The FSG Dilemma

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With the window now shut, it’s a worrying and continuing issue that has seen Liverpool fall behind their immediate rivals in the summer’s recruitment. With vast sums being spent by both Manchester clubs, Tottenham & Chelsea, it’s now becoming a worry to see a club at the level of Liverpool seemingly happy to sit on their hands. When Ibrahima Konate arrived early in the summer, it gave the fanbase false hope of what was to come. With other areas of the squad neglected (especially after the squad issues of last term) the hope is that Klopp has not been completely hung out to dry. The coming weeks and months will see many disgruntled fans calling for change, and FSG will be hoping Klopp and his team can keep the mob at bay.

FSG were probably the ideal club to rescue and restore a structure after the last regime. There was of course the idea that they had a level, that was linked to FFP being maintained across the league, and this level is now all but confirmed. The new stand, the new training ground, the model of the club and its responsible ownership is certainly something to be admired, but without required investment in the squad, it becomes less significant. I am not an FSG out person, however I’m sad to say I am no longer an FSG in person. The fact is that their investment has grown remarkably due to what has been achieved on the pitch, should lead the hierarchy to want to create, recreate and support continued growth. Success breeds success, and settling breeds complacency. Despite the success of so many incoming recruits, the budget related revolver remains holstered, and Klopp appears limited when he should be backed.

To have a world class coach and a team with multiple world class players is ideal, yet to sit idly by is dangerous and could lead to key players becoming unsettled. This is a world-renowned club that has enjoyed a wealth of success in recent years, and instead of increased ambition, we see stagnation and acceptance becoming a worrying trend. There is a short window of opportunity for this elite group group to propel forward alongside regeneration, and despite all the warnings of last season, there is only clear reluctance. The key questions are why, and most importantly, what next…?

The fact that the club was purchased at such a low ebb (with minimal risk attached), is now being translated into the stuttering recruitment policy, where prudence has become common place. Last January could have been a period where reinforcements drove the team back into title contention, yet the only deals that were made were last minute, and a case of taking advantage of the markets’ vulnerable clubs. Big club mentality must rely on pushing the boundaries (within reason), in order to maintain momentum. So many super clubs have experienced extraordinary issues with their models, but to continue in such a stringent manner will only see FSG isolated. To lose the clubs’ support completely, could have massive ramifications that effect every facet of the club, and this is the situation currently at hand.

With Michael Edwards perhaps looking at his next position as Sporting Director, I am now in no doubt as to one of the key reason why. Stagnation in investment, limitations in funding and the need to continually self service will eventually lose its appeal, when true backing and trust is never granted from above. Liverpool have been able to take advantage of so many opportunities in both sales and recruitment, but that can only carry you so far when your hands are constantly tied. New contracts are a blessing, though that should be nothing more than the icing on the cake, and the tiers of this summers in house deals cannot hide the failures.

With many key players tied to long term deals, the club (and Klopp especially), must now rely on fate awarding them an injury free campaign. Saturday’s draw at Chelsea showed an obvious imbalance, without the departed Gini Wijnaldum marshalling the middle of the pitch. This scenario should been foreseen, and his replacement should have been brought in alongside Konate. Clarity shows that a replacement was never forthcoming, with the owners unwilling to back any form of significant recruitment. To lose such an important piece of this team is disappointing, yet to do nothing to replace that which is lost, pure negligent.

I believe Liverpool can still have a strong campaign.  The team has an undoubted world class goalkeeper, defence and holding midfielder, and this kind of backbone is unmatched throughout the league. The teams ability to shut out teams will carry them far, but if more players fall away, like last season, there is simply not enough reinforcements to cope, and make a title charge. The fine lines of VAR have now replicated themselves into Liverpool’s coming season, and the reds now face a long campaign, with far too many avoidable holes in the squad.

My hope is that certain deals are being primed for next summer, but this is a stretch and it does not help at all with the requirements of now. January may see some much needed additions, with perhaps more confidence in spending if the pandemic (and potential restrictions) not effecting the club through the autumn. What should have been a reboot season now seems yet another opportunity lost. With regards to Jürgen Klopp’s squad, I will continue place faith in those that has brought us so much joy, but no longer the owners.

It’s now a relief that this window is closed, so that wants, wishes, broken promises and hopes of more can be set aside for football. If Liverpool are to pull off yet another title winning season, Jürgen Klopp’s statute should be guaranteed, as long as the cost can be spread over many seasons of course.

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  1. It’s is short for it is, not belonging to it, ‘seen’ should be have seen or saw, you don’t understand the difference between were and where, world class should be hyphenated, I could go on, but I stopped reading there as your lack of grammar and punctuation is embarrassing for you and hard to read for me, kindly run your work through Word spell and grammar checker in future.

    ps Quick scan of the end. I will continue place faith? To or placing!

  2. my apologies, it was a late night draft I wanted to push through as the window closed.

    I have a young family, so doing such things whilst trying to get a restless toddler asleep is difficult.

    I will give myself more time in future, and again apologies for any and all upset it has evidently caused you this morning.

    Have a good day.

  3. It seems amazingly simplified to say that a lack of large fee signings equals a lack of investment and commitment from the owners.

    There has been massive investment in the playing squad this summer but focussed on existing players rather than new ones. Liverpool are in the enviable position of already having a core group of world-class players.
    Take Trent’s new contract: he is supposedly earning close to 10M pounds per year on his new 5-year contract. This equals an investment of somewhere between 40M – 50M. Multiply this by each new contract, and you’re likely to get an investment in the range of 100s of millions.

    The focus over the last years has been on incorporating the academy into player recruitment, e.g.moving them to the same facility and replicating the first team’s playing style. Why spend millions to plug a squad role if you can pull up an academy graduate who knows the system, without transfer fee and on low wages?
    Curtis Jones is a good example of this, and I’m expecting him to hoover up any remaining “Gini” minutes.
    Signing a new player does in no way guarantee higher performance despite the higher cost, while restricting Jones’ development.

    In summary, I can understand that it may not feel good to see other clubs making marquee signings, but this does not mean that FSG is in some way trying to sabotage Klopp. They have shown in the past that they will pay world-record fees if the correct player is identified.

  4. I can’t disagree with any of that to be honest, my main gripe, which I feel could have been averted was the Gini Wijnaldum replacement.

    We clearly wanted Saul & made an offer, but walked away due to the cost.

    In terms of contracts, I do agree that they are important and substantial in terms of fees, but it does appear that we wouldn’t break ‘structure’ to re sign him. I think the fact we didn’t tie down Gini, who was keen to stay, or replacing him with a first team calibre player is wrong and had left Klopp limited.

    The fact that Saul has landed at Chelsea has not helped in any way either.

    You can’t deny the lack of spending, it’s all documented and wildly frustrating. Much of the spend is self made also, and with Michael Edwards perhaps having enough of the sell to buy, it just doesn’t sit well with me.

    Great response though, thanks for the comment.

    Please remember to follow me on Twitter for more content.

  5. The squad is good enough to challenge. It is a testament to us, that other teams have spent so much in the past transfer windows to be once again considered dangerous. The capacity of Anfield will increase soon, which means more cash for other areas. Clearly there is a plan from top to bottom of the club and not the headless chicken approach that some clubs have made in recent seasons. The team need us behind them, the atmosphere was out of this world against Chelsea. We play with 12.

  6. We have an excellent squad. However, to say that there are not deficiencies therein is simply not correct. We definitely could use another attacker; Bobbie’s injury proves that. I’m sorry, but Taki and Divi are not of the standard of a top club. We certainly could use a goal threat from the midfield; sides seem to be able to comfortably thwart us by packing the box and cutting off supply and movement to our front three. Obviously Klopp, and club management know more than us supporters, but some things seem to cry out. For example, last year we needed a top centre back from October on, and were too cheap to act on it. (Sorry Ozan!) This year, our attacking needs seem as clear.

  7. Poor poor view.
    The progress of building a team is viewed here as stagnation.
    Need an attacker … who the hell is good enough to want to come in and sit on the bench and how much better is he over Takumi n Origi and that is not mentioning we have rotation of Jota in play; relative to the amount needed to be spent for that?
    Have you seen midfield? Attacking midfielder? We have options… we have Keita and Ox coming back in full fitness…. and Hendo shud be rested more to allow Thiago time on the field when teams decide to park the bus.
    Poor poor view.
    We got our core players onto new contracts n that is where we rightly spent.
    If someone is to come in, name the person n the amount in which you would say is worth spending… bearing in mind the need to bed in and the wages in comparison to all our current players.

  8. Wonderful write up. I must commend the boldness from which you have written.
    I really feel FSG need to have their heads examined they are a joke.

    Not replacing Gini is outright neglect
    Curtis is no where good enough to Marshall that midfield, Elliot is still learning his onions and forcing him to play on when he needs to be coming from the bench is crazy.

    I weep to see what Liverpool will become when Gentleman klopp leaves.

    Absolutely gutted….

  9. Many thanks for the comments, I’ve calmed slightly since that late night.

    However an opportunity missed is a failure on the owners.

    Make sure to follow me on the Twitter thing, stevLFC for more Articles.


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