Editor’s Column: I despise the whinging, but you know what… We do need one

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It was predictable, wasn’t it?

One poor performance and an injury to a key midfielder followed by an online implosion.

When James Pearce announced Thiago is set to miss six weeks, the meltdown was as hyperbolic as it was boring.

Paddy Power recently made a video mocking Liverpool fans who spend their entire existence angry at FSG and Jurgen Klopp for not signing more players, despite the fact we were two goals away from winning literally everything last season.

It hit the nail on the head. So much so, the wife of owner JW Henry, Linda, even joined in on the joke, with a tweet that undeniably included a hint of sarcasm, given the abuse she gets for the players we don’t sign.

The despair and the misery surrounding who we do or don’t buy is downright depressing. You get sucked into it. You scroll and you read it all and forget what were you doing when you started.

It’s sad that teenagers who like football consume it in such a way, to be honest. But tickets are impossible for many to get and given how global the fanbase is, a new breed has emerged from our success and they simply consume football in a different way.

Going to the game, speaking about it in the pub and then watching Match of the Day is not the norm anymore. It won’t be ever again. And remember, Liverpool needs its worldwide audience. It needs its modern, internet-only supporter. The club got into the NFT business last season; it would be wrong to not include them in this evolution.

So what point am I making? Well, I truly hate the manner in which many implode after one match of a season in which many have already written off. I really, really hate it.

Although I also think we’re reaching a stage where the need for a midfielder is too great to ignore…

(But why can’t they just ask nicely!)

Thiago, easily our best midfielder, is out for six weeks. Curtis Jones is out for a while, too. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain won’t play before Christmas.

So that’s Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Naby Keita, James Milner and Harvey Elliott, given Fabio Carvalho has been used exclusively on the left wing so far.

Fab has been below-par in 2022. This hasn’t been spoken about much as he’s renowned for his consistency, but for whatever reason, he’s not found his elite best every week. Hendo is actually better at no.6 than he is at no.8 now, and doesn’t offer the creative spark and dribbling that would benefit the role as the midfield’s most offensive player. Keita has been good in 2022. He just needs to stay fit. You know what you get from Milner, good and bad, while Elliott is the wildcard. Potentially brilliant but unexperienced.

I’ve no problem with a genuine discussion about what we need and where we could improve. I mean, I do that for a job – talking about our team and our performances. But the doom and gloom, the abuse and the enormous exaggerations are so unhelpful, untrue and do no good to the players who read social media constantly.

It looks like we need another body in the middle. Thiago’s injury has pushed me over the edge. But I can express this feeling without nonsense and nastiness attached.

Who’d be good, then?

Well, Mattheus Nunes looks good in highlight compilations, although I highly doubt many of those longing for him have spent much time watching Sporting CP and analysing the 23-year-old. Nico Barella is class, but would likely cost even more than Darwin Nunez, the blockbuster transfer of the summer.

Jude Bellingham is unavailable this summer, which has enraged many who don’t understand that a selling club is also involved in a transfer…

Does Klopp want another body? Probably, considering we bid for Aurelien Tchouameni before we even had any injuries…

So by that logic, the manager, someone whose opinion we universally appreciate, would still like a midfielder.

But it can’t be anybody. We panic-signed Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak in January 2021 and neither were a success. The midfielder we sign needs to be someone the club has properly scouted, properly assessed and properly rates. That’s why signings like Luis Diaz and Ibrahima Konate have been so impressive. We’ve waited until they are available and pulled the trigger.

If Nunes, Barella or whoever else isn’t attainable, it might be best to put our faith in Elliott. If one of them can be bought, let’s do it.

The club though isn’t stupid. It’s been run extremely well during Klopp’s reign at almost every level. Sometimes we should assume that they’re doing what’s required, even if we don’t hear about it.

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