Liverpool's transfer policy has failed, and will continue to do so if they carry on buying overpriced, British players...
The 'mutual-consent' decision for Damian Commoli to resign has inevitably lead to strong rumours he has taken a bullet for Dalglish. One of the recurring themes of the sports pages this season has been the fact that more than £80 million on Carrol, Downing and Henderson seems a colossal waste of money. Along with this and the calamitous circumstances in other areas, many Liverpool fans now believe that the Americans who bought their beloved club were in fact not experienced sports owners but Larry David-esque comedians writing a new sitcom. The season so far has been such a farce that after Reina's dismissal against Newcastle I was half-expecting Charlie Sheen to stagger onto the pitch. There are numerous reasons for this disaster, but the dodgy transfer policy sticks out like Brad Jones on an FA Cup semi-final team sheet.
It does look like Commoli has taken the blame for these poor signings. Although these players have clearly not been performing on anyone's value scale, the real disaster has been the quantity of money wasted on them. In other words, Commoli bought it because he bought British. If his job was to get the men Dalglish instructed then he did his job well, yet not even the most bloated,oil-rich heir to an Arabic throne could fail to see that £80 million for these 3 is a liberty. The Liverpool owners are apparently keen on statistics, and what they have learnt here is that 90% of the time British players are vastly overpriced. Of course there are a few that can justify such a price tag, but the fact that you're looking at £10 million for an average British player shows that this is a market that is grossly inflated.
Although these players have clearly not been performing on anyone's value scale, the real disaster has been the quantity of money wasted on them. In other words, Commoli bought it because he bought British.
So why exactly are British players so expensive? Why was £20 million paid for Jordan Henderson, a player who had about 10 good games for Sunderland? What has Jack Rodwell done to earn rumours of a £20 million move to Manchester United? How has more than £50 million of British club's money changed hands for Robbie Keane?
Some suggest that British & Irish players maintain a good community spirit at a club, that buying English will give a strong backbone and tradition. That the players will catch on to the spirit of the club in a way that Tevez et al do not. This is a romantic notion that discredits the hard work that many of the foreign players do each week. Indeed, Liverpool fans have quickly gone from the excitement of having more than 2 British players to discontent over the fact they want to see more players coming from the academy. The novelty of having British players has worn off and the call to the academy seems a desperate cry in the wrong direction. The quality of foreign players tells against the British 'spirit' time and time again, and the fact that many Liverpool fans are clammering for the unlikely return of Benitez shows that foreign quality often trumps British mediocrity.
Another idea is that they won't leave after getting sick of chavs, driving on the left, hot and cold taps and shitty weather. This is a theory which quickly falls flat when you think of the fact that most British players are on the hunt for a top 4 place. Since Matt LeTissier, can you name me one top English player who has not made his way into the top 5 or 6 teams? And don't forget the wages needed to keep someone like Ashley Cole at Chelsea, or indeed that Wayne Rooney famously held Manchester United to ransom over his beer fund. The idea that English players are not mercenaries does not ring true, just look at the amount of dream clubs Robbie Keane has had and notice the way people call Ashley Cole 'Ca$hley'.
Another reason I hear is because there will be a rule-change to limited foreigners in the future. This seems unlikely to become as influential a force as people make out and seems to be a bogeyman. If you don't eat your crusts you won't have a hairy chest, if you don't be a good girl Santa won't bring you your Pokemon, if you don't buy British players you'll have to play your youth team in Europe. The EU's employment laws look unlikely to change dramatically and therefore the extent to which a ban on foreigners can work is limited. More to the point, what use is there in having a team eligible to play in Europe, but isn't good enough to get into Europe?
We cannot really know if Comolli has been a scapegoat for Dalglish, but the trio of Downing, Henderson and Carrol look likely to become a defining example of how overpriced British players have become.If anyone has a valid reason for British players being so expensive, please let me know.
Alternatively, feel free to call me ignorant as Andy Carroll scores the FA Cup final winner from a Stewart Downing cross.
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