In a time when every team around them is spending big Liverpool must put their recent history in perspective and accept their place in the market
So deadline day has passed and the world was left to marvel upon yet another one of Jim White’s majestic days behind the desk in Sky Sports most informed of studios. Manchester City and Tottenham caused quite a stir with several surprises in the shape of Maicon and Clint Dempsey. Chelsea and Manchester United wrapped up their important deals up long before panic was due to set in and what of Arsenal and Liverpool? Well Arsenal were never repeating the frantic and unbelievably frenzied rush towards the end of last summer’s window and despite losing Robin Van Persie to a rival club they did conclude deals for Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and perhaps most impressively Santiago Cazorla quite early in the summer so there is no real cause for concern. The same though is not thought of for Liverpool and where that might be a valid point to make when you consider the Andy Carroll loan departure to West Ham that leaves Brendan Rodgers with just two recognised forwards it does highlight just how important it is to remember where Liverpool Football Club are right now.
Three seasons ago Xabi Alonso left the club for £30million and was replaced by Alberto Aquillani for £21million who made a pitiful 28 appearances for the club in his injury prone spell at Anfield. Without the qualities of Alonso Liverpool crashed out of the Champions League at the group stages and failed to qualify for the competition the following season which led to the sacking of Rafael Benitez. In came Roy Hodgson who brought with him the likes of Paul Konchesky, Christian Poulsen and Joe Cole. Javier Mascherano saw the warning signs early at this point and jumped ship to Barcelona and hasn’t looked back. Three months later and with new owners at the club Hodgson was out the door and replaced by Kenny Dalglish who barely had time to blink before seeing Fernando Torres leave for Chelsea in a £50million deal. Five minutes later and Andy Carroll was jettisoned (flown in on helicopter, actually) for £35million which was just absolutely mad when you consider how well the club had done to get such a figure for a Fernando Torres in the worst shape of his career and looking unlikely to reach his marvellous heights seen in seasons gone past. Luis Suarez amazingly received no attention in the early parts of his Liverpool career such was the sheer madness that engulfed the club in these changing times.
That following summer Kenny Dalglish took his spending to well over £100million as FSG gave the Scot the green light to revamp the personnel at the football club. In came Stewart Downing, Jordan Henderson and Charlie Adam for a combined £56million. To put that into perspective Arsenal spent half of that on Podolski, Giroud and Cazorla. Shinji Kagawa and Robin Van Persie cost United two thirds of that and the comparisons could go on. Moneyball was cited as the reasoning behind such lavish spending and it didn’t last long as Dalglish soon found out his legendary status counted for nothing as he was shown the door with little remorse.
Brendan Rodgers was employed along with his tiki-taka ideals and though that made the landscape at Anfield change for a more optimistic outlook it didn’t disguise the fact that cut backs had to be made in light of the activity that preceded the club in recent seasons. Extravagant wages on players over the hill, millions spent on those who simply didn’t deliver and the departures of world class talent have left Liverpool in a state whereby Rodgers was left sweating over an extra £2million on deadline day to bring in Clint Dempsey. John Henry wouldn’t give it to him because Liverpool don’t have it. Can you blame the owners? They should have known themselves that Andy Carroll wasn’t worth £35million but that doesn’t change the fact that the purchase was made. They are conserving funds. Cutting back and trying to recuperate as much money as possible and if letting Dempsey go to a rival club helps that then so be it.
Despite the ‘lack of signings’ and the slim transfer budget Liverpool have brought in Joe Allen, Oussama Assaidi and Fabio Borini. It’s not been the worst transfer market in the clubs history. You can be sure of that. And in light of the recent transfer outlay you would do no wrong in drawing positives from this summer’s activity. Yes there are only two strikers at the club. Yes they have missed out on players for the odd million pound here and there. But let’s wait till January before we start judging and just take solace in the fact that for once in a very long while the clubs owners have put their foot down on the multi million pound farce that has left a scar on the football club.