The match against Chelsea was, in many ways, exactly what many of us expected it to be. On the one hand, we looked like we could score every time we went forward. On the other, we looked like we’d concede whenever Chelsea attacked. I don’t think that Trent Alexander-Arnold played particularly well, which perhaps shows that a system that is built around him has its faults when he’s not at his best or the opposition figure out a way to deal with him successfully. I am not a fan of this way of playing that sees him abandon his right-back spot to move into the midfield, given the fact that it leaves us so very exposed to the counter-attack down our right. We saw numerous examples of that happen yesterday and teams with better attackers than Chelsea will punish us for it. Whilst it isn’t as if Alisson Becker was our Man of the Match and their goal had a huge slice of luck about it, we are leaving ourselves open to the vagaries of fortune if we persist with this formation.
That’s Liverpool right there. Possession in a promising position, conceding a decent chance 10 seconds later. Hmmmm.
— Andrew Beasley (@BassTunedToRed) August 13, 2023
I do wonder whether it might make more sense to target a right-back in this window and allow Trent to move into the middle full-time. It wouldn’t solve our defensive midfielder conundrum, but it might give us an extra man in the middle of the park to mean that we don’t have to head into massive away games at the likes of Stamford Bridge with such an attacking line-up from the off. In the end, a draw was probably good value and at the end of the season leaving West London with a point might look like good value. If we can follow it up with a win against Bournemouth then that would be four points from a possible six in our opening two games and that’s nothing to sniff at. For now, we need to remove targets from out mind and just focus on getting as many points on the board as possible so we can look towards the end of the season and see where we are. If we are to have any hopes of winning the title, though, we need a decent defensive midfielder….
The Caicedo Pursuit Tells Us A Lot
I am no massive fan of the owners. Whilst I appreciate the manner in which they’re trying to run the football club in a fiscally responsible manner, I think there is plenty of room for them to be more willing to splash the cash every now and then. There are some supporters that will look at what is going on at Chelsea and want that to be how things are at Anfield, but I’ll never be one of them. Similarly, I’m desperate for us not to become a sports-washing project. Our one title is worth more than all of those won by Manchester City, as far as I’m concerned. Just because I don’t hate them and tweet #FSGOUT every five minutes doesn’t mean I think that they’re above criticism. It is just that I often look to try to understand why it is the club does what it does. Take what’s happened recently over Romeo Lavia, for example. There are many who have been critical of us not just ‘paying the money’ and are now even more critical because we’re likely to overpay if we want to get him in.
— Hrach Khachatryan (@hrachoff) August 14, 2023
I wondered why we weren’t willing to go big, given it is clear that the funds are there. I think the most likely version of events is that we wanted Moisés Caicedo but felt he was nailed on to go to Chelsea. We put a bid in for Lavia and then the Brighton man’s people let it be known that he’d be open to a move to Liverpool. We dragged our feet on Lavia whilst we looked into it, then pounced when it looked like the opportunity was there. When things fell apart with Caicedo, we have chosen to go back to Lavia in the knowledge that we’ll have to overpay to bring him in. Some people with think that that was wrong of us, but I think it’s sensible. When it looked like the better, more experienced player was available, we tried to get him. It doesn’t make us look foolish and it isn’t embarrassing, as some people have suggested. It is how good businesses operate, being willing to pivot and change direction when new information comes in. We didn’t get Caicedo, but we were part of the conversation.
What Happens Next Will Be Key
A big part of the problem with transfers is that it is big business. I don’t mean that players cost a lot of money, although they obviously do, but rather that there are all sorts of social media accounts out there that tweet constantly about which players will be signing for which clubs because they know that it will earn them likes, clicks and follows. As a result, a club like Liverpool gets linked with any number of players, with very few of them being ones that we’re actually trying to sign. Personally, I’m able to ignore the noise around transfers. I can’t influence anything, so why would I invest time and emotion getting upset that we’re linked with this player or that player, signing one or the other? There are players that play for Liverpool now and there will be others that sign for us in the future. I’ll get excited when we bring people in, as I was when our offer for Caicedo was accepted, but I’m not going to get all hot and bothered about something that hasn’t happened.
If we carry on negotiating for players that would rather join another club the transfer window will be shut before we know it, move on. #LFC
— – (@JoshLFC1909) August 14, 2023
There are still a couple of weeks left of the window, so there is plenty of time for Liverpool to bring in the right profile of player. Since last summer, we have spent around €244.8 million on players according to TransferMarkt, so the idea the owners refuse to spend anything is clearly nonsense. Rather than questioning the owners, I do wonder why more questions aren’t asked about the structure that is in place, but obviously that’s far too nuanced an opinion to get across well on social media. We will sign people before the window closes, of that I’m confident. Whether they end up being the right players remains to be seen, but I certainly won’t be getting upset about the names that we’re linked with and I definitely won’t be upset about the ones we actually sign. I wouldn’t have brought in Andy Robertson or Gini Wijnaldum, but both proved to be tremendous additions to Liverpool. We’ll sign who we sign, so it’s time to stop being so stressed about everything all of the time.