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The Problem With Robin van Persie

Date: 24th January 2013 at 6:00 pm
Written by: | Comments (33)

Holland's van Persie & SneijderTHE deadline for the 2013 transfer window is gaining on us and will soon SLAM SHUT. Somewhere Jim White is frothing at the mouth in anticipation.

As Liverpool fans we have been longing for this month since September 1st when we left with the ‘what the hell just happened?!’ feeling, or more appropriately what didn’t happen.

Now it has been abundantly clear that our squad isn’t of a size to be up there competing where we want to be, and with the influx of youngsters this term, the feeling is that there is also a lack of experience.

Understandably there is an overwhelming desire from the terraces to the pitch for fresh faces to make their way to Melwood, and the month started so positively with Mr Sturridge arriving (hasn’t he done well so far?)

Yet this has been the sole arrival despite Messrs Cole, Sahin and Wilson departing – doing nothing for our squad size! So what now?

Well, this situation has left the club in a tricky position (some may well suggest that this is self made), which has not been helped in any way by the unlikeliest of people. Step up .

Eh? RVP? What’s he got to do with it? Questions I’m sure at least one person is asking, so let me expand by stepping back in time.

RVP is fresh from by far his most successful and complete season as a footballer. As his contract with Arsenal neared its conclusion he became a different man; his goalscoring was untouchable and he remained fit. Merely looking at his goalscoring and games played stat one could (cruelly) suggest that this was a flash in the pan – a one season wonder if you will – but never the less, hot property.

Up step United and pay £24m for a player in the last year of his contract and offer wages, if we are to believe reports, upwards of £150k a week if not much more. Now given his career to date, this was an almighty gamble.

One full season of consistent goals and match winning performances, but an entire back catalogue of injury problems. A tweak of an old injury here, the form to go there and United find themselves in an ‘Aquilani’ (well invested player not contributing) leaving them in the hole, financially lacking the ability to further bolster.


It is hindsight (marvellous tool) that shows this gamble (and lets be fair it was a gamble) has paid off big time. I’m sure he is exceeding all expectations at Old Trafford, but has his success created unreal expectations for other clubs? How does this relate to us?

Well, in my mind it is clear that Hicks & Gillett with Purslow, left us in a financial nightmare. Tony Barrett retweeted a description that it was as if someone had dropped a nuclear bomb at the heart of the club and we still have the fallout. None of us know the financial dealings of the club or the state it was in bar it being fairly horrific.

In the last year we have said tearful goodbyes to , and , as well as helping pack the bags for and – all big earners (shudder to think of their combined weekly wage). Certainly Kuyt, Maxi and Bellamy would have made a difference this season but their wages were unsustainable.

So here lies the problem: we need experience, but experience costs.

This doesn’t sit well when finances need to be sorted. Every transfer is a gamble, you can get a McAllister or you can get a Degen, a Torres or a Keane. The apparent current philosophy centres around young talent to not only build for the future but puts the odds more in your favour.

Young players mean less wages and a ‘potential’ that can generate a fee at a later date to recoup some if not all of what you paid. Playing it somewhat safe as it were. A player like the much talked about Sneijder has the undoubted quality and experience we want but brings in wage demands up there with the players at the club who have earned theirs.

When we were first linked I obviously was over the moon – it was for crying out loud – but then alarm bells started ringing…it was a huge gamble. Yes, RVP worked for United but did Veron? How has Torres done at Chelsea? Are we in a position to be able to gamble with such high stakes? Personally I feel it was a blessing in disguise he has gone to Turkey.

The overriding worry for me, something which has scarred the club in recent years, is bringing in the experience who lack that real hunger for the club, that passion we demand. Yes we could gamble, throw our eggs in one basket and hope we get a RVP response, but what then if we get a Joe Cole response? We are back to square one, hampered by wages for someone not contributing.

Undoubtedly we need some experience on the pitch as well as players to contribute immediately but how much do we gamble?

The question is posed: Gamble gamble gamble, or steady eddy? Let’s chat on here or come find me on twitter @timdibs


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33 thoughts on “The Problem With Robin van Persie

  • Bill
    1 year ago

    Manure can afford to gamble they are in the CL so if RVP were to go tits up they have earned enough to cover his expense, whereas we have virtually returned to the Shanks era and have to start again but with even less to spend figuratively speaking. Hopefully Manure itself will go to the wall, their finances may look good but the yank end of the business is no better than Hicks and Gillett.

    Reply
    • Thomas
      1 year ago

      total jealousy and delusion . Grow up

      Reply
      • Tim Williams
        1 year ago

        where is the jealousy and delusion here?

        United can afford to gamble – yes
        Have we had to start again? yes

        do we as Liverpool fans hope our rivals struggle? of course!

        Dont know where you see jealousy in Bill’s statement and in terms of delusion, is a comparison of H&G to the Glazers that wide of the mark?? There is no denying that United in the early Fergie days were handled brilliantly off the pitch to become so commercially successful, and it is this reason why they havent ended up in a court like we did!! LFC were not handled well off the pitch in the 90′s early 00′s in comparison so really struggled with the H&G ownership. Im sure any real United fan would agree with this and want the Glazers out of their club.

        Reply
        • Geoff
          1 year ago

          Tim you talk total and utter bull ALLthe time , Ive never seen someone so bad at understanding football talk so much about it . And before you ask – no , i have no wish to explain why to someone who doesn’t see reason

          Reply
        • Tim Williams
          1 year ago

          Well thanks for that Geoff.

          Reply
        • Chan
          1 year ago

          Tim, i agreed with some part of your statement. We all agreed that our club was not handled well for the last couple of years from the Moores and Parry years up until H&G. I would however stretch those years untill now.

          We all know that our club needs to be rebuild but FSG went and appoints a has been to the job and give him 100 mill plus to blow away. So to cover up their initial mistake, they appointed a rookie manager whose biggest achiement todate was to write a 180 page dossier and told him her could only buy players below 24. So a bigger blunder to cover up the first.

          If we are a normal “commercial company” this might be fine, but FSG forgets we are a football club first and company second. We exist to win trophies and the profits would come.

          Manure fans would want the Glazers out? I am not so sure about that Tim. At least the Glazers inderstands the point i had just made and back up their manager with 24 mill to buy a prolific but injury prone RVP. Even RM said RVP could single handedly wins Manure the title.

          Football is always a risk Tim, if FSG can’t handle this, they have no buisness running our club.

          Reply
        • Tim Williams
          1 year ago

          I think it is a safe bet United fans want Glazers out! These people took a hugely profitable organisation which was debt free and plunged it into debt! they take personal loans out on the club!! I would rather my club be in the conference than be owned by the Glazers. Had United not be so well set up and markete in the 90′s they wpuld struggle under the Glazers.

          What FSG need to do is sort out the mess behind the scenes, and to be fair none of us know how bad this was. The young player policy is a good one for me as we need to think long term. In terms of experience which we also need there are a ot more safer bets than Sneijder! Alonso for one.

          Reply
  • David
    1 year ago

    Liverpool have a problem ,going with youth is a great idea
    Until you think like Manu are doing the same …only on a larger Scale . As well as buying good players at the same time ..

    Problem suppose lpools youth don’t improve as much as manu’s do ?,!! And we only find out a few years down the line
    Which is the bigger gamble Manu’s or lpool ???

    Reply
    • Tim Williams
      1 year ago

      good question. The bigger gamble for me is always always on the older established stars.

      Take Rafa, we tried Paletta, Leto, Insua etc as youth and they didnt work out, no biggy. We since tried Aqualani, Cole, Jovanovic, Konchecsky, Poulsen…how much money has been lost with these players leaving?

      RVP worked out in hindisght, gamble and win, but had his injury record come back to haunt hi or his form dropped to a level it was prior to his last year at Arsenal and United have a player offering no impact that cost £24m off and over £200k a week. What problems did Cole cause for us?

      Reply
      • Chan
        1 year ago

        If FSG can stomach a little gamble, what are they doing owning a football club?

        Reply
        • Tim Williams
          1 year ago

          all transfers are a gamble, but I dont think it is a question of ‘being able to stomach it’ its playing the odds while trying to sort our financial health out

          Reply
  • red man
    1 year ago

    We earned our money through investment and success on the pitch. We also earned the right to be in the CL by not finishing out of the first 3 for approx 20yearsYour sad little [and wishful] statement only reflects poorly on yourself and your club.

    Reply
    • Tim Williams
      1 year ago

      Presumably you are a United fan yes?? I’m not sure how I was being derogatory to your club? Don’t disagree that United have earned their money the hard (and correct) way at all, the point that you seemed to miss is that RVP was a gamble! A gamble United took that could have spectacularly failed, and if it hard could have hurt United! In hindsight it hasn’t and the underlying point is that RVP’s success has bred unrealistic expectations that it is a guarentee that splashingnoutnon success works all the time!! My argument is that Liverpool are not in a position to gamble like United due to poor on and off field management as well as being stung with experience in recent years!

      Reply
    • Tim Williams
      1 year ago

      please re-read the article, it is not a degroatory piece about United at all

      Reply
      • Chan
        1 year ago

        Don’t blame him, we all know that Manure fans lack a little something up north.

        Reply
  • Jamali
    1 year ago

    Yes Bill, keep telling yourself that. Maybe after a while, you’ll actually begin to believe that crap. MU has a better financial model, better manager, better team, better club management and better recruitment policy than Liverpool. Not expecting them to implode anytime soon. Sorry, can’t deny fact.

    You’d better off hoping that Liverpool finally turn the corner and not another false dawn. This mid table mediocrity is really eating us inside now, is it…

    Suarez is glancing at Bayern and the only bright spark left is Sterling. When he finally realize he’s never gonna win the big ones, he’ll bail out and jump ship too, or the owners would cash in.

    I’m sick of not challenging for the title, sick of not playing in Europe and sick of the crappy players we have.

    Reply
    • Brad
      1 year ago

      Would you like some cheese with your whine? Pathetic.

      Reply
    • Thomas
      1 year ago

      Jamali your totally correct . I dont think Bill is all there

      Reply
    • Tim Williams
      1 year ago

      Firstly Jamali, have a word, crappy players? The most important thing a fan can do for their club, no matter which club, is support their team and those who pull on the shirt.

      The reality of the situation is that Liverpool as a club are starting again. Not from scratch in terms of global marketing and support but certainly in terms of the building blocks to get us back challenging once more so its wrong to make comparisons at this level with someone like United. Better Financial model??

      United are racked with debt heaped on them by the Glazers an the only reason they havent imploded is all the good work put in prior to their arrival.

      Better Manager – yes, but who can say they are better than Fergie love him or loathe him?

      Better team? at present yes, but the current side has evolved from a very different place than ours. In terms of individuals is there that much difference?

      Better Club Management? – no score draw both have faults and positives.

      Better recruitment policy? how do you come to this? nobody can claim to have a perfect record of signings. United at present have that ability to gamble which we dont, but its hard to argue our recruitment policy under Rodgers is poor.

      Of course I hope Liverpool turn the corner. There are shoots of recovery all over the place and FSG need patience and to support BR, as do us as fans. It wont happen ovrnight. How long did it take Fergie?

      Suarez is glancing at Bayern? is he? you know this how? because a newspaper said so? behave

      only bright spark is sterling? now you must be yanking my chain right?

      Reply
      • Chan
        1 year ago

        Tim, we all know you are a BR apologist and we are fine with that, everyone is entitle to their own opinion.

        I might not call our squad crap but it sure can be a lot better. Both our captain and Suarez had said we could do with some experience, as just like us, they had noticed we keep on buying 24 year olds so hopefully, they can live up to their “potentials” with us. Since when LFC is a nursery or some sort of feeder club? Hey ain’t some London club is doing just that?

        Better Manager? Common, we have one whose only claim to fame to date so far is his 180 page dossiers, with a single season experience in the Prem and who likes to talks just to give the illusion that he actually is capable because he is err..not. At that time, we had Rafa in the wings, even Van Gaal, all winners.

        Suarez. Can you guarantee that with the direction our team is heading, he is not tempted to play for a CL team managed by Pep?

        For 23 years we had consoled ourselves that Fergie was nearly a game a way from being sacked. So we are patient but only 2 managers was closed to winning the Prem, the rest just abuse our trust. BR and FSG is no different.

        Reply
        • Tim Williams
          1 year ago

          I wouldnt say that I am an apologist, I would consider myself more of a realist and prepared for a more long trm plan.

          What squad couldnt be better? Look at our experienced players, Reina, Johnson Skrtel, Agger, Lucas, Gerrard, Suarez, thats not too shabby. Yes i think we need a couple more experienced, certainly the vocal type. Look at the difference Carra made in that respect, but we cant rely on him week in and week out. We are bringing through a lot of youth whether it be academy players or those we buy and this will take time to click, it will never be instantaneous. So yes I would argue that individually our top players are as good as anyone in the league, but to be successful it is the team that has to perform and that takes time.

          Im not sure why you think that playing youth makes us a feeder club?? no evidence of that at all so far.

          Rodgers is more than the Swansea job, lets not do hi a discredit. He has a lot of knowledge and eperience in learning his trade. Is this job too soon? only time will tell, I think he is doing alright to be honest and I am confident. Could have had Rafa or Van Gaal yes but we didnt so I will back the man we do have.

          Direction our team is heading? do you not see any progess on last year? Its funny how when we get linked with a player in the press it is all rubbish but as soon as any link for one of our players to someone else, no matter how spurious, it must be true.

          We are at the beginning of something that needs t be committed too and followed through. Things werent instant for Fergie or even our own Shanks. The club are making the right moves off the pitch and we are laying foundations stones for our future in my eyes.

          Reply
        • kirbyking
          1 year ago

          Once again, Well said chan, Tim your biased articles are filled with nonsense as always ,you are a BR /FSG apologist

          Reply
        • Tim Williams
          1 year ago

          Aaahhhh kirbyking, missed you!

          What am I apologising for this time?? Biased? Towards what??

          Take a leaf from Chan’s book, although we often disagree at least he offers his opinion!

          Reply
        • kirbyking
          1 year ago

          Tim No , im not going there , never again . How do you convince someone who is delusional that the delusions are not real , if that person doesnt listen to reason or reality ?
          I had debate with you once , i dont even read your articles anymore .

          Reply
        • Tim Williams
          1 year ago

          So you only comment on my articles then?? Scratching my head here KirbyKing as I often do when I chat with you!

          If you dont read my articles anymore, but comment, how do you know what I have said??

          Just because someones opinion differs from your own does not make them delusional. The beauty of football is that different people take different perspectives of the game, and personally I find it intersting to hear what other people think.

          Now if you had actually read any of my articles before then you would have seen questions raised of both BR and FSG, just because I dont slag them off for everything and like to take a step back and take in the bigger picture does not make me an apologist. I wouldnt want to be a knee jerk sensationalist

          Reply
    • Geoff
      1 year ago

      Spot on jamali

      Reply
  • Liam McClintock
    1 year ago

    Great article mate, some very good points raised.

    Sneijder I agree was too much of a gamble, but I hope at least 2 more faces come in.

    Reply
    • Tim Williams
      1 year ago

      Thanks Liam.
      Yeah I would like to see a couple more players come in, and would hope that behind the scenes work is being done for early summer activity

      Reply
  • TaintlessRed
    1 year ago

    Tim, I don’t think Sneijder would’ve been a gamble from a footballing perspective. I think there is a level of player who can perform regardless of the League they are in and we have enough quality players for him to interact effectively with. However it would’ve been a financial gamble simply because we could not afford the wage he wanted. Even if he had taken a 40% cut he’d be on more than Gerrard and Suarez and that’s neither tenable or realistic. I don’t think he would’ve accepted a performance based salary linked to assists and goals either.
    The reason I wasn’t too dissapointed he didn’t come was a tactical reason. I’m very keen for Luis to play as our no. 10 in behind Sturridge (or Borini) and in front of Lucas and Gerrard. Sneijder can only play no. 10 and throws his toys out of the pram when he doesn’t. I don’t want to see Luis limited to the left or right of a front 3, as, while he could play wide very well, I want our best player to see as much of the ball as possible. I’d rather Sterling and Downing occupy the wide positions, or if we want to strengthen the midfield we have the option of playing say a Henderson in a wide midfield role rather than a winger or inside forward.
    Suarez is a magician and is in a group of a few players (like Neymar) who are just below the exclusive top two of Messi & Ronaldo. We must do everything to keep him happy. Sneijder was mathematically not possible for us. But Coutinho (or a player like him) is. Coutinho can play anywhere across the front (playing on the left at Espanyol) and is the profile of player that we need and would allow Luis to play as a No. 10 while adding competition to Sterling, Downing and cover for no. 10 role. But if FSG lose out again by being gazumped by another Premier club (and a tiddly club like Southampton to boot) there are bigger questions to answer about how our transfer negotiation process is run.

    Reply
    • Tim Williams
      1 year ago

      all fair points there mate, but i disagree with your footballing one. Sneijder was a massive gamble in terms of a footballing perspective. HIs injuries and lack of game play of late would have limited an early impact which could effect him. Despite not at the same level, Cole should have been a decent signing but it didnt work.

      The players I want at my club should be hungry and want to fight for the shirt. This is a trait much more common in younger players with points to prove. Established players, when presented with a performance related pay should not see this as an insult but as a challenge. Part of the reason we have struggled these last few years is some having more care about natwest than anfield.

      Reply
      • TaintlessRed
        1 year ago

        You certainly have a point that he may take a month or two to reach match sharpness but at 28 he’d be signing for 4 years so that wouldn’t matter so much. He’s had a few niggles but been fit for last few months and has no long history of injuries like RVP. Like u said van persie had only one injury free season and cost £20m+ at 29 with a year on his contract. Cole isn’t Sneijder and has never been a World Class Player. We can’t use Cole as an example not to sign an experienced world class Player or we never will. All new signings have an element of risk, but when you sign a player of increasing quality you have an increased probability of success in a decreasing ammount of time. When acknowledged world class players fail it is because:
        1) they are played out of position
        2)the team doesn’t have players to get the best out of them
        3)they lack motivation or
        4)they were world class but no longer are
        5)they can’t settle in different country / league
        So long as Sneijder is played in no. 10 position and not out wide the only potential problem is 3) motivation, as you rightly mention in your response above.
        Given he chose to go to Gala then perhaps motivation is indeed a problem. However, if he had chosen to come to us, then he would’ve had to have accepted a significant pay cut hence clearly showing that his motivation to the cause.
        In the end he didn’t come so I guess it’s not worth worrying about too much. It’s very rare that a world class Player comes on the market and even rarer that they are affordable by us. Given we have no Champs League its rarer still they’d want to join us so buying talented younger players is probably our only real option for the time being.

        Reply
        • Tim Williams
          1 year ago

          Not worth worrying about no, but an interesting topic.

          Him, or anyone, taking a pay cut or accepting performance related pay changes the field. It shows a hunger and a real desire to succeed.

          The issue with fitness aspect is that the expectation of a top level player coming in is that of an instantaneous impact. Whilst not at the same level, both cole and sahin were high class players who struggled because they didn’t hit the ground running! Torres at Chelsea.

          The next problem is wages. Not knowing facts I would suggest our top 3 earners are Suarez, Gerrard and Carra and without a doubt they have earned each penny through what they have given to the team. To catapult any player into the squad on equivalent wages risks unsettling the dressing room, unless you have the Rvp impact disharmony grows! At united, how happy would a Rooney or a carrick or a vidic be had Rvp ‘done a Torres’ knowing this kid is paid a lot more without go ing anything back.

          It’s a very fine line and in our state of recovery I don’t think we are in any position to take a gamble like that! In terms of experience a move for alonso for example would be a much safer bet.

          An additional point on sneijder, considering what he went for does no-one else think it was odd that the likes of city, united, Chelsea , spurs, arsenal, psg etc etc were not in for him?

          Reply
  • smart
    1 year ago

    Rvp is a world best

    Reply

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