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robbohuyton

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About robbohuyton

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  1. robbohuyton

    Hillsborough Sculpture For New Stadium

    On the statue, when I first saw it I thought it was horrific but tried to understand the motives behind it. I was thinking along the lines of Jimmy McGovern's documentary - harrowing, powerful, but accurate and educational at the same time. But if this statue is to reside in Liverpool I just don't see the point - i don't think it's people in Liverpool who need to be shocked into an education on the subject. And if just one Hillsborough family is shocked or offended by it, it is one family too many. I don't understand how the families (all of them) were not consulted in the first place before this went public - massive oversight. Had a fella having a pop at me earlier saying art by committee is never good, and that if the statue doesn't now go ahead it's censorship. Sorry, but people's feelings win over 'art' every time for me. The 96 Liverbirds is an absolutely spot on idea as well by the way.
  2. robbohuyton

    Bascombe latest effort

    Shit stirring, and a poor attempt at it
  3. robbohuyton

    Excellent Read

    Can't see it either, no Red could climb that far up Fergie's arse
  4. robbohuyton

    Excellent Read

    Shit, you've seen the video? :drool:
  5. robbohuyton

    Excellent Read

    And your point is? ;)
  6. robbohuyton

    Outside View of Benitez.........

    I'm stunned by that Villa blog though - WTF? "Enjoy Liverpool getting beat almost as much as the Villa winning..." If it was from a Manc or a bitter, I could understand it to a point, but Villa? I don't get all that hating another team as much as you support your own club. I couldn't be arsed surfing on other team's sites and spouting shite, I'd rather just read - or write - about the Reds. I had some "Manc" on my blog recently (he was from Northern Ireland) and he started posting shite about Hillsborough, Heysel, Michael Shields... Just don't get it.
  7. robbohuyton

    Collymore on Talksport.

    Yep, Reade's a gimme like, but been surprised by some of Maddock's stuff as he normally sticks the boot in no matter what. Just read that Winter article for the Telegraph - absolute shite - when does ANY manager blame himself? :telloff: Better one from Rory Smith (same paper).
  8. robbohuyton

    Collymore on Talksport.

    Collymore is a bell-end. He's got a clear anti-LFC agenda and has been at it all season - he even wrote a load of negative shite in the Mirror after we battered Hull. It's been every week for five or six weeks now. I emailed the Mirror sports editor Dan Silver about the tool and got this reply: I'm sorry you don't like Stan's recent columns, but I can assure you that there is no anti-Liverpool agenda. Stan's column is very much a platform for his opinions, and as such he is free to write about whatever he sees fit. Being an ex-Liverpool player - and genuine fan of the club - it's only natural he writes more about Liverpool. And given that the club are enduring a poor run of results at the moment, it's also only natural that some of these pieces address problems. I'm sure if you look back through our archives you will find many positive pieces about the club as well. Furthermore, Stan is renowned for saying what he thinks in his column, and as such it is popular with a large number of football fans whether they agree with what he is saying or not. And I'm sure you'll agree that there's plenty of other Liverpool-centric content in the Daily Mirror - and on mirrorfootball.co.uk - to more than satisfy fans of the club. :wallbutt:
  9. Bit of an epic folks, but I make no apologies, I was on one: :eek: FOR fans arriving outside the Liverpool Supporters Club on Lower Breck Road more than two hours before kick-off in a crucial Premier League match with arch-rivals Manchester United, it was simple. Tom Hicks and George Gillett have shown in their nigh on three-years in charge at Anfield that they are more interested in the green of the dollar than the red of Liverpool Football Club. To them, it’s not a sporting heritage, a club with passionate, loyal fans – it’s an asset, a vehicle to make money. A brand, as Hicks said, “Like Weetabix.” Broken promises, lies and approaching a manager behind boss Rafa Benitez’s back have long since convinced the thousands on the Spirit of Shankly (SOS) protest march that these two Texan tycoons are not the men to put Liverpool back on their perch. What amazes the marchers, most signed up to the country’s first football supporters’ union in the shape of SOS, is the 40,000 fans turning up for the game that shrug their shoulders at the off-field soap opera – supporters happy to watch from the stands in the here and now, but seemingly uncaring when it comes to the future of the club. For 20 years, Liverpool FC has fallen short of where its fans think it should be on the pitch - winning the league. Off the pitch, it’s a similar story. The big boys got bigger, stadiums grew, wages spiralled, transfer fees boomed. It became clear Liverpool needed change in the boardroom to compete. A landlocked stadium, failure to follow the commercial lead of rivals and not capitalising on successes in a marketing sense (notably the 2005 Champions League win) meant Liverpool were struggling to keep up with the financial pacesetters. So in stepped George Gillett and Tom Hicks - collectively worth over a thousand million pounds when they took over the Anfield reins from David Moores. They promised a new stadium and new players. They would be, Liverpool fans hoped, the catalyst for a revival. Back then, at the start of 2007, LFC shareholders were told: “Kop Football Limited (the American pair’s bid vehicle) has indicated that it is committed to an annual budget for player transfers and is able to supplement this should Liverpool’s management and Kop agree additional funds are required.” The then Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry later said: "It has always been the aim of the club, with the backing of Tom Hicks and George Gillett, to be world class both on and off the pitch.” How would that be achieved fans wondered? Don’t worry, was the message, it won't be like the much-maligned Malcolm Glazer and family at Manchester United. The Independent said in February 2007: “Gillett is a serious investor with a good track record,” a source in his camp said. Since his 1990s downfall (Well Red: When he was made bankrupt), the American has rebuilt his empire and is estimated to have a personal fortune of £440m. Gillett has not made public how he intends to pay for his proposed £170m buyout, write off debts of £80m, pay for a £200m new stadium or fund transfers. “But if you're asking whether this a majorly debt-driven venture, then no,” the source claimed. “It is not a Glazer-type deal.” Gillett himself added: “We have purchased the club with no debt on the club so, in that regard, it is different [to the Glazers]. We believe in the future of the club, the future of the league, the new TV contracts are outstanding and we are proud to be a part of it.” The Glazer family borrowed heavily to buy Manchester United and have since heaped £660m of debt liability directly on to United’s books. Liverpool was £40m in debt when Hicks and Gillett took the reins. Now that debt is approaching £300m. So in fact, no different to the Glazers. But is the club now world class? Well, under Rafa Benitez Liverpool have never missed out on Champions League qualification. The one season a top-four finish wasn't secured, Benitez won the European Cup. So on the pitch, arguably it is. But is that in spite of the owners rather than because of them? Off the pitch? Without the promised stadium, Liverpool loses out to the tune of £3million per home game to Manchester United. That's £100m a season. Or three players of the quality of Fernando Torres – per season. Arsenal with 7,000 premium seats in the 60,000 Emirates, generated £94.6m last season. Chelsea brought in £74.5m, £25m more than the £39.2m generated at Anfield. Players? Undoubtedly money has been spent. It would not be in the interest of the co-owners to completely run down the club. But they’re clearly happy with a top four finish – because the big bucks just haven’t been there. Gillett claimed: “We’ve spent £128 million on top of what’s come in over the past 18 months to buy players.” Benitez’s net spend in that time has been around £20m. Ask yourself, how many times have Liverpool bid in the region of £30m for a genuinely world-class player since Hicks and Gillett have been at the helm? And why doesn’t the club offer the wages Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, or now, Manchester City offer? Under the ownership of Hicks and Gillett, Liverpool is going nowhere fast. It is ticking along, doing OK, while the co-owners wait for the right time to sell up and pocket the profits – their intention from day one. Yet some so-called fans can't see it. They don't get it. They stop, stare and point at protestors. Film it on their mobile phones. But don't join in. Maybe all the spin and business talk is too much for some. Well that’s great news for Hicks and Gillett – apathy is their ally. Or maybe the naysayers are just buying the PR spin. Maybe they believe transfer budgets have always included contract renewals and improvements. Maybe they believe the credit crunch has stopped the stadium being built. And maybe they believe auditors doubting Liverpool FC's ability to "continue as a going concern" because of soaring interest payments piled on the club by Hicks and Gillett is just "accountancy speak". Maybe they think securing a £20m-a-year shirt sponsorship is some kind of genius - rather than an obvious step for a club with a worldwide fanbase of millions of supporters. Maybe they don’t realise that improving marketing and sponsorship is offset by having to find £30-40m a year to pay interest on the debts Hicks and Gillett created. Maybe these fans will still ignore the protests and mock from a distance when the club starts to sell star players. Or when transfer budgets – already slim - get further eaten up by interest payments. Maybe they have forgotten Gillett telling Liverpool: “I don’t think that we come with any plan other than to support him (Benitez) in winning.” Or what about: “If Rafa said he wanted to buy Snoogy Doogy, we would back him.” But they won’t back him if he wants to buy Gareth Barry. They won’t dip into their personal fortunes to improve the defence by signing young, proven quality like Ryan Shawcross or Michael Turner instead of an ageing Greek international. They don't care about the club, or the fans. They are not football men. Money, and money alone, gets them out of bed in the morning. The credit crunch is just a convenient excuse for the lack of action on the stadium. If it isn’t, why did Hicks say the following in January 2008 (five months after the commonly accepted start date for the credit crunch): “With the refinancing process now done, club supporters can look forward to the timely commencement of construction work on the new stadium and renew their focus on actions on the pitch." A month before Parry had told fans: “The situation in the credit markets has not affected our design, programme, or implementation of building our new stadium. The priority has always been to build a winning team on the pitch and everything else we do is geared towards that." And yet now, all of sudden, it is feasible for a project key to the future competitiveness of Liverpool FC, to be dismissed because of the credit crunch without question? It’s OK though, says Gillett, the club debt situation is “very sound” and “Liverpool is in an extraordinarily good financial position." That’s why you are donning a Liverpool tie and jetting all over the world, hawking the club to men with deep pockets, is it George? Liverpool FC paid £36.5m in interest on their debts in the financial year ending 31 July 2008. This is in spite of the announcement of a record turnover of £159.1m and a pre-tax profit of £30.2m. In spite of Liverpool trousering around £20m a season from the Champions League. In spite of 12 months of increasing turnover and a 60 per cent rise in TV income. Put simply, if Hicks and Gillett, who have claimed more than £1m in expenses from LFC’s holding company, are the goodies and Spirit of Shankly and like-minded fans are the baddies, why don’t the Americans come out and tell fans what they have got so wrong? If they laugh at fans’ small mindedness, open-mouthed in disbelief that they are the target for such vitriol, communicate, put us right. Prove to us you are doing a great job. Some questioned the pre-Manchester United match march as taking away from the support inside the ground for such a crucial game. Support the team, they said. That's exactly what the march is all about - the team, the club, the future. That’s why thousands turned up two hours early to pound the pavements around Anfield. People on the march would rather see the team be improved than have a second club shop at the Liverpool One shopping centre. And they'd rather see the team do well than have to pay to join the “All Red” membership scheme just to have the chance of a match ticket. What would Gillett and Hicks rather have - team success or profit? Well Hicks is also owner of Major League Baseball side Texas Rangers. And as one fan said on their forum: “So, Hicks is being accused as being a double-talker who is reducing the club to mediocrity while he sells tickets to terminally loyal fans and makes a profit. Sound familiar?"
  10. robbohuyton

    Rafa: In or out?

    Rafa should stay. He has already done a great job. We don't compete for the top end players that Chelsea and the Mancs sign because we don't pay the fees and we don't pay the wages. So he starts out behind - and yet he's still managed to do something the Chavs have never done - win the Champions League - and he was four points off the title last season. A shit run this season so far doesn't make him a bad manager. I wrote this piece the other day for This Is Anfield. Don't know whether it's the 'done thing' to post it here (what with being new and all) but, fuck it: WHETHER you love or hate Rafa Benitez, put yourself in the Spaniard’s shoes for a moment. After a lifetime living and working in Spain, after guiding Valencia to the most successful period in their history with a first title in 31 years followed up by a La Liga and UEFA Cup double, you choose to leave your home country behind to come to England and manage Liverpool. You make that decision despite other, more lucrative offers lying on the table back in June 2004 – from Spurs, Inter Milan and Besiktas. But you plump for Liverpool, drawn by its standing and heritage, inheriting an underachieving, average squad which looked certain to lose two of its best players in Michael Owen and Steven Gerrard. For five years you live and work in a foreign country, putting your heart and soul into the manager’s job at a football club where resources don’t match the expectations. You master a new language, work up to 22-hour days, change players’ diets and training methods and even enjoy an infamous drink in Germany with Liverpool fans. You left one job where directors refused to sign players you wanted and interfered with transfer dealings (sparking your infamous “I asked the club for a sofa and they bought me a lampshade” quote) and walked into another one with similar problems. You were told by co-owner George Gillett you could sign “Snoogy Doogy” if that’s who you wanted – but then you were told you couldn’t sign Simao, Gareth Barry, Michael Dawson, David Villa, David Silva, Kenwyne Jones, Ryan Shawcross and countless others. You had a club co-owner open talks with Jurgen Klinsmann about succeeding you as manager – and found out about it through the newspapers. You signed Xabi Alonso, Fernando Torres, Pepe Reina, Javier Mascherano, Luis Garcia, Yossi Benayoun, Dirk Kuyt, Glen Johnson, Emiliano Inusa, Momo Sissoko, Alvaro Arbeloa, Daniel Agger and Peter Crouch – then people kept saying you have a terrible record in the transfer market. In your first season, despite a poor squad, you won the Champions League in one of the most thrilling matches in football history. Key to the run to the final was your ability to squeeze out quality performances from limited players, most notably Igor Biscan. You also reached the League Cup final in that first season, losing to Chelsea 3-2 after extra time, and finished fifth in the league. The following season you won the FA Cup, beating Manchester United and Chelsea on the way to the final, when West Ham were edged out on penalties. In the league you guided Liverpool to third, missing out on the runners-up spot by just one point. That FA Cup success in Cardiff made you the only manager in the history of Liverpool Football Club to win major trophies in both of the first two seasons at the club. A year later you guided Liverpool to another Champions League final, again knocking out Chelsea on the way. This time it wasn’t to be, but you could be forgiven for thinking people may recognise that it is no mean feat to get that far – and no disgrace to lose to AC Milan. In the league, you took us to third place again. But 2007-8 was a poor year for you. You only reached the semi-finals of the Champions League and finished fourth in the league. Your job was offered to Klinsmann though, so maybe you could be forgiven for taking your eye off the ball. And so to last season. Quarter-finals of the Champions League, runners-up in the league with 86 points. The only team in English top-flight history to lose so few games and not be crowned champions. The best points total since 1988, but also the highest of any side in a 20-team league not to win the championship. Fair to say, you were unlucky. You took us so close to the much-coveted number 19. And let’s not forget, you’ve won 57 per cent of your games in charge of Liverpool, the same as Bob Paisley. So with all that in mind, you deserve some respect, right? You’ve done a great job in trying circumstances. You’ve proved you are what they said you were when you arrived from Valencia – a world-class manager. But it’s not enough. You’ve lost four games out of nine this season. You’ve sold a player, Xabi Alonso, who wanted to leave the club, for a huge profit to the biggest club in his home country. You might think your excellent record buys you some time in the job at Anfield and some patience from the fans, just like it does for Arsene Wenger, trophyless with Arsenal since 2005. Well not for some people. They’ve had enough. They want Jose Mourinho. A man in a job at Inter Milan, with a huge salary. A man who would cost a lot of money in compensation and in wages. Oh and we’d have to pay you off too, Rafa. But hang on, there’s no money… What’s that Rafa? You’re resigning? You don’t feel appreciated? You’ve had enough of fickle fans on phone-ins and internet forums sniping and moaning? Had enough of media men calling you “cold”, slagging off your tactics, harping on about zonal marking and questioning the timing of your substitutions? Hypothetical, of course. But it could happen. And it would be a huge problem for Liverpool if it did. Mourinho, Guus Hiddink, Fabio Capello…all top managers that trigger-happy fans have been mentioning as they debate Rafa’s replacement. But why would any of them come to Anfield? No money to spend, owners that hate each other, sky-high expectations and a demand for immediate results… Hardly the dream job is it? When Benitez was trying to renegotiate his contract at Valencia in 2004 he said: “My ideal scenario was continue the work I had started at Valencia. “But the managing director said to me, ‘If I give you two more years on your contract and then you lose three matches it is going to be my problem!” If that was how much respect my three years of work had earned, then it seemed obvious to me that they had little interest in me staying.” He later said: “It appears that I’m valued more outside the club than I am at Valencia itself.” Deja vu? It’s clear he likes to be loved. And for his record at Liverpool, he deserves to be. But if people turn against him so quickly, whose to say he won’t pack it in? It’s not like he would struggle to get another job. In the first post-Benitez year at Valencia, the club finished seventh, 26 points behind La Liga champions Barcelona. If Benitez resigns, or, as unlikely as it is given the financial situation, is sacked, Liverpool could go backwards too. I wonder what Alan Curbishley is doing these days…
  11. robbohuyton

    Martin Kelly

    Popping me Liverpool Way cherry here so don't bum me, I'm a virgin. Thought Kelly was superb and a real positive from a shit night. What stood out for me is the lad had a bit of bollocks about him. Most young players given their big chance would play it simple, take the easy option and concentrate on not fucking things up. Kelly looked fearless, had the balls to get forward, put in a couple of great crosses and could have scored. Might have to reign in that enthusiam a little bit like considering he was meant to be at right back, but rather that than do fuck all and slip back into the shadows. He got a chance and he took it - good on him. As for the Mancs, if Johnson's not fit and he is, play him. Remember Rob Jones against Ryan Giggs? Straight in at the deep end and he was quality.
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