18 May 2015

'Marquee Player'? Liverpool chase 'fantastic' €32m playmaker who'd love LFC transfer. Alonso trying to convince him

In March, multiple reports claimed that Anfield hero Xabi Alonso tried to convince Real Madrid midfielder Asier Illarramendi to sign for LFC, and with speculation mounting about a possible summer transfer, it appears that the Reds are still interested in trying to seal a deal.

Earlier this month, The Telegraph claimed that Liverpool submitted an official offer for Illaramendi, and according to multiple reports over the last few days:

* Real Madrid have given Liverpool the 'green light' to bid for Illarramendi.

* Liverpool have been chasing Illarramendi 'for months'.

* Both clubs are 'confident' a deal can be done.

* Spanish newspaper Marca has also claimed that Illarramendi 'loves the idea' of signing for Liverpool

Interesting news, but it seems highly improbable to me that one of Europe's most promising midfielders is happy to leave the bright lights of Real Madrid for a club struggling to make the Europa League.

Indeed, when asked in January about his future, Illarramendi told reporters:

"I want to stay at Real Madrid. I'm very happy at this club and in this city [and] I'm only looking towards [Madrid]"

That said, Luis Suarez signed for the Reds in similar circumstances, so anything is possible. Some info about Illaramendi:

* Plays as a central/defensive midfielder.

* 31 apps for various Spain youth teams; 89 apps for Madrid over the last two seasons.

* This season: 41 apps for Madrid (13 starts overall; only 9 starts in La Liga)

* 17 apps in the CL for Madrid.

* Cost Madrid €32m. Current deal expires in 2019.

Ancelotti's treatment of Illarramendi doesn't seem to make sense, especially in light of the following:

* Madrid have won 12 and lost only ONE of the 13 games Illarramendi has started this season.

* DEC 02-DEC 16: Illarramendi started five games in a row. Madrid won all five, scoring 24 goals and conceding only ONE.

* After that amazing run, Ancelotti dropped Illarramendi for the next 7 games, three of which ended in defeat.

What kind of insane man-management is that? If a team wins 5 games in a row, scoring 24 goals and keeping 4 clean sheets, what possible justification is there to dump the midfielder at the heart of the team?

And Liverpool fans want Ancelotti at Anfield? To me, it's obvious: At Madrid, the so-called 'Galacticos' play, irrespective of how other players perform. There's no merit system, and price tag basically determines game time.



What's clear is that Illarremendi is capable of cutting it at the highest level, but just hasn't been given a consistent chance. Italian legend Arrigo Sacchi clearly thinks so, and when asked last season about the midfielder, he raved:

“I was blown away by Illarramendi. He's a fantastic player. He can defend, he gets forward well, he reads the game well and can go long or short with his passing. I think he has a lot to offer Real"

That's a glowing recommendation from a true legend of the game, but with Toni Kroos and Lucas Silva ahead of him in the pecking order, Illaramendi's future is far from assured, and that could be good news for Liverpool.

This season's dismal European performance underlines the urgent need for the Reds to sign a couple of quality, Champions League-experienced midfielders, and the team is crying out for another Alonso-style midfield metronome.

Illaramendi even looks like the revered Spaniard (!), but are Liverpool capable of sealing the deal, and is the Spaniard the 'marquee player' Rodgers promised fans this summer?

Author: Jaimie K



182 comments:

  1. In 1995-96 Roberto Baggio played 34, scored 10.
    Alan Shearer played 48 scored 37. Roberto Baggio won Serie A with AC Milan. Alan Shearer finished 7th with Blackburn. But according to you this must be some wild anomaly I guess, because all Baggio had was flair and intelligence -- I mean, he could barely stand up let alone run -- whereas Alan Shearer scored all the goals in the world!

    Or how about this one, bit closer to home. In 2008-09 Steven Gerrard played 44 scored 24 from midfield. Xavi Herndandez played 54 and scored 10. All that intelligence and flair, eh, what a waste. His goal return was so weak! But then again, Steven Gerrard won nothing that year and Xavi won six trophies.

    Intelligence and flair. Such overrated attributes, right.

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  2. ...flippin' heck....are you the internet.....?

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  3. Beepity boop, my friend. Beepity boop.

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  4. Your examples have absolutely no relevance whatsoever to the current discussion. They're not even tangentially related.

    We're talking about Ings and Austin, and their respective merits, so why don't you just stick to that instead of trying to muddy the waters.

    Austin's superior goal-creation/scoring record is more important than Ings' alleged extra 'flair'.

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  5. Are you serious? Fantastic and all that? He's a very average player unless RM and FSG are trying to pull the wool over our eyes! He is a clear downgrade to the players we already have.

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  6. Tidy player good on the ball if the price is right probably around 15 m

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  7. The kind of discussion you now apparently want to have is meaninglessly reductive and I strongly disagree that things are so straightforward as you're implying.

    Flair enables players to keep possession or to advance play in situations where other less ambitious players would keep things simple.

    It's an asset that multiplies in importance and effectiveness the more progressive and dominant the team is, and enables players to take advantage of situations which other play. Austin just doesn't have it. His game is built on simplicity. Ings has it. He would be a good signing for that reason.

    Football intelligence is the single most important characteristic a player can have, assuming adequate athletic attributes and fitness. Austin doesn't look like a clever player to me. Ings does.

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  8. Austin scores and creates more goals. End of story.

    Sticking with LFC: Ian Rush wasn't renowned for flair, but he scored shedloads of goals.

    There's no evidence that Ings' alleged extra 'flair' has helped his team. In fact, despite being - according to you - a 'clever player', Ings made practically zero impact at Burnley in his last four months at the club.

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  9. Football is simple when you just look at the stats and decide what player you want at a club..

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  10. How do u win 6 trophies in a year? Just curious

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  11. Please keep your simplistic interpretation of my views to yourself. Thanks.

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  12. I am simplifying your views? wow..

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  13. I read 10 million the other day and that we offered 8.5. Not kidding...

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  14. Austin has been decent for QPR -- or better than decent, he's been good. I don't think he'd replicate that kind of performance for us, though, because of the nature of the role he'd have to play, and the amount of involvement he'd be required to have in general play.



    And I agree with that last point -- I don't think it has helped Burnley very much, except in getting them a few improbable goals and one or two good results. The kind of player he is, he'll be a more effective player in a better team. He's just a young player coming in on a song. I don't see the downside.

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  15. Brilliant player btw. I wonder how he'll do at Arsenal next season.

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  16. I was cheating a bit -- but he won the World Club Cup, and the two supercups, Spanish and European, as well as the treble of League, Cup, and Champions' League, in the calendar year 2009, as the leader of the midfield of The Best Team of All Time™.

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  17. Is he really good? Not sure tbh.

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  18. I would upvote this but don't want anyone to get the impression that I'm doing so because I think that's a good thing.

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  19. We should stay away from both.

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  20. I'm afraid I have to fully disagree there, Illaramendi has been great for RM when he has played and is worth at least £15m. (Unless there is another smart, instinctive, ball playing CDM with attacking intent available for £15m or less; not including "potentially good" players) Illaramendi would give other players the licence to get forward without having to worry too much about getting done on the counter attack. How many times this season have we seen Liverpool get done because our DM hasn't done a proper job? Too many, and Illaramendi can stop many attacks from being a threat before it even starts, an unsung hero if you will.

    Even though Ancelotti dropped him for some other more attack- minded players, Illaramendi is still a solid defensive option and is put on the pitch by Ancelotti when RM are winning so they can have more protection on the defence and still be on the front foot attacking wise.

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  21. They certainly couldn't do any worse

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  22. RM allegedly values him @ 15 & LFc probably offered 10 that sounds very LFC lowballing tactics apparently.

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  23. I hold him in a really high regard and think he would vastly improve our defence by providing protection and allowing Madrid to stay in control in midfield. He plays a bit like (A more defensive) Xani Alonso as a deep lying playmaker, but one who can actually defend really well

    The only downside I can see is that some people might think he is a replacement for Gerrard in the centre which will, inevitably, put unnecessary pressure on him. Other than that he is a reliable and, relatively, cheap option who would greatly improve our team.

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  24. So funny yet, sadly, might be true with our current transfer committee!

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  25. Get him. 100% upgrade on Joe Allen and probably better than Lucas too.
    Nobody calls a defensive midfielder a 'marquee signing' though, and I expect at least 2 strikers to come in, and one of those will be of marquee status.
    If that doesn't happen, we will not reach 5th spot by the end of next season.

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  26. I have no issue with us signing either Austin or Ings as both are good players so long as we sign another striker.

    Sturridge / Austin or Ings / Origi / ??

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  27. 5th is the target for next season?

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  28. Haven't seen a great deal of this lad but he didn't seem the most mobile of players, then again neither was Alonso and what a player he was. Suppose it depends on how much we can get him for.

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  29. Another season of transition of course, under Rodgers...


    The usual excuse.

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  30. Bring Khedira! Only if.

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  31. Austin all day! Lacazette says he won't be staying at Lyon next season. Ian Ayre, go work your magic. This will mean he won't be at lfc next season.

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  32. Rating Ings close to Sturridge no matter what age is borderline delusional. Ings has nowhere near Sturridge's ball control, pace, shooting. Sorry mate, I just think Ings has potential to be top domestic player but Sturridge has always had (and still does) the potential to be a top striker in Europe.

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  33. Just give them 15m that's a good price

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  34. When you go purchase a car and the dealer says one price, do you ever agree on the spot to that price? No.


    The dealer is quoting you a price to start, and not expecting you to pay that price.


    It's called negotiating.

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  35. Like the article but injury free in 4 years?
    Maybe apart from numerous shoulder dislocations and a failed medical due to a mystery long term knee condition (which Hull must now be ruing). £15m is a big gamble.
    But yes, a better bet, the best shots on target ratio in the entire Premier League and more shots than most of them too.

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  36. Berahino scored a fantastic goal against Chelsea. He might be an even better option.

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  37. Yes, but when you go in to buy a car and it's already 10,000 bucks off, do you take the deal or piss off the seller by asking for a bigger sale?

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  38. oh yeah...forgot..

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  39. I'm actually quite happy with the prices quoted for these players. Illarra for 15M would be quite fair, as would Kovacic for 12M. Those two players right there could "fix" our midfield for no more than 30M, with tons of growth potential in the future. Throw in Montoya for 7M, and Konoplyanka on free, Sterling's transfer could fund that whole transfer deal. That would leave just the Striker for out-of-pocket money to cover, and even then we could cover most of it with other squad sales.

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  40. Playing a CB as DM when you need to score at home to get to the final. Weird decision isn't it?

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  41. Honest player with average talent like most of the squad

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  42. would I be rude if I commented that I would add 'raging' and 'alleged' ....didn't really want to step on your toes there Orme ...your posts are always informative and entertaining but those two words are oh so high falutin' and remind me too much of the legal process....


    ....along with Robert Deniro.....

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  43. I would have both ings and austin….as we can't rely on Mr glass

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  44. Yeah, sure. It's just an impression of quality. When Sturridge was about that age I remember him going on loan at Bolton -- he was playing a similar role to Ings at Burnley, carrying play with the ball at his feet in transitions and looking to finish counterattacks.

    That Bolton side were better than Ings's Burnley, so Sturridge saw more of the ball, but I've seen Ings influence matches in a similar way to Sturridge. His movement is a constant threat and his ideas are brilliant. They even share some preferred skills, passes with the outside of their favourite foot, both like to sway past a defender from the standing start and look for a lashed finish.

    I think Ings has better Striker skills than Sturridge at the same age, for what it's worth. His finishing and in particular his heading are excellent for a young player. I always rated Sturridge and followed him from when he was 15. I've followed Ings closely as well, and I'm confident he will succeed when he gets the chance at a big club.

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  45. Actually this is very relevant and rings a bell...


    ...as soon as I heard Charlie Austin I thought of failed medicals and injuries....dunno why....but then in jaimie's post it said 4 years injury free and like a lemming I followed him off the cliff....


    ...can anyone enlighten and expand on Ally W....?

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  46. Just been reading that Uefa are going to be relaxing FFP rules....don't know what that means for us.

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  47. I just can't see us pulling this off,unless we get fleeced or he has a crack addiction

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  48. ...but then that would be four strikers without our 'marquee - shi*-hot' one......aaaw....

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  49. Liverpool do a great negligent

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  50. How do Liverpool both low ball get fleeced at the same time

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  51. I'm writing Sturbridge off unless he visits Lourdes and I'm assuming we oust ball and borini
    So that would mean both ing and Austin with origi. Hardly overstocked

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  52. After some further haggling he paid £25

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  53. It sounds like your taking cheese to a picknic

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  54. If he can defend we can't confuse him with Gerrard

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  55. Coates... (obviously)

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  56. You are deluded if you think my posts are entertaining..

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  57. Our negligent is better than their negligent!

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  58. Depends on the market, how badly the dealer wants to sell, and how badly I want to buy.

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  59. Expert negotiation!

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  60. If they value him at 15m and want to sell, they won't get 15m for him unless a bidding war starts.

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  61. Either you see something RM were unable to see or you blindly like the guy. He has no aerial ability, he cannot chase and catch up a 34 year old Stevie, RM think, the defensive qualities and tenacity of a 21 year old (Lucas Silva) is better and you want LFC to pay money to get this guy? If the objective is to label him a flop and demand we get rid of him next year, why bother? There are better players out there unless someone thought buying from RM makes the purchase a 'marquee'. I really hope this is another 'click-trick' and no more!

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  62. Rohan Anderson9:37 pm, May 18, 2015

    I'm not even going to bother speculating. I know I'll just end up dissapointed and frustrated like every year.

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  63. or if he gets accused of being a racist cannibal :)

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  64. I didn't say Austin was 'injury free' for the last 4 years; I said he hasn't suffered any significant injuries in that period. There's a difference.

    He failed a medical at Hull, but so what? Has it had any impact on his ability to play consistently since then? No.

    As for Ally W's contention about the medical failing due to an alleged 'mystery knee condition' - that's totally unsibstantiated. There's no evidence to support that, and neither Burnley nor Hull have released any details re the medical.

    The proof is in the pudding: over the last 4 years, Austin has played 143 games, which is an average of 38 games a season.

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  65. Ancelotti dropped him so he can play Rmos as a DM too.. What I saw from him was very good, but there is a catch, I am sure...

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  66. I agree. I have my doubts. But realistically we've got to cast a wide net and hope that some of these players who've not been able to make it stick at another big club are able to see their chance at Liverpool for what it is and take it on. That's what Sturridge, Sakho, and Coutinho have done.

    Sure, for every one of them there will be a Sahin or a Balotelli, who have lost heart and confidence, and can't grasp their opportunity, but every now and then we'll get lucky, and pick up a motivated and talented player at a decent price who can keep us competitive with the other teams in the top 5.

    Then maybe one season, if we can keep a tight ship, the stars align and we get a shot at glory... But how do you keep the fans happy? How do you manage their expectations? That's the tricky part. Throw them a bone every now and then, pull in a "marquee" player, just a name to excite them? Or try and stick it out, educate them, hope they can learn to understand what you're trying to achieve and the conditions under which you're trying to achieve it?

    Ugh!

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  67. Can't wait for English pundits to start pronouncing his name...

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  68. Can he play in the hole

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  69. You're confusing speculation with certainty

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  70. "Illara=Carra" could be one syllable ;D

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  71. Hahhahaha XO Fingers crossed- may he rejuvinate our defense, although I gave up on Lovren

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  72. Not another square peg

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  73. Look like he did too. Again. But it would be a mistake to sell him..

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  74. Well u know how much I cheered for him, he'd have to move mountains for me to give him credit again... But guess he'll stay another year and humiliate Croatia- hopefully Kovacic brakes through and tidies up our image at Anfield

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  75. Ah well, some of them got carried away, and there's no justyfing such an act but I think he tried to be cocky and "important" and just ended up being his airhead self... probably doesn't know the meaning of the word...

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  76. Thanks for offering an explanation. I'll definitely look out for Ings. Thanks for not taking it personally. Cheers mate.

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  77. Looks like Raheem is going

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  78. Thanks jaimie..hang on a mo please ...while I look up the word pedantic.....ta....

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  79. Lourdes....!!! hahahaha....................

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  80. ...hang on..., deluded is banned....you naughty Orme you.......

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  81. Exactly.. The problem is that a shocking percentage of 'ordinary' people in our countries hang on to those outbursts..

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  82. Just give me 35 mill and I am happy..

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  83. Sterling is hugely disappointed at missing out on Champions League football next season and is desperate to play in Europe’s top competition.

    He could earn more elsewhere, withManchester City keeping a close eye on developments and ready to make a firm offer.

    He is also unhappy that the club chose to release details of its contract offer – which claimed it was £100,000 a week. And he is upset at negative comments about him, which he feels have been led by the club.

    After the contract talks broke down last month Sterling gave an emotional interview to the BBC where he suggested he was flattered by interest from other clubs, and claimed his refusal to sign a new contract was not over financial barriers, but footballing ones. From the Mirror.

    Sterling no longer believes in Rodgers or his abilities. Like I've maintained BR and LFC tried to use bullying tactics and it has backfired. Publicising contract details and stating that he's rejected 100k has made Sterling to be a Hitler incarnate, despite this being common place in football. The boy was thrown under the bus and had to rectify this with the bbc interview. The Trust between manager and player has been broken!

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  84. I would be happy too but what about Raheem?

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  85. It is what it is,the problem is we tend to waste the money on rubbish

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  86. ...have I missed something..? did lovren do a boo-boo somewhere...


    ...or is this an 'in-joke' in which case I will respectfully step out...


    ..thanks in advance...

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  87. My recent comment is being moderated because of a section I took from an article in the mirror. Raheem has been thrown under the bus by BR and LFC. The publication of contract dealings, doing nothing to defend the boy. When he realises this and defends himself via the bbc interview. He is demonised by the nation. The boy has lost faith in BR 's ability to advance the club as well as the lack of trust.

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  88. ...cos mostly they're low-balling a 'ringer'.....


    ...worth 20p...


    ..priced at £50 mill......


    ...low-balled at £20 mill....


    ...bought at £40 mill.....

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  89. ...strong statements there funcdoc......


    ...do we know this for sure....?

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  90. I totally agree. JK will miss this and go for the obvious mercenary line missing completely others that play their hand more craftily and owners and agents who rarely get the kind of scrutiny reserved for young (usually black) footballers.

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  91. Supporting a fellow national squad player that got banned from the WC for extreme nationalism. Also glorified (on twitter) the ethnic cleansing of Serbs in Bosnia.. Point is he was all friendly with Lazar and probably as Stipe says doesn't really understand properly what he is talking about- monkey see monkey do, and probably has Serbian friends- but he doesn't do good to Balkan..

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  92. I've defended Sterling on many an occasion and I still think that the mercenary tag was overplayed hugely.
    But WTF? He is responsible for allowing his agent to talk rubbish and take on the mighty LFC. He has allowed himself to take more advice from the guy who told him to do that rubbish interview and at 20 ears old, he can no longer hide behind his age.
    We don't have a big fee which we paid for him to justify. We don't have him in his final year. Do what we did to Suarez. Make him play and train with the reserve team and let him rot out of the first team squad, and see if that gets him a big move 24 months from now..

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  93. Yes, poor little Raheem. The vil, machiavellian club is to blame, and he's just a sweet little lamb caught in the crossfire.

    Do me a favour.

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  94. Oh flipp** heck,


    ..what a pill*** really theer needs to be more done on the media savvy front from LFC for these guys....


    ..as you quite rightly say his interpretation may be different but the way it comes across is pure idiotic....LFC hierarchy need to protect their assets in a better way.......

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  95. Not the way of today's corporate football business. works. A deal will be sorted and everyone will move on

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  96. Neither. If we're dead set on signing a young English striker then at least let it be Berahino.

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  97. Sorry if I was rude yesterday, hope you'll understand.. Though I mean what I said..

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  98. ps. thanks by the way Orme...i really didn't know....!

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  99. Please don't play the race card. It's cheap, and totally unsubstantiated. The antipathy toward's Sterling has nothing to do with the colour of his skin; he rejected £100k-a-week - he is a greedy mercenary, and plenty of white footballers have been labelled as such in the past.

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  100. It all happened pre LFC by the way..

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  101. Oh.., ok....?!


    I'm laughing a bit now cos now i don't know what to think......


    ...Oh well back to reading comments and all the interesting quips and flips from our LFC brethren.....:-)

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  102. He will and then he will back edit

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  103. He already did

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  104. He has. But his agent started all this bullsh!t and he has NOT learned from that disastrous interview which he was talked into doing.
    NOBODY is bigger than the club. Nobody.
    Like carra said, he's basically a good kid with poor representation, but HE has NOT told his agent to shut it and HE has obviously authorised this latest ham fisted attempt to manipulate the club.
    No excuses. Apologise and accept a reasonable contract, and QUICKLY, or we'll see who's bigger, Sterling or LFC

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  105. What happened to the mercenary comment you have now edited out?

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  106. I think you underestimate Sterling - there's a brain in that head. He may be misguided, but he's the architect behind the situation he's now in. Not Rodgers. Not the club. It's him. This whole blame game he's playing conveniently right before the dawn of the transfer season is a tactic deployed to ensure that the damage is irreparable. He's trying to force the club's hand. And it'll probably work because you know what - he's not that good!

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  107. As you said yesterday you don't need irrefutable proof to believe something or for it to be true even if it is only a part of what is happening with Raheem.


    I agree others suffer the same too because they are young working class and envy plays another important role

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  108. JK, why did LFC publicise negotiations? "He's rejected a fantastic offer." How did the figure of £100k get banded around? Why did BR intimate that it was only a matter of time before Raheem would accept the contract? When Raheem wanted to hold off negotiations, and he received backlash. How did the club defend or protect him? Why the backlash over a benign interview? Why did lfc think it would be wise to conduct negotiations in the mid season? Lfc have been unprofessional and some fans have been overtly & aggressively tribalistic with regards to Raheem.

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  109. Eh? This comment didn't contain the word 'mercenary'. You must be confusing it with another post, which is in reply to someone else.

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  110. I'm off before I get sent off

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  111. Not saying the club made the right choices, but.. It was and is kinda obvious that the boy doesn't see himself at this club in the future, and he should as this club gave him what no other club would. I believe it is not (only) about money to him, but some loyalty he should have.

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  112. Didn't bother me Orme
    I know you to be a decent enough chap on here not to worry that we disagree

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  113. That's not what happened when Suarez tried it

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  114. When you say he has, could you please elaborate.

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  115. There is absolutely nothing untoward with the club's conduct here. You are twisting it to make it sound bad.

    * Liverpool *should* be putting pressure on a jumped-up 20-year old mercenary like Sterling to sign a contract worth £100k-a-week.

    * Sterling *should* be excoriated for conducting an unauthorised interview, during which he made a play for Arsenal, and admitted that £100k-a-week was not good enough for him.

    * Lots of clubs conduct contract negotiations mid season; Liverpool are no different.

    * Nothing about LFC's conduct is 'unprofessional'.

    Who does Sterling think he is? He's achieved absolutely NOTHING for Liverpool, yet he clearly believes he's too good for the club that *made him who he is*.

    Sterling deserves all the criticism that's coming his way. He brought the entire situation on himself.

    All he needed to do was sign a new deal. There's no reason why he shouldn't.

    He failed to do that, and now he'll pay the consequences.

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  116. Why not just keep things in house. Airing dirty laundry in public, just smacks of a big machine trying to force an agenda. This reminds me of how Hodgson threw him under the bus with the tiredness saga.

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  117. I mean he has been thrown under a bus somewhat. But it was his agent's ham fisted attempts at media manipulation that started this tit for tat rubbish in the first place, and certainly Raheem had more than enough opportunity to get a better agent. He hasn't, and now he will have to face the wrath of the very fans h is agent has no doubt convinced him he would have the support of before that interview.
    Not to mention some pretty ruthless businessmen across the pond

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  118. How is there 'airing of dirty laundry'? That's just not true at all. Liverpool (and Rodgers) haven't been antagonistic towards Sterling; it's quite the opposite, in fact, with Rodgers continually massaging his ego with endless praise.

    Rodgers made reference to contract negotiations in a totally benign manner, mainly because (IMO) he expected to Sterling to accept the obscene £100k-a-week offer.

    There's no gamesmanship or shady practices here. That came from Sterling, with his unauthorised interview, and his failure to reign-in his agent.

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  119. ...and wait a couple of weeks for him to get back to you.

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  120. All of those deals don't sound too bad. I'm just saying we should exercise a bit of caution.

    I think you can even look to the Sakho deal to see what I mean. I think Sakho has been a good player for us, but we should never have paid £17m for a player who wanted to leave, had no place in first-team and had only one year left on his contract.

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  121. I do agree that looking at these players who maybe didn't make the grade at one club but could for us is a good idea. It's the cost that concerns me most. I think Coutinho and Sturridge in particular have proven excellent value. I worry about getting players of their sort of profile but spending £15m+. I don't think we should ever be offering more than that for some of these 'failures'.

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  122. But how do you know he rejected £100k pw?
    That information almost certainly would have to have come from the club- his agents, useless though they are, would have nothing to gain by releasing that..

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  123. Not sure that will go.down twice. Also Gerrard talked Suarez in to staying telling him he could do better than Arsenal. Again this won't happen again.

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  124. Sterling admitted in his BBC interview that he rejected £100k-a-week.

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  125. After it was already well known.

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  126. Yep, it had been out there well before that interview

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  127. What difference does that make? None whatsoever.

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  128. Gerrard talked Suarez into accepting that his best interests were served by playing out of his skin, and Sterling would do well to heed that.
    And Sterling does not have a buyout clause

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  129. I'll address your points as you've listed them:

    1) So it's OK for lfc to use, sorry manipulate the media but Sterling cannot defend himself with a benign interview. Sterling has every right to defend his character. It's unprofessional to talk numbers in public. Lfc should be ashamed.

    2) Sterling merely said he was flattered by Arsenal not that he was making a play for them. I think you're over exaggerating here. I think it was naive but nothing more.

    3) Sterling made it clear he wanted to focus on the rest of the season before commencing negotiations. LFC showed a lack of respect by not listening to a perfectly reasonable request. By piling on the pressure, they inadvertently squeezed out any trust and confidence Sterling had in the club.

    5) I agree here, Sterling has been a bit naive to be demanding champions league football at this stage of his career. He should bide his time, this is where his agent could have been wiser. When all is said and done, ambition is no crime. LFC might have to accept that it us a stepping stone club. 20 years of mediocrity will do that for you!

    6) All he had to do was sign a new contract. The sheer arrogance astounds me! Last time I checked, slavery was abolished 400 years ago. The man is free to direct his own affairs.

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  130. Well known? According to what? Tabloid speculation? That doesn't mean LFC leaked anything.

    It's easy to put 2 and 2 together: Rodgers confirms in a press conference that Sterling has been offered an 'incredible' deal; no confirmation from the club that he's signed; the media claim he's rejected the contract.


    It has nothing to do with LFC.

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  131. Sorry, but with the greatest respect, I'm not responding to this. You are too emotionally involved, as evidenced by the embarrassing 'slavery' comparison. As such, engaging in debate is futile.

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  132. Thanks for clarifying your post. I notice you understate lfc lack of professionalism.

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  133. I knew you would make the mistake misinterpreting the slavery statement. It was reference to Sterling being free to do whatevet he wants. I'll make it known to you now. I DON'T THINK THIS IS A RACE ISSUE. Now how about the rest if the post? Don't kop out on me now JK, excuse the pun!

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  134. Are u on drugs? U think Allen Henderson Lucus are better ? They are the worse midfield in premier league .

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  135. If we can get him cheap then add song for 7 million , find a replacement for gerrard another 2 forward, couple defenders. Slap sterling sign Walcott for free we then could be back

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  136. The nice thing about them is that they tend to have good representation so they can get a move if it doesn't work out, as we'll probably see with Balotelli pretty soon. Yeah. Well. Football's depressing at the moment isn't it. Bah.

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  137. OK let's separate the two issues out.

    First - his accountability/responsibility. I wish and hope *ALL* fans can agree that whether LFC have performed well at times and badly at other times is all down to BR. He needs to be given credit for the good things he has done and accept the flack for the negative things. This therefore should avoid any excuses that regularly are rehashed about the reasons why BR may not have performed as well as could have been expected. This way, we can move away from you "apologist" label.

    Second - what should happen next.
    My view, which again I hope is reasonable, is that BR's performance should be reviewed over his 3 years at the helm, and work out what the pros would be for keeping him on for a 4th term as opposed to getting in an upgrade manager (not replacement !!).

    The challenge I've faced is most fans supporting BR get hung up about #1 above, and the few who've provided opinions for #2 have been wishy washy and easily had their arguments challenged without response.

    So I understand getting to an outcome "We need a BR upgrade or otherwise stick" is difficult for some, but I have yet to hear any evidenced based reasons to persist with BR over and above a Klopp/Rafa type manager.

    Hoping you can oblige?

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  138. He's clearly been coasting in the last few games as well, playing like the games are friendlies. Presumably under instruction to avoid injury and keep his price down and show the club he means business. That's why BR didn't sub him at the weekend. It's a way of saying "I know what you're up to. And it's not going to work".

    Bad times.

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  139. No point being sentimental regarding team building or selection - is that why Raheem plays every game when he should have been benched for poor performances months ago? Sturridge who is made of glass?


    Balo may well be Balo, but he was given very little opportunity to succeed. There's no point signing him and being smug about it, signing him and then publicly criticising him. Doesn't make much sense to me.


    The last few months I would have played 4-4-2 with Borini and Balotelli up top. If there's failure after that at least you can say you tried. I know what he lacks, but he's brought goals to every team.

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  140. Stan Dinaround2:46 am, May 19, 2015

    I feel like I've read this somewhere before...

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  141. Stan Dinaround2:59 am, May 19, 2015

    It's not beyond all realms of reason to suggest that the two of them could be just what LFC needs, it's nit even beyond reason to think that with Coutinho, Hendo, Lallana and Marko servicing them, they couldn't be 20 goal a season strikers..... We can assume, but if your not willing to give them a go, we'll never know... At the combined fees wouldn't exactly be a risk, especially when we could get the 27 goals of this season compared to Mario's 2... all for the same transfer outlay. One thing we can all agree on, Lambo, Borini and Mario just aren't what we need.

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  142. Stan Dinaround3:00 am, May 19, 2015

    Fabregas has better finishing... What a shot.... From 30 yards too.

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  143. If we sign Milner and think that's going to turn the team around then we are rapidly headed south...........

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  144. We seriously need two big producing strikers with endless work rate and quick feet. With lambert and Balo we got two tugboats, neither with fast feet or the displayed stamina needed to play aggressive pressure on the ball. Surely are two strikers out there that fit the bill. Add a defensive captain and a defensive mid who can not only pass but can snuff out opposition. Martinez and carvalho just two suggestions. Dozens more exist I'm sure. Why settle for Ings, Milner Austin etc. These guys should be backfill for the squad not first line choices.......I hope Ibe and Sinclair play 90 minutes this weekend and any other kid in our assembly line who needs a viewing.........

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  145. Funk,
    I'm with you on this one. Just wish Sturridge could solve his health issues so we can see his clinical skills again.

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  146. I don't see Markovic and Lallana adding anything to our squad. We should promote some of our kids and add 1 quality attacker to add a bit of proven output and stability. Lallana is graceful to be sure but that and 50 cents will get you on the subway.....We need better finishers from wingers and these two aren't going to fit that description. Lastly, I don't understand why so many here don't rate Benteke; he is a runaway freight train and coupled with at least one other quality striker would solve a ton of problems......

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  147. That's what I was thinking!

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  148. I agree, getting Gerrard in the team.has been to it's detriment but still makes.it hard to drop him especially as he is looked up to by nearly everyone. Sterling even at his poorest has shown more than Balo. Sturridge may be made of glass but is far better than Balo.

    I would have given the 442 a ho though myself. Like you say, just to at least try.

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  149. Stan Dinaround8:34 am, May 19, 2015

    Promoting kids is all well and good, but you can't expect a newly promoted kid to assume the responsibility of carrying this team next season, it'll be like sending lambs to the slaughter.... Lallana and Marko will come good, Lallana has shown in patches he has plenty to offer, and injuries aside, I believe he will be a big player for the club... Patience is hard to come by at the moment, for abvious reason of course, but th season is up now. We can reboot and go again in the new season, and fingers crossed, the summer won't have been wasted......

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  150. I wouldn't mind either, or both but they cannot be the proven goalscorer we need as #1. Next season we'll have Sturridge plus a.n.other with Origi and probably Ings as back-up. So long as Borini, Lambert and especially Balotelli leave these are all improvements.
    I wonder why Shearer (on MOTD) went for Ings over Austin despite Austin's better goal record ?
    If Sterling leaves good riddance, lets get Konoplyanka for free and do everything we can to convince Lacazette.
    Illaramendi, Matthew Ryan and Kieran Trippier and I'd look forward to next season.

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  151. Nothing. We'll find another excuse not to pay big wages for big players.

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  152. None of the two. Go get Vietto, and Jackson Martinez. This british hype has cost us our dignity as liverpool

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  153. Word. We can get a British striker if they are good enough, but these two wouldn't feature on our radars if they plied their trade in, say, La Liga.

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  154. Indeed we just need a few say a keeper, an RB, CDM, RW and a prolific striker. My problems is that my confidence on IA and BR ever signing those quality players when they are making efforts to get the likes of Ings and Austin

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  155. Ilori or Coates? I think both of them are miles ahead of Lovren's jellish displays

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  156. Bad idea. Just get the likes of Vietto. And I wonder, is there an embargo on the expansiveness to which our scouting system can go? How come we never buy anyone from Africa; Cameroon, Nigeria, Senegal, Egypt, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mali or from the Americas: Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Trinidad and Tobago- I think one Dwight Yorke came from there

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  157. I think Rodgers should be held accountable to an extent:


    * As part of the Transfer Committee, he has failed by wasting too much money.


    * I think his hyperbole in pressers is nauseating, and borderline insulting.


    * I think he got his tactics wrong too often this season, especially up until mid-December. For example, anyone who watched Balotelli play 10 minutes as a lone striker could tell that it wasn't working. Yet, he persisted with it for the better part of 4 months.


    * He played players out of position too much. I appreciate that it worked at times, but he went to the well too often and eventually the well went dry.


    On the other hand, I don't think Rodgers should be held accountable for the following:


    * Sturridge's injury
    * Sterling's lack of scoring touch
    * His healthy strikers basically not showing up for the season
    * The wage structure limitations that prevent us from attracting big names. Everyone refers to the 120m we spent last summer... on transfer fees. No one refers to the fact that we offered relatively low individual wages to new transfers compared to the other teams. Balotelli basically cut his wages by 50k a week to come here. I understand that it's financially prudent, however it isn't something that should be held against BR.
    * We spent the 5th most on wages this past season. We are in 5th place. Arguably where we should be.


    In terms of alternative managers:


    I personally don't see Rafa as an improvement, particularly because I'm not certain that this roster suits his style of play.


    The only exception I'd make is for Klopp, as I do believe he'd be an improvement, and I think he'd be able to work well with the current roster while tinkering to buy and sell as needed.

    As I've stated before, I don't think Klopp will come here.


    Hence, I think Rodgers will end up staying.


    The question I have is: how will things change if he stays? I think we all agree something to need to change or improve. And if Rodgers maintains autonomy and control, what else do we change?



    And that's what I really honestly don't have handle for.

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  158. I think 180k a week is quite a bit of appreciation. But I do believe they should have known this backlash would occur if they did not show up and anticipated better. A simple statement on the website as to why they would not be there would have sufficed.

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  159. Stan,


    I'm with you on that which is why I keep harping on the need to get TWO proven strikers with quick feet and tireless workrate to set the example. We need one DM and one central defender both of whom are top quality and sprinkle the kids around this core. At the moment we have a roster filled with deadwood and people who lack the kind of scoring skills that Sturridge displayed last year and did of course mr suarez.............we have enough deadwood to fund a lot of purchases to keep the net cost down.................we should not set our sites on the likes of Milner, Delph, and other mediocre guys.

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  160. Some good points. Ultimately the buck always stops with the Manager. That said we seem to think that Liverpool is a top 4 team yet we have failed to achieve that 9 times, and before last season last achieved that in 08/09, so not really a strong performance of late.


    He has moved us into a position where we actually believe we can challenge for the league which hasn't been the case for 4 or 5 years.


    Some of the football his teams have played has been excellent, however too often when we really need it the players fall short. Is that down to the manager or have the players not got the bottle, again he helped pick them.


    I think Rodgers is an excellent coach but I do have my concerns as to if he is an excellent manager, and at this point I'd say no. He needs to be more ruthless, be prepared to park the bus (like Chelsea) against the top teams to ensure we don't lose.


    Do I think that sacking the manager every 3 seasons is good for the club then no. I'm old fashioned here but I feel it takes 5 years to get in settle in and push on. We are the 5th highest paying team, the 5th biggest spenders and on average we finish 5th.


    If he has to go who do you pick? Klopp? Why would he could to Liverpool? Same goes for Ancelotti.

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  161. Llori would be my first choice

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  162. Ilori and Coates

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  163. Stan Dinaround8:59 pm, May 19, 2015

    Yep! unlike sb21 I remain hopeful we get what we need.... The policy of youth doesn't have to be a curse either... Young lad I really enjoy watching when I get the chance is Johannes Geis of Mainz, he would fit perfectly with FSG's model, while providing us with quality, and a level of experience we deperately need....

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  164. Work permits

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  165. Sir, I think the work permits regulations affect everyone including chelsea. How come chelsea are able to buy the likes of Salah (Egypt), Mikel and Manure once bought the likes of Fortune(South Africa), Manucho (Angola), Cuadrado (Colombia). Why cant we also look for internationals from such countries? I think the work permit issues are more of an excuse than an actual reason because if other teams in the EPL can find their way around (or past) these issues why dont we? Just a thought sir.

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  166. Coates is also comfortable with the ball at his feet helping the team launch an attack

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