A MANAGERIAL change is never just a managerial change. Collateral damage is high. When the manager clears his desk, everyone from his coaches to the tea lady worries they will soon be doing the same.
Assistant manager Sean O’Driscoll, Head of Performance Glen Driscoll and Head of Opposition Analysis Chris Davies were all quick to follow Brendan out the door, with Gary McAllister given a new role as the 4,356th club ambassador on the Anfield payroll.
Yet still disgruntled supporters bay for blood. Some wanted an overhaul of the entire structure of the football club. Others wondered how many goalkeepers needed to disintergrate before our very eyes before John Achterburg’s position might need to be reviewed. Loads and loads of people expressed a desire to throw the Transfer Committee in the Mersey.
I’m sure you’ll have read much of that chat by now, nicely summarised by our friend Andi Thomas yesterday. Basically, a couple of national journalists performed a hatchet job on the transfer committee in general and Head of Performance Analysis, Michael Edwards. It seemingly amounted to: “Can you trust a fella with a laptop though? All sounds a bit noncey.”
Then a lot of stats lads on the internet called the journalists luddites who were stuck in the dark ages and said they “didn’t understand how statistics can be used to buy players”. Although very few then went on to actually enlighten us on how this was.
The silent(ish) majority of us are probably in the middle. I understand that managers can’t do everything. Jurgen Klopp admitted as much in his first managerial press conference.
I think most of us get that with all the demands of a modern manager, and all the demands of a traditional manager, one man can’t be solely in charge of player recruitment. I think most accept that as the net for potential players gets wider and younger it’s probably wise to have a lot of people looking at them.
And with the progression in technology and data analysis, it’s wise that some of these lads can look at the numbers and assess whether he is actually doing the stuff we want a footballer to do, and not just looking boss doing loads of Cruyff turns on the half-way line.
The problem is Liverpool haven’t been very good recently and a big part of that, as always, is related to the quality of the footballers out on the pitch. So, as football fans who love our club, we start wondering what on earth is going wrong with recruitment.
The ‘answers’ in recent times have been as clear as mud, from confusing job titles to a manager said to have final say complaining about “the tools” he had been given. Meanwhile, briefings emerged that others at the club think the players are fine, and that it’s actually how they are used that is the problem.
Essentially, everyone blames each other and the owners and fans have to try and decide who is wrong and who is right.
The main issue I have with our Transfer Committee is that it all seems rather thrown together, with a complete lack of footballing overview. The last manager was hired around the same time as the committee was put together, but it was seemingly independent of each other. Even if all these men are great at their jobs, if they think very differently about football to each other then there will always be problems.
I’m less concerned with how many people on computers we have looking at numbers, and more with what numbers they are looking at. Who decides what style of football Liverpool should play, and therefore the qualities in a player that we desire? Who decides what a Liverpool midfielder should be able to do, and therefore which numbers are more relevant than others? Who decides what style of striker we should be playing with, and draws up a shortlist of who they are and ranks them in order?
Recent history at Liverpool suggests the answer to this, unfortunately, is each individual for themselves. It’s the only possible reason why Luis Suarez’s replacement went from Alexis Sanchez, to Loic Remy to Mario Balotelli. Forget about the quality, for the moment, they are three completely different players.
That’s not the only example.
Why does the manager think we need a left back like Ryan Bertrand, but the transfer committee think we need one like Alberto Moreno? Why are we buying a £15million left-sided centre back in January, and then buying another for £20m seven months later with a completely different skill-set?
You will always make mistakes in the transfer market. No club is perfect. But our approach has led to a squad that looks cobbled together by a process of who shouts loudest wins. By some individuals valuing certain attributes, and others disagreeing. Which will always lead to a confused way of playing on the pitch, regardless of whether you are relying on statistics, the naked eye, or a mixture of the two.
It’s also interesting that, in among the debates about whether football statistics are good or evil, the question of how much power certain individuals have emerged. As well as wanting to actually get off with data, Michael Edwards was also accused of growing his influence with the owners in a manner that allowed him to see off a manager he didn’t see eye to eye with.
Whether that is true or not, empire building at Anfield has been a common concern ever since the ownership of the club moved to the other side of the Atlantic. Every time a power vacuum has opened up, an ambitious individual has been there to fill it. Every time something hasn’t looked right, someone at the club has been quick to volunteer that they could do it better.
Whether these individuals have been working for the good of the club, or the good of themselves, I’ll let you decide.
Under Rafa Benitez there were plenty of stories about the rise and rise of Owen Brown, the former manager of local non-league side Vauxhall Motors, who went from community coach to Rafa’s ‘confidant’ at a pace that raised plenty of eyebrows.
Benitez himself managed to seize more and more control of the football club, after deciding much of it, most notably the academy, wasn’t being run to his liking. The man who sacked Benitez, of course, was our friend Christian Cecil Purslow (below right), who was brought in by Hicks and Gillett primarily to renegotiate the club’s outstanding loans, but instead seemingly decided that it was more fun to pretend to be a Sporting Director.
Under FSG the fun hasn’t stopped. We have a chief executive who got the job by filling in until the owners got bored of looking for another one, a stadium manager who seemingly has free rein to impose whatever rules on Liverpool fans he likes and a managerial position that varies from working with whatever you are given, to picking whoever you want, depending on how high his stock is at any given time.
I have no issues with talented being recognised and people being promoted in a structured, planned way. Again though, the recent history of this being the case at Anfield doesn’t look great. Therefore any talk that Michael Edwards has managed to increase his influence at the club to something approaching untouchable should rightly be met with concern.
So where does all this leave Jurgen Klopp? Well hopefully he’ll join the club and think everyone is brilliant. That would be ideal. I don’t know how good most of these people are and, unlike others don’t feel I’m in an ideal position to judge them. If Klopp thinks he can work with them all and move the club forward, then that’s fine with me.
But if he doesn’t? Well this time we might actually have a manager with the power to change it. Firstly, he’s a strong personality. When he talks, people listen. Plus he’s won stuff. If an argument does break out, which it inevitably will, a quick game of “hands up who’s been in a Champions League final” should solve it fairly quickly.
But crucially, and differently from many of his predecessors, we have a man who doesn’t want to do everything. A man who has already said that a transfer committee is sensible and that one man doesn’t have all the answers. A man who is happy to just be on a pitch dealing with good players.
By changing the argument from “they are rubbish, let me do it” to “we did this differently in Germany and it worked much better, maybe try this” you have a much better chance of convincing owners who just want to win, but are unsure who they can trust to get us there. You suspect Jurgen Klopp might even suggest bringing in a Director of Football above him, which would make John Henry’s head fall off.
I’m aware I’m heaping more pressure on Klopp here. Going from sorting out the mess on the pitch, to the whole structure of the football club. But he’s the only one who knows what a winning football club looks like.
And no-one said any of this was going to be easy.
LISTEN: Free Podcast – Jurgen Klopp
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Please do your research before writing articles. The transfer committee has done our best business so far, it was rodgers bringing in the rubish. The following is an extract from The Tomkins Times highlighing and proving that point.
Seeing as so much is being made of the transfer committee (and their laptops) this week, it’s important for me to show how, in my opinion, Rodgers’ fine coaching skills were undermined by his terrible record in the market. I hope to make this my last look at Rodgers’ own spending, but it seemed vital to quickly go over each and every buy, with no one-sided selections. (And once Klopp has taken charge of a game, we can start focusing solely on what he’s doing.)
With better players – as seen in 2013/14, when none of his own players were key components – Rodgers could make things happen. Even with the dodgy defending I’d give him 10/10 for that season. But as far as I’m concerned, his influence on transfers is what made Liverpool start punching below their weight.
James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo was one of Brendan Rodgers’ most vocal supporters, to the point where he was sent snarky messages of sympathy upon the manager’s sacking. So he’s unlikely to be negatively biased against him. (And I also hope that I’ve been a fair judge of Rodgers’ tenure, with no axe to grind, even if my opinion has vacillated.) In the week, Football365 asked Pearce who Rodgers wanted and who was foist on him by the committee. (This was in response to the revelations about Liverpool’s Michael Edwards not only having a laptop, but a nickname too.)
The list was more-or-less as I had expected, based on various media rumblings over the past few years. Whereas I’d tried to give each buy the benefit of the doubt at the time, it’s now time for a quick recap of what Liverpool got for their money, seeing as the media are taking fire at Liverpool’s analytics department.
Pearce said: “Rodgers was the driving force behind signing the likes of Fabio Borini, Joe Allen, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Rickie Lambert, Danny Ings, James Milner and Christian Benteke, while the other members of the committee championed the suitability of players such as Daniel Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho, Sakho, Emre Can, Moreno, Luis Alberto, Iago Aspas, Lazar Markovic, Divock Origi and Roberto Firmino.”
Which group of players would you want? Which group is “smart” and which group is, er, not so smart?
Rodgers’ list is exclusively Premier League-based, and largely dreadful. The committee’s list is mixed, but no more mixed than you’d expect from any sample of transfers. It’s not amazing, but it’s far from bad. For the purposes of this quick assessment I’ll use the emotive word ‘flop’, when it can also mean that they just haven’t succeeded (or had the chance to).
Fabio Borini (flop), Joe Allen (mixed), Adam Lallana (mixed), Dejan Lovren (flop), Rickie Lambert (flop), Danny Ings (very promising, but too soon to say), James Milner (worrying, but too soon to say) and Christian Benteke (promising, but too soon to say). You can add Kolo Toure (flop) and Mario Balotelli (flop), although the former was free and the latter was Rodgers taking a last-gasp gamble. What’s clear is that Borini, Allen, Lallana, Lovren and Benteke were all overpriced.
Buying proven Premier League talent is a myth, as I’ve been saying for a long time now. (Although I use a mainframe computer and not a laptop, and aside from bald dickhead I don’t have a nickname.) And not only are these players overpriced, and thus driving down the chance of finding extra value, they mean handing large fees to rival Premier League clubs. If Southampton have improved, it’s because Liverpool gave them sack-loads of money, which they reinvested wisely overseas by, er, using a large raft of analytics staff and not giving the manager all the buying power.
Liverpool’s committee buys? Daniel Sturridge (hit) – well, they’re already ahead. In terms of big successes, that’s already 1-0.
Philippe Coutinho (hit). 2-0. Back of the net. Game over.
And even the rest – beyond those two big hits – are probably better than Rodgers’ picks. Sakho (mixed), Emre Can (mixed), Moreno (mixed), Luis Alberto (flop), Iago Aspas (flop), Lazar Markovic (flop), Divock Origi (not yet given enough playing time) and Roberto Firmino (not yet given enough playing time). Simon Mignolet (mixed) is an obvious omission from Pearce’s list. Joe Gomez was also a committee recommendation, and one dating back 18 months, and he’s ‘promising, but too soon to say’.
You can add Tiago Ilori (flop), Oussama Assaidi (flop, albeit a profitable one). There were also a handful of unsuccessful loans, although it’s not quite clear who sanctioned those
Also it’s crazy to say you have more control if your stock is higher. Klopp is a proven and elite manager where as rodgers was unproven and had little to no experience of bringing in high calibre players. The man wanted Dempsey over sturridge for god sake. We should be thanking the heavens for the committee rather than blasting it at every given opportunity. Can you imagine where we’d be without Sturridge and Couthino today? Also comparing and bringing up former managers into every article is stupidity. Back in Rafa’s time the game was different, the position of the club was different and the transfer market was different. Finally for all those who have issues with ‘men with laptops’ look at where Southampton are. They currently employ 27 of those ‘men with laptops’ and are doing wonders with the money Mr Brendan Rodgers gave them.
I don’t know where to start with all this to be honest mate
Why not? i assume you thought about it before writing it. When you separate the players into who wanted/authorised them then it very much begins to make sense. Instead of saying we bought Sakho and then Lovren, you can look at it as committee buys and Rodgers buys the strengths and weaknesses become glaring.
As the OP stated Tomkins took that DM article (a complete attack on our club as Southampton are praised in a separate article for the same use of analytics by the same author) and disected it.
It was nonsense. You appear to have taken it as fact and tried to explain it in a half arsed way.
But it isn’t an article about who at the club is good at spotting players and who isn’t. It’s about the dangers of having people with different views on how the game should be played in charge of recruitment. You’d see that if you hadn’t read it in a ‘half arsed way’.
Harsh on Markovich and Aapas, Origi and Alberto – simply not given enough game time; at times brought on to save hopeless games and often played out of position – Rodgers (flop).
Really good article John, very interesting given the structure is so important. Not as important as the people within the structure though which I’ll explain at the bottom. I agree with a lot and disagree with a lot of what you’ve written.
I disagree John that “TTC” was thrown together. It was a compromise FSG made because they wanted to appoint Rodgers but he refused to work under a DoF. Michael Edwards is clearly good at what he does. He was at Portsmouth when they were good & Spurs when they were really good. FSG clearly thought about the roles required and the persons suitable. Hence Edwards went from head of analytics to director of technical performance and on TTC. The only thing I ever had against him (and given the latest attacks on him from the press I’m now unsure of the validity of the accusation) was that he apparently warned FSG off Klopp.
In one way, Klopp was right to be confused about all the talk over how we do our transfers, but in another way he was wrong. We have a committee, the same as Southampton and Spurs and a dozen of clubs in the UK. Virtually every top division team in Germany, Spain, Italy and Portugal has the same with a Sporting Director like Monchi or Zorc at its head. We shouldnt have put a name to it like those clubs & because its still unusual in the UK it gets fussed over. Remember Rafa’s zonal marking and the ignorant bullshit spouted by the press and some of our own? Remember how a lot of that disappeared when stats (and Rafa) showed it works? I’ll come back to stats in a minute. So the boss can’t see where there is an issue.
Where the issue came in is what you’ve already pointed out – Rodgers never used TTC signings properly. He played politics and he wanted to increase his power. So he scapegoated Markovic and played him out of position. Compare that to his treatment of Lallana. And I don’t even have to go into Lovren over Sakho. FSG are no mugs. They mightn’t have known a lot about football 4 years ago but I guarantee they know plenty now. Billions of dollars are at stake. They could see Rodgers’ selections for what they were. That’s what the issue is. It won’t be so with Klopp.
To answer your paragraph of questions – Klopp will ask for a DM who is mobile, sound with the ball and prefarably physical. TTC looks at many DMs stats like tackles won in own half, blocks, clearences, ariels won, short passing percentage, height etc. They put a value on them and draw up a list to go to Klopp. They all decide whose the best fit/most attainable/least expensive. They identify the target, get in touch then Ayre will make a balls of it. (Half joking)
As for the recent articles by Neil Ashton and Neil Moxley…..let’s get real here Gibbo. You know very well who the source for Ashton’s piece was. But you refuse to tell it as it is. It’s ok mate, he’s not at LFC anymore, you don’t need to protect or defend him now. Even a good speculation would no longer be frowned upon. The cringy dig at men on laptops in air conditioned offices gave it away, not to mention the fact we know Rodgers hated Edwards. Rodgers’ ego after 13/14 ran away with him. That’s why he treated TTC signings like he did. That’s why he bought Lovren to replace Sakho. Edwards stood in his way of complete control. So just as his wont, even after getting sacked, he leaks a load of shit to a journo who says things he wouldnt in public because of his PR and nice guy image. It was the same bollocks Rodgers pulled with leaks about Mario last season and Enrique, Borini and Moreno in the summer. Journalists rarely make stuff up so the hit pieces on those individuals, just like on Edwards, came from within the club, ie the man who wanted rid, Rodgers. The leaks at LFC over the last 3 years were a disgrace and ran counter to how we had done things for decades. Now that he’s been sacked we only need to get rid of Ian mouthing off about transfer targets (Ruben Neves) to his mates and the leaks would all but stop.
Stats, and reading them correctly, are absolutely vital in the modern game. They work. Yes you need “proper football people” too and the clubs that bring both together the best get the most value from their transfers. The two Neil’s probably understand this. But they also understand clickbait and having their nonsense brought up by Liverpool fans in debate after debate too.
Our structure is fine now because of who our manager is. It wasn’t fine with the last manager because he was playing politics and trying to exert greater control over signings, given a concept of management from his very UK based approach. As critical as I am of him on other matters, I am not judging Rodgers for that as that was how it was done in the UK for a century, and even Rafa (who I still love) wanted it that way. Klopp comes with a different attitude to TTC. He hasn’t bought a single player in his life. He doesn’t think he should be able to pick a name and have the club buy him no matter what. As he said, the first word (position & attributes) and the last word (yes or no) is enough for him.
PS: It is strange Achterburg is still at the club – it can be easily argued he has performed much worse than Rodgers did.
Lots to get through here!
First of all by ‘thrown together’ I didn’t mean that the people weren’t suitable, or qualified. Just that you would normally expect someone to build a team like this over time in the mould of the style at the club. In this instance many people were brought together at once seemingly in the hope that they shared a philosophy of football.
I don’t disagree with your view of what makes a good defensive midfielder. But some managers will favour some of those qualities over others. Will this match what TTC think? If not, will they go after the qualities the manager rates, or stick with those that they think are important? It is this I am most interested in, really.
Honestly, until you said the Rodgers thing. I hadn’t even thought the link might be him. You’ll have to trust me on that!
On the structure, we shall see. Interesting times all round!
Kudos for replying. Always nice to see.
When Aston said in his piece “Edwards encourages staff to use his nickname “Eddie” – it is understood Rodgers has another name for him” you didn’t tweak that it was Rodgers having parting shots at Edwards given his track record of other leaks? Anyway, it isn’t that important. I’m just happy that (a) it is so obvious and (b) nobody feels the need to stick their head in the sand and deny it as he is no longer here. If Rodgers was still manager we’d have a few either defending him for it or denying any possibility that it could be him. For some LFC fans the manager of LFC could behave in whatever manner (as we’ve seen this last 3 years) he chooses and he’d still have a few rushing to his defense.
In terms of the attributes, Im not concerned because if TTC come up with a name the manager doesn’t like as they might not suit what system he wants to implement, he will say no. Klopp has said he doesn’t know better than everyone so will more redily accept TTC’s suggestion (Tomkins has shown them to be as good/bad/indifferent/value for money as the signings at other clubs – it was Rodgers’ signings that dragged us down) and he won’t demand someone like Ashley Williams and throw a hissyfit by refusing to play TTC’s man if he doesnt get him.
Klopp also has tremendous belief in his coaching ability – meaning as long as the signing is mobile enough (TTC will not sign slugs as they know the most vital attribute for Klopp’s style to work is pace & movement) he can improve him if needed in other areas, like to be positionally more aware.
TTC – I really hate this. It was, I believe, a phrase put together by a rather flustered PR guy during Rodgers first press conference when Rodgers & Ayre were talking about how business would work.
How it has managed to stick is beyond me – as far as I know, no-one at the club has ever referred to it by this name.
Always an excellent read.
Kipling wrote about men like you, Gibo.
Haha first time anyone has mentioned me and Kipling in the same breath, and not been talking about the cakes
Funnily enough, I was thinking about TTC earlier today whilst driving.
It’s failed because of the reasons you point out, which in a nutshell is lack of cohesion. FSG thought they were getting the best, as they did with Comolli earlier. As you’ve insinuated previously, getting rid of him was a mistake. But anyway, Edwards came with a good reputation. I think I read this week that Levy begged him to stay. Fallows and Hunter were at City and I can understand why Ayre is on the committee. The figures matter. I doubt he’s at Crewe on a Tuesday night watching under 18 games and reporting back. It’s all fairly normal stuff and as everyone seems to be pointing out now, every club has a TC of some description. So, I was thinking today that the people on it are ok and the concept isn’t so different from other clubs. The issue is it’s failed. It may sound ridiculously obvious but had it been a huge success then everyone would have thought it was brilliant. Obvious again, but ultimately, it’s failed because we bought the wrong players.
A lot of transfers fail. Prior to TTC some good players were bought under Comolli. There was also some rubbish but again, it sounds like it was 2 strategies colliding. Scout v manager and hindsight shows us there was only one winner. My point is that I now believe the TC has failed for one reason – Rodgers. What we perceive to be the committee buys are in line with the success rate of teams who were about 5th best in the league. A few decent buys and some failures. Rodgers record is fairly poor though. More than that, I’d guess he had a negative impact on the whole process too. Power struggles are inevitable with someone like him. I too, think Klopp has the personality to lead it and get it functioning properly as a team. Our squad looks like a jigsaw that a child has done but although they thought the pieces fitted actually they were in the wrong place.
Rafa was right to try and seize control. He’s not perfect but he cared about LFC and knew he was the only one who had a clue about running a club. Rodgers tried to bluff he was that person but the owners soon realised that regardless of his skills in other areas one thing he couldn’t do was spot a player. Klopp inherits it all though. Rafa had to fight for control, Rodgers tried to blag control but Klopp gets what he wants with everyone’s blessing. I’m not worried about TTC anymore. It just needed a leader who knows the score about football and can unite the staff and that’s what it’s got. He can go and meet the big target each summer rather than Ayre (and he’ll get him). The whole club has been crying out for a Jurgen Klopp. For the first time in years I really believe the whole club will be pulling in the same direction and I’m convinced it’s the thing that’s gonna be the difference. FSG spoke a lot about awakening a sleeping giant and I thought they might. It’ll turn out that it was Klopp who woke us. I’m absolutely convinced.
**Apologies for being so down on Rodgers. I’ve been reflecting a lot this week and I’m seeing things in a different light. It’s only my interpretation but it’s how I feel.
At the heart of this is do you have a manager that can coach, manage and/or buy players well in the transfer market. The boot room (a group of 6-8 ex players and coaches with years of experience) were able to do all three and over the years they were able to tweak the style of play to accommodate new players and they had a very strong idea of what was required from each player. The individual managers that can do all three for a sustained period of time are very few and far between. Houllier did well in the transfer market in the begining but then it all went tits up. Rafa bought well at the top end and did well with the academy but is it is too much for one man too do everything all the time? Rafa could have done with more people around him and without Hicks, Gillette, etc. I feel a bit sorry for Rodgers because it looks like a classic case of a young talented coach being promoted way above his level and not being able to recognise his own strengths and weaknesses that only comes with experience. The players he identified being one of his weaknesses.
Klopp looks great because he has his own trusted team and he looks like he is happy to delegate but he makes it perfectly clear that if he delegates and there is a fuck up he will rip your balls off and hang you out to dry.
I completely agree mate. If someone has a knowledge of players and whether they’ll suit the team then it can work. If we don’t have that and have too many people with a say, then it lacks direction and cohesion and becomes what we’ve seen. I think Klopp has the direction and personality to make the whole thing work far better. No manager can do it all on their own. They need help. As in any team, it needs a leader with a vision rather than a number of people with their own visions. I think he can pull it all together and make it work.
What is most exciting about Klopp is the number of different factions that are buying into Klopps vision, the fans, the owners and the players are all on board, the last time that happened was when? 2005 – 2007 and even then the general media were against Rafa, Houllier always had some detractors (Ian st John etc) so you probably have to go back to Kenny and the 87 / 88 team when everyone bought into one mans vision.
Yeah defo. Obviously, I want us to be successful but the most exciting thing for me is with everyone pulling in the same direction we may reach our full potential. I’m happy with that. I can’t stand it when we under achieve. Reaching our full potential may not necessarily bring success but I can live with that (although I’m predicting 5 leagues, 3 CL’s and 2 FA Cups in the next 7 years, haha).
I think he was a lousy judge of horse flesh and TTC was a fail safe to prevent him wasting even more of the club’s money
A situation which leads to 1 person, the manager, having the final decision on transfers results in Accountability and is paramount when eliminating confusion and the “too many chefs in the kitchen” syndrome when assessing the quality of the food leaving the kitchen. Btw I’m no chef and haven’t a.clue where that analogy came from. And as this one of the 1st questions put to Klopp at his unveiling conference and he replied that he has the first and the last word on all Transfer matters however all the bits inbetween are up for discussion, I would conclude pretty much that’s when he defined the set up and pretty much put it to bed. A breath of fresh air. Simple and Brilliant.
No more Brendan speak. Nice 1 Jurgen
John, it’s hard enough writing coherent articles without people digging holes through them, but if I may be allowed one question, in referring to signing a £15m left sided centre back in January and then a £20m one 7 months later, are you referring to Sakho and Lovren? If so, Sakho was signed in August 2013, Lovren August 2014, so not 7 months. Sorry :-(
Don’t you think you all need to get out a bit more rather than “fuming” on here lads? Personally thought it was well written and generally interesting
The committee had/has two purposes in the wake of the Comolli ‘lets spend tens of millions on players no one else of any note wants and act surprised when most of them turn out to be shit’ clusterfuck;
1. Identify and recruit players – if the leaks/briefings are to be believed they’ve been pretty good in that respect. I still like Markovic and Alberto and hopefully we’ll see them in Klopp’s Liverpool.
2. To act as a fail safe and stop one man’s arrogance/delusion costing the club hundreds of millions – by entering into the supposed quid pro quo ‘I gave you Coutinho, you give me Mignolet’ arrangement with Rodgers, it failed.
re – ‘stats’ themselves.
1. If you all want to do is discover the ‘magical combination’ of pointless macro metrics required to best express any given position you would use a genetic algorithm to generate just such a solution, piece of piss but beyond a lot of the spreadsheet merchants stealing a living in this particular trade.
2. For all the “more authetic than thou, Geofff Twentyman walked twenty two miles in barefoot to watch Ian Rush and he didn’t need a laptop” luddites – you can get a computer to ‘watch’ a player in exactly the same way a scout would, although obviously it’s judgement would be a lot better.
The issue with ‘stats’ and ‘analysis’ departments these days is they’ve simply replaced the scouts of old and become the new entrenched status quo – more interested in defending their own positions than advancing the interests of their employer.
Scouts of old have not been replaced. There are still many arond.
And the stats departments can only defend their position if their signings are a success – which would very much advance the interests of their employer. It’s the same for them as it is for everyone – results are the only thing that matter. If they aren’t producing they’ll be let go.
“Scouts of old have not been replaced. There are still many arond. ”
You’ve confused the conjunction ‘and’ with a full stop and thus failed to grasp the point.
“And the stats departments can only defend their position if their signings are a success – which would very much advance the interests of their employer. It’s the same for them as it is for everyone – results are the only thing that matter. If they aren’t producing they’ll be let go.”
Assumes that owners have perfect information which is obviously both silly and untrue.
So the owners (a) can’t tell for themselves or (b) won’t be told/find out through newspapers or social media if a footballer the stats department has recommended is playing well or playing poorly? That’s what your actually arguing?
The lowly opinion some fans have of the intellect of billionaire businessmen is hilarious. Bottom line here is the owners assess every part of and everyobe at the club on an ongoing basis. They’ve sacked coaches, managers and directors of football in their short time here. To suggest they would not know if the stats team were underperforming is pathetic and has no basis in reality.
“So the owners (a) can’t tell for themselves or (b) won’t be told/find out through newspapers or social media if a footballer the stats department has recommended is playing well or playing poorly? That’s what your actually arguing?”
No, you silly, silly boy, you don’t know what perfect information is or what it entails in this context.
Here’s my take:
No player that has been brought in during Rodgers’ tenure can be judged a failure, given that he was managed, trained, ‘educated’, and deployed by Rodgers.
I’m just over here in my corner shaking my head and face palming. I read this good article as a simple statement that what is concerning are not the existence and use of analytics in the recruitment process, or the existence of a committee to facilitate recruitment (vs one individual all-powerful person), but rather the apparent lack of any cohesive STRATEGY behind who is recruited and for which position. I agree there appears to be a lack of strategy, and if there is one it has not at all been conveyed adequately. The damaging fallout is the loss of identity in both style of play and composition (squad make-up and tactical formation).
Jürgen Klopp unequivocally dismissed the notion that the Transfer Committee and the Club structure were problems for him in the negotiations leading up to his hiring, or that he intends to allow them to be problems for him going forward. His abiding message to the fans was stop worrying about the money and the transfers and Club politics and all the other nonsense. Please be fans of the game, be passionate lovers of the football itself. Be football ROMANTICS and believers, not doubting football cynics and critics. Yet here it is almost a week later and people are still arguing and debating about the Transfer Committee and whether signing X was the fault of person A or person B, or some shadowy combination of who knows what. We even now have an acronym — TTC!
Maybe this is because of the international break when there’s no PL football to actually talk about. But I can’t help thinking “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.”
Nobody is arguing over whether signed X was the fault of person A or person B. Those debates are long over. We know from Tony Barrett, James Pearce, Paul Tomkins and by witnessing the treatment by the last manager of the individual players who they were signed by. John knows, as we all do, Rodgers signed Lallana, Lovren, Lambert, Borini, Ings, Milner and Benteke while TTC signed Sturridge, Coutinho, Sakho, Moreno, Can, Markovic, Firmino, Origi, Aspas and Alberto. We all know which group out of the two is far superior in terms of ability and value for money, even if those who wished Rodgers was better at his job refuse to admit it.
“We even now have an acronym – TTC!”
TTC is not a new acronym just used “now” – it has been in use since at least August 2013, well over 2 years ago. Here’s some proof:
As for the “what goes around comes around” I hope this is very much true. The stats guys at our club are clearly talented given their record to date. Hopefully now without the need to deal with power politics from a hostile manager they will do an even better job than they have up to now and get the credit they deserve in the future.
My quote in French does not mean “what goes around comes around.” LOL! It means “The more things change, the more they remain the same.” Elementary school French.
I didn’t do French at any time at school and used google translate. My mistake. Glad that’s what you focussed on though and chose to ignore what is actually being discussed in terms of the structure of LFC and Rodgers’ terrible record in signing player vs TTC’s pretty good record in getting value for money.
Call me naive but I expect to see a big improvement in transfer successes now. Jurgen has a recognised philosophy (Brendan?!!) and now he and this committee can work their targets out better together (hopefully). Jurgen is no Politician and he must stick to his promise of having last say as BR claimed he did (please!!) so we are not in the stupid situation of Lovren being picked over Sakho etc.
Genuine question. Who actually does the deals. Is it Ian Ayre?
We have spent heavily on Benteke, Lallana, Lovren etc (I appreciate this was dictated by the selling clubs) but we never seem to get much back for players we are selling ( obvious 2 excepted). I hope this changes now. Somebody like Borini being sold at a loss with 3 years wages included must have cost us millions for what, 2 or 3 goals?
Some people have said fans shouldn’t worry about the money but after Hicks & Gillett and 2010 I find it hard not to.
Eg if (only IF) Jurgen doesn’t fancy Lallana, Benteke and Lovren how much of the £77m would we get back? Can Ian Ayre be our Daniel Levy?
You wonder how Shanks (peace be upon him) got by…I mean, all this talk of the modern game…22 players, one ball, 2 goals, a shite ref, shite pies….apart from the ticket prices and middle England accents in the stands, has the game changed that much?
A constant in every picture is Ian Ayre, which is beginning to really piss me off.. I’m not going to rattle on with negativity about it, but…. FFS! Lads
if people could read with a clear mind, they’d see the points.
I hope we can get it right for all our sakes.
Nice one Gibbo