Like all true Reds my early morning routine involves checking the Liverpool website and every site I know for evidence of a new signing. And while the two confirmed signings both excite and intrigue me, it seems there has been a fair degree of panic in many of our red family as to what Kenny and Commolli are up to.
Here are my naïve thoughts on the “what?” and “why?” behind this summer’s business:
1. Champions League
Without the carrot of Europe to dangle, we were always going to struggle to attract certain players. Clichy’s recent snub was evidence of how significant this fact is. (He’s not a bad left-back, but certainly not a world-beater. If he has chosen a club based on this fact alone – or so he claimed – then those of world-beater status will surely do likewise).
We cannot offer the wage packet the likes of the Manchester clubs and Chelsea can (because we don't have a rich owner who can bank-roll it or a big enough stadium to fund it). Paying 100,000+ pounds a week to every Tom, Dick and Harry (or in our case, Young, Nasri and Modric) means we will also miss out on certain players we may otherwise hope for. (Plus, we have to many 'pretenders' sitting on big wages that need to be offloaded ... and fast!)
This also seems to be a reason for us being willing to pay inflated upfront prices to ensure we get a young player who will be content with a lower weekly wage. (And personally I think both Carroll and Henderson will be worth the money at the end of the day).
3. Imminent fairplay restrictions
While this is surely not a determining factor, it is in the mix – and rightly so. Not only is it a factor our new owner’s have to consider but with their brilliant long term strategy – which in the day of instant success may be undervalued at present – it is very much part of their master-plan. (Perhaps this third point would be better headed by the phrase, “New owner’s master-plan”).
These three factors alone – undoubtedly there are more – mean that we need to remember we’re in the process of rebuilding. Kenny has to rebuild a team capable first of getting back into Europe and then … we can set our sights on winning the Prem and Europe too.
This is not to say that we cannot challenge for the league next year. I believe we can … with our two new signings (Adam’s intrigues me no end; but that’s for another article) – along with a fit Stevie, Carroll and Agger (he is more important to us than most realise; but that’s also for another article) – and hopefully one or two new signings, I really believe we can challenge for the Prem, especially if, as it seems, the other top four teams are also in their own rebuilding processes.
Let me mention one more factor – not at all a part of Liverpool’s strategy but a factor that affects the mood of us, the fans …
4. Media spin
I read somewhere that Liverpool was linked to over 60 players in the month of June alone by the spin-doctor press-gurus … who should all be drawn and quartered. Mind you, that’s their job (to sell ‘dreams’ to addicted fans).
As supporters, we should not be drawn into such speculation (or at least remember that there is a night and day difference between speculation and fact). What we can probably count on is this: what the media, and especially those self-professed “in-the-know” experts, proclaim as gospel truth is more than likely smoke and mirrors. (I wonder how laughable – or irritable – Kenny finds these claims … although he probably doesn’t even read them). Factor in the deception of the media, multiplied by 500 to the power of 60, every time you get excited or confused or angered by a “possible” player we’re linked to … and you’ll keep your head.
Of course, after I’ve finished this rather clinical article I’m going to check the web again for today’s “potential signing”.
After all, I’m addict … just like you.