3 Oct 2013

Scouting Trip? - BR spotted at the Man City-Bayern game. Watching £35m duo...?

Last night, Bayern Munich schooled Manchester City in the art of football, and put a huge dent in the club's chances of progressing into the Champions League knockout stages. Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers attended the game, and with the Reds not playing either team in the near future, is it possible he was on a personal scouting mission?

In his pre-Crystal Palace press conference today, Rodgers revealed was at the game, and drew comparisons between the way Bayern and Liverpool play. He told reporters:

"I was at the game last night, and I thought it was fantastic. Bayern were brilliant in the way they performed.

"They’ve got flexible players. If you watch their system last night, the right and left backs were getting into midfield. The work rate and intensity was phenomenal, and their control of the ball was outstanding".

It's clear that many of the qualities Rodgers cites - i.e. attacking fullbacks/intensity/player flexibility/control of the ball - are integral parts of the football philosophy he's instilling at Anfield. The obvious difference is that Bayern have the right players to implement their system with devastating effectiveness.

So, why was Rodgers at the game. There are a few possibilities:

* To watch - simply as a fan of football - a high-quality European game.
* To study and learn from Bayern Munich's system/set-up.
* To scout potential January transfer targets.

It's probably the second option, but it could be a mix of all three. If Rodgers is scouting, who is on his list? Well, I think we can immediately rule out Joe Hart (!). The only realistic targets from either team are (arguably) Micah Richards, and Xherdan Shqiri, both of whom have been linked with Liverpool during Rodgers' reign.

In April, The Mirror reported:

"Brendan Rodgers is keen on a summer move for Manchester City defender Micah Richards. Liverpool have made an enquiry and are among a clutch of clubs who are interested in signing the 24-year old"

City reportedly want between €17.5m for Richards, but given his injury history, I doubt that he'd fetch more than €12m-€15m in the current market.

In July, multiple sources in Germany and the UK (including the Liverpool Echo) reported that Rodgers planned a £20m move for Shaqiri, and in response to the speculation, Karl Heinze Rumenigge told reporters:

"Nobody has called about Shaqiri. Right now there are no plans (to sell). The coach is completely satisfied with him."

Soon after, when quizzed about Liverpool's interest in Shaqiri, Franco Moretti - the Swiss star's Agent - told TMW:

"Liverpool? The boy is not moving to Monaco, that's for sure."

On the face of it, Liverpool seem to be well-covered at right back, but Rodgers recently used Kolo Toure there instead of Andre Wisdom or Martin Kelly, which suggests he's not entirely happy with his options. Additionally, Given his running power and skill, Richards would also be ideal as a right wing-back in the club's burgeoning 3-5-2 formation, and with Glen Johnson not getting any younger, he'd be a great option.

As for Shaqiri - he remains a bit-part player in Bayern's squad, and only got 12 minutes of pitch time against Man City. He'd probably be a regular starter at Liverpool, but he seems content to just sit on the bench and bask in reflected glory.

Right now, both players would definitely improve Liverpool's squad, and I'd be more than happy to see both arrive at Anfield in January.

NOTE: Please stick to the Comment Policy (Click to read)


  1. I'd say it was more of the second option then anything else. You won't know what he'd pick up there. Hell if he's gonna look for something to learn off a team it may as well be the champions of Europe eh? :)

  2. He had some LFC players with him, SG etc. Yep he was showing them what he expects from them, we dont know what their reply was, suggestions anyone.?

  3. Hahahaha I'm extremely satisfied with the Simpsons reference "bask in reflected glory" worth reading just to see that XD

  4. in January we need to make a £15M bid for Xherdan Shaqiri. Keisuke Honda for free agent and Luis Muriel for £12m for quality competition for SAS. then if we keep up our form until January, we'll definitely get top 4

  5. 'Buy a vowel' is 5'7" tall. Apprently he is very fast...but it maybe be an optical illusion because of his height. Don't we already have this guy? Isn't his name Joe Allen?

  6. Watching Bayern is much more worth than less than an hour or so drive to East from Liverpool. I am sure, BR & Co. went to watch BM primarily & with a bit of tactical learning as well. Bayern might thrash MC, but Pelegrini's tactical acumen can't be denied (not to mention Pep's).

    However, I do think BR had some consideration of January during his visit. Particularly for a whore house like MCity, with money splashing, Manager changing & player wasting culture, there must be many unhappy souls, who could easily be motivated to join a proper football club. Actually, our best signing of last window was from MCity, for free & I wonder that Kolo was 4th choice for a club having a lower-table defensive record, even with English No. 1 at post - something must be wrong there.

    However, I don't want M Richards close to Anfield, who must be drawing unworthy salary & 'll cost obnoxious fee. Another over hyped British Ram having very little skill or technical ability, with very little game intelligence - he should have tried Rugby more than football. Apart from physique, what else does he possess? I can't imagine Enrique & Richards at 2 fullback position together - God bless us. May be Nasri, Guideti or even Silva, but no more English please. We have almost fixed our wage waste, lets not spoil the good work.

    Bayern players 'll not leave them, unless asked to, let alone join us. There are too many good things around that club. They give due respect to their players & has a defined role for everyone. Bayern don't buy players, for the sake of buying (& eventually sell as aftermath) & apart from those bastard childs of sugar dad's, they have the deepest pocket to splash cash - but never does that. Let's not waste our energy & focus chasing Bayern goose.

  7. BR went to a game to watch two great teams play. Why read more into it than that?

  8. germany = arsernal
    italy= liverpool
    england=man utd

  9. why would rodgers scout players that are not even playing
    probably, just got bored

  10. if rodgers was really scouting hopefully he signs martinez and alaba

  11. Out of curiosity because you said you grew up in Germany, who's your favourite German team Jaimie?

  12. I have a soft spot for Hannover 96, as I used to live there, and watched them play dozens of times. Also, Eintracht Braunschweig, as I also lived there, and played for their youth team for a couple of years.

  13. Who wouldnt have went to that match if they had the oppertunity?
    Bayern were absolutely superb.

  14. The Dark Joe Allen9:35 am, October 04, 2013

    It's good if he went to straighten up his standards. Watching how Bayren embarrass such a mega rich team who are strong title competitors in the BPL can really put you down to earth.

    As such you might get carried away when you somehow squeeze a second place at the table thus far, comparing your work to the one of your strong opponents that's going on, while you shouldn't; You should be focused on getting the very best of your team only, not take your leg of the gas, and not look sideways.
    This season no side, accept of maybe hints that Arsenal shows, is way too organized and strong to compete against. A great opportunity for us to gain top 4 back, if our standards stay with in ourselves and high, if we remain focused and avoid mistakes. Pep works this way better than anyone.
    Look at Spurs, they play boring and trying hard football, they have good players but their team flow is miserable. Man U - week. City and Chelsea aren't that good. I actually think that Arsenal and Everton are the only ones getting the best of their squads.

    For example, I think it will help if BR talk to press less, let's say, so he can maintain a strong sobjuctive-and-indipendent-thinking more effortlessly.

  15. And the saunas in Hannover are a bit different to the ones in England! :-)

  16. you sound like a very multi-national person. Scottish-German-Indian (educated guess from your last name, lol.)

  17. disqus_4a4oIZV9xc2:11 pm, October 04, 2013

    Watching how proper midfield works ..last week henderson ran out over line with ball under no real pressure he ran 20 yards with the ball and gave away a corner..u6 at bayern would not do this .need to get rid of athletes and buy fit footballers

  18. disqus_4a4oIZV9xc2:13 pm, October 04, 2013

    Does moyes look like beavis or butthead this is the real question

  19. Sha Ker Huss Ain • 9 hours ago

    if i had to compare premier leauge clubs to international
    Arsernal would be germany , eg big targetman 2 strikers either sid ,real emphasis on creativity in the middle eg ozil carzola , and ozil goetze for germany and an alright defence

    liverpool would be italy , 352 , real emphasise on defence ,an alright midfield top strikers

    chelsea would be spain- real creative midfield but lack a world class striker

    Tottenham at a stretch would be brazil - love their defensive midfielders , have creativity and are evenly spread on all areas of the pitch in terms of quallity

    Man utd - would be england , 442 , pacey wingers with no end product , negative manger and a average midfield the only

    city would probablly be holland

  20. but Italy are a traditionally defensively minded team. Liverpool's attacking minded.