25 Apr 2014

'We Have Targets': BR responds to £70m rumours & reveals LFC's transfer plans

Various reports this week claim that FSG will hand Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers a huge £70m transfer budget this summer in a bid to to capitalise on the Reds' incredible progress. Quite how the newspapers know the club's internal transfer budget is anyone's guess, and when asked about the club's plans today, Rodgers dismissed the huge figures being bandied about, but admitted that he needs to improve the squad this summer.

In his pre-Chelsea press conference today, Rodgers joked:

"I've read reports that we've got £40m; some say £70m; some say £60m. Once they come to a figure, if they can tell me, then I'll be able to spend it".

He then added:

"We've got targets. We need to improve now we're in the Champions League, so we'll need depth to the squad. LFC is now an exciting proposition for players, and we'll continue to work to get those talents into the squad".

I remain nervous about Rodgers' ability to spend LFC's transfer funds effectively, and in a recent column for 5-Times, Anfield legend Jan Molby also raised concerns. He mused:

"There is only one criticism of the manager and that is that he hasn’t bought particularly well. Next summer [BR must get it right] because Manchester City’s millions will come to the fore and Chelsea will buy a striker making them 15 percent better".

Rodgers is undoubtedly a superb manager, and this season, he's proven himself in lots of different areas (tactical awareness; man-management; game-preparation; media-savvy etc), but despite the pigheaded protestations of some* head-in-sand LFC fans, Rodgers' record in the transfer market leaves a lot to be desired. This is (IMO) a self-evident fact, not an opinion. Of the 16 players signed since 2012:

* Only TWO (Coutinho and Sturridge) are unqualified successes.
* Mignolet is a decent signing, but the jury is still out.
* Joe Allen remains a squad player, despite costing £15m.
* £16m Sakho has failed to establish himself as a regular starter.

* Ilori, Aspas, Borini, Alberto, and Assaidi (combined cost: £33m) = zero contribution.
* Loan signings Moses and Sahin = waste of loan fees/wages.
* Toure and Cissokho have had a few decent games, but neither has set the world alight.

Being charitable, and including Allen and Mignolet in the 'success' bracket', Rodgers' hit rate for transfers (i.e. success in signing players who make a consistent impact on LFC's forward progress) is a paltry 25%, and that's being generous.

It's a testament to Rodgers' skill as a manager that he's triumphed despite signing some dud players, and he deserves every accolade going for taking the Reds to the brink of the title. However, he really needs to improve in the transfer market, and this summer is (IMO) the most important window in years. History shows that LFC have a habit of sabotaging forward progress with poor performance in the transfer market, and two specific examples prove this point:

* 2002: Liverpool finished 2nd in the league. Optimism was extremely high, and the Reds were expected to go on and mount a serious challenge for the title in 2002-3. In the summer, Gerard Houllier got rid of Litmanen, McAllister, and Anelka, and signed Diouf, Diao, Cheyrou, and Diarra. Liverpool regressed big time, and finished 5th a year later.

* 2009: An awesome league season. Liverpool finished 2nd, just four points behind Man United. Optimism was off the charts. Alas, in the summer, Rafa Benitez lost Xabi Alonso (after alienating him during his pursuit of Gareth Barry); Sami Hyypia (also alienated due to being dropped from the CL squad), and brought in the *injured* Alberto Aquilani, and Sotiris Kyrgiakos, a pale imitation of Hyypia. He also needlessly spent £17m on Glen Johnson, a player LFC (arguably) didn't need. In 2010, LFC finished 7th.

2002 and 2009 should've been major platforms upon which to build, but Houllier and Benitez got it horribly wrong in the transfer market, and sabotaged the club's forward progress. Rodgers has got away with it this season, but if he continues to get it wrong with transfers, Liverpool will inevitably suffer at some point, which is why he has to spend the club's transfer funds *wisely* this summer.

Fans will no doubt dismiss this possibility, just as they did at the end of the 2002/2009 seasons, but it's happened in the past, and it can happen again.

* For the avoidance of doubt: 'some' means 'not all'. Got that? Good.



  1. What a tragic news this afternoon.

  2. go away kan, why are you trying to be negative about rodgers

  3. I don't mind if he makes mistakes in transfers as long as he wins trophies.

  4. Sakho is going to be a beast for us and will turn out to be a great buy. But what you say is spot on cos some of the players are not good enough. Its worth mentioning Ilori put in a MOM performance against Barca so we shouldnt give up on him just yet.

  5. What a horrible piece of writing. Aspas, Borini, Ilori and Assaidi are players who in worst case scenario will be sold with a profit. The contributions from Toure and Cissokho are better than zero, which is what we payed for them. The transfer that doesnt seem to work out is Alberto the drunk driver. Only thing we can all agree on is that Coutinho and Sturridge are awesome acquisitions. The fact that you claim this to be a fact and not an opinion in your opinion says it all..

  6. Jamie, wasn't he in for Willian, Diego Costa and Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the summer? That gives me hope.

  7. to be fair borini and assaidi combined took 6 points from chelsea, both scoring the winning goals in their respective matches.

  8. Most important transfer business this year is Suarez, you won't replace him with £100m.

  9. Really think that ship has sailed now. He's here for the next couple of years, assuming we keep CL after next season.

  10. I agree a lot of his signings have been inneffectual or simply not needed. John Henry giving out grades he would get a "must do better" for this particular subject.
    But I think a few factors will help him this summer.
    Obviously the carrot of CL football, hopefully coming from the Champions of England, will make it easier to attract top players.
    The system and style of play is now totally embedded, during the summer last year I'm still not sure he had cemented his exactly how he was setting up and therefor bought players he may not have required but felt he might do in the future. But now targets will be identified to suit our team.
    The majority of the extra revenue from CL and PL will hopefully be given over to the transfer and wage bill meaning we should be able to go hard after the players we really want, instead of falling short and panic buying. Though he seems to have learned that lesson in January, no panicking and going after the likes of Kim Kallstrom when things didn't materialise.

    I expect and I'm sure the owners will too, a better transfer window, assuming the bosses hold up their end and make the funds available, which I think they will.

  11. I'm still a firm supporter of Mignolet, think he will turn out to be a top signing.

  12. Coutinho + Sturridge, cost £20m approx, present value, = £75m approx,
    figures like these cannot be ignored when assessing his recruitments.
    He went for Willian, Costa, Mhiktaryan, Konoplyanka, this season, and each of them have proven they have class, which bodes well for the future.
    While I agree with much of your article, I would definitely see Ilori a good buy. I think Rodgers has improved in every aspect of his job, and expect him to improve further, including his transfers.

    What an important game this week, I hope I dont have to watch it from behind the sofa, if you get my drift,
    could win it this weekend, with City at Palace, and Everton to come.
    Dont know how the players feel, but I am under extreme stress, Lets go again, one more time, Please. YNWA.

  13. Pablo Von Mooneyo8:08 pm, April 25, 2014

    Sakho is an absolute stinker of a signing, at 18m he shud be the finished product but he's dreadful in possession, dives in wrecklessly way too often and looks constantly on the verge of making a match changing mistake. He'll never be more than a squad player IMO. We can't afford any more mistakes with this amount if money.

  14. While it's easy to agree with your assessment of the obvious hits, I believe it's too soon to write off some of the misses. Yes, Borini and Ilori have not contributed so far, but they (and Sakho) may yet have big futures at the club - after all many had written off Hendo before this year.
    Transfers are always tricky and I don't see Rogers's record as any different than many managers, including other top managers. There were a lot of fans clamouring for many of the players who went to Spurs (Soldado, Lamella, Capoue) all of which have failed miserably for much more money. While Utd (Fellani, Zaha, Young), Arsenal (Arsharvin, Jeffers, Chamakh) and Chelsea (Torres, Shevchenko, Veron, Mutu) have all had their share of duds.

  15. The vast majority of teams do not have a very high success rate in the transfer market. The likes of Chelsea, Man City will be able to cope with unsuccessful signings, throw out the dead wood in a couple of windows and spend millions again in the attempt to improve. Liverpool in not in such a position, and Jamie is right. A successful transfer window now is vital which can help Liverpool compete for the CL positions and even the League title for many years to come; and lets be honest this season is a freak season with our squad (and we are all loving it). I remember 2009 window and to be fair Rafa always seemed to be balancing the transfer spend with incomings and outgoings under the Hicks and Gillet.

    In the coming transfer window we need at least 2 or 3 players that will come into the team, improve it or at the very least help maintaining the teams effectiveness.

    If we can do the following in the coming window, I would think we have done well. (Although I may have gone overboard with some)


    Mathew Ryan (GK),
    Fabien Schar,
    Will Hughes,
    Paul Pogba,
    Angel Correa,
    Alvaro Morata

  16. Sakho (had injuries so not sure how one could be a regular when out injured and then uninjured get in a winning side) Mings, Allen, Cout and Strurridge have all played a important role in this title tilt. So considering we have two academy graduates in the current team I would say that as for signings go BR's have contributed the most to this very exciting season. What more can these youngsters give us we will have to wait and see.

  17. I was cheering for atletico but I'll cheer for Barca to win the title this year just to see this true gentleman's tittle being defended.

  18. What's a reasonable expectation for transfer "success"?

    For instance, you reference 25%. On the surface, getting 1 in every 4 right is seemingly not good.

    But how does that compare with a Man City, Chelsea, Utd, Everton, Spurs, Arsenal, etc.

    Is that 1 in 4 about the average of our closest competition. Do they get 1 in 3, 1 in 5?

    I'm not saying I agree or disagree with the sentiment of Rodgers' transfer failings. I'm just saying that more information would be useful to make a more educated decision one way or the other.

  19. I think Alberto is the only one you list going out that will end up staying at least one more season.

    In terms of the "In"... I think Coentrao and Shaqiri are legitimate possibilities. Though it's been talked about for months that Ashley Cole will come here on a free. I personally hope not because that would potentially hurt the Coentrao pursuit... and perhaps we'll aim higher now that we know we are in CL.

    Hughes has been talked about for well over a year now. Nothing's happened of it, so I'm a bit skeptical.

  20. Just seen Alberto, fined £1'500 and banned for drunk driving,
    he was twice the legal limit, for those who ask why he is not playing, do I need to elaborate. ?

  21. Alberto fined and banned for drunk driving, he could well be gone this year.

  22. To me, it's a bit irrelevant.

    Short of killing someone (and even then for some it would probably take convincing) if he was good enough, he would be playing.

    It's really that simple.

  23. 1. Thats a VERY ambitious list. 2. We are in no state to be making an almost full squad rehaul. 3. We need depth in certain positions more than anything (and by depth I mean getting 1st XI quality players to push current starters to the bench).

  24. the funny thing is that coutinho was recommended by rafa and sturridge was sold to us by rafa!

    Sterling,Agger,Johnson,Lucas are also rafa buys - we could make rafa in charge of transfers!

    Mind you I think Alberto will improve and is a long term buy. Illori by all accounts has been good on loan and sakho has shown that he can be a beast of a defender. Aspas perhaps doesnt have time on his side - but you have to remember not many strikers are going to be willing to sit on the bench for a whole season.

    We have suso, borini to come back and i think texeira will feature more next season.

    i dont think we need to spend hugely. Mignolet can be a bit jittery but he has also pulled of some huge saves. Maybe Begovic would be a safer pair of hands - but we would have to cough up perhaps double what we did for mignolet.

  25. Exactly. Horrible horrible news. RIP

  26. they asked him to blow in a bag and he missed, all that money and he cant use a taxi disgrace

  27. It only happened on the 31 March; what about the rest of the season?

  28. Fair enough. I knew it had to be an attitude thing rather than one of ability.

  29. Why does it matter what other teams do? That's just a way to dilute the point and avoid discussing the issue.

    LFC's own transfer history, and the hit-rate of previous managers is a much more credible comparison.

    Having said that, why does everything have to be compared to something else. Rodgers' transfers can be considered by themselves; they don't need to be compared to Man City etc to establish whether his performance in the market is good or bad.

  30. Exactly how has Sakho played an 'important role' in the title tilt. Just being in the team doesn't mean someone has played an important role. Ditto Allen.

  31. Understanding what the average or above average is gives you a better understanding of how successful/unsuccessful he has been in the market as well as giving you an idea of the difficulties of signing players. All being a risk to some degree.

  32. I disagree. It doesn't give a better understanding; it gives people endless excuses to avoid the issue.

    Man City's transfers mistakes over X, Y and Z have absolutely nothing to do with Rodgers' waste of £35+ plus with the signings of Alberto, Aspas, Ilori, Borini, and Assaidi.

  33. Rodgers hasn't got much of a decision in transfers, it's Ian ayre who sorts out that shit, blame him

  34. Yeah, and Rick Parry signed Robbie Keane, etc.

  35. Being used in games we have won, playing important roles (Allen's 11 tackles against Norwich, Sakho numerous blocks, tackles clearances etc), both having some of the best passing stats in the team. So yeah important roles. Could someone else have done those things? Quite possibly but they didn't despite both being hampered by injury they have been vital squad members and given their ages could continue to do so for some time.

  36. Why would recent reports talk about how Rodgers will demand more control over transfers as part of signing a new contract, and reports always talk about a transfer committee that is bigger than just Rodgers, if Rodgers has full control over transfers? At the very least he's handicapped by valuations placed on players by Ayre and John Henry, but either way he clearly isn't solely responsible for our duds, of which we only have two that required transfer fees by the way...Aspas and Assaidi. No one else can truly be called a dud at this point. And you mention that Sakho has "failed to establish himself as a regular starter"...that's not exactly accurate, he established himself as a starter, got injured for awhile, got fit again and is starting again. I guess Sturridge has also failed to establish himself as a regular starter considering the amount of games he hasn't started in this season...

  37. I don't personally care about other teams transfers just an idea of what is the average transfer success and what would be described as a success. Without that knowledge how can we judge how well someone is doing in that particular field? Comparison in this instance is necessary as we (you and I) don't know what how difficult it is being successful in transfers. Knowing what other, especially top managers get right can help us understand how well our own manager has done. To just assume it's good and bad based on nothing more than our own feelings on the matter is a bit silly.

  38. There's plenty of merit to comparisons from club to club in terms of transfer success rates. Buying players isn't an exact science...all sorts of things can go wrong. Roberto Soldado was an incredible striker in Spain, and a total mess at Tottenham. Players get injured, players lose confidence, players explode beyond all expectations...there are so many variables that no one can hope to get it right every time, so in reality it makes more sense to judge a manager on his buys based on how the players did up until they were purchased, not after they were purchased. Veron was one of the best players around and then failed at Man U...would you say Fergie was stupid to buy him? Maybe he didn't manage him or play him properly, but it wasn't stupid to buy him. In any field where there are variables and things outside your control, a comparison to others is perfectly valid to see how good someone or some club is at it. Alberto was tremendous at Barca B before we bought him, Borini had a great season at Roma and broke into the national team before we bought him, Aspas was coveted to a degree, Ilori coveted as well (and he's going to be special), and I'm not sure about Assaidi. If we're going to judge Rodgers that is the sort of info we should look at.

  39. No it's not 'silly'. Objective facts about performance/impact are far more persuasive indicators of success/failure than what some other manager did in the transfer market.

    Take, Aspas, for example. He is a transfer flop. There's no other way to put it, and that can be established without reference to Mourinho et al's record in the transfer market.

  40. So now media reports are absolute? Just because the media says BR wants more control over transfers doesn't make it so. We've discussed this issue before, but you see dead set on ignoring Rodgers' own comments, when he specifically stated that he has final say on transfers.

  41. Where there's smoke there's fire. First of all, what else is Rodgers going to say? He doesn't want any distractions, and what he said can mean any number of different things. It can mean he has veto power, or that he picks all the targets himself but others can veto, etc etc. You yourself seem dead set on ignoring Ayre's comments, when he outlined the existence of a transfer committee and gave details on who sits on it, as well as ignoring how John Henry operates and has operated with the Red Sox. This isn't a club where the manager says him and the club gets the player, it's a club with careful analysis of targets and strict valuations placed on those targets...if Rodgers truly had final say on transfers we'd have bought Salah in January.

  42. You must have misunderstood what I was trying to say as that can be the only reason you mention Aspas. Yes performance/impact is important as a way of judging the player but not the manager. If they have the a better success in players brought in who perform better and have better impact than their peers their transfer success is good as it is higher. Like the guy above says it is not a science so their is risk in all transfers. If Rodgers has a similar hit rate to his peers then he is not doing a bad job necessarily just the average job in that particular area.

  43. That just doesn't make sense. You're basically saying that if Rodgers gets it horribly wrong in the transfer market repeatedly then it's okay as long as other managers are getting it wrong too.

    That doesn't take into account the actual impact/loss of utility/financial loss etc on LFC itself.

    As I said, it's just another way to make excuses, and avoid focusing on the actual issue.

  44. Ayre's comments about the transfer committee reveal absolutely nothing. He merely explains it exists; he doesn't state who has the power etc. There's nothing to ignore. You're just using that to further your already empty argument. Why don't you post Ayre's comments ?

    In his press conference, Rodgers specifically and emphatically dismissed suggestions that he is not in control, and he was very clear about the fact that he has final say.

    Also, after first signing for LFC, he stated that he refused to work under a Director of Football, so his comments are entirely consistent.

  45. I already posted Ayre's comments the last time we talked...if you insist I'll find them again and post them. I hope you realize we both have exactly the same attitude towards the other's argument right? It's not like you inherently get to be right because who knows why, we both have perfectly valid opinions but choose to crap on the others opinion. And you call my argument tenuous now, but when we talked before you admitted that you saw my point on Rodgers being handicapped by set valuations that the owners wouldn't go above...so are you backtracking on that? Because that in itself, and we've seen it's true particularly with Salah, shows that Rodgers is not in 100% control.

    In the end, neither of us know exactly how the transfer committee or lack thereof works at Liverpool. Neither of us know if Rodgers has the control he says he does, or to what degree, or how much truth there is in Ayre's comments. What we do know is that Liverpool are guaranteed champions league football, and can attract a higher class of player. Would we have bought Alberto if we'd gotten Mkhitaryan or Willian? Probably not. Even if Rodgers' has full control over transfers (which he doesn't) he doesn't have full control over what our targets want, but this summer everyone will want to play for Liverpool, or at least a whole lot of people will. Let's judge the transfer committee, or lack thereof, on how they do this summer when nothing stands in their way, and for now let's agree that "I'm" right and "you're" wrong, from both our points of view.

  46. I would suggest if all managers get it horribky wrong in their transfers then that would be an indicator that there is a problem with the talent pool and transfers as a whole.

    Truth is that that is not the case and all managers get some right and some wrong. You are perceived to do well in the market based on how many players you get in the team that do well compared to those that don't and if you can find players that do exceptionally well then you are doing better still. I honestly don't see what about this is arguable tbh.

    But let's take for a minute your stance. So surelt how well a player does should outweigh the players that don't give anything no? So we pay around £20m for Sturridge and Aspas (two strikers so we can lump together) That doesn't seem like that bad a deal. Sturridge is worth more to us than the £20m and we will still get money back on Aspas. Coutinho and Alberto (similar players) bought for a combined £16mthat is not too much for a player of Couts ability and we can still get money back on Alberto. Sakho and Ilori, now this one is more difficult to assess due to high fees and lack of game time due to Injury to Sakho and inexperience (and injury while on loan) of Ilori. Bought for a whopping £25m but both look to have ability and for their position are both still relatively young. Sakho in lots of his stats that I have posted before has been our second best CB this season, he can still improve with more time in the prem and hopefully without injury. Ilori has impressed on every showing on loan including a game against Barca so I feel judging those players now would be too soon. We may have to disagree there.

    Personally I would argue that no matter which way you look at it (my way or yours) he has done and OK job. Not great but not bad.

  47. Mate I have read a couple of reporters saying that the committee is not lead by Rodgers and he doesn't have final say. Apparently he wanted a full back i Jan but the committee chased forwards.

    I asked the question before about the power balance but there are differing ideas. I don't think anyone can say either way with any certainty at the minute.

  48. Hindsight is 20/20. Like I said above, ignore what they've done here and look at what they did to cause us to buy them, and judge Rodgers' purchase on those merits. I'd have jumped at the chance to sign Soldado if I was an English manager in need of a striker, and Tottenham looks stupid for doing it. But it wasn't stupid at the time of purchase, and that's pretty much the way to judge the situation.

  49. I'll believe Rodgers himself over tabloid reporters. It's funny how everyone slags off the media as liars, who make up transfers stories etc, but the minute a journalist says something that matches a fan's personal view of events, he suddenly becomes a bastion of truth.

  50. Llori was bought when we had four CB's. He's planning to replace toure with him at the end of next season. Alberto and borini are young so are development prospects. Sakho is our first choice cb too.
    Four of our first team players has bought and two he's developed from the youth team. Even Allen is young so can still come on leaps and bounds. Couldn't disagree with u more jamie

  51. When it comes to the transfer committee (or indeed anything) all the available evidence needs to be collected, assessed, and prioritised based on credibility etc. In this case, Rodgers' emphatic comments about having final say on transfers is infinitely more credible than any other source of evidence pertaining to the transfer committee.

    He is an honourable guy; no need to lie; does things the right way' has a history of telling the truth re LFC related issues etc. As such, I will take his word for it on this issue.

    If others chose to believe tabloid journalists, or unfounded, baseless speculation, that's their prerogative.

  52. Here's a question for you...what does Rodgers gain from admitting he doesn't have full control over transfers? Oh wait...nothing. So, if we're not blind idiots, we understand that his statement in reality tells us nothing. The media gets their information from sources...that doesn't mean it's always right, but if they are consistently putting out information that drives at the same conclusion then we can assume there's a possibility that conclusion is true. So we have the media giving us evidence that Rodgers might not have full control...we have Ian Ayre himself giving us that evidence...we have John Henry's way of working giving us that evidence...and against all that, we have Rodgers saying he has full control, which is the only thing he can say. Hmmm.....

  53. WHy do you keep twisting Ayre's words. He has never hinted, implied or suggested that Rodgers doesn't have full control, or that the transfer committee has more control than the manager, so please stop being disingenuous.

    As for Rodgers having nothing to gain by admitting that he doesn't have control over transfers; so what? That doesn't prove anything, and it's not persuasive proof of anything.

  54. Right, Ian Ayre is also lying. See my response below. And again you ignore the truly salient points...1) total control could mean any number of things, control over who they go for, control over who they look at, etc. 2) Rodgers doesn't set the budget for individual players...he was obviously disappointed to not get Salah. So he doesn't have total control over going out and getting a player if the asking price is above what the owners are willing to pay.

  55. Ayre absolutely implied Rodgers doesn't have full control, both in word and deed. A committee wouldn't need to exist if Rodgers' input was all that mattered, and Ayre didn't buy Salah like Rodgers wanted because the asking price was higher than the line FSG drew in the sand and said they would not cross.

    As for Rodgers...why don't you apply the same argument to yourself? Honesty in the past about anything or everything is no guarantee of future honesty, so the fact that Rodgers is an honest and honorable guy isn't persuasive proof, or any sort of proof, that he was telling the absolute truth about transfers. If FSG told Rodger's behind closed doors that if he doesn't win the league this year he'll be fired, and someone from the media asked him about it, do you think he'd say "that's not true I have the full backing of the owners" or do you think he'd tell the truth? Rodgers' is a guy who knows how to manage his squad and his job, and part of managing his job is not saying that the owners handcuff him in the transfer market...that would be incredibly stupid. So he says that he's in full control, because saying anything else would be bad politics on his part. It doesn't mean it's not true, it just means that we don't know.

  56. No, it is you who is ignoring the salient points. You are ascribing meaning to Ayre's comments that just don't exist. And I never said Rodgers has 'total control over transfers'. I said he has 'final say' - which is what he himself said. There is a difference, so please don't twist my words.

    Final say can exist irrespective of budget constraints. Every manager has to work within a budget; if a manager is overruled due to budget constraints, that is totally different to being overruled on targets etc, and does not mean said manager does not have final say.

  57. Amazing that Rafa's legacy is still bearing fruit - especially having picked Sterling, Suso et al.

  58. Sorry, but I'm not interested in debating the issue further with someone who is deliberately willing to twist Ayre's words just to try and win an argument. Ayre has never implied, hinted or suggested that the transfer committee has control over Rodgers. Never. Not once.

  59. Broadsheet reporters.

  60. You ignore the points I make, and you snipe at me with thinly veiled insults. Naturally you're not interested in discussing this. An implication is, by definition, a conclusion that can be drawn from something but is not explicitly stated. So whether or not Ian Ayre is implying anything is, by definition, a matter of opinion, not a fact. Ayre has showed with the Salah transfer that Rodgers was not in full control, how can anyone even argue that point? But sure, throw your barb and leave the discussion.

  61. Based on this response, it seems like you're guilty of exactly the same thing...if someone wrote an article about how Rodgers is in full control you'd be all over quoting it, but the articles Greg mentions...they must be a buncha baloney!

  62. This seems odd because whenever I have argued against actual tabloids talking about transfers being false you argued the opposite point. It's almost as if you yourself have done what you are accusing others of.

  63. Haha nice timing, I'm with ya.

  64. Yeah just saw.

  65. Nonsense. It all depends on the subject matter. In every situation, I look at the available evidence and act accordingly. This is totally different to transfer rumours.

    The main claim you and others make about transfer rumours is that they all must somehow be rubbish. My argument is that not all transfer rumours are crap.

  66. OK - lets assume we might have 50m net to spend in the summer. How would/should BR go about spending it? For me, he needs to buy three key players who need to go straight into the first team.

    Player 1 - Centre Back. Qualities needed: pace, good aerial ability and decent passing/ball control. I know there are many names being banded about, some available, some not so. My pick - Micah Richards - available, relatively cheap and if BR can get his mind right, he can be a potential beast of a defender.

    Player 2 - Left back. Qualities needed: pace, good set of lungs to go up and down the left flank, able to cross and dribble. Should also be able to defend. Not that much choice. Obvious candidate is Shaw from Southampton (but we'd miss out with a bidding war with Utd/Chelsea), hence I would try to get Gibbs (if available) or Bertrand.

    Player 3 - Attacking Centre Midfield. One name for me - Fabregas. Given the above two players should not cost more that £10m, we should do whatever it takes to land Cesc as our #1 target. Failing him, then I'd pump for Lallana.

    Note all the players I have suggested have good Premier League experience. I would prefer tried and tested players over a prima donna who might take 1-2 years to settle in. We don't have the squad to carry any more players like we have done this year - as excellently highlighted by JK.

  67. Complete and utter nonsense. I *never* use newspaper reports to back up my personal opinion on something. If I'm going to use outside info, I will only use actual quotes from a human being.

    Using your example: if someone wrote an article about how Rodgers has full control, I would use Rodgers' own quote to back up my view. I wouldn't say 'but The Times says he has full control, so it must be true'.

    If no Rodgers' quote existed, I'd just give my personal opinion.

  68. You know what the real nonsense is? That you can insult me on this site, and when I respond by accusing you of insulting me and make a valid point about the discussion, you just delete it for fear that you might look bad. Not the first time it's happened either. This is what I said, I insist on reposting it because there's nothing wrong with it, I'm just standing up to you when you're being rude to me while I try to have a discussion.

    "You ignore the points I make, and you snipe at me with thinly veiled insults. Naturally you're not interested in discussing this. An implication is, by definition, a conclusion that can be drawn from something but is not explicitly stated. So whether or not Ian Ayre is implying anything is, by definition, a matter of opinion, not a fact. Ayre has showed with the Salah transfer that Rodgers was not in full control, how can anyone even argue that point? But sure, throw your barb and leave the discussion."

  69. Rhaegar, if you insist on falsely asserting that I'm 'insulting' you then your comments stating that will continue to be deleted. If you can't handle the cut and thrust of debate, then either grow a thicker skin, or perhaps visit a different site. Strongly asserting one's opinion is not 'insulting' someone.

  70. I don't say the "all" must be rubbish just that when there are so many linked to Liverpool most will be balls. Especially as so many get recycled so many come from agents etc

    Truth is these broadsheet journos I have referred to have talked about Rodgers behind the scenes as well as what he has said officially. In the end you can either trust a certain crop of journos or not. Tabloids on the whole I don't.

  71. Since the bulk of the money has been spent, I'd bring back Borini to be the back-up striker. And use whatever we have to ensure two players per position:

    GK Reina/Mignolet
    RB - Johnson/Flannigan
    LB - Enriqe/Bertrand
    CB - Skrtel, Sakho, Richards, Ilori
    Holding CM - Gerrard/Lucas
    LM - Henderson/Allen
    RM - Courtinho/Sterling
    Attacking CM - Fabregas/Suso
    #7 - Suarez/Aspas
    #9 - Sturridge/Borini

    This still leaves us with the likes of Ibe, Teixeira, Alberto, Wisdom, Kelly, Coady to choose from to make the 25 squad for Champions League.

    I am assuming the likes of Coates, Agger, Toure, Jones, Assaidi, Moses, Cissokho and Yesil will be moved on.

  72. Why wouldn't you just leave the comment up? If it's so ridiculous than everyone will see that for themselves and there's no reason to hide it. The insult is you referring to me as "someone who deliberately twists Ayre's words to win an argument"...that's a barb, and not even thinly veiled. I'm not twisting his words, I'm drawing a conclusion from them that seems to be shared by others. As I said, implication is by definition a matter of opinion. I'm perfectly up to the cut and thrust of debate...you're the one who declared that he was done with the debate, and deleted my final response. If you're going to say something that can be construed as an insult and can't handle the recipient saying that you insulted him, that's a problem all unto itself.

  73. What is your problem? Saying you twisted Ayre's words is not an insult, and saying it is just devalues the actual abuse received by people who are actually insulted.

    People do not get insulted on this site, and if they are, it's dealt with speedily. If you can't handle someone alleging that you're 'twisting' someone's words, then with all due respect, how do you function in the harsh reality of real life?

    It is not an insult, a barb or anything like that - it means I think you're twisting Ayre's words.

    To be honest, I'm getting sick of your constant moaning about being 'insulted' when that's not actually happening. Just stick to discussing football. If you can't do that without being wounded by perfectly non-contentious phrases, then perhaps this isn't the site for you.

  74. Didn't he say Reina was going nowhere?

  75. Yep, you're right, and I agree with your underlying point that Rodgers will sometimes say things in public that may not be 100% sincere.

  76. As well as that being a transfer. So we can deduce from that that he may not say things about transfers that are 100% sincere. Perhaps Rodgers believed it? Perhaps the decision was made without his say so? Like I said before we don't really know.

  77. You miss the point. Saying I twist his words isn't an insult, referring to me as the kind of person who would twist someone's words to win an argument is clearly meant as one. And just because you say all due respect doesn't mean you're not being rude.

    See, here's the thing...I don't really care if you insult me, the insults don't bother me. I'm just not a big fan of hypocrisy. You strike me as the kind of guy who likes to be rude or undermining to people who comment on this website (I just scrolled through your comments for about 2 minutes out of curiosity and found numerous examples of that sort of thing), often but not always covertly rather than overtly, but when other people do that sort of thing or call you out for it you threaten to ban them or you delete their comments, and in this case you respond to me like a total dick but with a turn of phrase you try to present me as the bad guy. There's plenty of people like that, the "I'm in charge so I can say what I want but no one else better say anything I deem inappropriate" kind of people, and that's cool do your thing...but cut the crap, ya know? Insult me all you want, and anybody else, but hold others to the same standards...I'm clearly not a troll, I'm here engaging in debates and I get a little bitchy towards you because I see a larger issue, but that's about it, so hold yourself to the same standard you would me, and vice versa. If anybody had said to you what you just said to me in this comment I'm responding to, or even used half the phrasing, you would be all over them and you'd delete the comment right away. You say I'm constantly moaning, I say you don't like me calling you on your shit. You tell me to stick to discussing the football without being wounded by non-contentious phrasings, I say to you discuss the football without getting prickly and saying things like "any more pedantic questions?" (my favorite of your recent comments, to I forget who...yeah, you definitely were being perfectly cordial to that person). Do me a favor and don't delete this, because if you're going to make a comment like you just did to me you owe it to me to let me response stand.

  78. Fabregas? Mate your dreaming.

  79. See, when you crap on me like that, you gotta approve my reply. The fact that you feel you need the right to approve responses to comments like that proves the point I make in my own response.

  80. Here's my reply to your below comment.

    You miss the point. Saying I twist his words isn't an insult, referring to me as the kind of person who would twist someone's words to win an argument is clearly meant as one. And just because you say all due respect doesn't mean you're not being rude.

    See, here's the thing...I don't really care if you insult me, the insults don't bother me. I'm just not a big fan of hypocrisy. You strike me as the kind of guy who likes to be rude or undermining to people who comment on this website (I just scrolled through your comments for about 2 minutes out of curiosity and found numerous examples of that sort of thing), often but not always covertly rather than overtly, but when other people do that sort of thing or call you out for it you threaten to ban them or you delete their comments, and in this case you respond to me like a total dick but with a turn of phrase you try to present me as the bad guy. There's plenty of people like that, the "I'm in charge so I can say what I want but no one else better say anything I deem inappropriate" kind of people, and that's cool do your thing...but cut the crap, ya know? Insult me all you want, and anybody else, but hold others to the same standards...I'm clearly not a troll, I'm here engaging in debates and I get a little bitchy towards you because I see a larger issue, but that's about it, so hold yourself to the same standard you would me, and vice versa. If anybody had said to you what you just said to me in this comment I'm responding to, or even used half the phrasing, you would be all over them and you'd delete the comment right away. You say I'm constantly moaning, I say you don't like me calling you on your shit. You tell me to stick to discussing the football without being wounded by non-contentious phrasings, I say to you discuss the football without getting prickly and saying things like "any more pedantic questions?" (my favorite of your recent comments, to I forget who...yeah, you definitely were being perfectly cordial to that person). Do me a favor and don't delete this, because if you're going to make a comment like you just did to me you owe it to me to let my response stand.

  81. We're not pigheaded, we just don't think you can compare his success in the B-level market to an A-level market which he has hardly been able to touch yet!

  82. I used to argue against this line on Liverpool's poor performance in the transfer market in the Rogers era by holding that Liverpool, uniquely among the top clubs, have successfully integrated a goalkeeper (Mignolet), a centre back (Sakho), a central midfielder (Allen), a playmaker (Coutinho), and a centre forward (Sturridge) into the first team within 12 months, an astonishing achievement for a club at the top of the table. I think Jaimie's argument depends on insisting that Allen and Sakho are poor or unproven signings; a controversial position, to say the least.

    But even so, I basically agree with him: we must do better in the next two windows, and bring in some players who will make an immediate impact. A big demand, but this is a big moment for our club.

  83. Wonder why Illori and Alberto keep getting a mention, when it had been stated by Rodgers that they've been signed for the future. All big clubs do this.

    And Liverpool finished 4th a year later. 5th and a Champions League Title was under Benitez.

    But, I'm not going to defend Houllier. All our best players at some point had a falling out with him or were leaving the club because he had disillusioned them with the team he signed.

  84. "Implication" from the dictionary. "the conclusion that can be drawn from something, although it is not explicitly stated."

    Sure seems like a matter of opinion to me rather than a cold hard fact.

  85. Allow me to respond to this obnoxious message or take it down please.

  86. Right on. We went for Mkhitaryan and Willian, and we couldn't get them, so we moved on to other targets. With CL secured and hopefully the title soon to be won we'll have all the tools we need to succeed in the market, and then Rodgers (cough the transfer committee) can be judged appropriately on transfer success. In the past we have been limited by the ambitions of our targets.

  87. See that's interesting. When Rodgers says he has total control over transfers, JK claims his word cannot be doubted, why would he lie, etc. When Rodgers says these two players are the future, JK says nope I don't believe in the player for the future argument, they're wastes of money. An interesting contradiction.

  88. I really don't understand why JK is ignoring this too. It's just pure common sense, really.

  89. He's too busy making sure anything I say in response to him calling me a moaner further down the thread doesn't get approved by the website.

  90. Skrtel is definitely our first choice at the moment. I do think over the next 2-3 years sakho will turn into an excellent player. Ilori looks a decent player too

  91. Agreed, in my opinion they were Rodgers targets and the rest were players sourced by the transfer committee. Not sayin Rodgers never had a say in bringing them but I think the fact it's been widely reported that he wants more control over transfers suggests he's not entirely happy with what's been brought in either. Any of the 3 players you listed would've been excellent signings

  92. Oh yeah what you said too, but just about the whole B-level market thing I was talking about in general. Any manager is going to struggle to be successful in the B- market. There just simply aren't enough proven players available at B-level price to have a great strike rate.

    JK talks about previous managers Rafa and Houllier as a precedent...but firstly, they have NOTHING to do with Rodgers. The fact they are at the same club is irrelevant.
    Secondly...They had a much greater pool of players to choose from! Rafa could UCL winners as an attraction, Rodgers had f**king 7th place!

  93. Right on I'm with you all the way. Not much a manager can do when players decide it's a risk to join the club except buckle down, do the business he can to strengthen the overall squad, and lead a team from 7th to 1st.

  94. Yep - and what's wrong with that :-)

  95. You don't give enough credit to Rodgers. Yes since we're talking about players being transferred out as part of a transfer policy.

    Rodgers successfully got Andy Carroll and Downing out of the club too. If that aren't Brilliant Transfers, I don't know what is. Lest we forget Charlie Adam and Joe cole.

    Who has he replaced the players with? Young Prospects. NO ROCKET HIGH WAGES. Pay attention to our wage scale compared to the top 4, and then decide whether the transfers have been that bad.

    We're not in the champions league, neither are we city.

    We have to get lucky with our signings and hope they develop. What kind of money does rodgers have to spend? Is that a poor transfer policy?

    Well it sure as hell beats Comolli's and Rick Parry's.

  96. There is not much I can add to what has already been said but IMO Sakho, Allen, Coutinho, Mignolet and Sturridge will be at the club for many years to come.

    Ilori, Alberto and Borini's careers have hardly even started at Anfield. All three these players have loads of talent and are still young so there is still every chance of them being first team players in years from now.

    Alberto may have damaged his chances now with the drunk driving case. Issues like this should not be tolerated. He probably is not even part of first team training at the moment.

  97. That's neither here nor there. Rodgers has always said he will not spend for the sake of it. Personally, I wouldn't be so kind as to include Sakho as a success. All those people who keep saying he's a beast of a defender have yet to give me one solid argument as to why they think so. Stats mean nothing to me. I know what I see when he plays. I agree with JK on this although it does give me a little bit of comfort that we were also after Willian, Mkyhtaryan and Diego Costa last summer. Especially the last one. Everyone is a fan now but not last summer. BR and his scouts spotted him a year ago. The chase of Konoplyanka is also a good indicator for me that we will get it right this summer. But there is no denying the fee spend on Aspas and Alberto would have better gone on Eriksen.

  98. biggestfandownunder8:10 am, April 26, 2014

    Good points, Jaimie. Got to get the summer transfer window right.

  99. Players Out
    Doni, Cole, Ecclestone, Adam, Bellamy, Aquilani, Maxi, Aurelio, Darby, Amoo, Kuyt, Morgan, Pacheco, Spearing, Downing, Shelvey, Carroll, Gulasci, Wilson.

    Players In
    Coutinho, Sturridge, Yesil, Assaidi, Allen, Borini, Sakho, Ilori, Mignolet, Toure, Aspas, Alberto.

    6 of the players in have been part of the title challenge this season and 2 have been on loan with EPL teams helping us to take points off other teams. Yesil has been nowhere near ready for the first team plus he has been an injury disaster. Ilori is on loan to gain 1st team experience which is happening. That leaves us with Aspas and Alberto who have not played much this season.

    Out vs In. Surely this picture is not that bad?

  100. Funny thing, football -- because he looks like a young (i.e. still rather raw) Vidic to me -- what do you see?

  101. That was when he got caught........

  102. Good debate. But at the end we just don't know . You cannot entirely trust any source even the individual's quotes might be tailored to present a unified front. The point remains though transfers seem to have been a bit too hit and miss despite the apparant care that goes into selections.

  103. Oddly it's not that I disagree we need to do better but I believe that we need to know what the peramatours of doing well are for a start. Also I think it daft to write off Sakho and Allen. I honestly wonder what some people are watching.

  104. Indeed. Hopefully more likely than Fab but could still do wonders for us.

  105. I think part of that is the scouts are being told to find Coutinhos instead of Suarezs.

  106. Really good article this. Someone should send it to BR!

  107. This is getting silly. Either take down your inappropriate comments to me below, or allow me to respond to them, I sent you an email asking the same thing. I get it, you rule this website with an iron fist, but it's just weird at this point.

  108. We don't have any idea of Eriksen was willing to join us. For all we know it just didn't hit the paper but he wasn't interested and we tried...that's the problem, we were held back in the market by the ambitions of our targets. We won't be anymore, and so this summer is when we can really judge the transfer committee on how they do, with nothing in their way.

  109. You have advanced this theory several times in the past and as yet have not given an indication of which managers you feel have done subsatially better than BR in this particular regard.
    The point that BR's sucess rate should be rated gainst the average, or even the best success rates of other teams. It is NOT possible to be anywhere near totally sudcessful in transfers- nobody, not Fergie, Mourinho, no-one- has much bettered 35-45% imo.
    Prove me wrong.

  110. I don't need to prove you wrong. You haven't made a solid argument to support your point. It's based on speculation and supposition.

    Sent from Samsung Mobile

  111. Right, because some casual blogger can come up with this list but the full time manager of LFC, a club on the verge of winning the league title, can't work out the same? Rodgers knows all of this, he knows it in far more detail than JK.

  112. Solid argument: You have stated that BR's transfer record 'leaves a lot to be desired' This opinion is offered without any comparison to either the average success rate within the PL, nor specific PL managers whose superior record of success shows BR's to be inferior.
    For all we know, BR's current success rate, whatever it is, could be the BEST in the PL.
    Until we have something to benchmark, all we know is you think it should be better.

    Hardly objective. Certainly not definitive . Simply your speculation. In short, you haven't made a solid argument to support your stated opinion.

  113. Of course it's my speculation/opinion. Why do you continually feel the need to state the obvious?

    I've made a rock solid argument at length many times in various articles. There's no need to compare Rodgers' performance to other managers. That is just a giant copout used by apologists to deflect attention away from the issue.

    The performance of other clubs makes absolutely no difference to LFC. It doesn't change that fact that the club wasted £35m on Andy Carroll, and tens of millions more on various other players down the years.

    LFC's transfer business should be considered within the context of the club's success, not anyone else's. Now let's agree to disagree, as I have better things to do that continually repeat the same argument over and over. My case is laid out in extensive detail in about 20 posts over the last two years.

  114. Why does everything have to be compared to something else? Because how can you tell if something is good, bad or indifferent if you have nothing to compare it to.

    In baseball, why is a player celebrated for hitting .300? That means he's failing 70% of the time he's at bat.

    But when you compare it to other player batting averages, one realizes that it's actually very good.

    Now to take that argument to the Rodgers transfers... let's assume for the sake of the argument that he's gotten a successful transfer 1 in every 4 players he's brought in. That means he's failing 75% of the time.

    But again, how does that compare to other managers today?

    You can certainly make the claim that it should be compared to previous LFC managers and look at LFC history specifically. That's all well and good, but it may not give you an accurate portrayal statistically as it relates to the current transfer market and what variable elements exist today that did not exist back then (whatever time may be referenced).

    Again, I'm not claiming I agree or disagree with your original assertion. I'm claiming that without more information of comparison, there's no way to make an educated decision one way or the other.

  115. How is it deflecting attention away from the issue by asking how well other managers do in the transfer market?

    This is not a question of whether we feel Rodgers needs to get more right. Obviously everyone wants him to get every transfer correct, but that's not a reasonable expectation.

    So the question boils down to: What is a reasonable expectation for transfer success?

    And how do we derive that reasonable expectation? To me, the simplest way to derive that reasonable level of expectation is to better understand how our main competition performs in the transfer market on average.

    Of course, there is a whole different level of parameters as it relates to "what determines a successful transfer", but I think by and large people are agreeing with your definition that you've stated here.

  116. I don't agree with this assessment. Moses, Cissokho and Toure where only ever signed to sit on the bench and boost numbers on the cheap. If you were expecting them to 'set the world alight' then you were being very optimistic. Ilori and Alberto are young prospects that were signed for there future potential.

    Coutinho and Sturridge where obviously two fantastic bargains. Borini and assaidi have looked decent enough at there loan clubs but I don't think they can take the step up to challenge for titles and compete in Europe. Borini is still young so maybe i'm wrong.

    Joe Allen is a decent player who can make a contribution but was a little bit over priced. I think Mignolet is going to be prove to be a flop, too dodgy. Sakho was a nightmare of a signing at the price he cost. Every time he's got the ball it's heart attack gear.

    All in all I don't think that the success rate is too bad. To be fair the jury is still out on most of them.

  117. U speak of the players who have not contributed which BR bought such as Aspas, Alberto, Sahin who in fairness never really got a fair crack maybe he lacked the energy BR wants from his players, Alberto is one for the future were as Aspas has being unlucky to be behind Suarez and Sturridge although i aint seen enough of him, i reckon with a run in the team he could be a useful player as for Rodgers being inept in the transfer market what about the players he missed out on such as Willian, Sallah and Mirtyakin who are all quaility players, and im sure if we had have got these players we would have the prem wrapped up.... Back the manager 2 buy quality players and he will bring the glory days back and even dominate for years 2 come JFT 96 YNWA

  118. Well, in fairness, yesterday, I saw a beast of a defender. First time I've seen Sakho put in a solid performance. Here's hoping it was the first of many.

  119. That was not the point I was trying to make. It's not about signing or not signing Eriksen. It's about signing Aspas and Alberto. Pointlessly spending money to make a headcount rather than increasing quality.

  120. Sure it's an easy argument to call it pointless spending now, in hindsight, but at the time? Aspas had done well in Spain the previous season and garnered a fair amount of interest (I never thought he was going to succeed personally, but there was reason to believe he could contribute) and Luis Alberto had had a fantastic season at Barca B and was bought for the future. It's not like Aspas flopped the season before we bought him, the transfer game is a difficult one, look at what happened with Real Madrid and Kaka...he basically flopped there, a lot of injuries and such, after being world player of the year. Nobody pointlessly spends money to make a headcount, it just doesn't always work out, like in the case of Aspas, or it hasn't worked out yet, in the case of Alberto.

    On another note, how about that friggin corner Aspas took? I literally screamed at the TV it was so absurd.

  121. micah Richards , kovacic , shaw or Moreno and shaqiri and if we sell (agger,lucas,johnson,enrique,allen,aspas assaidi,borini,alberto) we can buy the best option for Gerrard replacement (pogba)