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Rodgers Optimistic About Player Recruitment

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Having received "assurances" from his paymasters that funds will be available to him in the summer, Brendan Rodgers is upbeat about improving the first team squad.

Chris Brunskill

When I was a kid, most of the folks around me seemed to be wealthier and possessed of 'stuff' that I coveted - Puma Kings, a Head tennis racket or even one of those clunky old Sony Walkman tape-players. Now, don't get me wrong; on my day, I could hit screamers in my busted-up old Gola boots and execute delicate dropshots with my flimsy Sportron racket. I even learned to be a decent singer too, in the absence of tunes in my ears. But one tires of making-do.

There was however, one area of my life where I didn't have to settle for second best. Liverpool Football Club were the greatest in Europe. If a striker was required, a striker was bought. Lost Kevin Keegan? OK, here's British transfer record Kenny Dalglish. No more Ian Rush? OK, have a bit of John Barnes, John Aldridge and British transfer record Peter Beardsley. See the pattern? Even vicarious experience of affluence was fine by me.

Sadly, with the changing times came a change in status for Liverpool Football Club. As we embark on this latest voyage with Brendan Rodgers at the helm, our craft is less luxury yacht and more trawler. Sheikhs and oligarchs have changed the game and Liverpool Football Club is playing catch-up, albeit in an apparently sensible fashion.

Cynics have found plenty to moan about when they've examined FSG's tenure thus far but it is needlessly negative and plain wrong to disparage John Henry, Tom Werner et al out of hand. The arguments about the true amounts spent when revenue and expenditure are balanced, is a fraught one, discussed by erudite types on these very pages. Suffice it to say that money has been spent and plenty of it.

To draw on the earlier imagery, Liverpool may be donning comparatively battered boots, but they are showing signs of contradicting Polonius' observation that "the apparel oft proclaims the man." Irrespective of what the Tottenham game brings, there are reasons to be hopeful about Liverpool under the current ownership and their chosen steward, Rodgers.

Speaking recently, the Liverpool manager asserted his faith in FSG and insisted that recently published figures outlining the club's debt, "won't change anything," as far as squad development is concerned. "If you look at where the club was at four years ago and where it is now, it's in a different place," he said.

"You have to give massive credit to the board here, " Rodgers claimed. "FSG took on an astronomical amount of debt, over four hundred million pounds. Where it's at now, given the short time they've been here, is a huge credit to them and they're still supporting investment in the team."

More encouragingly still, the Northern Irishman reassured supporters that FSG had "made every promise and every commitment to [him] that every single penny that they have will go in to regenerate the squad and make it better." If that last comment has a familiar Rodgersian hyperbolic ring to it, then at least the rest of his observations were more restrained.

Liverpool will not, he warns be able to "do it like some clubs and throw out masses each year." Instead, it would appear, the progress at Anfield will be measured and incremental as they look to "grow the club and bring in quality players."

If we dwell for a moment in the world of realism, a realm often unexplored by the football fan, these ideas of gradual but inexorable improvement are eminently sensible. We must live according to our means and work harder than our rivals in order to stay level with them. This is not the worst of fates, but to survive the period of transition, it would appear we must learn to delight in our own modest gifts and cease casting envious glances at the more ostentatious possessions of our neighbours.