The final two days of the January transfer portal.
Ah, the excitement. A horse race mentality and the media calls it as such.
This dude goes that way; that winger goes this way and everyone’s rumored on their way to Turkey. Only Jozy Altidore actually went there. Down the stretch they come!
And Monday morning, led off with a Chris Farley-sized cannonball right off the diving deck.
Andy Carroll, Anfield bound. $£35M floated down the Tyneside to Newcastle.
….and the incredulous cries began.
Former US striker and ESPN commentator Taylor Twellman called it a joke of a signing.
Grant Wahl…”Are English players really this overvalued?”
However, take a step back and look at where Liverpool was just a few months ago, steaming towards mediocrity and bankruptcy. Agony for fans of a proud club that was Champion’s League victors less than a decade ago.
It’s hard to reclaim your mojo once the bankers come calling. Just ask Leeds United. It’s even harder to reclaim that mojo when both the bankers come and the players want to go.
That’s the predicament that Liverpool was left in just a few months ago.
January, though, sees the hallowed club with a solid Luis Suarez purchase and the headline-grabbing Andy Carroll procurement.
Not bad for a franchise just surmounting the distracting change of ownership debacle and a parlaying a coach who was outside of his depth–a helmsman who employed a “be afraid to be out of position” mindset and whose record away from home was atrocious.
That’s not even half the story.
That coach had replaced another manager who straight-up claimed that management wasn’t supporting him. (Don’t worry that same manager just got jettisoned with the same claims at Inter Milan).
Their current manager? A living club legend, but he hasn’t managed in more than ten years. You could probably say he hasn’t physically built up a lot of player relationships.
Over the past two years, the team has seen key and popular midfielders from Spain and Argentina with messy departures and just today another Spaniard bound for London. Not a stretch to say high-class Spaniards are probably not keen on wearing the red of Liverpool.
Their talisman, age 30 years…old, and consistently battling injuries. He’s surely crested the best years of his career.
Their best defender, if you will, is 33-year-old and now has the speed of a steamroller…stuck in neutral. He’s also been out…for awhile.
The team’s number one signing last year was terrific…but only against one team, Burnley. He’s now back in Serie A.
Let me pause and ask a question here: “Is this a team that most players are jumping to join?”