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Five players to be shown the door this summer


The critics are sharpening their knives at Anfield as the dust settles on another big game disappointment. Brendan Rodgers' record in the matches THAT count is poor, very poor. While the responsibility always falls at the manager’s feet, the Liverpool players need to take a long hard look at themselves too. 

Here are five players, it could have been more, that Rodgers needs to shift during the summer if he is to make Liverpool genuine trophy contenders.

 

Dejan Lovren
 
The £20m centre back (yes, £20m!!) has had a torrid first season at Anfield. His mere presence in a Liverpool shirt during the warm up is enough to make the Liverpool fans nervous and he is showing no signs of improving. He looks off the pace and his positional awareness is terrible. 
 
The Southampton board must have been delighted with the £20m they recouped for a centre back that was being carried by his teammates. Liverpool need to cut their losses before the big Croatian defender does any more damage to the club’s and his own reputation.
 
Mario Balotelli
 
A no brainer. The 24 year-old Italian striker has bombed at Anfield despite being given more opportunities than he has deserved. The only league goal he mustered was a late winner against Spurs that was barely celebrated at Anfield. The players, the fans and even the manager seem to have had enough of Balotelli strolling around in an offside position. 
It was clear from the outset that Rodgers wasn't keen on the Italian, but the £16m transfer fee for an alleged world class talent did represent a calculated gamble. A gamble that has spectacularly backfired. Ciao Mario.
 
Joe Allen
 
The little Welshman isn't a bad player, but he isn't a very good one either. Allen was one of Rodgers' first signings as Liverpool boss but he hasn't lived up to expectations in his three seasons at Anfield. And with Steven Gerrard leaving the club in the summer Liverpool need a dominating central midfielder and not a neat and tidy 5 yard passer like Joe Allen. 
 
Although Allen can't be faulted for effort when wearing the red of Liverpool, he rarely turns a game on his own. Moreover, Liverpool should be able to recoup a decent fee for the £15m signing to reinvest back into the starting XI. 
 
Fabio Borini
 
Rodgers looked to have sealed the deal of the summer when agreeing to sell Borini to Sunderland for £12m. But the red half of Merseyside were left disappointed when the Italian dug his heels in and decided to stay and fight for his place. 
 
Despite Liverpool's struggles in the final third, Borini has remained very much on the periphery with Rodgers preferring Sterling, who is more suited to an attacking midfield role, to lead the line. 
 
If Liverpool can recoup something close to £10m over the summer for Borini, then they will have done very well indeed.
 
Kolo Toure
 
The 34 year-old Ivorian centre back has had has day. And that was a long time ago. Liverpool fans will hold nothing against Kolo, as, at times, he has been solid, dependable and added some steel to the back line - he has even been fun to watch as he saunters forward with a bulldozing menace.  But he would have been put out of his misery if he was a runner in the Grand National following his display at the Emirates earlier this month. Sanchez, Ozil and Giroud had a field day against Toure and made him look like a drunk sailor ambling about his own penalty area. 
 
It's been fun Kolo, but please, no more. 
 
Luis Enrique, Glen Johnson and Rickie Lambert escaped making the top five players who need to be shown the exit door but should also be on their way. Meanwhile, the likes of Alberto Moreno, Javi Manquillo, Lazar Markovic and Adam Lallana should be given more time to assert themselves in the red of Liverpool.
 


Mark Smith


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235 Comments

The journalists in the know seem to be spouting who'll leave with certainty. Would it not be better to wait until the season is mathematically finished before briefing this information? What good is that for morale?

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The journalists in the know seem to be spouting who'll leave with certainty. Would it not be better to wait until the season is mathematically finished before briefing this information? What good is that for morale?


Operation: Deflection is well under way.
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Spent about £60m-£65m on those five. My word.

 

Ideally we'd get rid of all of them, but I reckon Allen and Lovren will stay. The former because Gerrard and probably Lucas will go, leaving us with about three central midfielders at the club. The latter because of the "looking fucking stupid" factor, and the hit we'd take financially. Neither of which are valid reasons for him to stay, in my opinion.

 

Loads more need fucking off as well. Jones, Johnson, Enrique, Coates, Aspas...

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Just five?

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We'll probably get rid of Skrtel and Lucas instead. 

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Don't know why anyone would want to get rid of joe Allen. We're already very light in midfield and he's a capable squad player at the least. Can't really be blame for 'never turning a game on his own'

I'd keep hold of Luis Enrique as well, always liked that fella
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We'll have a new team if they pull it off, I've seen that go badly but then again could they find worse players for a similar outlay again, even if they all took a while to settle.

 

I feel a bit sorry for some of these players though since despite being shite I'm sure they achieved better at other clubs when they weren't being rotated between the bench and a different pitch position constantly. 

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Don't know why anyone would want to get rid of joe Allen. We're already very light in midfield and he's a capable squad player at the least. Can't really be blame for 'never turning a game on his own'

I'd keep hold of Luis Enrique as well, always liked that fella

 

Cause he's a nothing player who offers fuck all in attack or defence.

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Don't know why anyone would want to get rid of joe Allen. We're already very light in midfield and he's a capable squad player at the least. Can't really be blame for 'never turning a game on his own'

I'd keep hold of Luis Enrique as well, always liked that fella

 

Agreed, I was surprised JP put that in his article as well.

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Can't agree with that list Dave.  Who are these people representing you?

 

Allen is a much better all round player than Lucas, who needs too much protection in front and behind him, and is therefore only effective in a very limited role.  Ideally, we'll bring three good midfielders in, but the latest news is that Henderson escapes the cut, so we probably won't.  

 

Toure I'd also keep - and not just for bringing off the bench, but for his attitude.  Apart from Sakho, he is probably the only player with a strong mentality in the squad.  We need strong characters and leaders; we're lamentably short of both.

 

Markovic, Johnson, Lambert, Lucas, Moreno, Borini, Balotelli, Lovren, Enrique - and Gerrard of course.  We're in a right two and eight, and no mistake.  

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Cause he's a nothing player who offers fuck all in attack or defence.


But he's quite decent in midfield.
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Sturridge. He's completely undependable in terms of fitness and we simply can't plan a season around a player who appears in 30% of our games. He's a luxury we can't afford. Either that or solve his constant fitness struggles.

 

Lallana and Lucas fall into the same category, albeit to a lesser degree.

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Agreed, I was surprised JP put that in his article as well.

 

 

What's taking him? 

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Is Lambert just assumed or did the list have to be limited? 

 

edit: it's in the notes.

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Let's be honest, looking at the squad it's harder to name five players we should keep.

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Just the 5? There are quite a few who will be moving on anyway, and several others who should move on for the good of the club and themselves. The truth is, a significant overhaul is needed amongst the club staff just as much as it is the players, and I don't necessarily mean the manager. Whatever plan the owners have in terms of squad recruitment, I think it's fair to say the people they've got handling that side of things have failed massively and as a result, the club has squandered money it was meant to be saving (or at least using more resourcefully in theory). For one, I don't understand why we recruited the scouts from Man City because it's not as if they were tasked with sourcing the best young players at City after all.

 

In terms of players, I'd say:

 

Jones - nice enough fella but not of the level we need to provide competition or a genuine threat to keep Mignolet on his toes

 

Johnson - he wants more money than we could or should be offering and in any case, his time has passed

 

Toure - filled a niche in providing experience back-up and has the right attitude but is only going to prove a greater liability on the pitch when up against top opposition

 

Enrique - seems to have given up on being a footballer after picking up that serious injury at the start of last season

 

Coates - he won't get a look in here if he can't get a look in at Sunderland, and is the sort of player who would do well in Serie A as the new Paletta

 

Gerrard - is leaving anyway

 

Luis Alberto - seems to be doing OK in La Liga but appears to have been signed as a punt than somebody for whom we had any firm plans for

 

Aspas - never settled here and is another who looks better in Spain than he ever did here

 

Borini - should really have left in the summer and to be fair to him I can understand why he didn't want to join Sunderland, but he's offered little since coming back and seems to be waiting for a move back to Serie A

 

Balotelli - a failed experiment whom I think was only signed because Rodgers wanted to avoid the sort of striker shortage that hampered the club when we released Carroll without signing a replacement

 

As for the question marks:

 

Wisdom - has he developed enough to work his way back into the squad?

 

Manquillo - I'm not sure if our loan agreement with Atletico means we have to keep him 2 years but he's been as peripheral as last season's Spanish signings were

 

---

 

You may have noticed I've omitted a few names that others have selected but that's because I'd retain them for another year to see if they improve and offer more to the team, and also because we cannot afford to keep overhauling the squad to great extent every season.

 

---

 

From the backroom staff, I would definitely look to get rid of Ayre and the ex-City scouts. Those are areas where we need top-level expertise that can provide the experience and support for our manager to give him a better chance of success. Whether that manager will still be Rodgers or somebody else, the backroom changes are absolutely required first.

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I'm finding it hard to make any kind of a judgement call on our players this season. I know some have been shite, but I tend to think we've made a fair few look worse than they actually are.

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1. Kolo

2. Johnson

3. Lambert

4. Borini

5. Manquillo

 

would be the first out the door if I was in charge. I'd actually give Lovren and Balotelli (and Moreno) another season to settle in. Lovren has been poo in most of the games I've seen him play for us, but there's glimpses of a defender there, he's reasonably strong and a decent tackler/header. His biggest problem seems to be a hot head, hopefully we can fix that during the summer. He's never a 20 million defender and shouldn't be first choice, but he's miles better than the finished dump that is Toure. Same reasoning for Balotelli over Lambert. Borini has time on his side, as has Manquillo. I've seen nothing to suggest they can play for Liverpool on a regular basis though.

 

Edit:

 

Jones, Coates, Aspas and Alberto are already gone in my head, but they should be heading the queue out.

 

Surprised (not really, disappointed perhaps a better word) to see so many fellow supporters wanting rid of Enrique. He'd improve us lots (as Moreno's season has fallen apart) at the moment. His fitness is a problem, but he's strong enough to come back once more (I hope).

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bouncebrigade
Apr 21 2015 11:38 AM

Whenever I see Brad Jones sitting on the bench with his stupid inch perfect hair, I get a little bit angry when I think of his salary for doing fuck all.

 

EDIT: I know he's had terrible personal tragedy, which we all sympathise with him for, but still.

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Ballotelli should be first out the door and I'm sure he will be. Just a bad influence to have around the club. At our best our game is about workrate and attitude. He has neither. 

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I would find it hard to think of 5 players I would keep within the door this summer..

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Wouldn't want to see Allen go. He's tidy.
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We need a massive clear-out and change of personnel. For me those that need to go:

 

Jones - Not good enough competition for Mignolet.

Johnson - been a liability for a few seasons now, too old, wants too muich money. A tenner a week is too much for what he really offers.

Toure - Unless we use him to angle a move for yaya to come and play with his brother for a year, his time here is up.

Enrique - see more of him on instagram than on the pitch. injury prone and not as good as Moreno who himself needs to up his game. We might get 5 million for him this summer (Enrique that is)

Lucas or Allen - One or the other. Both are ok as bench players but nowhere near good enough to be regular starters if we are serious about challenging for titles. One needs to go. I think it will be Lucas.

Sterling (If the right offer comes in) - If someone offers 50 million or a decent player plus cash package then we need to look at it properly. He is more hassle than he is worth, I think he is mega talented but he acts like a cock and we could (in-fact we obviously wont) spend that kind of money elsewhere.

Borini - Gutted he didn't go last summer. Utter waste of space.

Lambert - I like him and he hasn't been given a chance but we need another striker as we will have 5 in the summer. He isn't good enough.

 

Obviously Gerrard is on his way and Aspas will be fucked off but he simply doesn't matter.

 

We have Ibe, Flanagan, Rossitier, Coutinho and Origri as our young lads. We need to spend on proven experience. Fuck building for the future, We need to build for now.

 

I've left Lovren and Balotelli out of the 'get rid' list. Lovren isn't all that bad, maybe he just eneds to get used to the club and the pressure. You don't spend 20 million on someone without there being something there. Balotelli isn't as bad as is being made out, he fucking sulks less than Sturridge and hasn't for me, been given a fair run of games.

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Overall we'll have a very thin looking squad once we get rid of most of the dross and the players who are leaving anyway, I can see 2 possible scenarios:

 

we need to go on a huge splurge again, or:

 

we'll have a squad filled with a lot of kids next year.

 

Realistically the following could well leave or will definitely leave:

Jones

Manquillo

Johnson

Toure

Enrique

Allen

Lucas

Gerrard

Balotelli

Borini

Lambert

Wisdom

 

All of them have played minutes for us this year, and if they do leave the squad will look something like this:

 

Mignolet

Flanagan

Moreno

Skrtel

Sakho

Lovren

Ilori?

Hendo

Sterling

Sturridge

Ibe

Coutinho

Origi

Markovic

plus youngsters and anyone else who I've forgotten about

 

Given whats gone on this season we'd probably miss none of the first list except maybe Lucas for his experience so I'd arguably keep him and Allen as there are worse options to have in a squad but the fact is that we'll have a very thin squad. One thing's for sure we need to bring in 3-4 genuine first team starters, and whether we like it or not a couple of back ups too.

 

This summer really is crucial we get it right isn't it? Twas ever thus.

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Think manquillos been treated very harshly and to be discarded so quickly wouldn't be fair. He's a very component defender, and his offensively play is yet to be fully developed but he's a willing runner, the pen he won against ludogrets for instance shown ambition and a winners mentality.
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