So after only a few weeks into the job Damien Comolli has broken his silence by saying that we are under no pressure to buy anyone in the January window.
“If it can be done in January, great,” he said. “If it can’t because we feel it is the wrong market or players are overpriced, then we will wait.”
The January transfer window has consistently offered slim pickings. Unless we are to start our stated policy of investing in youth by picking up a few “ones for the future” I see it being a barren period regardless of what Comolli says. No top club or player, is likely to entertain a move especially if they are still involved in a European competition. Despite that Comomi has said
“We will do what is right for the long term. What is right for the long term can be something we do in January. We have a pretty good idea of what we would like to do and we have identified targets.”
One person who may be part of these plans, if only to raise the necessary cash so we can buy new players, is Glen Johnson who has found himself on the wrong end of HRH’s tongue.
‘But he would have to be playing like an England right back for that to happen, and up to now this season, to be quite frank, he has not performed at the level you would expect. Not very often, anyway.”
Johnson’s response, via his “team”, was to label HRH’s tactics “boring”. We get this quote from “a source”
“Things have moved rapidly downhill for Glen since Roy arrived. He finds the style of football boring and the way he was criticised by the manager in public was uncalled for. He was made to train too soon with a groin injury and it’s kept him out for longer than it should have done.”
I think one has to be sceptical when you see “a source” quoted however, HRH’s quote certainly suggests there is some friction? Was HRH right to go public and criticise Johnson and was the player right to respond in the way he did? I guess if we look at the “Liverpool Way” of doing things, which is to sort out differences such as this behind closed doors, then the answer is “no” on both accounts. Nonetheless this does inadvertently highlight two problems with the team at present, namely Johnson’s bad form and HRH’s negative tactics.
Both have been commented on before in this blog. HRH should have more confidence in the ability of his players to take the game to teams and attack more. However the manager is right in stating the Johnson is underperforming. I would take issue with the quote stating that things have gone downhill for Johnson since Hodgson joined Liverpool as he also played poorly under Rafa. This has lead to speculation that he might go in January. HRH has even been linked with a replacement most recently Rod Fanni of Rennes even though Martin Kelly looks a more than adequate replacement?
Although no one seems to keen to give it a go, perhaps Johnson’s last chance to make a go of things at Liverpool would be a birth in right midfield? Hopefully this would make good use of his inclination to bomb forward? I hope he won’t find this too “boring”. I can’t help thinking that this is an unfortunate choice of phrase given the nature of his work compared (I suspect) to that done by the majority of fans who pay good money to watch him. Surely Johnson as a professional should fit in to whatever system he is required to play in for the sake of the team? I’ve no doubt that Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard were less than enamored with having to play right back or wide midfield in the past? Moreover it’s not as if Johnson is being played out of the position he is best known for?
I would normally say that I hope Johnson and HRH make it up and he regains his form but we need a strong, disciplined defence and one where players are interested in playing in rather than wondering off men or up the wing because they find it dull. With younger, hungrier players eager to take Johnson’s place perhaps he is of more value in the long term via the funds he might raise if we allowed him to go and play at being Roberto Carlos or Ashley Cole somewhere else?