Never assume anything.
We should have never assumed that we were going to beat Wimbledon in the 1988 FA Cup Final. We should have never assumed that we were done for at half time in Istanbul and we should never assume that this summer it’s just a case of adding to and improving our squad rather trying to stop key players leaving?
To be honest it never seriously crossed my mind that there is a possibility that some of our key players might go on to what some would consider to be bigger and better things. However, if reports are true Javier Mascherano could fall into this category. Barcelona are the club.
Once more the villain of the peace appears to be the dreaded agent, Mas’s is called Walter Tamer. Walter Tamer! sounds like he should wearing a cardigan, mowing his lawn, playing bowls and painting his back gate rather wheeling and dealing at the sharp end of football. The fact that we have only just signed Mas and set him up with a contract seems to have escaped Mr Tamer’s memory, but this clearly isn’t down to old age.
“It is an honour for Javier that a club like Barca pay such close attention to him. He would have a very easy job there. Sometimes we talk and joke that the only thing he has to do is run, rob the ball and pass it on to all the superstars in front of him.”
Is this serious talk? Time will tell but is it a testament to how Mascherano is regarded at the club that Rafa was extremely quick to issue a “hands off” warning. He even saw fit to cut short his family holiday to do so.
“Mascherano has no price Barcelona could not afford to match his value to Liverpool Football Club. We do no want to sell and Javier is very happy here. I have spoken to Javier two or three times this summer – the last time was only last week – and he was very happy, very positive.”
Before going back to his family and his bucket and spade he also addressed Tamer’s comments.
“Walter told me that two clubs with big, big names were asking after Mascherano – and I told him to forget it, that Javier was happy in Liverpool and he was not for sale. So I was surprised to see the agent’s comments today. He has a long contract and any club can forget about bidding for him. They can offer $40m or even $50m, we don’t want to sell.”
As for Mascherano it goes without saying that we would feel his loss dreadfully. There may be arguments that if we were to get £50m plus for him we could use the money towards two world class players however it looks like Rafa, rightly in my opinion, is not tempted to go down this route. To my mind Mascherano is up there with Gerrard and Torres in terms of his importance to the team. He is one, if not the, best in the world at what he does and despite Mr Tamer’s assertion there is more to it than just robbing the ball and feeding it to superstars!
If we add to this the possible departure of Xabi Alonso and all of sudden conceivably, and looking on the dark side, we could severely wakened in on of the key areas of the side. There is no way Rafa would let both go he would need to get replacements as Lucas, bless him, would be not able to fill in on a permnament basis replacement – for either!
Perhaps news about our debts have prompted this interest in our top players? However, debts do not necessarily mean we are a selling club. We are far from insolvent and are generating enough income to service them. News suggesting that the Star Spangled Duo will successful refinance their loan might perhaps put a stop to clubs like Barcelona and agents trying it on!
Still with you can’t get too angry with Mascherano’s agent, not with a name like Walter!