Count me among the Liverpool fans/supporters who are worried the sky could fall at any second.
The transfer deadline has come and gone. Liverpool sent Andy Carroll and Jay Spearing out on loan and sold Charlie Adam for roughly 4 million Pounds to Stoke City. This would’ve been a cause for celebration except the Reds failed to outbid Tottenham for the services of American forward Clint Dempsey.
Dempsey was the biggest prize for Liverpool all summer. Both sides wanted a deal to get done, even though Liverpool will not play in the Champions League this season. And at less than 10 million Pounds, many fans are scratching their heads as to why Spurs ultimately came out on top. Many are speculating that this only confirms what we’ve all feared: last summer’s signings of Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing, and Charlie Adam have caused irrevocable financial damage.
But this goes far deeper than Liverpool. Fenway Sports Group, who owns both Liverpool and the American baseball team Boston Red Sox, just completed a trade for the Red Sox that allowed them to dump over $200 million in salary. This is an ownership group that is backtracking and wants to put financial stability ahead of anything else. And I can understand that…to a degree.
I’ve said all summer that despite last summer’s terrible deals, Liverpool needed to splash some cash on one or two big name players. Now it seems they have almost no cash whatsoever. The ownership group did the same thing they did with the Red Sox: they made moves solely for the purpose of cutting their losses. It also sounds like they failed to discuss this with manager Brendan Rodgers. Rodgers said just last week that he’d be foolish to try and deal Andy Carroll without a viable backup. Now he appears to be just as confused and angry as the rest of us. This roster has become incredibly thin, especially up top. Liverpool needed a high profile goal scorer. Instead they signed a Germany/Bayer Leverkusen U-18 player named Samed Yesil. And in a less publicized move, Nathan Eccleston was sold at the deadline today as well. So if you’re keeping score at home that means Luis Suarez and Fabio Borini are the only players capable of playing a striker/forward role. I was hardly impressed by Adam Morgan the other night which means the Reds are up a creek without a paddle.
To make matters worse, they learned their fate in the Europa League today. Their group will consist of Udinese, Anzhi Makhachkala, and Young Boys. This year’s Champions League draw shows us just how important Europa League results are in determining a country’s coefficient score which ultimately determines the number of teams who qualify for the Champions League. If Liverpool wanted to increase their odds of making it back next season, they needed to make a run here. Now with a thin roster, the task seems even more daunting.
Oh and let’s not forget that Arsenal are in town Sunday morning!
I am usually incredibly optimistic when it comes to supporting my favorite teams. I always prefer to look on the bright side of any bad situation. But this is a huge problem. I posed a rhetorical question earlier on Twitter: When was the last time a team won the EPL or UCL as a result of building a team from the ground up? Whose 3-5 year plan ever works out? There is only one way to succeed in European football: Buy Buy Buy!!! You HAVE to buy great players. Luis Suarez did not come cheap. Nor did past players like Xabi Alonso, Javier Mascherano, and Fernando Torres. You have to spend money in order to bring in talented players. If your owners cannot provide that money then you are left with only one option: auction off your Academy teams. But how can Liverpool try to sell a player like Raheem Sterling when in fact they need him to play with the first team? Now they have to keep him. I don’t see Liverpool churning out too many teenage sensations for a decent price. So Brendan Rodgers is now stuck with an incredibly shallow squad while his bosses scramble to correct the mistakes of the past.
Make no mistake about it: Friday’s deadline day was a disaster for Liverpool. The future certainly doesn’t look bright. Suddenly you have to question management’s plan to turn things around. And don’t expect reinforcements in January when fees are the most inflated. The following is your 2012-13 Liverpool roster…
GK-Pepe Reina, Doni
DEF-Glen Johnson, Jose Enrique (currently not fit), Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel, Jamie Carragher, Martin Kelly, Stewart Downing, Sebastian Coates, Jack Robinson, Jon Flanagan
Midfield-Steven Gerrard, Joe Allen, Lucas (out 2-3 months), Nuri Sahin, Jordan Henderson, Jonjo Shelvey, Joe Cole (currently unfit), Raheem Sterling, Oussama Assaidi
Forwards-Luis Suarez, Fabio Borini, Adam Morgan
Now keep calm and slowly push the panic button with me…
“Walk on with hope in your heart and you’ll never walk alone!”