28 Nov 2014

Shock Exit: 'Exceptional' €20m star to quit Anfield in January. Agent in talks over transfer

Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli is having a torrid time at Anfield this season, and his recent injury means it'll be a while yet before he scores his first Premier League goal for the Reds. Last month, Brendan Rodgers revealed his frustration with Balotelli's paucity in front of goal, and hinted that the Italian could be sold in January. After spending €20m on him in the summer, that seems unlikely, but new reports in Italy today claim that an early exit for the Italian striker is definitely on the cards.

According to an exclusive today in Italian newspaper Tutto Mercato:

* Balotelli's Agent, Mino Raiola, is working behind the scenes to secure a January transfer to Napoli.

* Balotelli wants the move 'soon', and has made himself 'available' for a transfer.

This seems to conflict with Raiola's statement yesterday on Balotelli's future, when he told reporters:

"He [Balotelli] needs a bit of time to adapt to Liverpool. One thing is for sure and that is that he will never return to Italy. I have already made the mistake to listen to him and bring him back to back to Italy once before."

Last week, Napoli boss Rafa Benitez also appeared to rule out the possibility of signing Balotelli:

“Liverpool fans are loyal - if he [Balotelli] works in the field, they will support him. Mario coming to us in January though? There is absolutely nothing to this, it is just a hypothesis that I have never considered.”

I was in favour of signing Balotelli, but only because of the comparative bargain of a transfer fee, and if Rodgers decides to dump him in January, then so be it. The brutal truth is that Liverpool won't miss Balotelli, and with another striker almost certain to come in (plus Sturridge to return) his chances of regular first-team football look set to rapidly dissipate anyway.

I doubt Reds fans will shed many tears over Balotelli's exit; however, the key question is will the club make back the full €20m? After Balotelli's latest failure, it's doubtful, which means yet another failure to add to Rodgers' already significant list of transfer duds.

One man who'd love to see Balotelli at Napoli is Diego Maradona, who urged Benitez to sign the Italian prior to his Anfield move. Over the summer, he raved:

"If I were the president of Napoli, my first decision would be to sign Mario Balotelli. He is an exceptional player and there would be no problem controlling him".

I love this final comment from Maradona on the subject:

"If there was ever a problem with Mario, I would take care of it personally and everything would be fine."

Forget Balotelli - Liverpool should bring in Maradona to replace Rodgers*. A risky move, no doubt, but the entertainment value is potentially priceless. Plus, if - as he insists - Maradona can get the best out of Balotelli, then it's a win-win situation all round.

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* I'm not serious

Author:



98 comments:

  1. If we're bringing in a manager for entertainment value, let's bring in Zdenek Zeman. He'll make last season's defence and attack schism look a minor fissure compared to the vast chasm he'll create with his lopsided attacking madness. We'd have the balance of Dario Silva.

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  2. I want to see Balotelli up front with Sturridge for a few games before I write him off. The only time they've played together at Spurs we looked like the team of last season. So if and when Sturridge gets fit, pair the two together and see where we get.

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  3. Hope Brendan "Dossier" Rodgers aka David Brent is next!

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  4. I read that story in The Independent and I'm still wondering in what way Rodgers implied Balotelli might get the bullet in January. Not that I'm against the idea however. I feel he's had a massively negative influence on the squad and if be glad to see the back of him

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  5. Maradona is footballing great.Arguably the best of all time.But the way South Americans especially Argentines worship the ground he walks on.He probably thinks he's developed superpowers.
    "If there was ever a problem with Mario, i'd take care of it personally and everything would be fine"
    He needs to stop talking like he's God.

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  6. I guess Balotelli sanctioned the influx of mediocrity, took charge of the negative tactics of playing one upfront & put a gun to Rodgers head & forced a transfer to Liverpool. Oh I forgot Ballotelli is really Mignolet, Johnson, Gerrard & Allen in disguise.

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  7. At no point did I say that Balotelli was the sole reason for our troubles. I merely stated that I think he's had a negative effect on the team. I am basing this on nothing more than his team mates body language towards him on the pitch and rumours the other players aren't happy with him being a nailed on starter no matter how badly he plays.
    However the same could be said about the players you've listed. How Johnson keeps his place in the team is beyond me. Skrtel too

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  8. I know, who does he think he is, Fowler?

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  9. I remember when God pretended to snort cocain3 in the Merseyside derby.They say he works in mysterious ways:)

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  10. One up front isn't negative. We did that when Suarez was suspended last season and when Sturridge got injured too and were perfectly offensive. One up front is negative when you can basically pick between two largely immobile front men. Borini isn't really one to play up front alone either, so it is more of a personnel issue.

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  11. I was totally against Balotelli signing from the start but the fact that Rodgers expect Suarez like performances from Balotelli by persisting with Balo up on his own just shows how clueless our manager is this season.

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  12. 4eva LFC, LFC 4eva6:15 am, November 29, 2014

    Sell Balo and Borini then offer Benfica 40-50 mill for Hulk, bring back Tiago play him along side Sakho with Mereno, Maquillo put Lucas in front of them, Lallana, SG then have Cortinho in front of those two, with Sterling and Hulk up front. If there is enough money bring in Shaquiri. If we want to compete with the big boys then we better start getting some real quality. I personally would love to have Martinez up front with Hulk but i guess we cant have it all.

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  13. “We’re hoping that our season really began the other night (against Ludogorets), and obviously it will only count if we can take it into tomorrow’s game," he said.

    "A few months ago I was manager of the year, now I'm favourite to get the sack."

    “I thought it was an excellent performance, we were very competitive in what was a tough game. Everything has been hunky dory for about 18 months and on the up, but it’s a different deck of cards this year, it’s a different hand we’ve been dealt, we just need to focus on the now.”



    Somebody make Rodgers shut the f*** up!

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  14. Rodgers, you are dealing the cards. You had the money. Do not act like you are the victim. You wasted the money and now we are paying for it. At least be honest with the fans. That is the least we deserve.

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  15. Get out of dreamland

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  16. His ego is far more important.

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  17. i can see him blaming the owners for not backing him if he were to get sack, no wonder no top player want to work under him.
    the most annoying thing is if he would put his ego aside i bet he could turn things around.

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  18. Well apparently he has a hand of God... Maybe he'll use that across Balos face...

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  19. I explained this before Balos own contributions or lack of, to the team have deemed him a negative influence not blaming him for LFCs problems but his body language and work rate leaves a lot to be desired.

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  20. Agreed. For Balos experience I thought he could handle that position anyway you can't play him on his own and that's, that.

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  21. I like that "If" and " when" the uncertainty is probably thoughts of most LFC fans

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  22. Doubt he will blame the owners when everyone can see how much money he has spent. He is making excuses that he needs more time. This is his 3rd season now and the team is worse off at the same stage compared to his first season as manager of LFC and this is after spending over £200m since he joined the club on new players. The man is delusional.

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  23. Balotelli has played the way he's always played. Drift here & there. Since he's played for LFC he HAS tried to work harder but it's just not happened. The negativity in the squad based on the fact we lack confidence. Physically & mentally weak. That's down to Rogders!

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  24. Of course, it has to be in context with personnel. Balotelli has never played that rol, can't really play that role. So why persist? Negativity in the context of not playing to his strengths, he said it himself that he needs a strike partnership!

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  25. Balotelli is just being himself nothing has changed. This man was never a fit for LFC & you should blame Rodgers. Work rate could be better but he's not that type. This man looks sulky even when his happy. Thing is it the same old story even when he is NOT PLAYING. We can't defend, bereft of creativity, and find scoring near enough impossible. Ballotelli has been the whipping boy conveniently hiding dossier Rodgers deficiencies as a manager!

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  26. I am confidant that Johnson won't start. And Gerrard probably...

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  27. all of the xenophobes/friends(steve me) of stodgy english plodders(lambert) are the ones complaining. Mario needs to be given a chance, in a functioning side. he can not be held responsible for our ills, that is simply pushing the unintelligent drivel coming out of the tabloid press.

    Mario does not play as a loan forward, and he was great in the euros. rodgers has a good track record with 'troubled' players and we should see how this develops before pulling the trigger.

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  28. nice work Brendan it's almost December and our closest teams are Sunderland West Brom Palace-we could be 14 th after today - luckily for us most of them have difficult games

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  29. It is not like we have an easy game.

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  30. I'm assuming we will lose hence14 th it could be worse

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  31. Nevergonnacrackthecode10:47 am, November 29, 2014

    true you my friend are awesome

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  32. Agree, it's an all too frequent display of incompetence from the Liverpool defence. It's just not good enough at the highest level. When it's been ongoing ever since Rodgers arrived, you could question if it's even being coached on the training pitch. I can't find any other explanation.

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  33. Let's face it Gerrard or Allen will always play and Henderson IMO is the best central midfielder so he will play too. Add Emre Can in there and it's just too defensive.


    For me, it's a total different game when Lucas can do the job by himself. Hendo is the middle man and Lallana the attacker. This team is struggling for confidence so I don't see what a conservative and uninspiring line up will do. This Liverpool side is boring. It struggles to score goals and can't defend, and currently no changes are being made to it.

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  34. Grobbelaarknowsbest11:03 am, November 29, 2014

    Exactly. Mignolet hasn't improved at all since signing. David De Gea has improved immeasurably from the player he was when he first arrived and most in the game put this down to Eric Steele and the player himself. Mignolet has been playing regularly in the premiership for at least double the length of time De Gea has and he is crap. Time to get rid as he won't improve until he's about 30 if at all.

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  35. People need to stop blaming Gerrard as if he is personally responsible for Liverpool's poor form. Okay Gerrard hasn't been great but who has? No one. The fact is that Gerrard was up there with the 5 best players in the league last season and whilst his role has changed since, he's been a world class midfielder for over a decade now. The fact is that the players' confidence are on the floor, I believe in every player we have at the club, even balotelli! I know what we are capable of and if it wasn't for the meltdown all our fans are having and people calling for BR to be sacked, I'd be very confident that we'd be able to turn this around come January.

    But now I look at the state the club has got into and it worries me that the only way the players will play to their best potential is once they've regained their confidence and I'm starting to wonder now how they are going to do that when fans have lost faith in Rodgers. I said at the beginning of the season, if we are to finish 8th Rodgers should stay. I never believed we would but it was a worse case scenario statement. I stand by that, we have a young squad, in a transitional period after Suarez left and I genuinely believe we won't finish any lower than 5th this season. 5th! Fifth is still a massive improvement on what we had prior to BR and 5th, whilst hugely disappointing to miss out on CL, would be credit to Brendan in a post suarez era.

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  36. He's thinking Moyes screwed up for whatever reason and got himself a job in Spain and I can do the same

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  37. The problem I've seen is that Raheem has been spending too much time out wide and hasn't had an effect through the middle. I think it's potentially a confidence issue but for me unless we use the diamond formation (where I'd play him up top alongside lambert) Sterling has to be going through the middle where he's most effective.

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  38. I see so these players are the reason why we are performing so poorly? So once these players are dropped we will start winning again? You are a football genius my boy. Go and tell Brendan quick before he choses the stoke team!!! You moron. You could replace those players with anyone else available In our squad and we would've had the exact same results if not worse! The team selection isn't the problem. EVERYONE is underperforming and it can only be down to lack of confidence.

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  39. Another day another moan, just listened to 'supporters' being interviewed outside Anfield, seems you're in the minority. Most people see things differently !

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  40. That's one of my favourite moments in football

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  41. "5th! Fifth is still a massive improvement.."
    I wonder when fans quote such sickening statements. A team which was runner up last season should aim to finish 5th??
    This year by any means we should had our eyes straight on the title. Sir Brendon had 200 million at his disposal and 3 years to work on his philosophy. If he can't do it now, he won't be able to do it in a decade.
    It's because of this mediocre ,easygoing and laid back attitude of fans and poor management alike that LFC is still an average club that is heading to the 2nd half of the table.
    BR is not good enough, nor is the entire management and scouts.
    Everything needs a complete overhaul starting with the manager who needs an immediate sack!!!

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  42. If there are offers on the table then perhaps we can all just conclude that Mario was a failed experiment and let him go. It was a nice idea, he obviously has talent and skills but it's taken this long for his attitude to work off the ball to change enough that it is barely acceptable for the Liverpool team ethos. He may already have hit his limit in that regard and honestly, for a football player at this top level, half a season is enough time to prove yourself. By the time January comes around Mario will have had enough chances and if he's not producing the goods by then the club should move on.

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  43. and who is responsible in bringing Moreno to Liverpool !
    And who is responsible for defensive setups and overall player development?

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  44. I agree with your comments reference Gerrard, we are incredibly lucky to have had the priviledge of having him play for our team.


    I don't agree about the technical ability of the players brought into the club by BR. Slow tippy tappy non risk taking players who will not win you a game when you are struggling like Gerrard has so many times as did Suarez las season and they both made the other players play out of their skins and look better than they are hence the poor form this season . The other aspect could be buying nine new players at once, how stupid , this has completely destabalised the squad from last year.IMO


    Gerrard must look up now and think to himself who am I am playing with having played with some very gifted world class players at Liverpool including Torres, Alonso, Mascharano, Sissokho, Suarez, and now he has Joe Allen , Jordan Henderson, no pace or strength Lallana , Balotelli, Borini, Markovic, Can . They are not good enough and would make any good midfield player look Sh...!! No pace or movement, no goals between them hardly and they do not work hard enough to change things . If you want to be the best and play with the best you have to work incredibly hard and I don't see it at the moment.

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  45. No one is saying that Gerrard has not been a great player for us but as with everything, things come to an end.

    Gerrard is not and will never be a DM and his legs have totally gone.

    He needs to be used as a impact player.. last 15 - 20 mins of a game.

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  46. Well if you are happy with Rodgers calling performances during the week 'excellent' then I am quite happy to have a different opinion.

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  47. agree....BR has no eye for talent. He has created a league of below average players - who can't score and win games for you, and moreover they don't have a character to fight.
    The sad part is BR lacks star pulling power and doesn't have a vision.
    FSG would be lacking ambition if they continue with BR as he is not good enough to manage a top 4 club and has thrown 200 million down the drain.

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  48. David Brent eat your heart out

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  49. If it wasn't that it would be/ will be something else, find it hard to believe you could ever be happy, they'll sing his name again today !

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  50. I was for the signing of Balotelli but I didn't expect for BR to play him as alone striker.

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  51. Me too. It is obvious he is useless there and he has even admitted it. Rodgers is in his own world.

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  52. I have been one of Rodgers biggest fans all along until recently. Even in his first season when we were not doing so well in the first half of the season I was fully behind him.


    This way we have played this season, team selections, sticking with players who should be dropped etc gives me no confidence in the situation unfortunately and i doubt the owners are very happy too.

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  53. I would like see how well Balo does after playing with a strike partner for about 10 games.

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  54. im unsure how things could appear differently in a results based industry

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  55. todays game is a watershed for Rodgers lose and i think hes sacked

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  56. He actually did really well in the Spurs match. Was a constant threat. Had Sturridge beside him and Sterling at no 10. Since then up on his own being asked to run around like a headless chicken.

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  57. Should be gone anyway

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  58. We will most probably get a 0-0 draw and then Rodgers will saw how we are progressing and need a wee bit more of luck.

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  59. A clean sheet thats being in dreamland

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  60. The club has lacked stability for a number of years now with Hand G and a fairly large turnover of managers and players.
    Now although FSG have stabilized the club financially and set goals managerially speaking we need stability.
    Although i do agree with much of what your saying Liverpool are unlikely to be successful without stability.
    I think FSG do need to take the biggest gamble of all and stick with Rodgers he has age on his side and who knows in years to come he could be up there with the best.
    In saying that i do think if he is to continue he must do so under a DOF.

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  61. I held my patience for very long, longer than most. I lost my patience in BR after the Palace game because we lost so many games in a row and he still plays the same players and is then complaining.

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  62. 4eva LFC, LFC 4eva1:58 pm, November 29, 2014

    We sold a 70mill striker asking for a 40 -50 mill striker is dreaming? no wonder we are in mid table our management must have the same mentality as you.
    You spend peanuts you get monkeys. Yes we spent some money but quality not quantity is what we should have been after.

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  63. Mignolet, Johnson, Enrique, Skrtel, Toure, Lucas, Allen, Henderson, Coutinho, Sterling, Lambert

    Some things never change

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  64. Confirmed #LFC starting line-up v Stoke: Mignolet, Johnson, Enrique, Skrtel, Toure, Lucas, Allen, Henderson, Coutinho, Sterling, Lambert

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  65. subs: Jones, Lovren, Moreno, Lallana, Gerrard, Markovic, Can



    Enrique? Johnson? Skrtel. Well at least Gerrard has been dropped.

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  66. Something did change :s

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  67. I want to see Gerrard in attack now we have no strikers
    It will probably be enough fro Rodgers not to lose his home tonight!

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  68. Oops, I just saw Johnson and Enrique in the team and was like screw it. At least that is a sign but of course Can and Moreno and Manquillo are no where to be seen.

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  69. Johnson and Enrique starting ahead of Manqui and Moreno

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  70. No Can and Lallana again

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  71. Moreno, Can and Manquillo are the knew jokers of Liverpool. Constant humiliation every match after being benched in front of inferior players.

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  72. I just thought that dropping Gerrard was pretty big...

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  73. Yes, our most expensive signing this season on the bench again. Utter waste of funds.

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  74. Well, it would be big if we had the players to make up for it. The consensus was to drop gerrard for Can and play him with Hendo behind Lucas. The spped of our play still is slow but at least our solidarity might be better.

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  75. Stoke must be petrified

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  76. I will bet Rodgers will say he is being rested.

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  77. They like the look of our defence, that is for sure.

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  78. I can sense that...

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  79. You obviously haven't read Logan's posts in the past 2 years or so. Was one of BR's biggest fans.

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  80. Rested for a season changing game against Leicester

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  81. That's the thing Greg, Rodgers won't accept a DoF.

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  82. Man, those Jaimie and Logan debates were classic.

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  83. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:08 pm, November 29, 2014

    joe allen?
    no lallana,markovic,can,moreno,lovren
    rodgers what is going on?


    did you actually want any of theese palyers

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  84. I dnt know what Moreno has done to Rodgers but I would have preferred him to Enrique and also Can for Lucas..but Im sure there will be plenty of happy faces on this site that Gerrard has been dropped

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  85. They're still an occurrence...

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  86. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:09 pm, November 29, 2014

    my debates with logan are better

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  87. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:13 pm, November 29, 2014

    i cant beleive of all days he drops gerrard today on his 16th anniversary


    wow the man management of rodgers is staggering right now he needs to see a preist or something

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  88. Allen and Lucas in the midfield? shroud be a trashing

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  89. The words water and board and she'd come to mind

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  90. Well its a DOF or the dole id be telling him.

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  91. Roders really needs to explain why hes picking players he tried to sell over

    players he has paid a fortune for

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  92. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:16 pm, November 29, 2014

    probably at this stage he needs players he can trust rather then players he hopes will come good
    as you said one more loss and that could be it

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  93. How can he trust Johnson and Enrique

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  94. jose and glen at fb i never saw that coming

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  95. Would you consider picking the team Jaimie until we can get a proper manager for Liverpool FC. Rodgers has done it again! The team on the bench is better than the one he picked to play today. Is this guy working his ticket?
    Please Mr Henry relieve him from his duties and bring in Jurgen Klopp immediately. Don't let him waste any more of your money.

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  96. I'm not sure if you are a troll or if you seriously believe we need to overhaul everything just a few months after finishing 2nd...

    We need to keep the faith in our team because we've seen what we're capable of!

    And you've sort of took my "5th is an improvement" out of context... As it is an improvement prior to Rodgers reign, don't get me wrong I'd be gutted with 5th but I'm just being realistic

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