Iago Aspas: A new scapegoat confirmed

Image for Iago Aspas: A new scapegoat confirmed

LFC strikerBARELY 10 minutes had passed since the introduction of Iago Aspas for the injured Philippe Coutinho than Liverpool ‘fans’ started slated the Spaniard for a perceived lack of footballing ability. ‘Is he even a footballer?’ was one comment I read after his first few touches.

By that stage of the match Liverpool were already under the cosh and, as I indicated in a previous article, were seemingly dropping deeper and deeper as the half wore on. As Shelvey nodded down for another Spaniard, Michu, to equalize for Swansea, it seemed only fair to find a suitable scapegoat for that specific predicament.

Step forward Iago Aspas.

It always seemed likely that Aspas or Alberto would fill the role that so many fans love these days, that of the hated member of your own squad; the player that gets endless stick, becomes the butt of jokes and has questions raised about his legitimacy as a footballer and, as the likes of Traore, Biscan, Kuyt and Lucas before him have been, it looks like we have our new contender for ‘flop of the season’.

A lot of it has to do with the fee, the overall prior knowledge of the player, the club they come from and – I sadly don’t doubt – whether they’ve done well for your team in Football Manager but it’s all bull, quite frankly. I mean, who knew Michu was going to be the signing of last season after 4 league matches.

The simple fact is we’re barely 5 games into the league season and the poor guy is already probably finished as a Liverpool player because we live in a time of instant gratification and football fans don’t seem to understand the concept of having to adapt to a new league.

If I’m honest, I’d never heard of him before we were linked with him in the summer and I’d much rather the money we put out to bring him here had been used to bring in a higher profile player but he’s a Red now and he deserves at least one season to get into the swing of things.

There have been players over the years that I’ve not been convinced by but I’ve always given them time, whether home grown or from abroad. I mean, I could see early on that Jay Spearing was not at the required level after 10-15 games for our reserves, never mind the first team but I gave him a chance and had to endure over 4 years of his first-team involvement before Brendan Rodgers saw sense.

Funnily enough, Aspas’s demise has come at a time when Liverpool FC’s new sweetheart, Philippe Coutinho, is relatively anonymous. His performances this season have looked somewhat tired and off the pace and he has yet to assist – or score – a single goal himself.

Yet, despite less game time this season Aspas has an assist to his name. So purely statistically this season Aspas is slightly edging it, wouldn’t you say?

Until his withdrawal against Swansea last night he may as well not have been on the pitch but nobody made a single comment about it. Yet the moment Aspas similarly makes a few misplaced passes or fails to take on several Swansea players he’s deemed to be having a ‘mare.

I noticed a lot of people jumping to Sakho’s defence early on too, after what was a pretty terrible debut for the Reds. He dived into tackles without thinking, seemed to be defending for himself and had the demeanour of a player with a lot to learn but the resounding message was that he’s new and still relatively young, hence he deserves time.

Oh, and he’s also from PSG and cost a fortune so he’s obviously going to become a great player. Funny how that works, isn’t it?

I also find it quite fitting that one of last season’s favourite scapegoats, Jonjo Shelvey, was phenomenal for Swansea on Monday night. In 90 minutes he showed everything that made him so great and frustrating to watch and it was ultimately a lack of patience to allow him to develop that led to his departure.

As this point, it should be made clear that I’m not saying that either Coutinho or Sakho are terrible players. To think that would be entirely missing the point: I think they’re both going to become incredible players for Liverpool and the early evidence from Coutinho is that he has the potential to be world class and I want him to develop here for a long time to come.

As for Sakho, he is clearly a good defender and a really good prospect. I’m excited to see him find his form and he’ll be given all the time he needs.

The same time and patience should be afforded to Iago Aspas. Remember his pre-season? He looked good. But then again, I remember a certain pony-tailed striker looking good in pre-season a few years ago too.

However, that’s the whole point: we’ll never know unless these players are all given equal billing and allowed to find their form. Too many players have been written off by our fans over the years and proven us wrong and it’s getting tiring.

We’re top of the league, yet to find our best form and once we do and have a fully-fit squad it’s likely that we’ll be a match for anybody in the league, home or away. So get behind every player in the squad, not just your favourites and the high-profile players.

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I'm a 32 year old Liverpool fan, living in the heart of the City Centre. I've supported the club since the day I was born and have been writing articles for L4L for over 3 years, writing close over 350 articles in that time. My favorite player of the past generation is Sami Hyypia.

I am the current editor for L4L, with my day job being in R&D for the NHS.


  • steve says:

    we dont have many quality players,Apas is just a flop.he cannot come good.i hate his footballing style.Downing is even better than him.Apas please go and join QPR.

  • Raam says:

    He is simply not ready for EPL. Hope he train and work hard to be included in the first 11. He have to earn it. Like Lucas before him. And when Suarez returns, his service and assists are required more or he will possibly lose his place to Luis Alberto and Raheem Sterling.

  • roythered says:

    No wonder his last team just avoided relegation! Did Rodgers get him off the back of utube clips? Eriksen did’nt cost much more than him.

  • Liam says:

    Why do silly uneducated fans feel the need to defend every poor player we buy ?

    Allen , Borini , Assaidi have all proven to be useless. And now Aspas.

    Just not good enough. Lets hope Rodgers admits his mistake and drops Aspas rather than keep a underperforming player

  • Reg says:

    Only time will tell.
    even Lucas struggled initially.. Some guys are slow starters.. As a team I hope we maintain the momentum. Hendo should be tried in the central role now.

  • Anon says:

    Stupid article, worse fans… The argument only goes around and around.

    We have good players, including the newer recruits and that includes Aspas. It’s too early for all this nonsense.

  • ajoy b says:

    aspas is not upto the mark, can never be upto the mark. allen borni aspas assaidi deosn’t deserve the Liverpool jersey. period.

    • tom foss says:

      Hey dude,you are right but allen is improving quite well. Aspas just aint a big club player like adam. Alberto is quality and should get equal chance as he was coutinhos age when coutinho got his chance

  • taiwo says:

    let gv alberto chance

  • REDDY says:

    We should have rather bought Erriksen in my opinion and kept Borini….yes we sit top of the league but don’t be deluded, we can’t finish top let’s be honest. Even getting top4 will be hard unless we add another World Class Player or 2 in January. We should have did that now. We spent £23m on deadline day for Sakho(15m) and illori(7m) and in my opinion we should have rather signed illori and Erriksen (cos he was needed)! We have Agger-Toure- Skrytl and Kelly-Wisdom can play there too??? Our signing this season. Should have been Toure(free)-Illori(7m)-Luis Alberto(7m)-Erriksen(11m)-(kept Borin)i-Moses(loan)-Cissokho(loan) and signed Mata as our Marquee signing that to me would have been a team to challenge with a lot of quality and dept… Erriksen was brilliant for spurs!!! And with him in central midfield, Countinho and Mata pulling the strings feeding Suarez n Sturridge would have been mouth watering to watch!!!

  • pino pino says:

    Aspas is the weakest player i have ever seen, always afraid to shoot,no doubt he’s a good player just need to stand firm against his man and improve his stamina just like coutinho did after few games.The boy will come good if played in a wide position to cut in and receive lesser attention.Aspas prove me right.Y.N.W.A

  • femi aina says:

    all what we need is committed players

  • Nigerian KOP onyedika says:

    Aspas, a clit, Borini, a pussy… Aspas should keep playing on the wing.. But from my assesment, he doesnt deserve to wear the Red Jersey.. Lets loan him to stoke

    • S. Liddell says:

      I think the message here is all about time! Some “fans” have no idea about some players needing time. I agree with the article. In the “old” days players like Hansen, Thompson, Clemence, could mature in the reserves. Alan Hansen rocked on his heels some of his earlier games and what a player he turned into. Think Lucas you people who jump on the scapegoat bandwagon. !!!

  • jgaray says:

    *Interesting Opta Stats on our club in general.
    “Aspas’ stats so far are mixed:
    * chances created: 7
    * Assists: 1
    * Passing Accuracy: 78.6%
    * Passing Accuracy Opposition Half: 76.5%
    * Tackles Won: 50%
    * Shooting Accuracy: 50%
    * Crossing Accuracy: 25%
    * Ground Duels Won: 33%
    * Aerial Duels Won: 32%

    * Aspas is the only LFC attacking player with a league assist this season
    * Agger, Enrigue and Shelvey were the only other players with an assist
    * Only Gerrard has created more chances (9) than Aspas (7)
    * Coutinho and Hendo has not scored or created in the league this season, both have created fewer chances.”

    On paper, it would look like Aspas is having a greater league impact on the team than Coutinho and Hendo. Personally, I think Hendo is doing other things on the pitch that make him stand out. Like Aspas, I think Coutinho was still finding his form.

    “Aspas is an attacking player and when assessing his overall impact, goals, assists, chance creation etc are the stats that matter, and for someone with minimal experience of the Premier League, his (IMO) doing okay.”

    I tend to agree with both the article that I read on Live4Liverpool and the link I posted. I don’t think Aspas is *or a bad buy. Time will tell if it will get better for Aspas. Right now, I see a guy who maybe few inches off the pace. He is a bit slight, but has experience, is technically sound and can read the game.

    Aspas is holding the line until Suarez gets back. We have 10 points from 4 games and he almost came good in the last seconds of extra time against Swansea. He has been playing out of position, doing the dirty work and doing it as best as what he can give the club. Not every buy is going to shock the world like Sturridge and Coutinho. He is building epl experience and he will be placed in the proper position that will play to his abilities sooner than one might think.

    10 points and I don’t think our club is even close to good form. You can’t win the EPL in September, but you can sure lose it. Right now we are in this thing with 34 more games to go. 1 game at a time boys!

  • nickliv23 says:

    Glad to see we dont all write off players when they struggle in games.a lot off the problems we have had in the second half off games ,is sitting back &defending the 18yard box. This is not the players fault. Rather a strategy fualt. If we continue to do this we WILL get battered at some point. For this reason alone we as fans need to be more understanding & give the newbies a chance to grow & fit in to the #liverpool family

  • Denis D says:

    The thing is Aspas looks like a technically better Borini, Alberto, Aspas, Llori, Sakho and Cissokho should be used in the Carling Cup and slowly eased into the Premier league games. When they are up to speed.

    As at the moment Aspas is not a bigger threat to opposition defences than Sterling. And Sterling should be starting ahead of Aspas.

    Hopefully in the Carling Cup, Aspas can get a run of games, adapt to the physicality and speed of the english game then come January. We may get to see the best of Aspas in the Premiership, during the serious/top end of the season.

    But at the moment the top 3 should have been:
    Sterling RW / RWF Sturridge FD Moses LW / LWF
    Those three offer Creativity, Goals, Mobility, Pace, Power, Speed in attack.

    But now Suarez is available from his 10 game suspension, when Suarez gets back fully fit then the front free should be:

    Moses RW / RWF Sturridge FD Suarez LW / LWF

  • muya paul says:

    Pls lets give the two boys ,a mean Aspas and alberto time.they will be of greet value to our team .i totally agee with the manager that you will see the importance of a player when he cant play. see how jonson for eg

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