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BELIEF DOESN’T EXCUSE COMPLACENCY

by TheAnfieldWrap // 29 August 2013 // 28 Comments

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By Sachin Nakrani

AS I stood in Block 105 on Tuesday night and watched in astonishment and anger as Liverpool came perilously close to chucking away a cup tie against Notts County, my mind grabbed hold of a story John Aldridge, and others, tells in regards to the great side of ‘87/88.

It is August 29th 1987 and in their second match of the campaign, having already beaten Arsenal 2-1 at Highbury, Liverpool are away at Coventry. The visitors set off like a train and four minutes into the second-half are 2-0 up thanks to a brace from Steve Nicol. On 52 minutes, they are awarded a penalty and here is Aldridge’s chance to score his second goal of the season. But with Nicol on a hat-trick, the striker offers the ball to his team-mate. At that very moment, Alan Hansen charges up the pitch and tells Aldridge in no uncertain terms that he is taking the pen. The message from the captain is clear: ‘You’re the penalty-taker so stop fucking about and take it’. Aldridge duly scores, Peter Beardsley adds a fourth on 83 minutes before Cyril Regis gets a consolation for the visitors. 4-1. Job done, title charge well and truly underway.

Ruthlessness. That is what all great Liverpool sides had imbedded in their collective character and it is a trait which appears to be in short supply on and off the pitch at Anfield right now. Yes, the team eventually got the job done against Notts County, but that they were dragged into extra-time by a side that has lost three and drawn one of their opening four matches of the League One season having led 2-0 at half-time is damning. The men in red got complacent – they handed Nicol the ball.

Complacency is an accusation that can also be directed towards those at the top. It is now only a matter of days until the transfer window closes and, as of writing, Liverpool still have not completed a major purchase to go alongside the encouraging clutch of additions made in the immediate close-season period. Targets have been lined-up but the bullet has strayed wide off the mark and it feels increasingly likely that for a second summer window in succession, Liverpool will not be making any late, statement-making signings.

The club’s hierarchy deserve some slack, of course. Firstly the handling of Luis Suarez by John W Henry in particular has been exemplary, a show of strength which harks back to the time when Peter Robinson and John Smith ran Liverpool with such cool authority that you feel the pair could have won a general election if only they had been bothered. Henry, FSG and Ian Ayre supporters would also argue that there was nothing they could have done to stop Henrikh Mkhitaryan joining Borussia Dortmund, Diego Costa signing a new contract at Atletico Madrid or Willian fluttering his eyelashes in the direction of L4 and the Seven Sisters Road before deciding to head towards Stamford Bridge. But in each case it feels like an opportunity has been missed, or worse, that there has been a level of negligence on the part of those in power.

In the case of Mkhitaryan and Willian, Brendan Rodgers made clear his desire to sign the players, that was leaked/briefed to the media and then…nothing. Nobody can blame either player for rejecting Liverpool in favour of clubs with immediate domestic title and Champions League aspirations but there is very little sense that Liverpool busted a gut to persuade either to move to Merseyside. Did Ayre set up camp in Donetsk or Dagestan and strive day and night to nail down terms with Shakhtar Donetsk or Anzhi Makhachkala? There has been a lot of talk of Liverpool lodging bids with both clubs and then sitting back and waiting for them to say yay or nay, but that is not enough for a team that knows it faces competition from rival bidders who, unlike them, can offer targets the chance to win major honours during the coming campaign. Progress has to be made quickly, aggressively, and that is also the case when dealing directly with the players and their representatives. As Anfield Wrap transfer-trumpeter Rob Gutmann has often said, when trying to attract top-level recruits Liverpool need to compensate for their lack of Champions League football by strongly and positively selling a vision – that moving to Anfield is the first step to eventual glory and that the player himself is key to unlocking the trophy cabinet door. This also does not appear to have happened.

Rodgers looking for the transfer budget (PIC: David Rawcliffe / Propaganda Photo)In the case of Willian specifically Liverpool may well have dodged a bullet, but nevertheless questions have to be asked regarding why the deal was not done. Brendan Rodgers made clear just before the Aston Villa game last weekend that the transfer had not fallen through for “football reasons”, which alongside his remark about the owners having the “final say” made it quite clear that it instead came down to FSG’s stubborn desire to get maximum value on player-purchases.

The first question to ask is who exactly is making the valuations? Most likely the club’s somewhat opaque transfer committee, but what is for sure is that the manager, the key element of any club’s push for a player, felt Willian was worth loosening the purse strings for. “This was a player who would have been perfect for us,” he said having subtly but obviously criticised FSG’s money-management policy.

Upon raising this on Twitter I was hit with tweets from people who backed the owners by pointing out the huge sums that were wasted on Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing. Fair enough, but just because those two players were signed for absurdly high fees (and hindsight is not needed to make that judgement) doesn’t mean the club can never again take a punt on a new player and spend that extra few million pounds if, as Rodgers says, he is the “perfect” fit. Just imagine if FSG had deemed £8.5m too much to spend on Internazionale reject Philippe Coutinho, or £12m too much to spend on Chelsea outcast Daniel Sturridge. Liverpool would be out of the Capital One Cup for a start.

Owners of big clubs have to make big calls at times and, Suarez aside, FSG have shown themselves to be lacking in that department this summer. This is not a case of bagging a big signing for the sake of it, but rather those in charge backing the judgement of the manager they hired with more gusto. Fine if Mkhitaryan and Willian do not sign, but at least give the supporters a firm sense that everything was done to get them. In the case of Costa, well who knows what happened there – the club clearly thought the 24-year-old would sign should they present Atletico with an offer they couldn’t refuse; the fact Costa subsequently signed a fresh three-year deal with the La Liga team reflects badly on Ayre in particular.

On the pitch it should not be forgotten that Liverpool have won all three of their matches this season, and the obvious plus from Tuesday was how they ultimately triumphed having been reduced to 10 men following Kolo Toure’s groin injury in extra-time. Yet it is also the cases that in all of those games, Liverpool have failed to add to their tally in the second-half of normal time and against Stoke and Villa were hugely indebted to Simon Mignolet for holding onto the lead secured early on by Sturridge. Football, it is said, is about fine margins and it not inconceivable that Liverpool could be heading into Sunday’s match against Manchester United having blown three leads and capitulated to a team residing in the League One relegation zone.

The talent is obvious but ruthlessness, that quality of would-be and want-to-be champions, is clearly lacking. That, of course, may come in time and the early form of Raheem Sterling in particular suggests the failure to sign Mkhitaryan, Costa or Willian may ultimately not prove a significant problem. But Rodgers wanted the players, and it may well be the case that he saw them as key additions not just for their technical capabilities but also for their ruthless streak. If so then the lack of recent signings is of particular concern, although given the potential seriousness of Toure’s injury a centre-back is increasingly likely to arrive, with Paris Saint-Germain’s Mamadou Sakho once again linked with a switch to Anfield. Schalke’s beast of a defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos remains a wanted man but a move for him is unlikely to be made before January due to concerns over his until-recently damaged knee.

It would be foolish to foist too much negativity on Liverpool’s current fortunes given the three wins, the financial health of the club (which has been swelled by a net income on transfers this summer of close to £3m) and the unified, strong stance taken over Suarez’s desire to leave. But all round there remains the need for the club to puff its chest out more, to display the type of swagger and ruthless desire for success which, 100 years on from his birth, Bill Shankly demanded from players and directors alike during his reign at Anfield.  As the great man said: “A lot of football success is in the mind. You must believe you are the best and then make sure you are.” Time for Liverpool to start believing or, at the very least, act as if they do.

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28 Comments

  1. Extremely well said. I for one back FSG in the sense that they have cleared us of debts and have made us stable. Even if they do sell we’re in a better position to go forward than we previously were. Like you say though, it’s not the lack of transfers that worries but the lack of ambition to get that player in. Once bitten twice shy doesn’t work when it comes to transfers. There is no such thing as a sure thing. You often have to gamble. Even if the signing turns out bad a big signing will ALWAYS lift the squad mentally and we need as much of that as we can get.

    • I disagree. Often a big signing destabilizes and discourages the squad. Established players or those who have come through the academy can think, ‘I’ve worked my ass off to be here and now here comes this unproven fancy dan with his poncy name and step-overs to take my place and earn triple my wages.’ Willian, for example, has done nothing of note bar a few decent performances in the champions league. He’s never played in a top European league and his stats aren’t that impressive even in the Ukranian league. He shows potential for sure, but is far from a proven winner. Just cause he’s brazilian and has big hair, he’s somehow worth over 30 million quid. No thanks.

  2. I’m prepared to defend FSGs reluctance to splash huge amounts of money on players -based on our past history.
    There is no guarantee any of the high-value players LFC have been linked with will ‘do the business’ in the Premier League … it seems churlish, after the criticism the club has had for over-paying in the past, to now moan when they won’t. The examples of Sturridge/Coutinho are precisely how things should be handled – value for money was obtained, clearly.
    Modern professional footballers seem pretty unimpressed with talk of visions and future plans – it’s jam today and plenty of it, they’re looking for.

    • All valid points but on Sturridge and Coutinho; as I say, what if the owners had decided they weren’t value for money? Too terrible to contemplate.

      To make clear: I’m not calling for the owners to chuck money around for the sake of it, but instead to back the manager more. You have to question what is behind the club missing out on THREE key targets this summer, especially after Rodgers made clear that “football reasons” were not behind the failure to land Willian. The point made by Paul C below is very interesting…

  3. Although I share everyone’s frustrations, I do think this idea that the owners or Ayre, if they’d pulled their fingers out, could have signed a someone by now, is a bit off-base.

    Every £20m-£30m target has chosen a more attractive offer – and nothing FSG can do, beyond offering massive wages, can make us more attractive than a CL club (or one, like Spurs with AVB, that seem to be the next best thing). Considering the fact we’re probably still paying some of Downing, Cole and Carroll’s salaries I can see why the owners didn’t want to offer Willian £150k a week, say, over 5 years – one bad season, one bad injury and that’s a huge amount of money to write off.

    The alternative people keep mentioning is ‘finding another Sturridge or Coutinho’ – who exactly are these players? And if they’re easy to find, again, why wouldn’t other clubs be in for them? Buying frustrated squad players from the teams above us has worked out well recently (I include Bellamy in Toure in that, too), but say we now go and make offers for Moses, Sigurdsson, Holtby, Adebayor, Ba – are they really that much better than what we have?

    Our policy seems to be to wait, have faith in the young players in the squad, and to only buy when we see a real opportunity in the market. It’s not an approach that’s very exciting but I think it’s one we all need to get used to, and support, because the long-term future of the club depends on it.

  4. I’m 99% certain FSG are trying to sell the club.

    In business parlance it is called ‘cleaning’ the business. It’s when you cut as much waste and unnecessary outgoings as possible so as to make the business an attractive proposition for prospective buyers, in our case cutting the wage bill by £59m since 2011 and only investing in the first team money the club is generating itself (and not even that during this window.)

    I think FSG naively thought FFP was going to level the playing field but now realise it will do nothing of the sort and so, if they are to compete with Chelsea, Arsenal, Utd and City, they have to invest billions -including the cost of a new stadium (adding 10,000 to Anfield will make fuck all difference!)

    Unsurprisingly (considering their pockets are only a fraction as deep as Amramovich, Mansour, etc) they have decided against investing this money and are now looking to cut loose and maybe even make a few quid on the way out.

    Depressing as it is, the only way I see us returning to the top is if we sell our soul to a Mansour-type cos FFP is a joke

    • Is there any evidence that they have cut the wage bill by £59m?

      • That does seem quite high.

        The point is still valid though. If Liverpool qualify for the Champions League in the next couple of years, I can see the club being sold soon after.

    • @Paul – a few minor things. “Cleaning” a business is done by all businesses on a regular basis. If you don’t review and refresh in an ongoing manner you end up with an overinflated workforce on overinflated wages. It’s what you do to set your business up for long-term sustainability.

      We’re also WAY to early to make a call on FFP as it’s based on a 3-year rolling average on profitability.

      10,000 seats can make a massive difference, it depends what the value of the seats are!

      Cut the wage bill by $59m?? Prove it! Even if we had; we’ve been making massive losses over the last few years so we need to cut costs accordingly.

      Sorry mate, but you’re chatting out of the top of your head. Why the doom and gloom?

  5. Nicely put. The ‘what are we selling?’ question is key and determines who the sales team needs to be. If we’re selling history and status, we need our equivalent of Rummenigge or Zidane to be fronting the deal. If we’re selling an imminent return to CL and trophies, Rodgers doesn’t have the track record to suggest that success is inevitable or the international profile that might persuade a player to sign for the man as much as the club. And if we’re selling the vision/project/transformation then FSG need to be at the table to explain how they’re going to deliver it.

    The transfer market is a cynical, dirty business and it’s obvious which managers and clubs are good at it. Ian Ayre alone clutching his committee mandate might have a chance of doing a deal in January when the big boys are on holiday but not in the last 4 weeks of the summer window when it’s all about manipulation, medals and money.

  6. Very good piece and good responses. As I think Rob Gutman mentioned on one if the podcasts, what is the ambition if FSG? The transfer window will give us a good idea….well here’s the proof. With only days remaining the squad and wage bill continue to be thinned rather than built to genuinely challenge for 4th. “We are here to win” is what the quite likeable but naive John Henry declared upon arrival. Win what? I go along with the “cleaning” comment from earlier. 2.5 Years into their ownership a lack of a management team still exists. I do not believe that would be the case for these business savvy owners if they were in it for the long term.

  7. Genuine question – when was the last time Liverpool signed a genuine top class player?

    Torres? Overlooked by every major european club. When we signed him, there was an general air of “well, he’s got potential….”

    Reina? Was a ‘relative’ unknown at the time.

    Alonso? Ditto. Another ‘had potential’

    Liverpool do not have a successful track record of marquee signings or buying players for huge sums that actually make a difference. It’s not what we do. It pre-dates FSG, H&G, the Rafa and Houllier era’s. Why should we expect FSG to spend £25-30m on a player? It’s crazy sums. If anything, when we do buy at huge sums, we end up selling at huge losses.

    I would argue that the last time we beat off everyone to sign a top player was Collymore but I’m happy to stand corrected. All I’d say is this – when you think of a player, remember his status when we signed him not when he hit his peak.

    All Liverpool’s best players over the last 20 years have not been the top quality proven players. £30m is a ridiculous amount of money for a player unless you are absolutely convinced he will be a game changer.

  8. TAW is brilliant, but it really let’s itself down with the unnecessary, subjective, negative views on FSG. Paul C’s post above is nothing but pure conjecture but Sachin highlights it as ‘very interesting’. FFS!

  9. Hi, the £59m came from a piece in the Mirror from about 2 weeks ago. I know, tabloid unreliability etc, but the breakdown of each player looked about right. Also, Rodgers has said the wage bill was reduced by £30m in his first season and after this summer’s activity it’s been reduced by about 500k/w, or £26m a year so £59m or thereabouts since 2011 seems about right.

    Agree about all businesses cleaning but it’s usually done every now and again, not as an overall strategy, which is what seems to be the case with us for the past 18 months. I find this particularly strange as this is surely the stage of the business cycle that calls for investing, not cleaning. I deduce from this (and perhaps I’m way off the mark, time will tell…..) that cutting costs at a time when we need investment indicates that the owners have no intention of trying to close the gap and have instead decided to sell up. Reducing the wage bill and not making any big money signings on big wages is consistent with that.

    Disagree re the 10,000 seats making a big difference. Obviously it would bring in a lot more revenue but in the context of the top four clubs and their revenue, I dont think it would close the gap to any significant degree. Arsenal and United would still have 10-20,000 more capacity and Chelsea and City have bottomless pits of money via their owners.

    Perhaps you’ll be right about FFP but personally I cant see it working. City have already circumvented it with the naming rights to their stadium and other clubs can simply decide to forego the CL one season and splash out a couple of hundred million. There are no doubt countless other legal and accounting loopholes that can be exploited but are too complex for my simple mind to understand!

    Didn’t mean for my comment to come across as ‘doom and gloom’, on the contrary, I think the selling of the club is the most realistic way of returning to the top. Unless FSG are going to radically alter their extremely prudent ways then I think they’ve brought the club as far as they can. We have a lot to be grateful to them for; they saved us at the worst hour in our history and have introduced some common financial sense, as well as improving commercial revenue. However, the gap to the top 4 is massive and they dont seem willing (or perhaps able) to invest the necessary funds to bridge that gap, therefore I welcome a sale – preferably to someone who can compete with Mansour, etc. It’s just a shame that there are no local multi-billionaire life long LFC fans willing or able to buy the club and it will instead most probably be bought by some magnate or other with fuck all emotional investment in the club.

    One other thing to consider is that if English clubs continue to perform poorly in Europe those 4 CL places could become 3 CL places, increasing the difficulty of the task by 25%. Considering the top players seem to be choosing France, Germany, etc over England, that underperformance in Europe by English clubs could well continue.

  10. A widely syndicated interview today with Werner, Henry (and Ayre) suggests that FFP was the main motivator of FSG buying the Club. They seem distinctly put out that FFP is a non starter. A reason to get out of football and focus on other interests? Their rigid transfer policy is not the way business is done, add that to Ayre’s seeming incompetence and top players will avoid us.

  11. Sachin,
    Regarding Coutinho/Sturridge, you keep throwing up a moot point in terms of FSG baulking at their value. The fact is they did feel that they were worth the money which is why they paid the respective fees. FSG were quoted closer to 20 million last summer for Sturridge and they decided against paying it. That was vindicated when they managed to get him for 12 million 6 months later. I agree that one should go the extra mile when the right player comes up but I’ll be surprised if the Sahko fee is more than about 12 million – the player is out of contract at the end of the season and 17 million would be poor business especially if we could get him in January for half that or even sign him up on a pre-contract. In theory (like in the case of Sturridge) if he’s the right player now he’ll still be the right player in 6 or 12 months time. FSG have made mistakes – no question – at least they appear to be learning from those mistakes. I know it’s difficult to watch Spurs spend all that money but if we overspend on panic buys then Spurs will have won a double victory. I actually think lot of good work has been done this summer and as a result of that work it is clear that there is money available – for that we should be excited.

  12. Looking like we’re bringing in two players this weekend, Sakho and Ilori, both early window targets who didn’t show a lot of interest early on. Which highlights something I truly HATE about articles like this (well-written though they may be), because even if we close out the window successfully, the usual FSG boo-birds will still hang their hats on the ones that got away. And by “got away” I mean players we expressed an interest in but who ultimately went to clubs that could both pay more and offer a chance at silverware in the short-term.

    So it won’t matter that we’ve secured two players we wanted, or that their entry dovetails with the manager’s plans, or even that the owners paid slightly above the odds bring them in. All that will matter is that the natty naysayers of doom get the more sensible and realistic of us to continually try to prove or disprove their negatives while they get to cozily snuggle in their cocoon of smug pseudo-perspicacity. And they’ll loop back to this article over and over again to feed their delusions of perception.

    • Interesting first paragraph, although the second is pretentious and nonsensical. It is not perception to see Mikhitarian and Willian sign for other clubs. It is not a perception to see Costa use the ill advised bid from us to obtain an improved contract from Atletico. We did get our third choice left back and he looks decent (after 10 minutes!), our first choice young centre half and third choice first team centre half. However the need to strengthen and move this club on isn’t at left back or centre half, it’s in obtaining match winning attacking players and competition for Lucas. We are woefully short in those areas. Opposing teams are concerned about Suarez, Choutinho and Sturridge and not terrified because Sakho might be playing! We are in need of someone who can operate on the left, so who are we going for? A loan deal for Moses appartently.
      Werner has said on more than one occasion that Liverpool can compete with anybody in the transfer market (shades of ‘snoogy doogy’ here) and we just don’t. Ayre and the owners expect this squad to be good enough to qualify for the Champions League or at least get mighty close. A completely ridiculous aspiration if you have a thin squad and few top class players. I didn’t want Rodgers and have my doubts about his capacity to do the job, but I feel sorry for him having Ayre and FSG setting him targets that the tools they provide can’t deliver. If he gets this ‘group’ to the Champions League he will deserve great praise and be truly a Liverpool manager.

      • We were soft in the center of defense and needed an upgrade to enable us to play the pressing game Rogers wants us playing. In that respect, Sakho and llori are exactly the type of players we needed. It would have been wonderful if we had been able to get Mikhitarian as we would have strengthened our attack significantly. But settling for inferior players would have been foolish just as paying over the odds would have been. I would have been happy if we had not signed Aspas and Alberto and spent that money trying to lure a creative player. But I also recognize that the kind of player we are seeking (eg Ozil) will most definitely demand CL football or a clear sense that we were competitive enough. At the moment we can’t promise either but a cohesive unit of young players may just get us into that 4th spot and we can take that next step next year. No one can deny that we have a much better squad than last year and yes we have to thank FSG for that.

  13. So when we made a profit by swapping Babel and Torres for Carroll and Suarez – two players we did want – with loose change back, that was bad? Ditto Henderson and Downing – we wanted those players, not a cop-out compromise of Darren Bent or – Jesus of Jesuses – Clint flipping Dempsey!

    Carroll became “unplayable” but Brendan thought Borini would be better. Sheesh.

    And so what if we spent money? We were minutes away from administration when we didn’t have two beans to rub together. Which is preferable? Don’t tell me, let me guess. Spending big was not bad in that situation, especially when we had a far bigger wage bill to reduce than Brendan had to deal with and Kenny was charged with dealing with that. Have you really forgotten we had Jovanovic, Poulsen and Konchesky on the books? And from that we went to two finals and had more wins over teams above us than Rodgers managed with extra investment. What a terrible waste of money. But then, FSG got the club cheap, including assets. That’s Torres and Babel, BTW. You do the maths.

    What gets me is that people – and FSG -act like they were oblivous to the Carroll price. Where the flip were they then because it was their credit card? If they didn’t know and weren’t in control, that’s a serious failing on their part so more fool them. How about they take some of the responsibility for their own bank account? They made a statement of intent and then bottled it and panicked, like the bunch of so-called fans who stabbed Kenny in the back then demanded we all give Brendan patience. Pth. Two finals not enough, we want top four, the only silverware we care about now!

    So now we’re spending cheap, insulting clubs with undervaluations and look more and more like we’ve accepted upper mid-table with the possibility of fluking a top four place.

    Whoop di flipping doo.

    • In a couple of years, will you be back on here to admit your quite clear agenda to have been more than a little off the mark? We never stood a hope of coming anywhere near the Champions League places with Kenny, and his handling of certain issues was just pathetic. If we finish single figures behind fourth place but come nowhere near a final this season, Brendan will still have done better than his predecessor.

      You’ve tried to rewrite history but you forget that yes, we reached both cup finals but lucked into both, almost threw away the league cup against poor opposition and gave what is frankly the worst final performance I have ever seen from a Liverpool team in the FA Cup. It was a disgrace.

      We had no chance of moving forward under Kenny. What he did in those first six months was great, but that should have been it. Every fan should be able to see now that given a few years at most, Rodgers will have the team as top contenders.

  14. Always equally amusing and frustrating how people select data to make the argument they have arrived at without first considering the data

    Some fans complain that we only spent under £30 million on transfers last summer

    The same fans claimed in December that FSG were skint, were trying to sell and that there was no more money for transfers. We then spent another £20 million on Sturridge and Coutinho – but these fans can’t explain where the money came from!

    This summer we have spent over £44 million on new players but some fans are suggesting our net spend is only half that because we sold Carroll for £15million and Downing, Shelvey and Spearing for a combined £13 million

    Let’s revisit the question, how did the club fund the purchases of Sturridge and Coutinho? By FSG allowing the club to use the overdraft facility to spend £20 million, knowing full well that we would receive the majority of that money back when Carroll was finally sold this summer

    That is logical, thinking FSG somehow gave the club £20 million of its money to spend in January is not!

    If you follow that logic then our net spend this summer has been more than £30million, which just so happens to the figure that many top journalists told us was available to spend this summer back in April and May

    Interested in Rodgers’ comment yesterday morning that we may strengthen again in January. Depending on the formation he chooses (playing Henderson or not) we play with either 3 or 4 attacking players. In Suarez, Sturridge, Aspas, Moses, Coutinho, Ibe and Sterling we appear to have 7 available.

    I am a little surprised we agreed to loan Borini for a whole season but agreed he needs regular games but I suspect Rodgers already has a target for January lined up in the same way that quite early into last season he had already pretty much agreed the deal for Sturridge

  15. People want revolution. They’re getting evolution.

  16. I totally agree about us not being ruthless against Notts County. The test as to whether lessons are learned will come in our next two league fixtures after the United win. If we can get four or six points, then it can be called a good start.

    The failure to get Willian and the bloke who went to Dortmund is frustrating, but ‘we are we are’ and realistically at least ambition was been shown. Regarding Moses, my major problem is that him having a development season serves Chelsea and it is a bit of a double blow in that sense. It has been widely reported that there is no guaranteed purchase price. Rogers obviously did not rate Yarmolenko or Eriksen, so it is re-assuring that he is only going in for players that he is totally certain on. Missing out on good players is preferable to getting bad ones. I think Rogers has sold well.

    In relation to Henry and FSG, I think that their handing of the Suarez affair was as right as the handling of the Evra affair was wrong. For all his faults, Suarez will make a huge impact and his link up with Sturridge and Coutinho is potentially the best front line in the league. There is reason at the moment to be glass half full.

  17. I can not see FSG trying to sell the club…… Why would they?? Before they sell the club needs to be playing CL on a regular basis & won the league @ least twice before any of that happens…….

  18. Big Al

    I think jabroni{Baroni} should be sold & get another striker that will get goals….

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