I have already talked about my thoughts concerning FSG, the transfer window and how as a club I think we performed.
Rather than merely incomings into the club and players that have left, we have seen FSG really tested on a number of fronts, and, whisper it carefully, they done pretty well! In fact I would go on to say, and I mean this in the nicest and cleanest possible way, we have seen their balls!
Without doubt, THE biggest challenge of the summer was going to be that little Uruguayan, Luis Suarez.
If you put aside his wandering gnashers and his buffet incident, he carried us for that first half of the season and was quite wonderful in his footballing performances. The fear was that our failure to secure Champions League football was always going to leave tough questions being asked regarding his Anfield status due to his world class talent that truly belongs in that elite environment. Not helped at all by the murmuring rumours of a £40m minimum buy out clause.
Personally speaking, the fear I held was that we were seeing Torres repeated and would be left on deadline day Desperately Seeking Susan, as it were. Confident as I was that we wouldn’t see a repeat of the Carroll deal, the good work of the early transfer window would be undone by waving off Luis to the Bernabeu or Allianz. The Arsenal interest was as shocking as Myley Cyrus at the VMA’s (please don’t picture Wenger ‘twerking’) and the infamous ‘£1’ bid as shocking as chewing through a telephone wire (don’t try this at home).
Yet it was the ‘£1’ bid that stirred John Henry into action with that tweet! Whilst perhaps not very diplomatic nor advisable, it certainly cheered Liverpool fans around the globe. Whether Arsenal read about the supposed release clause on an internet forum or via a Chinese Whisper around London town (well we know they wouldn’t have spoken to the agent prior to consent from Liverpool right? I mean no club does that!) the bid was made and the expectation was that the Emirates would fly him away from the Liverbird. Step up Mr Henry, standing over home plate like Babe Ruth hitting home runs with each bid Arsenal made. After the bids came the newspaper interview – homer! PFA – homer! Legal advice you say…HOMER!
Certainly no d’oh’s emanating from Melwood! Our stance was clear, the lad has a price and we ain’t budging! Pay by a certain date or go get a German with only hours to spare! (disclaimer – not confirmed whether that was an official response or in fact that Liverpool had any sway over Wenger in the Ozil deal!).
Most importantly of all, John Henry stood tall and shouted ‘THIS IS ANFIELD’, probably not dressed as Gerard Butler in 300, and proclaimed that Suarez was staying. Hey, and guess what? He did! I have seen our owners called all sorts, slammed from pillar to post and accused of many things, sometimes with reason, often with not, but this action with Suarez tells us a number of things about FSG.
They are clearly not asset stripping for one! The sale of Suarez could have been fully justified in light of his latest ban or the outburst or disguising the true reading of the contract, but he was not sold! We will never know this summer what the price was for his signature, but then nobody is without a price! FSG have stood up to Champions League clubs and refused to be bullied, telling Madrid not to call back!
Thanks but no thanks, we considered this Caerphilly and decided you should go Welsh (disclaimer – Liverpool had no hand in recommending Bale Real Madrid. Disclamer 2 – I do not apologise for my Welsh cheese pun). If Rodgers can get anything approaching the player we saw last year it will be like a new signing, and a world class one at that!
I am sure by their own admission FSG were novices in the world of football when they took over, you just have to look at some of the price tags paid for some of the players we bought to see that! Coupled with questionable handling of ‘Evragate’ and the Dempsey debacle, FSG were getting a hard and fast Football 101! Yet this summer we have seen that they are quick learners. We dillied and dallied with Demspey letting Carroll go first and losing out altogether. This year we had worries about the winks passing between Reina and Catalonia so went and got ourselves a lovely little Belgian number.
We did early business utilising the scouting system we have invested in for good money. Crucially however, we have not caved in to agent demands. I alluded to his in my previous piece, it is some (wrong to tar all with the same brush) that are corroding the game from within. The prime example of which centres on our bid for Willian and his subsequent ‘Vs’ at Spurs after they kindly let him take his Chelsea medical at their facility. I would even question the agent of Suarez as well in terms of his behaviour. As a club we have stood up to these leaches and come out stronger for it! Yes as fans it can frustrate to lose a player of Willian’s quality over a few million payable to his agent, but I admire this stand and wish more clubs would take this moral approach.
To surmise, I think FSG have had a really positive summer. They stood tall and refused to be bullied, they dealt effectively and purposefully in the transfer market and whilst others around them lost their heads as Jim White was slamming that window shut they acted with dignity and decorum allowing one and all to attend a function of someone deserving of respect.
If you like this, please come find me on twitter @timdibs
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