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Our players proved last season they can challenge for the title.

 

Now OK we have lost Alonso, but we have upgraded Arbeloa.

 

A new manager should be able to make us challenge next season.

 

The new manager will certainly get more from the players, but not sure about a title challenge. Chelsea are better now than they were last season and City and Spurs have improved.

 

Plus key players like Carragher have aged and other club's key players (Like Rooney) have grown into better players.

 

I don't think it's as simple to say we challenged in 2009 so we can do again. First and foremost I just want to see an attitude change on the pitch and see the team going out to destroy the opposition rather than as things are under the current manager.

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The club is rotten to the core, and there needs to be a massive cull from top to bottom this summer if we are to move forward.

 

Our season is over and we need to start taking action now.

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April 30, 2010

Ahead of TheGame: Liverpool need major overhaul

 

Each day in Ahead of TheGame, our football e-mail, we put a question to one of our experts. Today we asked Tony Barrett what changes Liverpool need to make to their playing staff over the summer - read his answer below. You can put a question to one of our writers by e-mailing aotg@thetimes.co.uk.

 

TB: There was a degree of surprise last night when Rafael Benitez said that Liverpool need to sign up to five players this summer if the club are to become competitive again. Not because they need that many, but because the estimate was fairly conservative.

 

A glance at the substitutes for the second leg against Atletico Madrid reveals just how much the Liverpool squad lacks depth. Of the outfield players on the bench, it could be argued that only teenagers Dani Pacheco and Danny Ayala have any business at a club with pretensions of challenging for the biggest prizes — and that is down to their potential, rather than any great achievements.

 

Nabil El Zhar is a Liverpool player in name only, while Philipp Degen is a Swiss international but a long way short of the standard required for the Premier League. David Ngog is an honest player who has made a contribution this season but at the highest level he has been found wanting. Sotirios Kyrgiakos was only ever going to be a stop-gap replacement for Sami Hyypia because finances at Anfield meant that Liverpool could not be more ambitious in the transfer market.

 

The Liverpool squad needs a major overhaul. Looking through the positions, it is easy to make a case for new a right back to challenge Glen Johnson, a young and quick central defender who is dominant in the air, a first-choice left back, a central midfield player with pace and the ability to get into the opposition box, a consistent left winger and at least two forwards to provide back-up to Fernando Torres.

 

However, while the need to correct the flaws in the first team is urgent, so is the need to raise quality through the ranks.

 

In the days when Liverpool were an example to others in how to run a football club, even problems as entrenched as these were not insurmountable. Money would be made available, the manager would be backed in the transfer market and the club would make the right moves for the right players. The problem is that the modern Liverpool are owned by Tom Hicks and George Gillett and as long as that remains the case there will be no voluntary revolution of the playing squad.

 

The debts that Hicks and Gillett have loaded on to the club and their failure to build their promised new stadium has left Liverpool cash-strapped. They will not be bidding for Sergio Aguero, David Silva or David Villa this summer. That top-class field will be left clear for teams such as Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United.

 

Liverpool will be looking for bargain basement purchases, particularly because they are unlikely to have Champions League finance to fall back on. The manager, be it Benitez or whoever replaces him should he decide to move to Juventus, will have to wheel and deal and he will not have many assets to trade with. Degen, Kyrgiakos, El Zhar, Damien Plessis, Albert Riera, Fabio Aurelio, Yossi Benayoun and Ryan Babel could all be sold. So too could Alberto Aquilani after a disappointing, injury-plagued first season in English football. But even if they do all depart, the money from their sales would not be nearly sufficient to fund the squad rebuilding required.

 

The crown jewels, Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard, would raise a great deal more but they are the kind of players Liverpool need to build a team around. The concern for Liverpool fans is that both of them could decide that the grass is greener elsewhere, a fairly irrefutable argument given the sorry state of their club. Gerrard turns 30 in May and is as frustrated as anybody with Liverpool's plight. This summer will probably be his last chance to make a big move so he has a massive decision to make.

 

It is a similar situation for Torres, who left Atletico Madrid in search of a club that could match his ambitons only to discover that Liverpool were not that much superior, if at all given last night's events. Manchester City want to sign him but they are not alone. Torres's loyalty to Liverpool will be put to the test in the weeks and months ahead.

 

All the problems mentioned could be addressed fairly easily if Liverpool had good owners but, unfortunately, they don't. This summer is likely to be one of the most testing in the club's history and as long as Hicks and Gillett remain at the helm there will be no easy answers. For while Liverpool desperately need an overhaul of their squad, they need new owners more than anything else.

 

TheGame - Times Online - WBLG: Ahead of TheGame: Liverpool need major overhaul

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Depressing times ahead.

 

This summer is crucial. There needs to be big changes and soon, otherwise we will disappear into the wilderness.

 

Very sad indeed, and yet still David Moores remains silent.

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There are enough players who can command a decent enough fee for us to address the areas that are essential, two wide players with pace and a forward with pace.

 

It could be worth sacrificing Mascherano, particularly if we can get 25 mill and VDF in return.

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Without investment the team will continue to suffer but I think that the biggest obstacle is the insistence of the new chairman, Martin Broughton, that any potential investor will have to commit to building not just a new stadium but the one that George Gillett and Tom Hicks designed - cementing their legacy at the club.

 

The idea that someone will have to pay £500m plus for a debt-ridden footbal club and then stump up money for a brand new stadium after investing heavily in the squad will not appeal to potential owners.

 

Steve McManaman said exactly the same thing a fortnight ago and he's right - no one whether they're a wealthy Sheikh or have a sensible business head on their shoulders is going to pay over the odds for the club if they don't have to

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I refuse to throw the towel in.

 

I simply refuse to.

 

Its not in me and its not in us a football club.

 

We've been through much much worse and came through it.

 

Absolutely.

 

The worrying thing for me though is that we are not in control of our own destiny. Until we get rid of Hicks and Gillett then I fail to see how we can move forward as a club.

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A new manager will galvanise the team and the supporters and I think we'll have a good season if we have a change regardless of change of owners.

 

Who would your choice be?

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Absolutely.

 

The worrying thing for me though is that we are not in control of our own destiny. Until we get rid of Hicks and Gillett then I fail to see how we can move forward as a club.

 

I know Steve and I agree but in terms of on pitch performance I think a new manager will remove a lot of the bad blood/bickering/shite storm that we are in at the minute.

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The idea that someone will have to pay £500m plus for a debt-ridden footbal club and then stump up money for a brand new stadium after investing heavily in the squad will not appeal to potential owners.

 

FFS! how many times are people going to continue peddling this mistruth. The debt is theirs, once they have sold the club the debt goes. The debt for the stadium will be put onto the club, not the owners so the owners are not going to have to find anything more than the intial stake, and their money to invest.

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There are enough players who can command a decent enough fee for us to address the areas that are essential, two wide players with pace and a forward with pace.

 

It could be worth sacrificing Mascherano, particularly if we can get 25 mill and VDF in return.

 

In our present state, there is no guarantee that all of the monies generated through player sales would be reinvested.

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I know Steve and I agree but in terms of on pitch performance I think a new manager will remove a lot of the bad blood/bickering/shite storm that we are in at the minute.

 

Yep It would hopefully unite the fans.

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I know Steve and I agree but in terms of on pitch performance I think a new manager will remove a lot of the bad blood/bickering/shite storm that we are in at the minute.

 

I agree mate.

 

Which manager could unite the players and the fans?

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FFS! how many times are people going to continue peddling this mistruth. The debt is theirs, once they have sold the club the debt goes. The debt for the stadium will be put onto the club, not the owners so the owners are not going to have to find anything more than the intial stake, and their money to invest.

 

Are you sure about that?

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