There's plenty of...well, not particularly complimentary words about Arjen Robben in the morning Mailbox, but some sensible voices recognise that's not an excuse...
One Spurs fan has had quite enough of Tim Sherwood's schtick, whilst Jack Rodwell takes a kicking too. Plus one chap who thinks United will still get in the top four...
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Barry, LFC made an interesting point this morning in that the lack of signings for Liverpool this season is not purely the fault of Brendan Rodgers and the board must take responsibility for it. The board is responsible for signing the players that the manager request, of that there is no doubt, but perhaps the board don't entirely trust the managers judgement when it comes to signings.
Since he has been Liverpool manager Liverpool have spent (according to transfermarkt.co.uk) £109.5million and recouped £37.7million - that leaves a transfer deficit of £71.8million in just 18 months. For a club with no European football at all this is a huge loss, and the board have undeniably backed Rodgers in the transfer market, and are right to expect a return on their substantial investment. The blame for having a squad which is too thin to cope with a few injuries can only be laid at the feet of Rodgers. It has been said countless times but £7.9million on Aspas, £15million on Joe Allen, £12million on Borini, £3.5million on Assaidi, £7million on Luis Alberto points at a manager who doesn't know how to spend money when given it. Mignolet is looking more and more like another expensive flop with every mistake and PSG must be laughing at having got £16million for Sakho.
Perhaps the board aren't willing to let Brendan spunk more of their money away as they are looking at the end of the season. Come May he will only have one year left on his contract, would it be a shock if they looked elsewhere if he fails to bring them European football again this season? Do they really want to trust him with another £60-70million if Suarez leaves? Surely they must be casting envious glances at what Martinez is achieving on a shoestring budget at Everton, while Brendan waffles on about titles and false 7-and-a-halfs while lining up his next transfer 'coup'.
...FSG are undoubtedly doing a good job improving the corporate side of the business at Liverpool. Bringing in all these sponsors / partners, I see the latest is an Indonesian Airline, is great. They have undoubtedly improved "revenue streams" and hats off to them for that however you have to question their ambition following another transfer debacle. If they truly do want to bring back the glory days to Anfield then now would have been the ideal time to provide a statement of intent. A really good young manager has put us into a position where we could potentially kick on. Unfortunately it doesn't now look like that will happen, the lessons from previous windows do not seem to have been learned.
In the summer transfer window we didn't get any of our primary targets (priced out of a move for Bergovic, didn't land Mikhitaryan or Willian, didn't land Costa despite allegedly meeting his release clause, couple of extra mil in his pocket you have to feel he would have signed). So the fabled "marquee signing" didn't materialise, what ends up happening? We panic in the last 2 days of the window and buy a CH (who's done ok though room for improvement certainly) and a couple of young guys for a combined £15m when we were supposed to be prioritising a quality attacking addition. And it's not the first time, we had 1 striker available to a brand new manager starting his reign at the club in the previous summer's window having missed out on Dempsey. Silly mistake really.
If we are not going to invest "big" what's the point in having foreign owners? I'd rather have the club run by Liverpool people who put the club before the share price and who are able to understand whether a deal is going to be "value" or not as they have some comprehension of the world of football and the footballers who play in it. I think half the reason FSG are afraid to invest big is because they don't have enough football knowledge of what they are investing in, they just see striker, 23 years old, 12 goals, 8 assists, looks good on You Tube or whatever.
If any one of us football geeks (sorry guys but u knows it) who read this page and love football was the billionaire owner of Liverpool, a lifelong fan made good, and Dalgliesh came to you and said "look boss, I want to sign Andy Carroll, our 20 mil offer has been rejected, Newcastle want £35m" you would have enough football savy to know what to do. You would pick up the phone, while sitting in your gold plated Liverpool robe and puffing on your fat LFC sponsored Cuban cigar, you would phone Mike Ashley and you would politely tell the cockney geez to go f**k himself."
Kev, wanna be Billionaire, Edinburgh
...To quote Barry, LFC - "this is a moving world and we need to learn to build the plane whilst we fly"
If Barry isn't middle management, then I assume he works for a multinational and has just had his annual review and is being ironic.
Having said that - he has a point. I have a horrible feeling that tonight isn't going to go well, Everton and Spurs will finish above us, Suarez will leave and we'll carry on rebuilding for another 20 years. We really need some quality players to come in, and fast.
Sam ("packing my own parachute" since 2003)
With all the hoohah about the FA cup losing its magic, I thought I'd throw in a thought that I've had for quite some time. The thing we all really love about the FA cup (I think) is watching Prem and Championship teams take on teams further down the league. Through the middle rounds, these ties happen and provide potential drama and a definite feeling of nostalgia. Then, a few rounds go by and it's basically just Premiership teams left and maybe a few Championship teams. At that point, I think it starts to become quite dull until the final or unless your team is still in.
As a supporter, though, I'm actually not all that fussed about watching us play Arsenal because we play them in the league. And at this point in the competition, the starting teams will likely be almost identical to the teams that start in the league. So, really it's just a replica of a game that actually means something in the league. Granted, getting to the final would be brilliant. But, in sort of a strange supporter limbo, I don't particularly care if we get knocked out. Having said that, I love watching us play teams that we don't usually play. That to me is the magic of the cup. I'd rather watch us play Bournemouth than a PL team even if we lose.
So, after that lengthy missive, here's what I propose: A reverse seeding system! Stay with me now as I'm sure I'll meander. How about grouping all the teams in the country into groups of 8 or so based on their league position. So, the top 8 teams in the PL would be grouped together and so on. A draw takes place within these groups to see who plays whom. You can do that once to produce 4 from each group or twice to eventually get 2 out of each group. You could then continue a "reverse seeding" type system for as long as you like or simply start the traditional format after that. It would keep the magic, but by switching up the organization of when the "big teams" come into the tournament, you can retain the potential giant-killing fixtures for longer into the tournament. It would get rid of some of the big teams early which would stop the tournament becoming a stale recycling of itself every year: lower league teams play each other, prem teams join and mostly win, prem and championship teams make up the semis. You still have to beat the best if you want to win, but it would prolong the excitement much longer and would also have the indirect benefit of lower the number of games that the big teams might have to play as teams like Villa (random example) could exit the cup early instead of having to play 3 or 4 bottom table sides and then exit.
Genius or madness?
Stuart Peacock, Abu Dhabi. LFC
Find Another Chelsea Player To Like
Dipesh Shah has got it wrong: Juan Mata leaving doesn't mean we can go back to hating Chelsea, it means we probably have to find another Chelsea player to like.
Mata was the latest in a line of post-Abramovitch Chelsea players who managed to be popular among the same people who feel a deep antipathy towards their club. Like Mata, Didier Drogba, Michael Essien, and even Frank Lampard (ok, maybe that's just me and Daniel Storey) have been admired during their time at Chelsea even while the club relentlessly tightens its grip on the title of least popular club in the land. It works for managers too; the hatefulness of the club never tarnished Roberto di Matteo's image, while Rafa Benitez was redeemed by his stint at Stamford Bridge, going from the paranoid, fun-hating puppet master of his Liverpool days to the tactical genius, delivering silverware to the fickle owner, egomaniacal squad and spoiled fans who just didn't deserve him. Even Jose Mourinho has his fans, despite being an abominable arsehole.
It just doesn't happen at other clubs. You can feel sorry for David Moyes, respect Arsene Wenger, acknowledge the ability of Santi Cazorla or the potential of Adnan Januzaj, but whether you feel positively or negatively towards them is basically decided by your opinion of the club they represent. If you ask me that's down to Chelsea being so completely without positives - it is financially doped, its success is no longer a novelty, it is synonymous with boring football, it is the spiritual home of John Terry - and as a result there being a far greater juxtaposition between the club at large, and respect among neutrals that some Chelsea players garner.
Just been in a meeting with someone called Clive. Barely contained joy as I was able to say, "Not for me Clive" during said meeting.
Lee (he had no idea), LFC
That story in mediawatch is rubbish.
Pull the udder one.
Martin "hastily adorning ones coat" Ansell