So is it Fernando Torres? Simao? Mancini? Florent Malouda? Yossi Benayoun? Diego Forlan (sigh)?
It’s not even July 1st and there’s a virtual uproar because Liverpool hasn’t made any big moves in the market. And it's bothering me. I'd love it if Liverpool had signed their main targets, and if we had new players to gossip about and figure out potential lineups for next season, but I'd love it even more if expectations were slightly lowered, and everyone was content waiting for the signings to occur rather than speculating over reasons as to why they haven't happened yet.
Manchester United’s three big-name signings, coupled with the disappointment of the Champions League Final and Benitez’ post-match comments, as well as increased hopes (and hopes of increased funds) with the new ownership, haven’t helped matters in the slightest.
As for United’s signings: these were players everyone knew United was trailing. They had to pay way over the odds to get them, especially this early in the off-season. With Quieroz as manager-in-waiting, the two Portuguese starlets were always going to United. And they had the money, after only buying Carrick last season and the increased revenue from both the Premiership title and a longer run in the Champions League than usual. It’s a completely different situation than that of Liverpool.
People want big names and now. It’s understandable, and I easily fall into the trap as well, but it really isn’t feasible. Other than United's signings, there haven't been any big names changing clubs throughout England and Europe. Discounting all the talk of rifts and lack of funds, which honestly I don’t believe, I still don’t know if Liverpool will spend the money people hope for. But either way, it’s not fair to expect any signings to happen this quickly.
Take last summer for an example. Admittedly, the situation was different; I know Liverpool needed to sell in order to buy, and Moores had to take out a loan for Kuyt’s transfer to go through. But none of the business was done this early in the close season, unless you’re counting Mark Gonzalez’ transfer, which had been agreed long in advance. And to head off any criticism in this regard, I don’t think Parry’s the one to blame. It really may well be business as usual.
All of this is an excellent example of why I even hesitate to link to or consider transfer gossip. Why I rarely write about it, and why I don’t fancy throwing up scads of links to new paper talk every day. Who knows what’s made up, what’s really going on, etc, etc, and it leads to reactions amongst the fans like over the past couple of weeks. It’s fun to entertain and discuss possible transfers, but when it stirs up emotions like these around the club, it’s more unhelpful than anything else.
I’m not going to decry the 24-hour news cycle or the media’s obsession with the inner workings of sport, because I enjoy many aspects of this. However, this isn’t one of those aspects, and it truly does make me yearn for the days when we’d learn about a new signing or potential signing when he was paraded around Anfield after a press conference.
Again, it’s depressing to end a post similarly to last week’s “please, patience’ post, but I can’t come to any other conclusion. Please. Patience. Signings will happen, and in a couple of months, all of this will be forgotten. I do still imagine Liverpool will sign a few new players, and I think we’ll be pleased with the results. But until then (and admittedly, this is my own fault for following Liverpool and the resulting internet/media gossip), my biggest hope is that tempers will remain on an even keel.
August cannot get here soon enough.