Comolli outlines plans for the future

Melwood, Liverpool FC training ground

Newly appointed Director of Football Strategy Damien Comolli has given his first interviews since being appointed to the role two weeks ago.

Comolli was interviewed for the official LFC TV channel on Monday and spoke with BBC Sport’s Dan Roan on Tuesday. Comolli was at the Liverpool FC Academy in Kirkby for the reserves match with Blackpool.

The Frenchman, 38, was asked about what exactly his role will involve, why he accepted the job, how he will operate alongside manager Roy Hodgson and transfer dealings both short and long term.

Throughout the two interviews it appears Comolli’s main aim is to improve the quality of players coming through the academy, “the big thing is making sure the academy produces players for the first team” he said.

Here’s the best of the two interviews:

On his role

“For me strategy means the future so I need to make sure we know where we are going looking forward and know what we are doing in the future to take the club forward.”

“It’s being involved in everything which is related to football, whether it’s here at Chapel Street or at the training ground at Melwood or at Kirkby. Having a daily involvement with Roy – we’ve been talking on a daily basis, sometimes having small meetings twice a day or three times a day – obviously working with the sports science team and the doctor, working with the video analysts, working with the academy, working with the scouts, that’s the area I will cover.”

On the use of statistics in recruiting players

Tottenham's Damien Comolli Photo via Newscom

“I strongly believe in it. What I hate is to be in a position where you have to make a decision on a player, but being blind. At the level we’re at, with the amount of money we spend on players and wages etc, the more information you have the more data you can collect, the better it is.”

“The more information we can gather, the more information and data we collect which will help us make the right decision, the better it is. It doesn’t mean we’ll always get it right but it means we have to have the right processes in place to make sure we get it right. The Red Sox don’t always get it right, but at least they’ve got processes that, if they go to them, they lower the risk massively.”

On January signings

“If it can be done in January, great. If it can’t because we feel it is the wrong market or players are overpriced, then we will wait.”

“I’m not going to say we won’t do anything in January because that is not the idea at the moment. We will do what is right for the long term. What is right for the long term can be something we do in January. We have a pretty good idea of what we would like to do and we have identified targets.”

Long term strategy

“We are already looking at things like the pre-season tour for next season, we are already looking at the academy to see what we can improve, what the targets are there in England, young players who we could bring in, the same thing about Europe, to identify players around Europe that we’ll be trying to bring in.”

On whose decision it will be to sign players

“As John Henry said, it will be a consensus among us. That’s the way John sees it, that’s the way I see it and that’s the way Roy sees it.”

“The manager’s decision and the manager’s opinion on a player is absolutely crucial. As far as I am concerned is do not bring a player in who the manager doesn’t like because there’s no point. Talking in very basic terms, if you bring a player in who the manager doesn’t like you are just wasting money, that’s the bottom line.”

Winning mentality

“We have to win and bring back trophies. For a club this size, it’s not about top six or top four – we must win everything that’s winnable.”

BBC Interview
LFC TV Interview

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