The departure of Damien Comolli as Liverpool FC’s Director of Football seems to have taken everyone by surprise.
Perhaps it was the preoccupation with Saturday’s semi final or the thought that any repercussions for this season’s bad form would be seen in the close season? However, Fenway perhaps conscious that Comolli’s departure isn’t going to disrupt the team and what little we have left of our season, have acted quickly, decisively and, I guess this is a warning to others, ruthlessly.
Above all the whole episode sets a number of hares running even though at this early stage we can only speculate as to what Fenway’s agenda is in the short and the long term one thing that they have over their predecessors is that they are not given to rash outbursts of boneheaded verboseness so one can only guess at what they are thinking!
The first issue I guess is Fenway’s interpretation of what constitutes success? Let’s suppose we did the win the FA Cup to add alongside the Carling Cup. In many fan’s books winning two out of the three trophies we could go for that would constitute a good season However, clearly Fenway weren’t prepared to wait and see if we won the Cup before acting over Comolli which suggests Champions League qualification is the minimum requirement? Axing Comolli sends out that message?
It is sad when gaining silverware (be it one or two bits), our first since 2006 is regarded as grounds for such actions however, Fenway are also in a business would want to see a return on their outlay. The revenue from domestic cup success does not provide that. For them it’s been a harsh lesson. You cannot readily buy success in the Premiership in short space of time and with the money that’s been spent so far. If they thought Comolli could get them more “value for money” over quicker period then they were wrong. Moreover investment needs to be more sustained and more patience is required. Welcome to English football gentlemen!
So can Comolli and only Comolli be blamed for Liverpool’s performance this season? Clearly not there is a collective responsibility. Comolli didn’t recommend or sign the players and put them in the squad without Kenny’s say so. Presumably Fenway had the sanctioned the purchases and put up the money? In fairness Dalglish has accepted some responsibility for the signings
“He has been really helpful in every transfer target that we’ve gone for. Everyone who has come into the club since Damien has been here was of my choice.”
The players should also be blamed. Some, you all know who they are, have not lived up to previous form. It takes time to settle but nine months and still counting? Perhaps I am naive and don’t understand the role of Director of Football but suggesting that we should sign Andy Carroll, Charlie Adam or Stuart Downing doesn’t really sound innovative to me. I was hoping he would be able to unearth some golden nugget that no one had heard of not someone that anyone and everyone can readily see perform week in week out on the telly! And there’s the rub, all those players out there and we sign who we’ve signed, it is an understatement to say that we could have got more “bang for our buck”. If the answer ris yes, and I believe it is, I guess a head would eventually roll?
In Comolli’s defence he was quick to clear out the deadwood last summer and to sign players, under Ian Parry we seemed to take ages to and, as a result, often let them slip from our grasp.
So has Comolli taken the rap, even a bullet, for Kenny? Perhaps getting rid of Comolli was the easiest option for Fenway to fire warning shot across the bows. I’ve not doubt Kenny and the squad are under no illusion about what is required of them from now on? If they don’t deliver then presumably they can expect change how quickly depends on how patient Fenway are prepared to be and, unlike they previous owners, how much to gain a feel for the way our football business operates?
For Kenny the popular theory is a bit more time and if goes pear shaped a move “upstairs” and bringing in another new manager, perhaps Comolli’s removal was partly clearing the decks for this? As for the players some may not have to wait that long before they learn their fate. In the meantime Fenway have been quick to back both going forward said Tom Werner
“We’ve got great confidence in Kenny. We feel the team is going to make strides in the future and he enjoys our full support.”
What a surprise. They are not stupid (are they?) and are clearly mindful of the status Kenny has at the club and amongst the fans. Only a brave person (I nearly wrote fool) would axe Kenny and Fenway are no fools. Although this is a “behind the scenes” change no one should be foolish enough to underestimate Fenway and what they may do in the future, I just hope we’ve going forward and not back over old ground, one hopes the new owners have learnt from the follies of the old ones?