Sports Letter: Souness mended

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The Independent Online
Sir: The humiliation by Bolton should not come as a shock to Liverpool fans who have watched the team slide to new depths of mediocrity under Graeme Souness's stewardship. The real surprise is how much longer an inactive board can tolerate the alarming disintegration of a once great club due directly to the appalling management of Mr Souness. The standard excuses of injuries and, more recently, lack of passion, cannot mask the obvious inadequacies of the poorest Liverpool team in 30 years.

Where Liverpool once set new records of success in Britain and Europe, statistics over the past two years confirm the downward spiral. How much more proof does the board need than being beaten or outplayed by Peterborough, Port Vale, Bristol Rovers, Chesterfield and, now, Bolton.

In the League, should anyone express surprise at the 5-1 hammering by Coventry City and the 'double' by 21st place Wimbledon when our away form has registered just one, albeit lucky, win all season?

Similarly, the long-awaited return to Europe has exploded the 'the Kings of Europe' myth. Comprehensive defeats, home and away, by unexceptional sides such as Genoa and Spartak have revealed what the average Kop-ite has known all along: Liverpool are a very mediocre team.

Perhaps most detrimental, can anyone explain the transfer policy and team selection of Mr Souness? Charges of lack of commitment and loyalty on the part of certain 'star' players do not tell the whole story.

Mr Souness has a lot to answer for. We can only hope that he has the dignity to resign or that the board will awaken from its slumber and appoint the man with the intelligence and class to put Liverpool back on track - Alan Hansen.

Yours sincerely,

GARY DEMPSEY

Paris

France

22 January

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