For Liverpool, the January transfer talk and rumor-peddling began at precisely 12:01 a.m. following the close of the summer window. Many have spent the last four months clamoring for Ian Ayre and Co. to repair the damage done in the summer window. Veteran talents such as Craig Bellamy, Maxi Rodriguez and Dirk Kuyt were ushered out to make room for several promising – but unproven – young players.
All that talk has accelerated in recent weeks as January inches closer, particularly after Sunday’s match at West Ham. With Luis Suarez suspended, Liverpool’s depth problem reared its head as Jonjo Shelvey was thrown into a less than ideal forward role. Sure, the club reversed its glaring impotence through the middle portion of the game – a resurgence largely credited to tactical changes from Rodgers – but it was yet another reminder that Liverpool lacks any type of reliable depth up front. Continue reading →
With Martin Skrtel on the verge of signing an improved four-year contract extension, Liverpool fans are left wondering what to make of the Daniel Agger situation. The Danish center back has explicitly stated that he has no desire to play for any English club other than Liverpool.
Liverpool may just make the transfer, even though I have two years left. But no, I have not changed my mind on the subject when I said I will not play for other English clubs than Liverpool, but sometimes you can still get in a situation where it’s not your decision.
I will not stay in a place where I am not wanted, but I’d rather be here. This is my priority.
With roughly one month left until Deadline Day 2012, the transfer market is clearly heating up. The Reds no doubt will be thankful to escape the heat themselves, having endured temperatures north of 100F in their trip to Baltimore and close to that in Boston. As a successful North American tour comes to an end we’re provided with some answers and yet even more questions. Brendan Rodgers fielded a seemingly endless combination of youngsters and veteran talent, and we got a glimpse of the “tikki takka” style of play that he hopes to produce. While Liverpool may not have recorded a win in its three game tour, it’s worth noting that the competition included an in-form Toronto FC and much more veteran and familiar sides in AS Roma and Tottenham. Nevertheless there remains a great deal of work to be done.
Unfortunately (in this fan’s eyes) football is no longer purely about the best club. Players are bought and sold frequently enough that when players like Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher are Liverpudlians for life, it is noted as the exception rather than the rule. Not that this is some sort of major revelation to the modern football fan, but it is worth mentioning. Football has become equal parts business and sport. For some, all that matters is the footy. Others would rather see a successful stable club perpetually in contention. The latter group understands that the football and the business are directly connected.
As Liverpool fans in Boston sweat out the summer heat in anticipation of a July friendly match against AS Roma, across the pond club brass is undoubtedly doing a little sweating of their own in the latest transfer window. It’s certainly no secret that recent personnel changes were made as a direct result of the previous signings failing to live up to their billing. It’s a results driven league and transfers made under Dalglish and Comolli simply didn’t get it done, so don’t be surprised if wholesale changes are made under the new reign of Brendan Rodgers. If nothing else, the teams Rodgers put out at Reading and Swansea had a certain fluidity and creativity about them that the Irishman will definitely be looking to recreate.
He certainly has his work cut out for him. With Lucas and Charlie Adam coming off serious injuries, and Dirk Kuyt moving on from Liverpool to pursue the next chapter of his career, the first order of business for the new skipper will undoubtedly be to shore up an aging and depleted midfield. Steven Gerrard turns 33 next season and will need to have his playing time managed in order to avoid serious recurring injuries. This most glaring deficiencies however lie in the wings and not in the central midfield. With Gerrard, Shelvey, Spearing, Henderson and the potential returns of Joe Cole and Alberto Aquilani there are options and a bit of depth, yet aside from the skipper there are also doubts that these players can re-create the same free-flowing pass and move style of football that Rodgers’s sides have implemented in the past. Look for the Reds to add some creativity, a bit of guile, and hopefully a touch of class to the middle of the pitch. Continue reading →
Let’s be honest, it has not been the greatest of months for Liverpool. While I realize that progress in both the FA Cup and Carling Cup at the expense of both Manchester teams does not give weight to my argument, it is still worth pointing out the unsettling issues that have emerged in the New Year.
A new January transfer window is upon us. Unlike recent years, where Reds fans have had to wonder which subpar player would be lured to a team screaming for improvement, the January transfer window brings hope and promise. John Henry and company have already shown over the past year they are willing to fork over serious cash for players Damien Comolli deems necessary. Last January’s purchases of Suarez and Carroll, combined with the successful additions of Charlie Adam, Luis Enrique and Craig Bellamy, Liverpool must view the current transfer window as an opportunity to improve. Continue reading →