28 Oct 2014

Play Me Now: £20m LFC 'passenger' begs BR to 'play' him vs. Swansea. Dump Coutinho?

Liverpool face Swansea City in the pointless waste of time known as the Capital One Cup this evening, and struggling Reds attacker Lazar Markovic is desperate to play, and has publicly pleaded with LFC boss Brendan Rodgers to start him in tonight's game.

Speaking to the official LFC website today, Markovic made it clear that he's hoping to play a significant role this evening. He noted:

"I have to play well and in doing so earn a place in the team.

"Hopefully the Swansea game is an opportunity for me to show what I can do.

"I still have the same drive and motivation"

Markovic started the third round tie against Middlesbrough, so it's likely he'll get the nod tonight, too, probably ahead of Coutinho. That said, the Serb made little impact in the last round, and is yet to score or create a goal in seven appearances for the club.

Many fans - myself included - feel that Liverpool massively overpaid for Markovic, and Reds legend John Aldridge has gone one further, and suggested that the Serb is a 'passenger' at Anfield. In a recent column for Sunday World, Aldo barked:

"Lazar Markovic must do a whole lot better. This kid came with a big reputation, but he has looked out of his depth at Liverpool so far this season. You can’t afford to be carrying players and Markovic is a passenger".

£20m is a lot of money for a 20-year old, and to be fair, it's not Markovic's fault he has that price tag on his head. However, when a club spends £20m on a single player, then it's perfectly fair for fans to have a legitimate expectation that said player is capable of going straight into the team and making a difference.

The manager creates that expectation by spending a massive amount of money, and in this case, it's down to Rodgers to ensure that any £20m players coming into the club are equipped to meet the inevitable expectation. As such, irrespective of age, 'one for the future' is not an excuse that can credibly be used for any player signed for £20m+.

Of course, a little perspective is needed. Markovic basically missed LFC's entire pre-season schedule with injury, so he's already behind the rest of the squad. He has an legitimate excuse for (comparatively) under-performing, and should only really be judged once he's properly up to speed.

The fact is, though, at this stage, Liverpool have received zero benefit for the £20m outlay on Markovic, and Rodgers - not the player - has to take the lion's share of responsibility. No one twisted Rodgers' arm to spend £62m on Markovic, Balotelli, and Lallana; he chose those players, and so far, they've weighed in with two measly goals between them.

That's £31m per goal so far, which is terrible, and deserving of criticism.



  1. Twenty years old, six appearances in a Liverpool shirt and I've already heard him called 'flop', 'failure' and now 'passenger'. While I'm not denying that 20 million squids is a lot, it never ceases to amaze and disappoint me how fickle some fans and indeed ex pros, reveal themselves to be.

  2. AndWithSuchSimplicity4:53 pm, October 28, 2014

    I think we'd been trying to get Markovic for the past 3 seasons. Somebody at the club must have seen something good in him, otherwise they wouldn't have kept chasing him surely?

  3. 7 games is nothing and while his performance has been average at best I still have hope for this youngster. Time is needed not everyone will succeed right away.

    This is a good chance to give play time to those who haven't played that much. And a win would be very nice.

  4. I, like yourself feel pretty sick about the money we have spent on players. We have definitely overpaid. However its something that needed to be done, we sometimes barely had 14 players to pick from last season. While it may take them a season to settle in I think we will reap the benefits next season.

  5. AndWithSuchSimplicity5:15 pm, October 28, 2014

    I managed to find the article in The Times, August 12, 2014.
    "Three times in five years, Liverpool might have signed Lazar Markovic. Three times, they demurred. Damien Comolli worried that the teenager, offered to him for £2 million while he was the club’s technical director, would not be eligible for a work permit. Kenny Dalglish baulked at what he saw as an inflated price. And then Brendan Rodgers declined, mistakenly believing he had already been promised to Chelsea......."
    The basic gist was that IF he achieves his potential he could be worth treble what we paid for him. All ifs and buts I know, but surely worth a punt when for the first time in years we actually had some cash to build a squad.

  6. AndWithSuchSimplicity5:18 pm, October 28, 2014

    When he came on away at Man City, Mracovic was the only one who looked up for the fight, so he deserves at least a season before being labelled a 'flop'. Remember Hendo, anyone???
    And try Lambert and Mario as a pairing, because they didn't look too bad for those last 15 minutes against Hull. It was criminal to play 1 up front at home anyway....

  7. None of those players had preseason two suffering with injuries. Jaimie is right thatched should be judged when up to speed.

  8. Unfortunately, he hasn't looked the same player since that game.

    When he and Moreno were linking up, all I could think about was how well this would work on a more consistent basis...

    Perhaps someone could refresh my memory, but I can't recall seeing Markovic playing on the left with Moreno since.

  9. Nope he hasn't. I couldn't understand why that was either.

  10. Personally I don't like markovic style. He seems like a very scared player. He never takes a shot or has the confidence to come in on the inside and take a man on. So for a 20m winger, that is terrible because a wingers main job is to score, assist and take people on and whip the ball in. Markovic has no skill, a terrible touch and no range of passing or the guts to take his man on. We honestly could have bought so many players ahead of him, Depay, Musa, Reus, Pedro, yarmolenko, firmino, even Suso and texeria better than him, of all the signings he was definitely the worst, then lambert, then lovren, then balotelli. Overall they were all poor signings. Personally I world have made a statement like Chelsea did bringing back courtoius and getting Costa, Luis and fabregas. My one would be Howedes for 20m, Hummels for 35m solid defensive partnership. Then buy Reus 30m along with Yarmolenko for 17m and Alex Pato for 16m insteas of Balotelli. Then buy Memphis Depay instead of Markovic who is a top class left winger and has much better stats than markovic. My last signing would be Diame. I just think he's a top class player and how we can nt sign him for a mere 4m is a joke.

    If in the summer we bought

    Howedes - CB - £20M, Hummels - CB - £35M, Reus - CF - £30M, Yarmolenko - RW - £17M, Pato - ST - £15M, Depay - LW - £15M, Moreno - £12M, Diame - CM - £4M total: £150M

  11. i critisized him heavily a few weeks ago but i was wrong
    i should have given him more time look at lamela

    yarmalenko is still playing in ukeraine there is a reason
    big sam was giddy when he offloaded diame only plays well vs us
    pato is as bad as balotelli and taarabt when it comes to attitude
    hummels and reus have larger ambitions then us
    howeded we also ahve no evidence he wants to leave and the price is really speculative shalke wanted 20m for that injury prone papadapalous 40m for draxler i

    i am glad you are not in charge of transfers

  12. Nevergonnacrackthecode6:45 pm, October 28, 2014

    i would seriously buy eric lamela
    he could be what we need

  13. Nevergonnacrackthecode6:51 pm, October 28, 2014

    i wish i could 100 vote ups

  14. Spot on. It's also worth to note that, as much as this idea is dreaded around here, he is certainly a "for the future" buy. I'd like to see less of these buys as much as anyone, but to lump Markovic into this category and call him a flop just because we're frustrated by the lack of experience is hugely unfair.

  15. I might be wrong, but he is by "trade" a right winger. His future might be on the left, but he's played the right more often than not at this point in his career. If that's what he thinks is his best position, BR probably won't look to him for selection there unless he says he's okay with it. It's not like we have a shortage of Wing AMs on either side... they just aren't performing particularly well.

  16. Please stop posting with two different user names. Choose one, and stick with it. Today. Thanks.

  17. I'm pretty sure he's played left wing for the majority of his career

  18. Like I said, I could be completely wrong. All I know is what I've seen on Youtube and FM ratings... utterly indisputable sources for info ;)

  19. Fans can invent whatever expectations they like. For that kind of money I'm not surprised that people expect more but at the same time that isn't an excuse to play dumb. The price tag doesn't actually change who the player is, does it? And ultimately the only people who can control the expectations of the fans are the fans. So I agree, it's fair for fans to expect more but that doesn't make it logical. The logical approach would be to look at where he came from, his pedigree, his international performances and his last season in club football. Put aside the price and use those factors instead. Is he living up to the expectation based on those factors or not? Expecting him to be something other than that because we paid a certain amount of money is the dumbest approach.

  20. Couldn't have said it better myself. Guy comes in to a new city, new culture, new club, just 20 years old... give him a season to find his feet at least!