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Liverpool – the Eric Roberts of the Premier League

Eric Roberts may not be a household name in the acting community, but it’s highly likely that you will recognise his face if you see him. Some of you may know him as “Julia Roberts’ brother”, which I feel is a terribly impersonal way to be remembered (I can relate as at my son’s school I have no identity of my own and I’m known as “T’s Dad”). Eric Roberts gets leading roles, the kind of leading roles in B-grade films that go straight to DVD without ever appearing on the big screen. One of his best roles (in my opinion) was in the karate trilogy Best of the Best, which saw Eric overact his way through three of the cheesiest and worst-scripted films of all time. 

I can’t confirm it in any way, shape or form, but I feel that Mr Roberts is comfortable with his niche as a lead actor in certain types of films. And that’s the beauty of being Eric Roberts – he is comfortable with who he is and has accepted the range of his talents. 
Liverpool Football Club were formerly equivalent to A-list Hollywood acting royalty – a Julia Roberts, if you will, that was invited to all of the glamorous parties and society events that people at such levels get invited to. However, we all know that those glory days have long since passed (25 years and counting) and perhaps it’s time for the club and supporters to acknowledge that they are now more Eric Roberts than Julia Roberts. 

Expectation gap

One of the biggest challenges to being Liverpool is the massive expectation that comes with every season – expectation to win the league (this will be our year!) to be in the Champions League, to win silverware and to consistently challenge historical rival teams. Liverpool used to be a footballing powerhouse, but the money and the game have changed significantly since those days and Liverpool has failed to keep pace. 
The main problem with this unrealistic expectation is that the fans keep hoping and praying that somehow the glory days will magically return to the club. The 2013/14 season where Liverpool unexpectedly challenged for the title was the worst possible thing that could have happened, as expectations rose as high as the anticipation for a new Apple product launch.

Unfortunately, the reality is very different as the gap will continue to widen between Liverpool and the likes of Chelsea, the red and blue Manchesters and Arsenal. The Liverpool faithful need to adjust the rose-tinted spectacles to the harsh reality of life as an Eric Roberts in the league. 


Another issue for the club is that one problem merely leads to another problem. In order to attract the right calibre of player to the club, you need money – and Liverpool doesn’t have a Russian oligarch or a Middle Eastern sugar daddy to provide an unlimited supply. This means that the type of player they can attract is limited for financial reasons. 

Players also move to a club because of the manager’s reputation and history (see: Torres, Fernando and Alonso, Xabi during the Rafa Benitez era). Unfortunately, Brendan Rodgers has not exactly set the managerial world alight during his spell at Liverpool and therefore it would be difficult to lure high profile players based on his reputation alone. 

Without the advantage of Champion’s League Liverpool find themselves in a real catch-22 situation. It’s easy enough to point fingers and blame the club for “only” signing the likes of Fabio Borini or Lazar Markovic, but the harsh reality is that Liverpool doesn’t actually have many viable alternatives. This is also the reason why a gamble was taken on Mario Balotelli – a player whom even Jose Mourinho (man manager extraordinaire) failed to keep in line. 

Crystal ball time 

So what does the future hold for Liverpool in the season ahead? The club has moved swiftly in the transfer window announcing the signings of James Milner on a free and Danny Ings from Burnley – the two players are decent footballers and hopefully will provide some of that famed “English grit” which will be handy against the likes of Stoke away in the rain in January. 

The other current talking point is the recently released fixture list that sees the club face last season’s top four finishers in the opening seven games. Modern football “analysis” suggests that if Liverpool lose half of these games, then the “season will be over” and “Rodgers will be the first managerial casualty of the season”. If Liverpool get off to a flyer and miraculously win half of their games, then “this will be our year!”. 

Realistically, I’ve accepted Liverpool’s current role in the league. I’m not expecting the team to challenge for the title or even a Champions League position. My expectations are simply for the club to play some attractive and entertaining football, to play with a bit of confidence and to defend like professional players and not like a group of guys who went out on the piss the night before. 

Liverpool may not be Julia Roberts, and that’s fine. But perhaps the club can focus on being the best Eric Roberts it can be instead. 


About Ticha Pfupajena

I'm beginning to get the sense that my career as a professional footballer may not happen. As a result, I'll try write about football and sports instead....


8 thoughts on “Liverpool – the Eric Roberts of the Premier League

  1. Liverpool stopped being a Julia Roberts a long, long time ago. Liverpool aren’t even an Eric Roberts under the current management . This Liverpool is more like Frank Fonder. Who? Son of Henry Fonda, brother of Jane Fonda and father to Bridget Fonda. Someone with all the right breeding, heritage and opportunity but none of the talent his peers have in abundance. And at the end of the day that’s what it is all about, talent!

    At every level of the business, Liverpool are second rate in terms of talent! Ownership: have put their money where their mouth is but don’t have that platinum cheque book like City, ManU, Chelski. Club Director, Ian Ayre – distinctly average! Has failed to maximise liverpools position as a global brand to attract the mega bucks sponsorships. Clubs are built in the boardroom not on the pitch, and he has built a bedsit masquerading as a Palace.

    Management – oh boy! What a joke, what management? Rodgers is a hapless little boy, trodding along hoping to stumble upon the answer in the form of another Suarez to make him look good. Unable to attract any decent players to the club, unable to distinguish a donkey from a thoroughbred (Allen from a Xavi). Unwilling to admit he is out of his depth. Zero tactical awareness and no conviction. Over the past three years, can anyone honestly argue with the fact that he has been the biggest under achiever in the league? No! He has put this club in a position they may never recover from. Even ‘his’ players can’t bare the mediocrity and want to leave. Jose has more managerial talent in his pinky than Rodgers will ever muster up in his entire mediocre career.

    Players – this current squad is so bad it’s not even funny. How many of these players would walk in to Spurs and command a starting role? Coutinho maybe, and Sterling. Sturridge when fit (50% of the time). The rest probably wouldn’t. If you apply the same test against every team in the top 10 you’ll probably come to the same conclusions. This squad is second rate. Devoid of any real talent.

    Supporters – us! Liverpool supporters are foolhardy, naive and loyal to a fault. Loyalty that is misplaced! Be loyal to your club by all means, but that does not mean unqualified loyalty to players, managers and owners. You do not owe them your loyalty. They are entrusted with the wellbeing (and handsomely paid) of the club. If they don’t deliver you should frogmarch them out the Shankly Gates and string them up. Liverpool supporters will blindly accept every bad decision the club makes. They would rather sink with the ship than throw the captain overboard to save it. Liverpool supporters have more reason to protest and carry on like disgruntled Magpies than any other group of supporters in the league. 25 years of mediocre, uninspired mismanagement. But no, they clap hands and sing songs and say ‘next year maybe’. Supporters are the catalyst for change and if there is to be a change in fortune for this once great club it will be on the back of revolt by the fans.

    So Change your expectations and get used to being a mid table, average, talentless club or force a change!

    Posted by acekicker77 | 19/06/2015, 10:50
  2. Acekicker77 – I’m not certain that you’ve clearly stated your position here. Are you basically saying that this could be our year??

    Posted by Ticha Pfupajena | 19/06/2015, 12:02
    • to be clear..
      – This WILL NOT be our year!
      – The talent does not match the expectation
      – If we can get Eric Roberts for this job we should, it would be a step up in class ….

      Posted by acekicker77 | 19/06/2015, 12:20
  3. And this I disagree with entirely – “Without the advantage of Champion’s League Liverpool find themselves in a real catch-22 situation. It’s easy enough to point fingers and blame the club for “only” signing the likes of Fabio Borini or Lazar Markovic..”

    1 – Saurez gave them CL football and they didn’t take the opportunity to go for CL quality players.
    2 – They spent big BIG money on players that apparently aren’t CL quality
    3 – The only people you can blame are “the club”… actually thats a lie… I blame the supporters too because they’re just a bunch of blind sheep.

    Posted by acekicker77 | 19/06/2015, 12:26
    • I think you need to go for anger management classes acekicker77. Your better half might be in danger!

      Posted by Ticha Pfupajena | 30/06/2015, 15:43
      • Going for quantity instead of quality bloody greedy Irishman! Two and a half good signings (Fermino, Clyne, Milner) and the rest just waterboys. We are two class players away from having a good team. Striker and central midfield …. not holding my breath

        Posted by acekicker77 | 30/06/2015, 18:17
  4. The Irony of this all is that Liverpool is now yearning for the days when they used to be

    Posted by pardonthepun-dit | 19/06/2015, 15:56

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