TAW Unwrapped focuses on another current issue for Liverpool, on or off the pitch. Hosted by Rob Gutmann, the panel takes a second, third and sometimes fourth look at the football club we all love.
Rob Gutmann is joined on the latest Unwrapped by John Milburn, Jay McKenna and Josh Sexton to talk around Liverpool’s transfer strategy, why the market and the perception around it has changed, how a focus on wages has now become more prevalent and why Stan Collymore, in real terms, cost Liverpool more than Paul Pogba is likely to cost Manchester United.
In a free clip from the show, Jay talks about how Liverpool’s focus on quantity over quality has cost them over the last few seasons.
– Unwrapped is a staple of our TAW programming and is back for the new season. Subscribe – it’s only a fiver a month. Minimum sign up is only one month, and if it’s not for you, all’s you’ve lost is the price of a London pint.
I’ve never heard such negative nonsense on TAW. Utter rubbish. The stuff about the stadium – it’s being expanded to 60000 which is the most it can be with current transport links. What’s the problem?
Hi Jamed. Think 60,000 would be fine but not convinced the Anfield Road expansion will happen. JG
While I enjoy hearing alternative views, sometimes prolix views about FSG, how is it that in this rant(s) there is the assumption that buying a “marquee” (as usual not at all defined) player will work 100% of the time? The Mancs bought Martial but also bought Depay for last summer’s megabucks, not good spending.
Jay goes on every time he shows up about FSG but as a banker for over 30 years, I can tell Jay that just because a list comes out that says the club is worth a billion doesn’t mean that is borrowing capacity. Were you around in 2008? Think about housing that year. Yea.
Should we go get Ibra and say ‘not going to pay you in cash but we’ll give you 2% of the club each year’? manU, I think, cut a deal with the devil(apropos , yes) but had to agree to let Jose spend everything. Think that will guarantee a title? What if they end up 2nd or 5th?
This was defeatism put in soundbits. If LFC went out and bought 11 100m spoild so called “star” players I`d never watch them again. It about balance . its about talent and training. Look at Dortmund , they all became “star” players. Klopp will make heros guaranteed, and he will win trophys guaranteed. We`ll run, harry, tackle and attack them, hard. Wether they cost 1m or 100m they`ll all tire before the mighty Reds.
Some insightful concerns mixed in with others that miss the point of what our manager is about. There’s a real danger of Liverpool falling away to the level of a mid-table club, especially if Klopp is unable to achieve the things we yearn for. Should it all end in disappointment, there’ll be a strong case for a radically different transfer approach. But the argument about not signing players who instantly become our new best player got on my nerves a bit. (As did the one about Coutinho and Sturridge becoming our standouts by default; that discredits the significance of their development, and brushes over the sudden, steep decline of Gerrard in 14/15). Few if any members of Klopp’s Bundesliga-winning sides were big names before they joined Dortmund. One of his greatest strengths is seeing potential in young players, and realising it to the full. Agree with you on the gap in competitiveness between Bundesliga and Premier League, and how what works in one might fail in the other. I’m no FSG fanboy – their stubborn stinginess both on and off-field regularly does my head in – but whether by accident or design, they’ve landed us a manager with a track record of making mad, mad dreams come true. Let’s give the combination a proper chance – no need to rip up plan A just yet. All this is a discussion worth having and returning to.
Totally agree with this view. FSG hired Klopp after Klopp developed a host of players into world beaters. Now there is moaning that he hasn’t bought big marquee names before he has had a chance to show you what he can do with the squad he has available.
If you want big names and a lot of spending, then why would you think Klopp is the best person for the job? It makes no sense and you can’t have it both ways.
Loving TAW but hating this tbh. So negative and in many ways ironic that people like Jay are talking about pushing the spending power of the club. I don’t mind hearing about people who think Liverpool are run by US capitalists out to make a buck and critical of everything the club do, but you need to balance these episodes out by having someone represent the other side. The side which says, “don’t enter an arms race you can’t win!” If LFC are going to reign again, it will not be because we spend £75m on ‘past-it’ transfers like Higuain. We simply cannot operate the same way richer clubs do and expect to be better than them. We need to change the game, and then be the best at that new game. I for one would hate the day we get an owner like Man C or Chelsea in order to win. Talk about winning at any cost! TAW usually helps me to relax but this just made me want to tear my hair out! It’s not just the wanting to spend big thing, it’s just that it feels like some TAW people want their cake and eat it – we want a special, socialist club who cares for fans (especially local fans) and communities, who is socially responsible and ethical. Oh yeah, and we also want to splash the cash on the biggest and best players out there, and win the league every season because we’re Liverpool and that where we belong! Jesus Christ!
Some real nonsense being talked and I don’t think this addressed the reality of the situation at all.
You all realise that FFP and the Premier Leagues rules on financial sustainability are still in place, right? Do you think the competition are breaching these rules? Well they aren’t, even City are now compliant.
If we want to invest in player transfers and salaries at the level the other teams do, we need to have revenue at the same level as the other teams. In this, TV revenue is a leveller not an advantage against our domestic opposition. Match day and commercial revenue are now the critical to giving us an advantage over Spurs or West Ham, and these revenues depend on ticket prices and deals with the likes of Dunkin Donuts.
I can see both sides of the arguments here. To an extent whether exaggerated or real. No CL football, can we attract the players? FFP etc. Utd are in a different league to us. I read something that most of Ibra’s fee was recouped in the first fortnight through shirt sales. I’m not sure how much of that is true but what I can say for certain is this. Regardless of any of the above, have Liverpool recruited the best players they possibly could for the positions we want to fill? Is Karius the best keeper we could afford / attract? Is Kavlan the best centre half we could afford/attract? Are there better left backs around than Moreno, again within our realm? Was Wijnaldum the absolute best we could have got?
I think the squad looks quite strong in a ‘team’ kind of way rather than star players etc but the answer to all those questions is a negative one. We could and should have done better. We’ve spent 25m net and Benteke is likely to fetch around that price. If we end up with a negative net spend then the answer is simple – get top 3 or we start asking questions in a way we haven’t really done of FSG so far.
The eternal optimist in me for a new season thinks we can but if we don’t……
I commented on Andy’s article recently that much as it’s off the top of my head, I believe we had £100m to spend this season. It’s loosely based on previous financial results with a net spend of £35m plus the roughly £40m extra tv money plus what the previous financial figures showed in regards to £50m profit, primarily from the Suarez money that we couldn’t / didn’t spend. I’m convinced we could have spent the £100m net and had money left in the bank. If we end up with a negative net and players like Moreno first choice with Milner as his cover then like i say, we’d better hope we get top 3.
Anyone can put forward any argument they want. It’s all opinions. This is concrete. We could have got better players than we have. no two ways about it.
I’m a bit surprised at the negativity of some of the responses. Although I’m sour on the “entitled” language (if only because I’m an old millennial who gets tired of older people talking about how “entitled” this generation I’m lumped in with is supposed to be) and generally agree with Klopp’s view that throwing money at transfer targets isn’t the only way forward, it seems pretty fair to say the club have–at least at times–shown a lack of commitment when it might have counted.
Specifically, I’m thinking of Jan. 2009, Jan. 2014, and Summer 2014. With the first two, we had Liverpool sides punching high up the table yet with clear weaknesses that went unaddressed. The 2008-09 side may have scored lots of goals, but it nevertheless had a tendency to pick up bad draws and lacked genuine attacking depth. The 2013-14 side just lacked depth generally, and I think it was clear by the time the January window rolled around that Aspas and Moses weren’t doing it for us. If memory serves, instead of at least attempting to address those obvious deficiencies, both the old and the current regime failed to make any kind of move at all (other than to sell Robbie Keane in ’09).
Summer 2014 is a bit different in that if we’d made the Sanchez signing alongside the other ones (minus Balotelli), it would have looked like a good window. When we didn’t and then subsequently failed with any Plan B’s, I think it’s hard not to feel that stinginess was our undoing.
The point made (I think by Jay and John) about the club trying to tread water instead of going forward in the presence of success seems pretty accurate to me, at least at certain key moments. There’s more at issue than just money when it’s come to our recruitment (as we saw with Gotze this summer), but sometimes Liverpool’s owners have seemed to lack commitment.
After listening to the Klopp interview and other TAW stuff I was proper excited for the new season!
Then I listened to this and I now feel a bit bummed.
…I love unwrapped and Rob but I didn’t feel this was a strong one.
Yeah I feel the same after this TAW. I’m not sure if it was a dose of ‘reality’ or a ‘worse case scenario’ type of TAW. All in all FSG hired Klopp because he is perfect for where FSG are with there vision. It would be nice to purchase a 70-80 million pound player but it’s not guaranteed that player will succeed. Chelsea and Man City have proven that but the difference is FSG can’t afford to take that risk on one player. I’m taking comfort in the fact Klopp has proven himself before and have won trophy’s with teams he has built from minimal resources. It’s not a ‘project’ so to speak, Klopp has done it before, it’s not like he’s doing this for the first time. He knows what needs to be done. The difference between Klopp and a manager like Rodgers is Rodgers went off on different tangents when things went wrong and he became somebody else. Klopp has and will stick to his guns no matter what. I believe we’ll do better this season than the last 2-3 seasons because Klopp has proven he is capable. Klopp knows how to win.
Mixed emotions for this one (very unusual for my reception of TAW). Anyway, looking at the golden 5 players of 2013-14 season we’ve got:
Gerrard and Sterling – academy graduates
Coutinho and Sturridge – low transfer fee finds
Suarez – big(ish) money signing but not a marquee
Looking at the above, given how much money there have been misspent on the likes of Carroll, Adam, Downing, et al. and the fact that we managed to get the manager renowned for building successful teams on shoestring budgets, the current direction is a no-brainer. Success on the pitch coupled with commercial growth we are seeing under FSG is the only way to elevate us above the current position. Unless we get a sugar daddy but this would require for FSG to sell the club (or a portion of it). And why would they do that?
Listened to jays clip there..absolutely bang on.we are going around in circles at the moment under FSG.We are hoping for a Klopp miracle..
FSG were told that everything Rafa said was wrong, when in the transfer market he was correct when he said Liverpool had to be perfect and FSG have not been perfect. They have had their fingers burnt with Carroll and they thought they could do it differently, but in many ways i felt FSG have been treading water until the new stand is built, I dont think they trusted Kenny, Brendan or the transfer committee to spend the big money and they have been fudging it.
Now the stand is complete and Klopp is in place then FSG may spend more, we have a better younger squad than we have had in years , it needs some stardust, but everyone from City, United to Juve want stardust and there is no value in this for LFC without CL football this year, If we get CL football next year then things may change, but i think what FSG will do is pay 30-40 mil on a young player but never 100mil on an established player.
“Now the stand is complete and Klopp is in place then FSG may spend more”
At the start of the summer I completely agreed with this. We’re nearing the end now and as yet very little intent has been shown. I suppose, I’m happy with our forwards and midfield. I feel with defenders being the cheaper end of the market I feel we could have done much better. Grujic was bought in January or was it last summer, can’t remember, but either way we could have tried for much more quality in that position. He was around £5m I think. I love Ings and expect big things from him. I see him as the sort of player all good squads need but I’d like us to have been ruthless and again, upgraded to someone even better. The truth is, we haven’t shown that much intent.
Point being, this was the summer to show it, new manager, new money, new stand, tougher competition. We haven’t.
Had we won the Europa and entered the CL then more money would have been spent, however, there is a limit of high profile players around and the prices are sky high, City, United and Chelsea are all buying and it seems front loading, will they do the same next year? I expect LFC with lack of Europe to get a top 4 place, players like Can, Coutinho, Bobby F and Divvy should improve again this season the question is by how much? Is Pogba £90 Mil better than Can and will he be better than Can this time next year? By next year this team should have developed and then will need some stardust, but that stardust will only come with CL qualification. I think we will be better than the sum of our parts this year and we will develop a style of play that will evolve and get better during the season and next Summer there will be some stardust because we will have a good squad depth of players coming into their prime
To be honest mate, I’m really confident. I think the squad is good but more importantly I think we’re building a team. But, as the summer is coming to an end I find I’m a bit deflated over this full back situation. If Moreno gets properly injured and is out for the season then absolutely everything is undermined because all of a sudden we don’t have a recognised left back, not to mention he’s clearly a weak link in the team. Same applies if Clyne gets injured.
It’s annoyed me really. It’s like, you buy a nice piece of beef, make some yorkshire puddings and roasters and cook some organic veg but then you decide you don’t want to spend an extra quid on gravy. It’s complete folly. So, don’t get me wrong mate, I’m not down on everything. Quite the opposite really. I can’t wait for the season. As it stands I’m wondering if we can go through the season unbeaten. Saying that though I would certainly have liked some gravy but actually, I like loads of cranberry, horseradish, mustard and I’ve even started having apple sauce on my Sunday dinner regardless of which meat it is. It’s just the way I roll. I don’t think I’m greedy I’m just aware of what makes the dinner better.
In saying that, I buy the co-op’s own brand. Just because Ocean Spray is twice the price I absolutely don’t think it means it’s better. What I do think though is some cranberry, regardless of brand, is better than none.
Thought you nailed it with “who said we needed to sign up to this permanent austerity deal”
Obviously after G&H and the revelations we were being run on the never, never an air of caution was the right approach.
What I find utterly disheartening is the ambition of the city as a whole over the last 20 odd years towards football.
The city has moved forwards leaps and bounds in other areas but in sport particularly football it`s fallen off a cliff. For whatever reason, the club, the council, the residents, whatever excuse you’d like to make the lack of new stadia development has cost us.
If you take the emotional context of being a Liverpool fan out of the equation and look at the stadium as a piece of architecture it`s a joke, no one would ever build something like that. 4 hap hazard stands that have no architectural symmetry cobbled together over the years with little to no forward thinking.
The cautious approach of not doing the anny road and bending the main all the way round like Newcastle has left us in this stupid situation where we`ve just knocked down one stand with restricted view (half a stand by the way) and built another with restricted views at either end. Its fkin mental, at the anny road end of the main you can`t even see the goal.
The financing of the new main is an inter company loan, interest free, why not just extend that loan…..unless of course you were doing the bare minimum and you had a plan to get out.
Whichever way you want to cut it and argue Utd, City, Arse, Spurs (3 years), Chelsea (3 years) West Ham all have state of the art stadia. Yes people love the kop and weve been living off the back of that imagery forever, no one gives a shit about the rest of it.
FSG have had the same attitude with players and whoever on the pod said that Phil wasn`meant to be our best player he just is because the other 3 or 4 lads have fucked off absolutely nailed it. The succession planning has been a farce and our league position since FSG came in shows it. At the end of the day you get what you’ve paid for and for us its a restricted view and 5th – 7th, not expecting miracles from Klopp, the only saving grace is no EL so we might scrape top 4 but not holding my breath.
just read that back fuck me its depressing but I never signed up for permanent austerity
I reckon it is 50-50 whether we finish higher than United this season for all their spending and Mourinho’s track record. True, they have spent much better this year than previous summers, but lamenting the fact they signed Martial for 30-50 mil is crazy. How much better than Origi do you think he is? You also complain that spurs are getting ahead of us but they have been pursuing a pretty similar strategy and came close to winning the league last season.
If you were to name your ideal transfers to improve our team, outside of the three amigos and Ronaldo, I’m sure aubemeyang, Reus and Hummels would be right up there, all of whom were signed by Klop for comparable fees to what he is signing players for us.
The other thing that always seems to be overlooked in these discussions is that we have been building the team/squad by investing primarily in young players for a few years now who are all set to hit their prime in the next couple of seasons. Given that, it is not surprising that we haven’t been competing for the league when we have been playing with inexperienced players.
Sure FSG have made some bad mistakes (putting Ian Ayre in charge of transfers for one) and whoever is responsible for signing balotelli should be sacked (in hindsight). But if anything has been proved over the last 5-6 years is that when everyone gets behind the team we are nearly unstoppable no matter who is playing for or managing us.
I agree with many of the previous comments – this pod was surprisingly negative (by which I mean in an unbalanced and unfair way). My criticism of FSG would be that they seem to have too often fundamentally changed their philosophy on running LFC, from the director of football model to getting in a young manager and moneyball players to recruiting the biggest name in the managerial world. I’m hoping they’re now letting Klopp get on with it and will show patience.
A point that’s worth making is that the US sports world is quite different from football. In the US, there may be a franchise that is quite successful for a year or two and then will fall off the map for many years while they rebuild (think Chicago Bulls or New York Yankees … world beaters for a few years and now they’re rebuilding while teams that were nobodies like Oklahoma or Golden State are thriving). So, the point is that they may not be in as much of a rush to get us back to where we belong.