For Liverpool fans, a successful transfer window is about as rare as finding a salad in Charlie Adam’s fridge. The club’s innate ability at thunderspunking funds up a wall was once again showcased during the summer, when they lobbed twenty million quid at three players who’d end up spending more time out of favour than Colonel fucking Kurtz. Fast forward four months and ‘The Committee’* would again set alarm bells ringing, as it decided the only thing better than spending money on players you don’t need was spending no money on players you probably do – presiding over a January window more barren than Paul Merson’s vocabulary.
* NOT a shit wrestling faction created by Vince McMahon.
As a result, any trust in the club to get a deal over the line hasn’t simply been waylaid – it’s been tossed into the boot of an ominous looking SUV with blacked out windows, driven out into the fucking desert, and buried with the unfortunate corpse of Hank Schrader. And it’s not just the club’s reluctance to spend that has some fans turning to seppuku, it’s how long they seemingly take to conjure up their first derisory offer. Mohamed Salah was courted by Liverpool as early as November, if you believe his agent, but the constant haggling over his fee took almost as long as the end of Lord of the fucking Rings, by which time Jose Mourinho, who’d finally abused Juan Mata to the point where he’d willingly play for David Moyes, decided he’d quite like Salah to replace him. And that was that. The deal got done quicker than you could say “Incompetent bike cunt”.
After missing out on Salah, Liverpool moved to secure the services of their second option – Dnipro winger Yevhen Konoplyanka, but found that any deal would have “complications”, the chiefest of which was that Dnipro were asking for actual money for their player as if they had some weird ownership of him, the cheeky fucking pricks. Another stumbling block was the deadline. After arsing about all month, Liverpool had left themselves around a week to get this done – a good 9 weeks under their preferred time frame for making signings. Lastly, it was revealed that ineffective, hatless gnome Ian Ayre had personally flown out to tie up the deal, which now meant its success was about as likely as an Anne Frank drum solo. Three days later and the deal was dead, with both clubs playing a quick game of ‘He said, she said’ as fans collectively lost their shit. A massive opportunity to strengthen the squad, and fight not only for a top four finish but arguably the title as well, had gone horribly wrong.
“We have the financial structure to compete with anyone in the world”
– Tom Werner, determined as fuck to have his very own “spade in the ground” moment
And yet just one year ago the club got it so so right. Daniel Sturridge arrived early for a ridiculously low fee of around £12m, proving that January bargains aren’t just found by queuing outside Next like a shuddering, rapacious fucktwat. If you’re smart, you can put your feet up and just call Chelsea instead. With any luck, they’ll find you a really good player at the back of a cupboard, tucked behind some old caviar. Any doubts that Sturridge was worth his fee and more have been thoroughly binned, as he’s gone on to twat in 28 goals in just 35 appearances – a stat so fucking incredible that it barely warrants a mention, apparently. During the same window, Philippe Coutinho arrived from Inter Milan for the paltry sum of £8.5m, and Liverpool fans couldn’t have liked him more if he was a picture of some tits on Facebook. A short back and sides may have limited his powers somewhat – and he still looks like the offspring of Saved By The Bell’s A.C. Slater – but he’s proven to be a good signing, especially when compared to the myriad of festering shite Liverpool have signed at the same price or worse over the years. I neknominate you, Stewart Downing.
So why can’t every transfer window be as carefully considered as that one? Or, conversely, why does nearly every negotiation we undertake have to double as some sort of task in The Goblet of Fire? I think it’s probably fair to assume that after wasting a frankly terrifying SIXTY THREE MILLION POUNDS on the aforementioned assist monster, Downing; his erstwhile frequently missed target, Andy Carroll; and Charlie ‘corners’ Adam, the club might have… sort of… pretty much… shit the fucking bed when it comes to signing players. It’s understandable, but at the same time it’s extremely frustrating, as the club appears to be letting the mistakes of the past dictate its future, even when there’s enough proof to suggest that when Liverpool have gone for quality over quantity they’ve often got it right – Fernando Torres, Javier Mascherano, Xabi Alonso, Luis Suarez, Glen Johnson, Mamadou Sakho, the list goes on*.
* It doesn’t go on.
“Fucking made up with this Dunkin’ Donuts deal, me. In terms of shit-your-pants excitement, it’s up there with Bellawood Flooring!”
– No one, ever
If he’s honest, missing out on key targets time and again must be getting on Brendan’s tits. Not that he has any now. He’s lost so much weight over the last year you’d think he’d drunk from the wrong Grail. But he’s not likely to let on anyway, is he. He’s Brendan Rodgers, not Pep Guardiola. I doubt he’d do anything to rock the boat and risk losing this job. No, he’ll just continue to flash his new teeth, say the word “outstanding” a hundred times, and discreetly cut himself as he jots down the names of his subs bench. And who could blame him? He’s done a hell of a job this season, with a squad about as deep as a Wayne Rooney monologue, and those in ‘The Committee’ have basically asked him to shoulder their ineptitude while cracking on with the obviously piss easy task of finishing above all three of Man Utd, Spurs, and Everton. Oh, and maybe win a cup too, you know, for the fans and that.
And who’s on this fucking committee anyway? Does anyone know for sure? Is Victor Moses on it? And what are they doing? Is it even working? Mkhitaryan, Willian, Konoplyanka, Salah – all good players who definitely would have added something to the side, just as Sturridge and Coutinho have done. Mamadou Sakho could be another top long term acquisition, as could Simon Mignolet. So you’d be forgiven for thinking this is working a treat. But they’ve unearthed some proper dog shit as well. Aly Cissokho and the ‘Forehead of Doom’ look like competition winners, on loan or otherwise. Iago Aspas started preseason brightly but has since looked like someone sold us Pee-Wee Herman. Luis Alberto has shown glimpses of class but clearly isn’t trusted enough to start, and Tiago Ilori is about as far from the first team as his eyes are from the centre of his head. Another £14m was spent on Fabio Borini and Oussama Assaidi, only for both of them to be loaned out, apparently with the express intention of trolling Newcastle and Chelsea respectively.
And it’s not just who they DO sign, it’s who they don’t as well. The club paid more for Joe Allen than Roma paid PSV for Kevin Strootman last summer – a player who couldn’t be more perfect for our needs if you’d created him from one of Steven Gerrard’s ribs. They even scouted him on several occasions and somehow came to the conclusion that he wasn’t worth pursuing, despite being one of the only players on Earth at the perfect age, with experience of playing at the highest level, at entirely the right price for our budget, and who wasn’t even bothered about playing in the Champions League straight away. You couldn’t get him for £25m right now, and it’s slightly concerning that those in control of the cash seem more likely to spend it on players we don’t need than players we do.
“It’s all bullshit! All of it!”
– Dutch, Predator
But I don’t want to be overly harsh on the club. I happen to think they played a blinder in the summer with the way the Suarez affair was handled – showing they wouldn’t be bullied into selling their best player for any price. Rodgers and the owners deserve a lot of credit for that. However, what you can say with cast-iron conviction is that bit part players signed last summer and no new additions whatsoever this January won’t make keeping him any easier post World Cup. As owners of Liverpool Football Club, you don’t get to rest on your laurels, you don’t get to settle for Europa League football, and you sure as fuck don’t get to coast through a single transfer window without spending any money.
Ultimately, what the club needs to remember is that the majority of its fans couldn’t give two shiny fucking shits for its excuses come deadline day, especially if you’ve been wanking yourselves silly over yet another official partner and throwing out boasts about being “top of the commercial league”. Signed a deal with Dunkin’ Donuts? Don’t care, sign somebody. Have a brand new sponsor for your training kit? Don’t care, sign somebody. Arranging a lucrative summer tour of Timbukfuckingtu? Don’t care, sign somebody. It really is that simple. In fact, the only part we care about is when you tell us how much we’re getting to have another shite logo paired with our name, so we can tot it up and wonder why you aren’t signing somebody. But if there’s even the slightest fucking chance you won’t make a signing, at least keep your gob shut about anything else until Big Ben’s chimed and Jim White’s put his cock away for the winter, because an Indonesian airline and all the donuts you can fucking eat ain’t winning us a title.