14 Apr 2014

Don't Sell Him: LFC fans urge BR not to dump €8m Anfield 'legend'. Too Late...?

Earlier this week, on-loan goalkeeper Pepe Reina confirmed once again that he will return to Liverpool at the end of the season, and admitted that his future remains 'tied to Liverpool'. Reina seems certain to leave Anfield for good this summer, but with LFC in need of another goalkeeper to challenge Mignolet, the Spaniard would be a great back-up, and could even fight to regain his place in the team. The questions is, do Liverpool fans want Reina back?

When asked about his future on Tuesday, Reina admitted that he's 'proud' to be linked with Barcelona, but once again reiterated that he'll return to Liverpool in the summer. He told Spanish newspaper AS:

"My future is tied to Liverpool because I have two more years on my contract. I will then talk about the transfer to Naples, where I'm happy and where I'm playing a good season. I'll also talk to Liverpool"

On Wednesday, I conducted a survey asking whether fans would like Reina to stay at Anfield next season:

* 13300 visitors (approx) voted in the poll.
* 51% of participants voted for Reina to stay.

Though the result is not that emphatic, it seems that Reina - recently described by Rodgers as a 'legend' at Liverpool - still has some significant support amongst Reds fans, and a very slight majority want Liverpool to keep the Spaniard at Anfield.

There doesn't appear to be the same support for Reina coming back to replace Mignolet, however. In another poll (during Mignolet's period of dodgy form over the Christmas period), I asked the question: 'Would you like to see Reina return to replace Mignolet?

* 11400 visitors (approx) voted in the poll.
* Only 20% wanted Reina to replace Mignolet.

Overall, it seems that fans want Reina to stay at Anfield, but only as back-up to the Belgian. I think we all know that Reina would never accept that as - like most 'keepers - he wants to be number one.



  1. That's basically impossible. No disrespect to Reina but he is not a good keeper anymore, Simon Mignolet is by far a superior goal keeper. And the Wage demands of Reina are just ridiculously high for a bench warmer furthermore he would never accept a back up role. So I hope we sell him for a 8-12m price tag and stick with Jones for half season and do business for the other positions and in the January window we use the Reina money to get us a decent back up goal keeper. I for one would love Marshals of Cardiff, they are probably going down and we can get him for a cheap.

  2. Rhaegar - how about you stop telling me what to think and what to write? I'll post whatever I want. I have strong views about certain issues, and will continue to highlight them and when I see fit. You are welcome to disagree to your heart's content, but if you can't handle people having different opinions to yourself, that's not really my problem.

    And I don't 'insult; LFC fans at all. Calling some LFC fans 'hypocrites' is a statement of fact not an insult. Some fans are, as a matter of irrefutable fact, hypocrites when it comes cheating. I'm merely calling a spade a spade.

  3. There is not a lack of top goalkeepers in the world so Reina was always going to be replaceable and when he told the club that Barcelona was going to sign him Rodgers went out and got Mignolet who is a top goalkeeper. Reina made his bed and now has to lie in it.

  4. yes but why so negative all the time?

  5. I'm not telling you what to think and what to write, I'm telling you that the appropriate thing to do, particularly as someone who brands himself as a writer of "critical realism", is to actually engage in a conversation about these points. Of course whether or not Rodgers (who does not have total control over transfers) has wasted money is a matter of opinion, not a cold hard fact, and everyone is entitled to their view, but so often I've noticed you only respond to people who disagree in the abstract, while those who disagree with specific, well thought out and valid points don't get any response from you. I can absolutely handle people having different viewpoints than myself, I encourage it because it fosters debate, but I don't accept it when people are blind to counter arguments and refuse to engage in such a debate about the point in question.

    As for the part about insulting fans, tone can be conveyed through writing just as well as through voice. You write that you've "lost count of the times that" LFC argue going down easily is okay, and reference their "spurious" arguments and how if things were reversed they'd be pissed...clearly you're talking about these fans in a negative tone, not an objective, a spade is a spade tone. If you said, for example, "Elton John is gay" in a disgusted, scornful tone, you might be stating a fact, but you'd definitely be delivering an insult as well.

    Anyway, I simply ask that you explain to everyone, at least for a start because it barely scratches the surface, why you always claim that Rodgers wastes lots of our money in your articles, rather than claiming that the transfer committee wastes lots of our money. Obviously I disagree that money is being wasted, which is a matter of opinion, but it's a cold hard fact that Rodgers does not have full control over transfers and sits on a committee. I'm not sure whether or not you're anti-Rodgers, at least in some ways, but I've definitely gotten the impression that you're quick to criticize those who are very pro-Rodgers.

  6. JK, why does my response to your response to me have to be approved by you before it can go up?

  7. With respect, I have explained my views on every issue I raise countless times. You appear to be new to the site, so you just haven't seen these articles. I don't just make assertions without backing up my views up with detailed reasoning, and any long-term visitor will confirm that.

    Equally, I'm not going to repeat myself in detail in every single article. I rely on at least some rudimentary familiarity with previous articles.

    I've also engaged in exhaustive debate in the comment section with various commentors over the last two years re my views on Rodgers. As such, your contention that I don't 'engage in conversation' on these points is utterly inaccurate.

    As for insulting fans - the 'tone' is something you are projecting. What I wrote about fans condoning cheating is perfectly fair. Who cares if I'm making a negative point? Not everything is a rose garden. This is real life, and some fans are hypocrites, and deserve to be called on it. Commentors call me a hypocrite sometimes but I don't see it as an insult.

    Another point: if you'd been around the site longer, you would know that I was massively in favour of Rodgers' coming to LFC. I posted lots of positive articles before and after he arrived, arguing that he would lead the club to glory. When things were going wrong in his first 6 months, I staunchly supported him; called for patience etc. Some posters will also remember that under my username, I had the tagline '100% behind BR'.

    The idea that I'm ant-Rodgers is just nonsense. I don't have favourites. I treat everyone the same, irrespective of their talent/ability, and if something is worthy of criticism, I will highlight it. I don't give people a pass just because they're good footballers/managers. I've praised Rodgers, but I also criticise aspects of his management style, and in my view, that's the way it should be.

    The problem here is that you don't know my history on the site, so you are making assumptions.

  8. I think personally we need a better goal keeper than Mignolet too...yes he has done a fantastic job but he is error prone too just like reina...so I will love to see a champions league quality goalkeeper in the place of mignolet...we can use Mignolet for FA cup,carling cup and some of the premiere league matches...KEYLOR NAVAS or STEPHAN RUFFIER will be best suited...as far as reina is considered he has no chance to be back at liverpool

  9. The day you discover a goalkeeper that doesn't make mistakes, well, let me know; been watching footballers a long time and I've never seen one.

  10. As for the transfer committee allegedly vetoing Rodgers and/or having more say. That's just not logical.

    * Who could be on the transfer committee? The possibilities: Rodgers, Ayre, LFC Scouts; LFC coaches. Who else? All of those people are below Rodgers in the football-related hierarchy.

    * Rodgers himself refused to work under a DoF before signing, and we're supposed to believe he takes orders from his subordinates about transfers? That doesn't make sense.

    * The only logical explanation is that Rodgers makes the decisions, and has final say. The committee make make suggestions; highlight targets etc, but the idea that they go over Rodgers' head is just not credible.

    * Also, Rodgers himself has specifically refuted the idea that he is hanstrung by a transfer committee. Prior to last summer's transfer window, he said:

    “There is absolutely no way a player will come in here if I don’t want him. I will always be the first person it comes to. That’s not being arrogant, that’s how we operate here.

    “Abroad it works differently where you have a coach and the club will bring in the players. The coach then works with the players he’s given.

    “We have a number of people, scouting staff and analysts, who will look for targets who fit the profile of the players that we want.

    “Then I will sit down with those guys, look at those targets and make a shortlist from that.

    “All that work that goes on is of great help to me. We identify players, gather all the information we possibly can and then if they’re right for what we need it comes down to whether they are affordable and available.


    Clearly, Rodgers is intimately involved in every aspect of transfers - including fees - and he has final say. The transfer committee is a giant red herring used by fans to excuse Rodgers from buying dud players.


  11. Fair enough, I'm not as familiar with your history on the site as I'd like to be, and just to be clear I said I wasn't sure if you were anti-Rodgers, just that you seem to jump on those who are pro-Rodgers. And you're right, I don't particularly care if you're making a negative point, but one could argue that anyone who isn't hypocritical in defense of their team doesn't love that team enough (haha).

    Although I don't know your history on the site as well as I'd like to, that doesn't change much...I based what I said on what I've seen since I've been on the site, which is the last couple months. Of course you engage in conversation with commentators, but since I've been on this site I've made a lot of detailed replies to points of yours I disagree with and gotten no reply, and seen the same thing with others...some people get replies, but those who have the most difficult responses, so to speak, don't seem to - I know I haven't, and I may have missed some responses to others obviously, but that's what I'm saying...not that you don't engage, but that you pick and choose and a lot of important comments go unanswered, but of course I recognize that you write a lot of articles and get even more comments and not every one will get a response from you, so maybe I'm wrong.

    I'm not here to be caustic or argumentative for arguments sake, I'm here because I want to talk about LFC, I just wanted to make that clear...I like your site and am not looking to hang around the comment boards and be a jerk to you or anything like that. So I'd just like to know why you blame Rodgers and not the transfer committee for what you perceive to be wasteful spending, or a link to an article that explains that view, and I'd also love a link to an article that explains why exactly you think there has been wasteful spending during Rodgers' tenure, because I firmly disagree. In a perfect world I'd like to write an article of my own with a detailed breakdown of spending during his tenure and why I think it has been effective, and have you post it so everyone can debate it and whether or not changes should be made to our transfer strategy, but that could be too much to ask.

  12. Let's not forget that a main reason why Mignolet was brought in was because Pepe expressed a desire to go to Barcelona.

    I personally don't think that Pepe is a bad goalkeeper. I just think that with his talking, combined with his high wages, Rodgers figured he could go out and get someone as good who wanted to be here.

    That's the difference between this case and the Suarez case. We couldn't really replace Suarez (just like Spurs are learning now without Bale). We could replace Reina. LFC stuck to their guns and kept Suarez despite his contract's release clause. And thank goodness they did.

    It's a matter of opinion as to whether we think Pepe or Mignolet is better than the other. But I think it's safe to say that no one here thinks one is far and away superior to the other.

    With that in mind, I'd prefer Mignolet. Cheaper, younger, and he wants to be here.

  13. I think that Rodgers probably has veto power over transfers, but not that he has absolute say over who gets brought in. I would agree with your logic if Rodgers had been the first manager FSG appointed, but we have some bad history. When FSG first bought the club, Comolli and Dalglish ran riot with spending...e.g. Carroll. John Henry is too careful a businessman to not have taken a step back and thought about how he could approach things better after all that. He wanted to implement sabermetrics and make the club financially sustainable, etc etc. According to Ian Ayre, "We have a head of analysis, a head of recruitment, a first time manager, and myself" on the transfer committee (Rodgers, Dave Fallows, Michael Edwards, and Ayre).


    Ayre has definitively stated how the process works, and I doubt the club is just lying, especially considering how things went when FSG first showed up. I would think Rodgers has veto power over a decision all of the others want, like I said, but also that they have veto power over him, or at the very least they can set a strict budget, as we saw with Salah. If he can't get target #1 with that budget he has to move on to target #2.

  14. Once again, you are making insinuations that are just not accurate. You imply that I don't reply to 'difficult' response? Sorry, but that's just a joke. There are over a million comments on this site - do you expect me to reply to every single one? I can't physically reply to every comment.

    Also, it's not just about me. The commenting community exists for fans to debate with each other.

    I read every single comment, and there are lots of detailed, well-written opinions, but sometimes, instead of replying, I simply appreciate reading the poster's point of view. I may disagree, and I could challenge every single person who disagrees with me, but what would be the point of that? It would flood the comment section with my comments, and I'd be repeating myself over and over again.

    Sometimes, 10 people make the same argument, so I'll reply to one person, instead of all 10. This makes perfect sense.

    Another thing to consider: the comments are read avidly by tens of thousands of people every day, so those detailed replies people post are not going to waste. They are being read and appreciated, and regular commentors are building up a historical record (if you will) of their views on LFC, and that is of great value.

    Overall, I interact with visitors to the site more than any other football writer on the net. If I had more time, I'd reply to every comment, but that is just not practical.

  15. I think it was a red.

    However, the real question is why have similar or worse challenges gone unpunished? It is this lack of consistency why we debate issues like this. If everytime there was a studs up over the top challenged that ended in a red, I am sure the players will start to modify their behaviour.

  16. I get that, which is why in my post that you just replied to I acknowledged the probability that you don't see or don't have time to respond to every single comment. I'm pretty much on the same page with you on all of this, but please see above my response to your idea that the transfer committee is a red herring.

  17. Ayre's comments about how the committee works are generalised and vague; he doesn't go into detail about who has the most power and/or veto rights.

    Rodgers specifically states that he has final say on transfers, and that no one gets in his face when it comes to making decision. Why would he exaggerate/lie, especially when everything he says publicly will be read by John Henry et al?

    Ayre/FSG may put a ceiling on budgets, but (IMO) that's about all the influence they have in the process. The committee can probably recommend players, but if Rodgers doesn't want them, then that's it.

    Logically - and based on Rodgers' own comments - he has the power to identify players; organise the scouting plan; and select specific targets. He will also know about transfer fees, and decided whether to proceed on that basis. At that point, all FSG/Ayre will do is say 'yes, you can have the money', or 'no, you can't'. (again, IMO).

    As for Assaidi and Aspas being duds. They clearly dud transfers. That's not a comment on their ability, but on their impact on the club. £12m (approx) spent on the two of them, and what impact have they had on LFC. Absolutely zero. Who's fault is that? It's irrelevant. What is factual is that LFC has gained zero return on that investment, which is what makes them duds.

    As such, Rodgers is responsible for that.

  18. I just find it weird that no one said anything about the penalty from Zabaleta on Sturridge. He goes through Sturridge's legs to get to the ball. He actually got both his legs first and then touched the ball. Total penalty.

  19. But wouldn't you agree that FSG and Ayre's ability to put a ceiling on budgets IS veto power? The transfer committee exists so that Rodgers can be as informed as possible about potential targets. Sure. let's say he and he alone picks which ones they go for, but that isn't the same as picking which players they bring in. Rodgers was clearly unhappy at our failure to get Mohamed Salah, and that failure was down to the setting of a strict budget. If that happened during the summer when there was more time he would have moved on to the next target and the next if need be, until he could get someone that he wanted AND FSG/Ayre would pay for. That means that Rodgers is not completely in charge of who comes in, and thus not completely to blame if who comes in is a dud, for all we know everyone he bought last summer wasn't a first choice target (something I doubt, but we can't know).

    And yes, of course Assaidi and Aspas are dud transfers, as I said. But what I meant is that they are the ONLY dud transfers of Rodgers' tenure, and no manager will avoid getting duds from time to time...remember SAF spending 7mil on Bebe?

    The other transfers Rodgers' has made cannot, or cannot yet, be described as duds. I know you don't believe in the player for the future argument, and you might consider Alberto and Ilori to be duds because they haven't made much of an impact, but they are clearly players for the future and thus it's too early to decide on them. We bought Raheem Sterling for a fee that would rise up to 6mil based on appearances, etc., and do we really know how much of the fees for Ilori and Alberto were paid up front and how much are performance related increases? After a year or two of Sterling being in the reserves and not having made an impact yet did you or would you have called him a dud? That's what I really want to know, who else is a dud and why (ignore the loans because they didn't have a transfer fee) and if you already have said I'm happy with a link.

  20. Yes remember what the score was. Remember City were pinning us back and it was into injury time. Hendo, as were others, was trying to make sure 91 minutes of extreme exertion for 2 crucial points not go to waste at the death. It was a red. For once Hendo's ebullient energy let him down. What I really think is that BR wants an appeal to get the card removed so he doesn't lose Hendo for 3 crucial matches. This was just the opening broadside.

  21. I see your point about budgets and veto-powers, but the issue isn't the players Rodgers' couldn't get; the main issue is the money spent on players who've come in and not contributed.

    Borini, Aspas, Alberto, Ilori, Assaidi = £36m (approx) on players who have made no contribution to LFC. That (IMO) is a waste of money in the sense of loss of utility.

    I don't believe in the 'player for the future' argument because over the last 20+ years, very few young players (16-21) brought in as 'future prospects' have gone on to become regulars in the team. Raheem Sterling is one of the only exceptions to the rule.

  22. He got fat and slow.

  23. Trying to put bias to one side, it was a definite penalty. The only reason Dzeko stayed up was because he managed to jump over Sakho's leg.

    You don't and shouldn't have to go down to get a penalty but unfortunately referees don't tend to give them unless you do go to ground. I think calling that cheating on Dzeko's part is harsh to say the least.

    We got two strong penalty shouts against us not given in that game but referees have got a lot wrong this season and if the decisions go for us I'll happily take it.

    4 to go. Let's do it for Stevie!

  24. Sterling is definitely an exception, and while I do see your point I'm curious where you draw the line. Alberto, for example, has looked good IMO in his few appearances, and made a slick assist v. Tottenham to Suarez...I've been hoping for him to get more minutes. Ilori hasn't made an app, he came in, got a sense of the club, then went out on loan to gain experience, which seems like part of a plan to me.

    I'm assuming you wouldn't have called it a waste of money the day they were signed, though at that time they had made no contribution to LFC either, so how much time does a player get for you? I am leaning towards agreeing with you about Borini, though I think if we'd kept him this season and not bought Aspas he could have made an impact as a sub. Even if you won't bend on Alberto, don't you think it's reasonable to reserve judgement on Ilori? We had 4 senior CB's when we bought him, clearly he wasn't going to be expected to make an impact this season, especially considering his loan, so how can we judge him for not making an impact? There may come a time when we can say those players were a waste of money, but I think it's way too soon for that, at least with Alberto and Ilori, it's their first season after all, they're young and the premier league is difficult to adapt to.

  25. Forget Reina. He wasn't good with team chemistry. Always yelling and blaming people in front of him when he let goals in...Good riddance.

  26. Mignolet's distribution leaves a lot to be desired - nowhere near as good as Pepe's. The only pivotal moments that Mignolet's had was against Stoke (pen save) and against Everton (made a host of good saves). He's let us down against City (Negredo and partially at fault for Johnson o.g.) and against Chelsea. Also flaps a bit too much at crosses. I do think he's a solid shot stopper though and I do think a lot of his mistakes in the big games may have come from the pressure of playing for a big club like LFC (with all due respect to Sunderland!). All that may change next season though.

    All in all, he's done alright, but it's too early to say who is better out of him and Reina. Pepe wants to be at Barca (unlikely with Ter Stegen's transfer) and not at LFC. We shouldn't be second choice to anyone; he can get on his bike :)

  27. Jk,

    On a slightly different but related topic, do you think Texeira will called up to supplement the attacking midfield squad or might Alberto be added? I would prefer Tex but want your opinion.....not as a starter but on the squad.

  28. nah he's doing what all good managers do, Hendo's must be gutted to be out for the next 3 games, there is no need to heap more criticism on him.

  29. I personally think Teixeira has more of a chance of being called into the squad. Alberto has not been in the last nine match-day squads, and I reckon BR will do the same as he did with Ibe last season, and bring Tex into the squad again for the final game/two games.

  30. I thought at the time we should've gone for begovic. As for pepe stay, go... Couldn't really care less

  31. Henderson had a poor and tired touch late in the game, he wanted to win the ball. He got there a bit late and with a some studs up, it's a red.

    Mirallas is totally different and there is clear malice in the challenge. He is going at full speed with his whole boot raised and connects with his whole boot.

    I just don't understand that, for Henderson's first ever red card, he gets a three game ban. The two challenges are totally different, and a one match ban should suffice IMO.

  32. I agree. It's a red card, no debate there. But, a three game ban for it is IMO over the top considering the challenges you mentioned.

    I thought a red card is an automatic one match suspension, and then it can be reviewed to add more games to the suspension. Is that the case here, where it's deemed that Henderson was being dangerous and whatever, or is it simply an automatic 3 game ban without question subject to an appeal by Liverpool?

  33. Yea totally agree, Rodgers should've just accepted it was a red and taken it on the chin. Think you're probably right in his judgement was clouded by his affection for hendo. I genuinely don't think hendo has a malicious bone in his body. He's the epitome of hard work and commitment and I think that was at the root of this challenge. He'd taken a heavy touch and was desperate to retain possession. He'll be missed but in Allen and Lucas I think we have able enough replacements to cope

  34. It was a pen mainly because Sakho missed the ball completely, i don't think Dzeko dived, he ended up in a heap trying to avoid Sakho's huge frame, but contact was unavoidable, Sakho's main mistake was not despatching the ball into row Z, then rash/reckless/clumsy would not be an issue.

    The ref made an instant (homer) call, City got some of them at the Etihad christmas time. We got a few favourable decisions on the day, and i expect to get a few more when we play Chelsea and Newcastle at Anfield.

  35. Exactly what I wanted, but I am behind Migs now!!!

  36. Yea I reckon there'll be a lot of work done with migs over the summer and we'll see a more composed, rounded version of him next season. Primarily he's good at saving shots. That's all he was ever doing at Sunderland cos they're pish whereas at Liverpool he's expectef to get involved in the build up and have good delivery so I think this season will have been a steep learning curve, he'll know what needs worked on and I firmly believe migs will be a top, top keeper in 2-4 years

  37. What do you make of the apparent demand for more control of transfers to Rodgers in his contract demands? Do you think perhaps Rodgers has barely used any of his loan signings and aspas, Alberto etc cos he didn't want them in the first place and he's trying to send the club a message? I'm speculating of course but it's not beyond the realms of possibility

  38. You are "in the hunt" because I suarez.

    If he leave next year and you are fighting with Man U for a Europa league spot you might want his "antics" back.

  39. Totally agree with Jaimie on this. Although Hendo had no malice behind his tackle it was potentially very dangerous. I too incurred a double fracture and dislocation on right leg in 2010 and it changed my life to this day. BR wrong to make excuses. Going to miss Hendo on this run in let's hope Lucas and Allen can fill the void.

  40. biggestfandownunder10:58 am, April 15, 2014

    Fair point, Jaimie. Although I'm not surprised BR tries to downplay what was a heat-of-the-moment and uncharactistic moment of red mist from Hendo, and more than me, probably feels gutted at the consequence for the poor lad, BR could've/should've proferred a more integral response here. In my bias, I suppose I still prefer our manager to defend our players, but then I'm part of the problem you're poking at.

  41. Have a cry citeh boy we were ripped off in the first leg and they say it evens out over a season anyway winners are grinners the rest can please themselves!!!!!!!!

  42. It's natural to want the manager to defend the players :-) I appreciate that I'm in the minority with this kind of view.

  43. I was under the impression that a straight red is an automatic 3 games, but is subject to appeal.

  44. We've all seen those tackles not given but I think it was a red. It wasnt malicious IMO but it was still a studs up dangerous lunging type of tackle. Deserved red. its just disappointing that refs seem to miss many other similar tackles and they go by without punishment. Consistency is the key and its severely lacking in the game.

  45. Chris Rossington6:34 pm, April 15, 2014

    Ok point taken but is there any need bring it up, some people are idiots in general, whether lfc fans or not, just cba being reminded of that fact!

  46. Yes, there is a need to bring it up.

  47. Good theory, but I doubt Rodgers had players forced on him. Prior to the summer transfer window last year, he specifically stated in public that he has final say on transfers: http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/liverpool-fc-manager-brendan-rodgers-3572303

  48. biggestfandownunder9:24 am, April 16, 2014