Losing Miereles: what it means

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Let’s face it.

When Manchester United have the ball and are moving forward, they move with a purpose. There is a defiance and an arrogance in their movement. Every pass seems to find the addressee, every ball is played to perfection and the opposition defense just looks like B-grade actors thrust there to tackle emptiness, run into each other or just fall in the background, as the cameras focus on the United player delivering the killer ball, then the jubilation. For hours. Days even.

I hate that. But that’s what I’ve been seeing on TV. Over and over again, generation after generation.

That’s what I never see in a Liverpool game any more. Defiance and arrogance. Until the Hodgson curse was lifted on one midfielder. Raul Miereles was Liverpool’s closest incarnation of defiance and arrogance. When he moved into the six-yard box against Chelsea last year, he was not just going there to offer options. He went there looking for the ball. That goal alone exemplifies what I mean. He moved into the box with a purpose to get to ball and score. And he did.

That was not a one-off example. I continued to savour Miereles’ attitude to the game, the last one being in the match against Exeter lately. After his awkward fall, he was visibly in pain. The squad doctor and physio came to him and were talking him out of the field. He shrugged them off and just wanted to go back on the field. That is the reaction of a focused player. Someone who wants it.

Unfortunately, as much as he wanted the game in that match, he obviously didn’t want it enough off the field. No one is bigger than the club and we lose two players to Chelsea in one year. There used to be a time when big clubs would not be feeder clubs to rival teams. In football however, eras are counted in half a dozen of years.

Some were arguing that Sturridge for Miereles sounded a bargain. I do not agree. I believe we lost some well needed defiance and arrogance with the loss of Miereles. And I hope this does not cost us a few points in the coming games.

However, all is not doom and gloom. Many observers seem to have forgotten about it, but before Miereles, there used to be another midfielder to run to the ball with a taste for opposition blood. He got us into the second stages of the Champions League and won it for us. He’s not arrogant, but defiant beyond belief. And he is due to come back in a few weeks.

You know what, forget about arrogance, it never was the Liverpool way anyway. However, the first mission for Steven Gerrard should be this: inject defiance into the new blood. This secret ingredient, in my humble opinion, may make the difference between a top 6 and a top 3 finish.



  1. The guy was useless tracking back, couldn’t tackle and would go missing in games, he scored 4 good goals and that was it.

  2. Excellent. However, I think Adam has the right mentality. Don’t underestimate his ability to change a game. Look at his goal v Bolton. He WANTED it.

  3. What a load of tosh. Yet another pessimist adding fuel to a fire that Kenny has and still is putting out. Just some smouldering going on now. Good riddance i say!

    1. Totally agree. Well said. Chelsea have been instrumental in funding Kenny’s spending on a squad that is gathering pace on them all the time.

  4. “However, all is not doom and gloom. Many observers seem to have forgotten about it, but before Mereiles, there used to be another midfielder to run to the ball with a taste for opposition blood. He got us into the second stages of the Champions League and won it for us. He’s not arrogant, but defiant beyond belief. And he is due to come back in a few weeks.”

    MY SENTIMENTS EXACTLY! Give me Captain Fantastic any given sunday!

  5. I for one am gutted, when you look at the last few years and the strength and depth Man utd and Chelsea have had and we finally looked like having that. I though….fantastic, Aqualani off the wage bill, part of Cole’s and Poulsen gone, perfect…..I then changed to BBC sport and only saw Raul’s pic and my heart sank.
    I know its early doors but if we wanted a better chance of climbing above Chelsea this year when they may struggle that is ONE player I would have kept.
    There will be folk out there who will be more than happy for Stevie to come back and have Spearing and Shelvey there to come on, but I believe at this stage we have made a stupid mistake and Chelsea have one upped us.

  6. We can be disapointed by the loss of Raul, as said Paul Tomkins, he was not a vital player. But clearly a good one.

    Truth is that, since the beginning of the season, now that the King has got the player he wanted (and big big big thanks to the owners and Comolli), Raul has never been his first choice. Only a turn over key, but no more.

    We can understand that Raul wanted more games than he has now. But he choose Chelsea: so he will not.

    If the facts are true, he wanted a better salary at the end of the season. Refused by the direction. Then the team has been rebuilt. Why did he waited the last moment to write a transfert request.

    Raul a been great for us, and could have participate ton the next step of Liverpool’s revival. He choose to sit on another bench (and not playing games) for a better wage. Will he at least thank the supporters? This little thing that Nando never done?

    Not sure… not important. The King has his team. The club has his dynamic. We are in good hands. We’ll ever walk together.

    1. And obviously, we are waiting for the Captain to come back, it will be a great emotionnal moment to seen him deliver sweet pass and scoring his first girl.

      I think Bellamy is a great add too. Very versatile and bold :) And LFC lover :)

      1. Come on guys! Let’s get out of cloud 9 and back into the real world! You are all missing the point, Miereles is a great player and was an asset to us! He had qualities that our other players lack, he filled Stevie’s role excellently in stevie’s absence. We don’t need to compare him to our other players, he was our best all round midfielder and we are weaker now that he has left, Chelsea are now a stronger team with him because he adds options and another dimension to their attacking midfield. We are sitting with 12m that is useless to us at this point in time, we should have at least got Sturrage in return, u don’t see other teams complaining about having too many players in on position, yet we always do?

  7. Disagree. Meireles’s place within the system has been usurped by the combination of players that we now have. It’s why Dalglish was willing to listen to offers on him. He’s still a fine player but he doesn’t fit as well as others do. He can’t be counted on to pick up his defensive duties and he also has a tendency to go missing in games.

    Defiance? Suarez, Adam, Gerrard, Carragher, Agger, Skrtel, Reina. These are players who won’t lie down and it’s been noted in a few quarters that this LFC side, while playing some nice passing football, will still give you a reminder that you’ve been in a game.

    We got a good price for him, lightening our wage bill and shedding another midfielder as we needed to do. At the same time I don’t think he dramatically improves Chelsea. Modric was what they needed because he brings something fundamentally different to what they already have. Meireles is very much in the Chelsea default.

  8. We have plenty of good midfield options now without Meireles and is a player we can manage quite easily without. I rated him, but was more concerned about getting Bellamy as his pace and versatility across the forward line will be far more valuable. The Meireles money could be used to by an out-and-out right winger in January possibly, as otherwise we have most bases covered and the balance of the squad looks much better and stronger.

  9. The reasons he has left are firstly 1 by the previous owners or management when he signed he was offered a huge wage increase upto 120,000 a week apparently which was refused by our new owners the offer was if he had a good/ brilliant season which he did and they did not stump up , but! Not their offer. Second is he knows he is a bit injury prone a good player but our midfield’s jam packed good luck to him he’ll need it down fairy town . Everyone remember we have not even got the worlds best midfielder on the bench yet never mind the park YNWA

  10. Agree with Brad, but I will add the guest writer needs to take a good hard look at himself for writing that tosh. Dalglish has a system in mind and a philosophy. Just because a player is good doesn’t mean he will fit for our team, irrespective of whether or not he flourishes at Chelsea. It seems Kenny only worries about his team and doesn’t care where they go if they don’t fit. Let’s not get dramatic until we reflect at the end of the season. I would love to have read something by you about that other fella plying his trade at Chelsea now, go on dig it up and show us a link so we can have a laugh. You and Noel, get a grip.

    1. In a nutshell hippie,yeah on the topic of meireles,he has dalglish a lot to thank for,he wasnt great until kenny got at him,i thought he was a bit of a shithouse though (to be fair)THAT BEING SAID,I WISH HIM WELL JUST LIKE KENNY WILL,SO NO MORE BOLLOCKS

    2. You lot do not get it, do you.

      This piece was never about Mereiles, it was about an attitude on the field Mereiles repeatedly showed.

      @Brad “Defiance? Suarez, Adam, Gerrard, Carragher, Agger, Skrtel, Reina.”

      Suarez, granted. Gerrard, not in while, even before his injury. Carrager/Agger/Skrtel/Reina: defensive players. They do not open up the opposition. That’s what I mean.

      How many times have we seen our team move forward. Stop. Look for options. Stutter. Send the ball back to Reina. Or just give the ball away?

      Okay, football is not all about attacking, I get it, I’ve played my fair share of the game. My point is not about Mereiles. It’s about the attitude that allowed him to unlock games when Liverpool were out of ideas. It never was about his skills or speciality.

      Everyone of you who’ve played football know this: on a field, if you want the ball hard enough, it will fall to you. And Mereiles showed that attitude in the final third of the pitch. Again, not saying he’s a vital player. Saying he had the attitude that we need up front.

  11. I think the payroll costed, how can a player lyk him earn 35k a wk. Kk once said he suarez maxi lucas are close even of the pitch that meant a strong connection escpecially for none british.
    The wage structure needs a second look. Suarez earns 70k a wk. Can you explain why cole, poulsen, jovanovic are or where above Suarez. Wait until those two spanish clubs clubs come after him not forgetin the greedy mancini boys and the ambitous ibramovic

  12. Biggest load of junk I ever read. Meireles went missing for half a game and there was uproar when Torres went. Have we missed him? In Kenny we trust. Keep your opinions to yourself if you can’t be constructive.

  13. Stupid move to the max, this had been the player along w suarez that hv made a difference while carol and henderson were wandering!! To sell torres and mereles to chelsea is an absolte insanity and we shall pay for this foolish move dearly.. Sometime I question the thinking process or lack off..

  14. Raul had a few good games for us, however i am glad he is away. He was an ok player, i wouldnt have said he was brilliant. We have a better balance with what we have in the side now. Please dont tell me he was great because he isnt a great player, we have a great player in Stevie G and Raul is nowhere near his calibre. He doesnt really add anymore to Chelsea than what they have. He deserved to be sold for having that stupid haircut anyway :)

    1. And with regards to the supposed 120,000 a week wage increase he didnt get, phew. He certainly isnt good enough to earn 120,000 a week. Thankfully our new owners arent as clueless as the last ones.

  15. I must say im rather disappointed we have lost miereles , not only have we lost a quality midfielder i feel we have somewhat weakened ourself at the expense of a rival.

    Alot of comments on here seem to be disregarding rauls contribution to our set up however it was evident his ability added a different dimension to our play as his technical ability could easily open up a defence or change a game such as our recent win at the emirates proved. I also feel this was evident in the home loss to spurs last season in which he was missing due to injury. The team lacked clear creativity with the exception of suarez and to an extend maxi.

    I know this season we have much more creativity within the team but i cant help feeling we had assembled a squad with genuine strength in depth and this loss somewhat degrades the overall quality.

  16. My issue is: In the middle of the summer, we were mocked because of our overpacked midfield. Then, we lose meireles, cole, poulsen and suddenly we have people worrying about our depth? Two of those three, you can guess which, were never ever going to see the pitch. And meireles was never going to be an out and out starter each week. So he’s contribution wouldve been limitied. Its rubbish that we now have supporters worried about our midfield depth. Lucas, Adam, Hendo, including spearing, are not injury prone and can be counted on. Not to mention stevie g. I think we all have to consider this when we view meireles’ transfer and keep some faith.

  17. To sell mereles and keep players with the quality of shelvey & spearing makes anyone wonder, whats wrong with our vision.. I assure u mereles runs circles around those!! significant loss

  18. he was angry vs exeter because he feared that the deal wouldn’t happen!! i don’t think he was eager to play for the liverbird since he handed the transfer request himself. i don’t accept it when they hand in the transfer request on the last day! everything would have settled down before … it’s the chelsea way

  19. The man with that kind of attitude you mentioned is already here and what’s more, he can run faster than Raul. Craig Bellamy. Tell you what.. he scores more goals than all Raul’s total in 3 seasons. SO STOP WORRYING. King knows what he’s doing. Plus we got too many midfielders. Raul will be just a benchwarmer.

  20. It was a good deal for Liverpool.
    Mereiles was not ready to be on the bench, but Adam is a better player than him in my opinion(and Mereiles was weak at defence).
    Sir Kenny don’t want unhappy players in the squad, so he decided to pick the money.
    Lot of money for a player at 28.
    So – thanks for Chelsea also – they are paying all of our sumer transfers(62 mln. for Tores and Mereiles).
    And don’t forget how clever manager Sir Kenny is – I presume that he has some players in mind from the Academy,if he was ready to release Mereiles.
    Sterling, Morgan and Suso are already good enough for Premier League – for example.
    And now we are playing with 3 midfielders and one winger – so we will not need so many midfield players.

  21. We are going to miss him and that is showing already when you look at the bench. What if Adam gets injured ? And Gerrard doesn’t come back to his best until at least November ? The points lost will cost us. I also agree that Meireles couldnt track back and make a tackle ….. But he was never used for that was he….. Depth in the squad was what kenny and Comolli said a few weeks ago and now this is a kick in the teeth by selling to the Chavs and not replacing him . Would the Chavs sell one of there best players from last season to us ? I don’t think so .

  22. .Really unhappy with the way raul .was sold.Without raul last season,we wont finish 6th,but i believe king kenny knows best.Good luck raul.STILL BELIEVE IN KK…

  23. To be honest i dont think it will matter, things have/will v different without him, we’ve scored and won the game with him and gerrard sat on the bench? He was dead wood- hats off for his gameplay and his time as a red being great.. some liverpool supporters moan and groan over people coming in and out of the squad, tbh if you dont think its good enough then why be a red, its like saying you dont have an ounce of trust for Kenny, Comolli. Its ridiculous, if K&C didnt think it was a good idea then they would of rejected his request! Easy 12million in the back pocket for a BETTER player the next transfer session, just as that 50million was for Torres! Look who that has got us? Suarez,Carrol. Just got to have faith in the team and the staff and believe me they know what there doing! YNWA x

    1. why be a red??? Because my dad drilled it into me from birth… Like i will do to my son!!! What a ridiculous question!!!!! Not from round here???? Lol

      1. get a grip wools,1132 not a bad article,just dont be drooling in public over the manc shite,kenny knows what hes doing,people- dont forget raul asked for a transfer.it was in the works all week after the exeter game.what can you do?stop whining and watch kenny do his thing,trust the board for once and think positive.
        be happy we’re in a great position at last.some people are never happy.support someone else.

        1. Good piece. Finally someone who understands the real propose behind the transfer market. Last 2 matches, i saw meireles with an attitude similar to the torres one before he leaves. I think thats not good for the dressing room, especially now that theres an optimistic atmosphere. I believe in kenny plans and now that h&g era has ended, and we have a good owners, a great manager, staff and players; is time for us, the supporters, to really SUPPORT our team and stop censure any move the team have. We are not like any other team. WE ARE LIVERPOOL, so look the horizont, theres a new dawn coming…

  24. Far too often, particularly towards the end of last season, Raul just drifted out of games. He wasn’t a bad player by any means, but I’m not shedding any tears now that he’s gone. As others have said, this is a time for optimism – with the signings we have made I think we can look forward positively to the rest of the season.

  25. Who said shelvey looks a prospect? He is clueless he never relaxes on the ball always looks panicked can’t pick a pass reading of the game is awful I worry anytime I see him warming up he’s shite in reserves too, on the raul subject decent player nothing more nothing less and the hunger you speak of comes from the king he instills it into the players in a way few other men could he learnt his trade under jock stein Bill shankley and Bob paisley true football men who could get the best out of anyone (except shelvey lost cause) Henderson will grow under kenny and become a great player as will Adam so I don’t see us missing raul or his desire

  26. YOU LOT DON’T GET IT. The article is about defiance. Every team needs defiance to win. You have to defy people to win. If we had 11 defiant players we’d win the league. Blaa blaa blaah.

    What a load of sh1te. You just got married to this stupid defiance concept and wouldn’t it go. Every line betrays the fact that you only took an interest in football a couple of years ago.

    Consider this pearl;

    “Many observers seem to have forgotten about it, but before Miereles, there used to be another midfielder to run to the ball with a taste for opposition blood. He got us into the second stages of the Champions League and won it for us. He’s not arrogant, but defiant beyond belief.”

    Er . . .before Meireles there was Gerrard? So Meireles replaced Gerrard at some stage did he?

    Gerrard used to ‘run to the ball with a taste for opposition blood’. Are you trying to be a sports journalist? It’s not going to happen.

    Gerrard is ‘defiant beyond belief’. More shite.

    Ruthlessness is what you need to win and LFC have been ruthless with their transfers. The deadwood is gone. Raul wasn’t deadwood but; he wanted a payrise despite not being gauranteed his place, he’s good but not great, he’s 28, someone was offering 12m for him. Only one option. I love the the club dealt with it.

  27. well raul has left but lfc still remains in it position no matter our club [lfc]miss out on champions league,what annoyed me is just the time raul summitted a transfer request to chelsea in the same manner that torres did during january transfer market,but i believed this is when our club lfc will even be solid in all our games even when raul was with lfc he did’t played some of the games due to injuries i also believed that kenny and his coaches have someone who will fill the space.

  28. You all are stupid idiots when you say he scored 4, it were 5, goals for us and that’s it. No way. He gave his everything in midfield, provided chances, made great passes. An allround midfielder. Not shit.

    1. Gloria go and take up a woman’s job, something on the lines of producing kids, and cleaning the kitchen.
      Raul going forward was 7-8/10 but defensively he was 2/10 …… All round midfielder hahahaha my arse!!!! The only all round midfielder at the club is …….. Steven Gerrard.
      You really are a stupid idiot calling your own fans stupid idiots!

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