TICK-tock, tick-tock, the noise of the metaphorical second hand of the transfer clock is getting increasingly louder and more ominous as we wind down towards that excitable Jim White and the dramatic SLAMMING SHUT of the window.
I want to take this opportunity to paraphrase a famous House of Commons speech (special prize if you can name the who gave the original!):
I warn the Fenway Sports Group that the people of this club will neither forget nor forgive an owner which…denies to the hopes of Liverpool Football Club…of that ancient liberty of silverware challenge which our predecessors of Anfield vindicated for themselves at the point of pass and move.
I had images of myself shouting that to a load of Scots, or screaming it defiantly at the Balrog as Coutinho and Allen scurry away with the ring!
In my mind this certainly has changed, in fact it has probably become even more crucial that Rodgers is backed in light of what has transpired so far.
We all expected Manchester City and Chelsea to do serious business, I still expect Arsenal to spend some money, but it is the recruitment at Spurs causing concern.
Obviously they are significantly helped by a ludicrous sum of money coming from Madrid (really? He is worth more than you paid for Ronaldo? Really???) There is no doubt our business this summer has left us in a stronger position than at the same point last year, but the worry is whether or not we have learnt our lessons or were our fingers burned too badly?
Looking at our business first; I think best buy so far has to be Kolo Toure. Filling the shoes of someone like the Cultural Attaché of Bootle, Mr Carragher, was an impossible task. Yet in the Ivorian, I’m not sure there is anyone else that could have come as close.
He brings leadership, experience, knowledge of success, he can jump 8 foot in the air, and is seemingly an all round nice chap. Whilst I didn’t want to lose Reina I think Mignolet is an excellent replacement and agree with the club’s decision making, there (hey – read about this too).
Iago Aspas looks at this stage like the result of top scouting and cheap fee paid as he looks to be a good fit into our system. As for Luis Alberto, it is far too soon to make judgement but he comes with huge praise from those who know more than me (most people) and certainly looks tidy.
As for players leaving, I don’t think as yet there has been too much upset at their departure, possibly Reina aside (Suarez still a Red at time of writing).
FSG and the club made a big whoopsie around this time last year though, made more ridiculous by the activity of Spurs this summer. Whereas last summer we looked to offload Carroll before any serious moves on players coming in, Spurs have pretty much spent the King’s ransom (probably a more literally correct statement than you think knowing Real’s money troubles) they are certainly getting for the Welsh wizard before he has gone. Risky strategy granted but leaves them very healthy and dangerous if he goes or stays!
There is no denying that FSG’s fingers were burnt during that time of Dalglish and Commoli and in light of the time under Rodgers has seen the serious investment at that time prove to be a seriously costly error. Nobody will ever know whether we would be in a different position had Kenny stayed on and allowed to work longer with his signings but this is a mute point.
What is fact is that FSG got hammered with Carroll, Downing and Adam as well as having to deal with the likes of Aquilani and Cole (damn we have wasted some money) and have been left suitably bemused by football dealings which are distinctly different to those of American sports.
Whilst I find it commendable that they are taking stands such as we have seen with Willian and not succumbing to agent demands such a relative moral high ground could prove to be damaging to the club’s prospects of that coveted top 4 spot.
Unfortunately the top players are afflicted with the money sucking leaches and to have an ambition to sign such a player we will have to deal with them and probably pay more than we value them at.
FSG have backed themselves into a corner this window twofold. Firstly by vowing not to sell Suarez and secondly by continually talking about a marquee signing. For me, marquee is misleading; I would be far happier with say two £15m players than one £30m player as the one very expensive player could disrupt the squad ethic we seemingly have developed! See Asprilla to Newcastle!
It’s a huge week coming up for FSG, with the Coates injured, the need for a centre-back is more urgent. Downing leaving leaves a gap in the squad for a left side forward and personally losing Spearing (rate him or not) leaves us with no natural cover for Lucas who is still recovering from two nasty injuries.
To me that’s three signings we need by close of play, although I would take two. The biggest mistake FSG could make is bringing in nobody after letting people leave and promising incomings. The mood could change for the worse come September when it should be all about the football!
The gauntlet is laid down! Agree? Disagree? Opinion? Comment here and come find me on twitter @timdibs
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