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History Shows Us These Players Could Be Worth The Wait

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A quick glance at society today will show that we are a generation that demands instant gratification into whatever our desire happens to be. Want some food? Go to McDonalds. Want some information? Go to Google. Want the news? BBC 24 hour channel. Our wants can be met within seconds, why bother being patient? Couple this with the phenomenon that is Twitter where opinions are expressed in 140 characters or less, and increasingly opinions are based on instant ‘bite-size chunks’. Everything is either black or white, there is no room for grey as that takes too long!

Imagine if you will, Kenny brings in a promising 19 year old, spending what is a record fee for a teenager who then initially only makes sporadic appearances in the first team and takes a year to score his first senior goal. What would happen to this lad? Would he be given time? Allowed to settle in and mature in a red shirt? Looking at the way some have talked about Lucas, Henderson and Carroll I would suggest not. Well it is a good job Bob Paisley thought differently as that 19 year old was Ian Rush and we all know what he did next!

Looking back at Liverpool players that have been brought in to the club there are stand outs who have hit the ground running – the likes of Torres, Suarez, Barnes, Alonso, Dalglish – and became instant hits which in an ideal world would be the case with every signing. Likewise with players coming through the ranks – Gerrard, Fowler, Owen and Mcmanaman – who wowed immediately, and again in a perfect world this would be a regular occurrence. As we are all well aware though this is not a perfect world and players react differently to situations, some needing time to adjust to a lifestyle change, some adjusting to life at a club with the stature of Liverpool and some with the transfer fee paid for them hanging like a millstone around their neck. But what is it that warrants a degree of patience from the fans? What factors have an effect? Age? Price tag? Nationality? Reputation?

Case study 1; like for like: Andy Carroll vs Peter Crouch. £35million vs £7million. 22 year old vs 24 year old. 42 goals in 91 games vs 54 goals in 172 games prior to signing for Liverpool. Despite an injury that delayed Carroll’s debut, he scored a brace early on against a team the stature of Manchester City and past a keeper the quality of Joe Hart. In comparison, Crouch didn’t score until the December of his first season against Wigan. Both were (and still are for Carroll) lambasted in the media yet only Crouch received unwavering support from the majority of Reds fans where there are cries for Carroll to be cashed in, that he is rubbish. What is the difference here? Would Carroll be allowed more time simply if he had cost less? Is it perhaps the (alleged) off-field antics of Carroll that makes him less amiable than the much loved Crouch? My personal opinion on Carroll is that he is good enough, and given support and a style of football to suit him, could evolve into a very important player for Liverpool. We have seen glimpses of this already, most recently THAT chance he created for himself against Newcastle before that sniper took him down. Ahem!
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Case Study 2; have we learned our lesson?: Lucas Leiva vs Jordan Henderson. £5million v (estimated) £20million. 19 years old vs 20 years old. Under -20 international for Brazil vs full England international. For a number of years Lucas was the focal point for many Liverpool fans as being not worthy and the epitome of what was going wrong with the club, regularly being slated on forums and even booed by his own fans (which should never ever happen to a player in the famous red shirt). Yet Lucas has risen like a phoenix from the ashes to being one of our most important players and arguably his injury the reason why our early season form has dipped so dramatically. This is a young man uprooted from everything he has known and moved halfway round the world and took time to settle. Henderson has a number of similarities with Lucas in terms of the steady growing resentment within the fan base, but also with his on the pitch attributes. He has a high work rate, conducts himself on and off the pitch in a very professional manner and has shown flashes of what he can offer in the future. But again, is it the price tag that has given delusions of grandeur in what he can offer in the present? My personal opinion is that his form has suffered through being played out of position, but I have seen enough of the lad to believe that he will grow at this club and mature into a very good player.

What is it that I am trying to say? Well, history has shown that patience and support can allow a player to battle through that settling-in period and flourish. The younger a player is the more imperative it is to fully get behind them. The club will not sign genuinely bad players as there will be a belief by those within Anfield that players they have identified can come in and improve the squad, but for whatever reason players may not settle and a combination of factors can see top, top players fail to make it – Morientes is a stand out example – but whilst they wear the Red of Liverpool they will get my support. YNWA

If you want to get in touch or chat about this article or anything LFC im on twitter @timdibs

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  • AZ says:

    I firmly believe that both players will be with us next season and will be important players.

    Henderson is a player who just needs a bit more confidence. He has great attributes that would describe him as a Spanish midfielder. Great vision, first time passing, decent drive and very good intelligence on the pitch. He can also shoot, cross and dribble when in full flow as well as his good physique.

    The Carroll dilemma is a bit less obvious imo. He hasn’t showed exquisite technique but players like him (ie target men) normally come to prominance as they are much older (closer to 30) He is only going to improve with greater experience. His positioning will improve, his heading will too and so will his right foot. He was never bought as a speed merchant so for me, he is a player who could well be with us for the rest of his career and improve every season.

    I genuinely think both players are important to the future. Maybe these 2 should have been bought this summer rather than last and last summer we could have got slightly more established players.

  • steve p says:

    Good article mate, I completely agree that we should support them, they don’t make the price up.

    The Liverpool of old would never boo players, absolutely bloody disgraceful

    • Chan says:

      LFC of old does not lose 6 games in 7 and does not throw THE SHIRT and direct 4 letter words at the gaffer when substituted either.

  • dubai_red says:

    What a pointless article!!!

    Fans dnt demand instant success all the time, but when you spend 55m on 2 players then surely there has to be some return and in the case of AC & JH, frankly there hasn’t been anywhere near enough.

    Just look at some of the top strikers around in europe that could be bought for 35m and then compare them wth AC and then you will understand the frustration.

    The other point is that we start the season with AC as the main striker and yet he needs time, then surely that isn’t a depth in the striking options. Would be okay if we have the likes of Cavanni or Gomez which would allow AC time to develop.

    Henderson I am prepared to wait on. Would have played less if kept Meireles and if SG. Wasn’t injured.

    The comparisons with Crouch and Lucas are diabolical as one they cost a fraction and secondly lucas is a defensive MF.

    • Daniel Vito says:

      Lucas is in no way a natural DM, when he plays for brazil he is one of the most influential attacking players they have with bags of skill, he has adjusted very well to playing DM which shows how good a footballer he is, but in no way is that his best position, same with Henderson they just need to find his position… And the prices that he’s showing is to try help understand why we are not quick to judge crouch. When you buy a pc for £200 you don’t mind that it’s not great, you buy one for £1000 and if it’s not up to standard you are frustrated as you expect more for your money

      • Chan says:

        Correct. When you buy a Toyota and it does not do 60 mph in 5 seconds you would say its ok. But when you stump out big money for a Jaguar but you still feel the same if it does not burn rubber?

        Silly article that tries to deceive us. We are not KD in disguise you know Tim?

        • Tim Williams says:

          Im not trying to deceive anyone but a few responses highlights that some are prone to judge a player based on transfer fee alone! Take carroll, he didnt ask to be signed for £35m, it has nothing to do with him! As Kenny himself said we signed the lad over 5 1/2 years, and whether he lasts that long, longer or leaves sooner he will have my full backing!

          Plus people need to remember we bought potential! its not as if we bought an established player the likes of a Gomez or a Lavezzi. The new owners are keen on youth and potential! Did we pay over the odds for him? yes of course we did but we had 50m and ewcastle arent daft! The whole transfer dealings involving torres and carroll were as bizarre as they were unique! forget about the price tag and support the lad for the time he is in the red shirt

    • Tim Williams says:

      You miss the point of the article! The article asks what are the determining factors in the time players are allowed! I compared crouch to carroll due to the similar attributes/role played and Henderson to Lucas due to age and fan reaction. Should we as fans have less patience with players the more they cost or as another poster said, should we just give them our backing as they wear red and the price tag is not their fault!

      you say we could have bought a different striker for £35m, the question is at that point in time with the time frame who? the team was on its knees, we had lost a world class striker and was struggling to get anywhere near the champions league, why would the likes of gomez and cavani, as you quoted, even want to come should their club actually want to sell. we bought a young england international who will take time to adapt to us as we will to him! Lets support him!

  • Jako says:

    A positive report at last! Good article mate. At this point in time the team needs our support not the opposite. Hate this so called supporters that believe every bit of negative publicity they read (written by vultures(media)). Shame on them

    • Chan says:

      You mean someone actually made up our 6 loses in 7 games? Our worst run since the 1950’s and it did not happen?

      You mean that someone else actually made up that we paid 35 mill for 1 single player with half year prem experience while the club that receives this money actually built half their team that sank us last week?

      Oh did some one also made up the intervies with Aldrige where for the first time our club is in crisis and its actually embarassing to be a fan these days?

      Is it fiction that Everton and Newcastle a club that spent a tiny fcation of what KD did in the summer are above us? Newcastle is 11 points clear and fighting for 4th.

      Is it also made up that we are closer to the team at the bottom rather than 4th?

      What is positive Jako? The CC? Well Birmingham won it last year and did you know where they are right now?

      How about our style of play? Besides can’t score and defend and barely able to pass, we are doing great right?

      Enlighten me Jako, what positive had KD brought to our club?

  • magnumopus says:

    Sorry but I must have been watching a different Alonso than the one you mention. He didn’t look real good until the year he knew he was leaving!

  • RoboKop says:

    Excellent article. It’s always refreshing to read something positive. It makes a lot of sense in terms future potential players, it’s all about patience. Good stuff.

  • Zinco says:

    I like this article. The negativity amongst some fans is a concern but people who love lfc have been patient for twenty years and some feel options are in short supply. Booing must stop now though it’s a disgrace and helps no one .

    • Chan says:

      You said it yourself, we had waited for 20 years and now we have this tiny window to progress and KD promptly blew it.

      Do you want us to wait for another 20 while the likes of Manure add another 10 to 15 prem to ther name?

      Our captain patiently waited his whole life to win 1, 1 prem playing with us. Would you like to see him retiring without one?

  • chat rooms in the uk says:

    Thumbs Up If You Went think they did this video chat with Paris Hilton

  • Bekim says:

    Or it could b they r not good enough and they’ll never b any good. So u hoping history will repeat again.U could sign a world class player and sometimes it doesn’t work out(VERON at MU) or u could sign player with no skills at all(HENDERSON) and after a while they end up at small club in the championship and they look good again. That’s cos they find their level and that’s where they should play. It’s differnt thing to buy LUCAS for 5million after he won young player of the year in Brasil than to buy HENDERSON for 20million and I think he only played once for england.

  • ApoN? says:

    If Liverpool FC owner WOULD give’s’ us another major overhaul…
    plese sign these player KK… i have no doubt that these player would
    bring us where we belong… The CHAMPIONS of ENGLAND…

    NAME:Manuel Neuer
    FACT:Gr8 ability. Quick Agilities. Gr8 hand on the ball. Good sence.
    Could give Pepe Reina a competition at the rear post for
    the no.1 spot.As Reina have been BIG HEADED that he thinks no
    goalkeeper in LFC can take his spot at the post.

    NAME:Benedikt Höwedes
    FACT: A born leader. Good technique. Quick on the ball.
    Have every confidence in himself. Have no doubt he n Daniel Agger
    can prove a good partership n solid denfence.

    NAME:Aaron Lennon
    POSITION:Right Winger
    FACT: Dribbles the ball with intelligence n good technique. Gr8 stamina.
    can over runs opponent anytimes. Could contribute alot especially a good
    cross to the striker like Andy Carroll. A natural winger.

    NAME:Arda Turan
    POSITION:Left Winger
    FACT: A gifted left footed player.Dribbles the ball with intelligence n good technique.
    A Liverpool Fans. Could give his heart n soul to the beloved club that he
    support as a kid. Can easily dumbed out Downing to the bench if he did not show
    his true potential that he did at Middlebrough and Aston Villa.

    NAME:Lars Bender
    POSITION:Defensive Midfielder
    FACT: Dribbles the ball with intelligence. Good passer. Can do a gr8 combination
    with other players. A solid defensive display may put out our Lucas at bay.

    NAME:Edinson Cavani
    FACT: Good finisher.Dribbles the ball with intelligence n good technique.
    Can do a gr8 combination with other players. Gr8 stamina. Could give the scouses
    an EXCELLENT partnership with Luis Suarez easilly. Have every confidence
    that he could score atleast 15-20 goals per season. 100% GUARENTEED. =D

    and this can be the team that can bring back the BPL home to Anfield…

    TEAM X11
    Formation : 4:4:2

    E.Cavani L.Suarez

    A.Turan S.Gerrard A.Lennon


    J.Enrique D.Agger B.Höwedes G.Johnson

    Manuel Neuer


  • A better comparison for Carroll would be Tony Hateley.
    Bought by Shankly for big money he scored 28 goals in a season and then Shankly sold him, because he stopped us playing like Liverpool. This wasn’t his fault and it’s not Carroll’s.
    I supported Lucas when he was getting stick because he never hid. I refer to Henderson as the Merseyside hide-and-seek champion (runner-up Downing). We need players with a bit of ‘ticker’.
    It does’nt help when players like Maxi and Dirk are brought in, play well and get dropped again for big money Commolli/Dalglish buys who can’t cut it.

  • Chan says:

    Tim lets look at the comparisons that you made yourself ;

    Carroll Vs Crouch = 35 mill vs 7 mill
    Henderson vs Lucas = 20 mill vs 5 mill.

    You answered your own question. Yes the players cost.

    Crouch and Lucas was bought by Rafa at a time when money was tight and the does not have the privilige of blowing 100 mill in 1.5 season. He has to work with potential and looking back, Lucas was a steal at 5 mill. KD on the other hand was backed fully by FSG and promptly blew big money on not one but 4 POTENTIAL FLOPS in Carroll, Downing, Adams and Henderson. If you compared with our rivals, Mata cost about 24 mill and look at him at Chelsea. Another thing is as you said so, Lucas has to adapt to a different culture let alone a different club. The last i checked Henderson has a British passport. I was a Lucas critic in the beginning but he won me over with his determination and his quick improvement on the pitch, plus he was bought as an ATTACKING player in the beginning, not as DM. Could you honestly see Henderson or Carroll emulating Lucas?

    Its a common misconception that we non KD fans (just LFC fans not KD fans. At the same time DO NOT confuse KD fans with actual LFC fans like us)expect instant results. We are not. We do not expect KD to win the league this season. Personally if KD come close to even challenging top 4, i would declare this season a success.

    KD has resources and backing in a single season that no other manager in recent memory enjoys and he promptly blows 113 mill on potentials? Are you kidding me. Assuming that JH is some Sheikh in disguise and stumps out another 100 mill, won’t we run foul of UEFA financial fair play rules.

    This article sole purpose is written to shore up support for KD as he and his flops had been a major disaster for LFC. It’s time to move on and the first step is to sack KD.

    • Tim Williams says:

      So in your own words the time a player is allowd to settle at a club is based on cost? Crouch allowed more time as he cost less than Carroll etc etc? Does that mean the likes of Degen and Voronin should still be at the club? they cost nothing!

      Im not suprised by the rest of the response you have provided that you did not back Lucas initially! How long did it take Lucas to establish himself? 2 years? maybe a bit more? Henderson hasnt even had a full season yet and you have written him off! A player played out of position! And nationality has nothing to do with a player settling in a new area! This is a 21 year old brought away from home, away from his family, his surroundings, to a new place (regardless of distance) that is unusual, his own personal support networks half the country away! Moved to a massive club with a large transfer fee and the spotlight firmly on him! I think it is rather that you and others write him off so easily.

      You talk about potential flops? isnt every signing a potential flop? Personally I thought Adam was coming good in a partnership with Lucas and his form, like that of the team took a srious dip in Lucas’s abscence. Carroll has shown glimpses of what he can bring and once he and the rest of the team can adapt to playing to each other we will see the best of him should he stay. Downing has been disappointing as he is an established star and out of all the signings should have hit the ground running as t were. but Iwont write him off when he hasnt had a full season!

      You mention Mata! Why would Mata have chosen us over Chelsea? Chelsea at the time could offer more wages, could offer champions league football could offer established players they ahd spent a lot of money on with the capability of spending more! Reality is that without the lure of champions league football we sell the club based on a project! A project that is being built around youth!

      Do you really think we are that bad? based on a run of 7 games? that first half of the season we played some beautiful football and only deserved to lose to Spurs! Had we had someone in goalscoring form like RVP then we would be right up there! Unfortunately we werent able to put the ball in the back of the net and that cost us. An inability to score impacts on morale and impacts therefore on form. Point in case, arsenal have on the whole been poor most of the season, but RVP has banged them in and they have risen in confidence and turned their season around. In fact his late winner against us shattered us in terms of confidence and what to play for in the league. As a club we have nothing to play for in the league and that has reflected in the performances and the confidence draind from the team after the opposition score is a direct result of our lackof scoring ability at present. personally I thin we are only a couple of players away from really challenging.

      The sole purpose of this article was to create debate which I think it has! To call Kenny a disaster for LFC is a disgraceful comment! he has done too much for the club for commetns like that to be made! He is the start of a rebuilding process that will take time after H&G almost took us into administration and god knows where. Am I happy with our form? no. But do I think we are moving forward? yes

  • hunter says:

    give kd one more season and we are playing in the champship d next season. Time to stop dis campaing for daglish and surport lfc not kd, if he truely love lfc as he has said he should just resign asap. YNWA.

  • spoty says:

    this season alone aint enough 2 judge carrol and henderson. Downing and adam, hell i cant stand those 2. Big flops. Then talking of sacking KD, it hasnt come to that yet, he is doing a great work only that someone needs to advice him on how to feature players.

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