Patience the key to transfer window success for Liverpool Football Club.
By Kevin Morley.
And so, the European football transfer window is now open. This is a time that the majority of football managers dread, hoping the window closes quickly and they can get back to working with a settled team again. It is also a time when fans of the biggest clubs in Europe get over ambitious, over excited and over heated at the thoughts of who might be joining their illustrious teams in the coming weeks.
Liverpool football club is no exception and is one of those clubs that attracts more transfer rumours than any other, with dedicated websites offering those 'in the know' the chance to share their 'knowledge' with the world. This transfer season is no different, with the club at the centre of a number of truly fanciful stories concerning alleged signings. If nothing else, the gossip might just serve as a humorous distraction for the new Liverpool manager. During his time at Swansea, Brendan Rodgers will certainly have never witnessed this level of conjecture and wishful thinking regarding his team for the coming season.
Believing what you read at this time can be a dangerous job for any Liverpool fan that does not have their feet firmly on the ground. In fact, reading some of these rumours would raise the blood pressures of even the most grounded of fans. In the past week we have....
- allowed Andy Carroll, a player we paid £35million up front for, to go back to the club he came from on a season long loan, while Liverpool continue to pay a portion of his wages;
- signed Brazil star Kaka from Real Madrid on loan;
- agreed that David Villa (first choice striker for Spain) will join Liverpool on a season long loan, while he regains his form and gets himself fit enough to go back to Barcelona in January;
- agreed to loan Oscar from Chelsea for a season, while he becomes accustomed to the pace of the Premier League - this is a player Chelsea have just paid £25million for;
- agreed to sell both Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel, with the only suggested replacements being Sebastian Coates and Martin Kelly (two promising youngsters, one of whom did not feature at centre half last season but is suddenly considered by some as an automatic replacement for Martin Skrtel - Liverpool FC player of the season last year).
Yes, when it comes to player transfers at Liverpool Football Club, there seems no end to the imagination of journalists and fans alike, short story writing might just be a more worthwhile, and financially rewarding, pursuit for many of them. None of the rumours so far sound like the wise considered moves of a manager like Rodgers and, if you go back to the very beginning of the transfer window, the rumours were even more creative:
- Adebayor heading to Liverpool from Manchester City - a player who currently earns far more than Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard;
- Luis Saurez has been sold at least six times to four different clubs;
- Edison Cavani is on his way to Liverpool from Napoli for £32m;
- Steven Gerrard is on his way to Real Madrid;
- Alberto Aquilani is staying at Liverpool - perhaps the hardest to believe of all the above rumours?
Welcome to transfer season at Liverpool Football Club Brendan, a club where the fans, or journalists, are never short of an idea or two when it comes to reshaping a team that we all believe should be challenging for honours at the very top tables. Despite his alleged inexperience at the highest level, Brendan Rodgers has actually handled the speculation as well as he could. This week, the Liverpool manager called it right once more when he asked for patience from the fans.
We are not living in the days of Shankly and Paisley any longer. All top clubs can pay good wages for players and players are more selective than ever before. Transfers are more complicated and drawn out these days, with terms and conditions more complex than the majority of property sales. Liverpool also no longer enjoys the right to sign the best players, and does not have the offer of Champions League football as an attraction. Added to this, the Olympics are occupying the playing time of some alleged Liverpool targets and, until these are over, very few of the players involved will be finalising their futures.
This week it has even been suggested that Jen Chang, the new Director of Communications at Liverpool, deliberately created misleading rumours in order to identify a 'mole' in the club that had been leaking transfer stories to the media. Perhaps the FBI or MI5 should be drafted in to investigate further! The really interesting point behind this rather unbelievable conjecture is that it identifies the real truth, which is that nobody outside of Liverpool Football Club really knows who they are targeting or what progress they are making.
What we do know is that work is going on behind the scenes to progress new signings and to move on those not wanted by the new management team. Patience and planning are vital ingredients and this will have been where the management team has focused, way before the transfer window even opened. Twenty-four hour media played no part in transfers during the Paisley and Shankly eras, but patience and planning certainly did. Liverpool fans would do well to trust the new management team's planning and relax as they take on the job of overhauling the team on the playing side - it is not in their interests to fail.