Liverpool's New Owners Have Arrived, But It's Still The Same Liverpool For Now
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New England Sports Venture completed its purchase of Liverpool Football Club on Friday and were able to wipe away the club's debt before the Royal Bank of Scotland sent the team into administration. Unfortunately, that's about the only impact the new owners can have until January.
For now, Liverpool fans are stuck with the players they've got, and these players can no longer use the board room drama as an excuse for poor performances, the most recent being the 2-0 loss at city-rivals Everton on Sunday. It was the first time in four years that the blue half of Merseyside has been able to celebrate.
When NESV purchased the Boston Red Sox in 2002, it was only two years before the team finally ended the curse and won the World Series again. The Sox have been one of the top spending teams in Major League Baseball since NESV came aboard, and that is the point Liverpool fans will want to look at.
It's beyond obvious that Liverpool needs new players, and the new owners are committed to winning and spending, but the real problem is how will the Reds fair from now until January? Right now the Reds are second from the bottom with six points from eight games. Joe Cole, who was supposed to be the steal of the summer, has failed to make any impact, good or bad, and most everyone else is downright mediocre. Fourth place is so out of reach at the moment, many fans are wondering if the team will be playing any sort of European football next season.
Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher of course never gave up at Goodison Sunday. The latter just signed a deal keeping him at the club until 2013, a possible retirement date when he'll be 35. Gerrard is a slightly different story. The 30-year-old was apparently wanted by Real Madrid in the summer and probably still is, but he might have missed his chance. More importantly, what does Gerrard care about the La Liga title? He's won the Champions League is superb style and everything else with the Reds minus the Premier League, which wouldn't mean as much with another English team.
The real question is Fernando Torres, because sadly, he is the only other brand-name player on the Liverpool roster (aside from Pepe Reina and he's not going anywhere). He once again looked a little slow on Sunday and his link-up with Gerrard has been missing although he had been doing well with Dirk Kuyt in the lineup. In truth, it's hard to really judge Torres' play so far this season because he's rarely been given the proper service.
Torres recommitted to Liverpool in the summer, but the longer the Reds flounder, the more big-name teams around Europe will come calling. The new owners will have to buy some real support for their number nine to convince to stay and suffer through this, but the current team needs to perform in a way that will lure that talent in.
It's now up to the current players to start playing with more heart and most importantly, as a team, and the staff need to make some changes as well. Roy Hodgson took the blame after the home defeat to Blackpool two weeks ago, but now he needs to really change his tactics. Actually give Ryan Babel the chance because Joe Cole just isn't working out and figure out why your players aren't working as a team and performing to their full ability. Then, maybe the Reds can climb the table a bit and the January transfer window will be all about who wants to play for Liverpool in its great revival.
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