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Improvement the key for 'my boy' Danny

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I like Danny Ings. I liked him even before it started to look like he might be coming here. Those of you who followed the weekly round ups throughout last season will know I was even referring to him as “my boy Danny Ings” early in the season. That’s not the most ringing of endorsements admittedly, if being ‘my boy’ were part of our transfer policy then he’d be joined at Anfield this summer by Jason Puncheon and Charlie Austin. We’d have Tim Sherwood as manager too.

 

Ings wasn’t ‘my boy’ because I wanted us to sign him. I don’t want us signing Puncheon or Austin (even though they’d surely fare better than some of those we’ve spent stupid money on recently), and as much as I buzz off Sherwood I don’t want him replacing Brendan any time soon (although give it a few months…) Where Ings differed from the others was that he may actually be good enough for us. I’m not saying he will be, but he’s got a chance.

 

The key to whether Ings makes it here is how much he can improve, or if indeed he can improve at all. The Danny Ings we see today isn’t good enough to forge a long term career at Anfield. He’d be a decent third or fourth option, but those kind of players don’t tend to stick around long. In all likelihood he’ll be more Michael Robinson or David Hodgson than Ian Rush, but it depends on how high his ceiling is and whether he reaches it.

 

There’s plenty of room for improvement as he’s still young, but you can’t just automatically assume it will happen. Remember how much potential Ryan Babel had at 21? That was as good as it got for him and football is littered with other examples. There are no guarantees with these things and it’s not out of the question that Ings might have reached his full potential already. He could end up as a Rob Earnshaw or Cameron Jerome type, absolutely deadly at Championship level but a 10 goal a season man at best in the top level.

 

Alternatively, he may just keep getting better and better each year. He’ll be surrounded by better players here than he was at Burnley, he’ll be on a bigger stage and everything will be in place for him to take his game to the next level. He’s got bags of potential and he’s done very well in his career so far but whether this is as good as it gets for him is something no-one can say for sure yet. That’s why it’s vital that we sign a proven “number one” this summer. If you’ve got that and he delivers the 25 a season you expect from a top line frontman, you can afford to take a flier on the likes of Ings and Divock Origi.

 

Of course there are some fans who are distinctly underwhelmed about us signing a player from relegated Burnley and ask “would Chelsea, Arsenal or Man City do that?” There’s merit in that argument to be fair and many of those same fans were probably also complaining about the shopping spree at Southampton last summer. They’re entitled to dump a large bucket of “I told you so” juice all over the heads of those of us who scolded them for their negativity.

 

I’ve seen that argument countered by others who reference the signings of Ray Clemence and Kevin Keegan from Scunthorpe, Phil Neal from Northampton etc. “Thank God twitter wasn’t around when we signed Ian Rush” they’ll say. They may as well be talking about a completely different sport for all the relevance that has on modern day football though. Who was the last superstar signed from Scunthorpe? Probably Keegan!

 

I guess the point it is doesn’t matter where you sign a player from, it’s whether he’s any good or not. That’s a sentiment I broadly agree with, but football has changed a lot and there’s less risk in signing someone from an established team. The days of us (or any other top six side for that matter) signing players from the third division and turning them into top class internationals are long gone.

 

If we had a scouting team worthy of the name I wouldn’t care where we signed players from, but there’s no Geoff Twentyman in this current lot though. Ideally I’d prefer that we signed players from top clubs because of the added reassurance I’d have that scouts who actually know what they’re doing had already signed them previously. Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and even Chelsea rarely sign bad players, so picking up some of their out of favour players is a good way to go. The problem there is we don’t want to pay the wages, so instead of shopping at Harrods we nip down to Aldi instead. That’s fine though, you can pick up some good stuff at Aldi if you know what you’re looking for. That’s where our policy falls down though isn’t it?

 

I had no problem with us shopping at St Mary’s last year because in theory, signing the best players from a good mid-table side does not turn you into a mid-table side. In reality it did of course, because for varying reasons the players weren’t right for us. That doesn’t mean you can’t pick up good players at smaller clubs though. Despite our frequent blunders (Carroll, Downing, Adam, Lovren etc) I still see no issue with signing the best player from any team below us.

 

Likewise, snapping up a talented young player from a relegated side is not embracing mediocrity, but it does depend on how you plan to use him. If the plan next season is for Ings to be first choice then that would clearly be unacceptable at this point. If he goes all “Harry Kane” on us and his performance level is so good that he becomes first choice then great, but the worry I have is that he may get to be first choice by default due to the failings of others.

 

Let’s face it, if Ings had been on our books last season he’d have been one of the first names on the team sheet after a few months when it became clear none of the other forwards could function playing to Rodgers’ instructions. I look at our forward options currently and aside from Sturridge - who needs to be completely disregarded until he proves otherwise - we’ve got a load of number threes. Players who you’d have on the bench or play in the cup competitions, but none who will strike fear into the opposition. Remember in 2005 when we felt we had a striker crisis after Owen left? We had Baros, Cisse, Mellor & Pongolle and we felt that we were a bit short. Compared to last year those four are like the quartet we had in the treble season!

 

Liverpool strikers were previously judged against the likes of Rush and Aldridge. That was was difficult enough but then came Fowler, Owen and then Torres. They set a high bar but Luis Suarez then pole vaulted right over it. You can’t expect fans to get excited over Ings and Origi when a little over a year ago they were watching Luis fuckin’ Suarez.

 

I know he’s gone and we need to get over it, but it’s easier said than done. We set the bar much lower for the strikers last season because no-one was ever going to replicate what Suarez and Sturridge did the year before, yet Balotelli, Lambert and Borini somehow managed to limbo right underneath the fucker.

 

We may never see the likes of that Suarez inspired 101 goal season again, but if Origi, Ings and whoever else give it a good go next year and we get our goal tally back up to around 80 then perhaps we’ll be able to look forward rather than back. I’m as bad anyone for that and I can’t even begin to tell you how much I miss Suarez. I wouldn’t say I’m constantly thinking about it but it’s on my mind a lot and it hasn’t gotten any easier as time has passed. That’s not just because he was so fucking great, it’s because of the completely inexcusable job we did of compensating for his departure.

 

If we had a functioning forward line I’m sure I’d be able to let go of Luis. I know there’ll never be anyone like him again but I don’t need a “10” to be happy. If I was married to Angelina Jolie and she dumped me for Brad Pitt, I could easily get over that I reckon. I could live a happy life with a “7” or an “8” but you can’t expect me to bed down with Jo Brand every night. I mean come on.

 

I feel like I’m getting a little blown off course here, so to get back to the matter at hand, I like the signing of Ings because at least he looks like someone who fits the profile of “a Rodgers striker”. Remember when Brendan took over and he’d wax lyrical about his philosophy and what he looked for in players for certain positions? It now looks like he’s completely gotten away from everything he believes in. Either through his own choice or through necessity after continually having players dropped in his lap that don’t fit in with his ideology of how the game should be played.

 

He ended up with a goalkeeper that couldn’t use his feet, full backs that were no good going forward and strikers who were either unwilling (Mario) or unable (Lambert) to offer a threat in behind or press the opposition high up the field.

 

Ings is a much better fit than Balotelli or Lambert at least, although you can certainly ask the question as to how much of an improvement he is on Borini. We won’t know that until he pulls on the red shirt but as of now I’d take Ings over all three of them, with a caveat added because we don’t have any idea yet what formation Rodgers plans on using next season. I’m not entirely convinced he does either, but that’s a discussion for another time. While I rate him as a player, it’s entirely possible that Ings ends up completely out in the cold like so many others did last season.

 

We’ll have a clearer idea of his role when we see who the main striker is that we sign, assuming we do of course. The links to Benteke baffle me as he’s a poor fit, and besides, if you sign a Benteke type and change your style to suit him, what happens when he doesn’t play and you’re then using Ings, Sturridge or Origi instead? Or is the plan to have Origi or Ings playing alongside Benteke?

 

I just want to know that there’s a plan in place, that the manager has a vision of how he wants to play and what type of players he needs to make that work. It seems like he’s gotten away from that and we are just buying players on the basis of “he’s alright, let’s get him” and then worrying about how to incorporate them into the team afterwards. I’m hoping Ings is one who bucks that trend and he’s been targeted for a specific role, but there is certainly a lingering doubt nagging away that we’ve only signed him because he was out of contract and available for a knock down price. Maybe that’s unfair, but given the way the club operates these days you can’t blame anyone for being sceptical.

 

 

Dave
@theliverpoolway



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Ings has to deal with the same problem which has plagued all our signings from 'lesser' clubs - being effective and relatively prolific when he's not playing week in week out. I think he has had one spell out injured for a while with Burnley over the last 2-3 years, otherwise he has been a first team regular with them. If he becomes a first team regular for us next season, it's more likely to be because others are injured, out of form or just shite. That's no slight on him, just the way it is when part of a squad rotation system.

 

If it were up to me, I'd ship out Borini and Balotelli as we have Origi coming in too. If we go for (and somehow get) the top class experienced and prolific striker we are crying out for, I'd also then move Lambert on. That would leave us to choose from Sturridge, Ings, Origi and that top class striker, with the younger duo as back-ups. It gives them a bit of room to develop without heaping too much pressure and expectation on them.

 

Won't hold my breath on our transfer committee being smart enough to think that way though.

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Yeah I think Ings is a decent punt. I don't mind 'punts' when they're a few million or even better - free - I just don't like them for 20 mil. 

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Origi is utter shit.

 

Would that be the same Origi that kept Lukaku out of the team during the WC?

 

I saw his matches for the national team during the WC. This was before he was linked to us. I can say with 100% certainty that he is not "utter shit".

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I'd feel a whole lot better about things if I knew what Rodgers' plans were in terms of formation.

 

Hell, I'd feel a whole lot better about things I thought that Rodgers knew what his plans were in terms of formation.

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I'd feel a whole lot better about things if I knew what Rodgers' plans were in terms of formation.

 

Hell, I'd feel a whole lot better about things I thought that Rodgers knew what his plans were in terms of formation.

 

Bringing in Ings and Milner only makes sense to me if we plan to play the 442 diamond. 

 

Coutinho as the 10, with Lallana as back up.  Henderson and Milner as the box to box runners and pressers with Allen as back up.  Then Can and a new midfielder (perhaps Kovacic) to play the deeper role.

 

Sterling is likely to be sold, and there are noises that we want rid of Markovic too.  That would only leave Ibe out of our first team squad without an obvious position, but probably a sub to come on if we want to change formation and go to 433 or 343 is the best use of his talents at this stage.

 

We would then need to sign a top striker (hopefully not Benteke) and have Sturridge, Ings, Origi and new striker filling those two positions.

I'd still be pretty sure that we're lacking in quality if we do that but it would at least get the best out of Coutinho, Henderson and Milner who would appear to be the only certain starters at this point.

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So much rests on this top striker thing, doesn't it?

It's amazing what 25 goals a season can do.

Save a manager. And a club perhaps.

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So much rests on this top striker thing, doesn't it?

It's amazing what 25 goals a season can do.

Save a manager. And a club perhaps.

 

Football is not really so hard is it? 

Get a couple of absolute genius players, play them in their proper positions surrounded by players of good technique and mentality.  The whole then becomes greater than the sum of the parts, and previous bit part players or youngsters coming through look a lot better.

 

Obviously finding the genius is the hard part but this is the first time in my life as a Liverpool fan that I don't think we've had one. 

Coutinho is probably the closest we have at the moment and he's a long way off the Dalglish, Barnes, Fowler, Gerrard, Suarez level.

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96613.jpg

 

 

Jason Puncheon fanned the flames ahead of his return to Anfield next season by claiming Dave Usher misled him about how he was Usher's 'boy.'

 

The Crystal Palace winger hit out at the ESPN celebrity writer, saying: ‘With Dave Usher there was a lot going on, with what he was saying to me and what was actually happening.

 

‘He’d say, “You're my boy, I fucking love you. You're my best mate, you are.” I’d leave and get home and he’d ring me and say, “Danny Ings has just rung me and offered me an exclusive interview. I think he'll be my boy now," when I’d just had a different conversation with him 10 minutes ago.

 

‘I’d go back to see him and he’d say the opposite again. It was the same thing, round and round.'

 

‘He was telling me one thing to my face and then ring me and tell me a different thing. He was messing with my head.

 

'I thought, “I just want to play football. I don’t need this.” I lost respect for him to be honest and knew it was time to fuck him off.'

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Agree, the timing is also interesting if GMT!

 

Milner our long lost Kuyt replacement and Ings what an opportunity for him. Only really be seen as good signings if we get that 25 goal man...not sure that's Benteke!

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I think he'll be better than expected but might just come short of being top top class.

He's a much better option than Wankonthetelli, Borini and Lambert combined.

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Would that be the same Origi that kept Lukaku out of the team during the WC?

 

I saw his matches for the national team during the WC. This was before he was linked to us. I can say with 100% certainty that he is not "utter shit".

Milan baros.

Djibril cisse

ngog

 

All better and still not good enough

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I hate to say it but I don't believe for one second there will be any top class strikers coming in unless a make weight on a sterling deal we are useless from top to bottom fuck me BR sacking his mates never .

so much crap going on and all this one year left nonsense on contracts

I will feel better when moreno markovic borini balotelli et Al are gone first

said it before I want a smaller top quality squad backfilled with youth team players so the latter can play and get experience in the europa league

let's get 18 top players and compete for the league and guess what Mr Ayre you will probably finish top fuckin precious four each year

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