I mean, look at Spurs; the possibility of Gareth Bale leaving has been reduced to a non issue because of their pre-payday shopping spree. The best player in last season’s league campaign is leaving the club, but nobody really talks about it anymore.
To me that’s a signal of harmony; of a club having played their cards in the transfer market just right.
At the moment though, Spurs isn’t the club Liverpool FC should compare themselves against and use as reference point in terms of spending and players. Not because they’re not spending wisely – for me they are the clear winners of the summer as we approach the closing hours – but because their situation is rather unique and their squad is at a different stage of the cycle.
They have built steadily for many years now; since before Harry Redknapp got the job they have been spending their money wisely, largely avoiding the costly mistakes and slowly built a gradually more competitive squad. Nothing there has happened over night.
They have positioned themselves well, and with Gareth Bale on his way to Real Madrid for grotesque money they got the cash injection they needed to make a real push. This was their time to make decision and their time to act, and they did.
I think that could be something to chew on as we look towards them with despair and envy, and feel the hint of a window leaving a somewhat flat and funky smell behind. It’s a meagre comfort as we watch Franco Baldini tying up deals left and right while Liverpool don’t always seem to be able to agree on which direction to do their huffing and puffing.
But sometimes things just don’t materialise the way you planned. Sometimes one of your rivals simply gets everything spot on and everything happening for them; the stars align and they can surf the wave of momentum – a bit like when Manchester United happened to have their golden relegation coming through at the same time as Liverpool’s decline started and football got injected with tv-money. That’s how I feel about Spurs this summer.
Brendan Rodgers has, when asked, repeatedly said the last couple of months that the objective has to be Champions League football next season. The way things are shaping up though I can’t help wondering what he thinks now. Relatively speaking I would say that fourth would be an achievement this season; this is what I have repeated, and I’m sticking to it.
The harsh reality is that our only realistic chance of dining out a year from now could depend on other teams failing and underperforming.
Not that fourth spot and Champions League qualification is a goal in itself; we all know it isn’t. But it is an important step Liverpool Football Club has to aim for on its way back; that is something we cannot deny.