Liverpool’s movement and dealings in the transfer market and a repeat performance in January, with both still harbouring very real hopes of a top four finish at the moment, must not be allowed to happen again.

With each manager enjoying their first season in their respective jobs, it’s interesting that both felt they didn’t quite have the stock to stand up to Daniel Levy and John W. Henry, as you’d have thought that  head coach never wields so much power and currency as when they’ve first been brought to the club.

The job on both of their hands is a similar one – negotiate the club through a period of relative instability and restore them on a consistent basis to the higher echelons of the top flight, with securing the Holy Grail that is safe passage into the Champions League group stages, with all the benefits it brings such as wealth, power and status the main aim.

Nevertheless, that didn’t stop Levy taking control of negotiations during the summer and while many, rather strangely considering what a safe and solid financial footing he has put the club in under his stewardship, have taken to criticising him for their lack of movement in securing preferred targets.

With the side sat in fifth in the league table at present, behind Everton in fourth on goal difference, considering the sheer pace of change at White Hart Lane over the past few months, ranging from a new manager, coaching staff, training ground, style of play and departure of several key players, coupled with the media’s near obsessive agenda to try and paint the Portuguese man at the helm as some sort of clown, they are well on course for a good season at the moment.

The main critique often levelled at Levy is that he is a businessman first and foremost and that he doesn’t listen to the needs of the fans. It happened when he club let Dimitar Berbatov leave on the final day of the transfer window to go to Manchester United in 2008 and the dithering over the Joao Moutinho deal, even after an extension had been granted, left them just hours to complete a complex move. As a result, Villas-Boas has been robbed of the natural heir to the Croatian in midfield and they remain heavily reliant on Moussa Dembele.

They lack control in the middle of the park and unfathomably seemed to prioritise tying up a deal for France international goalkeeper Hugo Lloris instead, despite the club already possessing the very serviceable Brad Friedel, which has only served to create more problems further down the line than it has solutions.

Moreover, you sense that the signing of Gylfi Sigurdsson was very much a pre-meditated move by Levy and that Villas-Boas was simply forced to give a tacit agreement to the deal upon signing on the dotted line as manager. While it’s difficult to doubt Levy’s ability to get great deal for the club, with the ‘financial partnership’ agreements involved with the Modric to Real Madrid switch sure to benefit the club financially for years to come, on top of the £33m fee, the 35-year-old boss needs to be given more of a say and more control over player recruitment and Levy needs to sanction early deals in several ears of the side that need addressing; namely a replacement for Modric, a new centre-back, cover at full-back and perhaps even another centre-forward, with string case to be made for either Klaas-Jan Huntelaar or Fernando Llorente in January.

Switching back to Anfield, though, and the constraints placed on Rodgers are equally as frustrating but for entirely different reasons. The focus from Fenway Sports Group (FSG) and chairman Tom Werner and owner John W. Henry in particular has been to drastically reshape the club from within, with an emphasis on reducing the hefty wage bill of paramount importance.

This has seen useful fringe players such as Dirk Kuyt, Maxi Rodriguez and Craig Bellamy all leave, while Andy Carroll and Jay Spearing were farmed out on loan and Charlie Adam moved on to Stoke on deadline day. It’s fair to say that the 39-year-old has held up his end of the bargain and the situation whereby he has had to rely on a number of youngsters to pad out a threadbare squad has been foisted upon him, all while trying to engineer some sort of Europa League campaign at the same time.

The balancing act always meant that things were likely to slip through the net, though, and with Rodgers speaking about ‘operational issues’ after the travesty that was the summer transfer window for the club, he was left with just one senior forward to rely upon for six months, with managing director Ian Ayre once again proving that he’s simply not cut out for this sort of level.

Quite why Andy Carroll was allowed to leave on loan without a replacement already in the door is anyone’s guess, and FSG’s refusal to go above £3.5m for Clint Dempsey was ill-advised at best, seemingly trying to make up for the ruinous excesses of the previous 18 months with one flail swing to get themselves back into the game. Rodgers torpedoed any move for Chelsea forward Daniel Sturridge due to a reluctance to part ways with £15m for a player of questionable temperament, with the player refusing a loan deal. That despite all of this, the club sit just four points outside of the top four is somewhat impressive, even if they sit as low as 10th in the table.

Neither club can claim with any sort of certainty that they have a top four place all but sown up at this stage in the season, and negotiating a fair price for any player can often prove tricky in January, but the extent to which both managers were hindered in the summer by their owners, therefore creating the conditions by which their jobs were made much more difficult for a number of months means they are owed a debt of gratitude.

Nobody is asking for silly money to bandied about willy nilly, but sensible, long-term purchases to improve both squads in key areas where they lack depth is a necessity, and it’s time for both Levy and Henry to back the men at the helm that they have emplaced so much trust in to shepherd them through this period of transition with the sort of support that is not only required, but should be mandatory.

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  • TonyRich
    2 years ago

    Moutinho made it clear that he does not want to play for Spurs… Not Levy’s fault on that one at least. Why do you suggest that we need a new centre back…? Caulker, Vertonghen, Kaboul, Gallas, Dawson not enough…? I can only see striker to better Defoe and possibly a double sided winger to compete and back up of current pair.

    Reply
  • TonyRich
    2 years ago

    ..and maybe LB Cover

    Reply
  • Feenix
    2 years ago

    Daniel Levy is a pain in the arse when it comes to footballing matters at Spurs. Lately he has hindered the team because of his change in attitude when it comes to buying players. We have stood still with no real investment ever since Levy took control of the buying and selling of players. Since Berbatov left in 2008 we have been linked with every striker you can imagine but the real Spurs supporter always knew that there was no way Levy was going to put in proper bids. The bids he put in was just for effect to appease the fans but now the fans know Levy hates spending money and he shows very little ambition. Take the window just gone for example. Moutinho was allowed to slip through the net, a player AVB desperatley wanted but Levy let him down. Then there was Dalmiao. I think we have made ridiculous bids for this player in the last three windows…all well below the valuation. Spurs fans are now getting tired of Levy’s antics and are beginning to realize what Levy is all about. The man loves a bargain but there are very few bargains such as Van der Vaart happening yet he strives to repeat it. Now days you only get what you pay for but Levy is stuck in time and doesn’t seem to realize what a player is worth. I long for the day Levy steps down from the buying and selling of players and lets somebody else get involved otherwise we will just stand still.

    Reply
    • SP
      2 years ago

      And yet the team and, particularly, the youth set-up are thriving…go figure.
      Specifically on Moutinho: actually, the minute Porto lowered their demand from the ridiculously high buy-out clause (£34 million, I believe), Levy matched it; when they raised it again, he matched that; and then they submitted faulty paper-work. I don’t really see how that is Levy’s fault. Oh, yeah,he could have concluded deals earlier – which would have meant accepting less for Modric than he would be paying for Moutinho (quite a bit less, £7 million, I believe) – yeah, right, genius!
      Personally, I am glad he is running the club, and I am not watching a mid-table club as I have had to endure for a very long time. Rather that than the many self-appointed critics who would probably bankrupt the club within a few transfer windows if faced with the reality of running a top football club.

      Reply
      • hermy sal
        2 years ago

        but the Portuguese papers say something else.according to them spurs never did make an effort to sign moutinho. the issue of bids et al was just a story that never happenned. it was done to appease the spurs fans. source: i am a portuguese

        Reply
        • SP
          2 years ago

          I have seen plenty of papers, including Portugese ones, all of which claimed exactly the same story: Porto insisted on £34 million buy-out clause until last day of transfer window, and then said they would accept £22 million; Spurs matched the £22 million, and Porto said that due to complications around thrid party ownership it would have to be £24 million; Spurs matched the £24 million; permission was sought to extend deadline as it was so late, this was granted; Porto submitted paperwork, which was faulty.

          I posted links to these newspaper articles (big newspapers, for what that is worth), including at least one Portugese one, on a popular Spurs supporters forum.

          Even if you accept this ‘conspiracy’ that Levy didn’t ‘really’ want to buy Moutinho and invented bids that never happened, it doesn’t explain why Porto would play along with it (though I could think of a reason, in fairness), or, far more tellingly, why Porto should play along with a story that they submitted faulty paperwork – it makes them look pretty incompetent – or, most tellingly, why no-one at the FA has ever stated that they never received paperwork from Porto. What possible incentive would they have for playing along with this fabrication? And how on earth would not one journalist get hold of this and publish a damning accoung of Spurs/Porto lies, about paperwork being submitted that was faulty, if it never happened? Journalists fall over themselves to write something negative about Spurs as it is, not to mention the fact that they had a particular axe to grind with Spurs/Levy due to the dismissal of media darling Harry Redknapp, to be replaced with media figurre of hatred, AVB!

          Reply
  • Andy
    2 years ago

    Facts are facts… Mouthino did want to come and work for his former manager. Spurs agreed a deal with Porto, the trouble was the English FA. Like the trouble everybody had with Carlos Tevez, Mouthino had/has a third party involvement. Now after the fiasco with Tevez, the FA said that any player must now only have one agent and no third party interest. The FA granted an extension so that the third party could be bought out.That’s why Mouthino didn’t arrive!!!
    I do agree that Levy should of backed AVB with other purchases, however now he has seen more of what AVB can do. With this in mind I can see Levy opening the chequebook but not giving out a blank cheque.
    Spurs do need cover at left back, a player that can do as Modric did and maybe a striker that is cunning, strong and has an eye for goal.
    If AVB and Levy bring in these players then I can see that Spurs will continue to get stronger and stronger and that getting into the Champions League year on year will be fully achievable!

    Reply
  • Razspur
    2 years ago

    Cuddicini to Galaxy, Gomes to France, get in Ericson from Ajax and Moutinho from Porto, but most important and 2 years late do us all a favour and buy Fernando Llorente, now as Dick Davidson says “That’s the Real Deal”…….or it’s Europa League again next season, do the maths Dan, you know it makes sense.

    Reply