After a particularly slow week in the world of Liverpool, the good news is that the weekend's almost here. The bad news is that weekends are probably going to be just as slow--if not slower--as this week has been, at least until Liverpool make their way into full preseason training and head to North America, which thankfully is just over two weeks away. In the meantime you can stay current with Europa League qualifiers that started Tuesday(!) and get into full swing today. I'll be pulling for Icelandic side Thór, because duh.
** Following up Brendan Rodgers' interview with TalkSport the other day, the official website's done one of their own, covering a number of topics as preseason preparations get underway. Rodgers has a limited squad currently--looking at pictures from yesterday, you can see Charlie Adam, Lucas, Jonjo Shelvey, and Jay Spearing, among others--but still has at least had a chance to communicate his hopes for the squad moving forward, both on and off the pitch.
His comments about Gylfi Sigurdsson have used up most of the ink this morning, which is understandable given the timing, but the extended interview is worth a read for Rodgers' comments not only about who is or isn't there, but also about how he expects his squad will approach the football day-in, day-out:
"The last couple of days were really about painting the vision so that people understand what direction we're moving in. We had a really good meeting with the staff on Tuesday. I just felt it was important from the very first day with the staff they understand how I work, my values and morals on and off the field. Then obviously for the players it's about what I can do to help them achieve what it is they want to achieve, and let them understand the principles of how I'm going to work and look at the direction which the club is moving in. They understand where I'm coming from, from day one, which is important. There's no mystery behind it, they understand the vision and the culture that we're trying to create here. We can now move forward in confidence and look to work hard and work well."
It's mostly so far, so good from Rodgers, who's been able to speak with both clarity and confidence about the type of Liverpool side that he's looking to create. That he's missing a fair few of the regulars poses a challenge, and odds are very few of those present currently will be making a major impact when the season opens in August. But at the very least it's nice to see the work get going in earnest, and that the foundations being laid are going to be communicated throughout the club. Regardless of who's around now or at the end of August, you get the sense that Brendan Rodgers will be working tirelessly to make things successful for Liverpool, whether or not it happens right away.
** Nate over at oh you beauty has been turning out some really quality stuff so far this summer, much of it focused on the Euros, and now he's shifted focus to Liverpool and how they haven't signed anyone yet and jesus it's already really late in the summer, isn't it?
Maybe that's editorial privilege, but it is interesting to see just how much business Liverpool have been able to settle in the month of July, with the 4th proving the most active date over the past eight years. Most of the early transfer activity during the summers in which a major competition's underway have been limited to players brought in for depth or younger talent--Phillipp Degen, Andrea Dossena, Milan Jovanovic, Diego Cavalieri, David Ngog, Robbie Keane in 2008, Joe Cole, Danny Wilson, Christian Poulsen in 2010--but that's little excuse, as Nate points out, with plenty of other clubs identifying and bringing in players prior, during, and shortly after action in Poland and the Ukraine ended.
However, combining the statements from Brendan Rodgers earlier and the fact that it's really only July 5th, I'm still not buying that there's any reason for alarm or panic. That's not what Nate's recommending (or at least I don't think it is), but it's an easy jump from recognizing that Liverpool's had some sort of business wrapped up by this point in 7 of the last 8 years. We don't and probably won't know what targets have or will be identified, and all that's really left to do is wait in hopes that something's happening.
Or, you know, just panic.
** Finally, something we've done over the past few years and would like to continue this summer is the guest posting series. I think some of it got lost in the shuffle and transition over to our new home, and with the presence of FanPosts and FanShots it might seem a little unnecessary, but we've really enjoyed having folks submit their own original content to run on the main page during the last year and a half.
If you're interested in submitting an original post that you'd like featured on the front page just sent us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or drop a line in the comment section and we can pluck your email address from there. And certainly feel free to use the FanPosts for anything long(ish) you'd like to run--that's why it's there, and we'd love for that part of the site to grow. Plus, if you've got something during these lean times, we're happy to have it.
That about wraps it up for now, but we'll make sure we're around later for anything noteworthy.