Here we are, just past mid season and Liverpool lay in seventh position with 35 points from 21 games

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Published On: Tue, Jan 17th, 2012

The less money Liverpool spent the better. Comolli take not

Here we are, just past mid season and Liverpool lay in seventh position with 35 points from 21 games. The mass of expectation that arrived with the second coming of Kenny Dalglish has all but disappeared. The almost nailed on European football qualification that was expected has all but fallen off.

Liverpool have received a wake-up call this season. Yes they’ve progressed, yes they’re playing better football than they were last season, if fact, better football than they’ve played for years arguably. There’s plenty of pace, invention and hard work from the players. However, having taken all of that into accoutn the team still isn’t progressing. I believe Kenny Dalglish is just as good, if not better a tactician than Raffa Benitez. His willingness to adopt various formations including the three centre backs and wing backs are things that Liverpool have not done on a regular basis since Roy Evans was at the helm. His man management skills are also without question because the players have given increased their desire, workrate and level of performance by at least 15% since his arrival so clearly the management is not to blame in that respect.

Where I feel Kenny falls short, in my opinion, is in his dealings in the transfer market. He has clearly paid “over the odds” for certain players and one or two of them have performed below, not only the fans’ expectations, but to Dalglish’s also. This is evident in some of the remarks he’s made in the press about the players needing to become more clinical. However, the old saying prevails. “You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear”. No matter what Liverpool play for a player, he has to perform. The club expects it. The rest of the team expects. and without doubt and most importantly, the fans expect it.

I was going to suggest that Liverpool need to adopt the famed European approach of having a Head Coach, basically the Manager, and also a “Director of Football”. The man who goes out and undertakes transfer dealings in close collaboration and after taking advice and instruction from, the Manager. But wait a minute… Liverpool already have this. Step forward one Damien Camolli. As far as I recall, Comolli was employed as the instigator and the man that can make things happen whilst Dalglish gets on with the job of managing the players recruited from his efforts. Comolli’s job was to, in conjunction with Dalglish search for the best young players who can bring about the lofty ambitions of the club and at the same time to develop the future vision of the club. Both in terms of on and off-field activities.

The question I have is, where is Comolli? He’s been very quiet this window. This season in fact. This time last year, upon his arrival he was saying how he and “Kenny” were going to bring about the success that all Liverpool supporters wish from the club that has stumbled over recent seasons seeking out the best young talent etc etc. This all seems to have come too an abrupt halt. I suspect it’s because he knows that although money talks, it doesn’t always talk sense. He’s probably under pressure to bring in the players at a decent price and it wouldn’t surprise me if his tenure doesn’t go beyond this season if things persist.

Liverpool have overpaid for many of the transfers. This is clear. Comolli’s task is to negotiate the transfer fees for the players that Dalglish identifies or those that are proposed to him by Comolli. I don’t believe that Dalglish has any direct input into the transfer fees or salaries paid to the player he recruits. Looking at the transfers that have been made since Comolli’s appointment I’d say these negotiations have not gone as well as one would expect. Could Liverpool have paid less for than £35m for Andy Carroll? Probably. Could they have paid less than the reported £20m for Stewart Downing? Probably. Was Jordan Henderson, a decent but ultimately unproven youngster really worth £12m? Probably not. These are questions that have to be asked. All three of these buys have come in for the most criticism from fans, and the media alike, and quite rightly so. Their collective efforts have been anything but inspiring.

Conversely, the best performances have come from those who have cost the least. Jose Enrique has been one of the better purchases at £6m. A very consistent performer. Craig Bellamy? A snip at the cost of his wages on a “free” transfer. The amount given for Luis Suarez, a reported £22m is very good business considering that in his absence the Liverpool team can’t hit a barn door for toffee against decent opposition. This has to prove that it’s not about the fee and this is where I call Comolli into question. The expectations of the supporters has not been managed correctly. If you buy “potential”, then don’t expect to win the league. The two manchester sides and Tottenham are not potentially good sides. They are good sides. Arsenal is a perennial potentially good side. That’s why Arsene Wenger’s side have struggled to win anything in recent times. Potential does not automatically lend itself to success.

Liverpool’s owner John W. Henry of Fenway Sports Group has gone on record as saying that Liverpool have overpaid for certain players. We all know who they are. If Liverpool are going to achieve success this has to stop. Buy potential by any means, but don’t expect to win or perhaps even challenge for the title with it.

By Ben Green

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  • Issac

    Comolli has done nothing all year? What are you on about. The man did more deals during the summer than any other club, clearing out 23 dead weight players from the books through releases, sales and loans. And then brought in 7, (2 freebies, 3 under 10m and then Henderson and Downing) How many deals have gone through so far this window? Biggest deal to date..Gary Cahill to Chelsea or would it be Henry and Scholes returning? Or has any club gone on a spending spree unreported in the media? Another example or churnalism without a personal opinion, just following the crowd.

  • Bomber25

    Kenny Dalglish is solely responsible for the mess that you have clearly described. The signing of Carroll was clearly a panic buy after Torres departure. I believe if Dalglish really wanted to keep Torres, he would have done it quite easily. Dalglish had an agenda of his own; and that was to sign British talent. It emerged in the press that Dalglish had made having the final say over the recruitment of players, as one of the main conditions for his taking up his position at the helm of Liverpool Football Club. Culling – which looked like an ethnic one – of the non-British players followed and Liverpool's midfield today backs up my point. The lack of creativity is not a shock to me. You only have to watch England play and that should have sent a clear message to Dalglish that heartbreak lies ahead if he ventured down that route. He kept his own counsel and the evidence is bare for all to see; with the club now languishing in seventh position and the prospect of Champions League football gradually becoming a distant possibility. For this club to prosper, Dalglish has to go. Another rumour is that he is looking at Sinclair – a Chelsea reject now plying his trade at Swansea. The penny still hasn't dropped for Dalglish.

  • Steve McAuley

    Make up your mind! you start by saying “yes, they've progressed” and then 3 lines later “the team still isn't progressing” ?????
    i agree we have paid over the odds but i also agree with the first responder when he details just how busy damien has been!
    I also wish we could have challenged chavski for cahill, he would improve any team in the PL.

  • whatmostofusthink

    Great teams win things – Great football wins hearts – The message to K D is to attack – attack – attack and to hell with defensive midfielders -as for Downing – stop messing about and accept responsibility – you would not get in any other countrys team – you one goal wonder

  • daveyb

    'Dalglish a better tactician than Rafa Benitez'!!!!! – you should be doing stand up with material like that

  • Sam

    This is a rubbish post, how is KD a better tactician than Rafa? We are 7th in the league at least under Rafa we had players with talent, most of KDs buys are just for affirmative action. Wake up and smell the coffee, KD needs to go..

  • Lee

    I've got to agree with the other comments. I think this article was a rush before the deadline one considering the amount of errors it has in it. Contradictory to start with, full of spelling and grammar errors making it painful to read and factually incorrect as well.

    I personally don't think the team have progressed as yet. I think that they appear to be working harder just to maintain seventh, let alone push for the top four.

    I don't see where enough goals are going to come from playing 5-3-2 and 4-4-2 as they have been doing. Teams have figured out that if they play defensively against Liverpool a point is almost a guarantee. In my oponion, they must switch to a Chelsea-esque 4-3-3 with Carroll in the Drogba roll and Suarez and Downing flanking him if they want to get the best out of their new signings.

    Thumbs down to this article.