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HJohal

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  1. HJohal

    Summer 2013 Transfer Thread

    Going back to Liverpool - if the club wants to make the next step forward and move closer to the Manchester clubs then I believe they need possibly 5 new players for next season: Left Back Centre Back to replace Carragher Defensive Midfield to compete with Lucas Attacking Midfielder/Forward Attacking Wide/Centre In addition there is a big decision that needs to be made regarding Reina. My preference for the latter two positions would be Eriksen (Ajax) and Alexis Sanchez (Barcelona) both will be available this summer. I would move on Carroll, Downing, Wilson, Pacheco, Assaidi, Spearing in addition to losing Carragher who is retiring.
  2. HJohal

    Is Rodgers becoming a laughing stock?

    The core defensive unit of a team is usually the goalkeeper, centre backs and the centre midfielder(s). Think Reina, Hyypia, Carragher and Macherano or Dudek, Hyppia, Henchoz and Hamman. The current set of Reina, Skrtel, Agger and Lucas whilst talented have no doubt under-performed defensively. Lucas is coming back from a long-term injury so his inconsistent form is understandable the rest need to improve or run the risk of being replaced though Agger brings so much on the ball that his position is very unique in the European game. What we really need is a modern day Sami Hyypia, Reina from ~2006/7 and Lucas to show pre-injury form.
  3. HJohal

    Is Rodgers becoming a laughing stock?

    I think Rodgers has done a good job to date - but this is only under the banner that in reality this season was always year zero - The fact that FSG were quite happy to go into the season very light in terms of squad size and have since apologised regarding this help locate our position in terms of where we are against FSG expectations. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> The focus was always establishing a framework and then 'ship out' underachieving players when benchmarked against their salary and respective age. We should remember that we moved on Bellamy, Kuyt, Maxi, Aquilani, Aurelio, Adam, Cole, and Doni in addition to loaning out Carroll and Spearing for this season. That is a lot of experience, depth and ultimately salary that was removed and replaced with Allen, Borini and Assaidi and added by Sturridge and Coutinho in January this year – younger, hopefully hungrier players who have their careers in front of them.<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> If Rodgers manages to get Liverpool to 60 points + with a squad is significantly leaner, younger and capacity to improve then as a starting point that is very encouraging. <o:p></o:p> The more difficult part of the transition occurs next year as we build aggressively from here- most of the easy decisions have been made - in addition Rodgers has acted decisively on Carroll who will be moved on in the summer. With the new TV deal there will be a large transfer kitty, 50M + is being speculated which needs to be invested effectively. <o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> If you look at the Senior Players in terms of performance - Jones, Johnson, Carragher, Agger, Gerrard & Suarez have had good seasons. Downing and Enrique have improved after a poor start but the likes of Reina and Skrtel have been disappointing. Lucas has been inconsistent but is coming back from a long term injury. Clearly big decisions need to be specifically around Reina – Skrtel may be given another season as Carragher is retiring and we should remember he is the current player of the year. Downing could also be vulnerable due to his salary and age not matching his overall contribution despite improvement. <o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Some of the younger talent has not progressed as hoped but this is the challenge of managing younger players and Rodgers having been a successful youth team coach should understand which ones need to be moved on and which ones just need more time and experience. <o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> So where would I spend the summer kitty to ensure that we make Champions League next season, I believe we need a new Goalkeeper if the club receives a good offer for Reina, an experienced centre back to replace Carragher, a new left back to compete with Enrique and allows Robinson to be loaned out, a defensive midfielder to compete with Lucas in case he is not the same player prior to his injury, a wide player to replace Downing who scores more goals, a No.10 and a No.9 to compete with Sturridge. <o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> That is 7 new players with possibly Reina, Carragher, Assaidi and Downing being moved on to keep the squad financially balanced. It would also allow the club to loan out the likes of Suso, Coates, Robinson, Flanagan, Robinson and maybe even Wisdom to obtain more top level experience.<o:p></o:p>
  4. HJohal

    Luis Suarez

    There was a German journalist on Talksport today who mentioned that Bayern pay very well in terms of German standards but do not pay the same salaries as the top premier league clubs like Utd, Chelsea, City and Liverpool. Liverpool have Suarez on a long term contract and have just given him a huge payrise reported at 100k+ p.w. Any team who would want to lure him away from Anfield would have to make an investment of ~ 100M - with Liverpool sure to ask a minimum of 50M transfer fee i.e what they received for Torres. Only a handful of clubs can afford such an investment and if you rule out the Russian clubs and PSG on the grounds of being in inferior leagues - then you are left with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea and Man City. I am sure Liverpool would not sell to an English team which leaves the two Spanish giants. With other forwards being available at far more attractive overall packages (i.e Neymar, Falcoa, Cavani) and the overall weak economy across Europe it would be surprising if Suarez leaves this summer unless he really pushes to leave - which appeasr to be out of his character.
  5. As we are aware FSG are big believers in value for money - this should be a good thing and does not imply in any way that FSG do not support making big signings on big wages if the circumstances are right With Carragher's retirement at the end of the season it does allow Rodgers the opportunity to make improvements with a limited increase in the overall wage bill which further highlights the large amount of waste in play in previous years. Looking at approx wages of the following players which have been performing below what should be expected. Reina 100k p.w Carragher 90k p.w (retired) Downing 70k p.w Carroll 70k p.w Spearing 30k p.w Assisidi 21k p.w Wilson 15k p.w Pacheco 7k p.w Total 403K p.w If Liverpool invested in six new players to strengthen the squad perhaps in the following positions - Goalkeeper Left Back Centre Back Defensive Midfielder Attacking Wide Player Forward This allows an average wage of 67k p.w per position without any impact on the current overall wage bill. This should create a competitive squad which should be able to challenge for a minimum of a Champions League spot and possibly a serious title shot.
  6. The balance is still not right in centre midfield especially against fast-counter attacking teams who have defended deep, no surprise the teams which have beaten us this season have these attributes, i.e WBA, Arsenal, Man Utd, Spurs and Villa today. With the full backs encouraged to push forwards, more so today with both Downing and Johnson deployed, it does leave a lot of holes for Lucas to plug almost impossible against pace. Yet to see Lucas-Sahin or Lucas-Henderson deployed this season both of whom could probably offer more defensive steel than the Lucas-Allen combination.
  7. HJohal

    FA Youth Cup

    The most promising and exciting aspect for me was the shape and playing style of the U18 team beginning to closely resemble the U21 and first team. Suddenly after years of frustration a clear path is being laid which fans can appreciate and support. One of the frustrations of the Comoli/Dalglish regime was that the 1st team played a style that apperared to differ (4-4-2) to what Seguta/Borrell were teaching at the academy (4-2-3-1). Hopefully Rodgers management will lead to more younger players being promoted to the 1st team and whilst only a small number will make the first 16 - the initial objective should be to cover the squad numbers from 17-25 - this will allow more investment directly in the first 1-16 positions and imply the death of 'squad fillers like Degen, Voronin, Jovanovic etc
  8. HJohal

    Tottenham Away

    I think we have to be realistic that the club was in a bad mess when FSG bought the club - they said as much by stating that the club had a horrific wage bill for what was a poor quality squad. Kenny/Comolli were given the opportunity to short cut the 'healing' process by being given a large transfer budget to lift the team from 6th to 4th - it did not work and consequently we will now have to take our medicine and re-build. This is why we effectively are in year 0 - where the priority is to remove the under performers from the squad and re-invest the resources. This process started in the summer with the sale of Kuyt, Bellamy, Adam, Aquilani and Maxi. It will be continued next calendar year by the sales of Cole, Downing, Carroll, Doni and probably Henderson and the likely retirement of Carragher. A conservative guess is that this is an annual saving of ~ 42M - 1/3 of the wage bill. This is probably what Rodgers implied when he said this year the owners wanted to 'balance the books' If we re-invest well in Jan and the summer the club could move very quickly up the table given the lack of quality in the premier league outside the Manchester clubs. Even if the club re-invested 25M per year in wages - that is the equivalent of 5 world class players on a £100k p.w (i.e Suarez) - that would should make a significant difference in the overall quality of the squad with the young talent we have coming through the academy. It was always likely that the club would drift after, in effect, going into administration - I am confident this year is the bottom as we finally try to clear up the mess of several failed regimes.
  9. HJohal

    Young Boys at home, match thread

    Two home games in the Europa League where Gerrard has emptied his position in midfield and allowed the opposition to counter with fatal consequence. He should know better as the captain of a young team and sat in front of the defence and organised the team better.
  10. HJohal

    Early thoughts on Rodgers

    It is very difficult to judge Rodgers at this stage purely because the club is still trying to turn around the squad finances from previous regimes - which unfortunately was compounded by Kenny & Commoli under FSG's watch. In an ideal world Maxi & Kuyt would have stayed another year and helped Rodgers with the transition process, however shifting the likes of Cole & Downing was impossible and hence this was not possible. Next summer the likes of Cole, Downing, Carroll, Spearing, Doni and the likely retirement of Carragher will release approx 400k per week in wages, how Rodgers invests this money in new players will determine how successful he is as a Liverpool manager.
  11. Stu v Alex for me - Stu edges it in attack.
  12. HJohal

    Daniel Agger

    Let be honest £20M plus for an injury prone centre back would be excellent business if re-invested wisely (which is perhaps the fear). Agger will be 28 in Dec and there is every chance that as he gets older Agger will become even more injury ridden that he is at the moment. I have no doubt that FSG would view him in the same category as Suarez if he had a good fitness record.
  13. HJohal

    Goalkeeper Coach

    I thought we were going to recruit a new one this summer, with Xavi Valero heavily linked, the GK coach under Rafa. Looks like we will be stuck with John Achterberg for another season then which will be a bad mistake.
  14. HJohal

    Reflective thoughts and forward thinking

    The fans have to be realistic we are only just recovering having been put on life support machine by the previous owners. In 12 months Kenny and Clarke have built a young defensive unit which will be the foundation of a successfull team given further investment in forward positions. Reina (29), Johnson (27), Enrique (26), Agger (27), Skrtel (27), Coates (21), Kelly (21), Robinson ('18'), Flannagan (19), Lucas (25), Spearing (23) complemented by the vastly influencial and experienced Carragher (33). In attacking positions we lack real quality save Suarez (24) and Gerrard (31) - however I beleive we do have 'solid' premier league quality in Adam (26), Bellamy (32), Maxi (31) and eventually will have in Downing (27). We have potential in Henderson (21), Shelvey (19) and Carroll (22) who all should be given time and support to develop away from the limelight of being 1st team regulars at this moment. Unfortunately it looks like this will be Kuyt's (31) last season. In my view it will only probably take 2 high quality players ideally a proven goalscorer and a wide player who can anticipate when to drift into the space 'between the lines' and create for others. As with such quality they can improve the performances of others and add approx 15 points to our overall points total - which will likely imply that Liverpool will be challenging seriously for the title rather than for 4th place. Long term I still believe the future is bright.
  15. HJohal

    FA Cup draw

    Southampton or Portsmouth away to complete the south coast set.
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