December 31, 1993
I’m frustrated by results – just like our fans
Graeme Souness replied to the question as if his answer had been well prepared. Asked how he would describe Liverpool’s season, he quickly declared “frustrating,” barely taking a breather from the exercise bike he was pedalling furiously. It’s hard to say whether this fitness fanatic was venting that frustration in the Melwood gym, but what’s certain is that his side’s inconsistency preoccupies his thoughts.
“We started very brightly and upped everybody’s expectations,” he said after a pause.
“We lost a home game to Tottenham which we never should have lost, and that was a major disappointment because we were still in that early season run.
“Since then, we’ve gone on to frustrate; frustrate ourselves and our supporters.
“We’ve played some excellent football; the kind I want from a Liverpool team I’m in charge of.
“But we have let ourselves down, such as in the home games against Oldham and Wimbledon.
“These were by far our most disappointing performances. Our crowd are used to seeing us dominate games, but in those we didn’t.
“The Coca Cola Cup match at Wimbledon was another one we shouldn’t have lost.
“That was the best we’ve played against them since I’ve been at the club, but, if you miss three penalties in one game …”
As at this stage last season, the Reds find themselves replying on an FA Cup run as a realistic route to honours, while manager Souness is subjected to flak from Press and public.
But it’s flak he doesn’t dodge. “Of course supporters have a right to express disappointment and be concerned about the football team because it’s their football team, after all,” he said.
“But I think even my biggest critic would accept that I came to this club during its most difficult time of the last 25 years.
“This is my third full season and if we don’t win anything that’s two seasons we’ll have missed out which, by Liverpool’s standards, is hard to accept.
“But again I’d ask people to understand that we had to make so many changes.
“And whether they like it or not, there are still major changes to be made, by me or the next manager, to get this club back to where it wants to be.
“It may be a hard pill for our supporters to swallow, but it’s true.”
Graeme Souness accepts that perhaps too many changes were made too soon after his arrival as manager.
He said: “Two-and-a-half-years down the road, if I’d done anything differently, it would have been to make people who still had life left in them see out their contracts.
“But I’ve always worked under the principle that if you don’t want to be here you might as well go.
“The Liverpool I left was such a special club, and not just to the people who played here. And it’s still a club I still love.
“Over the years, Liverpool have played the game the way it should be, which is why they have been so successful.”
(Source: Liverpool Echo: December 31, 1993)