So farewell Alvaro Arbeloa. It looks like he’ll be returning home to Madrid for £3.5m.
Given the circumstances I guess this represents good business for the club as we only paid £2.6m for him. With the arrival of Glen Johnson perhaps Arbeloa might have considered his chances limited? Philip Degan is also back from injury although on the basis of what’s been seen so far the jury (apologies to Steven Gerrard) is still very much out? Arbeloa was not exactly a regular anyway and guess the attraction of going home to Madrid, a club was with when he was younger, far out weighs the option of deciding to stay on and fight for his place?
Arbeloa’s time with us was a curate’s egg of an affair. Sometimes he was capable of closing players out of the game, especially in Europe, but then the next week blotting his copy book with poor positioning and marking. The frustration this occasionally caused was seen by all when he and Jamie Carragher had “words” at West Brom towards the end of last season.
Despite this perhaps we should have got more for Arbeloa? He was in the Spanish Euro Championship winning squad however, he was always second choice to Ramos and suppose we should be grateful for want we got bearing in mind, with a just a year left on his contract, he would be able to walk away “on a free” next year?
On the other side of Jamie Carragher and Agger/Srktel it appears Andrea Dossena is also close to going, to Napoli, for £5m. Dossena’s agent said
“Liverpool have accepted the offer from Aurelio De Laurentiis (Napoli’s president). Putting pen to paper is now a matter of days. The two clubs are in agreement and as soon as Napoli call us, we will seal everything.”
Dossena’s first season was less than inspiring for us but one wonders if Rafa is being too impatient in shipping him out after only a year? It’s no secret that the Italian has found it difficult to settle so perhaps he should have been given another season? Nonetheless one never knows the full circumstances so perhaps the arrangement, despite the loss (we signed him for £7m), is of mutual benefit to all parties?
Both transfers, no disrespect intended to Dossena and Arbeloa, are a footnote to the main issue this summer, which is the future of Xabi Alonso. Will the Arbeloa’s move have any bearing on this? I doubt it Real and Liverpool seem to be treating them as separate issues. Rafa now appears to have given Real Madrid a deadline to make their move, it’s three days. I seem to recall Martin O’Neill issuing a similar ultimatum regarding our bid for Gareth Barry last year. Not surprisingly it made not one jot of difference; we still continued to court him long after it had expired. I expect the same will happen with Alonso. Despite maintaining a few weeks ago that he owes Liverpool loyalty, Rafa has now switched on the charm.
“I talked to Xabi and told him, as he can see here, that the fans love him and said to him ‘Maybe you have to stay. You can see he is a really good player and I’ll be really pleased if he stays. All the players and his team-mates want him to stay. If we keep Xabi I will be very pleased”
Finally, sometimes it’s very hard to fully appreciate the future consequences of what one does and says especially when you are in the public eye. Compare and contrast these two quotes.
“It’s City isn’t it? They are a small club with a small mentality”
Sir Alex Ferguson on his “neighbours” decision to put up a billboard poster of Carlos Tevez and the words “Welcome to Manchester” following his decision to move to Eastlands.
Then there is this….
“He called them (Everton) a small club which points to his arrogance”
Sir Alex Ferguson last season on Rafa’s comments after a game Everton a few years back.
Clearly “arrogance” or calling our neighbours a “small club” is in the “mentality” of the beholder. Or is when the argument suits?