About Me

I have been a Red since I was about 6 or 7. My boyhood hero was Kenny Dalglish and I have an autograph from him while he was still at Celtic. Thanks Gran! As such I gravitated towards the team he played for. So I have been Scottish-South African- Scoucer for about 30 years now! I am extremely passionate about our club, and have felt the need to start this blog in the face of the abject nature of our performaces under Benitez and the Hicks/Gillett ownership.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Welcome Klopp of the Kop

So we haven't wasted any time and have signed a proper manager. By 'proper' I mean a name befitting of our club. Hopefully one who can take us forward. There is no quick fix here. The squad is poor, bereft of confidence and facing a really tough run of fixtures that we have known about since June. So not really expecting anything much for the rest of the season. Top 6 and a good Cup run. I really think the Europa is our best shot at anything, if nothing else to get our name back in lights for the right reasons.

Thankfully the rest of the League is quite woeful too at the moment so we are not that far off top 4. Thats an outside hope but Chelski wont be rubbish all season and for some reason people are scared of ManUre again despite them not having a centreback worthy of the name(says the kettle)..

Firing Brendan after the Everton game regardless of the result seems a tad tactless but really it gives a clean break and gives Klopp some time to get his feet under the table. The unceremonious elbowing of O'Driscoll out the door and bumping Gary Mac upstairs is tactless. Clearly Jurgen is already flexing his muscles and just shows what a bizarre decision we made over the summer to appoint these 2. Completely losing any belief I had that FSG actually understands what football is all about. 

Jurgen Klopp's press conference was quite entertaining, he likes the word cool. He is the normal one. He is confident he can take us forward and I think the players will be in for shock with his straight forwardness. If you don't perform the bench is yours or the Academy team.

Imagine we might bring a couple of player in Jan but really no value. Perhaps a re-assessment of the players we have out on loan would be a good starting place. Lets hope he gets final say on who we sign and lets hope they don't cost £18mill everytime we take out a chequebook.

He has tough start with Spurs, So'Ton, Chelski and Man City in the League with a League Cup tie with Bournemouth and double header with Rubin Kazan. Not the ideal run of fixtures for a new manager but it is what it is.

I am looking forward to 'heavy metal'  football. His style of play and achievements at Mainz and Dortmund are well documented and he brings the kind of clear thinking and tactical understanding we need to drive us forward. He also understand the game at the top level which again is a huge plus for us. So lets all get behind the manager and get onboard Jurgen's caravan of Cool!


The End of Dossier Days

I am glad the club finally saw the writing on the wall and read it.

Not sure what took them so long. If FSG were more attentive and decisive owners they would have surely pulled the trigger at the end of last season and not given a man with no more ideas another £100mill to blown on 'talent'.

The bizzare decision to re-jig the backroom staff but leave Brendan in charge has already backfired as Jurgen Klopp wants neither of them. More money wasted...

Brendan's much vaunted dossier of180 players seems to have run out. Just as well I am not sure how many more Lovren's,Aspas' Allen's and Sakho's we can take.

Brendan Rodgers has ultimately paid the price for not taking the team forward. The run at the Premier League was as close as we have come in quarter of a century to winning the League. For that we are extremely thankful but we know that had more to do with just letting Sturridge, Suarez, Sterling and Coutinho play than any tactical nous.

His own motivation has been seriously dented since the Chelski and Palace debacles in that great but ultimately ill fated run. He has certainly not recovered from that and he clearly hasn't been able to convince the squad either that they can go again.

We have managed to win just 22 League games in the best part of 50 games since those ill fated fixtures and frankly that's not good enough and ultimately why he had to go. Especially when you are trying to re-establish yourself as a serious team in the Premier League pecking order.

His lack of tactical understanding, especially defensively I have covered extensively. He needed to sort out our defending - he failed. You cant go around averaging almost 2 goal per game conceded and expect to win anything. Too many times when pundits have been asked about the defensive coaching at Melwood they have either squirmed in their seats (Carragher) or confirmed they saw none (Zola - after 3 days with us before Villa home game last year).

Our recruitment has been woeful and worringly it looks like Klopp will have to work with this disenchanting discourse. Invisible men, who are not ultimately held accountable for their actions. I am not sure it should take 2 scouts, a statto, a FSG rep, the Chairman and the Manager to decide that
a player is worth signing. From their track record, its clear they do not know what a good player is...

It would appear that a lot of the recruitment was not down to the manager, which to me is bizarre. How can the manager be expected to maximise what he has when he doesn't really know what he is getting? What Brendan Rodgers is responsible for is not standing his ground. Once you cave in once you are on short end of the stick after that.

There are noises that Klopp will have final say on transfer but I remain to the be convinced. Ian Ayre interrupted him during the press conference to answer that question...

Of Brendan Rodgers I can only say goodbye. I do not think he is good enough to coach a 'Big Club'.  Although I am not sure we can call ourselves that anymore. One Champions League appearance in 6 years and 1 trophy in 8 years. His parting comments were extremely dignified and for that he have to respect him.

Ultimately a man out of his depth and will be walking alone.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

September Blues

Well here we are 5 league games and 1 Europa Dopa game into the season and already almost all hope has been extinguished from my heart. After a muted, but effective start to the season, with 7 points from 3 games and 3 clean sheets. We imploded against West Ham and the performance at Old Trafford was probably the worst I have ever seen in my lifetime against the Scum.

We at least put the spectre of last seasons final day disaster to bed. A hard fought 1-0 win with a Coutinho worldy against Stoke. Next up Bournemouth who gave us a hard time in the League Cup last season. Thankfully Craig Pawson and his officials were feeling generous denying Tommy Elphick a perfect good and deserved piking salmon for being within 3 yards of Lily-Livered Lovren. This was followed by allowing Benteke's winner when clearly Coutinho was offside and attempted to play the ball.Whether Boruc would have got it is debatable but new law says its off.

Against Arsenal we actually played some football in the 1st half but as per usual as soon as a striker puts on a Liverpool shirt he can't finish a sentence. Then it was the Alamo for the 2nd half and we escaped with a credible draw.. 

Since then its been abysmal. The lack of understanding of what West Ham did at Arsenal is unbelievable. They employed the same tactic again, amazing that!!! They played on the break, pressed us high and basically tore us to pieces. If this sounds familiar you would be correct. See game plans employed by Steve Bruce (Hull), anyone in charge of Villa and Crystal Palace. Result an absolute stuffing. The defending was woeful, Lovren in particular was worse than he has ever been, apparently there are depths he hasn't plummed yet! He is so bad Sakho might get a start soon....

Yes another record for Brenda, West Ham haven't beaten us at Anfield since 1950 something! Our worst home defeat since 1585 in the Premier League blah-blah-blah. The tale of woe goes on.

The problems are the same as always, our defensive line is too deep when 'defending' in our own final 3rd. If you watch and decent team they rarely drop into their 18 yard box when the opponents have the ball outside the box, yet we seem to automatically drop to pen spot or even worse the 6 yard line. I can only assume that this stems from the panic mechanic flailing octopus we have in goals. 

He clearly doesn't command his area, isn't comfortable with the ball at his feet. That latter deficiency spreads a lack of belief and confidence in everything else he does. Ming-ing-olet has like size 13 feet why Brenda is trying to make this guy a footballer I don't know. He is more clown than keeper, just add a wig and a red nose....

This lack of belief from the keeper then spreads to the defenders who drop deeper earlier and leaves more space for the other team to play. At this level you cant do that.

The overplaying at the back is also pandemic with us now, never mind epidemic. Every game there are 3,4,5 moments where we put the ball at risk in a dangerous position and we just keep doing it! I get the manager wants us to play like this but surely by now he realised that he hasn't signed the players who are capable of doing this....

Against Manure we threw the ball straight to Mata and not 20secs later Minger then gave Skrtel a hospital goal kick. Like Gary Neville said in commentary someone needs to tell the Liverpool defenders they aren't Gerard Pique! Personally they are more like Nelson Piquet....trying to play football.... One day they might get that good.....

The lack of a spine or any intestinal fortitude shown against ManUre was mind boggling. They were in a similar position to us. A less than impressive start, a lot of money spent and confidence fragile. To me they were there for the taking.So what game plan did we have, simple try not to lose....... Seriously????? 

How can that EVER be acceptable for Liverpool Football Club, least of all when playing the enemy in their lair! Much like the game at Anfield toward the end of last season, we hardly made a tackle and 1st half will be consigned to ignominy for both teams. The highlights were restricted to our kamikaze defending.

Yet again we were done by a set-piece. I have no idea in which coaching manual it says that the best way to defending a potential in-swinging free-kick from out wide is to have 6 men plus your keeper no more than 3 yards off your goal line. The keeper cant see and the other team can put players where they like.... No matter what Young or Mata did we would have been in trouble.....

Then we put a bit of effort in for 10-15 mins and then gave up again. I really don't get Brendan's Rodgers plans anymore. First of all we had dominate the ball and pass to death with no real purpose. Then with Sturridge and Suarez we found a purpose. Since losing to Chelski and throwing away 3-0 lead at Palace what is the plan??? Now it seems to be to surrender possession and play on the break. This is great but we have no pace up front! Because we have bought a £32million lump!

Benteke didnt look fit and was bullied by Smalling and Blind! Seriously he hardly pulled onto Blind or tried to run in behind at all..

The much vaunted ethos seems to have been ditched. Now it seems we are in Rafa mode with square pegs in round holes. Strikers as wingers, Keepers as sweepers, centrebacks as playmakers and midfielders who cant run or tackle...

Brenda had 2 weeks to come up with a way to play against ManUre, if that was his best effort he should already be packing his bags. October has us playing 3 of the other top sides away with So'ton at home not to mention the 2 Europa Dopa fixtures.

I don't accept that injuries played a part and suspension of Coutinho shouldn't leave us bereft of anything vaguely resembling creativity. For me this is down to abject recruitment. Our sole focus this summer was pretending we could keep Sterling and then when we didn't we threw all that money away on Benteke and Firmino

Sorry but Benteke was streaky at Villa at best and he had 2 guys with pace running beyond him. We don't play that way...  As for Firmino, how did we think this guy is worth almost £30mill!!!??? Between those 2 that's £60mill!!! We could have bought Cavani and Schweinstiger with that money and had change for Cabaye!

We have known for 18 months Gerrard was going and all we end up bringing in is Milner on a free... With Allen permanently injured and out of his depth in the Premier League that leaves us with Henderson, Can and Lucas in central midfield. The most combative part of the pitch and where games are generally won and lost. Now with long term injury to Henderson and Lucas looking 5 yards too slow we have nothing in midfield... Cant help but looking at Shelvey doing so well at Swansea... Was he really that undisciplined that the mighty Brenda couldn't make him behave??? Gary Monk has turned him around!

While Clyne and Gomez have been good adds the latter is woefully inexperienced and is right footed. Why is Enrique not playing???? He is no worse than any of the players we have used in that position.

While the Europa League is viewed as joke competition by the Premier league clubs. It truly represents our best chance of getting into the Champions League. We have more chance of getting through 6 group games and winning 5 knockout ties than getting 70+ points in the League which is what you need for 4th place....

Also we have 15 players on loan, you would think with a Europa Campaign to fit in as well we would be using that to blood players??  

The loan that really befuddles me is Lazar Markovic, sure he has been under par but that does not seem to be a barrier to others for starting every week. We lack pace and we send away a player with pace.... Shey Ojo another player with pace, Jordon Sinclair same deal. Yes these guys arent going to play every week but you cant play League,League Cup Europa in October and November and expect to use 16/18 players. That's all we have. Its a pretty bare cupboard for spending £200-odd million in 3 years......

Also if Danny Ings doesn't start up front in Europa games when does he?? He was woeful as a winger against ManUre....

Brenda needs to wake up. I suspect he will be gone before the end of October unless Danny Sturridge comes back and scores 10 goals in 5 games! Get that Jurgen Klopp in!

Cant wait to see Sakho get destroyed by Nathan Redmond tomorrow after Brenda clearly hinted he will start by calling him immense against Bordeaux. God help us! We have made matters worse by giving him a long term contract, I hope its not as a football player......


Sunday, 9 August 2015

A State of Flux....... Again!

So we have had another off-season of upheaval. First casualties were Brendan's back room staff.  I cant say I disagree with the decision. Colin Pascoe seems like a yes man to me and really we have always lacked a plan B. An Assistant Manager should be able to challenge the boss and occasionally offer a different point of view. As for Mike Marsh seems good enough with the academy squad but 1st team coaching is a big step up and probably out of his depth.

So I thought we would have went for a bigger name but no we appoint Sean O'Driscoll who has had success as lower level football (Bournemouth, Donnie, Forest and Bristol City) amongst others. While they are all teams that play attractive football not sure that CV is strong enough to be Assistant Manager at Liverpool. I am excited about Gary McAllister joining the backroom staff. He is a proven winner and will hopefully provide much needed common sense to our play without the ball and in our defensive third.

The third member added is Pepijn Lijnders, a highly thought of coach from our Academy looking after the U16's. His role is 'First Team Development Coach'. There is some pap on the club website him 'maximising the offensive skills of individual players'. This is slightly worrying for me as a blind man can see our main problem isn't scoring goals, its conceding them. We certainly don't need more gung-ho tactics.

On the player front I have been distinctly underwhelmed by our signings. While Ings and Milner and Clyne look like good business, wasting the Sterling money on Benteke is bridge too far for me. He is raw, inconsistent and does not fit in with the way we play. £32million is ridiculous. We could have bought Yohan Cabaye, Javier Hernandez from ManUre and had £16mill in change..... If Sturridge is fit he doesn't play for me. So why pay that money for a sub who scores 1 goal every 22 shots??? We have signed similar players before but never used their strengths. Crouch, Carroll, Lambert all epic fails at Liverpool. Why will Benteke be different? At Villa he had Agbonlahor and Weimann running in behind him. Lallana and Coutinho will not be doing that. I suppose if we go with Ibe and Origi them it might work. You cant leave Coutinho out the team and playing in the hole doesn't really work fro him so you are limited to 1 wide man then.

Firmino, I don't know a lot about but 6 goals and 22 assists at Hoffenheim seems promising. If he is similar to Coutinho, then thats great but I cant see us playing both of them very often. So again almost £30mill on a sub. While it can be argued its adding strength in depth I disagree, for that money they should be automatically in the 1st 11 to improve it.  That's where our problem is, 6th from an expensively assembled squad is not good enough. All of last summers signings were, in a word rubbish. Emre Can did OK at right back but really should be in central midfield. he was shown up far too often in the big games. Lovren was brought in as a leader and has looked like a startled rabbit most of the time. Still is better than Sakho, in fact I am better than Sakho!

Lallana, Markovic, Balotetti were all extremely poor. The last one was never going to work, only muppet on the planet who thought it would was Brendan and our FSG sporting committee that decides who we buy.

Origi is back from loan at Lille in Ligue1 where he was outshone by St Etienne's Max Gradel who has gone to Bournemouth... So again is this 'moneyball' actually working?? The policy seems sound in principle. Sign decent young 'talent' with 'potential' and develop it. Unfortunately the whole World knows this is our policy and so anyone we are interested in get an extra premium whacked onto the fee. Ian Ayre seems obsessed with the figure of £18million and seems to be his opening gambit in any negotiation even if the player is only worth £5mill!

You cant pay £20-30million for 20 year olds that arent already performing at high level. Yet that's what we are doing. They are too expensive, too inconsistent and too out of their depth in the Premier League and in our shirts.

Lets hope I am wrong but I really cant see at Top 4 finish for us. You just have to look at the quality arriving at Old Trafford this summer to see where the benchmark for 4th is. We had to keep them out of the top 4 last season but we couldnt even finish above Spurs! As for out humiliation at Stoke on the final day, well says it all for me about where the squad is.

Our pre-season games have been a complete waste of time other than fitness wise. While other teams were playing proper competitive matches against other teams of similar quality, we were messing around with Australian, Malaysian and Finnish dross...... We should have been playing top teams to test ourselves and get ready for what we will face with the tough away games we have in the Premier League. The bizarre double header of Helsinki and Swindon just proves the lack of actual thinking going on. I would have liked to play someone like Bradford or Hull away last week with the 11 I intended to play today against Stoke. We need to have game plan against these kind of teams, pretty passing doesn't cut it and lack of fight is really sad to see. Ignoring it wont fix it.

My Starting 11 for today would be as follows:
Minging-olet (We have no-one else).
Clyne-Skrtel-Lovren-Enrique (Moreno is too light weight)

That gives us our biggest team as well as solidity in the middle of the park to complete with Whelan,Adam and Ireland. Origi or Ibe's pace should also help and if we can use Benteke's power then we might a least make a game of it. Stoke have been a bogey team for us since they came to Premier League and several managers have failed to solve the puzzle.

Lets hope the season gets off to good start opening day wins are not our forte.


Sunday, 7 June 2015

Where Do We Go From Here?

So the season finished a few weeks ago.  Rather than beast in to have my usual rant, I have given some  time for the dust to settle and reflect. Unfortunately the post season shenanigans hasn't really given much hope for us going forward, which I will get to later. 

Brendan Rodgers comments in regard to Tottenham a while back about when spending £140 million you should be winning the League came back to haunt him with a vengence. Think Halloween meets Alien through a 13 movie marathon!

We spent a £140million and got worse, 25 points, 49 goal for. Yes we even conceded more than last season. No thanks to the shambolic Britannia defeat. 6-1, our worst ever Premier League defeat and our worst ever defeat since 1954. Another Brenda record! 

How do you go from missing out on winning the league by 3 points 1 season to performing so poorly the next. Well here is how as per Brenda Rodgers, Ian Ayre and the other 'Transfer Commitee' clowns. 
1) Sell your best player because you have to and fail to replace him with 2 high quality players. 
2) Sign 3 players from Southampton in an attempt to have a spine to build around and have all 3 fail miserably to perform and produce.
3) Fail to undertake any defensive coaching whatsoever......... AGAIN!
4) Sign Mario Balotelli as a panic buy on the transfer deadline day and watch him do fuck all for 9 months!
5) Waste more money on more kindergarten signings but still pay top money for them....
6) Start contract negotiations with your brightest prospect just after he has changed agent in November and still has 2.5 years on his current deal then remind the WHOLE World he still hasn't signed in January and watch him completely implode and want to get away so fast he will even go sit on the bench at Man City! Genius!!
7) Use the same tactic with your future captain....
8) Continue to think Sakho and Allen are good enough to wear the Red shirt....
9) Have no plan B,C or D.
10) Use midfielders as strikers despite having Lambert and Borini fit......
11) Go from scoring the most set piece goals to scoring the least.
12)  But conceding the most...

Yep that's our season in a nutshell. Liverpool Football Club should be better than this. I am sure Fenway Sports Group don't run the Red Sox in this harem scarem way. The blood letting has started with Colin Pascoe and Mike Marsh going. Sami Hyypia and Bolo Zenden look to be favourites to fill the gaps. At least with Sami we will get defending, although his spell at Brighton wasn't exactly a success.

Not sure where that leaves Brendan Rodgers as the backroom staff will be Fenway's men not his.... Bit like a man marooned on a island in shark infested waters. I cant really sympathise too much. He sold the club on this vision of bringing in young players he can coach and develop. While he has done plenty of the former there has been little of the latter... Even Sterling is outside of his control now and will not be sold for full value as he continues to sulk and be influenced by his moronic agent.

I am not sure what FSG are hoping to achieve by the backroom change. It normally leaves the manager as a straw man, so whats the point of not just letting him go and then give money to the new man? Perhaps the unavailability of Jurgen Klopp was the main driver. Maybe they can line him up in Jan when Brenda has fucked it up again. Hopefully it will be to bring other ideas to the table that hopefully Rodgers will take on board.

I usually do a post reason review on a player by player basis but really when our best player has been Phillippe Coutinho at 8/10 what is the point??? The only bright spot in an otherwise abysmal campaign. Oh what the hell its fun!

Simon Minging-o-let 5/10- Well what can we say about this man. He started poorly, got worse , was replaced by Brad Jones, got back in, was worse still, before having a reasonably steady finish. Hence the 5/10. He isnt a footballer, he doesnt dominate his box, he doesnt inspire confidence from those in front of him. Not good enough. Still don't know if Brendan Rodgers wants a goalkeeper or a sweeper....

Emre Can 6/10 - Initailly sent back early from the pre-season tour to get fit..... Speaks volumes for our recruitment policy. Still he scored against Chelski and found a rather strange niche for himself at the right Brenda's back 3. That worked well until we played actual teams and his confidence and season imploded, much like the teams. A right back he is not, to easily beaten, largely out of position and no idea when to tackle. Glen Johnson's influence has been clear for all to see there! Looking forward to seeing him play in centre midfield going forward where he belongs. One for the future...

Martin Skrtel 7/10 - How this man is able sleep at night is beyond me. He is surrounded by idiots constantly dropping bombs, making fundamental errors with not defensive skills what so ever. If I was him I would be to scared to sleep for the nightmarish thoughts of Sakho, Lovren, Moreno,Can, Johnson, Toure, Mingolet. God how does he do it???? If he played for Chelski he would be keeping JT on the bench! Proper defender, our only one... Nuff said....

Dejan Lovren 3/10 - For £25million I expect to see a World Class centre-back arrive aged 26. While Lovren had a great season at Southampton world class he wasn't. He looked really good against Dortmund in pre-season he hasn't put a foot right since! Doesn't drift across to cover his fullback, doesnt mark, dives in, when jockeying is better. No idea if that's him or Brenda's lack of tactics...

Mamadou Sakho 1/10 - WHY OH WHY do we let this thing on the pitch???? We would be better off being a player short. He makes Djimi Traore look composed on the ball. I have no idea why Brenda thought this clown was worth £18mill. He can pass, header, mark and has no positional sense. Yep Glen Johnson clearly giving tips....

Alberto Moreno 4/10 - Used a left wingback or fullback, has looked good going forward but lightweight and positionally naive in defence. A theme across our whole defence. They are either all useless or they're not being poorly coached in the defensive arts.......

Lucas Lieva 4/10 - Largely injured and off the pace when he did come back. He is Ronseal, does what it says on the tin. But he aint a Matic or a Fernandinho. Club needs to decide what to do with him. I would keep him. If nothing else a bit of experience and hopefully a full season from him next season.

Jordan Henderson  7/10 - The duracell bunny has come good this season. Bringing finishing, astute running and some real quality passing and set-piece delivery. Finally emerging from Stevie G's shadow at just the right time. Not sure about him being captain, surely we have other leaders or men in the squad???? Er other than Skrtel NO!

Stevie G 6/10 - The longest goodbye to a true legend. Istanbul, the Stevie G Final against West Ham and teh million other amazing moments that have littered his long career. The only disappointment is the lack of at least 1 Premier League Medal. An indictment on our club not Stevie G... Its terrible that in his winding down season he still ended as top scorer but was totally outplayed in all the big games. Against Arsenal it was Carola knocking him off the ball.Against Chelski it was Hazard and  Fabregas. Against ManUre he lasted 23 seconds after clashing with 'hardman'.... Ander Herrera...
We will miss you and good luck with the Galaxy...

Adam Lallana 5/10 - Like Can not fit at the start,suffered some injury issues, but has largely flattered to deceive. We have seen some of his potential in the last 6 or so matches but more needed from him going forward.

Joe Allen 1/10 - Absolutely Fucking Useless consistently. He got a run in the team at the back end of the season but other than the game against Man City he was his usual abysmal, overawed,overrated useless, sideways and backwards Welsh Hobbit SHITE self! Wouldn't get in a Sunday League team FACT!

Raheem Sterling 5/10 - This young man has been so influenced by things off the field that its amazing he still turns up every week. His family life is clearly not right, his management is a joke and his understanding of where he is his career is so far off piste it beggars belief. He needs to buck up his ideas. He has achieved NOTHING. 7 goals and 9 assists in the League does not make you a superstar. He just needs to look at Harry Kane, Patrick Bamford and Danny Ings and new teammate James Milner to see how to behave at his age. If he wants to see how not to behave -  Shaun Wright-Phillips, Junior Hoilett, Adam Johnson, Scott Sincalir, Stuart Downing all wasted their youthful talent on big money moves early in their careers. 2 cant get a game at relegated QPR, 1 is on the bench at Villa, 1 is facing underage sex charges and the other is only happy being a big fish in a small pond... Your choice Raheem....

Phillippe Countinho 8/10 - The only real bright light in abysmal showing from our squad this season. Made the Premier League team of the season. What a little player, magic feet, cracking workrate and sometimes on a different wavelength to all the others. More goals would be nice but he has scored some crutial ones and has penned a new long term contract, see Raheem its easy....

Mario Balotelli  -16,000,000/10 - What a waste time, money, organs,skin and oxygen.... I have no idea who decided this moody, angry, young man who has been every opportunity in life, can play football??? He cant pass, he never looks up. He never moves, he never runs, he has absolutely no 1st touch and his shooting is more likely to kill a member of the crowd than trouble the goal... He wouldn't even get in the SHITE Sunday League team that Joe Allen cant get in! How did they ever think this guy would replace Suarez??? EPIC FAIL BRENDAN, EPIC!!!!

No-one else has played or done enough to get rated. So its on to the outs and ins I would like to see. Some are left field and pie in the sky as usual.


Glen Johnson and Stevie G - Leaving us, one with thanks and heavy heart the other with a long overdue boot up the arse!
Joe Allen - Please someone in the Championship take this clown back to where he belongs. £18mill for this really??? Be lucky to get a new kettle for the staff canteen for him....
Mario Balotelli - Back to Italy, bibs, cones and maybe a few new balls for him.
Mamadou Sakho - Back to France for some baguettes and few bottles of red wine.
Clear out of the underage SHITE that has and will never threaten the 1st team but that we have spent over £20mill on - Coates, Ilori,Yesil, Alberto and Aspas. Will get some Mothercare vouchers for this lot. Moneyball at work..... NOT.

IN 's

James Milner - Already done. Free Transfer a proper professional. Always gives 100% Can play in many positions. Hopefully with Can and Henderson forming a midfield trio that can dominate.
Yohan Cabaye - Sitting at PSG getting splinters in his arse. He left Newcastle to play in Champions League. He gets on as a sub or plays in dead rubbers.... If Pardew is sniffing around him for Palace we should be all over that.
Mateo Kovacic - looks close to being done. Yep you guessed it £18million! LOL WTF!
Danny Ings - He is free and available and suits the way we play more than Benteke. We dont cross the ball so no point in having him. Fits our model of young talent even if they arent any good. Looks to have his head screwed on.
Javier Hernandez -  Yep totally controversial but he is quick, he knows how to win things and he scores goal something only Daniel Sturridge can actually do in the squad...
We need a left and right back - Itype this every year! For some season Rodgers hates Enrique as he never plays him. So for left back I would go for George Friend at Middlesborough. He is young English strong quick get forward well and can actually defend....
With Flanagan still in recovery mode we need a right back. Andre Wisdom is not the answer. Martin Kelly might have been but we let him go.... So is Nathaniel Clyne the answer?If so, you cant offer £10mill, especially when you gave the same club £26mill for Lovren.....
We also need centreback - A leader who can play football..... Think of any???? Nope me neither especially one that wants to come Europa League Liverpool....... Perhaps thats why we gave Toure another year.... Jesus cant wait to see more of hime and Sakho! LOL

On the plus side Jordan Ibe coming through looks good. Divock Origi is back from his loan at Lille, hardly set the world alight so not sure if we send him on loan again... We also have Jordan x 3 Sinclair, Rossiter, Williams coming through. Its still a squad that looks light even if we got these players in.....

With Europa to deal with. We need to concentrate on top 4 but with Europa League place getting Champions League place maybe its not something to be binned after Jan...... Our big issue is attracting players. With ManUre back at teh top table and having De Gea as a bargaining chip with Real Madrid (Benzema coming the other way). We are a long way from attracting that kind of player. Therein lies the problem. 3 years into Project Kindergarten we have no trophies, look further from Top 4 than ever, with no Sturridge until October whoever we bring in must start scoring immediately.

At this moment we are in yet another crossroads, we either make the jump forward or become Newcastle. Big club, big fan base, no chance of winning anything....


Monday, 2 February 2015

Rodgers the Transfer Bodger

I was looking to do this before Xmas to run through the money we have spent and what we have really got for our money. It wont make pretty reading and Robbie Savage has summarised this on the BBC Sport website. I include his link here http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/30516598 

I will try and delve a bit deeper as to our ethos and approach rather than just focusing on the amount spent and the players bought, although that is key. Despite the title of this post the blame cannot be laid solely at Brendan Rodgers door. Ian Ayre bears a huge amount of responsibility for the over inflated prices we pay and not being strong enough to walk away from deals.

For those not fully au fait with Ian Ayre and his role at the club here is brief summary. He was headhunted by Hicks and Gillett in March to become our Commercial Director in March 2007. He was  responsible for the Standard Chartered sponsorship deal. At the time it was one of the most lucrative shirt deals  for a football team. When Werner and Henry took over Chris Purslow, the last of the Commoli,Dalglish triumvirate stepped down and Ian Ayre appointed as Managing Director in October 2010. So he is responsible for helping negotiate our transfers.

Our overarching ethos on transfers is to sign young players, preferably U23, then develop them further. While that seems like a sound long-term policy it does leave us open to vagaries of youth and the inconsistency in form of players of that age. Additionally you may not make a return on the investment as they may not develop as expected but as long as you are not paying over the odds that can work.

That for me is where we are failing. We are paying far too much for unproven talent or to use Rodgers favourite phrase 'potential'. We have signed lots player for sums in the teens of millions yet when we sell an academy player of our own between 20-23 years old we seem to be happy with £1-4mill. Surely that isn't right? Either we are underselling our lot or not negotiating properly for the incomings. The evidence would suggest both. 

This transfer policy seems at odd with our goal of getting back into the top 4 consistently and ultimately challenging for the League occasionally.  

I do think we can win the League as long as Chelski,Man City and ManUre have the financial clout that they do. Arsenal are equally dangerous under the new Fair Play rules as they are well within the rules and have dropped a £40million player into the squad the last 2 seasons (Ozil and Sanchez).

We are attempting a 'Moneyball' scenario but unfortunately we are not playing by the same rules as American sports do where everyone is in the same boat. There is no Draft and only limited financial constraints on how to conduct business.

In total we have signed 24 players since Rodgers took over. Eight of them have already left and several are on loan.... Not a good sign that 1/3 arent good enough. The issue isnt so much that they don't make it, its the fact that most of them barely get on the bench and have rarely even got on as subs..... So why did we buy them???  Its not like they get a chance and dont perform. Its almost like we sign them blind and then are disappointed that they arent what Rodgers thinks they are.....

So the 1st wave of players under Rodgers came in the summer of 2012. 

The 1st of those was Fabio Borini for £10.5mill, ex-Chelski academy player whom Rodgers had worked with before, in from Roma. after havingThere he scored an impressive 9 goals in 20 starts at the Stadio Olympico club. Of course he had also been on loan at Swansea under Rodgers and scored 6 goals in 12 starts in their promotion push to the Premier League.  

Yet from the get go with this lad Rodgers hasn't really given him a chance. He totals 35 appearances and has only scored 3 goal for us in 2.5 years.  Ironically his best spell was on loan at Sunderland last year where he scored 10 goals in keeping them up and reaching the Capital One Cup. Who can ever forget his winner against Chelsea!

So you would think he would feature this season. Instead with only a week of the window to go and no real replacement for Suarez, he is told he can leave the club. Thankfully he has decided to stay and fight but again he has basically been snubbed by Rodgers. After signing Balotelli he can hardly then play Borini in his stead when Sturridge got injured.  I think that is exactly what he should have done. He likes playing on the shoulder, he runs in behind and is genuinely lively in the box. everytime he plays you can see he is over trying. As a transfer its a fail but that's down to the manager for me. He clearly doesn't fancy him despite having lumped on him in the 1st place.

Next Joe Allen from his previous club Swansea for the ridiculous sum of £15million. Allen and Leon Britton had pass completion stats comparable with Xavi and Iniesta in the high 90 percentile. But seriously they were doing in front of the back 4 not on the edge of the opponents 18 yard box. Hugely over priced and even when fit is nothing more than a bench warmer. 79 appearances and 3 goal from the Welsh hobbit ticcy-taccy expert isnt good enough. Will expect to see him moved on in the summer for a huge loss.

Joining these 2 'Major' signing was Oussama Assaidi for £3mill from Heerenveen, Samir Yesil for £1mill from Leverkusen and lastly Nuri Sahin on loan from Madrid who had him on loan from Dortmund. The last was deemed so poor he was sent back to Dortmund in the January window and bizarrely played in the Champions League final that year! Assaidi was moved on this summer. Yesil is still on our books but is generally injured and I cant see him threatening the 1st team ever... So 1st window a disaster really.

January 2013 and the exception that proves the rule with Rodgers and Ayre. Yes we signed some decent players who actually play football in the 1st team! Daniel Sturridge from Chelski for £12mill and Phillippe Coutinho for £8.5mill from Inter. The former we could have had as part of the Torres/Carroll deal which still irks and I believe it actually cost us £120mill to fix that mess! Coutinho came with reputation of being injury prone but he hit the ground running and is by far  our most creative player. 2 big hits, well done!!!

Then we come to summer 2013 when Brendan Rodgers really started to put his stamp on the squad. In came Kolo Toure on a free, Moses and Cissokho from Chelski and Valencia respectively. Only Toure is really passable as a signing from those 3. 

Actual money spent and some of this will surprise you as to how much we have paid. 

 Aspas £7.7mill from Celta Vigo (in Spanish 2nd Div at the time - WTF), Luis Alberto for £6.8mill from Sevilla and last but not least Tiago Illoro from Sporting Lisbon for £7mill! These 3 have again not sniffed the 1st team much and are so good they are all on season long loans at Sevilla, Malaga and Bordeaux respectively. That is £21.5mill spent on 3 guys who will probably get moved on in summer for a couple of mill each. Epic triple fail!

But wait there is more £18mill for Mamadou Sakho from PSG and £9mill for Simon Mingolet from Sunderland. Initially the latter looked a good move with 4 cleansheets and that pen save against Stoke on the opening day. From there is has been slowing downhill to a man who is a trembling wreck anytime the ball is within 30 yard of him or the goal. As for Sakho if that clown is good enough to play for France they wont win a thing ever. Plays with his head down and looks like a less composed Djimi Traore! How is that even possible??? 2 more epic fails.  So that's £50mill wasted in that window.

Thankfully we didn't trade last Jan, that was the start of our juggernaut start to almost win the league.

So we get to the summer lose Suarez after yet another biting incident and you would think the priority is to sign a new top notch striker. All summer Lambert and Lallana were coming so those were done deals without the Suarez money. £4mill for Lambert and yes £25mill for Lallana!! I have no issue with signing these 2 but the price for Lallana is ridiculous. Fabregas only cost £5mill more!

Lambert has looked totally out of his depth. he hasn't recovered from missing pen on pre-season and has been usurped by Sterling and Borini in the striker pecking order. Lallana has been injured and has shown some signs of being useful but currently warming the bench. 1 fail 1 undecided....

The 3rd Saint to join us was Dejan Lovren for another £20mill! He looked great in the pre-season game against Dortmund and had an  OK debut against So'ton but its really not worked for him. He and Sakho are suppose to be leaders and tighten the back 4 all I see is chaos. Only 6 months in but he looks like another fail.

Dont look await there are more horrors to come. Lazar Markovic  for guess.... Yep £20mill from Benfica! He is 20 for crying in a bucket!!! Somewhere between £5-10mill is reasonable. Not £20 you are expecting the finished article for that amount. Not fair on the kid either, there are signs he might be a decent player in the last month but unless he goes on to be John Barnes or Steve McManaman he will be a fail!

Then we have young Alberto Moreno for £12mill from Sevilla. Again a bit pricey but we did need a left back, thing he is slowly getting there. Looks happier as a wing back than a fullback. Undecided so far.

Emre Can £10mill from Leverkusen again only 20 despite his size. Not really got a look in until the last month. looked to be carrying some timber when he arrived so probably fitness related. Player as the right centre back in our back 3 at the moment. Not bad there but ultimately think he will sit in front of the defence. Can pick a pass, physical presence and is actually quite quick and skillful. Undecided on this one.

Divock Origi for £12mill from Lille, immediately loaned back for the season. think he might be an absolute gem when he comes. Like Sterling but with more goals. Undecide,d as we haven't seen him but might be a hit.

Javier Manquillo on loan from Athletico Madrid. A totally strange one. We have Wisdom, Flanagan, Johnson and at the time Kelly as right backs. How many do we need? Wisdom is on loan, Kelly gone to Palace and Johnson and Flano injured. But he is not being used much so expect him to go back without troubling the starter in the summer.

I have saved the best until last. Mario Balotelli for £16mill from AC Milan. What were we thinking? He doesn't fit the way we play. Man City actually advised us not to waste our time and money signing him. But no this is the best we could do to replace Suarez????? Really???? Completely uninterested in playing football. No touch, no passing no effort no goals. Enner Valencia cost £8mill we could have bought Pelle and had change... Where is this famed 180 page dossier on players??? EPIC FAIL of unmentionable proportions. Why, because who the hell is going to take him off our hands???

Rodgers backed himself into a corner when he signed him. He immediately had to play him ahead of Lambert and Borini when Sturridge got injured and he hasn't scored a league goal. All he does is lose control of the ball or turn and instantly shoot no matter what the ridiculous angle is.

Rodgers criticised Spurs for spending £140mill last season by saying you should be winning the league if you spend that much in 1 go. How that has come back to haunt him. Of course if we have spent the money on 4-5 decent players instead of taking chances on 8 we might not be where we are.

Ian Ayre and Brendan Rodgers need to have their heads knocked together by the owners. We cant spend money like we have and not get into the CL and compete, its shocking. Ian Ayre goes on wild goose chases to Ukraine (last Jan). You see a player is available for £Xmill and when  we sign them its always loads more!!! Mental, We need to adopt ManUre tactic. 'There is the offer if you dont want it we will spend it elsewhere.'

Hopefully we have enough with Sturridge back, Markovic and Can showing signs of getting to grips with whats needed. Serious thought needs to be given to our strategy in the summer. There is likely to be a fire sale at Dortmund as they sit bottom of the Bundesliga with the wheels coming off the Klippity  Klop wagon. So there should be bargains. Marco Reus, Hummels, Bender etc... But will we get any or will we pay over the odds. I fear the latter again.

In short if Brendan Rodgers and Ian Ayre went into Poundland with a fiver they would come out with no change, only 1 item instead of 5 and the bag it was in would have a hole in it.....

Ah well thankfully the window is closed and we wont have worry about Danny Ings joining until the summer!



Are We Turning the Corner?

We had a terrible time in October and November. Other than Chelski we had fixtures against West Brom, QPR, Hull, Newcastle, Palace, Stoke and Leicester. Even without Sturridge you would have thought we would still get the results and it was great opportunity for Balotelli and Lambert to step up.

Yet again we were left feeling angry and disappointed. Despite the relative easy run of fixtures we managed just 4 wins. A brace as bookends to that particular run. The QPR win was bizarre. Own-goals all over the place in the last 7 minutes. We then managed just 1 point from the next 4 and managed to make a pigs ear of Champions League group. Other than Real Madrid and Basel in the away leg we should have made a decent fist of it. We scored just 5 goals conceded 9 and the only win was with a dodgy pen at home in the last minute at home to Ludogarets.

The reasons for this poor run are simple:
1) Complete lack of defensive organisation and confidence. We seem to have been picking a different 4 players every week. The goalkeeper was particularly dodgy and as far as I am concerned continues to be so. He is being asked to be a footballer which he isn't. That lack of confidence has spread to other parts of his game and ultimately to his defence in front of him and they have been panicky enough. Lovren has brought the stability and leadership desired.

2) Teams have worked us out. Simple really, press us when the ball is in our half someone is bound to give it away. If we are dominating the ball, drop deep with 2 banks of 4 and play on the break. oh yes and just wait for a corner or freekick for a free goal!

3) Lack of a cutting edge upfront. We have tried Balotelli but he clearly actually interested in playing football. I have said it before, I have no idea who decided this guy can even play football. He has no touch, zero tactical awareness, no work ethic and the worst attitude and demeanour on the pitch. Ricky Lambert and Fabio Borini have had to sit and watch this £16mill waster do absolutely nothing, its hardly helped their confidence.

So we stumbled into December with little hope or optimism and facing a trip to The Theatre of delusions and the Gunners at home.Ming-ing-olet finally dropped although Brad Jones isn't really a step forward. Despite the rather lopsided scoreline and the customary offside goal we utter smashed Manure. David De Gea continues to be their best player and the only reason they are not in the bottom 5 never mind the top 4. 9 saves and about 4 of them Worldies.

Having said all that Rodgers was convinced he had stumbled onto something. Playing with a back 3, using Markovic and Moreno as wing backs and playing Raheem through the middle. We had 19 shots and 9 on target against ManUre which is a vast improvement on the 7 shots and just 1 against Sunderland at home the week before.

So on to Arsenal and yet another bizarre encounter. We deservedly took the lead just before half-time only to go to sleep as usual injury time just before halftime. Arsenal then went 2-1 up through Giroud. Needless to say we threw everything at them and deservedly got the equaliser deep in injury time. A bit of Quid Pro Quo. Again we had an amazing 27 shots but only 10 on target.

Fair play to Rodgers he seemed to have found something we can work with. Since then we have gone 6 more league games without losing with just 1 draw and amazingly 4 clean sheets. Yes the opposition for the most part has been most mediocre but we have been less than clinical against the lesser teams. 2-0 up against Leicester, we managed to throw it away.

So have turned a corner? The proof will be in the next 3 fixtures. Everton away, Southampton away and Man City at home. We need 6 or 7 points form those 3 games as despite the run of 7 games undefeated we have actually only moved up 2 league places. More importantly we are just 5 points from 3rd place, so the games against the teams around us are critical.

The return of Daniel Sturridge is very timely indeed we must hope there are no re-lapses for the rest of the season. With him as our spearhead I can't see us not getting into the top 4. We cant afford to lose too many more games possibly only the City game and away at Chelski. The rest will have to be wins. Including Arsenal at the Emirates. We went on crazy run last season and will have to do so again.

Rodgers has also recalled Jordan Ibe from his loan spell at Derby where he seems to have done quite well. I would like to tell you his appearance, assists,goals and Man of the Match awards but neither our Website or Derby's makes any reference to his existence as a player there form a stats point of view! LOL So much for the information age!

Another good decision in this window is to leave Divock Origi out on loan. No point in bringing him back this season. Sterling is showing he can play through the middle if required. God help the League next season when we can unleash Sturridge, Origi, Sterling and Ibe! 

So there are shoots of a recovery but I think we are paying for our transfer policy in general. You cant say you will sign and develop younger players and then expect consistency form them. That takes until their mid to late twenties to develop. 

Lets hope we can build on our momentum and really push for a top place. It would be awesome if we could keep ManUre out again. No doubt they will come up with a cunning plan to allow their U9 kit to be sponsored by McDonalds for £150mill like they did with their training kit last summer to make up for the lack of Champions League football!

I will be doing another blog about our transfer policy and the various decisions we have made.