Why Liverpool’s Brendan Rodgers can’t be trusted in the transfer market
Reds blogger Liverpool World asks why the Merseyside club always appear to be in transition
It seems like Liverpool have been in a period of transition every season since the end of 2008-09.
Remember that team? Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard scoring for fun, a solid defence marshalled superbly by the tenacious Javier Mascherano, who alongside the pass master Xabi Alonso, formed a fantastic midfield pairing.
This was the season when we ran Manchester United so close with some memorable wins and breath-taking performances, most notably the 4-0 win over Real Madrid at Anfield and the 4-1 victory at Old Trafford.
We all dared to dream of getting back on our ‘f****** perch’. We only needed a few signings to push us on that little bit, sound familiar?
We then proceeded to splurge £18m on a right-back that we didn’t really need and £20m on a player injured for four months to replace our Spanish maestro Alonso.
The rest is history. Rafael Benitez goes, we got ‘Hodged’, torn apart by Tom Hicks and George Gillett, then we let club legend Kenny Dalglish and Damien Comolli waste the best part of £65m, but they did bring in Luis Suarez to even things up.
In comes Brendan Rodgers, and although we were all scratching our heads when Fabio Borini and Joe Allen were signed for a combined £25m, that was soon forgotten when Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho arrived in deals worth £20m.
Last season, although Suarez, Sturridge and Raheem Sterling papered over some major cracks, we didn’t seem that far away from becoming a top side if we recruited properly in the defensive areas.
That was soon ruined when Suarez packed his bags to join Barca, but the £75m fee to go towards filling the huge void left by the genius.
Our summer shopping list was as follows:
– A ready-made Suarez replacement who could hit the ground running and had a similar playing style, hard-working, tenacious, skilful.
– An established defensive midfielder was a must, someone to offer protection to the back four.
– A leader to play right-footed centre-half alongside Mamadou Sakho another priority.
– A right-back who wasn’t completely useless at defending
– A left-back who could attack as well as defend
– A creative winger who can score and assist
– A goalkeeper who could command his box and not flap at crosses and corners was also a priority in my eyes.
So, £120m later and we still need:
– A striker in the Suarez mould (i.e. Tevez, Cavani, Sanchez)
– A defensive midfielder (i.e.Wanyama, Schneiderlin)
– A creative winger (i.e Konoplyanka, Depay)
– A dominant centre-half to shore up the defence (i.e. Howedes, N’Koulou)
– A goalkeeper who commands his box (Begovic, Handanovic)
Rodgers has, in my opinion, put himself under massive pressure by spending so much money on players who haven’t improved us in the short-term.
Chelsea needed a striker and a midfielder to replace Fernando Torres and Frank Lampard. £57m later, and in comes Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas. Surprise, surprise, Chelsea are stronger this season. It’s not rocket science is it?
I appreciate Costa may not have hit the ground running and every transfer is a gamble to some extent, but he was brilliant for Atletico Madrid and well worth £30m. It’s a calculated risk and the probability of him being a flop was really low, same with Fabregas.
Rodgers, however, has taken massive gambles; Sturridge staying fit being the biggest one with Suarez departing. Yes, Liverpool are on another level with Sturridge fit but we are massively below par without him. Definitely not worth the risk in my eyes.
The other main gambles were the £25m spent on a squad player who doesn’t even get off the bench, £20m on Lazar Markovic, who is constantly played out of position and £16m on a Suarez replacement who is the polar opposite to Suarez.
Our spine is the worst in the top six with a flappy keeper, a clown of a centre-half, an ageing Steven Gerrard shoehorned into the defensive-midfield role and an injury prone striker, who misses around 15 games a season.
How can you expect to be a top team without a solid spine?
Gerrard is for me, the biggest problem for Liverpool. He is my idol and a true club legend but he doesn’t have a position anymore.
He is not a defensive midfielder, he’s not tactically astute enough to play the role, he hasn’t got the legs to be box-to-box, yet he plays every game because he is captain. He has to be phased out this season and a Victor Wanyama/Morgan Schneiderlin type player bought in.
I would love Rodgers to turn things around but it is clear to me that he can’t be trusted in the transfer market. Arguably only Coutinho and Sturridge have been success stories.
I am sure that Emre Can, Alberto Moreno and Markovic will all prove to be good signings but were they Rodgers signings or the committee?
Can Rodgers be trusted in the market? Is he able to attract the top names? Will he be able to turn our defence from a laughing stock to a solid cohesive unit?
Maybe it’s time for a director of football and a defensive coach to come in to help out. As much as I like Rodgers, he is a few defeats away from being in big trouble and he only has himself to blame.
Follow Liverpool World for all the latest news, transfer gossips and so much more on the Reds