15 Nov 2009

I'm confused: Why does FABIO AURELIO deserve a new contract with Liverpool?

With his contract expiring next summer, Fabio Aurelio is free to sign a pre-contract agreement with another other club in January. Rafa Benitez reportedly wants Liverpool to renew Aurelio's contract, but what has the Brazilian actually done in his time at the club to deserve this?

The plain fact is this: Aurelio (aka Mr Glass) is injury prone. He may have a great left foot and (allegedly) be fantastic at set-pieces, but what difference does it make if the team doesn't benefit because he's regularly injured?

Let's take a look at the facts:

Oct 2006 - Injured: Out for 1 month
Jan 2007 - Injured: Out for 6 weeks
Apr 2007 - Injured: Achilles tendon. Out for 5 months

Apr 2008 - Injured: Adductor muscle - Out for 4 months
Nov 2008 - Injured: Out for 5 weeks

Jul 2009 - Injured: Playing football with kids - Out for 2 months
Oct 2009 - Injured: out for 3 weeks (so far)

Some more facts:

* Averaged 16 appearances per season for Valencia between 2000 and 2006

* Averaged 21 starts per season since coming to Liverpool.

* Averages 1 goal and 3 assists per season for Liverpool.

Aurelio had a history of injuries at Valencia, and despite averaging a paltry 16 games a season over 6 years, Benitez still brought him to to the club.

The most important question for me is this: Is Aurelio a player who can be relied upon? The answer is clearly no. Take this season, for example. Liverpool are in the midst of a major injury crisis and Aurelio is injured *again*, right at the time Liverpool need fit players the most.

Where does it end? When is there going to be a time when he is regularly fit?!

So, I ask the question: why exactly does Aurelio deserve a new contract? What has he brought to the team? What has been his specific, measurable impact on the team's success over the last 3 seasons?

Aurelio is 30 years old now, an age when injuries usually start become more frequent (!). Is he going to suddenly buck the trend and stay fit for the next 2-3 years? I sincerely doubt it, and history would suggest this is unlikely.

In my view, Liverpool should sell Aurelio in January for as much money as possible. He's just been called into the Brazil team so he'll have some value, and given the fact he was a free transfer, it's all profit for the club.

If Aurelio stays for another 2-3 years and picks up even more injuries, who is going to buy an injury-plagued 33 year old?!

There's no room for sentiment here - Liverpool cannot afford to carry any more passengers because, as we've seen, injuries can be devastating.

On a related note, how many more injury prone players/players with a history of injuries is Benitez going to buy/acquire? Recently, we've had:

* Phillip Degen (injury plagued season prior to joining Liverpool)

* Daniel Agger (Injury plagued at Brondby; now injury plagued at Liverpool)

* Alberto Aquilani (Injury plagued at Roma; hopefully not at Liverpool)

All three of the above may be good players, but once again, what difference does it make if they (along with Aurelio) are never fit enough to play regularly?

The ultimate irony here is the fact that Liverpool sold John Arne Riise, a left-back who was very rarely injured.

I see no reason to keep Aurelio - keeping him at the club would be flushing money down the toilet.

Having said that, I'm willing to be convinced if someone can make a solid case for giving him a new contract.


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  1. Aurellio is a good option to have, even if he is injured for the majority of the season, when he is fit he provides an attacking dimension down the left and can take a free kick. He was in the brasil squad. Why are you moaning about resigning him? He obviously gets on with rafa and he has a good attitude.

  2. I think Aurelio's made us look far more effective when he has played.

  3. I see - so we should keep an endlessly injured player just because he gets on with Rafa and has a good attitude?!

    And he's apparently a good option to have 'even if he is injured for the majority of the season'?!

    Would it not be better to have a player who was NOT injured for the majority of the season, or am I missing something?

  4. Riise should not been sold!!

  5. The key phrase being 'when he's played'.  Would it not be better to have a quality left-back who plays the majority of games in a season?  Is this too much to ask?

  6. not the lfc way to dump a player who is useful just because they are injured - same as united with ole gunnar...

  7. no but with the cash that we have what would you do?

  8. oh!!!!! thats right. Pick some more of the trees. haha

  9. I also thing our lack of strength in certain areas is adding to the injury woes.

  10. But apparently it IS the Liverpool way (under Benitez) to dump a respected professional after just 6 months at the club. 

    Solksjaer is not a fair comparison - Aurelio has contributed next to nothing for Liverpool.  Solsakjaer was a very important player for United.

  11. Sell Aurelio for between 3-6m.  Sell Dossena for 3-6m.  Buy another left back with the money, someone who does not have a history of injuries.

  12. You're not confused at all, you just post inflammatory anti-liverpool blogs, hoping to generate cash-for-hits from your advertisers.

    Be honest Kanwar.....what football club do you support, you are certainly not a Liverpool Supporter, you have never said a good word about the club.

  13. u speak nonsense mate! the other day u wrote an article about the return of aurelio and there was full of praise for him.. i advise the other readers to have a look at that article and see how excited the boy was when aurelio was returning from injury..

  14. You're not very observant are you?  I love it when people level the 'you're only in it for the mooney accusation'.  Okay...

    Please find some evidence of advertising on this site ANYWHERE.

    This site is, always has been - and will remain - an advertising-free zone.

    So, do you actually have an opinion about Aurelio, or are you going to hurl some more false accusations? ;)

  15. Jaimie, just who is gonna buy injury prone players for those sums of money?

  16. the other day u said 'Whatever the position, the fact that Aurelio will be making a return is very exciting, and he could prove to be an important player in our title run'.. and today this article!! haha!! what game are u playing??

  17. You mean this article, which was written by Bikram Rana, i.e. another of the site's writers?


    I've never written an article praising Aurelio.

  18. As I said above, that was written by someone else, not me:  http://www.liverpool-kop.com/2009/09/how-is-rafa-benitez-going-to-solve.html

    Perhaps you should try and be a little more observant, eh?

  19. Another provoke and goad article but got to say the formula works. I'm in two minds on this. He's got a sweet left foot, is versatile, freekick specialist and scores important goals. Even his appearances from the bench when coming on late to secure up the left side has been important. Potential to be a key player for us but his injury record is bad. Maybe, just maybe he's over the worst but I wouldn't bet on it. If he is over it however I would want to be the guy that let him go for peanuts.

  20. Aurelio is the best left back we have - that's why! It's just unfortunate he's injury prone.

  21. Jaime,
    If we do sell Aurelio for between 3-6m.  Sell Dossena for 3-6m, who do you suggest that we buy? Surely there is a lack of LB who have the talent to step up at this level, otherwise Wayne Bridge wouldn't get a game.
    Also, where does this leave Insua in terms of the games that he will get to allow him to push on?

  22. agger and aurelio have been injured almmost all the time. why should they get a new deal? rafa has lost control and should leave. liverpool, one of the most successful clubs in the world, deserve world class players like barca nad real madrid and should not compromise for anything else and not below average players like lucas, deggen, agger, aurelio, babel, voronin, ngog, kyriacos,

  23. Three immediate options that spring to mind: 

    Stephen Warnock - buy him back!  Shouldn't have been sold in the first place.  Strong, effective and consistent for Blackburn. 

    Others: Nick Shorey, Paul Konchesky, Fabio Grosso (Lyon), Eric Abidal (Barca), Manuel Pasqual (Fiorentina);  Filipe Luis (Deportivo) etc.

    I'm sure there are plenty of other left-backs out there - the point is why should we settle for an injury-prone one?

    Insua would still continue his progression as you definitely need two decent left-backs these days.

  24. Do you know what Jamie I read most of your articles on here and until now have never replied and stated what I think about them. I totally agree with this article on Aurellio-useful whn not injured but very injury prone the majority of the time!

    I also agree with many of your articles I've read i.e.  Benitez changing his formation and adapting to the present situation/crisis; Kuyt and his usefulness when he is out of form?-  There could have been other more attacking options for the right; good manager but some poor decisions in the transfer market as well as unconvincing, 'robotic' substitutions- that don't react to what is actaully happening at the time etc; etc.

    I'm just concerned that  here as on LFC's main website many of the posters ( I really am not trying to be offensive-only to state my opinion) seem to be very blinkered or have rose-tinted spectacles on! This seems to be getting worse as now not a word of criticism can/is tolerated about Benitez by the 'In Rafa we trust brigade' and just as much so by the all of a sudden ' Lucas can do no wrong' supporters.

    This is a worrying state of affairs when clearly for a 'top' team LFC is in crisis, having lost 6 games and drawn 2 out of NINE games! If that doesn't tell us that something major is wrong (not minor as I've heard Benitez being quoted) -then when will it be decided so?! Last season was last season; this season is this season!!

  25. Rafa should concentrate on getting results with current team, than building a half baked empire.

    I'd be interested to read your thoughts on Rafa's time at Valencia because looking at it from afar Valencia were not in the CL the two times Valencia won La Liga. The first season Rafa won La Liga they'd been in the 2 previous CL finals (with previous manager) and the 2nd time they won La Liga it was when both Barcelona and Real Madrid both imploded at the top and Valencia came from no where (or at least that was my recollection).

  26. Jaime,
    Warnock - I liked the guy but he did have a lot of injuries and he is a better LM than LB
    Shorey - Has only played 22 times since the start of last season. Granted he was not injured but he couldn't get in the Villa side who tried to off-load him to Portsmouth
    Konchesky - Has played at Charlton, Villa, Spurs and now Fulham - which would suggested that he has reached his level - he is simply not good enough for Liverpool, would porbably cost £5-6m and in 12 months time, he would be on the list of Benitez bad-buys
    Grosso - A good player but he is 32 and therefore very short-term - how quick would he take to settle?
    Abidal - Is a good player but has been injured frequently in the last 12 months - including only just returning from an elbow injury
    Paqual - Turned down other clubs to sign a new contract in the summer he is currently cup-tied for Europe and so would leave us with no cover
    Luis - From Deport own website - "It seemed that Felipe wasn’t a left winger or defensive enough to be a left-back"

    The point is that we have Aurelio & Dossena because these players were avaialble and wanted to sign for Liverpool, other LB, including those on your list are either not available, or not good enough for the team or do not improve our current position.

  27. Thanks for your comments :)

    One of the greatest sources of frustration for me is, as you highlight, Benitez's refusal to adapt. I don't think it's a failure, just a stubborn refusal to devaite from his methods.  This season is a prime example: Alonso gone; weak central midfield; bedding in a new defensive unit.  Benitez did not adapt to the situation - he continued doing the same things as last season stubbornly beliving it would work.  It hasn't, and Liverpool have suffered as a result.

    And you're spot on about the the blind faith in Benitez - despite the fact he has led Liverpool to their worst sequence of events for over 50 years, it's still (apparently) not his fault.  It's everyone else's fault, but Benitez remains free from responsibiiity.

    When does Benitez start to take some responsibility?

    This kind of mindset is damaging to the club, and the ironic thing here is that the stubborn, unyielding support of the fans is becoming detrimental to Liverpool's progress.  The situation with the owners - which Benitez has milked to the full - has created a 'him or them' situation with the fans, and because of the anti-owner sentiment and 'Benitez can do no wrong' attitude, the manager will always come out on top, even if it's to the detriment of the club.

    People accuse me of having an agenda, but those who blindly support Benitez in spite of his regular failings are the one with real agenda here.

  28. I'm sure Europes top clubs will be queuing up to pay 3-6m for a player they can sign for nothing in the summer and can agree terms with in January.

    Fact is that it's cheaper to give him a contract than it is to go out and sign another full back as good as Aurelio.

    Given we're skint I would have thought that would even be obvious to a United fan.

  29. Gordo - Warnock has made over 95 appearances in the last 2 seasons, which is more than Aurelio has managed in his entire time at Liverpool.

    Shorey and Konchesky have both played for England and both are quality players.  There's not reason to think they would not be effective, non-injured professionals for Liverpool.

    I take your point about Grosso's age, but we shouldn't rule players out just because they're a iilttle older.  This team needs a couple of quality, experienced heads after the departure of Sami Hyypia.

    Luis - he made the La Liga team of the year last season so he must be doing something right.

    As I said, I am sure there are other available/non-injured left-backs out there who could do a good job for Liverpool.  I don't have an encyclopaedic knowledge of world football, those names were just off the top of my head.

    Why should we have to settled for a regularly injured left back for another 2 years?  Shouldn't we have higher ambitions than that?

  30. Nick Shorey. Do you ever watch any games Jamie.

  31. Oh yeah . Fabio grosso. 30+ old.

  32. Paul Konchesky.... Really!? You're a loon. Aurelio is an excellent LB, one of the best in the league and not one we could replace on current budgets - that's why he deserves a new contract. 
    Whilst some players do seem to be more injury prone than others it's certainly possible for someone who's had a bad run of luck with injuries to enjoy a good run of injury free years later in their careers so I for one wouldn't automatically hold a poor injury track record against a player. I might, if I was Rafa, have the club doctors & physio's advise me in detail on the nature of the injuries -have they all been to the same joint - is he fundamentally unequipped, physically, to have a career as a professional sportsman or has he had a variety of unfortunately injuries which have kept him out and medical records show him to be fundamentally as likely/unlikely to be injured as any other player in the squad... I'd put a lot of money on a man as meticulous as Benitez having done this and to be making a judgement based on all the available facts.. Good enough for me and if the alternative is Paul Konchesky then I know who'd judgement I'll be backing. 

  33. OKay Kbill - please explain why Konchesky is such a bad player.  You seem to have an emphatic view of his quality (or lack thereof) so I'd be interested to hear you expand.

    Benitez might have the club's doctors etc give him the a-z on Aurelio but that doesn't mean Benitez is infallible.  If that was the case, why did he sign Phillip Degen, a player who made only 10 appearances for B. Dortmund in the season prior to joining Liverpool.  Was that good judgement in the transfer market?

    Whilst I agree that it is possible for a player with a bad injury history to come good in the end, I don't think this is the case with Aurelio.  He has a history of regular injuries stretching back 8-9 years - he is 30 now - when is this unbroken run going to happen?

  34. Going by that we might as well sell Aquillani NOW!! his appearance record over the years has been abysmal as well.  Aurelio (when he is available!) makes us look solid at the back..theres no doubt about that.  Insua has been at fault for a number of our goals this season by simply failing to mark correctly or being indecisve at crucial moments.  In my opinion the boy boy isn't good enough, not yet anyway. (check out his howler on debut for Argentina.  He tries to backheel a clearance in the box!)  It's quite simple, when Aurelio plays we win matches.

  35. It's quite simple, when Aurelio plays we win matches.

    Aurelio last 5 games for Liverpool: Won 1 | Lost 4

  36. thats right lets overlook the 3-4 month unbeaten run last season.

  37. <span>The ultimate irony here is the fact that Liverpool sold John Arne Riise, a left-back who was very rarely injured.</span>

    Yes, rarely injured but as Hansen would say 'He's NEVER been a left back'.  Do you think e should keep poor players just because they stay fit?

  38. Let's at least be fair here - it was not a '3-4 month unbeaten run' - with respect, that is typical fan embellishment ;)

    Liverpool's went on a good run from 3 March - 23 May, which is just over 2.5 months.  Furthermore, during that 14 game run, we lost to Chelsea and drew a further 2 games.  Definitely a great run, but it does not define the whole season.  There were another 45+ games before that point.

  39. Why was Riise a poor player - because he scored an own goal against Chelsea?  Carragher has scored 7 own goals in his career - does that make him crap?

    There was no performance reason to sell Riise in my view.  And even if his performance level dropped slightly, he was still a solid squad player and just the type of personality Liverpool need right now.  I'd rather take a fit Riise over a regularly injured Aurelio that's for sure.  Riise was stronger and scored/created more goals.

  40. thats a bit of a politician answer there Jamie you never answered my point on Riise.

  41. I answered your Riise point above...

  42. So you did.  and in reply im not a fickle fan, one mistake does not define a player.  Technique, positional sense and a footballing brain do.  Unfortunately Riise had none of the the above, but would occasionally chip in with a screamer that would cover over the cracks.

  43. Benitez wants Aurelio because I'm certain he is his eyes & ears in the dressing room. Also because he is a quality player when fit and to sign a 2 year extension will not cost a lot of money, but to replace him would cost millions that LFC do not have and can't afford.
    I agree that he let Warnock go too early especially for a paltry £1 million only for MON to sign him for £8 million. Riise was a good player but had a few average/poor seasons towards the end, hence why he was sold.
    It all comes back to the same problem, money. If Liverpool had the money Benitez would not be looking for free transfers or keeping players that are cheap and occasionally useful. Our back up RB, LB & striker are all free transfers, our back up CB & striker cost £1million and most of the other back ups are kids that cost peanuts. Does an experienced manager really freely choose to have these players in his squad or is it because he has no choice because he has no money to spend on real quality?

  44. How did I establish a view on Konchesky? By watching him try and play football. He's nowhere near a top-four quality left back, partly evidenced by the clubs he's played for but mostly by just watching him. He gives away a lot of free-kicks, doesn't use the ball intelligently, can't pass accurately at anything over 10yards and offers very, very little going forward. Otherwise of course, he's a great option if we want to go backwards and compete with Fulham and Everton in the future. 
    Agree that Insua has a lot to learn at LB as well, Liverpool fans are so starved of promising youngsters coming through that I think a lot of us have overlooked his mistakes, he's promising and should make the grade but he's well behind Aurelio for me. 
    Totally agree that we should never have sold Warnock though - great commitment and attitude with some genuine ability on the ball when going forward. Warnock & Riise would have been a decent couple of options for our LB position all along and it's the one area of the team that I don't think Rafa has really made good calls. 

  45. Oh come on, Mike - It's not about money.  Benitez has had plenty of money to spend.  For example: he spent 8m on Dossena, which is proof the money was there for a full-back.  Liverpool broke their own transfer record for a defender when Skrtel was signed.  5.8m went on Agger.  Degen was free but he got a 2m signing-on fee. 

    If Benitez had spent his money more wisely, perhaps we'd have a better squad.  Imagine if the 20m on Keane had been spent better; the 8m on Dossena; the 11m on Babel.  That's 39m right there wasted.  That could've bought 2-3 top quality first team players.

    This is not about money - that's just another excuse to absolve Benitez of responsibility.

  46. as usual jaimie lloking for someone to argue with, nearly everyone one responding thinks aurelio is a good player. you are wrong this time - deal with it.

  47. as usual jaimie looking for an arguement, everyone responding thinks aurelio is a quality player. you are wrong this time - deal with it!

    and stop using stats, its just petty.

  48. Jaimie, imagine if the owners had given the money we got back for Keane to Benitez to buy another striker instead of paying of the loans.
    The money spent on Babel & Dossena we will get back if we sell them, Babel was the most sought after player in Europe when we signed him so it's hard to criticize Benitez. As for Dossena I'm sure Benitez has sacked the scout who recommended him.
    Do you really think Benitez was happy to have Voronin as back up to Torres? Do you really think he wanted to sign an injured midfielder as replacement for Alonso? Do you really think if Benitez had real money to buy the £30 million players to compete with our rivals he would be buying players from the bargain basement. Benitez needed real backing in the summer and his net spend was a paltry few million, so it as all about money. A top club with ambitions needs to be able to sign top proven experienced players that cost tens of millions, it's not coincidence that the most succesful clubs in the last ten years have all been prepared to spend £20/30/40 million on individual players throughout the team.

  49. just another one as well, why does alex ferg not have to justify himself to you when he buys shit as well because you sound like a man utd fan everyday with more toilet articles.

  50. The Keane money did not go towards paying-off loans - that is a myth.  According to Liverpool's annual financial report for 2008, Liverpool only received 12m upfront for the Keane sale, the majority of which - according to my source at the club - went on paying for renewed contracts for Gerrard, Torres, Kuyt etc.

    Benitez spent 17m on a right back we didn't need in the summer - yes, Johnson is a good player but since he arrived we've gone on the worst run in 50 years, and Johnson has played in every defeat.  I'm not saying that it's his fault, but to suggest he has not improved the team yet - 1 win in 9 is proof od that.

    A couple of months before Arbeloa left, he was in the press saying how happy he was at Liverpool.  He went because Benitez wanted him to go.  Arbeloa should've stayed and the 17m should've been spent elsewhere - a backup striker, perhaps.

    It's just another case of Benitez not spending money wisely.

    Same goes for the overall outlay on Aquilani.  The money should've been spent on someone who would be fit from the start of the season.  Instead, the league is almost certainly over before he's even started a league game.

    Poor decisions from Benitez that will ultimately cost him is job.

  51. Aurelio has played few games very well when he's been fit but he's too injury prone and NOT world class. So I must agree with Jaimie. It's not money well spend given the fact that we don't have much money to spend. It's no use having players injured all the time. It's a different story with Gerrard and Torres of course. They are world class.

  52. you must be stupid. he has been effective? how many games has he played this season -- and please go and check -- exactly how many games have we won? you one stupid person for saying that.

  53. aurelio simply sucks. he cant defend to save his life (or rather, if your life depended on him, would you rather he defend or insua, for instance), always misses tackles, gives up on plays (sign of a real loser) and constantly loses his defensive assignment.

    on offense he gets stripped numerous times, is poor in passing (see how many successful crosses has he made compared to ...say... a recognized flop like jermaine pennant), and the only thing that he's got for himself is the occassionally well taken on target freekick and goal per season.

  54. I appreciate your comments  but please do not insult other posters.  I've edited your post accordingly.  Thanks. JK

  55. I agree that his injuries are a problem but as far as Im concerned it's not really a problem that we should be worring about when we have Insua.

    Beggars can't be choosers and even if we did have the money theres no one to spend it on.

    So I don't really have a solid case, but I'd like to turn it back on you and ask who could replace him? There really is no decent left backs out there and even so I think we've got two of the best in Insua and Aurelio, whos better? Cashley would never join us and we could never afford him, the only other decent left backs around are Capdevilla and Fernando Navarro but there getting on a fair bit.

    The only person I'd replace him with (thats possible) is Monreal, but it looks like hes going to City/Madrid.

  56. I've not been around this weekend so playing catch up.
    Is it confirmed that Aurelio has been offered a new contract?
    Can someone post the relevant link please.


  57. Even if Ashley Cole was available I wouldn't want the cheating mercenary at Liverpool.

    Why should Liverpool have a constantly injured player as their main left-back?  Wurely ti would be better to have a main LB who is fit the majority of the time?

    As such, I would take any of the following: Nicky Shorey, Paul konchesky, Fabio Grosso, Filipe Luis, Christian Chivu, Antonio Lopez, Manuel Pasqual, Stephen Warnock, John Arne Riise )yes, buy him back!)...

    The key consideration here is fitness, strength and ability to do a good job for Liverpool.  Is Aurelio somehow better than the players I list above/  if so, why?  Aurelio is a dcent left-back but he is not a world-beater.  Plus, even if he was that good, it's a moot point anyway as he's hardly ever fit for a run of games in the team.

  58. http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-fc/liverpool-fc-news/2009/10/15/fabio-aurelio-targeting-new-deal-at-liverpool-fc-100252-24934639/2/

  59. its easy to be critical of a managers transfer selection, but you don't name alternatives that could of replaced the so call bad signings. also you don't name a player who could replace aurileo. You mention riise, who had 2 bad seasons before he left and is not doing to well at roma. you should back up your arguments with alternatives that we can afford and have a proven track record.
    any one can be critical if they don't have to back it up

  60. Are you blind?  I have backed up my argument with alternatives, on page 1 and page 2 of this thread. And why don't you stop throwing out baseless generalisations - please explain - with examples - your reasoning behind these statements:

    1. You mention riise, who had 2 bad seasons before he left

    2. And is not doing to well at roma.

    Sounds like regurgitated media/messageboard BS to me.

    How exactly did Riise have '2 bad seasons?

    How is he 'not doing well at Roma'?

  61. well we have improved his average from 16 to 21 that deserves a contract extension. 

  62. So you reckon we have the money to get these players? the fee to their clubs plus personal terms would mean we may need up to £15mln so doubtlessly its better sense to extend Aurelio's contract since Insua is now the regular in that position hence that £15mln can go to say..a striker.

  63. Many thanks Jaimie.
    I see the headline says that its Aurelio who is targeting a new contract. Doesn't mention anything about him being offered it or indeed Rafa offering it.

  64. riise does not start every game at roma if you would like to check your facts, and the other alternatives mentioned, shorey, not good enough and unproven in other positions as with most of the others. 

    I did not say he was crap, I said he had 2 bad seasons, which before then he was one of the most consistent performers but his form dipped and did not get back to where it was, Most players at the club at the moment can play in more than one position, thats the kind of player benitez likes. Pick a player out of those you mentioned that has the same proven versatility as aurelio. That is why benitez wanted barry, because he offers more than one option which is handy. 

  65. Check my facts?  I have checked my facts, and Riise does staqrt every game for Roma.  Don't just say he doesn't without checking first. Shy is Shorey not good enough?  And what do you mean 'unproven in othe4r positions' - he doesn't have to play other positions - just left back.  Shorey has played for England; he is an experienced premiershp player.  He could do a good job.

    You still have not explained how Riise 'had two bad seasons'.  how did his form drop, as you allege? Provide examples.

    The whole 'Riise's form dropped' is a giant myth, just like the other myth thatgoes around regularly - 'Xabi Alonso had two bad seasons before a really good one'.  Liverpool fans like you go around robotically spouting these things but whenever someone asks you to expand on your 'opinion', you don't have an answer.  Why? Because you just parrot what other people say and don't seem to have any individual views of your own.

    And most players at the club can play more than one position?  Like who?  Torres?  Mascherano?  Skrtel?  Insua?  Riera?  Ngog?  Carragher?  Agger?  The criterion for judging a player's efectiveness should not just be whether they can play more than one position.  There's nothing wrong with having a specialised right back.

  66. I have to agree with Jaimie about Riise...I thought he was a quality defender, maybe his last season wasn't his best in a red shirt but its not like he was at the end of his career
    He was a better defender than Insua and Aurelio in my opinion although maybe he wasn't as gifted going forward as Aurelio
    To me it seems we sold a solid defender and not replaced him with anything better which is surely what we should be doing if we want to win that elusive Premiership crown?

  67. What are you talking about? As starting left-back, Aurelio is very defensively solid, possibly the best among the 3 we have. Why do you talk about stats such as goals, assists etc. for a left-back. He's good from set-pieces as well. As for Riise, do you not remember the Chelsea own goal. I'm not implying he should've been sold for just that one goal, but he wasn't very good defensively, and that's why Aurelio was starting ahead of him that season. 

    I'd like to see what our training staff do compared to other clubs. Why do we have so many injured players? Its way above average

  68. Liverpool have conceded 27 goals in Aurelios last 20 appearances.  I'd hardly call that defensively solid.  In any event, the point is even if he's a decent defender, he's never fit enough for Liverpool to really take advantage.  Why should the club settle for a 30 year old, injury prone left-back? Are you suggesting that there is no one in world football who could take his place?  Would you rather have a left back who is fit for the majority of the season and averages more than 21 starts a year?

    As for Riise - what has a singloe own goal got to do with his defensive ability?  Carragher has scored 7 own goals in his career (a premiership record) - does that make him crap?  In fact, this season, Carra has made more individual mistakes than Riise probably made in his entire Liverpool career.  The only significant mistake I can recall Riise making is the Chelsea own goal.  If there are more then please list them.

    And I disagree that the reason Aurelio started ahead of Riise because he was better - he got the nod because he's another one of Benitez's favourites, which is why he was bought from Valencia in the first place (just my opinion, of course). 

    Riise was and is a sold professional. Like so many other players under Benitez, he was worn down by poor man-management, which had an impact on his performance.  He joins a long list of players (including Crouch, Keane, Finnan, Pennant, Alonso, Henchoz and Mascherano) who have been demotivated by Benitez.

    The Chelsea own goal was just the excuse Benitez needed to get rid of him.

  69. Gerrard, beny, kyte, babel, lucas, carra, kelly, degan, johnson, could go on but that is not the poin.

    you ask people to quantify there statements, when you don't, you say shorey was instremental to reading finishing 8th, where are the facts to prove this? just because he got a england call up when every decent english left back was injured does not make him a great left back or he would still be in the england set up. 

    Warnock and riise where deemed not good enough at liverpool, Insua is the man playing left back at the moment so we need cover, or do you prefer dossena to aurelio? 

  70. Shorey was everpresent in the league for Reading in their first season in the top-flight; he also started every game.  i would say that would make him an integral player for Reading.

    More importantly, this is the number of games Shorey has played each season since 2002:


    No injuries.  He's fit, strong and effective, and in my opinion he would make a good signing for Liverpool.

  71. You can't be serious about what you've written, have you? How have Finnan and Mascherano been demotivated by Benitez? Crouch was decent as well, he was just sold because he wasn't good enough to start for Liverpool, and not part of the future plans. And Benitez wasn't holding back Keane's feet to prevent him from missing sitters, was he? He stopped playing Keane towards the end because he realized it was a mistake buying him in the first place, and playing him extra would've meant we'd have to pay Spurs more because goals scored and minutes played would've meant more money to Spurs. 

    As for Aurelio's defensive performances, bar that game against Arsenal, he's been really good. Do you not remember him completely shutting up Ronaldo for the Man U 4-1? Plus, I can't really give you stats, but I've been much more assured when Aurelio was playing LB than when Riise was, and this is despite the fact that Riise was one of my idols when I was much younger and he's still among my favourite footballers ever. And I wasn't using the own goal to show that Riise deserved to leave JUST because of the own goal, but just as an example of how he even got the basics wrong. He could simply have kicked the ball away with his right foot. As for Aurelio's last 20 starts, do you not realize most of them have not been at left back? insua's been playing LB for the most part, plus, so nice of you to choose Liverpool's worst start defensively to a season. Why not compare ALL stats? And I'm sure his last 20 starts include the games against Arsenal, and the 2 games against Chelsea? (11 goals in 3 games)

    You seem to act as if Rafa has a vendetta against certain players, and he's trying his best to make Liverpool fail. Riise was always decent under Rafa, but Aurelio is and was a better player(just my opinion, of course). Nothing wrong with keeping a better player and selling a slightly less better player. As for his man-management skills, lets see a few examples of how its been good:
    1. the Bellamy-Riise incident, and our subsequent performance against Barcelona
    2. making Mascherano the BEST defensive midfielder in the world, after he was rotting away at West Ham
    3. Getting the best out of Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard and putting them in the right position

    I don't care what Pennant says about Rafa, he was the only one among your list of players who was DEMOTIVATED by Rafa, and you just need to take a look at his life outside of football to see why no manager would like him. We were actually gonna get 6 millions pounds for selling him to Stoke, but he refused to go there. It'd have to go down as one of his transfer failures, not his man management failures.

    And you can say what you want about Rafa's "failures", but the fact is that, apart from the blip we've had this year, the team has mostly progressed. And I know its a tangential, but Martin O'Neill has spent quite a bit of money as well since he came in. In fact, from the years 04-09, Villa have only spent 3.5 mil less than Liverpool.

  72. insua is shocking defensively

  73. Riise,warnock and konchesky are not rafa type players they cannot keep possesion and the fullback area is a key position for this. Insua though keeps good possesion but his defending lacks the experience required at the top-top level. I think we should give Aureilio another contract possibly pay as you play, he has control,passing,positional sense and his experiece is vital, fingers crossed he will have more luck with injuries in the future. If we did try to sell him in Jan for 3-6 million we would only unsettle him and he would leave for free in july. I do agree though we need another quality left back while insua is learning his trade. Equally important though is the requirement for a top class left winger and backup striker. My three would be;

    Cissoskho from Lyon 20m
    Silva from Valencia  25m
    Dzeko from W'brg    20m

    I would sell;

    Itandge           0.5m
    degen              1.0m
    dossena           4.5m
    babel               7.5m 
    voronin             free    
    This would require a net investment of 50m.


    Johnson       Carragher        Agger          Cissoskho
    Kelly            Skirtel           Kyriarkos        Aurelio
    Darby           Ayala                                 Insua

    Benayoun     Mascherano  Aquilani          Silva
    Kuyt             Lucas           Spearing         Riera
    El Zhar          Plessis                             

                         Gerrard     Torres
                         Dzeko       Ngog
    This would give us a more realistic chance to compete on all fronts.
    I have included seven english players in the squad though i think eight british academy players are required as from next season, not 100% sure what status Ayala,Plessis,El zhar,Insua and Ngog have on  that regard. 
    I think you would all agree the above squad could elevate us to the top.

    All we need now is new investment, hopefully we have some good news in the coming months. 

  74. man you clearly dont have a clue, injury prone? maybe but when he is fit he is one of our most consistent players, ynwa, but you should jog on ahead

  75. Why would someone buy Aurelio, for 3-6million in January, when they could just sign him up on a pre contract for free a few months later.  What you are asking for just isn't goning to happen.  The majority of transfer deals get done in the summer for players contracts who run out the summer after, not Jan.

    Anyway, I want him to stay, as he offers good quality on the ball, defensively solid, good set plays, good delivery of the ball and he carries a bit of a goal threat too.

    At the moment Rafa is short of money, so I can't see us going out and buying a left back needlessly to replace Fabio.  Especially since we are trying to offload Dossena which would leave us short.

    As it is at the moment, Insua is progressing well for a youngster, so is fine to cover Fabio when he's not fit.

  76. nicky shorey  instead of aurelio. what is the world coming to??

  77. Jaimie.

    We need Aurelio. Contract extension doesnt cost us too much. A quality LB does  cost a lot.

    It's true: Rafa made some mistakes on transfer market, but this is a history. We dont have money now, so please dont mix the issues.

    We will not sell Aurelio for 3 mln. Just forget. He will leave on free four months later cashing half of the transfer fee from new employer as a bonus for being 'free'.

    Our LB position is not our most urgent problem. We do have to sort out LAM position and back up for Torres (prefferably one player and prefferably not too short). Only then Benayoun will put some pressure on Kuyt on RAM.

    We do need to sort out our CB (probably one player will be needed).

    Extending Aurelio's contract is a good move for a cash strapped club. You say Aurelio starts 21 games a season (you forgot to mentione how many times he playes during season)... Its acceptable contribution for a free player. We can give the rest (about 30 - 35 games) to Insua. Nobody will complain for Rafa not giving a chance to young players...

    And dont tell me Johnson wasnt needed. He was. We needed some creativity on right - you know that. To buy a class RAM we would need to spend 25-30 mln. We didnt have that cach this summer.

    "it is fair to say that has not improved the team defensively - 1 win in 9 is proof of that."

    1 win in 9 mainly 'proves' (you so like this word Jaimie, dont you?) Carra's dip in form not Johnson's defensive problems. Actually Johnson plays quite good in back which surprised me very much.

    He didnt make us worse defensively - but he did improved us offensively. Significantly improved. All together: very good buy. So far.

  78. The lad speaks a lot of sense

  79. you are a bell end. fact.

  80. Using the same logic, Liverpool are quite poor with Pepe Reina in goal as well. Liverpool's last 9 matches with Reina in goal have yielded only one win, and 6 losses. Surely, this logic of yours is flawed.

  81. Erm, let's see. Good player, signed for free, quality passer, quality set piece taker. Name a left back who got more goals and assists last season please

  82. Oh, and since you love stats
    Cole - 33 starts, 1 brought on, 1 goal, 0 assists
    Aurelio - 19 games started, 5 brought on, 2 goals, 4 assists
    Evra - 28 games started, 0 brought on, 2 assists

    And Evra and Cole are usually seen as the 2 best attacking fullbacks in the Premier League. Thanks for the impetus to get the info, pepe, and making the point i've been trying to make far more concisely :)

  83. Bikram - in your earlier post you stated: "Why do you talk about stats such as goals, assists etc", and now you use those stats yourself ;)

    I don't understand some fans - they have such an allegiance to the individual that they refuse to see how having a FIT left-back would benefit the club more.  How does having a regularly injured left-back help the club?  How is Aurelio helping the club NOW in its time of crisis?  He cannot be relied upon!  When the going gets tough, he gets injured.  Great!
    And to be fair, you've under-reported the starts stats a bit.  I don't know where you got the stats from for Evra and Cole but they are not correct.  The crux of my argument is that we need a left-back who is fit for the majority of the season AND averages more than a paltry 21 starts a year.  So let's look at competitive starts last season and the previous 2 seasons (league, CL, FA Cup, Carling)

    Evra - 14
    Cole - 14
    Aurelo - 4

    Evra - 42
    Cole - 48
    Aurelo - 26

    Evra - 47
    Cole - 38
    Aurelio - 20
    Evra - 103
    Cole - 100
    Aurelio - 50
    This is what I am talking about.  Look at the disparity in starts. In order to gain consistency in defence, Liverpool need a main left-back who starts more games that this!
    I really don't see how this point can be credibly argued against.  It seems to be 'let's kep in because when he's not fit he's half decent'.  That may be the case, but surely we should be looking at how the team would benefit from having a full-time left-back, not a regularly injured one?

  84. I was talking about how I felt defensively with Aurelio as compared to Riise, and stats can't back that up, that's just my feeling. I agree with you that he's not fit often enough, but he is a good back-up. He's definitely the best left-back on form. He hasn't started enough games, and I don't think there'll ever be a season where he'll be fit throughout, but he does start enough (half the games) to justify his contract extension. I see him and Insua starting an equal number of games. Also, WHEN FIT, he's a decent replacement at LM. As for the number of games, I ONLY included the league games.

    The last thing we need is so much instability. One of the reasons we tend to do so well towards the end of the season is because of stability, and it is one of the reasons we did so well in 08-09, all XI players had been playing together for more than a season, some 3 or 4 (after Keane left). Also, think of how much Insua can learn from Aurelio, esp defensively, just by Aurelio being there (in training, talking to him etc). I'm quite happy with our left back situation - 3 decent LBs (I know no one rates Dossena, but I think he's pretty decent, actually). I just don't see the need to sell Aurelio and get a new player - I think that's the last position I'd worry about right now, considering even Johnson can play there in the scenario that all 3 of our LBs are injured. Also, I think Insua is the future, and in that case, there is no need to get a new LB. If he's out of form/injured, then Dossena or Aurelio can play in his place.

    In other news, did you hear about N'Gog fracturing his nose? WTH? We've been cursed this season. Apart from that dive, he looked pretty good against Birmingham City. 

  85. Fair points - I agree with you, Aurelio is a good player.  And perhaps selling him in January is not the best idea, but I really think we should get another main left-back in the Summer, someone who is fit 90% of the time.

    Have to disagree slightly about Insua - I don't think he is the long-term solution, but I'm happy to be proven wrong.

    Re Ngog - when it rains it pours!  He can still plka with a busted Schnoz though ;)

    And yes, he looked very good against Birmingham.  His goals to game ratios is pretty good too.  More to come from him I think.

  86. Jamie. JAR was poor in his last 2-3 seasons at Liverpool. I do not have to provide examples. Watching every game was enough for anybody to establish that. Not being a regular in Roma's first 11 also demonstrates he is not good enough these days.

  87. *sigh*

    Why do people make such blatanly inaccurate generalisations?

    Roma have played 20 games so far this season.  Riise has played in 19 of them.  How is that not being a regular in the first 11?!

    He IS a regular: http://soccernet.espn.go.com/players/gamelog?id=7936&cc=5739

  88. Haven't villa bought Warnock so he's not likely to be available.

  89. http://forums.liverpoolfc.tv/showthread.php?t=140343

    Some comments for you lad.

    Why is it you delete anything that'stoo difficult for you to answer?
    You've been invited to the forum before to have a debate but you never do.

    Are you masquerading as a Liverpool fan Jamie?

  90. What are you on about?!  instead of being a brainless sheep who just believes everything faceless forumites tell you, why don;t you provide evidence that I 'delete things that are too difficult to answer'!?

    I never do that - And a cursroy glance at the discussion threads on this site proves that.

    I delete comments from idiots who turn up and snipe/make derogatory comments. 

    You can go back to the LFC board and get involved in your juvenile playground 'debates' - this site is for adults and people who can debate like adults.

    I have never posted on LFC.tv, and I never will.  I wouldn't waste my time.

  91. Another veiled dig at Rafa's purchases, this time focusing on those players he's bought that are allegedly injury prone.

    Owen Hargreaves was injury prone before Fergie signed him for £20m, why isn't Fernando Torres on your list? He's been injury prone this and last season?

    No, it's easier to pick on the bit part players over the last few seasons rather than possibly the best striker in the World because you need to try and at least attempt to obtain a shred of credibility.

  92. Surely this comment:

    "People like you who unquestioningly accept everything people tell you are the reason modern society is in the toilet."

    breaks your own house rules? It is a personal insult.

  93. Do you really need me to explain this painfully obvious point?  Torres CONTRIBUTES.  He scores shedloads of goals. amd despite being injured, he is still Liverpool's top score this season (and the previous two).

    It's a completely invalid comparison.

    Aurelio on the other hand struggled to average 21 starts a season and contributes very little.

  94. No, it's not a personal insult; in my mind, it's a statement of fact.  And given the fact the poster has about 15 different (banned) aliases on this site (and other LFC sites) and spends all his time slagging me off, I'd say that was quite restrained.

    And I truly blieve that - people like him are the reasons for the slow degradation of modern society.

  95. Sorry I'll break it down as you seem to be struggling to understand, Agger is our best defender but he's on your list hence why I mentioned Torres as our best striker, I thought that was a painfully obvious point

    Why did you delete my comment about Agger?!

    Honestly, you really do actually delete comments that may disprove your theories don't you? Why did you delete the paragraph where I mentioned Agger? All I said was that he's had his problems but he's arguably one of the best CB's in Europe!

    I'm sorry Jaimie but some of the posters on here are correct, anything that might damage your articles you delete.

  96. How many times - if you present your argument in the right way it will remain on the site.  If - as you did - you start your post with 'this is the biggest load of rubbish I've ever read' and then continue in that vein, your comment will be deleted, even if it contains valid points.  This is very clear in the comment policy.

    Why should I waste my time responding to posters who slag me off?  I only respond to those that debate in the right way.

    If you can't hack that, go elsewhere. or state your case in the right way.

    And the idea that I delete comments that don't agree with me is clearly nonsense.  At times, the majority of commentors disagree with me and present compelling couner-arguments; why are all their comments still on the site?

    Simple: they didn't act like 5 year old kids and start hurling derogatory comments.

  97. <span>Other than Evra and Cole ....is there a better LB, when fit than Aurelio in the EPL? </span>
    <span> </span>
    <span>I know he is unlucky with injuries ...one could point to the fact that his current injury problem is not related to football taking into account that it happened during the off season....</span>
    <span> </span>
    <span>When FIT he is better than Insua, that's the bottom line, to sell him and then to find another LB with his quality will be very difficult.</span>
    <span> </span>
    <span>Yes resign him to an incentive laden deal, with appearance clauses and bonuses; we don't not have the funds to be wasting it on a LB.I think Kelly can do a go job @ LB and cover @ RB until he is ready to take over from Cara in 2 yrs time.</span>
    <span> </span>
    <span>Using stats and comparing Aurelio to Evra and Cole is never going to give one a true reflection of his ability and presence in our starting 11. Chelsea and Utd use their fullbacks in a totally different way to us.</span>
    <span> </span>
    <span>How about you compare apples with apples.....how does every other LB in the League compare to the TOP 2 (Evra and Cole)? They are elite talent that we cannot afford right now, and pls do not point to Evra's price tag when he came to UTD because for 2 seasons he was crap and every Utd fan wanted him out. He developed in a good side and under a manager who could bring him through @ his own pace because UTD had DEPTH.</span>
    <span> </span>
    <span>We do not have that luxury; there are not many players you could sign for 6m that are better than Fabio. He gives us good cover down the Left @ Fullback and LM/LW ... Like I said he is worth his place in the Squad and right now is the best LB we have and in the TOP 3 in the best league in the world. Use Kelly and Insua to keep Aurelio fresh for the big games and manage him carefully because he cannot take the workload of 38 games a season.</span>
    <span> </span>
    <span>Why chop the players and Rafa down when this is the lowest point we've been @ for a long time ...we are points 5 behind Utd and 11 behind Chelsea ...the African nations are coming, Utd don't look a force that can go on a 10 match wining run, Arsenal have just lost RVP, City are stumbling ....we need to be positive! WIN our next game, get on a Run and do what we have done so well with RAFA finish strong, we can take maximum points after Feb.....Why not chose to believe in LFC and write something to inspire us ...not knock our players when they 2 must be disappointed with this season.</span>
    <span> </span>
    <span>Do your self a favor watch that 2005 Semi @ Anfield Vs Chelsea, That’s what we should be doing rocking that Stadium to its foundations every week.</span>


    I didn't insult you or make and derogatory comment, the paragraph you deleted was about Agger, it had nothing to do with insults of otherwise! I merely stated that Agger is arguably one of the finest CB's in Europe and whilst he's had a couple of problems in recent seasons he's still a great player and the injuries he's had weren't re-occuring, they were different from one to the other.

    Whilst Aurelio may have struggled with injuries he's still a good player and I doubt he's on a fortune with us. Can you name me a game where he's been torn to bits by a winger or shown up in someway?

    He's solid and reliable, he's also very comfortable on the ball and I think he's deserving of a new contract as he's a good utility player.

  99. Valencia won the league with 75 and 77 points. Totals that in a normal season would never have been enough. They were lucky in that Madrid/Barca were well below par in those years and Rafa capitalized.

  100. Keep him on some sort of pay as you play deal. He should be a squad option but really if Benitez hadn't wasted money on Dossena we wouldn't need him. Insua is supposed to develop into our new left back isn't he?

    What exactly is Benitez's long term planning regarding squad development because from where i see he has none. Just lurches from one transfer window to another while trying to fill gaps and then selling the players that want to leave.

    Aurelio is never going to stay fit for any length of time..neither will Degen or Aquilani. Benitez is responsible for signing sick-notes like this.

    Funny how Torres missed 4 games in 3 years at Athleti..now he comes here and is always injured. Rafa's medical staff and treatment of injured players is a total joke.

  101. I hope you're proven wrong about Insua. He's looked suspect defensivly. Offensively, I'm happy with him, though. He's only 20ish, though, so he has plenty of time to learn. 

    Yeah, Eggnog looked decent - lets just hope he stops diving, its a shame. Good thing is, Rafa didn't defend him, and he himself said something to the effect of it not being a peno. 

    Anyway, check out these two vids. Look how Aurelio shuts up Ronaldo in the first half (With the exception of one pass, and with a little help from Riera, Lucas and Masch). Ronaldo had to be switched to the right because of Aurelio's effectiveness

    And here's a video highlighting the attacking threat that both Aurelio and Insua pose

    I know your main point about him being injured still stands, but I just wanted to show you. 

    Anyway, what did you think of Rafa's latest interview with Times today? I thought it was pretty positive. Also, I never thought of this, but someone did a column on the Times saying that Ferguson's 4 match ban may have something to do with Rafa's rant. Thoughts/article on that?

  102. he's there for the experiance to bring Insua along and be backup...what you think we shoudl go and buy a different experianced left back just because you don't like Aurellio.  Once again all you concentrate on is the goals and assits, you don't take in the big picture - you do realise that a players rating (usually given in the newspapers the next day) goes on more than assists and goals.

  103. Why not get rid of Gerrard and Torres only played about 12 games together last season in the premier-league ... and Aquillani etc

    Quit happy with the duo of Aurelio  and Insua at the club , not bad for £1M ..

  104. I'd keep him he's been offered a pay per game deal ;)