12 Nov 2010

Daniel Agger to Inter? Let him go. Liverpool needs to *STOP* buying injury-prone players

Reports are surfacing that Rafa Benitez might be interested in signing Daniel Agger. Whether the reports in Italy are accurate is not the issue - I want to focus on a wider issue; something that directly impacts on LFC's success, and that is the previous habit under Rafa Benitez of acquiring injured players and/or players with serious injury histories. As I'm sure most people must agree, this has to stop under NESV.

Under Benitez, Liverpool developed something of a habit of buying players who were either:

* Injury Prone.
* Had a history of injuries before signing for the club.

The 4 most obvious examples are Daniel Agger, Fabio Aurelio, Philipp Degen and Alberto Aquilani.

All four shared the similar traits before signing:

* Injuries in the season immediately prior to joining LFC.
* A history of niggling injuries.
* Low overall appearance record as a result of various injuries.

The quality of the players in question is not the issue; what difference does their quality make if they are not regularly available to make it count as a result of injuries. Below is a table illustrating the injury/appearance records of the four aforementioned players:

When Benitez signed Degen, he enthused:

"He [Degen] is an offensive player with great energy and a winning mentality. His strength is going forward and I am confident he will prove to be a quality addition to our squad. He is a good signing, a player of potential, who can help us improve in the wide areas."

Did we say any evidence of this in the last two seasons? No. Why? Because Degen was injured for 7.5 months, and then was so out of step with the Premiership he couldn't make any real impact.

Last season (2010-11), Liverpool had major injury problems at various stages; just imagine what difference it would've made if Aquilani, Aurelio and Agger had been fit and available for the majority of the season? The same applies to previous seasons too.

The key point for me is this: What is the point in signing players who have significant injury histories and low overall appearance records? When does such a policy ever pay off?! When has it ever paid off for Liverpool?

The signing of Aquilani is a prime example: he had a long history of regular injuries at Roma, and appeared in less than 50% of their games over a 5 year period. With Alonso gone, Liverpool needed a player of similar quality to come in and make a difference from day one of the season. Instead, Benitez signed an injured player (!), and Aquilani did not start playing until 3 months into the season. By this time, Liverpool's season was already in the toilet.

On the day Liverpool signed Aquilani, I posted an article arguing that it was the wrong decision, precisely for the reasons I've just outlined. I was, of course, slammed for that view but anyone could see it was the wrong signing to make, and that was proved to be the case.

And it's not just Benitez: In the summer, Roy Hodgson decided to re-sign Fabio Aurelio, one of Liverpool's most injury prone players. Indeed, at the time of writing, Aurelio is injured AGAIN. It's an inexplicable, negligent decision I still can't fathom, and it's the kind of signing that needs to STOP.

In my view, Liverpool should institute a blanket policy of NOT signing injured players and/or players with a significant history of injuries. This should mean not signing ANY player who:

* Has had a significant injury in the previous season.
* Has a history of recurring injuries over a number of seasons.

It doesn't matter who it is, no injured player/player with a history of injuries should be signed. It's just not worth the risk. The club ends up wasting big money on transfer fees, salaries, signing-on fees etc, and the team loses the benefit of having fit players who can come in contribute.

Players are always going to get injuries but the club doesn't have to increase the chances of that happening by signing injury prone players. If Damien Commolli and NESV have any sense at all they will institute a policy of only allowing fit players to be signed by LFC.

Back to Daniel Agger: He has spent 15 months on the sidelines since arriving at LFC, and now he is injured *again*, and no one knows for how long. It's not a question of quality, it's a question of utility; there's no room for sentiment - if a player is regularly injured then they should sold/allowed to leave.

Benitez brought Agger to Liverpool as an injured player; if he wants to bring everything full-circle and continue his habit of buying injured players, I say let him get on with it.

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. Another Rafa bashing I see, change the record Jaimie.

  2. No, it is not Rafa bashing at all.  It is a valid point; injury prone players were bought, it just so happens that it was under Benitez. You clearly have nothing intelligent to add so why even bother?

  3. Joe cole...Jamie? haha

  4. Oh, so why write the article? It's a point you've raised MANY times in the past so why write another article on the same subject? Is it so you can generate bad feeling towards Agger and his unfortunate situation? We know he's injured so why highlight the fact?

    When you sign any player you take a gamble, when we signed Agger he was just 20 years old and his one injury during his Brondby career could have been put down to his young age - he still had a full medical before signing!

    Gerrard had MANY injury problems early in his career, by your standards we would have sold him!

    I See you've NOTABLY left out Fernando Torres who's had a lot of time out injured, why is that?

    Different rules for him is there?

  5. I think Agger was a excellant signing however it may be time to cash in, HE IS INJURY PRONE, but that can not be blamed on Rafa.

  6. Surely on that basis we would not sign Torres?  Despire his injury record I'm pretty glad he plays for us.

  7. Interesting perspective. I think you are probably right as far as transfer policy goes, there is little point in signing a player who has a significant history of injury. On the other hand there are wider considerations.

    Firstly I would say that having a few quality (and that is what 3 of those 4 are), but injury prone players has not stopped other teams (tottenham or manchester united spring immediately to mind) from doing better than us.

    Additonally it is hard enough to find quality players as it is. With Liverpool's well documented financial difficulties/mismanagement there is an element of beggers not also being able to be choosers as well.

    Finally, I personally rate Agger and Aurelio as some of our best players and, when fit, they would always be in my 1st 11. With my previous point of operating under limited funds, when given the choice, would you rather go for a reliable, yet substandard player, or a less reliable quality player?

    We can hope that these days of new ownership things will be different. We should be able to achieve both quality and reliability, but to apply such strident policies to a historical setting which demands a more nuanced view is unfair at least and shortsighted at worst.

  8. Yet another boring and predictable dig at Benitez.

    - Fabio Aurelio - FREE 

    - Philipp Degen- FREE

    - Alberto Aquilani, - Was injured, but now fit and playing very well for Juve. Blame Hodgson for stupidly loaning him out despite having a full pre-season
    - Daniel Agger - Class player, didnt come to Liverpool with reputation of being injury prone, so how can that be Rafa's fault?  He is not a fortune teller?  besides if sold, then it will be for a tidy profitt

  9. I agree - another poor signing.

  10. "he still had a full medical before signing" Ah well, those medicals. Sorry, but the impression I have got from these is that they check little more than if the player can stand upright or has any significant and easy detectable diseases like a cardiac dysrhythmia. I may be able to pass it to be honest with you.

  11. Torres did not have a significant injury record before signing for Liverpool.  He averaged 40 games a season at Atletico, and scored bags of goals. Furthermore, it is obvious that Torres' specific, measurable impact on the club is such that he is worth sticking with through injuries.

    I don't even know why this is being mentioned. Could it AGAIN be peoples' lack of comprehension skills? it must be - I clearly siad in the article that Liverpool should not buy players who:

    * Have a history of recurring injuries
    * Had time off injured in the season immediately prior to joining Liverpool.

    What does Torres have to do with this?

    if you're going to make an argument, why don't you make a valid argument that has some relevance to what's being discussed?

  12. Very true about injury prone Cole. I believe a certain Torres is also an injury prone player who by certain criteria should not have been bought but was and has gone on to do well for the club. would be interesting to see games played by Liverpool and the ones Torres has actually featured in

  13. Torres did not have a significant injury record before signing for Liverpool.  He averaged 40 games a season at Atletico, and scored bags of goals. Furthermore, it is obvious that Torres' specific, measurable impact on the club is such that he is worth sticking with through injuries.
    I don't even know why this is being mentioned. I clearly siad in the article that Liverpool should not buy players who:

    * Have a history of recurring injuries
    * Had time off injured in the season immediately prior to joining Liverpool.

    What does Torres have to do with this?

  14. Cerainly an interesting article, i am a big fan of Liverpool and Rafa, however where the latter is concerned he made errors as all managers invariably do. The point raised with regards injury records is certainly valid, do you perhaps think that it was due to the injury records that Rafa felt he could get the players cheaper than normal market price?  I recall him using such an excuse as to why he signed him (aqualani), although i still feel we overpaid.

    You are right although i guess its obvious , no manager wants to sign injured players, he took several gambles trying to be over clever in the transfer market and with regards Torres he only had major injuries since he arrived at Anfield.

  15. It is a dig at Hodgson too if you want to see it that way.

    For the FREE transfers, well, surely they demand a handsome signing-fee and equally handsome wages.

  16. How do you know Agger will be sold 'for a tidy profit'?

    You're missing the point.  it's not just about money; the team loses the benefit of having fit players who could make a difference.

    You have to consider the context too: why sign Aquilani when he was injured when we needed someone to make a difference straight away?  If we'd had a midfielder from the start of last season to replace Alonso maybe things might not have been so bad.  Benitez is to blame, not Hodgson; Benitez signed the injured player, not Hodgson.

    Degen and Aurelio may have been free but they have cost millions in salaries, bonues, signing on fees etc. And for what return?

  17. keep ranting on about Rafa when clearly its a dodgy medical team who let these transfers go through.
    you must be so bored and have so little going on in your life man, you really are boring.

  18. Don't ususally agree with the author of this post but i have to say, that I completely agree with him on this occasion. Injury prone players, free or not are of no value to Liverpool whatsoever as they are rarely available for selection and when they are they are not match fit. When they eventually become match fit, ususally the next injury is just around the corner. One last point, free (transfer) is subjective, subject to higher signing on fee and higher wages. I would be interested to find out how much per minute (on the pitch), Aurelio was paid over the last 4 years compared to say, Jamie Carragher or Dirk Kuyt as they are normally free of injury....touch wood!

  19. How you know he wont??

  20. *shoots self*

    How by any stretch of the imagination was Torres 'injury prone' before being bought by Liverpool?

    He averaged 40 club games a season for 6 years, even more when you factor in international games.

    Torres was not injury prone pre-Liverpool; he is injury prone AT Liverpool.

  21. I didn't say he won't - you made the assertion that he will be sold for a profit, I'm questioning that.

  22. In many ways I agree with you but still if you look at things the way you propose something and Torres committed to injury and that it is an occasion that would sell the best striker of the world?!

  23. Jamie,

    The role of the manager is to idenify a player that can add value to the squad and who is afordable. He is not a DOCTOR that is what medical staff are their for to identify whether there are any major or niggling medial issues particularly as players are insured. In the case of Agger when we signed him he was fit and played games subsquent injuries are not the managers fault clearly there maybe something wrong with the medical staff at LFC which is perhaps why new medical staff were brought in by Purslowe to better protect players and help them recover from injuries.

    In the case of Aqualini yes you have a point but as Benitez has stated they had assurances from the medical staff that he had recovered which then turned out not to be true.  A manager has to be able to trust his medical staff on issues like this and if he can't then they need to be replaced which it would appear is what happended.

  24. The point here is that under NESV they are going to try to intrduce a statistical approach to transfers (where possible ) to ensure value for money from their purchases. This has been an approach used by Mr Henry in all of his buisness ventures and one which he has already stated he intends to use here .He has also stated he does not yet know how this will come about in football but i think it is safe to assume a players injury record will form part of said statistics.
    Also for the record Torres was not injury prone at athletico nor was he prolific ! 

  25. Right, so it was the medical staff at Liverpool who were responsible for looking into Aquilani's history and seeing that he'd had lots of injuries, and only managed a comparatively small amount of games per year?!

    This is the point.  Aquilani had a long history of injuries before coming to Liverpool. This should have been an alarm bell.  If someone has such a history, why sign them?

    Benitez ignored the obvious and signed him anyway, which was negligent.

    Would you buy a car that had broken down and required expensive repairs *repeatedly* over the previous 3-4 years?!

  26. Your article by naming Agger specifically then shoots itself. In 2004-2005, Agger played 26 games out of 33 then in 2005-2006 he played 8 put of 33 due to a serious injury. In his 2 season SuperLiga career at Brondby he played 41 out of a possible 66 Superliga games.
    This really means he had one injury shortened season before joining Liverpool, hardly injury prone. He has had more setbacks at Liverpool and quite possible became injury prone in Liverpool colours than the other way around.

  27. Good points.  You're right, Agger only had one injury shortened season.  However, he was injured when Benitez signed him.  Was that wise? Perhaps it would've been better to see how he responded to injury before taking the risk.

    This is the kind of thing I hope happens under NESV.  Hopefully, injured players will never be signed.

  28. Look guys, it's simple - stop buying players whose surnames begin with A - there's definitely a pattern forming there!!

  29. Great points :)

    Re Aurelio: exactly what has he brought to the team?  What specific, measurable positive impact has he had?  How has the team improved as a result of his presence in the squad?  Same goes for Agger.  Last season he was available for much of the year and we had a diabolical season.  What impact did he make?  What impact has he made on improving Liverpool in the past?

    Both Agger and Aurelio don't play enough games to make an impact, and that's especially true of Aurelio.  Why can't we promote someone from the youth ranks to take his place in the squad; why do we have to keep someone who has been injured for 18 months of his Liverpool career?

  30. Again Benitez is not a doctor that is what medical staff are there for. When you buy a player you take a risk of course the risk of a player who has had previous injuries increases the risk that he might have more but this was not the case with Agger. Aqualini I agree was a risk but given his previous history of injuries i'm sure that the medical staff must have put him through his paces to ensure that he was fit given the money that we paid and in order for him to be insured.

    Aqualini subsequently took longer to recover this is not Benitez's fault for listening to his medical staff and its interesting that as soon as Purslowe joined LFC he brough in new medical staff and fitness coaches.

    Your example of a car is a bit silly first off if it would depend on what the repairs were and the price of the car.

    Football players are not cars and most footballers pick up injuries over the course of the season particularly as they get older. Look at Torres you could argue that he has become injury prone at Liverpool whose fault is that? you can blame benitez a bit for over playing him but the medical staff are trusted with protecting him and helping him recover his fitness. So I feel the real negligence lies with the medical staff which is probably why purslowe overhauled them.

  31. I believe Aquilani to be a talented player, a player who could be a great success at Liverpool.

    However Rafa was wrong to buy him when he did.

    At that point in time we needed a player who could step into Alonso's shoe straight away.. not in 3 - 6 months time.

    In regards to injuries, there are always going to exceptions to the rule but it depends on how you deal with them.

    Look how Ferguson dealt with Ruud Van Nisterlrooy.

    Here was a player with exceptional quality however he received a very serious knee injury which kept him out of game for a year.

    At this time Manchester Utd pulled out of the deal to sign him there and then but made an agreement to asses him a year later and if he passed their medical they would sign him.

    So they kept their options open but didn't risk the money incase he never recovered.

    This should of been the kind of deal Liverpool made with Aquilani.

    When signing a player, if you are told that he has only play 50 - 60% of games over a period of years because of injuries then surely there has to be a concern.

    If it was just the one injury that kept them out for say 9 months in a period of say 4 years then fair enough, however if its 3 weeks here, a month here, 2 weeks i.e consistently injured then what is the point.

  32. What do you mean by specific, measurable, postiive effect? Do you actually understand football at all. They are both defenders, so surely the measure is how many goals we concede. Even last season when the team as a whole underperformed we still conceded less goals than Spurs, Man City, Arsenal and Villa who all finished above us. We only conceded 3 more goals that Chelsea. What more do you want. We underperformed last season because we could't score goals. How is that Agger's fault?

  33. Accordin 2 u, Benitez has a history of signing injury prone players.....and yet out of all the players signed by benitez, u name only four! ironic, eh???

  34. So we should just sell Torres too. What difference does it make what he was at Athletico? He's an injury prone player for us. In the premier league only (easier stats to collect) he has played an average of just 54.5 minutes per game since joining. Sell him I'd say, we don't need top class players who are injury prone, no? *rolls eyes*

    Can't believe you're suggesting to sell Agger. This is the worse piece you've ever done.

  35. So we should just sell Torres too. What difference does it make what he was at Athletico? He's an injury prone player for us. In the premier league only (easier stats to collect) he has played an average of just 54.5 minutes per game since joining. Sell him I'd say! We don't need top class players who are injury prone, no? *rolls eyes* 
    Can't believe you're suggesting to sell Agger. This is the worse piece you've ever done.

  36. I have a slight problem with your stats. How many games did these players miss because they were injured and how many games did they miss purely because they weren't picked for the team? Without knowing this your analysis is skewed.

    There may have been occasions that Agger was fit but Skrtel was in better form, so Skrtel played. Agger's injury record has nothing to do with that. Riise was generally our first choice left back, so how many games did Aurelio (when fit) not play in because Riise was in the team instead of him. A better analysis would be how many games each player missed while they were injured.

  37. As usual, my analysis is always flawed when people don't like the results.  The analysis is not skewed at all.  I've only used periods where the players concerned were not in the squad due to injury.  If a player is injured on the 1st September, then doesn't play another game (or even make the bench) until the 1st December, then that player was - as a matter or fact -  out due to injury for 3 months.  No amount of over-complicating the stats is going to change that.

  38. Yes, and a player's value to the TEAM should never be taken into account, should it?

    What positive, consistent impact have Agger, Degen, Aquilani and Aurelio had on LFC? How have they improved the team over the years?  How have they moved the team forward?

    Torres is in a different catogory; he had no injury history when he arrived at the club, and given his massive positive impact on LFC the club should obviously stand by him.  He makes a difference; the others do not.

    How did you compile the premier league stats?  Did you count every minute from every game?  if not, your figure is wrong.  And why would you exclude European games?  Because prem stats are easier to compile?!  No.  because if you included all games, his per minute average would be higher, and you don't want that because it doesn't suit your argument.

  39. Agger doesn't have a positive, consistent impact? What's with the short term memory?
    Scored a goal and gave a performance against a sh*t hot Drogba that put us in Athens. Everytime he goes onto the field he gives his best which is a lot, even at LB and even with a concussion. Our best CB by miles and the only one that allows us to play with a higher defence line. The club should obviously stand by him.

    <span>How did you compile the premier league stats?  Did you count every minute from every game?  if not, your figure is wrong.</span>Seriously, stop acting like this. You want to prove all the people wrong all the time and you come off sounding childish.It's taken from the official premier league website. It is easier to "compile" because the stats are right there in front of you, no need to do ants work and conculate all the minutes which is the only reason I excluded European games.

  40. It is flawed. Why are you not able to take criticism gracefully? In your first table you tell us how many seasons the player had been there, how many games the team played in that time and how many appearances the player made. What you don't take into consideration is how many games a player was fit but not selected.

    Lets take Agger for example:

    5 season, 271 games played in total. 124 appearances by Agger.

    In 2008/09 he wasn't injured according to your stats. He made 22 apearances. In 2009/10 he was injured for 2 months but made 27 appearances. So why did he play less games in 2008/09 when not injured than he did when the following season when he was injured for 2 months. IT'S BECAUSE HE WASN'T PICKED TO PLAY. So your analysis is flawed because all you done is taken the total number of games played and then Agger's appearances to reach your conclusion that he only played in 45% of games.

    You have to take into consideration the games that he didn't play in purely because he wasn't picked to play. And then seperately work out how many games he missed whilst injured. Otherwise your analysis is flawed.

  41. If you had to make a case to NESV for why Liverpool should keep Agger (with his injury record), do you really think that they would look at the reasons you've provided and say 'Yep - I'm convinced!'

    I don't think so.  Scoring a goal in a CL semi and playing with concussion doesn't constitue an overall good return on the money paid out for Agger (By money I mean the whole package: transfer fee, signing-on fee, bonuses, salary etc).

    At the end of the day, he plays less than 50% of Liverpool's games.  That is fact.  When we're talking about value for money and having a positive impact on the team, we need players who are going play more than 45% of games.  That may seem harsh to you, but given NESV's history - and preference for statistical analysis - this is exactly the kind of thing they are going to look at.  And I personally agree with that approach 100%.

  42. Jesus, Gary.  if you can't hack the cut and thrust of debate that's not my problem.  You stated your opinion that the stats were flawed; I stated my counter opinion that they were not flawed.  It is not 'criticism' - it is debate.  If I disagree with something I'm not just going to kowtow to the other person because they want me to. You're entitled to your opinion, I am entitled to mine.

  43. Your interpretation of the stats is flawed, not the stats themselves:

    * You isolate ONE stat from a table full of stats and try and make out it's the ONLY stat!

    * Agger's games a percentage of LFC's total games played is one solitary stat; it's not the only one in the table. It's one component of my analysis.

    * You ignore the rest of the stats, and make out that the only thing I'm arguing is the percentage of games he played.

    * What about average games per season?  Number of months out injured?  Prior injury record with both Brondby and Liverpool?  The fact that he is now injured *again* for the long term? Combined, this adds up to a player who is injury prone, does it not?

  44. I don't care what NESV think. They don't need to think, that's why there's a footballing staff and a manager. If a manager says to them I want to keep him then that should be it but Roy didn't want to play Agger even when fit which is outrageous.

    You can look at Agger's compatriot Martin Laursen. Suffered a lot from back problems, has only 44 apearences in 3 years at Milan but moved to Aston Villa and was a very infuelcial player.
    With Agger there's no talk about stepping down though, he'll be going from a mid-table/europa league team to the European Champions (according to recent reports) or one of Europe's elite I'm sure.

    He's well worth sticking with for the potential alone, not to mention that when he does play he is, as I said, our best CB by miles.

  45. Sometimes you have to take risks, I don't think Degen or Agger had a history of injuries before joining LFC, but it is obvious Rafa took a risk with both Aurelio and Aquilani. Aquilani you can say was a complete failure and a big part of Rafa's downfall, but I'm guessing the LFC medical staff were overly confident and Roma's medical staff may have hidden a few details. It doesn't change the fact it was quite a risk, but had we not had so many other injuries, and loss of form and confidence, after a few months Aquilani may have slotted straight into Alonso's position and could have been a success? We'll never know. Don't think Aqua's been injured a while now, so maybe the medical staff were right, just not on the timescale? Re-signing Aurelio and signing Cole were just 2 plain stupid moves. We may just well sign Owen in January. (Bite my tongue, bite my tongue!!)

  46. My interpretation is not flawed. If you are judging a player on injuries then surely the measurement is how many games he has played. But there is a massive difference between how many games are missed through injury and how many games he didn't play in just because he wasn't picked. Its not just Agger, the same can be said about Aurelio, Degen, and Aquilani. Sometimes these players were not picked to play even when fit, and other games they missed because of injury. You have to differentiate between the two.

    The recentage of games played stat is a major component of your anaysis, which is why I picked on it. Lets say for example you make a separation between the games a player was injured and the games a player wasn't picked to play, it would obviously make a difference to the games played percentage stat. And that is partly what you are basing your analysis on; you're basically saying that Degen was a waste of money because he was injured in for 7.5 months and only played in 11% of possible games. That is not the whole truth though is it. He didn't only play 11% of all available games because he was injured, He also didn't play in some games because he was a squad player and second choice fullback.  So it is completely disingenous to say that he only played in 13 games out of a possible 111. How many games would he have realistically played in even when fit?

    I'm not denying that these players are injury prone, but if you're going to try to prove it using facts and stats, make sure that they are the real facts and stats. What has happened to truth and fact? Or is that just a tag line you use when it suits your argument.

  47. I hate this site. Also, Torres has scored more goals from open play under Rafa than anybody. Also again, Aurelio was superb in 2008/2009 and he was free; the mistake was taking him back, Hodgson's choice. Agger, well, I rate him very highly and think that he is superb. The thing about the centre backs is that Carragher always plays, essentially they are fighting for one spot.

  48.  at one time coachs and training staff wanted to get rid of a player because he suffered from back and leg problems thank god the manager at the time liked the player because of his determination and effort. that player is now the captain of our great club but this was when stevie was a teen and his problems could be treated. i like agger he is quality we should put every  resouce we have in trying to get him better. But i do agree with you buying players that have a history of injures is a waste of club resources

  49. I guess all of us are missing the big point which basically is the medical team & the fitness system followed at Liverpool!!!
    Its been going on for years & i remember some time back when Kewell was finally treated by the Aussie specialist who knows a thing or 2 about injuries for a change..why cant the management think about solving this problem& recruiting a first class medical team at Melwood? Hope someone can highlight this issue & address it ASAP from the management!!

  50. Firstly I want to say that I've only recently started to read your articles and I appreciate your viewpoints. I'm am/was a Rafa supporter, but I do believe you do bring some valid points. I was unaware of Agger's and Degen's records b4 joining LFC but knew that when they joined they immediately got an injuries. I was peeved at Aurelio being re-signed in the summer because of his record in the past. I watch Serie A and was aware of Aquilani, but was convinced he'd do well. My pal who supports Inter and watches even more Serie A than I me about Aqua: "that b*tch gonna  be injured for the entire season. He's gonna play in about 4 games"
    While he exaggerated a bit he was right in principle, Aquilani made no major contribution to our season. As you said, it is about UTILITY NOT ABILITY.
    I look at United and see only Hargreaves as a "recurrer" and Anderson having a major injury the season b4 joining as signings during the same period.
    We need to do better in that respect. Whether the blame will befall Rafa, I'll hold off on that for now. You haven't converted me just yet .lol.
    A thorough article backed by relevant points.

  51. Jamie the acquisition of the sports science people who are Australians and lead the world in this field should have more input into this.
    Roys decision to employ Aurelio and Cole should have only gone ahead after consultation with the experts, if he has then we are not qualified to comment.
    If Roy has not one may wonder how smart he really is? 

  52. Exactly daboy, exactly.#
    Also, with the Aquaman, he came from a club with a history of poor diagnosis, Roma, and, after a full pre-season is in the form of his life. Rafa spoke highly of him and he was part of a long-term plan, you only have to google it, and, if he had been fit before, he would have been brilliant. Sadly, he wasn't and he wasn't.

  53. Injured players cost less in the transfer market and so Benitez may have thought the risk was worth it because of this, not as stupid as it first sounds.

  54. Because, hypothetically, if Torres played for another club and had the same injury record that he's had with us, and we had the chance to buy him, you wouldn't take that chance.  I think that would be a mistake.  No need to be rude.

  55. Don't let him leave, he's out best defender, well him and Kyri!