Downsizing of Anfield ambition

Even after two cup finals there was no patience for the greatest living servant of our club. If things go pear-shaped next season, they’ll be asking us to “be patient” for the former boss of Swansea City, a man Reading sacked. Good luck with that.

We’d spent the week tuning in to The Dave Whelan Hour on Sky Sports and read about the arrival of Van Gaal — presumably sought after to placate the media after Kenny’s prickliness. After all, when did Louis ever annoy anyone? So then it transpires that it’s going to be Brendan Rodgers and there may not be a director of football after all. Given the intense cyber-squabble about whether Kenny or Comolli bought the players, this streamlined solution would baffle many.

We had argued about why Benitez wasn’t spoken to, largely because his name is poison and he’d never work with a director of football. How’s that argument panning out now? For all of his irritating idiosyncrasies and flaws, there’s little doubt Rafa was the best available (realistic) candidate. When they start spewing forth about “leaving no stone unturned” it wouldn’t take a malicious mind to reach the conclusion that they’re lying.

Given recent shenanigans, and the decline in Red Sox fortunes, you’d be forgiven for thinking they’re not so much alchemists as purveyors of pyrite.

They’ve sacked almost everyone connected with the Suarez episode, apart from Ian Ayre and the divil himself. The former claimed Dalglish would have been sacked even if we’d won the FA Cup. In a pig’s eye.

Was the King really in charge? If they really are abandoning their director of football experiment, isn’t that a tacit admission of their own error? People saw in the chase for Martinez or Rodgers the immediate downsizing of ambition, and yet one puzzle remained in that conspiracy theory: where is the profit for them in mid-table mediocrity?

True, Liverpool fans will still turn up in numbers, buy all sorts of dreadful tat with a Liver bird on it and are the lords of rationalisation when it comes to predicting swift returns to former glories.

But what is glory nowadays? A top four place, nothing else matters.

The whole scenario, the numerous sackings and the very public search for a new boss; the same delusion slithered slowly beneath our thoughts — they’ve made pots of money in their lives, surely they can’t be this dim? I seem to recall saying something similar about Hicks and Gillett.

We have had to put up with all manner of outsider glee. We must, apparently, deal with our new reality and forget history.

We got 86 points three years ago. Played in the Champions League final five years ago. We went to Wembley three times this year. Has your club averaged one cup final a year since the turn of the century? If it hasn’t I respectfully ask that you shut your trap and keep your fat nose out of it. You can be seen in our rear-view mirror for once. Feel free to rejoice.

I really don’t know what to make of Rodgers though. City were decent at Anfield last season, and they survived with more wiggle room than the more experienced Wigan managed. Many of my religion are subscribing to the Shankly delusion; continuous references to managing Carlisle and Huddersfield in the ’50s ignores the fact we were halfway down a lower division at the time.

William Goldman once wrote about Hollywood: “Nobody knows anything.” This may be the biggest Liverpool FC masterstroke since December 1959. Realistically, I can’t help feeling that I’m looking at another naked emperor.

I did my bit for Kenny, citing all manner of preposterous possibilities to claim that the King’s latest attire was a fashionista’s dream.

It’s time for somebody else to take up the slack on the groundless optimism tack because Liverpool FC have finally managed to achieve the impossible; I no longer care.

Yet come August…


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