Relative Happiness Re. Transfer Window

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By Ghanshyam Shenoy (@ghanshyam1989)

In the summer of 2012, Liverpool bought Fabio Borini, Joe Allen, and Oussama Assaidi on permanent transfers with Nuri Sahin on loan from Real Madrid. These were the only notable signings despite a host of important players’ viz. Kuyt, Bellamy, Maxi Rodriguez, Adam and Joe Cole leaving the club with Carroll going on loan. Spurs on the other hand bought Sigurdsson, Vertonghen, Adebayor, Lloris, Dembele and Dempsey.

There was huge outcry when Spurs first signed Sigurdsson despite being linked with Liverpool and then went on to trump the Reds in the battle for Clint Dempsey. Fellow reds called for the head of Ian Ayre, called for FSG to get out of our club and also despite arriving only a couple of months back, started to question the clubs’ appointment of Brendan Rodgers.

This is called Relative Happiness. Clubs’ fans are happy or sad only when the transfer strategy has failed in comparison to other clubs’ strategy. Not many fans in the world irrespective of the football club see their clubs’ transfer window in isolation. It does not matter if the players bought into the team are required or not. Fans only want their club to trump rival clubs in the transfer window.

Fast forward to this summer, the signings of Sakho, Ilori and Victor Moses (Loan from Chelsea) were confirmed with all of them being present at Anfield for the game against Manchester United. If we search #LFC on twitter a couple of day’s back, till the time these signings were confirmed, we can see the knee-jerk reaction of the fans and the sadness about the work Liverpool had done till that day even though Liverpool had signed Kolo Toure, Mignolet, Alberto and Aspas without even spending a single penny of our own and also confirming that Luis Suarez will not be allowed to leave.

Liverpool is a direct rival of Spurs and Arsenal for the 4th Champions league place and hence the consensus was that Spurs had improved their squad significantly than us. This despite the player of the year, Gareth Bale was about to leave them for a world record fee and to negate the effect it had on their fans, they had to spend the money and buy players.

After the transfer window closed on Monday, most Liverpool fans gave our transfer window a 9/10 rating saying how pleased we were but most of us including myself were more pleased with the transfer failings of Manchester United even though United being Champions have managed to keep their whole squad including Rooney. Whether David Moyes is the man to maintain their position? It is a different debate altogether.

We have to look at the transfer strategy of a club and in our case Liverpool’s only in unison and not compare with others’ strategy. Fans will as if we look at our club in unison then what about Henryk Mikhitaryan, Willian and Diego Costa? I was genuinely disappointed that Henryk opted to join Dortmund but the early season form of Jordan Henderson has put that to rest and the less I say about Willian and Diego Costa, the better. General feeling among journalists is that Liverpool dodged a bullet regarding those two.

Having said that I am disappointed Brendan Rodgers did not sign another attacking signing. Not disappointed because Arsenal signed Ozil and Spurs signed X, Y, Z. I am disappointed because I think one more good attacking signing, with the best in league defensive base which we now have, and with Borini gone on loan, could have helped us in case of injuries, though I have to say Liverpool’s starting eleven now will give anyone’s starting eleven a run for their money, including spurs.

If we have to compare, I would compare the previous seasons’ transfer window of our club. Liverpool have not had such a good transfer window for a long time and with the best start in 19 years, very good all round play, team spirit at an all time high and Luis Suarez to come back, there is only one way Liverpool can go from now and that is to the top.