafael Benitez did his best to try and recreate it with another room near the dressing room.
You can say all you want about me being a biased Manchester United fan but I was startled by how much Liverpool Football Club has fallen behind the modern era. Of course, it’s fantastic to have such a long and illustrious history of LFC, but it looks more like they are obsessed than proud of it.