10 Jun 2015

'Unbelievable': Is this the most ridiculous Liverpool transfer statement of all time?

During the Roy Hodgson era, outgoing Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard insisted that Joe Cole is basically better than Lionel Messi, an idea so ludicrous that its risible inaccuracy will probably haunt Gerrard for the rest of his days. In the annals of nonsensical public pronouncements, Gerrard's assertion is on a par with Sean Dundee's contention that he was 'quicker' than Michael Owen, but Adam Lallana has now bested both of them with an even more preposterous claim.

After the ill-advised signing of Cole back in 2010, Gerrard raved:

"[Lionel] Messi can do some amazing things, but anything he can do Joe [Cole] can do as well, if not better"

Urgh. Gerrard probably winces when he reads that now, but that comment is nothing compared to the fawning claptrap spouted by Lallana this week. When asked about the signing of James Milner, Lallana gushed:

"He [Milner] is a fantastic player. He's got unbelievable ability. Left foot, right foot, got a goal in his locker and always fit. He's a complete role model. He's the perfect player."

'Unbelievable ability' and the 'perfect player'? Lallana should be embarrassed and ashamed to spout such overwrought, sycophantic nonsense. He makes it sound like Liverpool are signing Lionel Messi - for whom those labels are more accurate - but that's not the case at all.

It's hardly surprising that Lallana is channelling his inner-Rodgers here - the manager sets the example, and he is the master of servile, irresponsible, grossly exaggerated overpraise.

If Milner has such 'unbelievable ability' and is the 'perfect player', why is he a bit-part player at Man City, and why are Liverpool the only club seemingly interested in such an amazing, world-class performer?

Lallana's eulogy also highlights his damaging small-club mentality, which last season impacted his ability to consistently perform. If he sees a player like Milner as 'perfect' and 'unbelievable', then he clearly has little ambition, and is happy to accept comparative mediocrity.

Would Luis Suarez like a One Direction-loving schoolgirl over the signing of James Milner? No, and that's one of the reasons he's no longer at Anfield.

Lallana's egregious, boot-licking ego-massage is also bad for Milner as it places intolerable pressure on him to perform. Fans will read these testimonials and start believing the hype, and expectations will consequently go through the roof.



As an experienced, Premier League proven international, fans should expect Milner to hit the ground running and make a consistent impact, but hyping him beyond recognition is counter-productive, and it's clearly impossible for him to live up to Lallana's overblown billing.

I know I'm harsh on Milner, but I still want him to succeed, as that means Liverpool will probably be doing well, which is the most important thing. However, labelling him a 'perfect player' with 'unbelievable ability' is just ridiculous in the extreme.

I've said it once and I'll say it again: FSG seriously need to get a grip on the club's embarrassing penchant for gross overpraise. Rodgers' unctuous fawning is already out of control, but as Lallana's statement proves, his players are now following suit.

As a matter of urgency, Henry et al should institute an internal policy specifically prohibiting exaggerated public praise (especially for teenagers/young players), and a set of fines should be put in place for breaching the policy.

Why can't Rodgers and his players just keep their mouths shut, focus on the job at hand (which is massive), and then reserve praise for when the club has actually WON SOMETHING?

Author: Jaimie K



143 comments:

  1. I Just don't get all this negativity. Our squad is brimming with "special" "unbelievable" "fantastic" players, led by a "world class" manager.


    All we need to is get John Carver in as his number 2, as he's the "best coach in the premier league".


    We'll clearly win everything next year, specially if we get Boltons keeper on a free.

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  2. I just couldn't resist...

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  3. All Lalanna does is TALK - He has been next to useless since he arrived - needs to button it Quick

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  4. your lucky to get milner,,, he will do well for liverpool,,
    he has played in more positions for england than any other player


    but he needs to nail down a set position rather than being a utility
    player

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  5. You are a bit hard on Milner. He's a good but unspectacular player on a free transfer. In theory, that should also mean we are able to spend big bucks on a great striker or marquee player. It's who we sign after Milner that really matters! Just as a point of interest by the way, Milner seems to held in quite high regard by the Man City fans.

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  6. I know right! They were bemoaning the loss of Milner as if he was Silva or Aguero which actually started to persuade me that he might be a good signing if they miss him that much already.

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  7. Only in England is the ability to play in lots of different positions championed like it's the most important thing in football.


    It's not.


    Gerrard's ability to play in 10 different positions didn't help him on the international stage, where he regularly failed to make an impact.

    Positional specialists will always be infinitely more important to any team.


    How many positions does Pirlo play? Xavi? Robben? Answer the question, then check how many medals these players have, at both domestic and international level.

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  8. Suarez has been accused of many things in his time but I agree I have never heard anyone suggest that he gushed like a schoolgirl. I can't think why.......... ;-)

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  9. Well he's come to the right club now.......

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  10. That will probably be our summer, with a few "world beaters" from hull sitting next to milner

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  11. ...multiple round holes for him to squeeze into.

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  12. I agree with Lallana 100%

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  13. Ings better than Borini, Bogdan better than Jones, and Milner better than Allen. Tells me that they'll improve the squad. What you think?

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  14. Pirlo was AM few years back right? But I don't think there is positive correlation between specialists and medals.

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  15. Unlike most people I think this summer we might see best transfer window in some years. Milner is good for free...Bodgan is a massive upgrade on Jones. Not a fan of Ings but 4mn is ok. Lets hope we continue strengthening the right way.

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  16. Pirlo has never been an AM playing high up the field.

    And there is definitely a correlation between positional specialists and medals.


    Name one team where a jack of all trades like Milner is the main-main, who propelled the team to win trophies.

    Successful teams like Spain, Germany, Bayern, Barcelona, and Real Madrid are packed with positional specialists who excel in one particular role.

    The English emphasis on versatility over genuine skill and technique = utter failure.

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  17. I don't think there is any team in the world full of such players (jack of all). Normally a team would have one or two players like that for utility and injury crisis. I don't mind we buying couple of players like Milner.


    PS: BR plays specialists out of position too so our points are invalid anyway.

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  18. I know its terribly boring and doesn't really promote further discussion but... REALLY? - I just don't see the parallels you are seeking to draw.
    Lallana's words seem like any other tediously boring diplomatic response, made in the name of tactfulness and nowhere near the faux pas of the past where already world class players, were 'name dropped'

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  19. Nicolas Chamberlain6:43 pm, June 10, 2015

    The perfect team player... Football is a team sport.
    One big overreaction Jaimie.

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  20. Nicolas Chamberlain6:44 pm, June 10, 2015

    According to you mate, the whole club is ridiculous.
    I really don't get this overreaction when it comes to Lallana.
    Really one of the few highlights. He has been very unlucky, that's all.

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  21. Think I just said something similar but it played a game of Russian roulette with the word filter and lost, agree with you.

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  22. Actually Dutch teams encourage players to develop in many positions in order to appreciate the big picture and become more tactically aware!

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  23. Alan Smith;)

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  24. Actually surprised 'but' made it through the filter just then.

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  25. milner is replacing gerrard not allen, and bogdan is not better then jones, hes boltons number 2. if hes the number 2 for a championship team he has zero business being our number 2.. as for ings being better then borini.. hard to know, borini got a similar amount of goals with a struggling side, he is a full international which ings is not and had a good season in serie a with a top team before coming here so probably had a better pedigree, only couple years in the difference age wise aswell.. like most fans your caught up in the "hes shiney and new so he is better" buzz that comes with new signings..milner is a downgrade on gerrard, bogdan is a downgrade on jones and borini and ings is much of a muchness if you ask me. dont get me wrong all 3 players had to go and all 3 that have come in are decent squad signings but we havent been improved.. when you lose a player whos a 5 out of 10 you need to replace him with an 8, you cant replace him with 5.1 and say well weve improved.. while technically true its not enough to make any real difference and you have t wait another couple years when your moving that player on for the chance to present itself again, every window we seem to replace crap with a slightly less crap player instead of looking for real quality.. another window same old story of chances missed for the pool

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  26. RAY would find a compliant with winning the lottery (glommy friends and family), or finding himself alone in a room with skimpily-clad Gillian Anderson (f***ing redheads).

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  27. The curtains have barely been pulled back let alone the window opened

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  28. Yeah sure a championship player who played only 10 games last season is definitely going to be competition for no.1 spot with Mignolet

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  29. Yes please to the last bit :)

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  30. spot on. top 4 gap going top get bigger

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  31. Bayern got beaten pretty convicingly in the CL since Lahm is being played in midfield, and Low had to put lahm back in RB because it didn't work out with him in midfield in the world cup.

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  32. He's the BEST right back in the world.He played for midfield only after pep took charge and are you comparing Milner with Lahm?

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  33. Another one gone: Andre Ayew has joined Swansea City from Marseille on a free transfer, signing a four-year contract.

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  34. Mascherano is not the main-man at Barca. Plus, he doesn't chop and change positions. He used to be a DM, not he's mostly a defender, so he plays in one position most of the time.

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  35. he has a poor behaviour, won't loose any sleep over him (you just have to see what a Marseille team mate said about him and his brother)

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  36. We already have one in Henderson, there's not much difference between him and Milner. So why are we getting him as Gerrards replacement. There's one more workaholic in Adam Lallana..

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  37. Is it really championed like it's the most important thing or just a pleasing talent for any player to bring to the table.
    I don't think I've read one single comment on here saying how high a hope the poster had that all our summer signings would be able to multi-task, although BR is obviously quite a fan granted.

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  38. I really hope all of our summer signings are able to multi-task ;-)

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  39. I declare you Champion Sir ;-)

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  40. Hey Jaimie, posting a link to something really 'outstanding' as Rodgers would say. Please make it available. Thanks.

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  41. http://metro.co.uk/2015/06/10/10-reasons-why-liverpool-actually-need-to-sack-brendan-rodgers-and-hire-jurgen-klopp-as-manager-5238454/

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  42. *bows haughtily*

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  43. Does that mean it's shit?

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  44. For Rodgers yes.

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  45. No.2 in a championship side Bolton who played only 10 games going to be a massive upgrade on jone? I think LFC can do much better. Is he good enough to provide competition for Mignolet?

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  46. Funny how our players are having a word about the new signings, nothing from Rodgers?

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  47. Well if he's not the main man who is;-)

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  48. So, if we signed him, BR would be flogged for the lack of ambition and label Ayew a complete flop. If we don't we're still lacking ambition and missed a star?

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  49. Not from you, though? ;-)

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  50. I think most here are fans of Ayew including me.. great deal for Swansea.. I would be more happy with him than Ings or Frigman.

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  51. Arranging it for you now. She might be a little groggy...

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  52. No need for that Bob I'm not the queen, or even a queen, this time next year though we will all be... something Freddy M wrote about...

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  53. Does it start with an L or an M? ;-)

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  54. Hit the nail on the head. The reason why our new signing last summer performed so badly is because they were square pegs in round holes.

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  55. Ian Rush P660 G3467:19 pm, June 10, 2015

    Milner will prove people wrong. Arsenal wanted him and I'm sure many other clubs too.

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  56. I'll sign her in as a guest for a bit that will liven her right up.

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  57. I hope he doesn't prove me wrong cos I think he'll be good.y

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  58. Ian Rush P660 G3467:22 pm, June 10, 2015

    Or maybe it takes players moving to a new clubs more than months to settle.

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  59. What could that mean, maybe he's jetted off somewhere to sign our next worldie personally.

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  60. I always read your posts in a strong cockney accent, like a London cab driver, with a tab hanging out of his mouth and a massive bald head with a bulldog tattoo on his neck. Especially the capital letters.

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  61. Maybe he is gardening leave :-o

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  62. I know right, can't think of any reason why he would want to keep a low profile at the moment. *rolls eyes*

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  63. Oh no you didn't, not again :)

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  64. if you haven't nailed a position down at 30 you never will

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  65. Yea Gignac didn't hold back

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  66. That's what I keep telling the missus

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  67. and wooden pegs at that not your fancy brass ones

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  68. As a villa fan who has stumbled across this article, I find it astounding how negative the article is. You would expect this type
    of negative opinion to be found on an Everton fan site not from a Liverpool fan. Jamie T are you a blue in disguise? I watched James Milner for 3 seasons play and captain the Villa (when we were half decent) whilst scoring plenty of goals and create plenty and generally having a talismanic effect on the team. the general feeling from Man city fans is that they are gutted to see him leave. as when he was given a run and a fixed position in their team he was always one of their better performers and certainly one of the most committed. I would challange Jamiek to write a review of Milners first season at the end of the season and I'm sure his opinion will be very different.

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  69. He's a good student and mirrors his boss

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  70. It didn't take Suarez long to settle; or Torres; or Alonso; or Masherano, or indeed Coutinho. Genuinely good players settle straight away. Players who aren't good enough and/or don't have the required mental strength, have problems.

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  71. He multi tasks? that's good it is a very important quality, perhaps even the most important ;-)

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  72. im with jk ( regrettably) on this chirag ,ive been advocating specialist players for several seasons to no avail .....rogers seems to want a team of no 10s

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  73. No, you are missing the point, which I don't have the inclination to outline yet again.

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  74. I had a similar view as well but I did a bit of research on him. He has been no. 2 only due to his injury problems last season. He is a fan favorite and I really do think he is an upgrade on Jones. Bolton fans even thinks that he is an upgrade on Mignolet. However, my realistic opinion is that he is better than what we had previously in Jones, Doni, Gulacsi, etc.

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  75. Round plants in square holes

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  76. Isnt he on a free as well? Why not go for him?

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  77. Jones was No1 for Boro when they were in the PL whereas Bogdan has limited PL experience and has spent most of his time in the Championship. Regardless of whether he is better than Jones or not, he is not good enough.

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  78. Why not we can count on Sturridge missing half the season

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  79. I view him as a backup and for that I am not too disappointed with the signing.

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  80. You don't need to challenge me - my views are not inflexible, and I give credit where it's due.

    I don't doubt that Milner is a good player, but he's not good enough to be the main-man at Liverpool.

    Playing for Villa and player for LFC are two totally different things. Being committed is not enough - Milner averages 3 league goals a season, and that's not good enough, no matter how you or anyone else tries to spin it.

    Liverpool fans were making the exact same argument about Lallana last summer when I questioned his signing, and look what happend: he made practically zero impact, and Liverpool regressed to an alarming degree.

    Milner is not going to push Liverpool into a title challenge, and/or a regular Champions League place, and if I'm wrong about that, I will admit it (just as I've admitted this season that I was wrong about Lovren)

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  81. As I said, there is no point in signing specialists if they are going to be played out of position anyway

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  82. Say Mignolet suffers a long term injury - will we survive an entire season with Bogdan as our keeper? Highly doubt it.

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  83. When a manager goes missing after a horrendous season then what other assumption can be made? I will have my fun while I can :-)

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  84. Or yard sale hunting

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  85. I think Bodgan was great against us in FA cup, wasn't he? He is definitely better than Jones. I do think Bodgan will surprise few fans. But yes, we could do with addition of another keeper who can be a direct competitor for Mignolet.

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  86. I don't think it really affects your main point, but Pirlo was played further forward for Reggina, making his name as a goalscoring central midfielder finishing attacks with movement into the box.

    I think both specialisation and variation are important. Different players respond to different things and you need a good blend in a team. Thierry Henry, Paul Scholes, Ashley Cole, Dani Alves, Steven Gerrard, Lionel Messi, are all good examples of world-class players whose tactical flexibility and development through playing different roles contributed to their success.

    Also in the cases of the later Pirlo and Xavi you might point at players like Gattuso, Puyol, Seedorf, and so on, who supplemented their specialised work with their tactical flexibility.

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  87. Crikey, bit drastic but see what you mean, well if we next hear that Anfield has had a quick middle of the night re-turfing, we will all know the truth, ruthless ;-)

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  88. Same here, I really thought Lovren was going to be the answer to the leader we needed at the back. Instead we signed a player resembling a schoolboy.


    As for Lallana, I was never keen on on him signing.

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  89. Remember John Ruddy? Mark Bunn? Al Habsi? All keepers who had great games against us - sustaining it over a season is difficult.

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  90. Sorry, I don't want links from loathsome rags like Metro on the site.

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  91. His performance highlights are on You Tube, he really did play well against us.

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  92. Ha ha Jamie, it was a pretty good article though.

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  93. And yes you have proved my point. I think GK like Ruddy are upgrade on *JONES*....I am viewing Bodgan as a backup dude.

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  94. 'Bitter Scotsman' - haha. Not quite, though I do take pleasure in seeing England repeatedly fail at every tournament. Cole, Milner, and Lallana = gigantic waste of money. Lallana is already proving that, and Milner will too. Gerrard, on the other hand, is a an absolute legend of modern football (even if he is English).

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  95. I'm not having that, our qualification stats can be made to look quite excellent ;-)

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  96. What's the use of having them if they can't really step up when needed. I repeat once again LFC can get much better players who can provide Mignolet with good competition..

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  97. FSG have finally given Rodgers what he needed all along, a muzzle.

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  98. For him to take out the TC with, a cunning plan indeed, but he must make sure to frame whomever is in the library at the time ;-)

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  99. There is a massive difference in quality of the Golden generation and the current generation of English players. Most of the older guys had successful club careers heck most of them even won the Champions league. Now you see guys like chris Smalling, welbeck etc.

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  100. You are a true fan. Showing such postivity and support and a total lack of realism. I take my hat off for you dear sir.

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  101. to be chosen to play for your country means you are playing well,,, to play for your country in 2 positions is pretty rare
    milner has played at full back,
    up front, left wing right wing center mid of 2 and left mid of 3,, there is probably more,,,,
    i think that because he is so versatile he just gets pushed into a position where needed and at times this has not helped him


    for villa he had a spell alongside barry in the center
    both players being alien to the position
    both went on to play for england, milner however started to get picked as a winger and his decent performances resulted in a move to citeh


    liverpool are getting a consummate professional who will give you everything
    he never goes missing,,,
    and i know you can get the best from him ,,,,
    your lucky to have him,,

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  102. Watching Pinkie and the Brain and arguing with them who is actually the one ready to take over the world.

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  103. Not half as unlucky as me mate! I would have signed for us too but they never even gave me the chance to get injured! Lucky Lallana...

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  104. Oh playing in 10 positions is definitely a great achievement JK, but not as great as "having a great engine"

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  105. Rodgers forgot the portrait of himself in Stevie's house. Stevie not happy.

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  106. How many players do we need to build team around? I thought that Coutinho were to become the main man once Gerrard is finally gone.

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  107. i think when your squad gets decimated by injuries and suspentions etc sometimes its very useful to have someone like milner to cover for a position,, or during a game and your down to your last sub,, he can give you an option that not many teams have
    a lot of people who dont understand football wont get it,,,
    but you ask any manager and they would all want a milner in the team
    many years ago sven goran erricson said give me a team of milners and i would win the world cup
    and this was before he had ever played for england
    obviously this is a ludicrous statement but it shows how highly some managers think of him

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  108. Bogdan will not in any shape or form be pushing Migs for his place. It just shows how utterly useless we are in the transfer market.

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  109. Milner will be a great player for you his best position was in the middle of the park, can run for ever , pick out killer passes and score.. I wish we had him back at the villa. great player for us but like lots of players now followed the money to city and it didnt work out.

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  110. Theycallmemrburt8:18 pm, June 10, 2015

    The goal he scored at the World Cup Finals against Denmark was the first chance many people had seen of Diao. Houllier said of Diao: "He has the same qualities as Patrick Vieira. He's an intelligent lad and great in the dressing room......"

    oh... ok one more then.....

    Houllier said: "To me, Bruno (cheyrou) has some of the attributes of Zinedine Zidane, he has his ability to pick a pass, and moves a little like him. Zidane is 29 and at the very peak of his game, while Bruno is just a youngster, and is still very much learning, especially about English football."


    you've twisted my arm......bonus track: Take it away Martin.......

    Asked whether he felt Young belonged in the same company as Ronaldo and Messi, Martin O'Neill replied: "Yes............."

    2008

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  111. At this point I seriously doubt that we have any professional scouts at the club

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  112. next season lallana will come good,,, sometimes you lose a bit of confidence and it takes another pre season for you to get going,,, this has happened many many times
    but also rodgers may bring someone else in,,, like milner who may well bring out the best in a few of your underperforming players
    lets face it one player can make a team,,
    and you lot know how hard it can be when that player goes

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  113. Add to that, Brendan Rodgers who is giving our scouts the easiest job of attracting top quality players. Cough cough.

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  114. I have absolutely no problem with getting Milner as competition for Henderson, but he shouldn't be the first choice to fill the void left by Gerrard.

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  115. Theycallmemrburt8:27 pm, June 10, 2015

    Plus it was world cup year. It's rare that a summer international tournament doesn't hinder player performance the following season.

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  116. I've argued for Gignac on numerous forums for a number of months now. He's quality, experienced, hard-working and for the penny pinchers on a free.

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  117. Yet we are willing to pay £10m or so for Ings?


    The mind boggles.

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  118. Suarez took about a season and a bit to settle, scoring 4 in 13 in his first half season, then 11 in 31 in his first full season (league only). It was only his last two seasons when he was firing on all cylinders.

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  119. You ought to down the Milner hate, so much passion can't be good for your health.



    As for Milner himself, Pellegrini spoke out numerous times about how much he wanted Milner to stay. Arsenal were interested, as were clubs abroad, supposedly so were United though I don't put much stock in that particular rumour.


    His stats per 90minutes are credible especially considering he was often forced to play in unfamiliar positions.


    I personally wouldn't mind seeing us go back to a diamond with Can (or preferably a specialist DM) at the base Hendo and Milner in the centre and Coutinho at the tip.


    Ings and Sturridge at the top (ideally Gignac and a fully fit Sturridge).


    Manquillo (or an upgrade) at RB Skrtel and Sakho in the centre and Moreno at LB

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  120. I disagree. You are only including league goals here, and ignore all competitions, plus assists:

    * 2010-11: 9 goals/assists in 13 games

    * 2011-12: 28 goals/assists in 39 apps.

    * TOTALS: 37 goals/assists in 52 apps (Goal/assists every 1.4 games)

    Cleary, Suarez hit the ground running, and contributed regularly from day-one.

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  121. Suarez did only join in January 2011. Scored 17 in 39 and 11 assists in his second season which does not suggest that he needed time to settle.

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  122. 17 in 39 includes the league cup and FA Cup against more often than not lesser opposition
    Sticking to the PL alone it was 11 in 31, which isn't quite the same.
    Regardless Jan to May is as they tell us the business end of the season, so he had just over half a season before his first full season, where in the league he scored 11 in 31, which isn't what a top quality striker should be scoring, 21 in 33 (12/13) and 31 in 33 (13/14) is.

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  123. there is someting in that statement,,,, even though i am not a liverpool fan i genuinely hoped pool would make him a better player for englands sake
    last year was such a disapointment for yourselves after the fantastic suarez season
    but teams often perform badly even after winning the league or losing it in such disappointing circumstances and lets face it
    pool were just fantastic to watch that second half of the season
    milner and ings will allow pool to be sniffing at the champions league positions ready if one of the top four slip up

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  124. Yes as mentioned I only take into account the as Cup ties are usually against lower quality opposition.

    When you lambast players for not scoring enough for LFC, you usually only include their league stats, not sure why you're doing anything different here.

    4 in 13, 11 in 31, 21 in 33 and 31 in 33.

    You may disagree, but clearly, it's not clear that Suarez hit the ground running, otherwise there'd be no disagreement.

    But taking into account all competitions let's look at Milner's stats in all competitions, he has 15 goals/assists in 39 games his per 90 minutes figures are even better considering a lot of these were sub appearances

    Surely 15 in 39 is a good for a central midfielder, especially taking account his subbed appearances?

    Even Lallana's stats aren't that bad taking 8 goals/assists in 23 games in the PL.

    Ings had 15 goals/assists in 35 games the PL and that at only 22.



    All stats taken from whoscored.

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  125. Well Ings has 2/3 things in his favour according to the TC, age (22 to Gignac's 29), English so fills home grown quota requirements and used to the PL/English leagues.

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  126. Ian Rush usually gets wheeled out in this argument...

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  127. Thanks you Sir, thank you.

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  128. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahaahhahahahaha! Jamie is not happy with this at all! I saw that earlier and did wonder if you picked up on that!

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  129. I meant Honda not Hendo

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  130. That's no way to speak about Gillian; she's heading your way next, on her bicycle :)

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  131. Do you mean literally?

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  132. I don't dislike Lallana as a player at all. I was just pointing out that we overpayed for him. I've absolutely no doubts he will improve next season. He missed preseason last year and that was always going to hinder him.

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  133. You should see a doctor about that cough...

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  134. Steff the Villan3:10 am, June 11, 2015

    Milner is class, you should be grateful he's lowered his sights, you need to get over yourselves, you're not top four anymore!

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  135. Oxford U would like your full contacts to confer you an honorary Doctorate of Letters (DLitt) in Sarcasm... ;)

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  136. that's because we're having small club manager and players mentality.

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