"What do you mean you've hurt 'your' knee, it's Liverpool's knee" - Bill Shankly.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Rumours and background stories


credit to Ikki.Fenikkusu & PJG for originally bringing this info to our attention in the Rafa/golden age thread.


I don't know this person, nor can i verify his claims. He is a poster on .tv & a chauffer for the club.

So make of this what you will. My impression of what he has said is that there is a lot of sense in there, and certainly is stacked with facts that we already know. In these few posts "Woolie" as he calls himself; explains who he is and some of those he knows, without jeopardising his job. So, take this with a pinch of salt, but I have little reason yet to doubt what he says.. It all seems to fit. He also talks about football with good understanding of the game, especially when he speaks about Gerrard....

Anyway, It's very insightful..
Now, to think of a subject heading..

Mods: I understand if you want to close this, the lad never claimed to be an ITK. But certainly knows a lot.
Have a read first and see if its good to stay open.. [hopefully so]

Woolie:

re Gerrard:

because he not only backed it. He suggested the appointment and approved it, together with carra at a time when we were in turmoil with the ownership situation. It has gone sour and not turned out as they both had hoped. Why else do you think Carra was given a 2 year contract ( which Rafa was reluctant to give) which included a natural progression into the coaching staff; he even took academy/reserve team coaching sessions in the summer at Kirby and at the training camp in Switzerland!! The two people who helped in Mr Hodgsons appointment, can not now all of a sudden change face and go public and **** him off!!
This is fact and was told to me by an ex player still playing in the premiership and used to live in Chester. This was confirmed to me also by a Talksport presenter on New Years Day who I took to work in my job as a chauffeur driver.

Re: Gerrard

In a nutshell we have a manager who is now being bullied by our captain to play in CM. Gerrard is that poor a CM in a 442 formation that it leaves us exposed time and time again.
I dont post often but only post when i get completely exasperated wilth the viewpoint of Liverpool fans who dont have the tools to make their own opinion and because they havent played the game to a decent level , let friends, media etc influence their standing.

Re Gerrard in a CM in a 442 , a 4231, a 442.

My closest friend is Assistant Manager at a Championship Club. He has all of his coaching badges and indeed was taught by Mr Hodgson on an UEFA course 5 years ago. He has 300 premiership games under his belt and has worked with several Premiership coaches/managers; Hence he knows what he is talking about. He is also a LFC fan with strong links with the club.

In May he told me about the fall out between Benitez/Gerrard and that it had broken down and was irrepairable. In other words one had to go. He said that due to the fact that Benitez was at fault for the departure of Alonso ( Benitezs' refusal to aplogise to Alonso and his wife after the Inter game in 2008 being the issue), the worry was that players who he had also fell out with ,would leave. So Benitez left.
We were on holiday in Spain ( golf trip/ my stag do) when Benitez left ( early June) and we were given a masterclass in inside football talk from this friend, due to it ****ing down all day. My friends were then given a lecture with the aid of beer glasses, mats etc on how poor a CM player Gerrard is in a 442.
He relays 3 stories. One involving Benitez, one involving Stuart Pearce/Sven-Goran Erikson and another involving Whisky nose Ferguson, all relating to Gerrard.
First off . Benitez. My friend doesnt particularly like Rafa ( we disagreed big time over this), but his opinion is formed from a personality point of view. He was saying that he is referred to , within the game, as a tactical genius and accredited his 4231 system as the best system used today. He tells this story at meeting Benitez at a seminar and discussing Gerrards positional weaknesses in the CM position and finds it fascinating ( January 2005).
Secondly Stuart Pearce. My friend visited Anfield with Stuart Pearce in November 2006 for a Champions League game. This was due to Pearces Man City playing at Anfield on the Saturday after. I think the game was PSV. Anyway the day after my friend took a session with Pearce in the morning then went through videos of LFC with the players , showing LFCs weaknesses and strengths. There was 30 minutes on Gerrards weaknesses in a CM position. They knew he would be playing there due to injuries and suspensions. On the Fiday they then coached Joey Barton and Micah Richards on outplaying Gerrard, in a 5 man midfield
Any of you fellow anoraks out there this was one of Rafas few attempts to deploy a 352 sweeper system which he scrapped after 1minute 30 secs as he say City had come to play 451. Frustratingly for City , Gerrard scored the winner after Joey Barton stood and slipped on the ball and he side footed in from just outside the box. Gerrard had been outplayed all day by
Barton and Richards and had spent most of the game tracking back.

Lastly Ferguson. Although my friend had several run-ins with Ferguson in his playing days , it didnt stop him attending coaching clinics ran by Ferguson and even Brian Kidd. Ferguson was quoted as saying about Gerrard that he was the finest British attacking midfielder since Gascoine, at the same time as his defensive mentality was equally poor.
He went on to describe Gerrards poor defensive qualities down to his natural tendency to be forward thinking.
Two recent examples of this being G Barry goal at the Eastlands earlier this season where Gerrard made three positional mistakes in 25 seconds in the build up.
In short Gerrard has and always will do as little as possible when we havent got the ball ( criminal in a 442, but ok in the middle of the 3 in a 4231 ( off Torres)). Look at the way he half looks at milner to his left , lets him half go as if thinking he wont pass it there, he wont pass it there, oh **** he has passed it there!! by the time he tracks Milner back he has passed it back to an unmarked Barry who slots home! Gerrard does this way to often and has done for years. Thars why you will see him making so many tracking back last ditch tackles!! The best CM players over the years are very rarely seen going to ground as there positional sense is that good that they squeeze the play into other areas and invariably backwards.
The last point my friend raises is a fascinating stat.
Steven Gerrard has played over 600 senior career games for both Liverpool and England. He has played considerably less than 200 of those games in his preferred CM position!! Hence at this moment , at the age of 30, he doesnt possess the wealth of experience that he should have or would have had if he had played all of his career there. He has played under 9 managers during his career and every manager bar Hodgson have preferred to play him anywhere but CM.
In conclusion Gerrard , in my opinion is the greatest liverpool player that I will ever see, but he aint a CM. He should be given the same licence that Messi, Ronaldo and Ronaldinho have been given over the years and set free to do as much damage as possible. Free him of all defensive responsibilities and push him forward. Believe me , every premiership team would rather have Gerrard tracking back and defending throw-ins and corners rather than trying to stop him playing one-twos and give and gos around their penalty box!!!!

re: Hodgson

He ( friend) the expressed concern if Mr Hodgson ever managed our club.
From a professional point of view Mr Hodgson is considered a "regimental coach". As he keeps on reminding us he has coached for 35 years; and there lies the problem. He is a 442 coach. He will not change his methods and also does not know how to. He has no man-management skills whatsoever. He does not know how to change a game or let alone influence a game once the game has started. He will only ever substitute like for like.
My friend went on to state ( before he was appointed) how appalling his away record is ( in any country) and how appalling his coaching sessions
were in dealing with set pieces.( they didnt and still do not exist!!!)
He expressed grave concerns at the removal of Benitez ( even though he personally didnt like him) at the time due to the upheaval at the club with the previous owners. The feeling being that Rafa loved the area, the fans, the club so much that he was prepared to put up with all of the crap that was going on because he thought he could be part of a new beginning with the club. ( Mr Benitez lives 5 mile from here and 7 mile away from his parents home. Montse plays golf at the same golf club as his father).
Interestingly He ( friend) stated that due to the upheaval at the club , we would now only attract a manager of the likes of Allardyce/ McClaren/ Curbishley/Oneill/Hodgson who would just like to get LFC on their CV and wouldnt give two hoots what was going on in the boardroom. We were hardly going to get a Van Gaal, Hiddink or Mourinho with them two yanks in charge were we!!
So he was right! We got a manager who just wanted LFC on his CV, it would be his last chance to manage a big club and we got a coach that stuck in his old ways that we unbelievably have gone backwards!!
We have a manager who is that far detached from the Shankly ethos it is quite simply disgusting!! He assembled ok/ average plyers from around the British Isles, and sent them out of the changing room believing they were giants and could annihilate anybody. He made them feel like they were invincible. We now have a buffoon of a manager who slage his own players off to the press, doesnt back them when theyve been accused of cheating says that he's happy with a draw against Birmingham and thinks Northampton Town are formidable opponents!!!!!!!!
And to think we got rid of a manager who gave us champions league football 5 years out of 6, defeated Barcelona and Real Madrid in their own back yard, a win/lose/ draw ratio second only to Bob Paisley,two Champions league finals in 3 years, outscored the Champions in the year we achieved a higher Premiership points score ( came 2nd), left behind a squad ( a squad that people **** off as being the worst for years) that had more players at the World Cup Finals than any other club on the planet, and most of all got it!! HE GOT IT!!!

He understood what this club is all about. He understood what loving LFC was all about. He understood that we ARE different from other fans. We mostly dont fit in to the Soccer AM modern footabll fan mentality. He integrated himself into the community, he was here for life, he had plans and still has for his girls to attend University here. His wife loved and still loves it here. Interesting that she reinstated her membership at the golf club on the wirral on November 26th 2010 and reinstated the girls for the start of this term , on the same day!!!! ( 3 weeks before he was sacked). I hope Rafa is now taking the time out of football that his wife had asked him to and that he is sorting his head out. I'm not saying Rafa should come back, far from it , but my friends who know me , know I dont speak until Ive got something to tell them ,and with the people I work with and for , and the friends I have within the game, I only pass on which I know is fact.
I dont post regularly, so as December /January is quiet for me I tend to visit and make contact with all the people in my social circle, so I'll pass on some snippets for you to digest , while Im in the mood.


RE: appointing new manager

was told this afternoon by a talksport presenter that new owners are reluctant to do anything until the new CEO is appointed. They had 2nd round
of interviews just before xmas and have made their choice. This, however, for whatever reason, was not due to be announced until 12th Jan. They would rather the new man made the choice as they dont feel in-touch with the situation here yet. The rumour last week is that Commoli favours Deschamps and Dalglish favours Owen Coyle

RE: why Rafa would talk openly to a steward

hi hope this works. Not used to this.. but on match days chief stewards and head stewards at Anfield are assigned players , staff and management to walk them back to their cars. This is obviously for safety reasons and also so they're not signing autographs all night. Someone in authority then says that thats enough ( not the player) and the player doesnt come across as aloof or rude. FYI Gerrard will tell the appointed steward if he is in the mood and for how long, while Torres , Reina and Kuyt will sign near on all thats put in front of them!!


RE:

got loads more about our beloved club. Havent got a problem divulging more stuff , but not on here. I normally go every game, but got married last year , and felt sick to the back teeth at whats been going on at our club and started to lose interest; and with a wedding approaching started to pick and choose my games!! Have read some of the posts and not really bothered whether some buffoons take the ****.

I drive a lot of players, ex-players, referees , agents, managers, staff etc around so find things out on a daily basis. Things that you find out by delicately making conversation with your clients, to pass the time of day. I guess 90 % of it is boring small talk but over the last few years I think there has been so much crap flying round that people have just been slagging everybody else off!!!

RE: Rafa and 2009

The EXACT words that have been used by staff/ contacts that I have spoke to in recent months. Rafa took his eye off the ball last season and became a bitter man consumed in playing the media game and fighting the fans corner dayin -dayout instead of concentrating on what was happening on the pitch. This was ultimately his downfall and I too am staggered at the split in fans opinion at reaching probably 50/50 in whether Rafa should go or not.
If Rafa could be criticised, it would be his stubbornness and coldness towards
delicate issues and alternative personalities. His inability to be able to improve working relationships between himself and the players and fellow staff and his refusal or inability to make things better when they did go wrong , caused him unnecessary problems.
I for one hope that he comes back one day, hopefully after a much needed break from the game and comes back with a fresh approach. If he does take a break, like Montse had wished for in the summer, then they will be a lucky club that gets him .

RE: why Woolie posted today

Like a lot of other reds I'm just fed up of the decline of our club
and last night as a new low for me. I was even on TalkSport this evening as Im so ********** off right now .
If youve read all my posts today you will know that I find out a few things from staff,players , ex players , agents etc because of the work I do. I dont profess to be ITK and dont profess to be a Rafa fanatic either. I played the game to a high level and consider many ex-pros as good friends. I just get thoroughly ********** off at the radio stations and other media outlets castagating Rafa and laying the blame at his door for the current mess, when everyone that I speak to, want Hodgson out and quick. The bashing that Liverpool fans took on Talksport on wednesday afternoon was the final straw for me. I very rarely get involved in this sort of thing , but feel that strongly over this farce as I feel if its left to simmer down and blow over, I think we could be in serious trouble! I may have made a mistake relaying some of this info, time will tell. Theres only one snippet ive mentioned that could cause me a bit of trouble but I will sort that asap.
Anything about Hodgson Im not bothered about whatsoever as I feel he is doing irrepairable damage to our club and dragging us down to mediocrity. It was unprofessional of me to do that today but the thought of us going to Old Trafford with Whisky Noses best mate leading the charge, makes me shudder!!

ps might tell ya the truth over Robbie Keane one day!

Re: Crouch, Aquilani, what clubs Rafa can do deals with etc...

Peter Crouch moved to Portsmouth purely for the London Lifestyle. Rafa never wanted him to leave and even offered him a new 4 year contract at £60k. He turned it down and forced through his move to Portsmouth where he bought his family home in ......... Cobham, Surrey!!!!!! Yes folks 70 mile away 3 doors from John Terry !!! He had promised Heiraderson he would buy his house and then went back on his word so that Abby could have the lifestyle she craved. Only after he was late 3 times for training in the first two weeks ( traffic on A3) did Harry insist he stayed in The Marriott the night before each training day!!!

People ask what really went on in the summer ( June/ July 2009) when Rafa referred to something changing.
The previous owners had promised Rafa the Alonso money ( £ 24.5 million paid in full) and then went back on their word. All the money was used to to pay the interest to RBS!!!They then pulled the plug on the transfer budget during the transfer negotiations for Glen Johnson. Chelsea found out about this and made there interest in Glen Johnson public ( June 10 th 2009 approx) and hence pushing the price up and wiping out the budget. The owners also insisted that due to the club being for sale that the only clubs that Rafa could deal with were clubs that still owed Liverpool money!! ie they technically used their valid credit notes at Portsmouth and Roma. Liverpool were owed £6million by Portsmouth and £3 million by Roma.
This explains why Rafa was forced to buy an injured player who was not fit. The £ 3million was written off as a down payment , with a further £4 million when he had played a certain number of games or January 31st whatever came first!. Due to 3 injuries Aquilani crept up to the deadline. The owners/ Purslow instructed Rafa not to play Aquilani during XMAs 2009 and January 2010 as they felt they had been kidded by Roma and were reluctant to pay a further £ 4 million in January. Rafa did as he was told and no further payment neede to be made until June 2010. THis is why Rafa put Aquilani on as a late sub for 30msecs, in a European game so as Purslow couldnt loan him out or sell him against his wishes. Stubbornness or stupidity, whatever but as you can see Rafa was getting pretty sick of things by now!! This was the last straw for the owners and Purslow who then decided Rafa needed to go!!

And finally THE BOMB!!

We all remember the Torres debacle last season. His injury, whether he needed an operation or not , whether he was fit or not, whether he had fell out with Rafa or not, whether he wanted to leave or not.

Well here goes. I'm telling some of these as I am thoroughly ********** off with the goings on at our club!! From the completely inept Parry to the lies fed to the press by Purslow and the previous owners to deflect the blame for the mess that was being created , onto Mr Benitez.

Torres had had an operation in early 2010 to cure a knee problem. He was brought back but wasnt truly fit and was infact "running lame". Under the current physios and doctors he ( Torres) was assured that he would recover all fitness and strength for the World Cup. Torres at this time had made it clear that didnt want to miss the world Cup. He made a few substitute appearances and few starts , without really looking fit or even comfortable.
At this stage people need to know how most top clubs work in getting players fit for a weekend and how that information dictates the team selection. The day before a game, the fitness coaches and physios will submit a list or report to the manager on what the players personal fitness levels are, what stage of recovery they are and what minutes they can be expected to give. The manager then selects his team and subs based on that
information.
Birmingham away 4th April 2010
Rafa having been instructed that Torres was progressing fine, wasnt running lame and just needed game time started him. Anyone remember how poor and how ineffective Torres was in the first half? He was substituted early in the 2nd half, much to the disgust of our captain, who famously looked at the camera in disgust at the switch when we were trying to win the game.
Rafa had asked the club doctor and physios at half time and again early in the 2nd half if they thought that Torres was indeed fit and indeed fit enough to start. A senior player confirmed to me at the time that neither the physio or doctor said anything at all, leaving Rafa to assume that something was not right. With Benfica coming up on the Thursday he immediately removed Torres as he feared further injury, risking the wrath of the fans who knew we needed Torres on the pitch to win the game and keep CL qualification alive.
Rafa then questioned Torres fitness levels in the week of the Benfica game and was again reassured that all was ok. He started against Benfica and scored , but suffered a reaction to the knee. Over the next few days he returned to Spain to see the surgeon, who reported to Rafa that the knee had
deteriorated and he had suffered further injury due to being " rushed back" and " not being looked after properly". It was decided there and then that Torres would undergo further surgery in an effort to be fit for the World cup.


When I spoke to a chief steward in MAY 2010 , he told me that Rafa had told him that he had been lied to about Torres state of fitness by the fitness team and he felt awful that Torres would probably miss the world cup because of it.
Torress' anger at being treated like this was portrayed by his agent who told Rafa , his client would never play for LFC again, blaming the club for him missing a return to Athletico Madrid and also ruining his World Cup chances/preparation, and putting the club before his personal health!!
Torres was furious and didnt believe neither Benitez explanation nor the medical staffs account of things, choosing to blme both parties.
The chief steward then told me that this was the reason that the medical staff involved had resigned their positions at the club in "disgust at the pressure and unethical approach from senior management to influence and alter a professional diagnosis and process in administering a fitness rehabilitation programme to a LFC employee"

Rafa had then since told the chief steward that he could not believe that the medical staff had behaved so unprofessionally and felt deeply upset that people he had hired, had lied to him be it under pressure or not.

It transpired that certain previous employees of LFC under instruction from previous owners of LFC had asked certain previous members of the medical staff to get Torres back as soon as possible and that risks needed to be taken to try and ensure CL qualification so as the club was a more viable proposition to any prespective buyers!!!!
We all know who this former employee is and it wasnt Sir Martin Broughton!


Anyway think Ive said enough really. Whether this causes me a few problems with the circle of friends i have im not sure. its out there now and im not that bothered whos ********** off with it.
Our club is falling to pieces by buffoons. God help us!!


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Quote of the moment

Defying belief however, is a market Benitez has cornered quite well. The moment you think Benitez is clueless, he defies it by pulling off a result of majesty, like the one achieved in Madrid. The moment he is hailed a genius, he masterminds toothless surrender to a team going nowhere. In the ongoing Anfield power struggle, just when he was cornered by the firing squad, the Spaniard's demise at Liverpool looking practically assured with the ominous suspension of betting by the bookmakers, he squeezes out through a narrow trapdoor and eliminates Rick Parry. Rafa Benitez is Keyzer Soze.
- Just Football blog: The Curious Beast that is Football 28 Feb 2009