Liverpool FC: Top 7 Reds Who Let the Club Down
Liverpool FC is one of the most famous and successful clubs in world football. Some of the best players and managers have plied their trade for the Reds.
This list isn't about them.
This one is about the players and managers who didn't turn out like the fans expected and the ones who left the club with a sour taste.
Fortunately, I've only listed seven.
7. Xabi Alonso
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Xabi Alonso was a fan favorite at Liverpool, and when he left in 2009, it broke plenty of hearts.
It was coming off one of Liverpool's most successful seasons in the Premier League, 2008-09, in which the Spanish midfield maestro was one of the best players all season.
He had won the Champions League and FA Cup in his first two seasons with the Reds but struggled with injuries in the next three seasons.
I don't blame Xabi for wanting to play at Real Madrid (he is Spanish after all), and I don't think it was entirely his own doing, but Xabi's departure still hurt.
He hasn't lost any fan support in Merseyside, though.
6. Javier Mascherano
Similar to Xabi Alonso, I don't think Javier Mascherano's departure from Liverpool was his fault (and I'll get to that later), but it was more unpleasant than Alonso's.
Mascherano played the first game of the 2009-10 season and then refused to play the next so he could force through a move.
That is just never OK in the fans' eyes.
But he made up for it by dedicating his Champions League victory with Barcelona over Manchester United to Liverpool fans.
5. Spice Boys
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The Spice Boys were an incredibly talented group of Liverpool players who just couldn't get it done on the field.
The 1996 FA Cup final 1-0 loss to Manchester United was their shining moment.
Robbie Fowler was the unquestioned leader, but his pal Steve McManaman, David James, Jamie Redknapp and more were just a little too wild and crazy off the field to make a difference on it.
All ridiculously talented, but had only the 1995 League Cup—and the Match of the Decade—to show for it (and the 1992 FA Cup for some).
Manchester United should've had a tougher time gaining on Liverpool's 18 league titles than they did in '90s.
4. Rafa Benitez
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Rafa Benitez is a brilliant football tactician, and he oversaw some pretty great football at Liverpool, but at the end, he didn't deliver enough.
He's always been respectful of the club's history and fans, and he delivered one heck of halftime talk in Istanbul, so he will always be loved by the Reds faithful and rightfully so.
However, his poor man-managing skills led to the unceremonious exits of Xabi Alonso and Javier Mascherano. He also made some foolish decisions in the transfer market, with the Robbie Keane episode sticking out.
He's been proven right with Lucas Leiva, but the Brazilian's development has happened more after he's left.
Then there was his rant about Sir Alex Ferguson when he should've been figuring out how to stop his team from continuously drawing against the so-called lower teams.
And during 2009-2010, Liverpool's worst season in quite some time, Rafa had more excuses than answers.
He was not at all helped by the awful ownership during most of his tenure, but he had the players and his own football knowledge to make his reign a lot more impressive.
3. Steve McManaman
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Steve McManaman was one of the uber-talented but unsuccessful Spice Boys at Liverpool, but it was his transfer saga in the late '90s that really let the club down more than anything else.
No matter what Macca said to the contrary, fans felt he was moving to Real Madrid for money and that he was leaving his home club hanging.
The fact that the saga raged on for months, with words flying from both sides and Macca refusing to commit to anything, made some fans feel as if he was leading them on.
Then in 2008, Macca actually criticized some Liverpool supporters who were protesting the aforementioned awful ownership of George Gillett and Tom Hicks. Not cool, Macca.
He's done a lot to repair his image lately in the eyes' of Liverpool supporters lately, but the way his Anfield career ended certainly still has some people feeling resentful.
2. Fernando Torres
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Fernando Torres set the Premier League alight in his first season with Liverpool in 2007-08. He battled injuries the next season but still was a part of some fantastic matches that season for the Reds.
Then it all fell apart.
The 2009-2010 season was miserable, and Torres again battled injuries, but he stuck around the next year and said he was committed. He said he loved the club and the fans, and he wanted to win trophies with Liverpool.
Then, in January of 2011, Chelsea came calling. Torres forced through a transfer to Stamford Bridge in he last hours of the transfer window, which is never cool.
Liverpool legend John Aldridge called the Spaniard out for being "fraudulent" with the Liverpool fans, and he was right.
Liverpool fans defended his poor form all through the first half of the season, and Torres just jumped ship. The fans also didn't appreciate Torres' glowing comments about Chelsea in comparison to Liverpool.
But in his defense, Torres may have just come to Merseyside at the wrong time. The owners handicapped the club during his three years, and Torres just wasn't willing to ride out the renaissance under Kenny Dalglish and Fenway sports Group.
Now, Liverpool fans are plenty happy with Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll, so this could turn out all for the best, but Torres certainly ensured that his Anfield career wouldn't turn out the way most of us had hoped.
1. Michael Owen
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Michael Owen's is a Liverpool career that really should've turned out differently.
He was a star right from the get go in 1997 and was the definition of a natural goal scorer. He was the club's top scorer every season he was with the Reds and is the only Liverpool player to win the Ballon d'Or.
He was a surefire Liverpool legend who had many more records and trophies in his future, but that all came crashing down when he forced through a transfer to Real Madrid in 2004.
He refused to play in Liverpool's early Champions League matches that season, so he wouldn't be cup-tied (boy did that one back fire, eh Michael?), and he spent just one unsuccessful season in the Spanish capital.
He returned to England with Newcastle and has struggled with injuries ever since. Liverpool fans may have found it in their hearts to someday forgive Owen, until July 2009 came around, that is.
That's when Michael Owen ruined his Liverpool legacy forever. He signed for Manchester United.
Talk about a let down.
So, who've I left off?