Monday, September 3, 2012

Pandemonium at Anfield; Drobga and Owen to the rescue?

If there's a university out there with a course on the basic tenets of wheeling and dealing in the transfer market, I'd recommend Liverpool sign up both its manager and owners for it.

Both Brendan Rodgers and John Henry have recently tried to downplay Liverpool's lack of success in bringing in a new striker and neither wants to pin the blame on the other.

But the fact that Liverpool are now desperately considering moves for Michael Owen or Didier Drogba can only mean that someone's pushed the panic button.

Perhaps both Rodgers and Henry are telling the truth. Perhaps Rodgers is still a little new when it comes to working the transfer window and hasn't figured out the fact that clubs like Liverpool will always be quoted a higher price than ones with less prestige and history.

Besides, a precedent was set last season under Kenny Dalglish who thought nothing wrong on spending GBP35 million on Andy Carroll or GBP20 million on Stewart Downing.

As such, perhaps Henry, after investing GBP100 million in last season, has become a little too apprehensive when it comes to spending more cash. Having seen his investments yield an eighth place finish last season, it isn't all that surprising to find the Boston Red Sox owner getting a little frugal with his cheque book.

But even with all that under consideration, just how on earth did they commit one of the biggest blunders in the footballing world. If signing Carroll for GBP35 million was ridiculous, this was far more absurd: letting Carroll go on a season-long loan to West Ham without procuring a replacement first.

I can't think of many managers or club owners who would have made such a novice mistake but these two men, somehow, saw it fit.

I can understand if Rodgers was trying to remove the deadwood in the squad. Lord-knows it's been a long time coming. But even then, his decisions have been bizzare. He has so far sold both Dirk Kuyt and Charlie Adam, two players who may not be the most consistent but are at least capable of scoring goals.

And while these two players were considered to be surplus to requirements, Downing and Jordan Henderson still remain on Liverpool's payroll.

Thus, with no back-up strikers, Rodgers may have sealed his fate. Luis Suarez may be one of the most gifted footballers in the world but as evident last season is not one of the greatest goal scorers.

Instead, the Uruguayan international plays best behind the striker but with no one there, he's once again left to his own devices (much like how Fernando Torres' last years at Liverpool were).

As evident in the defeat to Arsenal, his supposed new striking partner, Fabio Borrini, is still unconvincing in front of goal and was eventually brought off for Downing, who, if you're counting, amassed a total of zero goals last season.

And now that the panic button's been pushed, will Drogba and Owen be able to rescue the Reds and Rodgers from what could be a disastrous question?

To be honest, I'm doubtful both players would come. Owen would appear to be the likelier of the two to come to Anfield (if an agreement can be reached).

Should both players arrive, the club's confidence would receive a short boost but keeping them injury-free would pose a significant challenge to the club's medical team. If anything, they may be able to stave off the slump and get the Reds out of the danger zone until January when Rodgers and Henry can get another crack at the transfer window.

Otherwise, this story will once again end in more turmoil. Rodgers will most certainly be doomed for an early severance package while Henry will attain unpopularity levels in the same vein as George Gillette and Tom Hicks were, giving rise to yet another anti-American wave at Anfield. And we all know how that panned out for the club the last time it happened.