Xabi and Crouch maneuvering, stadium watch, and Riise “shopped”!

You win some you lose some. A metaphor for life just as it is for football teams, unless you are Germany, and certainly the last few days or so at Anfield.

On the “positive” side it seems that we might be step closer to getting the asking fee for Xabi Alonso. Juventus’ initial offer was short of the £15-£16m we want however the Italian’s top men are meeting with a view to increasing the anti. Perhaps Alonso’s excellent tournament cameo against Greece in Euro 2008 convinced them about the extra money although it probably won’t be enough to get him a place in the side to face Russia tonight? As it is Xabi is rightly concentrating on the semi but still found time shift his stance significantly and briefly talk about what now seems a certain move.

“I spent four fantastic years at Liverpool, but I have to admit that I have always been fascinated by Italian football.. Juve are one of the biggest teams in Europe, perhaps the biggest in Italy. They have very many fans not only in Italy but all over the world. In short: a great club.”

For every silver lining there is a cloud and “an Alonso” (£15m) is the price we asking for Peter Crouch. Sadly however, that is the price that Portsmouth are getting sniffy about. It has been suggested that they have offered around £9m so quiet a bit of daylight between our valuations?

Said Harry Redknapp.

“I’d love to bring Crouchie back here. …But the fee seems a bit too high, and at the end of the day it comes down to the price”

Is Peter Crouch at £15m worth the same as Xabi Alonso? Perhaps I’m being simplistic but I certainly don’t think so and Gareth Barry certainly isn’t worth more than Alonso. However, as strikers go is Crouch at £9m the right price in the light of the £16.5m Spurs paid for Darren Bent last season? Is Crouch at £9m worth a third of Torres’s fee. Try to make sense of that because I can’t.

I guess it is simply a question of supply and demand. We want to let Crouch and Alonso go where as Villa want to keep Barry. There is also the issue of how far into a contract the player is, for example Crouch has only a year left before he can go for free. Every man and every club has his price but at what stage do we have ours ie. where we step back and say “no this is silly, you’re taking the pi** on that one and we are taking the p*ss on this one”?

More “positive” news it seems that initial work will begin on the stadium. However The Echo says that no spade will hit turf until September, it’s all preparation stuff until then. It is interesting, not to mention ironic, that work should start in a week where we learn that the credit crunch, and the associated difficulties in securing finance, might actually force the Star Spangled Duo to put up £100m of their own money. An scenario from which we might learn just how committed they are to the club. No doubt DIC will be watching closely?

Back to the “negative” and proof, if ever it were needed, that there’s no room for sentiment in football. Spotted in the club shop on Monday John Arne Riise photos reduced from £3 to 75p and posters of the same player down from £5 to £1-25. It’s a cruel, cruel world now, where’s that Harry Kewell stock?

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