Well, I suppose the title is stating obvious, but in my defence the hardship of A-Level exams has drained my imagination. To a greater extent also I suppose the activity of Liverpool both on the pitch (last season) and in the transfer market in recent years has drained many fans too, leaving us in bewilderment of how the two times FSG have massively backed the manager financially (over £100mil+) we've gone backwards in the league.
Yes, many will argue with 'net spend' of last summer but the reality is still a lot of money was wasted on players. Where the money was spent was an horrendous failure with the exception of Can and potentially Lallana.
Now Manchester United have regained 4th spot, getting it right is paramount to at minimum compete to the end and not have the season fizzle out like the last one, and also to give us any chance of winning a trophy. Suffer another season like the last one and the reality is it will be hard to recover when the teams above have that much more spending power.
But for every dark side, there are a few positive yarns to spin. Signing James Milner on a free is a very good piece of business. A seasoned player who wants game time. Not exactly the Gerrard replacement, but he has a lot of qualities what we need; experience of CL and the pressures of a top club, a fantastic engine but his technical ability is also underrated. He is a player BR will be able to depend on for a whole season, not just a few games here and there. Him and Henderson ahead of most probably Can is a solid trio which will rarely see you overrun in midfield, as we saw too many times at the start of last season.
Danny Ings is another shrewd signing. Let's face it, some people moan for the sake of moaning but for around £6mil and low wages he makes sense. He has plenty of potential, so as long as he isn't kept “in a cage"( like poor old Borini who was given the chance to be 'let out of the cage' last season but refused) for a whole season then at minimum you'd expect to get your money back if he flopped.
He's fast, presses and is more dynamic than Balotelli and Lambert. Going from interviews with his coaches/teammates he has a strong mentality too. 11 goals in a struggling team is a decent return and you'd hope at Anfield he could kick on. Of course I only talk about Ings as a backup striker, because he is better than what we have.
Adam Bogdan doesn't really bother me in the slightest. He's on a free, low wages, and is better than Brad Jones. It's more important to keep money to spend in other more important areas than a benchwarmer for the exception of the capital one cup up until the semi finals (if we ever got there). There is also a fallacy that all top teams have “two top keepers" nowadays, which I'm sorry is a myth.
Apart from Barcelona and Real Madrid, who do it? People forget Barcelona had the unstoppable force that is Pinto wasting on the bench during the Guardiola years. Looking closer to home, City have Willy Caballero who started 2 games, Vorm played 4, Valdes 2, Arsenals keepers had more a split because they're not brilliant, but that's going to change now Cech is the main man. They are not pivotal in comparison to other areas. We don’t have the luxury of forking out millions on a reserve keeper so it is better to keep the money for elsewhere.
The players above improve the squad, Milner more of the starting XI, but it is key from now that the club spend well, and spend right. We’ve certainly made a great start in that department.
LFC have made a major statement in the last day or so officially signing Brazilian Roberto Firmino for £22mil (potentially rising to £29m) . Take a quick look on twitter and you’ll see our fan base is in a state of euphoria, or just shocked we have signed a brilliant talent! In my opinion he'd be the biggest signing since Suarez in 2011 (Coutinho was relatively unknown at the time of signing). If you want a scouting report you’ll have to look elsewhere but he gives us the goals from behind the striker, and statistically he’s better than Sterling last season with more assists as well as more shots, dribbles and tackles per minute.
Along with Coutinho it has the potential to be a dream partnership. The most pleasing thing is we acted like a big club again. Got in and got it signed with no hesitation. Swiftly sealed, under the noses of the British Media, as it should be.
The link with Nathaniel Clyne is positive. It is one of the areas we really need a consistent performer, and he fits the bill perfectly being fairly young and got great ability both up and down the pitch. He'd be our best right back since Arbeloa. Maybe I’m doing Glen Johnson’s early years some disservice, but that’s up for debate.
Along with Firmino, the South American links continue with Carlos Bacca and Salomon Rondon, who are better 'alternatives' than Benteke. Thankfully it seems all interest has ended there with Villa demanding too much. Bacca would be my preference of the two as I've seen more of him, and 28 goals is a top return, but signing both and sending Origi out on loan for another season would make us competitive instantly. It is these players we should have been linked with last season, but better late than never I suppose.
If we sign these top players, then the Ings and Bogdans of the summer look like sensible additions. Even though it would be classic Liverpool to self-implode in the transfer market, I feel there’s something different about this window. Asking for a little faith in them after recent failures might be asking a little too much, but at least let’s not past judgement until the window is shut!
Here's to *hopefully* a happy summer