COME the end of Thursday 30th August 2012, and after Liverpool FC had sanctioned the loan transfer of Andy Carroll to West Ham, all Reds fans tucked themselves into bed and began dreaming of how exciting deadline day would be from a Liverpool perspective, safe in the knowledge that all involved knew at least two players had to be signed in order to beef up the squad, in particular our weak, threadbare strikeforce.
Deadline day started with a mixture of feelings; anticipation, excitement and anxiousness being the prominent three. However, it ended with an overwhelming concoction of disappointment and anger with a general sense of ‘what went wrong?’
Liverpool Football Club failed to secure the signature of any player on a day which provided the platform for boss Brendan Rodgers to add to a squad that consists of roughly 21 players above the age of 18; a number that falls way short of what you would consider ‘strength in depth’.
Every Liverpool fan and member of staff knew that this summer it was essential to strengthen a squad that finished 8th last season – 17 points from the promised land of Champions League football. There was no questioning that an improvement in our attacking options were high on the list of priorities. Unbelievably, after selling Nathan Eccleston, loaning out Andy Carroll and replacing them with just Fabio Borini, Liverpool have managed to weaken their strikeforce and have left themselves with just two recognisable strikers (as well as young Adam Morgan) at the manager’s disposal.
The main question is – who’s fault was it that nobody was brought in to cover the squad? Brendan Rodgers? Ian Ayre? Or was it the owner’s reluctance to part with the necessary cash? For me, it was a combination of all three. Brendan Rodgers made the huge mistake to let Andy Carroll go to West Ham before securing his replacement – a tactic that presents too much of a risk to a club of Liverpool’s stature. Rodgers has spoken since that he was ‘very’ confident of bringing in a replacement for Carroll however, in football, nothing is certain until it is 100% completed.
John Henry has since written an open letter to Liverpool fans to indicate that the failure to sign any players was not due to a lack of effort as everyone involved in negotiations pushed hard in the final few days with a number of targets Rodgers had identified. Mr Henry also suggests that, although spending is not about cutting costs, it is aimed at getting the maximum out of the money that is spent. Our American owner also loosely hinted that he disagreed with the signing of Clint Dempsey due to his age, stating – “Our ambitions do not lie in cementing a mid-table place with expensive, short-term quick fixes that will only contribute for a couple of years”.
Whoever is to blame, there are issues to address. Some sooner rather than later and we have to trust that we are in the right and capable hands to guide us to a successful future. John Henry and his fellow FSG members must realise that the animosity from the fans of the club is a direct result of the previous regime that saw Liverpool FC close to administration, and not because we are quick to overreact after a string of bad results. The situation at Liverpool is an interesting one and, although it is a work in progress, the hard work has to come to fruition with positive results after only one point from their first three Premier League games. The prominent figures at the club must also learn from their mistakes from this summer’s transfer window and use it to prevent any future failings.
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