The board are right – about time too!

You’ll know if you’ve read my column on Anfield Online before that I’m a big fan of Rafa and have defended him in previous articles. However, on the subject of Gareth Barry I actually feel that the board have got it spot on and we should not pay £18M for him.

As a club we do not possess the grotesque commercial-obsessed wealth that the Mancs do, nor do we throw money away on players simply to stop other people buying them like Chelski. Whatever you think about the finances of the Americans we always have had and still do have to spend money wisely.

So far this summer we’ve bought and sold a few and the board have backed Rafa in the major purchase of Robbie Keane, a player in a position that we very much needed. This was far more of a key purchase than Gareth Barry due simply to our need for some support for Torres which previously has come in the form of a quality player out of position (Gerrard in case you slept through last season).

Gareth Barry is a proven Premier League player of reasonable quality. He is versatile, suiting the central midfield role the best but able also to play on the left of midfield and even at left back. What he isn’t is an attacking winger that would thrive in a permanent left sided role. Like Gerrard he can do reasonably well out wide but there’s no escaping that either player is far more suited to a central position.

As such we have to ask the very straightforward question – Do we need him? Only if you consider him to be of greater quality than we already have in that position. From our current central midfielders Gerrard and Mascherano may be first choice and due to their very different styles complement each other very well. It is clearly Alonso who has been the yardstick to which Barry has been compared.

Few would deny Alonso’s quality and we have seen it many times in a Liverpool shirt. His form over the past 2 seasons has been erratic, hampered by injuries a little but also perhaps by playing out of position in a deeper central role than suits his visionary passing ability through to the forwards. Rumours of Alonso leaving the club were abundant over the summer but none materialised and Xabi himself stated that he wanted to stay at Anfield. His performances in pre-season have certainly confirmed his commitment and also hopefully a return to form.

Any gap in the merits of Barry over Alonso were previously very minor at best. With the latter in form, they should be eliminated altogether. Whilst I have no problem in principle with buying Gareth Barry, £18M is a lot to pay when you have to question if you need another player in that role.

Whatever formation Rafa plays he can field 2 of Gerrard, Mascherano and Alonso or even all 3. Should suspensions, injuries or just his famous rotation dictate a change, Lucas and even Damien Plessis have shown that they can at least fill in even if only in occasional games.

What the board should now do is demonstrate their commitment to Liverpool and to Rafa and offer him the £18M set aside for Barry and go out and get Silva or Joaquin. Even £12-£15M of it should get Albert Riera or if we buying cheap then Stewart Downing and this would fill a position where we really are short of cover.

What is worrying are the rumours about the Americans struggling to find the money for Barry anyway. If with-holding money to buy Barry is just because they haven’t got it then my next contribution will have a very different title.

40 comments on
The board are right – about time too!

  1. We have now another situation developing into another stand off between board & manager and you don’t need to be a genius to know this will only end one way,yesterday Rafa came out and said he wanted Barry as his first signing even before Keene,it makes perfect sense as Rafa rates Barry highly and a player he wanted here at the beginning of June he went on to say it was left to Parry to sort out the details but he wanted him here. Parry with the help of hicks left it until last week to say no and meanwhile Rafa has come in for all kinds of flak from many places. We are lucky this morning to still have such a guy like Rafa still with us although I think it’s only for this season because what Rafa left unsaid said more. He is so fed up with the interference from above and lack of support from Parry he will leave sooner than he wanted and like he mentioned he came back only because of the support he has received from the fans over the years and I for one believe when he goes so will certain players and we shall have to get our house in order with the first priority being getting rid of Hicks, Gillett, & Parry….

  2. in other words raffa picks the team provided to him from above he suggests players he would like to sign and rick parry goes and gives other cheaper names to the yanks a deal is done without the backing of raffa and he takes the flack in all honesty id go too

    we have been the most secretive club scince the 80’s and its not the liverpool way (if its secret its a lye) and its about time our great club got back to the way we used to be run before the theives swindlers and cheating goalkeepers graced our pitch

  3. your all having a laugh what goes on inside anfield has inside ears on the wall:parry and moores tried to sell gerrard and owen in a package deal for 35 million real said they would pay in instalments, liverpool refused but agreed to sell owen, then moores wanted out done a deal with the yanks while parry was out trying to help his mate out by trying to sell to d.i.c moores agreed a deal with yanks and told parry to get home and finish talks with d.i.c now benitez is going to leave ? i think not because d.i.c have now made the offer to the yanks what they were asking for ,parry is out benitez staying put and barry is on his way (maybe this is a rumour maybe its not but it works perfect in my mind ) from the horses mouth

  4. Barry is overrated but we still neeed a quality winger.Pennant has been a waste of money and don’t even mention Kewell and so-called “speedy” Gonzales.I would have preferred M Owen returning to Anfield then signing Keane furthermore we should have sold Kuyt not Crouch.
    I still feel we’re about three world class players short of really challenging for the title…a winger,quality full back and creative midfielder as we still struggle when Gerard is absent.From what i’ve seen Dossana seems to be yet another expensive but poor signing.

  5. I find it amusing that people are slating Keane – after ONE official game.

    Maybe bitter Spurs fans are here.

    And a message to Hick’s PR team who scour the internet – Get a grip on reality and let DIC buy the club, stop using the club to just make money and for heavens sake BACK the manager.

    Look what happened to Leeds Utd when they borrowed money – do you want that failure on your hands?

  6. Why are we Now worrying about a left sided midfielder or even any sort of left sided player? RAFA IS IN HIS FIFTH SEASON so why hasn’t he addressed the problem before now eh?. Secondly why does he only buy pragmatic players completely bereft of flare? did you see the young Liege players destroying our defence with Skill. and what’s all the moaning about him having to sell to buy eh did you want him to keep mediocre players to add to his already overloaded squad of non flare players. We can assume that the Barry debacle is now over and we’re left with the one trick pony Alonso, who’s incapable of tackling, is completely unaware where the opposition penalty area is, oh I forgot he was last seen there in Istanbul. well you wanted him and now we’ve got him for god knows how long.

  7. Rob, Leige gave us a wake-up call by not allowing any Liverpool player to settle on the ball. We did that to Man Utd in 2001 when Riise scored that wonder goal – there is no other way to coat that miserable display. I honestly do not believe that Barry is our answer. He’d be a great addition, but not the answer to the fact that we need to play swift, one-touch football through the middle vs the long ball tactics that the Pool has come to be known for (Crouch is no longer there hence no need for long ball play!).

  8. I think Rafas doing a great job and would like to see Silva or Quaresma heading towards Anfield but its not going to happen so they must do with the squad they have which is still very good esp with Keane coming to play.
    As far as the EPL title goes cant see them winning it until all their weaknesses are covered but no reason they could not win Europe the F.A cup the league cup.

  9. Sell Alonso now!!! I don’t care if Barry scored in the UEFA Cup; he still brings more to the table. I don’t know why some of you keep bringing up Silva’s name. He has re-signed with Valencia. The bottom line is this: Parry must go; Hicks and Gillett need to pay more attention to their NHL and MLB teams and sell to DIC; Barry is British, so his pricetag will always be higher. To make a run, we have to pay the price.

  10. @ Anfield Online
    posted on August 14th, 2008 at (21:48)

    Indeed Gareth Barry did score today.

    In the UEFA Cup.

    Against FC Nobody.

    I wouldnt knock it mate we might be in the next round but the way we played yesterday was shocking,why didnt the board stop the Keane transfer, he was shocking!!!!!!!

  11. I personally dont believe the Board had the 18 million pounds to buy Barry, it was funny that straight afterwards they made a statement that they thought he was not worth 18 million.

    Then in the next breath they say they support Rafa and we will give him 18 million to buy Silva Knowing full well Rafa could not get SILVA, has he didnt want to come and there was no way we was going to get him at that price.

    Its like saying we dont want Barry whos a player who wants to come if we meet the asking price, but were giving you 18 million to go and get RONALDO FROM MAN UTD.

    WE ALL NEED TO WAKE UP WERE SKINT\!!!!!!

  12. Seeing reports tonight that Milan are showing interest in Alonso. I say get an offer of £15m from them and take the money before they change their mind 🙂

    Don’t get me wrong, I will always be grateful to Xabi for his contribution to the club. But people have their day and his has now been had. He is a terrific passer of the ball but not much else so if his accuracy and range show signs of weakness he has little else to bring to the party.

    IF we do go ahead and buy Barry, Villa must be prepared to drop to £16m. They knew he wanted to leave but they chose to play him and cup tie him. He is of less value until January now so we could always leave him until then but truth be known, we do need him in the league.

    It’s going to be an interesting last two weeks of the window. If we don’t get either Barry or a quality winger, there are likely to be more serious questions asked about why the muppets have failed to support the manager for a massively important purchase.

  13. Does it really matter? There’s not a bloody thing any of us can do about it…

    …I’m not very happy about it but the best signing in the Premier League this Summer has been Scum keeping hold of Ronaldo. They will win the league again this year and match our PAST glories. We are just not the same team and I fear that we will never get there again in my lifetime – I’m 38.

  14. Einar, I couldn’t agree more. Rafa is looking for wide midfield and not winger. For those who want to be used by H&G to undermind our manager, don’t be surprise when Rafa leave us this season. What a shame, he really should deserve better. Btw, I don’t believe Rick meant what he said, for someone who has been was LFC for so long, he was the one in talk with villa and got the 18M available, why would he suddenly think the deal is too high.

  15. Alonso has been a disappointment so far. All the pre-season love he received were more sentimental than good judgement of his ability. Gareth Barry would have done better, and yes, he scored today.

    We need to be radical in our thinking and let go of whoever needs to be let go of. Simple. Alonso peaked the last season he played well – 2005?

    That is just the reality of things.

  16. Sorry Mr Anonymous from South Africa (don’t be such a wimp, use a name!) but to suggest that Rafa is deliberately sabotaging the Liverpool team is worse than pathetic, it is moronic and obscene.

    Two simple facts you have obviously forgotten, along with ‘all your mates’:

    1. Why would Rafa lead Liverpool to the Champions League in his first season, the FA Cup in his second season, the Champions League final in his 3rd and semi-final in his fourth if he was trying to sabotage us?

    2. Why the hell did he need to sabotage a weak team anyway? When he took over we were going nowhere fast. In the last 4 years we have massively closed the gap at the top, we have won trophies, we have got a far stronger team, we possess the best midfielder in Europe in Stevie G, one of the best strikers in Europe in Torres and loads of other top class players.

    To add a third point:

    3. You might not have noticed but we have just seen youngsters like N’Gog, Nemeth and Pacheco doing well for us in pre-season, a clear sign that Rafa has his eyes on using them at some point: all players he brought to the club and has had nurtured by his team of coaches and trainers. He is building for the future as well as trying to win in the present.

    If anyone is sabotaging out club it is the two muppets from America who have given the club NOTHING, not a single brass cent. They have plunged the club into debt and lined their own pockets yet have constantly undermined the manager, they have fallen out with each other behaving like two stupid schoolboys and have NOT given the manager the backing they should have.

    And before anyone thinks I have forgotten that we have paid big money for Torres and Keane as well as the likes of Mascherano and Babel I haven’t. ALL the money spent on those players has come from selling others and from making money in the Champions League and Premiership: in other words it has been raised through the endeavours of Rafa Benitez!

    Now that Barry has played for Villa in the UEFA Cup he is of no use to us in the CL. Will we be allowed to use the money on someone else like Joe Cole, David Silva etc? I am not going to hold my breath and even if we do, it will not be money raised by the squabbling cowboys!

  17. Have you considered the possibility that the board have been reading what the fans think are just regurgitating what has been posted on many a message board? We all knows the fact that teh Americans have their PR people scouring LFC sites for what they think can make them popular. This is just the excuse they need to cover up the fact they have no money.

  18. Firstly, to the few ‘fans’ here complaining about Rafa ONE game into the season – get a flipping grip.

    Second, it is obvious the yanks don’t have the money – the 18M is just smokescreen – they certainly had it before Keane was bought didn’t they.

    Third, Rafa brought on El Zhar to try and provide some sadly lacking width. What would have brining another striker on have done – provided more width?

    If I was Rafa I would be having a word with his spies – as Liege took us by surprise last night. That could be a good thing in many ways – in that we are now ready for the sort of game Sunderland will play.

    And don’t forget Masca and Babel were missing – I am sure they would have played. Gerrard for the right for me – 23 goals from there two seasons ago.

  19. Just been reading the message from the Liverpool from South Africa. God help us, pass me a gun and I’ll shoot myself! No wonder he didn’t put his name to it.
    To imply that Rafa is deliberatley trying to ruin the team is ridiculous. He loves the club with a passion and would die before doing such a thing. I agree that some of his substitutions are bewildering at times and his rotation plan doesn’t work, but he’s a top coach and will get it right in the end. He’s slowly getting a class team together which will challenge for the Premiership, and if he’d had the money that United and Chelsea have had at their disposal over the last few years, he would have won it by now. And what’s all this rubbish about Robbie Keane being no good? The guy’s done it consistently for Spurs over the years and he’ll do it for the Reds. Just give him time, and once the first goal goes in it will open the floodgates. Stop being so pessimistic and have faith. You know it makes sense!

  20. whats with the slamming of rafa, rafa is trying to do the job he is paid to do this is why the lfc fans love him so much, those di%khead americans are the culprits…put it this way, if rafa left liverpool and went to real madrid (who will gladly have him as manager), real would dominate simply because he knows how to win tournaments better than anyone and his knowledge of spain cant be questioned…lets just remember it took ferguson years to put a team together to challange and its only because souness f&cked up liverpool that they havethe amount of titles they have..liverpool are supported for a reason and that reason is that they taught the world how to play football proper (just like the arrigo sacchi milan teams of the late eighties/early nineties)

    to all you lfc haters, lets get one thing straight, we won titles and european cups when football was football and men were men, not like now with these wiing ‘will i wont i goto madrid’ clowns that pretend they care about the fans of the team they play for.

    on a final note and getting back to the article, its wrong, the lfc board are a disgrace but so are the other top four boards…russian pirates who raped their countries wealth and are now top targets for russian government authorities, cheesy american inbreads who sell snide jewellrey and up the price of season tickets/merchandise which kicks out the working class fans who made their team what it is and sell-out losers who sell the stadium name rights to non-football related corporations.

    football is not football no more its big business, and these so called ‘custodian’ owners are confirming this more and more as each day passes

  21. great stuff, Nick. I do agree with you 100%. just nice to read a great article in all these silly transfer rumors. Waiting for your next work and keep the good work up, Nick.

  22. Either a player can help improve the team or he can’t. In this case, I think Barry would help – although I’d hate to have seen Alonso sold.

    The fact that he’s overvalued, and going to cost 18M should be largely irrelevent to the board, and it would be quickly forgotten if his signing brought us the premiership. The whole affair is an embarrassment for the club unfortunately.

  23. We started slow and its a pity that our very first game in competitive football this year is when we played such terrible football. Even the best of teams played certain games that way last season and with a bit of luck (and we all agree we had plenty of that at Leige yesterday) we will have such days and get through them with a clean sheet. Nothing lost!

    As to getting rid of Rafa and such talk, allow me to state some simple facts:

    Things are steadily improving under Benítez, and so many things are better than before he arrived (such as not only qualifying for the Champions League every single season, but also making the knockout stages, and, unbelievably, two finals in three seasons, and a semi-final in the fourth), but other teams are improving too, and the Premiership title is becoming an obsession.

    Sir Alex spent the first five years at Man Utd barely breaking into the top 5 there. Any talk ever of him leaving?

    Arsene Wenger spent four years between 1998 and 2002 not winning the league (or indeed, anything) and failing fairly miserably in the Champions League. But Arsenal never chatted up someone new.

    Everton were a mess until they got the stability of Kenwright and Moyes as a partnership; Moyes’ first few seasons were very up and down (big highs, terrible lows), but after six years he’s finally establishing them as a decent side.

    Newcastle have moved from one crisis to another, while moving from one manager to another.

    As soon as Mourinho and Abramovich fell out, that was the end of Chelsea as a real force, as Manchester United overtook them.

    Benítez isn’t so much as a dead man walking as a neutered manager working in limbo; even if Gillett and Hicks now believed in him 100%, no-one would ever believe it, short of the most remarkable gesture. Uncertainty helps no-one. Stability and security are needed to thrive. You need relaxed players, not those carrying a weight of pressure; nervousness breeds failure. And you need a manager who is in total control.

    Stop this nonsense about Benitez leaving – he is undoubtably the best manager this club has had since Bob or Bill. No question about his achievements.

    Someone mentioned zonal marking and its ineffectiveness? We scored 117 goals in all competitions last season and let in the very least number in recent years…Reina won 3 golden glove awards in a row. Where is zonal marking not working…?

  24. I would like all Liverpool fans to respect Rafa’s position on Barry.All of us think we could posssibly manage the club better but the fact is Rafa’s got the job period.The board should speak to Rafa(and this includes Parry!!) and collectively come up with a soloution that will make EVERYBODY happty.This may or may not be possible,but lets rather try that first than have a repeat of what happened last year….

  25. I am a die-hard liverpool fan from south africa .I personally feel that Rafa Benitez is deliberately sabotaging the team .One only has to look at the change he made by bringing on Al Zhar instead of Ngog ,which in my opinion is a brilliant striker .Keane on the other hard should be sold back to tottenham .He’s just not striker quality .He can’t cut it at Liverpool .Rafa is now stubbornly going to play him in every game just like he did with Crouch to justify why he bought him .People keep saying he’s a master tactition ,but I just can’t see how they come to that conclusion .He’s team selections are pathetic .I am convinced he doesn’t know what he is doing .He needs to go ,so that he can mess up some other team .Last season we could have won the league if not for his stubborn insistence on rotating .I seriously don’t like his managerial skills .Every one of my mates here agree .I just can’t fathom how the scousers who are close to all the action cannot see this .Souness did us harm and Benitez is gonna do the same .He even said that winning the league is not a priority .Well Rafa what is a priority to you ?Messing up the team further ? My opinion is that Rafa Benitez doesn’t know how big a club Liverpool is or how faithful the fans are .The future is bleak .I know I’m gonna be criticised by other fans , but please guys take a moment and think about it .It makes sense .

  26. I don’t think it really matters who Rafa signs because he will rotate them too much anyway.

    When the lads come back from the olympics all it will do is give him more toys to play with and thus the rotation will hit full speed.

    To win the premier league we need a consistently strong team but with Rafa I doubt we will ever have that.

    Were the board right to block him spending £18M on Barry? I don’t know because I don’t know whether Benitez made his early, public comments about signing Barry with the consent of the board.

    Is Barry better than Alonso? I don’t know.
    Would he fit into the system better? Perhaps.
    Is he worth £18M – market forces! Plus Rafa believes he would be buying 3 players in 1.

    What might happen?
    Alonso will leave in January and Barry will join us…..although he hasn’t actually submitted a transfer request….if he did the problem could be easily resolved.

  27. how can you say the board have backed rafa.its a disgrace and a joke.he had to sell to raise all the money to buy keane.do you think for one minute that any other manager in the league would be told he cant sign his top target.i agree that barry is overvalued but benitez and barry have been made look like fools.its nothing to do with the board thinking barry is overvalued its because liverpool have no money at all.as much as i support benitez and what he has achieved i think that he should walk for the way he is being treated by the club.liverpool gonna fall further behind the top teams unless they strengthen with another 2 or three quality players.

  28. Barry was never being signed as a central midfielder and was never going to be Alonso’s “replacement”. I very much fear we will see Steven Gerrard playing on the left this season if we don’t sign Barry (as for the other names mentioned, none of them seem particularly suited to the premiership)

  29. For all the fake or ambitionless liverpool fans who are still supporting Alonso at the expense of Barry, i’ll just ask them to check the stats on the followig websites, and they’ll see for themselves that Alonso neither bring goals to the team or assists!! I checked for the past 3 seasons, Alonso did not had more than one assists or more than 2 goals in the past 3 years.. How do u guys expect us to win the EPL with such players?? If he was so good we should have had already won the title by now!!
    Check and compare for yourself if you find Alonso’s name in the Actim stats 100 top players and also note that Barry had better ranking than gerrard:

    And for assists and goals for the past few seasons, Check it on:
    http://www.premierleague.com/page/Statistics/0,,12306,00.html
    And for your comment that ManU throws money o useless players, i’d like you to come from your dreamlad and see that ManU is England Champions with the likes of Carrick and Hargreaves.
    I don’t know where you get your so called data about Alonso, May Be In Your Dreams!! Coz on the Stats in the above mentioned websites, there’s no proof of Alonso helpig Lfc, he’s been draggig the club down!! He could nt even score a proper pealty against Mila, only after the ball rebouce to him, AND we were 3-0 down when he was playing as holding midfield!!

  30. I completly agree with the bulk of the article but i think we have to set our sights higher than Downing,Joaquin and Riera. For me Downing would be the next Pennant,Joaquin has not played well since Betis and may not adapt and Riera could not hold down a move to City. I know there is a shortage of top class wide men out there but surely there has to be better options? Maxi Rodriguez has often been touted,maybe even taking a punt on a youngster like Guardado or someone older like Arango might be worth it.

  31. I have to disagree with you on this. It was the resale of players that allowed the purchase of Keane, not the pockets of G&H. The board is there to support Rafa which it has not done. Instead yet again his decisions are being questioned and his actions undermined. If the board and owners didn´t want to spent 18 million on Gareth they should of said so in the beginning. Not let the whole thing drag on over the summer and then a week before kick-off say the don´t want him. The board has done us no favours but great shame. Frankly, the board was wrong!

  32. You are wrong.

    First of all the board should never inter fear with the manager in this way. This is a footballing desision (resale value can not be important to a club trying to win the EPL) and the board should never make those decisions. I think Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger would agree. And this is the very reason Rafa left Valencia, “I asked for a lamp and they bought a chair” ring any bells?

    Second. There are a few reasons Rafa wants Barry over Xabi, not just Xabi´s loss of form.

    1. Barry can play in at least 4 positions: Next to Mascherano in 4-2-3-1, left back, left midfield in a 4-4-2 and even center back.
    2. Barry has more pace. There for it is possible to play more attacking football, further up the pitch with more players participating, because Barry can cover more ground.
    3. Barry´s game is quicker and simpler. Xabi has more natural ability but likes to stay on the ball just that little bit to find the pass and his inferior athleticism compared to Barry´s just makes him that little bit slower in his all round play.
    4. Barry is stronger in the air and a better marker. (of both man and zone)
    5. Barry´s set piece delivery is better.
    6. Barry is a captain with far more EPL experience.
    (I believe the first 3 reasons are the main ones)

    So in my opinion even if Xabi is on form, there is still a gap in the merits of Barry over Alonso. With the latter in form, makes no difference at all.

    Thirdly. Gerrard was not played out of position last season. Gerrard and Mascherano will not be the two midfielders in our 4-2-3-1 Rafa told us 3 seasons ago that he felt that Gerrard was not tactically disciplined enough to play in a two man midfield, and many I think would agree that that is not the best way to utilize his attacking ability. Rafa even complained about his tactical discipline in the second striker role behind Torres this spring. So it would not surprise me at all if when Keane is on form we will see Gerrard play on the right of the 3 on many occasions this season. (His best position in my opinion)

    “What the board should now do is demonstrate their commitment to Liverpool and to Rafa and offer him the £18M set aside for Barry and go out and get Silva or Joaquin. ” This very statement is the very reason why Rafa left Valencia. You don´t even know if Rafa wants Silva or Joaquin. And doing something like this would not “demonstrate their commitment ” but undermine his authority and is, as I think Manchester United best demonstrates, not the way to run a football club in England.

  33. I agree with you 100%.. I said from the offset that Barry was to much. THe problem is that Martin O’neal does not want Barry to go, hense the huge asking price. Also if I may, I don’t really think that Barry is all that… most certainly not worth 18m. I also agrre that we should step up on Silva, even J Cole if I may be so bold.

  34. the standard liege game revealed to everyone what is clearly lacking for lfc, and that is the general incompetence of the manager in failing to prepare his club adequately for the matchup. i wonder who was doing the scouting, because they surely messed up. not having barry hurt the club a little since the game was essentially lost (getting a draw there was a loss) in midfield where damien plessis looked all of his age and totally lost in space. all championship teams have one fundamental common trait — a strong, dominating midfield. last season, liverpool had that in spells, as did chelsea, and manchester united had that in abundance. last night’s game with standard liege exposed the soft belly of liverpool, and in that area standard liege were able to expose the defense continually after winning ball after ball in the middle of the park. that the manager failed to recognize that is truly a testament of his incredulously poor on-field managerial capabilities; that he failed to arrest that after half time is unacceptable. a ferguson or wenger would never allow something like that to happen. damien plessis as a holding midfielder. after the half, benitez should have bitten the bullet and put sami hyypia in there in addition to the overmatched and looking lost carragher and out-of-fitness agger. at least hyypia is an excellent stopper; plessis just wasn’t good enough.

    no way in hell lfc wins anything this year if they can’t controil the midfield. if they believe that a single addition of barry will make them championship contenders, they are more delusional than the guy in the alley hooked on crystal meth. then again, benitez has shown that he is pathetic at 1st away games in the champions league. today he confirmed that once again. how does that make him a master tactician? pathetique!

  35. Alonso has proven again that he can’t deliver in the big,important games. Look at his defensive blunder against Man U last season. He is a good player but provides absolutely no versatility. He can only pass; he does not score goals regularly; and he does not play very good defense. We are at a point where we need help. Silva has reupped with Valencia; Joaquin is not worth 12 million. At least Barry is versatile, can score goals, and plays sound defense. Look at our abysmal performance today. No crosses into the box, nobody beating defenders one-on-one, everything channeled through the middle. We need Barry, and Alonso must go. We need Joe Cole. We have to have proven Premiership players, or it will be another long, disappointing season again. Kuyt works hard and tries hard but is not a winger, and Benayoun cuts inside all of the time, so he offers no wing play. Everyone says that purchasing wing backs like Dossena and Degen will improve our play on the flanks, but Degen is hurt and Dossena didn’t offer much today. So we need to sell Xabi, our best chance of raising funds. If we can get Cole, great. If not, we must pay for Barry and buy a quick, true winger, like Marko Marin or, possibly, James Milner. Rafa must realize he is at a crossroads: if he does not get the players he needs, he should walk. He would not have trouble finding an employer. One thingis certain: Liverpool, thanks to the ownership, board, Parry, and Rafa, to some degree, has become a laughing stock. Who will take us seriously?

  36. I agree in a way, yes Barry is not worth 18m, but neither was Carrick. United still bought him, and he went on to help them win the league twice.

    I wish other teams didn’t try and drain us of every penny, but there’s a sense of stubbornness about Liverpool, there has been for a while. Our pride is good and all, but when it could cost us the league, maybe it’s time to just pay the price and get the 1st choice player.

    Also, Joaquin, Riera and Downing are not in the same class as Barry, especially the Spanish lads. Joaquin hasn’t been the same since 06.

    I would love Silva, but he’s staying in Spain and if he was gonna move anywhere, it would be to Barcelona or Madrid, according to his agent.

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