16 Nov 2013

'It's frustrating' - €10m misfit reveals unrealistic LFC expectations. Destined to fail...?

After a comparatively poor start to the season, and an unfortunately-timed injury, Liverpool attacker Iago Aspas is quickly becoming Anfield's forgotten man. Many have already written-off the Spaniard, but he's determined to come back into the squad and challenge for a first-team place, but judging by his views on the issue, Aspas is setting himself up for another period of frustration.

Speaking to the official LFC website today, Aspas - who cost the Reds €10m over the summer - admitted that he finds not playing 'frustrating', but vowed to force himself back into Liverpool's starting line-up. He noted:

"I think I can improve; I am happy with the team's level but not so much individually because I think I can do a lot better.

"First I want to recover from my injury and afterwards I can use my qualities better and exploit them better as a centre-forward".

It could be argued that Aspas is trying to send a subtle message to Rodgers here, but that aside, this is a very positive attitude from Aspas, but there's just one slight concern: he specifically states that he wants to play as a 'centre-forward', but as long as Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez remain fit, that just isn't going to happen.

Whilst it's probably true that Aspas is probably able to 'exploit' his qualities better as a centre-forward, he's clearly setting himself up for more frustration if he thinks that Brendan Rodgers is going to play him in that role.

Being played in an unfamiliar position is one of the main reasons Aspas is struggling at Anfield, and he admitted this himself in a recent interview:

"It's been hard. I'm playing a bit further back than I did at Celta, but over here you need to run a bit more because it's a bit more physically. That's the biggest difference from the Spanish league, which is more based on technique"

Paco Herrera, Aspas's former manager at Celta Vigo, recently described the Spaniard as 'part-Messi, part-monster'. He told Spanish newspaper MARCA:

“Iago is our benchmark. He is our star player in his own right, but there are sometimes small things that can affect Iago as a person and a player. But for us, he is like Messi for Barcelona.”

Clearly, the Spaniard has talent, but I've said it once, and I'll say it again: this Fabio Borini all over again.

* Like Borini, Aspas is ostensibly a striker, who is most effective playing high up the field in a more central role.

* Prior to joining Liverpool, Borini proved that if you play him as a striker, he will score goals (6 goals in 9 games for Swansea during his loan spell)

* At LFC, Rodgers constantly played Borini out of position, which predictably led to ineffective performances.

* Borini is now on loan at bottom club Sunderland.

The same thing is happening with Aspas, and I can't see how he is going to get the requisite game time to make an impact, or justify his €10m transfer fee.

With Suarez, Sturridge and Coutinho certain starters; Moses ahead in the pecking order, and another attacking player (possibly) coming to the club in January, where exactly does Aspas fit in? Rodgers basically admitted during the summer that the likes of Aspas and Alberto are squad players, which is fair enough, but ultimately, it looks to me like another €10m down the pan.

Aspas clearly needs to moderate his expectations. He's not going to get a consistent chance as 'centre-forward', so he might as well get used to it. Hopefully, he'll display the same 'can-do' attitude when deployed in different positions, but if he fails to be consistently effective, it won't really be his fault.



  1. For every player he gets right, like Coutinho he finds two wrong, like Aspas and Alberto... The only way to improve his stats is getting proven players...

  2. I think we have Lucas to thank for getting Coutinho.

  3. Still very early days for Alberto.
    I'd argue the same for Aspas, but considering the competition and his more advanced age, it is a slightly tougher proposition. We need someone capable who can step in for Suarez/Sturridge and I think once Borini and Aspas have settled, both would be viable options.

  4. are you sure? did they even know each other before?

  5. Borini, Aspas, and Assiaidi. In total - £20.5m. All out on loan
    LFC needs to be spending on people who can improve the Liverpool team, not playing for others

  6. I agree with your comment on "10mil down the pan". Liverpool just have to stop wasting their money getting players and playing them out of their natural roles or have unrealistic expectations of them to do so. Versatile or not, it is just waste of resources and destroying careers. You can't make a lefty write with his right or the other way round. There are exceptions, but they are the exceptions rather than the norm.
    Too many careers have been destroyed because of a unrealistic expectations from players and clubs; at LFC, we have seen it happen with Robbie Keane, Andy Carrol, Charlie Adams, Steward Downing, Joe Cole. Unfortunately, when it happens, we the fans blame the players rather than the clubs.
    Just sell Aspas for his own good and for LFC to move on and buy players who can meet the club expectations and for the club to meet theirs.

  7. I missed out on Assaidi as one of those whose career has stagnated due to unrealistic expectations both ways.

  8. While i would have liked Borini to play CF i dont think it was much of a stretch to assume he'd adapt to a inverted winger role in a 3 man front.
    As you said he scored 6 goals for swansea as a CF but the next season he scored 10 in like 25 games coming (mostly) from the wide forward position at Roma.
    Early days for Aspas though, i think sooner or later SAS wont be able to play every game and thats when he gets his shot.
    Make it your position aspas!

  9. He and Cissokho are the same kind of mentality. They won't work for the current LFC. Valencia want's him for 8mil have been reported, if that's true then sell.
    Sell Allen Borini and Assaidi as well...
    By the way, i have to say Marchisio is a great great player. This Juventus deal is not worst i heard relating Suarez.

  10. I have to say i get the feeling recently that a lot should be learned from how Durtmund manage their club.

  11. I've said it once, I'll say it again: Aspas has been most often played in exactly the same kind of role as Sturridge. There is no "centre forward" in the Liverpool line up. None of the strikers get to just wait in the 6 yard box or do nothing more than make runs off the shoulders of defenders. Aspas is required to play no deeper or wider than Suarez or Sturridge. If Suarez and Sturridge were both injured and Aspas was the only recognised striker on the pitch he'd still have to come deep or drift wide when needed, doing nothing different from what he's been asked to do so far. So although there is some indication that he's not being played in a formation that is precisely what he was used to at Celta, it's the best he can hope for. This is the life of a Liverpool striker.

  12. Earrly days yes, but it does not look good..