Argh, so yesterday the window of opportunity for Liverpool FC remained firmly shut. No last minute surprise bids for anyone on a day that, for all their spin and bluster, summed up our American friend’s tenure at L4 so far, nothing much doing!
No doubt Hicks and Gillett will point to money spent on players such as Johnson and Aquilani this season however detractors will point the income received from the likes of the Champions League, TV and sales of Alonso, Keane and assorted defenders. I guess these criticisms are only valid if Rafa actually wanted to strengthen the squad by say buying a new striker and was told there was no money in the pot. If he was content with his lot this season then fine but would anyone take bets on this being the case?
To be fair to Hicks and Gillett, and believe you me it’s hard to be so after everything that’s happened, Liverpool are not the only club out of the top four who have effectively reigned themselves in this summer. However this is not an excuse the real issue is our spending power and not that of other clubs. The owners will also point to a record of funds being continually made available to Rafa since they took over. However, does this constitute in real terms, the sustained investment in the team they promised or simply transferring income to purchases that would have generated by the club anyway?
The only activity we saw yesterday was the farming out of Charles Itandje, on loan to Kavala FC of Greece until next summer. Even if you ignore Itange’s ill judged behaviour at the Hillsborough Memorial Service last April I suspect the signing, and relative success, of Diego Cavalieri meant his chances would be few, my only surprise is that he’s gone on loan?
Finally Rafa, along with Sammy Lee, has been charged with improper conduct by the Football Association after opening day game at Spurs. Lee’s charge relates to his spat with “Ref Club Junior” member Stuart Attwell. Rafa’s relates to his comments on referee Phil Dowd’s decisions not to give us two penalties, about which he said…
“It was so clear. The third one you can discuss whether the ball was to the hand or the hand to the ball. The other one was so clear it was unbelievable. But with this referee, it is impossible to get two penalties away from home. We had a meeting the other day where they said we could not talk about the referee as a person. I think everybody today could see the situation”
Although he has a real point I doubt Rafa will have endeared himself to the “there he goes, moaning again…” brigade. So hats off to him for introducing an intriguing development to his repertoire, the use of props. Said the Daily Mirror at the time….
“When he was asked to assess Dowd’s performance, the Spaniard slowly took his glasses out of his case in the post-match press conference and waved them in the air”
Fantastic, you missed that one Fergie, perhaps he will expand on this next time and use a ventriloquist’s doll? Knowing the FA they’d fall for it and charge the doll with improper conduct!
Clearly the FA feels that both Dowd’s decisions were correct which, when you look at them, isn’t the case with at least one, if not both. Nonetheless Rafa has been bought to book for having to temerity to express what was the bleeding obvious to everyone except it seems the FA and Phil Dowd who, as far as I can see, has escaped censure. Referres are human,they make mistakes and managers are to that is why they react in the way they do. Perhaps there should be occasions when, rather than apply the rules blindly with no exceptions, the FA should take some time to weigh up the situation, look at the actual decision(s) and decide that to do nothing is the best policy?