Fear and Loathing in the Transfer Market

This piece has been inspired by the regular bloggers on FOAR, a supremely diverse group of like-minded Liverpool supporters in the Hogwarts’s mould that makes the banter and discussion extremely enjoyable, entertaining and enlightening all at the same time, unlike the site ”It That Must Not Be Named”, that like a Dementor can suck the life out of any debate. Everyone has the right to be stupid and augmentative, but they are definitely abusing that privilege!

So silly season is on us and believe it or not the transfer window has not even opened, yet it’s already been dubbed a disaster … according to some.  For every action, there is a corresponding over-reaction.

That brings me to our first fairly high profile potential signing Mohammed Salah. Yes I did say fairly high profile and I know a few armchair experts among us that have won numerous Prem titles on Fantasy Football League, find this slightly underwhelming, personally being linked with Andrew Robinson, the international from the mighty all conquering Scottish nation is slightly more underwhelming for me, but call me old fashioned.

Some have dubbed him as a failed Prem player because of his stint at Chelsea and the staggering 10 appearances in the 2013/2014 season and 3 appearances from the bench in the Premier league in the 2014/2015 and a few starts in the cup competitions, a total of 19 appearances in all competitions in 2 years to make this judgement call, a stat that makes Daniel Sturridge’s return for Liverpool look impressive.

As a technical, pacey, ball playing attacker, playing for “The Special Needs One” who Hazard accused of playing anti-football, his opinion backed up by MOU being fired when he lost the dressing room with the same team that won the tittle the year before and with Conte the year after, has earned the lad a reasonable mitigating excuse, a point he has proved at Roma, with 109 appearances, scoring 43 goals in all competitions.   Yes, yes that inferior Serie A league, the same one that was represented in the Champions League final, yes the same one that excels in playing defensive style football.

Regardless of your feelings, it still a very decent return and not to be scoffed at.  Add in 59 appearances for his country with a 29 goal return, you start understanding my point. Again sniggers about African football, you go play in the Congo and Burkina Faso on their less than manicured pitches and get those types of returns, not forgetting hostile crowds and the intimidation tactics that are common, with beating drums keeping you up all night and machine-gun guards following you around as much for intimidation as for protection, it almost as bad as Moss side.

By the way check out Wikipedia, he is already playing for Liverpool according to them and if he has the same impact as Mane, another player some people thought we overpaid for, I will be really pleased.

It seems some judge a player’s worth by the size of the transfer fee. You just have to ask your wife or girlfriend and they will tell you, size is not everything; it’s how effective you are.  If you’re not lucky to have both like Abbo (its only Kinky the first time you try it) Dave, you will end up buying an overpriced Shevchenko  or Pogba, that only the truly big teams can do and still finish 6th in the league.  Funny that it’s the same manager who bought both, throw in Torres, Shaun Wright Phillips, Tal Ben Haim, Kalhid Boulahrouz  and Steve Sidwell and you get my point.  Since 2004 he has spent a staggering 884,800 pounds on players, the most by any manager.

Ultimately we have a manager that has excelled in the transfer market; a manager that has excelled in unearthing talent overlooked by others, a manager that has had considerable success against teams that have had unlimited funds to spend.  A manager who ultimately values the whole over the individual, where team ethics, team dynamics, team commitment and collective responsibility is more important than individual brilliance.  That is not to say he shuns individual excellence, one just has to look at Coutinho, Mane, Firmino and Lallana for those examples but they still need to have the required work rate and buy into a common purpose to advance the team’s chances of success or individual success under his direction and philosophy.

So while it is everyone’s right to have an opinion, the right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously, just maybe we should wait firstly for the transfer window to open and secondly until we actually see who we have or have not brought in.

I have started my pie-baking list of the humble persuasion with 2 members featuring prominently on it… so far, that I will, ad nausea, remind them of their dummy-spitting tantrums, pre-transfer window, especially when we bring in the required quality in the required  numbers allowing us to compete successfully across all 4 competitions.

And remember – a positive attitude may not solve all our problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.

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