Liverpool have a new midfield with no fuss; does that look like transfer failure?

Editor F365
Alexis Mac Allister, Liverpool
Alexis Mac Allister arrived at Liverpool from Brighton in the summer of 2023.

Liverpool are not being shambolic; this is not like the Rick Parry years. There’s also plenty on Australia v England and Harry Maguire.

Send your views to, people.


Defending Liverpool at length; this window has not been a failure
LFC need to get back to being excellent in the transfer market….

The much vaunted Transfer Committee fannied about literally all of last summer trying to chase one midfielder, ultimately losing them to Real Madrid and having no time to sort an alternative, so panicked and signed Arthur. That focus on just one player, and then not signing him, didn’t in any way hamper the 22-23 season.

They also took the exceptional decision of not to hurl obscene money for Bellingham, but to wait for the auction Dortmund said would take place this year because they were confident they could get him. Both decisions rightfully show what a well run machine they were, and really do paint the current set-up in a negative light.

Conversely, this summer the current set up were in the market for Bellingham, but instead of wasting months haggling with Real Madrid, pulled out and lost him for 85 million. They immediately then signed 90 million’s worth of talent, without any interminable media speculation on either deal whatsoever.

The first the papers knew of the interest in Caicedo, was after a private auction Brighton held, where LFC put in a world record fee. Nowt in the press that LFC were after him, or even that Brighton’s auction was taking place last Thursday.

The first the papers knew of the interest and potential deal for Endo today was after a bid had been made, and seemingly the player secured.

Clearly, the above is a disgrace and demonstrates just how the current set up is massively dysfunctional. Three signings done, and one literal world record bid, entirely outside of the spotlight. It’s entirely right that the club get lambasted for not doing things a la the Fabinho deal, where it was announced out of the blue, when there’s only several examples of them doing exactly that.

It’s entirely logical for the press, and the bed-wetting extremes of the fan base to demand constant club updates of what is going on whilst simultaneously demanding they operate efficiently behind the scenes. That’s just not an innate contradiction and the fact that the club aren’t spending the summer placating imbeciles with #FSGout in their profiles who want to ‘win’ the transfer window is a failure of their obligations as owners.

It seems to me the only example of the current, most dysfunctional and haphazard and useless transfer committee ever, getting things hopelessly wrong, is with Mason Mount, where there was a public courting but not a bid (and instead signing a World Cup winner for a lesser fee), and the attempt to sign Lavia being leaked to the press, with much hyperbole from Carra et al. But LFC didn’t leak, or announce the attempts to sign Lavia in the press. And the public pressure from Carra ‘to just bid 50 FFS’ was made to look naive almost immediately, as when they bid above 50 the player didn’t wanna come anyway. You could even infer it was the player who leaked all this because he didn’t wanna relocate to Liverpool (cheshire)?

Notwithstanding the flagrant re-writing of history, that the old regime always did things in private and outside of the press spotlight (VVD etc, or Tchouaméni mentioned above), I’m not going to suggest in any way things are great. But I think it is entirely fair to suggest the current commentary is, well, a bit bollocks?

Now, what is true is there is seemingly no plan at LFC. It’s not great. Hiring a DoF only for them to leave isn’t ideal. Only having a contractor in the post isn’t ideal.

But then external factors haven’t helped. Letting Milner go only for your other two DMs to request to leave weeks later isn’t ideal. There’s ample evidence to suggest LFC were not in for a ‘senior’ defensive midfielder this summer; only youth prospects. This lambasting them for not achieving a ‘proper rebuild’ is a bit odd when the club never committed to doing that, nor has Jurgen ever made whole-sale changes to his team.

He’s the manager, and he’s loyal to his boys. That’s won the club loads; This is the constraint that attitude creates. Loving Klopp for the former but blaming the club and the owners for the latter seems unfair. Had the deal for Caicedo come off (at the earliest point possible, in the auction Brighton orchestrated), you’d be hard placed to suggest this transfer committee had not entirely hit the brief of rebuilding the midfield. The only reason they didn’t was the player said no. So the committee are getting pilloried for attainment, rather than either effort or acumen.

Not to get all beard-stroking about this, but there’s a scene in Frasier that always sat well with me. Martin explaining to Frasier that winning and losing is the result of many things you can control, but some you can’t. And had he taken part in organised sports as a kid, he’d have learned that. That reproach and blame, and even self criticism, should be solely on trying your best, and on getting the best out of others. Not always on winning. This commercialisation of football, and this ‘winning the transfer window’ thing just seems at odds with what sport is supposed to teach you, when it’s not supposed to be a relaxing distraction to life.

Bellingham – withdrew
Mount – withdrew
Mac Allister – signed out of the blue
Szoboszlai – signed out of the blue
Lavia – player turned us down
Caicedo – literal world record bid, out of the blue. Player turned us down
Endo – signed out of the blue

Bloody hell. If that’s failure then these fans definitely can’t remember the Rick Parry regime. Try losing out on Simao because of a lousy two million, only for him to single-handedly knock the club out of Europe a few months later, but it’s alright because instead you sign Jermaine Pennant for a few bob cheaper, whilst he’s still wearing a police ankle tag. That was a low point. The current struggles really bloody do need to be re-framed.

And I think it’s a bit of a nonsense. And I think it’s been hysteria entirely created by that oaf Fabrizio Romano claiming LFC had a transfer warchest of 250 million pounds.

But anyway, as Anfield opens to 61k for the first time ever, and we have the best manager in my adult lifetime, and a load of fantastic players, FSG Out lol.
Tom G

READ: Liverpool must answer £95m transfer question, even if ‘shock’ deal is not Endo the world


Attempting to Mediawatch Mediawatch
So according to Mediawatch Liverpool are a shambles/woeful for not being able to match the insane salary/contract length for Lavia and Caicedo hence those players choosing Chelsea but a journalist is derided for praising their transfer business as ‘getting deals done for players with release clauses’.

Presumably you’re implying that players with release clauses have no say where they are transferred to? If not that’s a little pathetic on your part.
James Outram, Wirral

(Mediawatch literally says nothing of the sort. It says, and I quote’, ‘Have Liverpool been shambolic? Or is the ‘reality’ that Saudi Arabia and Chelsea have distorted the market? The truth is probably somewhere between the two poles’ – Ed)


Arrivederci, it’s one on one…
Peter, if you miss egregiously disorganised off-sides traps leading to multiple one-ones, I recommend watching Liverpool. No matter the opposition, they are guaranteed to to get at least 2 per game, while we all stop breathing and pray to the gods of VAR
Henry, Düsseldorf LFC


…To add to Peter in Poole’s question re one-on-ones, and I know I have seen a few recently because it’s led me to this frustrating observation, why in the name of Andy Cole’s tortured soul does nobody try to take it around the keeper anymore?

Drop the shoulder and skip round them, do a few step-overs and leave them on their arse, knock it by them and run like forest gump, heck just do anything but panic and hit it straight at them! And don’t get me started on the lack of chipping. They’re rushing out, miles off their line and you have a open goal – just chip it over them and pop the collar King Eric style.

Kids these days.
Garey Vance, MUFC


Mason and more in the Mailbox
Yeah, Jordan, Hull.

Let’s see what happens before we judge, but I am a bit surprised that the general feeling seems to be that Mason will be re-integrated.

The club have highlighted how evidence not in the public domain has been used to reach a conclusion and that they will explain this all, so let’s see what that is in the interest of fairness.

But for me personally, barring revelations that show that was blatantly consensual role-playing…the transcripts are enough, and I think that it would be a disgrace to have him anywhere near the club ever again in any capacity.

It’s quite a scumbag type of thing to even consider actually.

And I wonder what our Women’s team think of all this too, I wonder what weight their opinions would even be given by the club, if you know, you know why I would have suspicions of that nature.

Keeping it classy guys. F*ck*ng hell really. Again, a club with all the resources in the footballing world, can’t write this person off and send a clear message around GBV?

Just can’t stop disappointing us can you ownership and leadership.

Onto better topics, and Oh yes, Rich. That ball for Stanway early on yesterday was just a thing of beauty.I really let out an Aaaah kind of noise as It happened and again during the replay.

Hemp also did that to me a few times, with her general play being utterly sumptuous at times.

Also, can’t believe I didn’t mention Mary specifically amongst our United Ladies shining bright over there.

A great mail from Geraint, Swansea Men/Bristol Women.

And well pointed out, someone like myself keeps focusing on Russo to Arsenal, but also losing the best RWB in the WSL last year, for no money, is actually quite a big one too!

Ona is going to slot right back in at Barca, (see what I did there guys? Ok let me get my own coat) alongside Bronze to continue her growth into a world class right defender.
Manc from SA (we are lucky over here to get coverage of many WSL games, and that seems to increase each year, so looking forward to again closely following both my teams this season.)


I was there!
Fortunately I was able to get tickets to the Australia/England semi final.

Another sell out crowd, another record tv audience. 40% of Australia(11m) tuned in on free to air to watch the game, this figure doesn’t take into account the viewers on pay tv which would have added a couple of million.

France and England (two traditional football countries with triple the population of Australia) hosted the last two international tournaments and together had less people in attendance than Australia have.

Shame we are not a football country…We prefer Rugby league and cricket(less attendance for those world cups combined than the WWC)

Sarina Weigman stated before the game they had a plan for Sam Kerr, she neglected to mention that plan was to kick her out of the game. Greenwood should have been sent off in the first 10 minutes for a ridiculous challenge… but such is life. After the goal she scored (there have been some great goals, but this was the best in the tournament), you could see why.

But England were able to capitalise on a couple of mistakes in the Australian defence and overall were worthy winners. It’ll be a cracker game against Spain who play like a typical Spanish side.

This World Cup has been something else in Australia, it has been phenomenal to see. Parks with big screens everywhere, the biggest sports grounds in Australia(MCG, SFS, Rod Laver etc) filling out with fans watching on the big screen.

No sport has ever come close to this in Australia. The Matildas have done something no other team has ever been capable of by uniting the entire country behind one team.

It’s been a truly amazing experience to be part of and share with my children and we’ve been fortunate enough to go to each of the Matilda’s knockout matches.

2.2m fans attended games at the men’s World Cup in Qatar
2m fans have attended the WWC in Australia.

A massive massive month of football and despite not reaching the final, no Matilda will ever have to buy a beer in Australia again. They have become legends in the last month.

Absolutely loved it and still the 3rd place against Sweden to go.
Liam (the irony of seeing Qatar airways using Sam Kerr’s goal for ads when she wouldn’t be welcome in their country isn’t lost on me)


No sympathy for Harry Maguire here
I appreciate you sharing the article attempting to paint Harry Maguire’s situation at Manchester United in a different light. However, I must admit, I find the argument presented to be a rather feeble attempt at justifying his underwhelming performance and overstaying his welcome.

The notion that Maguire’s belief in himself somehow magically elevated him from a League Two level player to donning the Manchester United jersey is a narrative more fit for a fairy tale than a serious analysis. While confidence is indeed a valuable trait, it’s laughable to think that self-assurance alone can bridge the gap between mediocrity and excellence at a club with the history and standards of Manchester United.

The article’s emphasis on contractual entitlement misses a crucial point: contracts are not sacred relics immune to scrutiny or evolution. Contracts in football are signed with the understanding that they benefit both parties. If Maguire’s presence is dragging down the team’s performance and morale, then clinging to his contract as a shield is not only stubborn but detrimental to the club’s ambitions & his.

Furthermore, let’s not confuse confidence with delusion. While Maguire’s confidence may have served him well in the past, there comes a point where it devolves into sheer delusion. His persistently lackluster performances and baffling decision-making on the pitch are indicative of a player who is out of touch with reality.

The assertion that Maguire doesn’t owe Manchester United any favors is perhaps the most telling of all. It’s not about favors; it’s about professional responsibility and accountability. When a player fails to deliver on expectations and becomes an obvious liability, it’s not unreasonable to expect them to acknowledge the situation and act in the best interest of both their career and the club.

In closing, the article conveniently sidesteps the glaring reality that Maguire’s tenure at Manchester United has been a story of inconsistent performances, questionable decision-making, and a failure to live up to the expectations set by his price tag and position. Though I must admit, the attempt to defend Maguire’s position comes across as more comical than convincing.

Let’s hope for some much-needed clarity and realism to prevail in this situation.
AR, Bangalore


…I do agree with Dave Tickner’s take on the Harry Maguire situation for the most part but the premise ‘Man U are loaded, so they should just pay up if they want rid’, completely ignores the fact that Man U have to work within the confines of FFP. It seems because of previous overspends, they are having to be as frugal as possible, which was clear when they decided not to even try to sign Kane and the way they played hardball with Chelsea over Mount (unsuccessfully, might I add).

They probably have a player in mind to replace Maguire but the numbers have to be right to get Maguire out and get they player they want in. Remember, just a few weeks ago, they valued Maguire at £50 million but there were understandably no offers due to Maguire’s continued poor form. Squad management, in terms of finances is a balancing act and maybe if they had got 50 for Maguire, they would’ve paid him what he was due but they couldn’t and so tried to negotiate Maguire down to make it work financially.

Take the Willian situation with Arsenal for example. Willian was on a massive contract but tore it up because he wanted the Arsenal team to thrive and knew his salary was blocking Arsenal from bringing in the players they wanted. Would Arsenal have been able to offer the terms they have for Saliba, Rice etc. if 300 grand a week was still going to Willian?

ETH doesn’t trust Maguire and wants an alternative but they need Maguire to be accommodating for that to happen. Due to the emotional investment in football teams by the fans and the staff, Maguire’s stance is clear disloyalty to them. If Maguire had been average over the past couple of seasons, you could maybe understand his thinking but he’s been poor and is performances are likely to get worse, now that the added pressure of refusing to leave is on him. I’m not a Man U supporter by any mean but I can understand that this must be maddening to the fans.
Seamus, Sweden

P.S. Onana is a disgrace for screaming at Maguire in that friendly. Gutted that penalty wasn’t given against him the other night.


…My open letter to Maguire has provoked a reaction, including his family commissioning an article to defend him. I wish I had such money to silence my critics…

Anyhoo…I categorically did not wish harm on Maguire. I just advised him and told him that some of my fellow fans *might* curse him if he stubbornly refused to bugger off. I was looking out for him, I’m not a monster.

If your WAG told you that she’s looking to upgrade because your performance in the sack wasn’t up to scratch, would you remain and study the Kamasutra? What if you have a micro pen*s, how would that help?

Maguire’s problem isn’t for a lack of trying, he simply can’t be a top-class defender. End of. You can give a million monkeys a million computers and I bet your ar*e none of them could write Shakespeare. So let’s stop this nonsense of staying and fighting for your place…
Melvoe Adams in Nairobi, Kenya


In response to Melvoe Adams yesterday slating Harry Maguire for not leaving the club.

You might want to think about how contracts work. Maguire signed a 7 year contract with Man Utd. They didnt force him to – they offered it to him and he accepted. Now, they want him to leave and go to West Ham who arent going to pay him the same wages. So Man Utd need to pay him the £15m difference, but they aren’t, they reportedly have offered him £6m. Would you ever accept a £9m loss from your employer, just to appease other people? No, I thought not.

He just wants to be paid what he is contractually owed, which it is pretty hard to fault him for. Its Man Utd’s fault for not stumping up the money that he hasn’t left. So rather than whinging that he isnt what you want, perhaps whinge at the people upstairs who have screwed this up…..
Ben (would love to see Amrabat join Utd before the window ends)