When Spurs sold Gareth Bale for the best part of £90m, the Liverpool boss was first to chirp up saying “If you spend £100m, you should be challenging for the title” – little was he to know that these words would come back to haunt him.
Fastforward 12 months and it was Liverpool selling Luis Suarez for £75m after his bite on Cheillini left them with no choice but to get shot of the troublesome star. Rodgers was then tasked with the impossible – replace a world class player with a world class player, but as Spurs proved, it’s a hard task.
They, like Liverpool, went with the option of buying a raft of good players, rather than one star man. Here is who both bought with the money:
Liverpool: Balotelli (£16m), Emre Can (£9.75m), Lovren (£20m), Moreno (£12m), Lambert (£4m), Lallana (£25m), Markovic (£19.75m), Origi (£10m), Manquillo (Loan) – £115m (close enough)
Spurs: Lamela (£26m), Soldado (£26m), Chadli (£7m), Eriksen (£11m), Paulinho (£17m), Chiriches (£8.5m), Capoue (£9m) – £104.5m (there or there abouts)
So, both spent in excess of £100m, which according to old Rodg means you should be up there. What he did not take into account is integrating all those at once, and weather they integrate at all,, such as Balotelli or Lovren, who have both been awful.
The same thing happened to Tottenahm – Lamela, Soldado both were awful all season, and bar Eriksen and to an extent Chiriches, none made an impact. Spurs struggled to about 5th or 6th, Liverpool look like doing worse.
These two have both proven that it’s near enough impossible to replace a world class player with another. All world class players out there will be playing for a world class club – look at Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar, Benzema, Rodriguez, Hazard and Sanchez, for example – are already at clubs they would not leave for Liverpool or Tottenham. Even well established players will cost a fortune, and with everyone knowing that Liverpool had millions in pocket, prices rose.
If you are a mid-table club like Newcastle, or West Ham, and sell a key player for a massive fee, they can afford to buy an up and coming player from a lesser known league, because they have time to settle, rather than Tottenham and Liverpool’s signings had to hit the ground running from day 1. Look at Newcastle – sold Debuchy to Arsenal for £12m, brought in Janmaat for £5m, and he has been as good if not better
Spurs, in a way, did the clever thing and purchased players before selling. However they were all pretty rubbish, so no matter how you look at it they overspent. I read many a comment saying that Benzema was on his way to Liverpool in January – but do their fans really think he would leave the European Champs for the European Chumps? Never in a million years.
With Sterling not at his best, and Sturridge injured continuously, Rodgers has gone from being a little smug because he led the team to 2nd and so nearly won the title, to bricking it because he could be sacked, and the team massively underperforming, sitting in mid-table, in the Europa League having struggled to beat the likes of Basel and Ludogorets.
All Rodgers has proven so far this season was that in Suarez, Liverpool were a one-man team. Without his goals, they are knackered, because they will never score more than their defence concedes. Will their owners stick with him while they slide down the table, losing to every side under the sun? After spending that much money, on top of the Suarez money – I think not.
Brendan, you have a problem…