16 Feb 2015

LFC Chief: 'Exceptional' £10m attacker will arrive at Liverpool this summer and help the team remain 'excellent'

After months of ridiculous, overwrought hype, it all seems to be going wrong for Divock Origi at Lille; despite starting most games for the club, Origi hasn't scored a goal for Lille since October 2nd (!), but this doesn't appear to faze Liverpool chairman Tom Werner.

With only one goal in four months, Origi is in the midst of a worrying barren spell, and it's no coincidence that it's happening at a time when the hype over his ability is at fever pitch.

The fawning over Origi is embarrassing, and in a recent interview, Werner added to the tornado of execrable ego-massage. He told reporters:

“We are going to add an exceptional striker to that mix next year in Divock Origi. So I think that we have a nucleus of a team that will continue to be excellent".

Here are some other examples of Origi being irresponsibly overhyped.

Brendan Rodgers: "We took a player in Divock Origi who we believe will be world-class. Now he is a top player. He has everything — the speed, the profile and so on"

Vincent Kompany: "He is very gifted and talented [and] an outstanding worker in training. Technically, he’s a monster, and in a few years he will be become one of the five or ten best strikers in the world"

Stan Collymore: "Liverpool must move heaven and earth to get Divock Origi now and save their season. If the price to sign him is £10m [on top of the £10m already paid] it will be worth every penny"

Rene Girard: “He's going to continue improving...and show he's one of Europe's greats. He's a boy who has the makings of a great player. He has all the attributes."

Simon Kjaer: "Origi is one of the greatest talents I have ever played with. He could be a truly great player for Liverpool and can become on of the best players in his position. A special thing about him is that he has no real weak spots".

Rodgers, Kjaer et al should be ashamed for putting such intolerable pressure on Origi. It's simply impossible for him to live up to all the superlatives, and as I predicted six months ago, he is now crashing and burning as a result of the mental weight of expectation. Stats this season:

* Origi: 4 goals/3 assists in 30 apps.
* Goal every 524 minutes (1 every 5.8 games)
* 1435 minutes without a goal.

'Exceptional'? Clearly not.

It seems Reds legend Alan Hansen got it right about Origi. Over the summer, when Rodgers and his praise-whores were putting the youngster on a pedestal, he seemed less than enthused by striker's talents. He told Telegraph

"Origi has a long way to go before being the finished article. He has genuine pace, but he is also raw and displayed some wayward finishing. He is young and has potential, but you cannot ignore his rawness".

To be fair, I don't blame Origi for his creative paucity; he's a teenager, and inconsistency goes with the territory. I blame Rodgers, Kompany, and anyone else who carelessly fans the flames of gross hype with sycophantic effusions of irresponsible overpraise.

Perhaps Origi will suddenly turn into goalscoring superstar at Anfield; I certainly hope so, but on current evidence, I can't see it.

Author:



103 comments:

  1. Considering his stats, he is certainly overrated. However, his overall game play is pretty decent but still doesn't warrant such high praise. We will have to ignore all the hype and wait until he arrives. If he doesn't hit the ground running, all these hype will backfire the player which will be harsh on him. Hope he gets time to gel in with the squad and get used to how Liverpool play. He is still very young and he should be given at least one full season to settle in.

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  2. One player who has impressed me is Zek Clough reminds me of a young Bearsley he is a natural now that a player i love at Anfield

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  3. It seems to me Ibe has all the 'attributes' Origi is supposed to have, along with just as much 'potential'.

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  4. I think we are definitely going to sign some (at least one) Roma players this summer. Club owners of Liverpool and Roma share good business relationships. Few points of my research:-

    1) Both owned by Americans
    2) Roma is owned by Thomas DiBenedetto, (67% controlling share). Private equity tycoon DiBenedetto is a partner in Fenway Sports Group (FSG) , the parent company of Liverpool's owners.
    3) Pre-season friendly at Boston Red Sox
    4) On 23 June 2012, Roma paid Parma €5.3 million on blind auction, and signed the other 50% of Fabio Borini's rights. One month later when BR wanted to sign Borini, Roma sold him. One month after buying him?
    Borini was disappointed, he said "I planned to spend a little more in Rome - I even bought a house in town - but football is unpredictable."

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  5. If it's just a capability to carry a team, then Okocha and Bony should be claimed as world class too (as well as Kevin Phillips, remember him at Sunderland 1999-2000!?!); or should the definition to be capable to carry a world class team?


    Moreover, you ignore the greatness of Weah at AC Milan in the mid 90's. Furthermore, that definition of being (single-handedly?) capable to carry a team is incredibly discriminatory towards defensive players whose contribution comes through team play. Thus, it implies that there are only very few, if any, world class defenders in the history of football. Yet still, L. Yashin and F. Cannavaro have also won the Ballon D'or.


    I still contend that both Essien and Kolo Toure have been world class players at their peak. Essien was able to continue the wonderful defensive legacy of Makelele at Chelsea and at his best there wasn't many top class teams that weren't interested of his services. The same goes for Kolo; at his best in Arsenal he had his brief shining moment of creating a world class pairing with Sol Campbell as part of the invincibles.

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  6. Ibe seems to be the real deal

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  7. It all depends how Origi is going to adapt to the pace and physical side of the EPL and life in England.


    What we need is a prolific goals scorer to be signed at the start of next season but the question that remains is who will want to join us? Oh yes, Ings does...

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  8. Now you are ignoring the impact of Sir Bobby Charlton in 1966. Although, his impact in general was more considerable for the club teams he played in.

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  9. Its good that BR stands up for his players , but praising them so much is also counter productive .

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  10. When Divock Origi plays for Belgium, he looks special.Let's hope Origi brings International form to Anfield.Lille performances won't be good enough to cut the mustard!

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  11. Jordan Ibe has taken to the PL like a duck to water.

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  12. Some research brother

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  13. Part of the problem is he playing in an absolutely dire football team this year. I've watched Lille on several occasions and they are the most negative, boring team I've ever witnessed. I think he will prove much better when wearing the red shirt next year but obviously still a very long way to go before anyone can call him 'exceptional'.

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  14. I think BR was definitely doing some transfer business in Rome.

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  15. Roma are basically owned by FSG as well. I would be happy if we signed Pjanic or Nainggolan

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  16. Maybe indirect ownership. But I doubt it would be any meaningful percentage of ownership because single company/group/person cannot own more than one European club under UEFA rule.

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  17. Perhaps I wrote that a bit backawrads but Thomas DiBenedetto by being part of FSG has some kind of share in LFC so in theory there is a very close link between the 2... FSG don't actually own Roma of course.

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  18. We can say that FSG have meaningful ownership in Liverpool and small indirect ownership in Roma.

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  19. No more dud Italians please.

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  20. Once he comes here he will be good. Lille are extremely poor.

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  21. I saw every one of his matches with Belgium (i'm belgian) and i've not been impressed by this guy at all.

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  22. Well you've come to the right place then ;-)

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  23. Breakdown of teams challenging for 4th place. Got it off Skysports. We have the most difficult of them all.

    Liverpool

    Liverpool travel to Southampton, Arsenal and Chelsea, with City and United to play at Anfield

    Average opponent position: 9.5

    Points already won against remaining opposition: 23

    Liverpool – on paper, at least – have the toughest run in of the lot, with the final 13 sides they have to face averaging a Premier League position of 9.5. The Reds have seven away games remaining, including trips to Southampton, Arsenal and Chelsea, with Man City and Man United to play at Anfield. Liverpool have taken 23 points from their remaining opponents already this season and a repeat would leave them with 65 points. However, that total would only have secured seventh last season. Will their Europa League tests act as a distraction or a fillip?

    Man United

    United visit Liverpool and Chelsea, with Man City and Arsenal to play at Old Trafford

    Average opponent position: 9.9

    Points already won against remaining opposition: 23

    Manchester United have the second-toughest remaining fixtures, with the opponents they have left to face averaging a Premier League position of 9.9. United have seven away games to play, including visits to Liverpool and Chelsea. Louis van Gaal’s side will also host Man City and Arsenal at Old Trafford. However, unlike Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham they do not have to worry about European competition – although, if they can only match the 23 points they’ve already taken off their remaining opponents, that will leave them with 70 points, which would have secured sixth last year.

    Arsenal

    Arsenal travel to United, and play Liverpool and Chelsea at home

    Average opponent position: 11.1

    Points already won against remaining opposition: 27

    Arsenal have a better run-in in theory to Liverpool and Manchester United, and have one less away day than the other teams in the hunt. They can also take heart from the fact they have already taken 27 points from their remaining opponents. However, a repeat of that haul would leave them on 72 points which would only have seen them finish fifth last term. That means they’ll have to be at their best for their trip to Old Trafford and home games with Liverpool and Chelsea. How a Champions League run would affect them remains to be seen.

    Tottenham

    Tottenham visit United and Southampton and play Man City at White Hart Lane

    Average opponent position: 11.4

    Points already won against remaining opposition: 28

    In terms of points already gained, Tottenham have the best run-in of the five teams we’re examining. Spurs have garnered 28 points from the opponents they have left to face – who average a league position of 11.4 - although a repeat would see them finish with 71 points, which was only good enough for sixth last season. With away days at Manchester United and Southampton to come, plus a clash with Manchester City at White Hart Lane, Mauricio Pochettino’s men will have to find a way to balance their Europa League commitments and top-four charge.

    Southampton

    Southampton travel to Chelsea and Man City and face Liverpool and Spurs at home

    Average opponent position: 11.7

    Points already won against remaining opposition: 21

    Southampton have the easier finish to the season on paper, with their opponents averaging a league position of 11.7 – but, of the five clubs we’re looking at, Saints have also taken the fewest points from the remaining teams they have to face. Like United, Southampton don’t have to worry about European distractions, but trips to top two, Chelsea and Man City, plus home fixtures with Liverpool and Tottenham, will give Ronald Koeman’s side plenty to focus on. Another 21-point haul would only get them to 67 points, which would have seen them finish seventh last season.

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  24. Don't believe the hype. At the end of the day games against rival teams are actually beneficial if we can get positive results because not only do we gain 3 points our rivals won't be getting 3 points. Add into the mix we were poor for the first 15 or so games and the reality is we have as good a chance as any to make top 4. We are also the form team so I really wouldn't pay much attention to that analysis at all.

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  25. Yup agreed with that. Personally don't see many players other than the 2 I mentioned who would be of any interest to us though. Bear in mind our recent success rate of buying Italian players as well.

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  26. Yes, Origi is a bit overhyped. But Lille has no good creative player in the team. Also, Kompany is a team-mate of Origi and played with him in the WC. So, if he is saying that Origi is a good player, I would believe him.

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  27. He is barely outstanding at the moment

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  28. This also means that we are dependant on ourselves to qualify for top 4. If we win our games against other top 4 rivals, we will qualify. Therefore, it can be seen as a positive also.

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  29. He is barely average at the moment if truth be told but he clearly has something about him. A change of scenery can sometimes reignite a players career...it could go both ways but for 10 million in today's market is hardly a massive hit to take on someone who has the potential to be a very good player.

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  30. He is only 19 mate. One of the best young players at the last World Cup. Lille are also struggling and their fans turned on Origi a while back.

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  31. I heard he was on holiday and that he took his speedos with him.
    There now try and get that image out of your mind ;-)

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  32. I thought he looked fantastic in Brazil.He played much better than Romelu Lakaku.Making a big impact with every sub appearance until he forced his way into the team, which relegated Lakaku to the bench.
    Divock Origi hasn't performed well this season, but i'm not ready to put him in the garbage truck.I think our attacking system suits his game.With better service from our creatives, I don't think his stats will look like trash.

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  33. Fairclough was world class too but only for one brief though unforgettable moment

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  34. What about the city and new York whatever who Lampard did and didn't sign for in the summer? It would be good if we were being sneaky too.

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  35. His form an overpriced could well be a coincidence. I don't watch french football or certainly not much this season but aren't Lille really poor? Isn't Origi played out wide? Could there be a million other factors.
    I wonder if I used the term agenda where's I would get banned?

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  36. Heh, yeah, true. Though, the players I'm referring, their status lasted at least a few seasons rather than just one memorable moment.

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  37. Origi is not breaking any pots in the French league, which is pretty worrying as my mum could bang the goals in there. I'm not at all sure he will be the next big anything, except maybe transfer mistake.

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  38. I think it might actually be because these countries were French colonies and they speak French, not some dastardly or clever French plot to take all the African talent.

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  39. He knows he is not a Lille player, so he is saving his goal scoring abilities for LFC : Just being hopeful

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  40. I still cannot see us getting 4th place. We have left ourselves with too much to do. With Chelsea, Arsenal and Southampton all away it would be the end of the road if we cannot win at least two of these matches. 7 of our remaining 13 are away from home.

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  41. As i mentioned...you can't buy two 'European' clubs or in other words...clubs which are under UEFA. City can buy New York as it is out of Europe. They also have stake in some Australian club. The UEFA law makes sense. Imagine club like PSG buying Southampton, Malaga and Schalke and usiing them as their feeder club. Thats some football fantasy stuff right there.

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  42. hes a young kid who doesn't want to be there and may well be trying to avoid injury so unteachable may not be giving his all

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  43. There's no disputing we are going to have to do things the hard way after our poor start but its far from impossible. We shouldn't be too worried about Arsenal and Southampton away, both winnable games. Chelsea (mainly Mourinho) is always a touch one for us but if we were to lose one this would probably be the best of the three as we aren't going to catch them. 7 out of 13 being away is hardly a big difference. Plenty of reasons to be optimistic although I very much doubt you will see any of them!!!

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  44. In the second last paragraph you quite rightly say you don't blame Origi as he's a teenager and inconsistency comes with the territory but you then say you blame Rodgers, Kompany etc. Blame them for what? A teenager who's at a different club from themselves inconsistent form?
    Anyway we've done this to death. You think it's a huge deal, nobody else thinks it's that big a deal... And so on.

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  45. Arsenal ALWAYS finish top for mate. This season will be no different.


    Everyone said Southampton was going to fade away but they keep on racking up the points.

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  46. I said greatly improve us, and yes I don't know how much he'd improve us, nobody does, but IMO he won't.

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  47. I live in France, I watch Lille play, and I can tell you even Messi wouldn't have 10 goals by now in that team. Overhere they're considered the most boring team in Ligue 1.
    Recently they played a league cup semi-final against PSG and hardly went out of their own half of the pitch, whilst they were trailing. Truly and utterly shocking tactics.
    And Origi mostly plays on the wings and that's clearly not his best position. Not to mention wingers at Lille are pretty much full backs.

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  48. Yeah he's clearly a talented player with some great strengths. Quite a lot of football fans just ain't that good at seeing an individual's attributes -- thus people writing off Danny Ings as not good enough, for example...

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  49. But he will likely sign another deal before seasons end he isnt going to be played as a wing back and this rumour has been done to death.
    And dont try putting words in my mouth about smarter this smarter that jog on lady.

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  50. To some extent yes, but it's not unheard of for African players to be tapped up. Didier Drogba was sent to France as a child but said he resisted the opportunity to play for France due to a sense of loyalty to Africa. It can happen especially when you've got a poor kid with the hopes of his family on his shoulders. Playing dor France can suddenly seem to be the best option.

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  51. 1 Goal made him one of the best young players hmmm.

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  52. They own Melbourne City and they are crap.

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  53. It's ok. Origi, Sturrige, Balotelli and a stud striker (we're going to buy one, right?) are a good quartet and enough for a season even if we're in Europe. It's only problematic if Origi by himself is expected to be a game changer but as part of our squad I feel he's an upgrade on Borini.

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  54. 100% correct. I'd use watching a Lille game as a punishement for any misbehaving kid. René Girard should be embarrassed for advocating such dire football.
    Origi might not be a world beater just yet but for me we can't judge him on his performances at Lille, they are not a football team. He has got good movement and pace, I'd like to see what he has to offer in a team that plays to his strenghts.

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  55. Who says he wont re sign plenty of time for that also wage wise a luxury another moderate player moderate fans crave.
    He has been linked with us for years and never come dont believe this drivel for a minute.
    Also dont try putting words in my mouth stick to the agenda ok it will make you look at least a little bit intelligent.

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  56. Yeah It's a real shame we can't play all our matches at home ;-)

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  57. I don't watch Ligue 1 but I've heard similar from elsewhere. The boy's obviously not having a good time of it at Lille, sooner he joins up with us the better

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  58. Haha how about Lacazette........deja vu

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  59. 7 out of 13 games are away. There must be a conspiracy against us, unbelievable :)

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  60. I have my doubts about Danny Ings and think Liverpool can do better.
    That doesn't make me bad at seeing how an individuals attributes can fit into our team!

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  61. I disagree all the players who are hyped up and over praised seem to go into a sudden decline yet all those who are lambasted and written off go on to rise like a phoenix from the flames.

    I remember a young Ronaldo always getting praised as if he was something special and Andy Carroll being called a right Lummox and just look how their fortunes have turned around.

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  62. seriously 7 out of 13??
    from what i see we are not doing bad on road to be scared about

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  63. Say LFC win the Europa League but finish fifth or sixth and ManU finish fourth. With the winner qualifying for the CL, would that mean ManU get pushed to the Europa for next season? If so, that would be my ideal end to the season!

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  64. Yup nothing motivates young people like being microscopically scrutinised and constantly reminded that they're nothing special

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  65. Thats the thing. Hes 20 when he comes to us. We signed him for the next ten years. Not the next one. I would expect us to bring in someone ready to compete with Sturridge this summer because we cant be too reliant on just Sturridge and Origi. Two years from now well be singing the praises of the people who brought in Can and Origi, worth over 100 million combined, for a mere 20 million.

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  66. Who gives a d@mn what Sky thinks, we will still qualify ;-)

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  67. Goodbyhing Pjanic and Raida are Bosnian and Belgian then

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  68. See what happened when he is in a red shirt. Anything could happen!! He will either be as shit as joe Allen or as good as coutinho.

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  69. My mistake. Thanks for the info as well. It's good to get informed on these forums now and again.

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  70. I don't think project ting earlier form is worth while. I would like to see how we are after the city game and extrapolate from there. We have had some good form but lesser opposition. Do Soto and get something from City and we can see what's what.

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  71. If Liverpool end February 4 points from top 4, they will have a great chance than any other team as they have the easiest run in from March (United, Arsenal and Chelsea) along with Southampton (Chelsea, Everton, Spurs and City) and Arsenal (Liverpool, United, Chelsea, Everton) to some extent.

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  72. i saw the headline on kicknews and knew it was just you whinging again.WHAT IS THE POINT OF YOUR CONSTANT MOANING..ask yourself that ..if you wanted conversations about lfc you would put forward both sides positive and negative not just constant depressing moans.

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  73. Lukaku was tired so i hear and i doubt he will ever be as good as Lukaku.

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  74. Lukaku's overrated imo

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  75. Maybe yes but i think Origi has done little to prove his reputation too.

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  76. Yea at the moment he's got potential that's about it

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  77. Yes and i hope people remember that if a bit of responsibility falls on his shoulders next season in many quarters he will be expected to hit the ground running i dont see it that way either.

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  78. To his credit, this is kind of what I suggested he needed to do: show a concrete example of a player being over-hyped and failing to develop. Of course it could still be completely coincidental but none the less it's clear enough that the two have coincided. Origi was given lots of praise and it's possible he may have suffered from that.

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  79. They carried their teams. By your definition, Messi is not world class either. Just admit I'm right and carry on.

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  80. No mate! I'm just happy to disagree. For you not to recognise George Weah as world class, I can't ever agree with you. Both Mess & CR still had magical moments in world cups & "carried their team".

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  81. Childish Orme.
    Do you not have any points about the actual topic?

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  82. Players playing in good teams DOES NOT make the individual players world class. I would accept 3 of the 7 you named. Essien, Yaya, and Drogba.
    The biggest problem I have observed with african players is not their ability with their feet. It's their poor decision making.
    Great Athleticism, great feet.......but rarely pick the right option.

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  83. George Weah was not world class. He scored a lot of goals in just one season and lived off the back of it for the rest of his career.

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  84. Absolutely agree. There is a Massive difference between a world class player and a player who was fortunate enough to play in a world class team.
    Example....Carlos Poyal. Was he a world class player, or a player who was lucky enough to play in a world class team.

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  85. This is actually a really good point. Thanks for your input.
    However, untill this situation changes. The 'talent' coming out of africa does not make the 'world class' rating.
    It's not the ability of african players that i question. It is their brains. African players are often very athletic, often have good feet, but rarely choose the right options during a game.
    I would question the facilities argument though. South America is not really any better than africa for this.
    Personally i would suggest it's more to do with their footballing education than the facilities available.

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  86. In no way does that put the FACT to bed.
    For a start, Zidane was french of Algerian decent . Never lived in africa. Never got his footballing education from africa. Same applies to Evra.
    Kanu?? oh my god...seriously?? You have a very low standard of world class.
    And you say that africa has produced good players. Maybe thats true. But good is not world class is it.......I'm a good player, doesn't make me world class.
    My issue with african players is not their ability with their feet but their brains. Often african players have very good technique and are usually pretty athletic. However, their ability to choose the right options during games is always in question.

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  87. Really good players are not world class players are they.

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  88. Now we are arguing about who fits into a categorization without making any assertions about the definition of that categorization. My conception of a world-class player is that the player must have had an irreplaceable impact on a team that excels in the highest competitive levels of football (e.g. ability to chase title in Champions League, Europa League, EPL, La Liga, Serie A or Bundesliga) and to do so consistently.


    I'll admit that Weah, A. Pele and perhaps K. Toure only barely makes into this definition due to their relative short durability at the very top, but Eto'o certainly makes it with ease. The question remains what is your definition of world class and what makes you to cut Weah, Pele and Kolo out (I'm assuming that exclusion of Eto'o was an error)?

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  89. South America isn't war-torn and famine riddled the way africa is though, although I take nothing away from the poverty and social problems that their young players face, it's nothing to what a young Somalian is going to have to overcome to make it to the elite level of the game.
    The decision making you speak of as well is also linked to a complete lack of coaching. Unless an African player is lucky enough to be signed by a European club as a youth player then the chances of him having a good footballing education are slim

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  90. Did you actually watch any of the African cup of Nations?
    The lack of quality is utterly shocking!!
    I have watched games on a Sunday morning that would totally eclipse the level of quality on display in that competition.
    And don't forget those guys are 'supposed' to be professionals on huge amounts of money.

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  91. I mostly agree with you. I would say that your example of Somalia is a really good one, but could be countered by talking about the plight of Bolivia. The situation there is fairly similar to Somalia, just not as talked about..

    The rest i completely agree with. The thing is it's not a footballing problem is it. Untill the world can get a hold of it's self and stop fighting each other then there's no way to get good quality coaching to those areas and the situation wont really change.

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  92. Exactly mate. Good point about Bolivia but the same principle applies - when was the last time Bolivia produced a world class player?

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  93. I would agree with your assessment of what constitutes a world class player. With the addition of the ability to have that same irreplaceable impact on another team having been transferred.
    With that in mind, i would say that my exclusion of Eto'o was not a mistake but more of an acknowledgement that he was good in a good team, but wasn't able to continue that level when moving to other clubs. I'm not really a big fan of his, but at least Drogba was good for all the clubs he played for. Not just one of them.

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  94. True!
    So the question remains. Do we want world class players at LFC? And if we do, should we be taking african players (or south american players) who have not been fortunate enough to receive the right kind of footballing education.
    Unfortunate as it might be, untill the situations change in those areas of the world change, then those parts of the world are going to continue to fail to produce world class players. What should LFC do about it? Take an average player to be kind. Or pass over that player for a better one?

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  95. I think it would be foolish to have a policy of not taking them as I think Chelsea fans would testify to having had Drogba and Essien in their pomp.
    A lot comes down to a players age as well. If he is still young then it's possible to educate them if they have the talent and mindset to learn, especially with a manager like Rodgers who's whole gig is about player improvement but I'm not suggesting we fly to Somalia and sign the kid who can do the most keepie-ups to be kind as you put it. :)
    On a domestic level, being a Scot I'm painfully aware of the very poor standard of coaching in Scotland and our domestic and international game is poor as a result. Young Scottish players are now looking to move young - Ryan Gauld off to Sporting Lisbon for example and for the benefit of our national team I'm all for it as at the highest level now, a proper footballing education is vital. The recent successes of Spain and Germany are testament to that

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  96. It is just that everything in the original post was so wrong, wasn't inspired to contribute... Sorry...

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  97. Considering that it seems to be a trend with African based players that they very rarely can sustain extremely high level prolongedly and after 30 years of age (Drogba, Yaya and maybe Roger Milla seem to be exceptions), the condition to continue with impactful performances is especially harsh for African players.


    Eto'o however fared rather well in both Mallorca and in Inter after Barcelona despite playing of course the best years of his career in one of the biggest teams in the world.


    The case with Kolo Toure is that he had already started his decline at Arsenal. Thus, it was impossible for him to sustain world class level at City or Liverpool because at the time of the transfers he not was a world class player anymore.

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  98. I'm not suggesting a policy of not taking any african players at all. I would say to be extremely careful though. Especially having watched a lot of the African Cup of Nations competition and been utterly appalled at the standard. Even I would look like a world class player in that competition!

    I take your point about age, it's a fair point. however, i'd more concerned with mindset/aptitude/attitude.than age.
    For example Benoît Assou-Ekotto is a prime candidate. This is a player who openly admits he doesn't really like football but does it for a job because it pays well. I can't blame ANY african player for having that mindset. But it does raise questions about his motivations and desires within the game.



    To be honest, I'm a little perplexed with the situation in Scotland. To my knowledge a large proportion of high level coaches 'choose' to do their FIFA license in Scotland because the standard is so much higher there than in other countries. Which is a bit of a paradox. I can't really explain why that level of coaching does not filter down to grassroots football. I have a suspicion it's a money thing though. And your example of Ryan Gauld is, i think, a little unfair. Sporting Lisbon have a world renowned academy equal to that of Barca and Ajax and I think any young player of any nationality would jump at the chance to attend such a exceptional academy. Good luck to the lad!!

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