FSG: No More Shortcuts!

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The Small Faces once sang about the joy of resting in the afterglow. I’ve had similar thoughts this week, safe in the knowledge that a) my weekends no longer contain 90-95 minutes of intense panic and worry and b) Liverpool have had an enormous door opened to them and been ushered into the green room of European football.

Personally, I like a break from football. At my age it’s good to recalibrate and take stock before stiffening up the sinews and summoning up the blood for the next arduous campaign. Even the biggest bodybuilder will tell you that ‘rest days’ are important so while the Reds have been cavorting around Australia I’ve left them to it and got back to seeing what my friends and family look like.

What’s more I’ve been able to do this with a smile on my face. There’s no finer footballing feeling in football than a good May. The 6-1 to Stoke on the last day of the 2014-15 season put me on tenterhooks for the entire summer. What now? Are we to start again? Who’s going to leave? Who would want to come to us? Will we shop in the bargain basement because we were humiliated by a side who finished ninth?

Similarly, last summer I was in a right state. Yes, there were the two finals and a great new manager but Liverpool finished eighth in the League and, though we didn’t exactly bust a gut once the Europa League campaign was in full swing, that got between my ribs. Eighth is Southampton, say, or West Ham. Liverpool are better than that but we were steadfastly proved the opposite.

So, May 2017 is lovely. Reds arounds the world can repair to beaches, beer gardens or whatever with a feeling of calm. We’re back in the big league once more and it feels great.

But, as noted sage and wit, Peter Parker said ‘with great power comes great responsibility’ and, to be fair to the arachnid obsessed geek, he’s right. This is a major point in the FSG era and not one to be taken lightly.

When we qualified for the Champions League in May 2014 the club spent £117m on eight players and one loan deal for Javier Manquillo. This received a lot of criticism at the time but I could see a reason for it. When Jordan Henderson was sent off at Manchester City that April it highlighted just how short of numbers the team were. There was no finer example of how paltry our options were when Iago Aspas started in that infamous Chelsea game. By way of contrast the Londoners casually brought on Andre Schurrle (and played him as a second left back). We needed bodies in 2014.

We still need them now, of course. The squad is lightweight even before you consider the damaging yet inevitable injuries, but we can’t afford to throw the odd £20m at a player and hope he comes good. Nor can we wait for them to settle in, really. That 2014 transfer window included Adam Lallana and Emre Can and there aren’t many who don’t see them as significant today but we can’t afford to take risks of a Balotelli and Lambert nature if we want to move forward, or even stay still. We need first teamers. We need players who will worry the starting eleven and for that to happen we need our administrators not to blush when a transfer fee is quoted.

It’s time to step up, FSG.

The club and owners have made no secret of their focus – Champions League qualification comes first. Well, they have their wish now so and as the manager and players have delivered the goods, they need to join in and do their part.

The money is there. We’ve barely spent a bean lately as the dreaded term ‘net spend’ has covered much of their outlay. True, £60m on Sadio and Gini was hardly chickenfeed but we need more if were serious in our ambition. This manager, though he too likes to be frugal if possible, needs all the help he can get.

There’s talk of £100m alone being needed for Virgil Van Dijk and Naby Keita before we beef up the squad elsewhere but if that’s what we have to do, then so be it.

There’ll be money made from outgoings and saved wages so it’s not as if Tom Werner will be just be making nothing but bank transfers from now until the end of August.

I just hope we see ambition from the club. No more £15m ‘hit and hope’ purchases. No more stopgaps. No more short cuts. A Liverpool squad capable of competing on at least two fronts – the big ones – rather than ending the next season hoping we have enough players to fill in the sufficient roles. What I’m saying is that – God love him – I don’t want to see Connor Randall lining up at the Bayern Munich semi-final.

It’s going to be interesting to see how the club approach this term. Will they be satisfied with a regular top four place and qualification or will they try to make the next jump? Obviously, I’d like to see the latter as Liverpool are ultimately about domination but given this is only our second appearance in eight seasons there, you could forgive a stab at stability before we take on Real Madrid.

Luckily, the manager wants what we want. He wants Liverpool to win trophies and build dynasties. He’s done the hard part. He’s got us here and shown that every club who finished above us can be vanquished when it comes to eleven against eleven, but now he needs help from his paymasters. Over to you, Fenway.

In the meantime, here’s to years of nice, relaxing summer breaks and a growing squad, crammed with quality.

Up the Reds.

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  1. Yeah, blame the owners all the time…. LFC signed crap players and at times had crap managers, do the owners buy the players? Rodgers sells Suarez and buys almost a whole team, changes the whole attacking philosophy,
    FSG has been great for this club, they have never interfered in the managers run things and have always spent money… what was the point in employing Hodgson or Dalglish or even Rodgers…that was their only mistakes!!!

  2. Tanx 4 de ride up. Yesooo……., we are tired of average buy. If we need them, they are all in the Academy. We don’t want a senior acedemy player of €25m anymore. This is a professional League so should the players be professional & ahah don’t 4get a bigger tide in the CHAMPIONS LEAGUE. Get us this guys no matter the curse. Luk at Man City, United,Chelsea spend 4 Quality. Remember since J. Klopp Arrival we haven’t use our budget yet 4 two seasons now. We do buy player 4rm our sells. Then use this budget & buy Quality.

  3. I’m not blaming the owners for anything here. I’m pointing out that we’re in the European elite now and can’t buy cheaply and hope.

  4. FSG…have been saviours of a club that was in financial difficulty..perhaps at opportune time for them.Since taking over they have had major transfers go wrong…who’s to be blamed?We’ve finally seen the ground expanded-so you can see where some investment has gone…Surely, we’re moving in the right direction…on all fronts they have my vote thus far.

  5. Blaming FSG for unfruitful recruitment at any time before now is injustice. First and foremost FSG is a business outfit. On their part they never faultered. When needed, they have been splashing the cash for recruitment of players. Our prblem has been the scouts who are so incompetent and myopic and cannot identify a knock knee from a bow leg. For eg, last season about this time, a fan was posting on every forum begging LFC to go Dembele but the soo called scouts couldn’t see any thing good in the young player untill Celtic of Scotland moved for the boy. Is it not time we do someting of this bunddle of incompetents before they go on another money wasting spree on elementary players?

  6. You people probably don’t even follow Liverpool. Investment is necessary at all top level clubs.
    Big players cost big money. It’s no use getting one big player. Liverpool need a few, playmaker, leader and goal scorer.

  7. Well, yes, we need to strengthen, no doubt about that, but I for one still don’t believe that throwing obscene amounts of money at players is the answer. Where is the scouting department when you need it? There are bargains out there, bargains like Sami Hyypiä. 50m for van Dijk? Do we have a money-printing machine somewhere in the old boot-room?

    “It’s time to step up, FSG.”

    Yeah, sure. They installed Klopp at least partly due to supporter pressure and gave him a contract extension worth 49m. They surely stepped up there. And they have managed, what many had tried to achieve, some even promised to do, but ultimately everyone bar them, yes them, FSG, failed to deliver: Expanding the capacity of our ground. How much did that cost again? Beyond 100m, way beyond. They surely stepped up there, again.

    But then there is no pleasing some people. Yes, today’s football is quite insane when it comes to transfer fees and wages. The Real Madrids, Chelseas, Man Citys and PSG of this world set the tone. The question should then be whether every one else also follows their path of unsustainable investment into the playing squad.

    In other words: How about spending what we have and what we can afford without becoming a rich and bored person’s play-thing?

    How about letting Klopp, whom some rate as world-class, do what he did best in the past: Signing relatively unknown players for relatively low wages and getting the best out of them? Klopp didn’t do that well when it comes to big money signings (Mané apart). Wijnaldum took incredibly long to settle in, although he knew the league already. And for the money he’s cost I would have expected a lot better of him, too. Find the right players at the right price instead of throwing 50m at Leipzig for a player who’s just finished his very first season in a major league.

  8. Excellent piece. Our approach to these transfers are best summed up by the saying that we were penny wise and pound foolish. Looking at our squad I think our position on the league should be highly praised. Beyond our first eleven players we have no serious benchers.

  9. Excellent. Owners deserve both criticism and praise. Fawning sycophants for who fsg can do no wrong are idiots as u can read here and similarly blaming them Willy nilly is not fair either. But if there was any time under their watch they needed to abandon money all it’s now. Also ,again to be fair to fsg, it’s the recruitment team who are to blame imho.

  10. “that was their only mistake”…… bwaaahahahahaha… you having a laff mate??????? The entire “”BUY LOW – SELL HIGH”” philosophy IS FSG!!!!!!

    Take off those rose tinted sunnies…


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