With little more than a month gone since THAT result against Stoke, Liverpool and Brendan Rodgers have taken great strides to put what can only be called a mediocre season behind them and push on in a new direction.
I doubt there are many Liverpool supporter who have not been pleasantly surprised by the approach the club has taken to their business done this close season. Not only have they sought to do their business early, which is nothing new admittedly for the Merseysiders, but they have sought to bring in quality and proven additions to the squad. And without the drawn out nonsense of last year in many cases.
The current purchases have represented both value and common sense in rebuilding a squad that was completely devoid of confidence and freshness not so long ago. Gone seem to be the days of rash, over-priced purchases (step forward Lazar Marković) and inadequate replacements – at least in terms of footballing style (yes, you Mario Balotelli) to be replaced by solid replacements who can offer reliability and experience if not world class ability.
Thus far we’ve seen James Milner step in for Steven Gerrard – debatable in some quarters I’m sure but at least he brings with him some experience of playing at the highest level and League winning experience. An astute acquisition in my opinion. The same can be said for today’s new recruit, Nathaniel Clyne – without the League winning bit, I suppose but still, a full England international and at 24 years-old represents a sound replacement for the dearly departed Glen Johnson. At the same time, if we bring Andre Wisdom into the discussion, the tune sounds infinitely better than the flat, dreary Johnson and Javi Manquillo! The latter of which I believe was really thrown in at the deep end, to be fair.
Adam Bogdan will also provide a sound back up for Simon Mignolet. I’m not entirely convinced by the 27 year-old Hungarian because I only really noticed him in the cup matches against Bolton Wanderers. Fact is though, he’s miles better than the outgoing Brad Jones and for that we can only be positive as Liverpool fans. Danny Ings is a young hungry, ambitious piece of work and he seems to have the right attitude to go with it which can only bode well for the club. I have a slight concern he may be a little overwhelmed but let’s see how he gets on. For me, a far better option than Fabio Borini in any case.
The final two; young Joe Gomez and Roberto Firmino couldn’t be further apart. A truly world-class operator with a proven track record and the proverbial “one for the future” shows that the club is adopting a balanced approach whilst not being too rash. Dare I say it, but thus far, quantity has been matched with quality so far and this is an extremely encouraging sign.
One thing I was surprised about is the departures – or “sackings” if I use the correct word – of Mike Marsh and then before you could say Boot Room, the axe fell on Colin Pascoe too. However, on reflection I won’t be losing any sleep over them. I’m not sure Rodgers sacked them as the papers made out but more it was probably either them or him and I know who’d I choose if I’m brutally honest. Charity begins at home as they say. Look after number one. Or as the Cambridge definition goes: to do what you think is best for yourself and not care about other people. Firm but fair.
Overall, I don’t think neither Pascoe or Marsh brought that much to the table. You don’t know what goes on behind the scenes but I can’t deny, I was surprised when Mike Marsh was suddenly the first team coach because I never rated him much as a player or a coach. Like most people, I just thought there was something about him that I hadn’t noticed but LFC had. Clearly Fenway Sports Group felt the same, too. This isn’t all that’s changed. I’ve got a question.
Is it me, or has the fabled “Transfer Committee” been disbanded? There’s been no mention of them AT ALL this close season. Other than Jamie Carragher’s joke on Twitter today about being on the Committee, that’s been about it.
Frankly, the less the better as far as I’m concerned because I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the first time in years some decent signings have been made, they’re nowhere to be seen. As they say in Germany “Tschüss!”.
As of now, there’s been no news of replacements for Messrs. Pascoe and Marsh and this does make me somewhat suspicious. The devil in me thinks the club may be feathering the nest for a new incumbent who may bring his own staff with him? One thing is for certain, I don’t think Rodgers is out of the woods in terms of getting the sack and I get the impression FSG are backing Liverpool Football Club more so than Brendan Rodgers who is in the last chance saloon. Overall, he deserves one more crack at success and it’s right that he get’s full backing if he is the man for John W. Henry and friends – even in the short term.
So, the future is looking better than it did this time last year in terms of signings. I think a striker to match the stature of Firmino, some company for the manager and getting rid of Raheem Sterling should see Liverpool being worth a flutter in coming season.
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