We need a DoF who has 100% authority to bring in players he chooses, a head coach who coaches those players, and a backroom staff made up of competent professionals, not jobs for the boys.
Do that, and we're in a MUCH better position.
Plenty to chew through but I need to get a few things off my chest.
First and foremost: Benitez. Some want him out, some want to give him more time.
To me it boils down to a simple question: has he improved the players he has had at his disposal? Has he created a playing identity? Neither of these depends on the injury situation. Final results might but both are doable no matter who is available.
And to me the answer is no. Several players have regressed but can't think of anyone who is actually better than last season. Digne in particular has been a lot weaker and this is a big issue considering he has been a key player so far. Keane is no better and while there are some mitigating factors for Godfrey I don't think his decision-making or other weaknesses have improved either.
Ok, take that back. One player has improved, Doucoure by playing him in a position better suited to him.
I would also be very worried if the change was to replace Brands instead. Benitez's track record is frankly poor. I would guess all of last summer's signings were his considering that apart from Gray he has worked with all of them? Four of the five are over 30 so hardly building the for the future there.
This is his record at the RS: https://liverpoolfc.fandom.com/wiki/Rafael_Benitez/Transfers
. A staggering amount of shite, good ones look almost like accidents.
Now, I don't think Brands has done a stellar job either but if we remove the unlucky signings of Gbamin (no-one could have predicted that) his record isn't too bad. Granted, he should have found a few cheaper players to fill the gaps.
It's hard to be certain which players were brought in by who, but I'm pretty certain at least the following were his picks: Doucoure, Godfrey, King, Kean, Gomes, Sidibe, Lössl, Mina, Digne, Zouma, Bernard. Richarlison might well have been Silva's pick, there are too many rumblings that Iwobi was brought in by Moshiri because an agent told him to to ignore and Allan and Rodriguez pretty clearly were Ancelotti's men.
Perhaps more pressing is the question why we messed around with Zouma on the second attempt and Zaha for so long? Was it Brands determined to get them or someone else pushing for the deals? If it was down to Brands then yes, he needs changing.
Worst issue, even worse than transfers since Brands came is that there is absolutely no long-term strategy. Moshiri picks managers seemingly out of a hat. There are no contingency plans or continuity what so ever. This has lead to a dysfunctional squad that is unsuitable to any tactic. So even if Brands did have full control over transfers it would have been impossible to do long-term squad building. This is exactly the situation you sign a DoF to avoid in the first place.
This is extra stupid because I can still remember how the club asked about things like how fans would like to see the team play. It sounded like they wanted to create some sort of model. Now can someone say what that identity might be because I have no idea?
While injuries are a neat excuse they should really only excuse results, not lack of improvements in the tactical side. We are again shipping in set pieces like during Silva's time, team shape is all over the place and most of the attacking seems to revolve around Pickford kicking it long and hoping we win the second ball and Richarlison or DCL create something from that. The problem with this is it makes players look worse than they actually are. Proper tactics and a well-drilled team makes players look better than they are.
It should have been clear to all we can't overspend the big clubs even without FFP for any sustained period. So academy should have been a key factor in going forward. It sounds like some improvements have been seen there but management choices have totally undermined this. Academy is pretty much a waste of time if there is no believable route to first team. Especially Ancelotti and Benitez have never been known to trust younger players.
So now we are in a position that manager should start bringing in younger players because we can't keep buying them any more at the rate we have. But this is not going to happen. And I fear that even if Benitez is replaced, Moshiri is too scared to do anything but pick another "safe" pair of hands like he did with Allardyce and Benitez.
The only way to improve is to let the footballing men do their jobs and remove anyone else from decision-making. Be it Brands or someone else doesn't matter as long as Moshiri thinks he knows better and also obviously lets Kenwright be involved as well.