8 Feb 2015

I Was Wrong: Legend apologises for slating 'fantastic' £10m LFC-star. Admits he 'never saw that coming'

Last summer, Norwegian football legend Jan Aage Fjortoft poured scored on Liverpool's decision to spend £10m on Emre Can, arguing that the Reds made a huge mistake bringing the 21-year old German midfielder to Anfield. After a run of games over the last six weeks, Can is now successfully establishing himself in the Reds' first team, leading Fjortoft to retract his earlier comments.

In his role for Sky, Fjortoft is basically the German football equivalent of Jamie Carragher, and spends much of his professional life watching the Bundesliga, and when asked in June if he thinks Can is a 'good signing' for LFC, Fjortoft - a football analyst for Sky Sports Germany - offered the following withering assessment:

"No, he [Can] is not. I don't think he's a good signing. He's an average player in Germany. I can't see that he will improve LFC"

After watching Can's performance against Bolton, Fjortoft backtracked on his earlier view:



Fjortoft is right - Can is 'doing great' at centre-half, and after Liverpool's 0-0 draw with Everton, Reds boss Brendan Rodgers specifically hailed the German's defensive capabilities. He raved:

"Emre Can, he was like a Rolls Royce at the back at 21 and he defended fantastically. We now have got a real solid structure defensively and 86 minutes was (Everton's) first shot on target".

Can's versatility is a huge benefit for the team, but I'm not going to start drinking the Kool-Aid just yet. As with any player, consistency is the key, and it remains to be seen whether he is just a flash-in-the-pan undergoing a purple-patch of form, or the real deal.

With Lucas now injured, it'll be interesting to see how Rodgers responds. The obvious choice is to move can to midfield, and bring Lovren back into defence, but given the current effectiveness of the Can-Skrtel-Sakko triumvirate, breaking up the back three could conceivably disrupt Liverpool's defensive solidity.

That said, the alternative is to play either Can or Allen in central midfield, which isn't a very inspiring option. In theory, given his defensive ability, and obvious passing prowess (like the assist for Sterling's goal against Bolton), Can should slot easily into the defensive-midfield role, and I'd personally prefer that over the Gerrard/Allen option.

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89 comments:

  1. Agreed would definitely like to see Can replacing Lucas. I also worry about whether breaking up the back three will cause us problems but playing Allen simply cannot be an option. For me he is probably one of the most ineffective and easily disposed of players in our squad along with Johnson and Balotelli.

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  2. During Lucas' absence I would replace with Gerrard. Moving forward, sign a top quality RCB and move Can to midfield next season.

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  3. When we switched to this formation I said that it might do Markovic some good to play wing back so he he can get the playing time, learn some defensive work and positioning with the chance to impact the game in the attack sporadicaly(ussualy vs 'smaller) teams. Same can be said about Ibe. Can can learn how to impact the game from the back three too and it would mean problems to put him straight to the heart of the midfield. Now with all settling in and toughest and most important matches coming, and with Daniel available, I say we play last years' football. We should go for 3 goals per game so if we concede 2 who cares...


    back four
    -------Can------Hendo
    ------------Couts
    Lallana---------Sterling
    ----------Daniel.
    Ibe COMES IN as the best power sub in the EPL.

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  4. I have said for months now that Can should be playing in central midfield. Gerrard will most likely be the one sitting in for Lucas.


    It would be great to have a midfield three of Coutinho Can and Henderson with Sterling at number 10 and Sturridge alongside Borini or Balotelli. No place for Lambert here I am afraid.

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  5. Credit where due: Lambert was unlucky not to score yesterday. Had a great volley on target.

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  6. Re new deal- One ongoing benefit for Liverpool is that the deal only covers playing and training kit.

    That means the club have full control over non-branded merchandise such as clothes from their fashion range.

    Prior to Liverpool linking up with Warrior, Adidas had the rights to sell the club’s products abroad.

    The Reds only received a percentage of sales and were restricted from opening up club stores.

    So far cash plus -percentage-, now even more. And let's not forget personalized zippo lighters, doormats, pencils etc...

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  7. It's funny how quickly a player can be said to be a waste yet it takes a long period of consistency to be seen as a success.

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  8. No place for any of Lambert, Borini or Balotelli. One of them could be the 4th choice striker I guess but none of them should be 1st, 2nd or even 3rd choice at a club hoping to win things.

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  9. Lambert is not good enough. Plan B is all he should be. We are not going to win trophies with players like these.

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  10. Agree that he should not be first choice. Just saying he's not a bad Plan B.
    Don't you worry about trophies. Once we get Aspas back we'll unstoppable.

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  11. 11% too many voted for Allen. I can only deduce that 11% lot is from the enemy and obviously want us to fail.

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  12. Allen's family and Rodgers.

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  13. I really don't understand what you see in Balotelli... He's absolutely awful not only does he not care or try, he has a poor touch and is technically poor, he's pretty slow and doesn't use his physical presence in any way. There is not a single attribute he brings to the table at the moment and that's just not acceptable. Please tell me anything he brings to the team?!?

    As for Borini he does run around a lot and get in some good positions but his finishing isn't great and he just doesn't do enough for me. Having said that I would probably keep him out of the three and look to bring in one top striker in the summer and next year have Sturridge, top striker, Origi and Borini as the four strikers along with Sterling who can play there if needed.

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  14. Emre Can is clearly our best summer signing. I was hopping mad when Brendan continued to ignore him over that long stretch even though he put in creditable performances when he always came on as a substitute. I hope next season Brendan plays players in their strongest position and rid the club of those who don't deserve to be there.

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  15. If you go read all my comments about Balotelli then you will find that I never wanted him here either. But Rodgers had this great idea to persist with him as a loan striker which saw Balotelli take loads of criticism yet Rodgers has somehow been excused. In a front two Baltelli can work. As I said, Borini needs a good run of games. He is a bit like Kuyt in a way.

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  16. Why was my comment even deleted...

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  17. He'll sweat grease. Perhaps that will allow him to slide past defenders. Good thinking.

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  18. Out of the options I voted Allen. I worry too much about adding Lovren to the back line and Gerrard in the two lacks energy and positional sense. As much as we needed another striker in Jan we needed a Lucas replacement too. Allen did a half decent job at winning the ball in the opposition half last night. Worst of the options is why I voted Allen.

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  19. There is definitely a good argument for that. If we are continuing with not starting Strurridge though what do you think?

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  20. Toure's back soon, right? He could replace Can at the back, allowing the German to play as a DM.

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  21. PERCENTAGE. Plus the non brended. Plus Cash. Plus tickets to matches and all other sponsors. Why are they here if not the money please?!?

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  22. youuuuuu dense muthaf***er

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  23. Well that's just rude.

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  24. Certainly felt fragile yesterday. Everyone but Ibe looked exhausted. I worry about Tuesday.

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  25. Same here. The upside is that Spurs have not had as long to prepare for the game as Everton did. They seem to have a mainly settled side and will hopefully be tired too but without Lucas, Kane and Erikson could run riot.

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  26. I expected better from you

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  27. I'm sorry I let you down.

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  28. Bring him into the middle of park, yes he's doing a great job in defence but he himself favors the midfield role. You can see why as well, when he's moved up the pitch he has proved a handful to shake off the ball and his runs from deep into opponents half have caused all sorts of problems.


    Lovren needs to step up and take his chance, if not Kolo when back. With Studge back and us being into last third of season, we should go for it and attack teams. Just have a right good go at getting into top four and winning one of the cups.

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  29. He so brainless, he's our player of the season do far, courted by Real Madrid. Wins the young European footballer of the year award. Darn, I wish he had more brains!

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  30. I would probably continue with that train of thought except put Lallana, Markovic or Ibe into the attacking position, Sterling up front and Gerrard dropping deeper alongside Hendo. I'm reluctant to split our current back 3. They're keeping clean sheets and as long as a defence is doing that you keep them together IMO.
    I said a while ago that Can reminded me of Javi Martinez and that is the role he'll occupy in our squad I think. Long term a defensive mid but equally adept at centre half. He impresses me more with every game

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  31. Haha that made me laugh. I hope the thrashings we've been giving them will give us a psychological edge. Sturridge has to start for me

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  32. Other fast food is available

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  33. How that sorry excuse for a football team can be above us on the table is beyond me...

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  34. Which one there are 5 or 6 : )

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  35. Best player of the better team, at the age of 19- what was he supposed to say?

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  36. Well he has admitted he was wrong and that is a rare quality among footballers, fans and commentators.


    I always admit it when I am wrong - though the last time was in 1986

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  37. All of them Grrrrr

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  38. So you would've started the season with Ibe?!? Please don't lie... And of course you need 20 mil sub, how much did Shurle go for? How much does Mata cost, Jovetic...

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  39. The year I was born, coincedence or the worst year of the millenium?

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  40. A nice 0-0 today will do just fine

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  41. No, 2-1. Have a bet slip that says 3 or more goals...

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  42. Not even Sterling is better than Ibe. And BR thought Lazar is good enough.. I do so too..

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  43. Hmm.More issues? Who plays right back? Will we be easier to press with less options for the CB's to pass to? Will we be less or more solid?

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  44. Manquillo, which doesn't sound great and we would be less solid. but...

    -------Can------Hendo

    ------------Couts

    Lallana---------Sterling

    ----------Daniel.

    Ibe coming in, Gerrard playing his part- that spells 3 or more goals per game for me... And if Sakho Skrtel start playing more, they just might make a very good partnership...

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  45. The only time I've been wrong was one time I thought I was wrong... but I wasn't

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  46. Yes I would have started Ibe based on his loan appearances las season. You must be deluded to put Markovic in Schurle, Mata or Jovetic's class. He's nowhere near. All those that you've mentioned have a touch & can shoot two things Lazar cannot do consistently.

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  47. Do you think that money goes into their pockets? The little they would get, if they had to decide to put it in their pockets would be daylight robbery.


    They would honestly be wasting their time. The interest free loan of £115m would be far more important for them to get back into their account and they make bugger all profit off that too.

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  48. I can only assume that you are a CEO of a bigger, more successful company than the international billionaires Fenway Sports Group? No? Then I think I'll have faith that they know what they're doing when it comes to making money

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  49. ...when you predicted Karate Kid 2 would win an Oscar?

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  50. Well if you think they are making money off of LFC who have shown losses every season they have been here then there are some deluded people out there.

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  51. Flung tomatoes?

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  52. Yes you are right. FSG fell in love with soccer and are now making plans how to lose money in the EPL so they can enjoy themselves.. Goodbye Logan...

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  53. I said the new Messiah would be born in that year .Perhaps I was not wrong after all

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  54. Long term investment Logan. They knew when taking the club on that there would be a short term hit financially. They could also see that we were only scratching the surface on what we could be making commercially.
    We are still in the infancy of FSG's tenure but in that time our commercial revenue has increased tenfold and continues to grow all the time. The work has started on the expansion of Anfield and they have significantly invested in the squad. There is nothing to moan about with regards to FSG, even for you Logan

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  55. How could they have predicted that they would have to make interest free loans out of their pockets to LFC? I cannot think anyone owner wants to become a bank which does not make money. They could have asked Ayre to go to the bank and loan the £115m from them at x amount interest then this club would have been up to it's ears in debt. FSG are do not know what they got themselves into as the club owes them a f*** load of cash. which they will make nothing from.

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  56. When you break up with the love of your life you don't go hating your football club- the answer is in alcohol. Trust me, I'm having a pint...

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  57. I am not moaning about them and never have. To suggest that they have been making money from LFC just does not make sense.


    Explain where they are making money when the club has been running at a loss ever since they got here!

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  58. Longterm? So how many years should they base that one?

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  59. I think he's more a sloppy Joe kinda guy

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  60. Don't jinx it

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  61. Look mate, we are not talking about a couple of thousand pounds that has been invested. When a business is showing losses of £50m then the owners are thinking WTF.

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  62. aND HOW MUCH MONEY DO YOU THINK THEY HAVE, 75 MIL?

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  63. It has got nothing to do with that. LFC as a business which they own is making a loss season after season. Their investment in other words is costing them an arm and leg.


    If you want to see it any other way then that is your prerogative.

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  64. I'd expect Gerrard to start on the bench against Spurs. Starting another massive game in 3 days is a bit much too expect. Eriksen drifts all over the pitch in a fee role and as the main supply line for Kane he will need tracking constantly, so agree it's probably a job best suited to Allen, assuming Can continues in the back 3.

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  65. Bad luck on the good side 5 pts off 4th spot now

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  66. A draw and a sending off - not bad

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  67. Remember the game Spy Hunter, where you could drop oil slicks on the road as a hazard to those in pursuit? Sloppy Joes might add that threat to his game.

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  68. tHEY HAD 5 COUNTER ATTACKS THAT COULD'VE BEEN GOALS... damn...

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  69. Who is suggesting that they're making money? Nobody. But Liverpool have the potential to be a global commercial powerhouse like United are. We're playing catch up but we have a massive global following and we've not been anywhere near maximising that. FSG are addressing that, plus the match day revenue with the expansion of the stadium but these things don't happen overnight.
    FSG are in a position where they don't need to see an immediate return on investment and quite frankly, they'd be fools if they thought they were going to make a profit short term. They don't strike me as fools so I would suggest they are taking the long term view

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  70. :-) Maybe Gerrard could drop banana skins, a la Mario Kart.

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  71. Don;t mention Gerrard and banana skins together

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  72. They would be fools to if they thought they would need to spend over £300m of LFC's money since they arrived and only have a League Cup to show for it?


    They do not realise what they got themselves into and I reckon they are planning on selling soon.

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  73. I fear and would expect our left side to get overloaded by the opposition in that set up. Skrtel and Manquillo not nearly being good enough at playing the ball as their left sided counterparts. It will be hard to get the ball out effectively. We do need other options though. Sturridge pulling left may help. You think Dani Boy is ready to be starting games?

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  74. The best post I have read in a while. Proper laughed at that one.

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  75. Yeah that is true. But running a football club and breaking up with the love are two completely different things.


    It is a surprise that FSG have not booked themselves into rehab.

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  76. Alcohol; the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems.

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  77. By the way, we will finish above manu this season...

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  78. You'd have Can on that side in the mid to offer help, Lallana too.. Danny- hopefully yes, because we need to see our best 11 next match in the best formation possible...

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