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Liverpool have nailed it again
The plans have obviously been in place for Liverpool to sign Werner for some time, the flirting has been going on for months. Then came the virus. The transfer committee would then have discussed how integral he was to Klopp’s first-team plans, the answer is clear… as long as there is no planning to replace any of the current front three. The decision would then come down to a simple conclusion, with the current financial uncertainty is it good business to spend £50m & £200k a week on a squad player/one for the future, a player that won’t improve the starting side.
We’d all love to have £50m players on the bench but despite Liverpool saving their pocket money for a bigger toy in the future, they now simply have to save for the future. That said, I think of a player Klopp wants that will improve the team, they will be in a position to buy. Sound business from the Reds again, let everyone else splash the cash and get themselves into debt whilst trying to bridge a bloody big gap.
Marcel G, LFC
Do Liverpool need to do any business?
JohnnyWicky – why do you want an alternative to Werner?
The youth team and support cast seem to be good, you won the CL last year and are top of the league this year by a fair bit.
Liverpool fans like a shiny new signing as opposed to keeping a side together than has won trophies. Why wouldn’t you be striving to keep this side together?
Few teams have a £200k a week player on the bench for depth as part of a master plan. Reality seems to be that the big contracts you handed out 18 months ago means that purchases are less and less likely until someone leaves. Look at last summer.
When Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal were winning titles I never saw them wanting signings as much as Liverpool fans do. The clamour to sell Salah for £100m, to replace with £53m Werner to get that Net Spend down a little more is bonkers.
Werner choosing Chelsea is still painful
You can tell football is almost back by the dramatic increase in transfer rumours. It’s funny how we know 99% of them are not likely to happen but are still drawn in like moths to a flame.
As with johhnywicky, I too thought Werner would make a great addition to the Liverpool squad. Sure, he wasn’t likely to get a guaranteed starting role but then who does. Messi? But how many others are ‘guaranteed’?
The challenge for any team driving for honours is the balance between keeping your top players happy, fit, and playing well together. When you see top teams seamlessly ‘flow’ around the field, that comes from playing together week in and week out. So clearly when changing the team around to allay overplaying and risking injury it can impact that team flow. When you do bring someone in, it hopefully doesn’t unbalance the team nor weaken the team. As Werner is very fast and loves to come in off the touchline, he would have been a great complement to the current team style and would have allowed all three of the front three a rest, meaning enough game time all around without unbalancing the team.
In looking at Chelsea, they already had plenty of choice and firepower up front. Werner isn’t exactly a replacement for Abraham or Giroud based on the above. Yet, the wide positions, as at Liverpool are already well stocked with Pulisic and Hudson-Odoi, granted not in quite the same league as Salah and Mane, but hey, unbelievable potential, still very young and most recently considered must-haves at Chelsea.
In the end though, it made me think that we are as much concerned, perhaps more, about a possibly good or great player going to a competitor as getting the player. For example, while I can see the logic in Liverpool not picking up Werner, am I more concerned that he will make a title challenger much stronger? It wasn’t that long ago that players being touted as destined for Liverpool were being gazumped by Real Madrid, Chelsea and Spurs. In fact there was a time when I thought Spurs spent more time working on Liverpool targets than finding their own. But with time and Klopp, that has changed somewhat so I get that there is a plan and all. But it never seems to stop that little feeling we get when we see a great target go elsewhere.
Not an anti-climax
Bradley Kirrage – no, I don’t feel that the 30 year wait for a league title has been diminished by the lockdown. Sure the momentum has stalled at the moment, and it won’t be quite the same watching them win the title in an empty stadium, but a few things mean this doesn’t make any difference to me:
* I’ve waited 30 years – a delay of a couple of months is nothing compared to that!
* There was a risk a few weeks ago that the title would be voided/ awarded with an asterisk. Now we have the chance to confirm it beyond all doubt.
* Once games resume the excitement and anticipation will return, of that I’m sure
* Sharing the experience of a title win with my 5 year old son will be magical – he loved the European Cup Final last summer and this will be even better.
* The celebrations will go on longer than normal – any parade or on-pitch presentation of the trophy to fans before a home match will not take place for some months, so fans will get to enjoy and re-live it all over again.
But perhaps the thing that most assuages any feelings of anti-climax is the knowledge that this season will never be forgotten. I could tell you the name of every league and most FA Cup winners from the late 70s to early 2000s as I was growing up, learning about the game and had the time to obsess about it. As I’ve got older and have other responsibilities that forensic recollection is less important and bar the occasional exceptional season (Invincibles in 03/04, City’s first league win in 11/12, Leicester in 15/16) I couldn’t confidently tell you who won the league in most seasons since 2000. I dare say that phenomenon is familiar to many, albeit with different timescales. But this season? This season will be remembered for ever because of the disruption, and whenever anyone thinks about this season it’s very likely they will remember who won the league.
Will Sancho antics put off United?
How many of us are looking at Sancho’s inconsistency (hat-trick this week, bench the other) and regular clashes with authority (hair cuts and a few fines last year ) and thinking Man Utd may well swerve away from him and buy an alternative.
The parts of the current Man Utd criteria for selecting players, everyone remembers for narrative purposes, are the young, talented and British. Everyone seems to gloss over character (Despite the recent quote about rather having a whole in the squad than an a..hole).
It is not beyond the realms of possibility that Ole and the recruitment team look at the issues he has, look at the price and consider Utd’s previous history with Dortmund (Kagawa and Mkhitaryan) and fish someplace else. Then again they have broken their own rules before (Fernandes and Ighalo are neither young or British) and decide he has the talent to be the next Cantona.
Love a good DM debate
I’d just like to say to all the replies about Kante and Fernandinho playing out of position so they cant be the best DMs in the league. I’ll take that it’s a fair point but my angle is if you were managing a team and your board offered you the choice of the three of them to play DM for your team you would almost certainly take Kante or Fernandinho over Fabinho on the basis that even though they are currently playing out of position for their clubs, when deployed in their best positions shielding the defence they are still superior to Fabinho when deployed in the role. I’m also not saying Fabinho is not a good DM he obviously is but a fully fit Kante or Fernandinho in that position are better options. Kante for his non stop running engine get the ball back and switch defence to attack and Fernandinho because he’s the master of cynical “for the greater good” fouls along with a mastery of reading the game to be in the right place at the time for his team.
PPG = The table
Just a quick note to Mike, the West Ham fan.
If West Ham get relegated based on the result against Aston Villa on the last day of the season, the ‘un-weighted points per game’ calculation could be more easily explained by calling it ‘the final league table’.
How good was Keegan?
After reading John, Ottawa’s mail building his XI across history, I found myself down a Ballon d’or winners rabbit hole. Now I’m quite aware of a number of the standout winners but I’m always surprised when I see Kevin Keegan winning the award in back-to-back seasons. I’m not sure if it’s because he won it whilst at Hamburg as opposed to playing for a British club but I feel we don’t really hear about someone who holds two of the five Ballon D’or trophies awarded to English players. I went to Hamburg around 5-6 years ago now and all the locals spoke so highly about Keegan, so I guess I’m just looking to see if there’s any readers out there who watched Keegan play and could educate me on how good he was (in comparison to the never-ending greatest English player debate) and maybe why we don’t ever hear him mentioned in that conversation?
How good was Rooney?
I was reading through the site’s piece ‘The main men of 2010/11‘ and it got me thinking about Wayne Rooney. I am still totally unsure whether he was actually any good. I am a Liverpool fan so I only watched him whenever we played Utd or he played for England. Despite him being the country’s leading scorer, I struggle to remember a single game where I felt that he was genuinely outstanding and for the most part I found him incredibly frustrating. I am admittedly too young to remember Euro 2004. For Utd, I do remember vividly watching in awe as he scored a sensational hat-trick on his debut against Fenerbache. But I also remember Maxi Rodriguez scoring a sensational hat trick against Fulham so I think it is safe to conclude that “a hat trick, a great player maketh not.”
My confusion about him stems from my high consumption of YouTube football highlights to fill the void during lockdown. In so many clips he seems to be miss-controlling the ball or laying off completely garbage passes. This happens even during his greatest moments. Take for example, his bicycle against Man City. 10 seconds before he scores, he tries to lay the ball off to Berbatov. However the ball bounces off of his shin and goes straight over the Bulgarian’s head only to fortuitously land at the feet of Paul Scholes.
What I would love to know is this: Do Man Utd fans think he was any good? Were you happy to see team sheets where he was leading the line or did your hearts sink?