Liverpool; stagnant or progressive

In football, we’re all well acquainted with the “we don’t sell our best players” rhetoric. It is usually employed by football clubs who either wish to drive up the price of a player or quell fan unrest atleast for the time being. But, in the era of the modern players, the player generally gets what he wants.

Brendan Rodgers has slowly started to put his imprint on Liverpool

Brendan Rodgers has slowly started to put his imprint on Liverpool

With Liverpool, it seems like its January 2011 all over again where inspite of all the well-worded statements put out on behalf of the club, Fernando Torres ended up being a Chelsea player.While Chelsea were never really considered as rivals in that season as they were the reigning champions of England,Arsenal,the club courting Suarez are seen as a club with very similar ambitions. As is often the case, there will be little element of surprise if Suarez ends up in North London come the start of the season. If the quoted figures are to be believed, Liverpool will have atleast £40 million to spend on a replacement.It’s all well having the money to spend but which top level player is going to be available at what will be near the closing of the transfer window and is Liverpool an attractive destination without the lure of Champions league football? The second part of that question is what seems to be the main bone of contention for Liverpool in selling Suarez. On the other hand, if Liverpool do decide to sell and not spend in light of there being no value in the market there will be even more cause for worry. Looking at the transfer window until now the majority of the teams that have strengthened finished below Liverpool last season. Swansea, Norwich and Southampton have all had big money buys from across the continent in an increasing prevalent European scouting system used by teams in the Premier League. Breaking into the top four is seemingly all the more difficult with Manchester City spending more money, the return of Mourinho at Chelsea and especially if Arsenal get Suarez. The signings so far for Liverpool can described as underwhelming as they have brought in Toure who was surplus to requirements at City and two players who whose teams will be in the second tier of Spanish football.
Inspite of all that though, Liverpool seem to be one of the very few teams in the premier league who seem to be growing organically. Admittedly mired in guruspeak, the term explains teams which have a defined way of play as well as as a scouting system that operates to find players to fit certain roles in the system. It also radiates a progressive set of formations and tactics that emphasizes fluid movement of players. The signings as of now, though unknown, reflects the new scouting committee at Liverpool. While the jury still seems to be out on the first set of Brendan Rodgers’ signings in Borini and Allen, the committee’s brief foray into the transfer market so far looks promising in the form of Coutinho and Sturridge. And if the latest in football analytics have it right, losing Suarez might not be a bad thing after all. Suarez has the worst shot to goal ratios among the top strikers in the premier league and takes more shots from outside the box than any of the other premier goalscorers as explained here and While Liverpool might have benefited until now in having a player of Suarez’s qualities, come the era of Financial fair play and with the aid of stats such as shots to goal ratios, key passes, chances created, Liverpool would do well in finding players who contribute more than just looking good in the highlights package. While the proverbial cliché of the best teams not selling their best players might be true, there are increasing instances of teams selling their best player only to improve as a whole. Napoli and Fiorentina are two instances this summer where they have sold their best player probably at their peak price only to invest the money across the board in a variety of positions. One thing to be emphasized though is that the improvement as a squad only happens if you invest wisely and not throw silly money for the sake of buying.
A little nous in the transfer market and clever management might also exploit the flux at the top of the Premier League. Although the clubs above Liverpool look good on paper, an organic team with in form players might push them into those Champions league spots. All signs until now tell us that they might surprise quite a few this year.


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