So the season is finally (and thankfully) over. The last ten or so games since March were disastrous, with most of the players appearing to be physically in England, and mentally in the Caribbean (or here in Dubai…).
If you want more doom and gloom then just open any football news website. They are full of analysis, predictions and criticism of everything from Rodger’s man-management and ever-changing tactics, to players’ Instagram posts and tweets. This post is dedicated to look at the few positives that can be drawn.
- Potential in the squad
We certainly do not have any players on the same caliber of Suarez, Torres, Mascherano, Alonso etc., but what we have is a decent core with potential. Whether the likes of Flanagan, Coutinho, Sturridge, Can, Sakho and co ever develop to become stalwarts of the club or not is yet to be seen, but it is an exciting time for advocates of youth.
- Wages of departing players
As much as it is sad to see Gerrard leaving, however, as the highest earner in the club gone, we will have some money freed up to try and lure big name players to Merseyside. Glen Johnson is also leaving this summer, if reports are to be believed, he was getting over a hundred thousand pounds, which is a ridiculous amount of money considering his limited positive contribution to the team in the last couple of years. Sterling potentially leaving will also help, I hope the club won’t be held ransom to pay him whatever his new wage demands are. Chances are he won’t be staying at Anfield if his agent’s words are to be believed.
- Selling Sterling
If we sell Sterling, which seems more likely by the day, we might cash in big on him. Now, to me, no club in their right mind should sign him as he is quite overrated and overpriced. Nobody can deny that the talent is there, but the poor attitude and wayward finishing make him a very frustrating figure in the team. Thankfully for us, the fact he is English makes him more desirable to other clubs, and the same fact doubles, if not triples his value. I hope we offload him, and I do not usually wish our ex-players to turn out to be flops, but I hope he ends up like Pennant, Lennon, SWP and many more overhyped English “talents”.
- Gerrard leaving is not the end of the world
There is no denying that Gerrard is a massive talent, and he’s already sorely missed at the club as it enters a phase of uncertainty, but as much as we love Gerrard, any rational fans are fully aware that his best years are past him. I hate to be harsh on the man that epitomizes the city and the club, but let’s be honest. He was dreadful in some games and invisible in many others. Incidentally, the team’s best spell in the league from December to March up to that soul sapping defeat at home to United (In which he was sent off within a minute of coming on…).
Again, I am not happy to see Gerrard leave, but there is hope. If you go back to watch some of the performances in his absence during that spell, we were more agile, quicker, more ruthless and mobile. We were not shackled by the slower game plan which Gerrard’s presence stipulated. Every fabric of me will miss him and his marauding runs, his “Hollywood” passes and crosses, his passion and commitment, his positional cluelessness in some games, his sublime finishes, but it’s time to move on. Sniff.
- Stadium expansion
The stadium is in the middle of the expansion process, with the capacity set to be increased to 58,000, which will crucially nclude hospitality boxes. With every home game, we fall behind the likes of Arsenal and United by millions of pounds. The stadium expansion, when fully completed in a couple of years, will hopefully help us catch-up with the big guns. We are doing okay on the commercial front with the sponsorship and merchandise sales, but the hospitality boxes is where the money is.
Yes, you read that right. Rodgers is a positive. Our heavily-criticized manager, who seems to be enemy number one in the Red side of Merseyside at the moment may have his limitations, however, he is a young and charismatic manager who has done well for himself over the last few years. He learns from mistakes and is working hard to improve. I am not saying that we should trust him blindly and hand him and that dubious committee a hundred million quid to blow away in the transfer market. I still believe that he might, just might be on the brink of something big for this club. Unfortunately for him, the current unforgiving nature of football dictates that instant success is the main priority. Unless there is a significant improvement in the team’s performance, he won’t last long. Heck, his days may be numbered BUT if we keep him, we should give him some leeway.
Keep the faith fellow Reds. YNWA.