Manchester United fans analyse their recent transfer business, while our Liverpool readers look ahead to the summer and Chelsea supporters discuss Conte’s future in Your Says of the Day.
Have something to get off your chest? Join the debate here.
Signing a new player is usually touch & go but I think it’s a damning verdict that in 10 years since last winning the Champions League we’ve made less than 5 signings that can be deemed very successful. There’s David De Gea, who overcame a torrid first couple of seasons to become the Worlds best keeper. Robin Van Persie was a huge success in his first and Fergie’s last season and didn’t really need to do much in his final 2 seasons to have his status questioned. Javier Hernandez was a brilliant signing and scored plenty of goals despite being a pretty limited player and ultimately fading away. Ibrahimovic was also a good signing in his first year and was instrumental in us winning 2 titles last season. The less said about him signing again the better, though.
Am I leaving someone out? Matic has done a decent job this season, especially given the lack of support from his fellow midfielders and both Mata and Herrera have had decent spells but remain squad players. Smalling had 1 good season under LVG and Valencia could be described as a good servant but has flattered to deceive during most of his years at Old Trafford. Most of the other signings are either expensive flops are hopeful (moneyball-ish) punts that haven’t worked out.
The likes of Martial, Pogba and Shaw may yet come good but their future seems to lie elsewhere, especially if Mourinho stays. They’re the ones he’s questioned/criticized the most and I think he’s right to do so but not in public and definitely not if he’s absolving himself of all blame. This style clearly isn’t working anymore and while that most definitely has a lot to do with the fact that footballers are becoming more pampered and egotistical, Jose simply can’t keep on doing the same thing and expecting the same results.
The same goes for the club itself and those at the top will have to look carefully at why so many of the signings we’ve spent millions upon millions on have failed to produce. The club is clearly lacking an identity at the moment and will fail to attract players by only pointing to the past instead of the present and future. It’s not about buying the most expensive players, though, it’s about buying the RIGHT players who will play for the shirt instead of collapsing under the weight of it because that is what seems to have happened too many times. Good players become bad ones after joining United and regain their form after leaving. It’s not right and I think more care will have to be given to players mental strength instead of throwing money at players who are only in it for the money and bring absolutely nothing to the table apart from a huge wage-bill and failed promise.
For me a success is a player who becomes a key player in a generation of a team. That’s to say spends his top flight career with us like Rio or Evra. Alternatively one who has an impact on the team beyond his personal contribution in a season eg Cantona. RvP and Ibra were of use for only one season, and neither helped develop the team. I’d argue their contribution was not great. A United striker is always going to score goals.
For me DDG is the only signing that can be considered a success the past decade. And if we look to homegrown players, you have to go back almost 20 years to the emergence of Scholes to find a player who was more than a second stringer. (you have to exclude Rashford since jury still out). And look at all the players we were seriously chasing but lost out on because we would not pay the fee.
I think this is a brilliant post and in an attempt to pick it apart I went through transfer for each season. Terrifying…you could do a Dickensian ghost of transfer windows past sketch.
You can see us shopping at Poundland after the Glazers came in replacing probes with paupers and the chaotic pinball wizard approach under Moyes. Then you’ve got little Ed adopting a kid in a sweet shop Galactico approach and us becoming increasingly enthralled to the super agents. They’re playing us like a puppet on a string.
I wonder who the ghost of transfer windows yet to come is?
Time to rate every transfer then (taking into account the profit or loss made, impact, number and quality of performances). Also judging the newer players on how I rate them so far:
Excellent – De Gea
Good – Valencia, Hernandez, Young, RVP, Bailly, Ibrahimovic
Decent – Berbatov, Owen, Smalling, Lindegaard, Jones, Mata, Shaw, Herrera, Martial, Romero, Pogba, Lukaku, Matic
Bad – Tosic, De Laet, Diouf, Obertan, Bebe, Kagawa, Zaha, Powell, Henriquez, Buttner, Fellaini, Di Maria, Rojo, Blind, Falcao, Schneiderlain, Depay, Darmian, Schweinsteiger, Mhkitaryan, Lindelof, Sanchez
That’s a horrific record looking at it. It seems most of the issues stem from the Moyes and Van Gaal eras where nothing really fruitful came out of spending some 400m on players – shocking transfer dealings! Mourinho has improved on that with his players actually making a difference for the most part (still expect Sanchez to come good eventually and for Lindelof to improve) however I think United really do need to sort out their scouting and transfer policies and expertise.
Sympathy for the Devils
We don’t exactly play with strikers nor do we play with wingers these days. A player who can operate across the front 3 is far more valuable to Klopp. I haven’t seen Sessegnon play this season if I’m honest. Not saying it would or wouldn’t work, just don’t know enough about the kid. I can only comment on players I’ve seen. Someone like Pulisic or Werner for me are further along in their development and can offer us this versatility. I don’t buy into the “we can’t bring in a 100mil signing to rotate the front 3 because they won’t like it” argument. Sessegnon wouldn’t come on the cheap anyway. City literally have 2 interchangeable players in every position. We’re talking 4 world class forwards competing for 3 starting positions here. Max Meyer available on a free as well, he can offer much more versatility as he can operate from deeper as well. That said, at this point I don’t really care who Klopp goes for. Odds are he’ll be a fantastic signing for us even if he’s an unknown.
I think we all kind of agree what we need but I think we need to add the klopp factor, he isn’t a man to make to many changes and risk unsettling the squad. He likes to improve upon what he has and integrating new players into his system takes time. I only expect a maximum of three signings this summer.
Reds, I see you listed a cb in your list, I will be shocked if he spends anymore money on cb this summer after investing £75m on vvd. I think he will work with what he has and keep a settled gk and back four. It makes sense to me, vvd has been a hugely calming factor for us, keeping the back organised and we have improved massively from the start of the season. Besides I would love to see Gomez given the nod to start alongside vvd next season.
So let’s say it is only three players this summer, what positions would everyone fill/improve upon?
Im pretty sure it will be three players in, im not sure if we can count Keita as one of those players.
I would love to see Sessegnon but if we sign him we would need another right footed forward. Sessegnon would compete with Mane and at times maybe drop deeper into the fullback.
For midfield i would not be surprised to see Meyer brought in, he is quite versatile and could compete with Jordan.
Then a forward, be it Dybala, Lemar, Pulisic or Werner.
We could go for 5 signings if Migs leaves.
Well here are the CL revenues for this season’s English participants.
Liverpool – £57m and counting
Chelsea – £55m
Manchester City – £54m
Tottenham – £52m
Manchester United – £37m .
Despite the season we have had, our revenues aren’t that bad and makes a good warchest this summer. there will be no excuse for the club if they don’t give the new manager a handy amount to spend.
Which is exactly why Conte will be let go as we will not a penny of that next season
And I still cannot fathom why we did not make the decision in January to let Conte go (assuming this was being considered at the time). Yes, it may cost us circa 18m to pay him off but surely that is peanuts compared to the 55m (or more) we could have made by being in the CL next season. Must admit to being baffled by the logic on this one…!! KTBFFH
I can’t help thinking we would be qualifying for the CL had we not sold Costa and Matic selling two of a PL title winning team and buying Morata and Bakayoko is not strengthening it’s robbing Peter to pay Paul and certsinly not what City do.
But we are where we are now and we can’t change it and the EL admittedly with less money and less prestige than the CL is a trophy we should be trying to win next Season as it offers another route back into the CL and offers us certainly in the early stages of the competition a chance for us to give some of our brightest youngsters and squad players a chance of European football.
EL qualification is all but secured and providing we eliminate Southampton on Sunday or they don’t win the FA Cup EL qualification will go down to 7th place.
What we have to be careful of is not qualifying too far down the PL as the pre qualifying games start in July although finishing 5th and by winning the FA Cup would alleviate that.
nine nine nine
As it stands today, Chelsea and Arsenal will qualify for the Europa league next season. But what happens if Arsenal win the Europa league and automatically qualify for the Champions league?
Will that mean that Burnley will be playing in Europe next season?
What an incredible achievement that would be for Sean Dyche and his team.
I think so….just as long as Southampton don’t win the FA Cup. As I understand it anyway.
Be ace to see someone like AC Milan having a wet Thursday night out in Burnley. Is Angels still going?
I remember Ipswich qualifying for Europe and beating Inter Milan at home. They lost the second leg, but what a night that must have been for them at Portman Rd!
As a Liverpool fan, I’ve had my fair share of disappointments so Im not yet relaxed about sealing CL places until we actually do. I know we have a fairly decent gap on 5th place but I’d still hate the CL issue to go down to the last day like last year. If we somehow cock-up away to West Brom and lose to Stoke at home because of our focus on Cl league then the match at Chelsea’s home could have huge ramifications.
If Chelsea win their game in hand they are only 7 points behind, so for us LFC should treat West Brom game and Stoke games with as much respect as we will Roma. How that ‘respect’ will translate into team selections is a matter for Klopp but regardless of what team we put out we have to be very professional!