Transfer Window Emptiness

Jim White Sky Sports

Jim White Sky Sports

An article published by me on http://www.thisisanfield.com

As the players jet off to far foreign lands and the manager takes his phone to the beach, the thoughts of Reds everywhere turns to squad improvements.

I fall into a state of emptiness when the season ends. I miss the roller coaster of emotions that accompanies a season watching the Mighty Reds.The frustration and fury, the anger and despair only makes those highs all the more euphoric. The despair we felt after each defeat last season only served to heighten the ecstasy that accompanied the wins over Arsenal, United, City and Everton. That’s the life of a supporter.

So when it’s over, where do I turn? In many ways the transfer window is like methadone to the smack of a football season for me. There are no games to go to, but I get to surf on the same waves of emotion. The premier League is over , and now we enter the season of the ‘in the know,’ both the real and the fake kind.

Some of these ‘club insiders’ have better reputations that others. They even sometimes develop cult followings. Often they rely on a scatter gun approach. Their occasional hits get magnified. The misses are quickly forgotten. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

By the way if you’re an ‘in the know’ reading this, I am obviously not talking about you. You’re the real article pal. It’s the others I am getting at, honest. Besides, I suppose it’s more of an art than a science.

To be fair to the club, they have at least attempted to take the art out of our transfer dealings and, we they tell us introduced a more scientific method. We now have a transfer committee overseeing our dealings in the window. The committee is every bit as shadowy as the ‘in the know’ cyber warriors who entertain us in the ‘twitterverse,’ and sadly it’s success rate isn’t much better.

A number of reputable sources in the print press ran stories this week, claiming anything from 12 – 15  players could leave this summer. It’s easy to guess their names, and actually most of us would agree with the clubs decision to offload them.

Squad development will always be an evolutionary process unless you have the kind of money only a Sheikh would dream about. Therefore it’s natural to see the likes of Johnson, Agger, Reina, Enrique and Lucas mentioned as potential outgoings. They were all bought by different managers, with different ideas and philosophies. They are also older players on big wages.

Equally, there’s no real shock to hear that the likes of Kelly, Coady and Robinson are for sale. All are decent players who have promised much. It’s sad for them that injury or superior competition has blocked their way to the first team, but that’s football.

For me it’s the other names on the list that cause most concern. The ones brought in on the committees watch. I am talking about Alberto, Aspas, Assaidi, Toure, Moses and Cissokho. Each of these will in all likelyhood be sold or return to their parent clubs having made little or no impact on last season.

It’s amazing to think that we could have actually offloaded all of them in January, and it probably wouldn’t have affected the season outcome one bit. That’s obviously credit to the boss and the first eleven. The committee however, can take little credit.

You would imagine that Rodgers will have asked to have a much louder voice on the committee, during his recent contract negotiations. If we are to kick on, you feel something has to change.

I admit I am being a little unfair here. The club have been shopping in discount, rather than boutique stores lately. Even when they did go after higher quality signings, they found themselves frustrated by competitors who were prepared to pay more. Even where money wasn’t the issue, our absence from Europe’s elite was.

So with the clubs coffers swelled after the most successful season in decades, and its appeal boosted by Champions league football; it will be very interesting to see how the committee performs this time out. They will need to significantly up their game if Brendan and the boys are to make that one small leap for Red kind.

After the frustration and despair of the last two windows, surely we deserve a few highs, and perhaps just a little ecstasy.

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