Why Liverpool’s mid-table position should not come as a surprise

04.02.2016


Liverpool’s defeat to Leicester City on Tuesday once again outlined how far the Reds have fallen in terms of quality, with average signings galore.

Football - FA Premier League - Leicester City FC v Liverpool FC

Before the game, it was easy to look at Liverpool and Leicester’s respective starting elevens and just assume that the Reds were stronger. We are Liverpool Football Club at the end of the day, right?

As the game panned out, with the Reds beaten with relative ease in the end, a dawning realisation suddenly came to the fore: Liverpool are no better than Leicester, player-for-player.

Kasper Schmeichel is a superior goalkeeper to Simon Mignolet; Christian Fuchs is a more dependable left-back than Alberto Moreno; N’Golo Kante is a more influential defensive midfielder than Lucas Leiva.

The list goes on.

The Reds do have a few gems in their ranks when on form – Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino, in particular – but Jurgen Klopp has inherited a squad littered with mid-table players.

Proof

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, October 22, 2015: Liverpool's Adam Lallana in action against Rubin Kazan's Solomon Kverkvelia during the UEFA Europa League Group Stage Group B match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Of the eleven Liverpool players who started proceedings at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday, almost half were acquired from a side generally seen as mid-table or lower.

Mignolet and Jordan Henderson were both purchased from Sunderland, in 2013 and 2011 respectively, while Nathaniel Clyne, Dejan Lovren and Adam Lallana have all joined from Southampton in the last 18 months or so.

Even James Milner, who was a solid player for two-time Premier League winners Man City, arrived at Anfield a little past his best last summer. He certainly wasn’t a major signing of intent.

Realistically, Lucas is also now nothing more than an average Premier League player at best, and would not stand out in Sunderland’s midfield, for example.


These aforementioned players were, of course, brought in by the Reds because they were big stars at smaller clubs, but does that make them good enough for Liverpool?

Their current league position would suggest not, and while it would be wrong to completely write off some very good footballers, the lack of truly top class new faces in recent years is a worry.

The need for proven players

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, January 25, 2016: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp thanking fans after 6-6 winning in penalties during the Football League Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg match against Stoke City at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

One of Liverpool’s biggest downfalls in the Brendan Rodgers era, and even before that, was that he and FSG just didn’t sign enough players who were proven at the very highest level.

Daniel Sturridge and Coutinho were both gambles that paid off handsomely, while Mamadou Sakho was still raw, despite captaining Paris Saint-Germain as a teenager.

Milner and Kolo Toure had both enjoyed highly impressive careers prior to their arrivals on Merseyside, but as touched upon above, their best days were behind them.

Firmino is a brilliantly talented footballer who may well become a future Liverpool icon, but even he only came from Hoffenheim, and was not on the radar of Europe’s elite.

This last five years or so has just been a conveyor belt of young signings with potential (Moreno, Emre Can, Lazar Markovic, Marko Grujic), average players never good enough to make the grade (Adam Bogdan, Stewart Downing, Victor Moses, Fabio Borini) and ageing pros who have little left in the tank (Toure, Milner, Rickie Lambert).

WATFORD, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 20, 2015: Liverpool's goalkeeper Adam Bogdan looks dejected as Watford score from his mistake during the Premier League match at Vicarage Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There hasn’t been a single player signed who was between 25 and 29 years of age, with a proven track record at a club similar to Liverpool’s stature. That is very damning.

The hope is that Klopp is the man to address this issue, and the pulling power that he has can only bode well going forward. Attempting to sign Alex Teixeira from Shakhtar Donetsk last month was certainly a signal of intent.

The thought of the Reds bringing in Marco Reus of Ilkay Gundogan was simply a pipe dream prior to the German’s arrival, but it is now a possibility.

For Liverpool to get themselves out of this mid-table slump, huge changes are needed in terms of personnel, and FSG’s transfer policy needs to be altered.

Not all negative

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, January 25, 2016: Liverpool's Emre Can in action during the Football League Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg match against Stoke City at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

As is often the case with articles of this nature – being critical of the team does not always tend to go down well – it is important to stress that these are far from terrible current Liverpool players we are talking about.

To even be a mid-table Premier League footballer means you are hugely talented in the grand scheme of things, but that step up to one of the real heavyweights of English football is enormous.

So many have tried and failed in this decade – Charlie Adam went from looking sensational at Blackpool to a pub player at Anfield – but very few have ever looked at home in a Reds shirt.


Mignolet, Lovren, Lallana and Christian Benteke certainly appear to be current examples of those just not quite up to it, but others do buck the trend.

Henderson has made gigantic strides over the years, and while his current form is a long way short of his best, he has been a definite success story.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Boxing Day, Saturday, December 26, 2015: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates the 1-0 victory over Leicester City with captain Jordan Henderson during the Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Clyne has also fitted in seamlessly at right-back since his move from Southampton, and should only improve in the years to come.

The likes of Sakho, Moreno, Can and Firmino are certainly worth persevering with, and should all remain key figures under Klopp, but none are absolute shoo-ins to be long-term regulars.

This summer can’t come soon enough in a lot of ways, with Klopp set to embark on what we hope is a momentous few months in the transfer market.

The 48-year-old will know more than anyone just how much much mediocrity there is in his squad, and he will be ruthless in getting rid of anyone not up to it in his eyes.

It is a desperately sad sight to see Liverpool languishing in eighth in the Premier League, but when you look at their players, it should come as no great shock.

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184 COMMENTS

  1. Nice article!

    So, the easy conclusion for me would be:

    Sign midtable players = End up midtable

    Then I got poked in the eye by Leicester!

    • Changes to Europa squad…poor Flanno

      Ins: Steven Caulker, Joao Carlos Teixeira, Danny Ward
      Outs: Adam Bogdan, Joe Gomez, Danny Ings

        • I doubt it. He has clearly picked, what he thinks is his best squad for Europa, and I can’t see Klopp playing a weakened team in the EPL too often.

          • It’s not my opinion, its following the logic.
            If Klopp has picked what he believes to be his strongest squad for EC, then anyone not in it, is clearly not seen as one of his strongest players.
            Therefore if a player/s not in EC squad is picked for an EPL game, it’s fielding a weaker player.
            I would have Flanno is for Moreno in a heartbeat, but I’m not Klopp!

          • You’re not Klopp yet still manage to know his thoughts…. Flanno not good enough you say? Sounds like weakened logic I must say.

          • Please show me where I said “Flanno is not good enough”!?!?

            His thoughts are well known. Flanno has been out for 18 months, and Klopp feels he isn’t ready for 2 games a week. He sees him as an important part of the squad and not the team, for the rest of this season.

    • If you’re being honest as much as a great season Leicester is having they’re a bit of outlier in the grand scheme of things. It’s no surprise City, Chelsea, Arsenal, and them have been top of league for almost the last decade. The point he is trying to make is that you need certain players to remain at the top.

    • I find articles like this amusing
      Now Henry As said we have a very average squad at best its gospel the fans that have been saying it all season have been told they are talking rubbish
      When the fans where calling for rodgers to go the TIA writers where saying that fans where fickle yet as soon as he was sacked they all said he should have gone
      Some fans have been saying sakho is the most overated defender ever to pull on the red shirt cannot wait for a tia writer to come out and say this
      Some people will believe anything they read and claim it to be gospel because it suits there stance and gives them more excuses
      tia put a tweet up the other day that liverpool had played 25% more games than any one in europe since klopp came ,one poster jumped all over me with this is perfect excuse and it must be true

      Well i knew it was no way true and a quick check of the fact showed we had played 1 more game since klopp came than man city and that was because we could only draw with exeter
      the squad is average the starting 11 even worse lets blame lucas its all his fault

  2. In other words, Leicester shouldnt be top of the league, because signing championship level players should lead to relegation innit?

  3. Players that we have bought that have not come from a top team.

    1. Xabi Alonso
    2. Mascherano
    3. Sami Hypia
    4. John barnes
    5. Deitmarr Hamann
    6. Gary Mac
    7. Pepe Reina

    Admittedly, I’m going down the list of 100 players that shook the kop here. There are plenty more, should I continue? All teams buy players from teams below them, or the player wouldn’t want to move. Its how its always been, and how it always will be. Absolutely sick to death of this kind of lazy crap being touted around. Players from lower teams and lower leagues are more than capable of doing well. Just not all of them, and we buy the wrong ones sometimes. Right now, mostly. But to suggest that we are mid table because we buy teams from the mid to bottom of the table is just moronic and so wildly cliche’d I’m surprised a decent LFC fan site would even publish it. Why don’t you go and look where all the players that took Klopp to the league titles in Germany come from. By this logic they all come from Bayern Munich right? No, just one of them. And even him as a youth player.

    Players in the current Leicester team that come from hot huge teams:

    1. all of them.

    And the one that comes from the furthest away from a top team is not only the best player in England right now, but scored most likely the goal of the season the other night. Still, lets not let facts get in the way of needing to get something published. Jesus.

    (and yes, I do know that they are only doing it for one season, but it still completely and utterly disproves the point.

    • I agree. We need to be a team that produces talent and doesnt overpay for other players.
      But two of our best players in the last decade- Torres and Suarez did come from top teams. Which is why we need to spend on players who may not be necessarily world class yet but are surely on the trajectory to be the best. Missing out on players like Griezmann, Dybala despite being targeted by the scouts shows we need to go a long way to compete for talent. The scouting system itself needs to be improved further as well. Under FSG we don’t have the required personnel. Signing Marotta or someone of that calibre as DoF needs to be a priority

      • Torres came from Athletico who, that year, finished seventh in the league. Its got NOTHING TO DO with wether or not a team is a top team, only if the player is good enough. There are loads of players good enough at teams who are not top teams, we just dont buy them. Admittedly, it would be nice to get one from a top team like Barca or Munich or even Dortmund these days…but it absolutely without question is not essential.

        • Atletico were still a top producer of talent. I agree it is not essential at all. But we need to compete for players who are proven in a way that we know they’ll be great one day. Cant think of a single player we have right now who can be considered one of the best in their position.

          • Top talent who consistently perform the best in Europe? Perhaps Bale and Ramsey. But Liverpool finish midtable consistently as well. Still considered a top club. Buying from Liverpool/Atletico/Schalke is different.

          • What’s the difference between schalke and Southampton? BTW I’d steal schalke’s staff today.

      • Talent identification is absolutely key. It does not matter really from which club a player comes from except that some players from lower or mid-table clubs have a mid-table mind set where winning is only an occasional habit. I don’t have a problem with buying young punt development players its about firstly scouting the right ones fulfilling the right general and position specific criteria. The TC and scouting network have proven mostly useless. A quality DOF with Klopp’s full approval should be a start

    • Problem is it works for other teams but not for us. I agree with the theme of the article. We need to sign players from the top teams in other domestic leagues. It is much easier for such players to bring their winning mentality here than it is for a player from a midtable team in England to suddenly develop a winning mindset.

      • “it works for other teams, but not for us”.

        So therefore it can work, as it does all the time, and this article is pointless. Thank you.

    • Exactly, yeah sure sometimes you buy players from top clubs (like Arsenal got Ozil and Sanchez) but that doesn’t always happen.

      It’s about buying the correct players, as simple as that, hopefully Klopp will solve that problem.

    • Dele Alli is a perfect example of how wrong this article is. The basic understanding I have is that it ultimately comes down to the player. What has been wrong with us in Rodgers era is that we didn’t buy players as per our need. We had a fantastic squad and almost won the league and then Suarez left. There’s almost a nil chance that we would find anyone of Suarez capabilities but when I see Vardy he is doing things that makes me imagine what if he had replaced Suarez. For me Suarez for liverpool was more than just another striker. he drove the team forward and Vardy has that tenacity if not his capabilities . It’s easier to say in retrospect but if you are paid the kind of money people in football are being paid I would expect them to foresee it. Still have hope for Benteke but he is one of the prime examples where we are going so wrong. We needed goals and he is a proven striker but most of us could foresee where we were headed with this transfer. For the money spent we could have got someone who would fit our system rather than trying to make him fit to our system while he looks like a lost kid who wandered down a few blocks.

  4. It’s not that we’ve got a bad team as such, but injuries to key players (especially Daniel Sturridge) added to the huge amount of matches being played have not helped one little bit either, quality and leadership have to be our top priority in the Summer, a key defensive leader together with a key midfield leader would be my top priority, I’d love to see Danny Ward given a run in the team this season, then decide if another keeper is required or not.
    We’ve got an excellent manager and a real coach of players, we may see big name signings, but I think he’ll want to work on players too, I’m not so sure about our scouts, we don’t appear to be getting enough quality youngsters into the club.
    I’d love to see players being promoted to the first team, I think we have at least a few players who can help the team right now, but they need to be given the experience, with all these matches coming up I hope they’ll get this chance sooner rather than later, otherwise we may loose them to other teams.

  5. I think the major problem is Consistency, injuries and also having a squad mainly full of average players doesn’t help especially when they’re under performing.

    Some games we look good, some games we look bad but there’s never really an in-between it’s always one or the other.

    I think on some occasions buying from mid table can be a good thing as well as a bad thing but i don’t think that’s our problem. I think the problem is the fact that this squad was built by a TC who determine who to buy based on stats.
    Buying Lovren because his stats were high is one thing but not realizing that those stats were high because he had 2 defensive midfielders in front of him in Schneiderlin and Wanyama and that we play with none and how that could effect his play style with us was unprofessional.

    The same goes for Benteke, everyone who watches football knew his style of play doesn’t and wouldn’t match ours. 70% of his goals came from crosses and we were 19th in the league on crosses made…. now cmon his goal to game ratio was good but that stat shouldn’t blind your entire footballing knowledge into not recognizing you won’t get that ratio if you don’t play to his strengths…

  6. I’m not saying our squad is anywhere good enough, but I still believe with Henderson, Couts, Studge and Ings fit for every game…top 4 would have easily been achieved.

  7. it’s all about a winning mentality. Players from top teams do not struggle with such mentalities, and Alex Teixeira would have brought that to our club. Sign winners and you get better performances and more wins under your belt.

    Of course, teams such as Leicester do not back this trend. BUT, they are a rarity, hence the hullabaloo around them being on top of the table and in with a chance of winning the title this year.

      • Shaktar is a top team in the Ukrain. Thus they have to show the mentality of not turning up in the top games but every game. Which is a major difference.

      • Why do you say that? Shaktar is in Europe every year. Ukraine might not be an elite league, but it is a top one, that’s why it attracts some excellent players and can afford to sell them exorbitantly

  8. I will keep this brief as no doubt it will get some people’s backs up. The biggest clanger dropped by this club in recent years was sacking Rafa Benitez. The rubbish we have had to put up with for most of the time since should highlight how well he did for us. We are in fact, still trying to get back to where we were when he was the boss – regular CL participants (and challengers), usually pushing for something till the end of the season. Yes, he signed some not so good players, mostly on Bosmans, but we had proper ‘Liverpool’ players in his teams – and you all know their names. Since 2010, with just 3 or 4 exceptions, we have signed a catalogue of imposters who run around in red shirts. Luckily I trust Klopp to sort it….

    • The problem was not backing Rafa. The resignation was a logical result of giving him lots and lots of real dross. Degen, Jovanovic etc. etc. then continuiing with more dross like Konchesky and Joe Cole. Added with overspending on Carrol and Downing.

      We’re just coming out of that hellhole and we can look up. We’re not there, obviously. But I would like to think that with at least a Danny Ings up and firing we would be a lot higher up in the league.

    • Ive just written this above – everything good that came into the club was via rafa – Sterling was his last buy, he recommended Coutinho to us, sold us Sturridge, and even scouted Suarez before he was sacked. The TC has presided over 300 million spending/wasting spree and should be replaced with Rafa as director of football.

    • The great experiment in British mediocrity, pushed for by our senior players and enacted by purslow.

  9. At the end of 13/14, we had a very distinct identity as a team that allowed the players to operate as an almost telepathic collective. This was in evidence right until the final pre-season game on August 10 against Dortmund.

    The manager was very clear about the priority of the summer: quality over quantity. However, the problem was that the FSG model which was in place at the Boston Red Sox was also in place for Liverpool. Namely, buy young potential on low wages and develop from within.

    The choice between Balotelli and Eto’o was no choice at all. Let alone quality, neither of them made sense for our top players: Gerrard, Coutinho, Sterling, and Henderson (leaving Sturridge out for now).

    Where a single manager or director of football could see how the squad functioned as a collective unit, the committee looked at a series of stats and monetary figures. The result was a collapse in the very real identity of the squad that kept the ball on the ground, playing with pace, movement, fluidity, and sharp vertical passing.

    Klopp needs to return to such an identity or forge a new one. FSG should end the committee process and return to a more simple approach to transfers that allows for proven talent chosen by a single source, whether that is Klopp or a director of football.

          • Nope, we would kill games more often. Teams would also start a bit more on the backfoot, allowing our wingbacks to be higher up the pitch with less issues and thus getting more from Benteke as well.

          • Agreed. I think he can be our targetman on which we can build our play OR the man in the box. He can’t do both in one game.

          • Liverpool remain the team that has created the 2nd most chances in the PL this season, not to be sniffed at.

          • They do count the many hopeless shots from outside the box as well. So.. yeah, there’s that.

    • Realistically, if we just had Sturridge last season – let alone this season with several upgrades – things would have stood very differently. Being blunt in attack has had so many knock on effects all across the pitch. Even Coutinho is nowhere near the level he should be at.

  10. The problem is signing players who now think they’ve made it, as they’re at Liverpool. The fact is that they have no given right to beat other teams. Leicester have a desire to prove everybody wrong at the moment, and are playing some fantastic, attacking football (unfortunately for us!).

    It sounds a little weird, but we need a bit of a small team mentality, where we want to prove people wrong, rather than think we’re going to win every game. We have talented players who are willing to put in a shift, but they’re low on confidence and just need something to push them on.

  11. What we have, which is a bit underlining this article, is too much 1 in 3, 1 in 4 games players. A Lallana can be good for 1 game and then goes missing for 3. While World Class are 1 in 1 players and top players are 1 in 1,5/2. It’s mostly a mentality issue to go from 1 in 3 to 1 in 1,5/2.

    Players that are bred by top teams like Ajax, Feyenoord, Anderlecht and Brondby are much more likely to succeed then those from Heerenveen, FC Twente and Sint Truiden. To me it’s no surprise that a Vertonghen, Eriksen, Alderweireld, Suarez and Blind are succeeding. Some aren’t spectacular or anything. But they always show up and deliver the goods.

    • That said, you’d have to agree that the chemistry of the side makes a massive difference. Lallana and Lovren had a great season at Southampton because the players around them suited their strengths.

      Look at Suarez and how he came alive once Rodgers built the team to suit him. Before that, how many dead ends did he run down with Stewart Downing, Andy Carroll, and Charlie Adam? Suarez looked very good, but nowhere near Messi and Ronaldo level.

      We need a bit of magic up front that suits the players we have. Coutinho, Firmino, Henderson, Allen, Can, etc. would all see their levels rise with a fast, mobile striker with a footballing brain. I was a fan of Rodgers at his best, but Benteke still leaves me scratching my head. An extra 10M for Lacazette (who has since seen his stock drop) would have made so much more sense for the collective, giving us a clear identity again.

      Player consistency does make a difference, but so does the consistency of approach from the collective.

      • Is this the same Suarez who scored 81 goals in 110 games for Ajax.

        And scored every other game for Uruguay winning the Copa America?

        Yes you’re right, Rodgers made him.

        Doh!

        • The Suarez of Ajax and the Suarez of Liverpool is a difference between Benzema and Benteke. Rodgers didn’t make him. Rodgers took him from a good player to one of the worlds best. Credit where it’s due.

          • Do you know anything about football? He was an excellent player at Ajax, and he was an excellent player for Uruguay. He was an excellent player for Dalglish.

            If he hadn’t have cheated in the world cup or been serving a bite ban quite a few other clubs would have been after him from Ajax.

          • I’ve watched him almost every game at Groningen, at Ajax and at Liverpool. He went from trouble in the box but tactically clueless at Groningen to a high paced wildly optimistic cannon at Ajax. He shot more then Coutinho does. About 10-15 times a game. Then he moved to Liverpool as a free role attacker and ended up als the false 9.

          • So you watched him at 19,20,21,22,23,24 and he became a better play at 26. Would that have not happened without Rodgers? Presumably Rodgers is at Barcelona now?

          • I’ve also watched him at 25. He made the biggest steps under Rodgers, simple as.

            Look, I know you think Rodgers is the antichrist so in no way he can be right on anything. World isn’t like that. Full of grey area’s.

          • You’ve really got the horn for wee Brendan haven’t you.

            2010 – USA world Cup, Syarez scores 3, 2 assists and 2 man of the matches.

            2011 Wins Cope America, 4 goals and named Player of The Tournament. Yes over Messi Neymar blah blah.

            He was 25.

            How can you even suggest Rodgers dramatically made career changing improvements to him.

          • Missed the point, completely. Utter and utterly. Which underlines this (and earlier) statements. It’s all black and white with people like you. Someone is sht so it’s all on him, someone is good so every mistake that someone makes is ultimately down to someone else. Hilariously. Stpid of course, but hilarous.

            2010 was SAF World Cup, but no biggy. He was good, but far from the player he was at Liverpool under Rodgers. 17 out of 39 under Kenny, 30 from 44 and 31 from 37 under Rodgers if you want to go numbers. Conversion rates almost doubled each year under Rodgers.

            Surely it’s down to Klopp, or FSG or whomever gets the credit for this one. As long as it isn’t Rodgers aye?

          • He was player of the tournament in 2011 in Copa America.

            Why do you always use his figures for Dalglish? Suarez came into a team that was in relegation under Hodgson. His 1st full season was ruined by the Evra ban and diving accusations.

            Why do you use this season to base your argument that Rodgers improved him on? Just accept Suarez was a genius goal machine before Rodgers and has gone on to even greater heights after Rodgers.

            Do you know Rodgers is the only manager never to win Suarez a trophy. Even at International level. (Half a season at Gronnenburg)

            Tabarez, Jol, De Boer, Dalglish, Enrique. No Rodgers.

          • All won trophies with the genius that is Suarez.

            All except Rodgers.

            But you still squeel that Rodgers made him.

          • The same Suarez that tried to force a move to hadn’t won a trophy for 8 years Arsenal after year 1 with Rodgers?
            But was convinced by Gerrard to stay and play for a move to Spain? Which he got after year 2 with Rodgers.

          • Hehe, twisting, turning.. you’re like a worm trying to never say anything positive about a certain someone. That’s called obsessed. Get over it. He did stuff wrong, he did struff right. Simple as.

          • I’m giving you the facts. It’s not my fault you’re incapable of analysing them. Don’t shoot the messenger!

          • No, you’re not giving facts. You’re pointing at everyone else to avoid praising Rodgers for doing something right. Obsessed.

          • Suarez tried to force through a move to Arsenal.

            Fact.

            Suarez broke down in tears at Crysral Palace then forced through a move to Barcelona.

            Fact.

          • He cried, fact. The move was always on the cards.

            Arriving at Groningen he allready said he wanted to play for Barca one day, Spain was his destination. Quite simple: the family of the love of his life moved from Uruguay to Barcelona when he was 15. Since then he buckled down and started to earn a transfer overseas. Then he forced a way to Ajax via a tribunal. All facts.

            Fact is that Rodgers provided a team to get the best out of Suarez, allowing him to be 2nd choice for Barca. Fact. deal with it.

          • Did Rodgers provide the Uruguay team in 2011 that won the Copa America and the player of the tournament award too?

          • Why didn’t we get in the CL the following season when only Suarez left and 8 players for £120m were added?

          • First season Pellegrini win the league and League Cup. 2 trophies. Who was the REAL Manager of the year?

          • Ha ha the same lot once voted George Burley manager of the year too.
            No wonder we are in this state with losers like you celebrating a 2nd place.

          • I don’t understand how BR had so much success playing direct football for a few months yet spent the rest of his time getting to move away from that,
            Going to one up top , patient possession, each season he did this and then had to drop it because it didn’t work. Have you got any idea what kind of football he was trying to play?

          • What is mindboggling is that we’ve had the squad for two years to continue the diamond shape. At least two up top. Would’ve worked a lot better for both Lambert, Borini and Balotelli. We’ve had very little wingers at the club for two and a half years (well, for longer, but we played that diamond so well so we didn’t get away from that at that point.) but we insist (both Rodgers and Klopp) to play a 4-3-3 or variant.

            The downside of a 4-4-2 diamond is obviously the fact that their wingbacks get a lot of space to move into. Which is nice on the counter attack if you can find that space. With Lucas as only DM that’s not happening and Gerrard was found out in that Regista role. It also relies on the strikers to press insanely. Suarez did that so Sturridge could wait and put pressure on the back four of them.

            But at the start of this season we had Origi, Firmino ánd Ings fit and ready to play in a diamond role while pressing and making room. With Can, Milner, Hendo and Coutinho we had a perfect midfield to press better and find space in between. But no.. we went 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3 without pace and wingers. I realllly don’t get that.

          • I think BR only played the diamond about half a dozen times. It’s basically a 442 which a lot of coaches don’t like cos players can get in between the lines, big spaces. But I still have no idea what a Brendan Rodgers side is.

          • Have you watched Rodgers talking tactics with Carra the other day? 20 minutes of explenation about 2013/14. Great watch that. Shows a bit or two about why almost everybody who have worked with Rodgers hails him.

          • He picked his best moments. Cherry picking. I found it nauseating to be honest.
            He was badly found out had a 10 game run in relegation form near the start of last season and a 9 game run in relegation form at the end.
            Broke the defence and midfield when he arrived and never fixed it. That’s basically why he failed , also because he couldn’t pick players. How was benteke and Milner this season really going to move us forward?
            He is incredibly confusing to work out and ultra political.

          • Watford play 4411 and hassle from the front. Leicester play a 44-1 plus one floating and both need red hot quick finishers to make it work and of course it means they are very compact in defence – they just lob the ball forwards although Leicester only do it when they’ve sucked enough of your players forward to make it a race against a CB.

            BR wouldn’t do that and we were so anemic, Klopp won’t do that it seems and to be fair to him we not only created against leicester but got into their 6 yard box, just couldn’t finish because we were relying on Hendo and Can ie not surprising.

            But Utd used to do that but seem to have come away from it too.

            It suits those two newbies because they literally have one or two excellent players and the rest are journeymen who are then drilled to perform a defensive role, because that’s pretty much all you’ll get out of them. Other clubs like us consider ourselves better equipped and want to “control” the game. So we play differently and not on the counter.
            I have no idea how BR wanted it to work but Klopp wants his AMs to be close together so they can interlink but then the fullbacks have to be much better than ours in terms of end product. It still relies on a striker doing the business and we’ve missed that. Certainly couldn’t see the logic of bringing in Benteke to complement our AMs and we do struggle to utilise him without long balls from Sakho now.
            Confused to the point that I wonder what he’ll look to buy? Sounds like he already knows by and large. He went for a fast goal scoring wide AM in Teixeira (Reus type?) and that’s a clear need and I think he’s going to give Benteke some time too. He played Lewa out of position in his first year to make him learn about movement (accident or design?) and maybe he’s thinking similar things here.

            But besides those two positions, I have no idea what he’s thinking other than he thinks and says we’ll be ready for next season.

            tl;dr

  12. totally agree with the whole article, most of the players would’nt get into the teams that are above us in the league

      • Robert Huth! Marc Albrighton! Danny Drinkwater!

        I can only imagine if Rodgers tried signing them.

        But goes to show how you can accommodate merely decent players if you have some stardust up front.

  13. The greater issues have been incompetent people running the club in all areas. Those incapable of making decisions for the benefit of the club.

    For example FSG hiring a manager but not trusting him enough to bring in the correct players – then imposing a transfer committee to vet incomings – but in the end it distracted from the correct job which is to bring in the right calibre of people. How and why no one has lost their job after presiding over a tenure where 300 million was wasted is dereliction of duty.

    Then in the summer to allow Rodgers even more money when he was a lame duck manager was pretty much silly. Didnt anybody realise that after paying 32 million for a big man up front we sold one winger and loaned the other winger out. A team that feared crosses more than dracula has spent this season predictably not sending much into the box by way of crosses.

    Also what is the purpose of having a club legend like Dalglish at the club if you dont utilise him?

    Why not get rid of the infamous committee and tell ian ayres to keep his nose out of the football and bring in someone like Rafa as a director of football.

    In the last decade most of the good that came to this club has directly or indirectly come because of him. Sterling was his last signing, Coutinho came recommended by him, Sturridge was sold to us by him and even Suarez was first scouted by him in 2010 prior to him losing his job.

      • Rafa was reportedly “two hours” from becoming West Ham manager. Read into that however you please.

        • What’s wrong with being west ham manager? They’re moving to a brand new shiny stadium, they’re consistently mid table so at least stable that way and they’re looking to build and grow into a more fashionable bigger club. They’re on their way up, absolutely nothing wrong with that. Much more respect for rafa, he’s taken on a fair share of project clubs and all sorts big clubs looking to reclaim glory. I prefer to pep staying in a comfort zone.

  14. Anybody who expects klopp to buy “top” players is going to be disappointed. That is not the model here at fsg and that is also pretty much not klopp’s style. Klopp is merely an improvement and upgrade on Rodgers and a much better fit for the fsg model than Rodgers was. Similarly, Liverpool is a richer and more global club than Dortmund for klopp and so he will have relatively better resources at hand. The targets will remain the same. Maybe less of English players and more of continental players. The shift is going to be subtle not drastic. The only top players, playing in top clubs and top leagues, we’re going to sign are players looking to move for game time and a starring role. Since those are purely situation based, they cannot be taken as a guarantee.

    Now what we SHOULD and CAN do are two different things. We have to be patient. We have to let klopp fumble his way through this system himself and maybe in 2-3 yrs he will come to the conclusion we already came to- that we need proven players to increase our transfer success rate. And then if he is seemingly not supported by fsg in his change of tact, I think we can safely assume it’s time to get out the pitchforks ;)

    • I think & hope that the difference will be improvement in the players he signs. We’ve bought quite a few for “potential” who seem to already be at their peak, or were at their previous clubs. Grujic is very much in that mould & I hope he becomes a star.

  15. Very good article. It really hit home to me how poor our squad is when Stoke were bringing better subs on than our first teamers last week! Really hoping Klopp will unearth a few gems. Huge summer effort required from all involved.

  16. This has been obvious for a long time. We continually sign players from mid/lower table EPL clubs or weak foreign leagues and the end result is inevitable. Mid table performances and results.

    No one running the show at LFC has any real ambition. January was a great example of that.

    This is easily the worst squad in living memory. From a quality point of view about 90% of the current squad should be sold asap because they are of no real use on the pitch.

    • I would honestly only keep Clyne, Ings, Firmino, Couts. Flanno and possibly Sturridge if by some miracle we could keep him fit. Sorry but the rest are not Liverpool players. Its about time we stopped accepting mediocrity at the club and move this team forward.

  17. I’m sorry but Schmeichel is not a better keeper than Mignolet. Schmeichel is even worse at kicking than Mignolet – he kicked nearly 4 straight goal kicks out of play and one mishit free kick didn’t even get to half field. Schmeichel only looked better because we couldn’t even test him with a half way decent shot. Also he has a better defense.

  18. Before his season-ending injury, our goal-scoring machine was Danny Ings, whom we bought from relegated Burnley. Remember Danny? The one whose loss you lot have called one of our biggest problems? It’s not just me, right?

    Oh, and another shot at Lovren! We let two in, so of course it’s time to flip the narrative yet again. We’ve always been at war with Eastasia. Never rated the lad. Nope.

  19. Leicester is a team who is playing better than City and Arsenal.. Don’t they have good players??
    Give them some credit for the win..

  20. All well and good but it doesn’t account for Leicester with their team of cheap buys, freebies, rejects, low quality and previously underperforming players beating a Chelsea team that included Courtois, Terry, Willian,
    Oscar, Hazard, Fabregas, Azpilcueta, Costa and so on … most or all of
    who would be seen as 1st team shoo ins and significant upgrades on our present squad.
    Yet …. ?
    Sure there’s some of our players whose performances beggar belief at times but let’s see how the team is doing come the end of April before drawing too many conclusions, eh?

    • the difference between last year’s chelsea and this years chelsea is that last year nearly all of those players you list managed to simultaneously have career best seasons and this year most are having career worst seasons.

  21. The problems all started when FSG appointed a championship/mid table prem league manager with no experience of winning trophies, doing transfers over £3.5m, or of European football.

    He couldn’t attract top players.

    So he could only attract star players from midtable clubs like Southampton, Swansea, Aston Villa, Sunderland, Hoffenheim, Espanol, etc And even then it was only by paying over the odds, making them instant multimillionaires.
    The only exception really was Milner on the decline or unwanted sicknote Sturridge. Maybe Can.

    Liverpool FC hasn’t pulled midtable players up to its level, the midtable players have dragged us down to theirs. It’s quite frightening the damage that has been done and FSG are only interested in making $$$$ not making LFC successful.

    • Your first point about appointing Rodgers and overpaying for players is totally at odds with your finishing argument of FSG in it for the money. Why overpay for average players if your not trying to succeed as it doesn’t make you money?
      Our transfers have been poor, quite probably based on Rodgers criteria but having said that the scouts and TC dont appear to have been aware the criteria they were using didn’t work because stats in a game or season dont represent the player more his suitability fo a particular position in a particular set up. Suarez being a maverick is an exception as he had the ability to fit any situation.
      Decide how we want to play, scout the teams that play the same and buy their best performers will work but only if your philosophy doesn’t disappear when the pressure is on which is where Rodgers failed.

      • Do you dispute that they overpaid for Markovic, Lallana, Lovren, Benteke, Milner (wages), etc?

        Do you dispute that FSG are only here to make money $$$$?

        • Yes I disagree that we overpaid for Lalana etc, ee payed the asking price and going rate for premier league experienced players, the only question is were they the right players and the answer to that is no.
          All businesses are in business to make a profit just the same as all employees are in the job to make as much money as possible, you appear to believe that LFC should be given charity status and run a free service for fans to go and watch a team built up of donations from other teams.

          • £25m for Lallana. £27m for Fabregas.

            £32m for Benteke. £30m for Alexis Sanchez. £30m for Costa?

            You’re disputing we overpaid?

          • Thankyou for highlighting my point, Lalana and Fabregas are both premier league experienced players and at a similar price tag, Costa and Sanchez had no premier league experience hence they cost less than Benteke.
            I no point have I said they were worth the going price but that is the going price.
            The question is still why did we buy them.

          • Highlighted youf point? You’re confused.

            Lallana got Southampton promoted.

            Fabregas won 8 trophies with Arsenal and Barcelona and got to a CL final.

            How does that highlight your point?

          • Hmmm comprehension is not your strong point so I’ll type a few names and prices.
            Ronaldo £80,000,000
            Bale (not a great trophy record) £96,000,000
            Suarez £75,000,000
            Sterling ( won and achieved nothing) £49,000,000
            Vardy £1,000,000
            Dele Alli £5,000,000
            Sturridge £12,000,000
            These were all bought at the going rate for their approximated abilities, some were good buys, some weren’t.
            Your point is you think the players we have were poor value for money thats up to you, we paid what we thought they were worth shame but thats how much they cost.
            Alex Texiera £38,400,000
            Blah, Blah ,Blah.

          • Hmm I can see you don’t know what the word comprehension means.

            You said – Thankyou for highlighting my point, Lalana and Fabregas are both premier league experienced players and at a similar price tag.

            I say that Lallana is nowhere near as good, or as experienced, as Fabregas so how can he be priced the same?

            So what are you rambling on about Ronaldo and Bale for?

          • Lalana premier league experience, international £25,000,000
            Fabregas premier league experince, international, trophy winner in a Barcelona team, Barcelona also win trophies without him. £30,000,000
            Carrick premier league experience, international, premier league trophy winner. £35,000,000 ?
            Sterling premier league experience, international £49,000,000
            Hows that for a comparison.

            Prices for players are what a club wants for them, we wanted to buy them so we paid the asking price. In hindsight any price can be argued as too much or a bargain so no I don’t think we overpaid, we overestimated his ability to work in our team.

          • So you think Lallana is worth the same as Fabregas? You consider them to be both equal on ability?

          • Last time I checked £25,000,000 and £30,000,000 were not worth the same , who knew.
            What makes you think I believe they have the same ability? One clearly cost more than the other.
            Based on the fact I have included Carrick and then Sterling I must apparently rate them even higher.
            Price is price, pay it if you want them, don’t pay it if you dont there is no overpaying as every transfer is a gamble.
            Based on Sturridges injuries we paid way too much, it doesn’t alter how good he is.

          • Yoh need to check again. Fabregas cost £27m.
            So you think £2m difference is about right to reflect the different abilities and experience?

          • Did you check again on prices? Always try to get your facts right when trying to be a smartrse or else you end up looking foolish.
            Can you comprehend that?

          • Lets analyse your original statements in reverse order.
            FSG are only in it for the money, we pay too much for players. They are in direct contrast as you cannot make money when overpaying for your players.
            Player prices are governed by the market of when your buying and from whichever league you buy from.
            I appear to be a smartar5e because your an 1diot.

          • No you don’t appear to be a smartrse, I said you’re trying to be a smartrse. But you’re failing miserably.
            Hence you now resort to insults. The irony being that you’re the one who is an 1diot. Are you really saying it’s not possible to only be interested in making profits whilst over paying for players? You need to analyse a little further.

          • I buy stock at £20, sell it at a loss and make 0 profit. Smart money making scheme.
            Bad decisions have been made but overpaying for players isn’t one of them. Buying the wrong players is.
            It really is that simple.
            FSG are running the club at a profit because it needs to be to absorb these mistakes, had we been able to keep Suarez, Sturridge fit and had future players in place things would be very different,

          • Now you’re just digging a bigger hole.
            You own a building company that makes £1m per year. You only buy your staff old vans, barely fit for purpose, theyre worth £5k, which you pay £10k for because the colour fits your logo. For £15k you could of bought a brand spanking new top of the range van.
            So you’ve overpaid for rubbish yet you’re still making huge profits.

            Get it now softrse?

          • Based on your latest ramblings LFC are making £2,000,000,000 profit a year in order to allow a £10,000,000 player to be bought for £20,000,000, when they could buy a £20,000,000 player for £20,000,000 and still have the same amount of profit.
            Your not an 1d1ot your a lunatic stop replying to me as you are talking absolute drivel.

          • It’s like speaking to a child.

            They have to buy players, they need a team, they have to pretend they want to win things. They can’t just take all the profit.

            Doh! Don’t reply. Some say you can’t polish a t4rd and I give up trying to educate a dope like you.

          • You really are in need of help, please do educare me on my point, if they can buy a £20,000,000 player for that price why take a £10,000,000 player at the same price? They still have a team which is better whilst still making a profit and retaining club value so this great rip off can continue indefinately.
            Are you saying they get kick backs on the deals? £10,000,000 cons at a time eh? This is indeed serious, I suggest you collate all your evidence and take it to the local Health Authority asap.

          • Doh!

            Because Lallana was not worth £25m despite them paying that amount.

            If you have any comprehension try to analyse the stats of what Chelsea got for £27m (yes £27m I see you accept you got your figures wrong – Doh!) and compare to what Liverpool got for £25m.

            http://www.telegraph
            .co.uk/sport/football/teams/
            chelsea/11031433/Chelseas-capture-of-Cesc-Fabregas-is-the-best-Premier-League-signing-of-the-summer.html

            New, dope, tell me they didn’t overpay…….

  22. “Of the eleven Liverpool players who started proceedings at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday, almost half were acquired from a side generally seen as mid-table or lower”. this is nonsense – of the 11 at Leicester – all were ‘acquired from a side generally seen as mid-table or lower’.. – yet Leicester sit at the top of the table (in February) and the table doesn’t lie with a squad assembled for less than the price of Llalana – Vardy, the league’s top scorer cost them 1 miliion and Mahrez 400K. Where you buy a player from and the price you pay for him mean nothing. – the secret is to have good scouting system and know how to assemble a TEAM. Klopp will get there – but it will take time – he needs to focus on the youngsters because he can still forge them in his own image and move the others on. on another note, the team also need a crowd to motivate them – In the leicester game the thing that struck me most was the incredible level of incessant noise. to anyone who plays football, one doesn’t need to explain what effect that has on a player. Anfield for most games sounds quieter than a cemetery – with fans sitting there waiting for the resurrection. Because of geographic reasons i can only watch LFC on TV – and I have to nowadays (it wasn’t always thus) turn on the volume to 100% to get a semblance of an atmosphere…

    • Good post. Am a bit surprised that Leicester are the only Club capitalising on the use of clappers (+ a bit of a brass band) ….
      our lads looked unsettled from the off. Really effective.

    • Don’t forget the very important factor that Leicester have been eliminated from both Cups and are not in Europe. All of their eggs are in the Premier League basket. EVERY single side that they’re competing with at the top is still in at least 2 other competitions in addition to the Prem. If Leicester do win the league (or qualify for Europe from another position this year), I would be shocked if they finish any better than 8th next year with the congested fixtures, raised expectations, and the reality that bigger clubs will come vulturing for their best players. They are doing some great things, but honestly, this year has been a perfect storm for them, kind of like how ’13-14 was for us.

      • True – and i do not dispute that – however the argument was that unless you buy top price players you won’t be successful. It clearly isn’t so – not least because what are today top price players all started their careers in relative obscurity… when Liverpool dominated europe – they used to buy from the lower leagues – who knew about Ian Rush or Ronny Whelan or Lawrenson or craig johnston ?? etc etc.. the secret was in having a good system – and scouts who had an eye for the right talent and work ethic to fit that system. Hell for the 300 Million we have spent in the last few years we might have assembled an army of never say die pretty talented players that actually played like a team. instead of prima donnas.

        • Oh I agree 100% that buying from “smaller” clubs isn’t the problem. Great players come from everywhere…not everyone can come through Bayern’s or Barca’s youth system. It is the complete lack of vision and a style of play that has killed us. Are we a 4-2-3-1 side built on pressing and quick counters? Then get players to fit that style. Are we a 4-3-3 possession-based side? Then get players to fit that style. We have too many players that are either one-trick ponies (and we don’t need their trick) or are jacks of all trades (when a bit of quality is what’s needed).

          • What you have described is one of the biggest failings of the transfer committee. They focused more on seeking value in the market as opposed to filling holes in the squad.
            I am hoping that Klopp can do something similar in the market like Rafa did – he knew his own domestic league and was very successful picking La Liga players that would succeed in EPL.

      • What’s to say that they wont invest the additional TV money just as wisely as they have done this year? It will be interesting to see what they (and everyone else) do this Summer.

        • Yeah, that’s a possibility as well…but will teams hold them for ransom the way they do to us (and other big English clubs) knowing that they’re the English Champions and they have that TV money? Things are about to get very interesting for them.

        • The term “wisely” is relative here though isnt it. How many people were lobbying up to take the likes of schlupp, vardy, mahrez at the start of this season? Were they being called “amazing buys” then? No it’s their form that’s made the scouting and buying look good. One has to maintain that perspective as well. Leicester’s scouting and buying isnt as reputed as that of soton who have consistently over the years found, developed or bought players who have then gone onto other clubs and done well. I would be using their example. Leicester is more “remains to be seen” territory for now.

          • True but there’s several things that MAY change things. All of sudden Leicester can offer Vardy, Mahrez etc. bigger contracts and actually hold off the vultures.
            You are correct about form but I’d also add that the so is so well balanced. They all fit into the style of play that Ranieri has put into place. That’s an enormous factor. Put Vardy in an Arsenal side (say) and he wont quite be the same.

          • I think it’s rather that ranieri has not tinkered much. Because their form has been a momentum they have carried on for a year now, from last season to this. Raneira didn’t tinker much with it and its paid dividends. I think the one thing we can learn from Leicester is the benefits of a settled squad. For the past 2-3 seasons, every year we have bought and sold players in hoards. That is never conducive to stability. And something like defence which banks on communication and trust between players naturally suffers from such an approach.

          • Leicester’s deep counter attacking style made possible by an on fire vardy (who is mad BTW) is why they are succeeding. Vardy loses his form and its over for them.

  23. Squad is imbalanced.Injuries, schedule load, new manager, stadium improvements,etc…Too many things going on at once. Thîs season was always gonna be a write-off. It’s difficult to deal with though.I do reckon Klopp’s the right guy for this league…with teams now being on more of an even footing with all the money flowing and talent coming iñ, his character and approach can make all the difference. We’ve seen glimpses.

  24. Current quality starters (keep):
    Sturridge (if can get and stay fit)
    Firmino
    Coutinho
    Hendo
    Clyne

    Young Players with med to high potential (keep at least for now but not necessarily current starters):
    Grujic
    Can
    Origi
    Flanno
    Gomez
    Stewart
    Brannagan
    Rossiter
    Ibe
    Smith

    Solid backups but not good enough to be starters:
    Keep no more than two of (Skrtel, Lovren, or Sahko)
    Milner
    Mingolet

    Sell (aren’t good enough, past it, or don’t fit):
    Lallana
    Welsh Pirlo
    Lucas
    Texiera
    Sinclaire
    Benteke
    Balotelli

    TBD:
    Luis Alberto
    Markovic
    Ings
    Moreno

    From my assessment I see us needing:
    Keeper,
    CB
    LB,
    CDM,
    winger

    I think with a proper spine the offensive quality will be more than enough.

    • You could include ings in the potential bracket. Just because he’s English doesn’t mean you have to discount for what is clearly an intelligent footballer. Let’s not forget that he adapted and showed the most promising signs among all our new strikers and did it faster than origi. He is young too. Remains to be seen how he returns from injury.

  25. Yes, the stance of the board (if you believe it) of not paying silly money players is admirable, but we’ve now missed out on the likes of Mkhitaryan, Willian, Costa (although questionable), Konoplyanka, and now (by the looks of it) Alex Teixeira to clubs who are willing to pay the asking price, or to be kept by their clubs because we won’t stump up the money.

    Meanwhile we can’t hit the proverbial barn door at the moment. Sometimes you have to speculate to accumulate, but unfortunately the board were stung too many times in the past with the likes of Carroll, Downing etc. By the time we can get somebody fit who can bag goals, it will be too late. Another transitional season. Where have I heard that phrase before?…

    • But we did not have Klopp before. I am not saying he is a god, capable of creating miracles but I believe he has a long term plan and this summer will be the springboard for it.

    • When managers have asked for big money for signings they’ve been given it. Not just once either.

  26. Agree with most of this. We have signed inferior players for years now. We have built a squad to compete on all fronts but capable of winning none of the major honours.

    This is the first time that I can ever recall us not having any top players or the spine of a team. We were always 3-4 players short. Sadly now I fear we are 9-10 players short. Clyne is the only player at present I could see slotting in to one of the other top teams. There are plenty of players with potential that we should give a chance but proven quality signings are definitely needed.

    Most importantly we need a plan. For years now we have bought players without any thought seemingly as to how they will fit in. I shudder every time I hear the dreaded word versatile…

    The biggest problem I see is we once again face a massive overhaul rather than incremental improvement and that is always a gamble. We also have the massive problem of offloading overpriced over paid average players. We are going to have to accept massive losses on the likes of lallana and benteke and who knows what will become of super mario!

    • Very good post, with changing it up in summer comes months of players learning about each other and bedding in. I believe we need an overhaul and I will have the patience to wait. I really buy in to Klopp as a manager and i feel he can turn it around.

  27. LFC supporters = CUSTOMERS, a failed transfer policy, no January investment (understandable), Almost five years since FSG took over and we’ve not moved forward as a team. etc. Why have they not changed the transfer policy? They need to hire me as their analyst or hire someone who is better than the current idiot cause clearly this guy has not a clue. How much longer before these idiots realize the current policy ain’t working? It may work at Barcelona or Arsenal, but that does not mean it was going to work for us due to the state that our club was in at the time FSG implemented this transfer strategy.
    We MUST invest a minimum of atleast 200m Euros this summer to have any chance of a TOP 4 for next season, invest on a world class Striker OR let Emirates help move us forward cause the current system is currently a failure.

  28. No (big) money = No success. It’s as simple as that.
    A really filthy reach owner will buy us the sky and the earth in 2 years.

  29. this article seems to undercut itself. Leicester are not buying “proven players” and are definitely way down the pecking order in the transfer market – that is why so many neutrals are cheering for them. Are we to follow Leicester in the transfer market?
    I agree we need to improve our transfers but we need a more articulate argument than buy “proven”

    • What I don’t like when people use the Leicester example is that it doesn’t account for the mentality aspect. Most of these guys we have bought showed a lot of good form at mid table clubs because they were underdogs and there was less pressure. But when they come here and the pressure is on, they are unable to replicate said form. Someone needs to account for this in Leicester’s case as well. Even last year, by Christmas people had them nailed on for relegation. I think expectations then became that they would get relegated and the team started to play freely and went on a run of wins. I curious to see how they will do next year when they are expected to do better. A couple of good buys and keeping their core in tact, I guess they can sustain this.

      • They were losing badly so went to counter attacking and staying very deep. It’s hard to play against because they always have 7 behind the ball and attack with 2 but only when you’ve committed a lot of players forward to penetrate their dense defence, so they reduce your chances to score and increase theirs. Probabilities favour them.

      • Good pt. The pressure must be on them now, no? They can tell themselves they are not expected to win, yada yada. but this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for this group.

        • I don’t think the pressure is on them now. They have nothing to lose. But next season there will be at least a baseline expectation to build on this season’s success. It’s then that they will experience pressure.

          • They have nothing to lose? How about the title? They are underdogs but there will be pressure…I hope they win it btw.
            I do agree next year will be a completely different and more difficult challenge for them but I think its a bit disrespectful this far along in the season to say they have no pressure. Almost every match remaining for them they are expected to win and their fan base have to be dreaming of the title right now. That is pressure whether they admit it or not. That pressure is what players and fans live for.

  30. It’s not that we buy from mid-table clubs that is the problem but that we buy the wrong players. There is something wrong with our scouting and how we assess players, the proof is in the pudding. Two examples that have befuddled me in recent times. Suarez was signed to partner Torres (what a strike force that would have been!) but when Torres pulled the plug, Liverpool went and bought Carroll. Is Carroll a similar player to Torres? Not one bit. Second bizarre example: Benteke. Blind Freddy could have seen this player is not suited to the way Liverpool want to play but that didn’t stop the club pursuing his signature at the expense of others more suitable. So where we buy players is not the problem but how we assess them but so far the people being paid to do that are failing and should be held accountable, not just the manager but everyone in the TC.

  31. I’m just wondering, was this op-ed piece really necessary? I mean given the amount of sh***t news we already have in front of us, do we need to remind ourselves of our mid-table status? There is such a thing as beating a dead-horse with a stick. Rehashing these points over and over again with every disappointing loss is pointless.

  32. In terms of an exercise in logic, the article holds its own. The problem is that the dynamics of a team are a tad more complex than would be suggested by a group of contributing individuals of known ability. Synergistic effects, improvement beyond perceived or implied potential (Henderson is a good example of this) and the vagaries of human nature are but three reasons logic alone cannot do this subject justice. You cannot, for instance, cogently account for the sustained success of sides such as Leicester and Watford.

    As for the specific example of Leicester beating us last time out at the King Power, I maintain the loss owed more to our profligacy in front of goal than it did the actual quality of our players. Had both teams converted their chances, we should have been disappointed not to win. Fortunately for managers with a magic touch where player development is concerned, of whom Klopp is a prime example, the only thing that matters is how much commitment the player brings to the table.

  33. What a silly child you are? Where do you get money laundering from? And you call others an idiot????

    Simple question for you.

    Lallana has scored 10 goals in 73 games, and has contributed towards LFC dropping from 2nd to midtable mediocrity.

    Do you think he was worth £25m?

    Just a yes or no.

    Can you comprehend that? Yes or no?

    • Yes, because rhat is the price Southampton set.
      The choice is simple buy him or don’t we chose to buy him.
      Your personal opinion of how much he was worth makes no difference to Southampton.
      Sterling wasn’t worth £49,000,000 are you suggesting we refund Man City?

        • Really? So based on everything that has been said, you are now making a point of Lalana wasn’t worth £25,000,000 and due his failure to live up to that price tag you have drawn the conclusion that FSG are bizarrely wasteing money to somehow hide their real goal of running the club into the ground whilst syphoning off vast sums of money? It’s even more impressive that they are managing to hoodwink global companies to invest heavily in the club at the same time, I would never have had John Henry down as the Kingpin.
          You have one hell of an imagination.

          • Wow where did you create that little story from? Accordibg to you earlier it was money laundering! That’s some bizarre thought processes you’ve got going on there!
            I think you need some psychiatric assistance.

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