18 Feb 2015

'Big Decision': £5m attacker confirms he 'agreed' deal to quit Anfield for Aston Villa

On transfer deadline day, Aston Villa made a last-ditch £5m bid to sign Liverpool star Rickie Lambert, and according to the striker himself, he came 'very close' to leaving Anfield for the beleaguered Midlands club.

When asked on Tuesday about Villa's bid, Lambert confirmed that he 'agreed everything' with Villa before changing his mind at the last minute. He told the Liverpool Echo:

"It was very close. The deal was agreed, but in the end, there just wasn’t enough time to say ‘yes’. It was too short notice. It was too big of a decision to make in the short amount of time I had".

Lambert went on to claim that he didn't actually want to leave Liverpool:

“I didn’t think it was right for me to leave here just six months into my Liverpool career. I didn’t want to go. It was very close but I just couldn’t do it.”

If Lambert really didn't want to go, why did he agree a deal with Aston Villa? Clearly, he thought about it, and was willing to leave, so his comments seem a little contradictory.

Lambert may end up regretting his decision, though. With Sturridge back now; Sterling available as a converted striker, and Balotelli finally making an impact, it's hard to see where the 32-year old fits in, even in the FA Cup, where Rodgers is bound to play his strongest team in every round to come.

The harsh truth is that Lambert has (IMO) blown his chance at Liverpool. With Balotelli and Borini misfiring, and Sturridge out injured, Lambert had a golden opportunity to make himself the go-to striker at Anfield, but he singularly failed to do that.

Additionally, after only playing a bit-part at Liverpool, it's highly likely that Lambert will lose his place in the England squad next month. Harry Kane and Saido Berahino have a great chance of overtaking him, and unless Lambert gets a run of games, and scores a few goals, he could be facing the end of his international career.

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94 comments:

  1. He's spent his whole career kneeling and crawling towards that red shirt. He ain't gonna give it away that easily.

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  2. He will regret. BR is ruin him

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  3. Weren't people saying that about Mignolet?

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  4. The thing is that he was never going to be first choice or 2nd choice striker, but when sturridge(25) was out injured for so long.


    It gave the likes of Balotelli(24), Borini(23) and Lambert(32) the chance to stake a claim to get that second choice striker in line when Sturridge(25) got back into side.


    But none of the strikers took their chance, Balotelli(24) is top class player and will only get better. He has never ever been a workaholic type footballer, so the system we play and the high pressing and hunting the ball down when we don't have the ball is new to him. But finally it looks like he is getting more comfortable grafting and working hard without the ball for the team. And he will be a very good player for the club for many years if his confidence grows and he keeps improving with the club.


    But i hope and pray B Rodgers ships out F Borini(23) and R Lambert(32) in the summer and upgrades with these two strikers to take their place:


    S Berahino(21) Of West Brom for £15-£20M Upgrade on F Borini(23) to come and compete with D Sturridge(25) for next 3-5 years at club


    C Benteke(24) Of A Villa for £17-£22M Upgrade on R Lambert(32) to come and compete with M Balotelli(24)


    So club could have 5 descent strikers at club next season out of the 25 man squadto compete with one another all season:
    Balotelli(24) , Benteke(24) ,Berahino(21) , Origi(19) and Sturridge(25)

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  5. I for one think we should keep him. It's hard enough trying to keep a squad happy and he is happy being 3rd or 4th choice, so why are the fans so desperate to get rid of him. It's not easy to find a striker (unless a youngster) who is happy to not play week in week out, so why such a rush to get rid!?

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  6. Definitely not in a rush to get rid of him as I think he is an excellent pro, and he obviously loves Liverpool, just looking at some of the issues we have faced this season.


    At the moment there is no doubt that Sturridge is No1, and Borini has to go this summer as although his attitude is excellent he just isn't good enough to lead the line.


    Origi will be coming in as a young potential so is unlikley to play in every game, especially in the 1st half of the season while he adapts to England, so likely to be 3rd or 4th choice striker.


    That then brings us down to Balotelli. IF he continues to be used as a second striker which he and Sturridge are both better at, there is no doubt he is a better player than Lambert, however none of our strikers are as effective when we play 1 up front, which is why personally Lambert would be the most obvious to go (one reason is because other teams want to buy him without losing money which would not be the case with Balotelli) and I would like to try and get Lacezette in.

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  7. When FSG arrived we had a number of older players that where not in the first team, on big wages and that we could not off load. We ended up supplementing wages for the like of Joe Cole and Alberto Aquillani when they had left the club. I guess their involvement is to ensure that kind of ridiculous situation doesn't happen again.

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  8. If only most players had this attitude but unfortunately Lambert is only good enough to be a plan B. Nothing more, nothing less.

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  9. "his comments seem a little contradictory". Only if taken completely out of context. Quoting his full reasons for staying however......

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  10. Reading about this year's LFC season is really sad and unnerving.It seems LFC is rudderless in many pivotal decisions.... Hope they ship up and shape up in every area asap.
    By Whom?How?Why..............Hey who knows!... I am just a fan!

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  11. Let's just face it. We missed our big opportunity to sign world class players last summer after finishing second. In missing out on world class players we are also missing out on sustaining a comfortable CHL place. Instead of Reus, Griezmann, Vela, Doumbia, Cavani, Varane, Rakitic, Sanchez, Costa and others we bought average players incapable of hitting the ground running, Marko, Lovren, Lallana, Balotelli. Our best chance is hoping someone like Ibe, Ojo, Sterling or Coutinho can develop Suarez like form and hopefully try and launch a decent challenge. Then we can utilize the market properly. We have a good team for the future but top teams have both. Eg. Chelsea, Bayern, Real Madrid. If we want to be a top team, the sooner the better we start acting like one.

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  12. Exactly. I love that he is at the club and I hope he ends his career here. His attitude is spot on. He knew he wouldn't play much to begin with and I'm sure he's at peace with that.

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  13. I reckon everyone has their role to play in this. Fallows, Edwards and Hunter identify the targets. Rodgers has final say on the order of preference and the others make sure the business side of things are taken care of with one person having "the D" deciding what deals are made and which are not. So I doubt the suits are to blame for the disaster that is our transfer history under Rodgers.

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  14. Off topic, but my love for football is slightly diminished this morning after watching the revolting behaviour of those thick, fat Chelsea fans (or Englishmen) on the Paris Metro. Football still attracts these morons. Shame we can't round them up and herd them into the sea.

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  15. Did not search sorry ....but in case anyone missed this....

    Liverpool star Lazar Markovic left baffled by shock four-game European ban . He will miss both legs of their Europa League
    last-32 clash with Turkish side Besiktas - starting with tomorrow's
    first game at Anfield.The Serbian winger will also be banned for the last 16 if Liverpool make it through.Markovic was expecting a three-match ban for violent conduct.
    But UEFA gave him an extra game on top after taking into account a previous sending off for a touchline scuffle in the Europa League last May,
    while playing for Benfica.

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  16. Bit harsh by UEFA. Is Ibe in the Euro squad, do they have to register players etc?

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  17. Yeah though this is not exclusively a football issue. They are thick and prejudiced even when they are doing other things. The fat bit is optional though most seem to sign up for that as well.

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  18. I think you meant B.Rodgers(42)..... ;)

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  19. Even Gerrard couldn't end his career at (thanks to BR) Liverpool, Lambert is nobody.

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  20. No it's not definitely exclusive to football, but I suppose the football somehow gives them 'confidence' to express their prejudices openly as part of a mob of other brain-dead sheep.

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  21. I thought he explained it quite well. The deal was agreed with both clubs but in the end he just didn't have enough time to think about it and simply couldn't find it in himself to leave Liverpool. Sounds like a very emotional time and no doubt it was 50/50 there for a while. It's hard to know what the right decision would be. When he looks back in 10 years, will he value this extra time at his beloved Liverpool or regret not having as much playing time in the twilight years of his career? Only Lambert can answer that question. However I think that if another offer comes in the summer he might take it up. A young guy like Origi coming in might just be too much competition and if either Mario picks up his game or Liverpool go for another established striker the chance of Lambert getting game time will be reduced even more.


    I'm looking forward to Lambert having a few more cameo moments this season. Maybe a few key goals or assists in these cup games or a late strike to nab 3 points against someone like United or Southampton on the way to a top 4 finish. It's all very romantic.

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  22. Thanks to Rodgers? The vast majority of fans are calling for Gerrard to have reduced playing time and the manager is only just starting to oblige them. Gerrard realised that and has decided to leave. It's 100% his own decision, based on the fact that he's not going to always be first choice next year and he has too much pride to sit on the bench. What exactly is Rodgers doing "wrong" in this instance?

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  23. They really are despicable aren't they? I hate Chelsea way more than I hate United. I have a grudging respect for United and I have a soft spot for Everton in as much as I think they're a good honest club, but Chelsea? I wouldn't piss in their mouths if their teeth were on fire

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  24. Don't really think it's Rodgers fault

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  25. I expect him to leave in the summer. Give himself a full season with his boyhood club living the dream and then move on in the summer. Villa are also in a relegation battle this season, starting the season living the dream with Liverpool and ending it getting relegated with Villa would probably be too much for the poor lad to take

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  26. Ask Orme for some English tips...

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  27. Don't forget the dodgy tattos. They're a must for these knuckle-draggers

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  28. I agree, Origi has been very poor every time I've tried to watch him on BT Sport, I've heard and read some reports that say his head has already moved to Liverpool so hopefully that is the case.


    Also he must have something about him if he was keeping Benteke and Lukaku out of the Belgian team.


    If Origi is more similar to Sterling then that makes us very heavy in those supporting positions so I hope his work rate is good as we will have him, Sterling, Coutinho,Ibe, Lallana and Markovic all pushing for 2 positions or wing backs which then puts Moreno into the mix.


    Going with Sturridge, Balotelli and Lambert with hopefully Lacezette with Origi learning the ropes as striker/attacking midfielder that would give us a lot of flexibility, speed and variety so would not be unhappy at that.


    Nice problem to have.

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  29. Just laughing at your reply.


    Class!

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  30. ...must have something about him if he was keeping Benteke and Lukaku out of the Belgian team...to be quite honest I'm 47 and I reckon I could have kept them two out the team this year based on their club form.
    Origi plays out on the wing and cuts in very similar to Sterling and Ibe...I'm yet to be convinced that he is even a striker

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  31. I like Berahino and think he would complement us extremely well, although I think we will struggle to get him for less than £20m.


    My fear with Benteke is that he has not shown the qualities we know he has since he has come back from his injury. Also I can't imagine him wanting to be 3rd or 4th choice striker, although if he plays well the pecking order can always change.


    Would also be very hard to keep 5 strikers happy and sharp.


    Lacezette would be my first choice, although not an issue with Barahino. Both would be less expensive on wages at this stage as I think Benteke would want near £100kpw and not worth that.


    Agree though that both those options would be an upgrade on what we have.

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  32. What do we know about
    Michael Edwards [director of performance]; Dave Fallows [director of scouting]; Barry Hunter?

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  33. Villa getting relegated will be too much for Birmingham to take. Wouldn't want to be on Broad Street on that Sunday afternoon. But wouldn't it have been odd that they sacked one Lambert while they signed another?

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  34. The scouting network and the Transfer committee need to go, their poor transfer failings in the last 5 years has been comical.


    And something has to change soon


    With all these new sponsorship deals we keep hearing the manager in charge ( Rodgers if he makes top 4) or a new manager if he does not should be given a minimum of £70M to spend without having to sell any star players. And then whatever he can bring in clearing all the dead wood average or on their last legs players off clubs books he should be given also to strengthen squad considerably with real class and quality.


    Top Class and World class players consistantly provide top class quality performances and that is why they are paid so well, if Owners and Manager want to bring those type of players to club they need to be willing to pay them the top rate top class and world class players earn .

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  35. I think Berahino(21) will only get better over years and he is an out and out finisher. And if he had top class, quality attackers creating chances for him week in week out he would guarantee a club 16-30 goals if he stayed injury and suspension free during season.


    Benteke(24) is low on confidence, playing for a poor A Villa side that is create chances and score goals. A confident Fully fit injury Benteke(24) would terrorise any centre back in the world.


    I think if we brought in Berahino(21) and Benteke(24).


    I honestly think B Rodgers or a new manager would play
    Benteke(24) and Sturridge(25) as his first choice partnership. And if everyone is confident, fully fit injury and suspension free then these two would cause any team problems.


    Balotelli(24) and Berahino(21) would bethe clubs second choice partnership butthey would still terrorise defences and score goals for fun.


    And i think Origi(19) needs a few years out on loan before he becomes first team regular, he look to raw still.

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  36. plus Suso Shakiri ,Suarez,.Sanchez ,Bony

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  37. Dave Fallows and Barry Hunter brought in from Swansea by BR ??

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  38. Interesting thought re Origi and given his age it may be worth loaning him out for a year to a Prem side.


    If that was the case I would loan him out to WBA in a deal that sees Berahino move to us.


    I understand your points re Benteke, however my fear would then be we would have 4 strikers, all of a very similar age, with Origi coming into the fold within the next 18 months.


    If they are all playing well Origi has nowhere to go, Lambert would give us a natural progression. Also a cheaper option at this stage which will enable us to put much needed funds towards a quality keeper to takeover/challenge Mignolet and another quality midfielder to support/challenge Lucas who remains our only defensive minded midfielder.

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  39. Pity Lambert 5m did not go ,so that we could have got Ings for 3m in the winter transfer period.
    Lacazette must still be Liverpools first choice to replace Balotelli in summer.
    Barahino is way over priced at 20m !

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  40. I agree. I respect United a lot more than I respect United. United have a lot of similarities with us, and view Liverpool and United as bickering cousins. But I absolutely can't stand the local Chelsea fans, and I could rattle on for hours about why I can't, but I'll give a snippet. They're a bunch of absolutely disrespectful snobbish louts. I watch a game at the Bridge, and it's full of high-nosed w*nkers in the stands with Louis Vuitton satchels and Burberry scarves. And man, don't get me started on the way they sing. That 'Chelsea Chelsea' chant? Jesus Christ. What an abomination of a go-to team song. It amuses me every time when you hear them try to deepen their voice as low as possible and force the words out like they're taking a massive s***. The Chelsea lot seem to have a bigger minority of tw*ts and thugs than other clubs.

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  41. Absolutely mate

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  42. You look at fans at Anfield, and they just look like a good honest bunch of Scousers. The same at United, the same at Everton, the same at Spurs, the same at Arsenal. But Chelsea? Eugh.

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  43. To say he singularly failed to take his opportunity at LFC is a bit harsh JK. At the end of the day Lambert has never been and never will be up to the standards required to be a first choice striker for LFC. He was bought as a backup, Plan B option and nothing has really changed, that is what he is.

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  44. I think that idea of loaning Origi(19) to West Brom would be good idea and then hopefully we could get Berahino(21) for a cheaper value.


    The thing is if club have 4 top class quality strikers at club, competing with one another week in week out, game in game out, we will always have goals in side and healthy competition for places.


    And the thing is if club had 4 top class strikers at club, when one or two are out injured, we would have two like for like replacements in place to take over.


    Because if we had Berahino(21) instead of Borini(23) and Lambert(32) at club this season when D Sturridge(25) was injured i am sure he would have scored 6-12 goals in that time.

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  45. I would piss in their mouths if their teeth *weren't* on fire. Get me an appointment to do so. I will eat a bunch of asparagus the night before.

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  46. Totally agree. They epitomise everything that's wrong with the modern game

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  47. I'd highly recommend going to the ECHO article JK linked to.


    JK left out the part of the quote where Lambert specifically stated he had a 2 1/2 year deal on the table from Villa and that he couldn't make such a huge commitment on behalf of his family and his career in just a few hours.

    Lambert also clearly stated that Rodgers told him he didn't want him to go, but would respect his decision either way.

    He also explained how when he went through a similar transfer scenario years ago and was literally driving to the medical while agreeing to terms on the deal, and how taxing it was on him.

    His comments don't seem nearly as contradictory when more of the quotes are provided to enhance his explanation of his stance on why he stayed.

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  48. So if it was your money you wouldn't want any input - get real!

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  49. That Lavessi guy was very ordinary last night after all the big fuss - FORGET HIM

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  50. This again? It's not necessary to post the whole quote. It's still contradictory, irrespective of the other stuff:

    * Lambert says he agreed a deal. 'Everything was agreed', and the deal was 'very close'.

    * He also says he 'didn't want to go'.

    This is the point, and the other comments about his family/rodgers etc do not chance the fact that he agreed a deal to leave even though he allegedly didn't want to.

    If he didn't want to leave, why agree a deal to leave. That's the issue.

    This obsession with posting every single comment in an interview is ridiculous. I don't see you and others asking for that when it's a statement you agree with.

    When it comes to quotes, I'm in favour of brevity, not reproducing huge swathes of an interview.

    Nothing in Lambert's other comments changes the meaning of the points raised in this article.

    That's the whole reason why there's a link to the full interview: if people want to read the whole quote, they can.

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  51. Nobody said that, ever before.

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  52. Do you know for a fact neither have knowledge of football? Do you know them on a personal level and know everything they do with their time? Or are you making an assumption based on the fact they are American. They may have said they knew little when they took over, but do you really think that two savvy business men just invested tons of money with out actually taking time to learn?

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  53. You do realize he was offered a new contract right? That it was Gerrard wanting to consistently play that ultimately had GERRARD deciding it was best to leave.

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  54. Unfortunately there is a small minority of fans across all clubs that behave badly and I would rather not get that close to and in my case I'd have to get pretty close.

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  55. Could you spot a player, realistically if someone gave you 20m quid and said buy me the best, for example, right back you can, would you know who to buy if your job was on the line. The 'suits' could probably investigate character and background but to choose a player from a purely football perspective, surely this takes years of hands on experience.

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  56. They are. Sorry I mean they are not so I have to agree to disagree with both of you.

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  57. Should've gone to specsavers ;-)

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  58. You're right... it's not necessary to include the entire quote or interview.


    But the title and subsequent quotes you chose were catering specifically to your argument and gave a different perception than to what the entire interview actually portrayed. You put it all in a vacuum when there was significantly more to the story and it seemed that you left out significant parts of the interview because it didn't suit your argument.

    When choosing to cover the topic, you picked the quote where he admitted the deal was agreed, and you picked one other quote that quickly summarized why he stayed (which makes it seem like that's the end of the interview).


    When someone uses quotes and then links to the article/interview, there's an inherent assumption that the quotes are used to portray summarize the article as a whole.


    And you picked a headline saying that the player considered the idea to "quit Anfield", as opposed to a headline of "chose to stay" (or something more in the middle of the two).


    If one were to read the entire interview, it was obvious that there was a lot more to the story of why he stayed and while there was serious consideration to leaving, the reasons to stay outweighed the reasons to leave (which Lambert goes into detail).


    Additionally you make it seem as though this is some sort of affront to fans because he seriously considered the idea to "quit Anfield for Aston Villa", even going so far as to admittedly having the deal agreed.


    And then you go on to talk about how difficult it could be to get playing time here. Which in itself is contradictory on your part since you seem to be holding it against him for considering a departure even though you explain why he may regret staying and how he's blown his chance here.


    Finally, the reason why people here such as myself take exception to the coverage of these types of topics here is because you're usually critical of someone by using elements of quotes that support that critique and leaving out quotes that don't support that critique. At that point, it's not about agreeing/disagreeing with your critique. It's about the feeling that there's an element of deception by omission.

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  59. I thought there were 7 of us?

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  60. Jaimie being the Snow White?

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  61. All I know is that I'm Grumpy

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  62. Why would any players you mentioned join us over clubs like Madrid, Barc, Chelsea, Man City etc...

    You need to join the real world where things like money, Champions League presences and a recent history of winning trophies matter and not history

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  63. They have a lot of experience with contract holdouts.

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  64. Interesting. Doesn't really worry me, I'd probably rather have them on it than Owen, Savage and Hargreaves!

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  65. I'd rather not have a closer look at their f***ing vile fans.

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  66. Why on earth do you think that the people who are funding the transfers are not allowed a say in where their money is going? Add to that the business experience that both Warner and Henry have. Do you think that a player is brought into a club ONLY for what he dies on the park with the ball?

    Big commercial and sponsorship deals are done because of players, Liverpool have been fortunate over the years to have some names that add value to a sponsorship deal. THAT is why our owners get involved.

    Perhaps you would like to add your name to help them out Jamie? Either that or get them to follow the stories you regurgitate from other sites? Thoughts?

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  67. You've got it compeletly wrong. The fact we came 2nd should mean we could attract more players, top class players. Reus never moved nor Vela or Doumbia, whom were/are all at clubs below LFC's level at the moment. Nevermind last season. Last season should of been a platform to carry on.

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  68. I suspect John Henry placed himself on the committee after we signed stars like carroll, adams and allen! its equivalent of you giving some builders 100 grand to build you a house only to come back and they have built it out of pallets!!

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  69. colonel cocknocker11:36 pm, February 18, 2015

    Lifted from This is Anfield -

    "Fallows, along with chief scout Barry Hunter, joined Liverpool from Manchester City in September 2012, having been approached prior to Brendan Rodgers’ arrival. They were placed on ‘gardening leave’ by City and thus could not officially work for Liverpool in last summer’s transfer window."

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  70. Burnley made it very clear that Ings was not going to be allowed to leave in January so losing Lambert would have just left us 1 short, although I think Sterling would have been seen as cover, especially with Ibe returning.


    Berahino is an interesting one, I rate him and agree with other comments he will only get better, especially with the quality and quantity of supply, but I would only want to lay out £15m upfront with add ons taking the figure beyond £20m.


    Totally agree with Lacazette but I personally would keep Balotelli as I think he is starting to find his feet with how the team is set up.

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  71. colonel cocknocker11:42 pm, February 18, 2015

    obviously this was written some time ago, just to be clear x

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  72. Just found a stat that Chelsea have handed out more bans to their fans for racism than other club in the EPL in the last 10 years (apart from West Ham). They both lead the way with 19, followed by Spurs at 17. Liverpool are all the way down at 6, United at 7, Arsenal at 10.

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  73. I'm not surprised mate, your earlier description of them just being a cashed up Millwall sums it up nicely

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  74. That figure will probably now go from 19 to around 23-25

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  75. Apparently everybody on here can. They also apparently know the ends and outs of business deals as well. They know the exact team that needs to be fielded so we would always win. All without going to a single practice or ever being a part of negotiations.

    Spotting players is learned just like anything else. These owners don't just plunge in and buy for the sake of sentiment or desire to have, such as AVB at chelsea(Torres, Shevchenko). They found a coach with certain fundamentals, set standards and have found players to fit both. They are business men and know there limits but also invest wisely.

    But sure I could find the best rb in the world. Will he fit into your system, or Rodgers, or Mourinho's. Maybe, maybe not. It's never been a perfect art form, every single owner and manager makes mistakes. Every player is a gamble. But to outright claim someone is clueless without having personal knowledge is slanderous.

    For all we know those owners spend 8 hrs studying baseball players, 8 hrs studying football(soccer) players, and 8 hrs sleeping. Rinse and repeat.

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  76. No....! Serenity now!

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  77. The classiest statement of the year....(YUCK!)

    "I wouldn't piss in their mouths if their teeth were on fire."

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  78. Problem is they don't want ready-made stars; Rodgers has called for ready-made players often enough, and Werner has just said they're looking for 'long term solutions' or something along those lines. The problem is not the committee itself but the thinking behind it. The club needs to change its policy if we're to really go for top players with potentially minimal resale value.

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  79. Well we can not expect to really compete with likes of Man City, Man United, Chelsea in challenging for the league anytime soon then as whilst those clubs are buying ready made stars to increase their standard, we are buying potential with hope that in 2-4 years they will be a success.


    The transfer committee, the scouting network, the policy of buying just potential needs to be abolished.

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  80. What the problem here?

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  81. So? Where your fuc _king brilliant view then?

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  82. If he stay at Soton or move to Villa he may had bigger chance step back to eng squad

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  83. how the hell in BR ruining him!?!? He chose to come to LFC knowing full well that he would only play a bit part, he had chance to leave and chose to stay...so I repeat...how the hell is BR ruining him!?

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