14 January 2008

Tom Hicks makes my Monday fun

Hicks: We spoke with Klinsmann


I’ve been hesitant to pile onto the owners, partly because I hadn’t been convinced that all the fears were valid and partly because I want to see the Americans do well by Liverpool. Now there’s no way not to. This is utterly embarrassing to the club, and Benitez deserves far, far better.

It’s one thing to privately question the manager when results are as sub-par as they’ve been over the past month. I’m firmly not in the ‘Benitez out,’ camp, but after the last 4 underwhelming draws and ostensible lack of progress, I understand the concerns.

But I can’t fucking believe Hicks has come out with this statement now.

Yes, there have been rumors that Klinsmann was approached when he took the Bayern job, and people have been saying all along that if the owners/management would make statements supporting Benitez or clearing up the concerns, we’d all be better for it.

This wasn’t a statement that should have been made, and the fact that Gillett and Hicks were lining up Klinsmann is ludicrous in and of itself.

"In November, when it appeared we were in danger of not advancing in the Champions League, weren't playing well in our Premier League matches, and Rafa and we were having communication issues over the January transfer window, George and I met with Jurgen Klinsmann to learn as much as we could about English and European football," he explained.

What has Jurgen Klinsmann done to be linked with Liverpool? He has no experience managing at club level. He’s never managed in England. His sole managerial experience was taking the host nation to the semifinals of the previous World Cup; South Korea made the semis the year they hosted the tournament. And he lives in California, removed from the game on a day-to-day basis.

Also, Hicks does realize that in November, Liverpool was unbeaten in the league, which lasted until the Reading match on December 8th? November saw results like 8-0 Besiktas (November 6th), 3-0 Newcastle (November 24th) and 4-1 Porto (November 28th).

And I’ll say now as I said then: after Benitez’ success in the Champions League in his first three seasons, a failure to qualify from the group stage for the first time in 4 years would have been reason enough for his sacking? That’s sheer lunacy.

"He is a very impressive man. We attempted to negotiate an option, as an insurance policy, to have him become our manager in the event Rafa decided to leave our club for Real Madrid or other clubs that were rumoured in the UK press, or in case our communication spiralled out of control for some reason.”

More complete and utter trite. Benitez to Real Madrid is a non-starter, and has been for ages now. And even if, I still fail to see how Klinsi is a satisfactory insurance policy. Nor does the fact that Hicks frequently referred to Klinsmann as solely an “insurance policy” reassure me.

Plus, I was of the belief that Klinsmann, whatever his lack of experience, was a manager cut from the same cloth as Benitez. A devout believer in fitness and modern training methods, a desire to have 100% control from top to bottom, and a willingness to rotate to compensate for fitness and fatigue. If you’re firing Benitez, which I still can’t believe, I just can’t fathom hiring Klinsmann. That’s the main reason I’d been silent on those rumors until now. I was sure they were just rumors.

At least the statement pretends that Benitez has the full support of the owners now, finally, but after this, I don’t know what that’s worth.

But Benitez is still making signings, evidenced by £6.5m for Skrtel, and as of now, I reckon his position is safe. At the end of the season, we may bear witness to even more drama, but for now, the team has to focus on the field. And the players have to get behind Benitez, as they may well be playing for his job. No half-assing and heads dropping like we’ve seen during this recent sticky spell.

I sincerely hope Hicks is just trying to quash concerns instead of create more, and unfortunately, we’re still in a ‘wait and see’ mode, but the more Hicks speaks, the more detestable he looks.

This is a sad day for Liverpool FC.

More links:
Tom Hicks: We lined up Jurgen Klinsmann [Liverpool Echo]
Jurgen Klinsmann talks rock Benitez [Liverpool Echo]
Liverpool reveal Klinsmann talks [BBC]
RAWK thread


winnie said...

Perfectly, absolutely I agree with you. A simple question, Is his brain in his head?

We took in Martin Skrtel last week and club's mood was good despite draws which mean no win this year. They, what the fxxxing owners, are swooping our club, our manager and our spirit. That's what I think now.

I'm really sorry for exposing my anger directly in your space. Really sorry. It is easy to blame someone, OK. The owners are deserved to be blamed and now I am delighted to undertake a slandering role though I had never done before because I was someone who wished the owners would their job well on Liverpool as you were..

NWM said...

Tom Hicks knows nothing about running a sports franchise- just ask any Texas Rangers fan. Part of me wants to push for a supporters movement for immediate sale, but what this club needs right now is stability. Full commitment from top to bottom. That means keeping your fucking mouth shut and making sure you can make the payments you signed up for Hicks.

Nate, always love reading your page.

Touchline Dad said...

Benitez has been described as a 'dead man walking.' That's true. Even another Champions League trophy probably cannot save him. The arrival of the Premier League trophy to Anfield in May is his only hope. The bookies will tell you what a long shot that is, unless the team can string together up to ten back-to-back wins.

Will he fall on his sword? Unlikely. Will he hang on to be sacked as his team's trophy options are finally extinguished? Probably. That's certainly Hicks and Gillett's strategy for now.

In the long-term, meanwhile, the distant owners will enjoy his discomfort and be frantic in their negotiations to sell on the club to the highest bidder - with or without a new stadium. Take the cash and dash, boys.

Rotcod said...

Whether he deserves it or not Rafa will not be Liverpool's manager by end of the season unless a miracle occurs. No way will they even take 2nd in league. He maybe saves his job winning champs league or making final and doing well in FA cup but I strongly doubt it.I think Liverpool is going to fight for their lives the rest of the season to retain 4th place. I'd start thinking about who you'd want to be the next manager b/c Rafa is gone under these owners.

iskoppa said...

a sad day indeed, i concur sir i concur! time to batten down the hatches and look too the future and its not going to involve H&G,i think the BOS will will force them to move on before the 1st of feb. mind you $150 million each plus pocket change should be enough incentive tara a luo is what i say good blog nate! FTW & SYOTOS