Liverpool ultimatum needed to be said

Liverpool vice-captain Jamie Carragher has issued an ultimatum to his unsettled team mates to commit to the Anfield outfits cause, or don’t bother coming back for pre-season.

The Reds suffered their worst season during Rafael Benitez’s tenure finishing in seventh place and their deplorable performance has led to speculation in the press that there could be a mass exodus from the club this summer.

But Carragher has warned Liverpool’s want away stars that the club only wants its most committed individuals.

The English defender, who has recently come out of international retirement said:

“As soon as the game at Hull finished I wished the start of next season was the next day. The best thing is to forget it and get on with it. I know what it’s like on the back of a poor season and just want us to get back.

“The people who want to be there will come back. If people don’t, then no problem. There will always be a Liverpool Football Club. People always talk about players leaving, about ‘Is this the end of Liverpool?’ but no chance.

“Better players than the ones we have now have left and we have replaced them. Anyone who doesn’t want to be there, no problem, but we’ll start next season with the players who want to do well.”

You sort of get the feeling that words like Carragher’s needed to be said, but it’s a pity it has been left to the vice-captain to speak out when the club management really should be taken charge of the club’s situation.

It is thought that the centre-half was having a slight dig to the likes of Javier Mascherano, who has expressed an interest in joining La Liga champions Barcelona’s star-studded XI. But even more of a worry could be the future of club captain Steven Gerrard and Spanish hitman Fernando Torres.

The Anfield faithful will hope that the rumours will not reign true and all the commotion is merely a case of the press kicking them when they are down, as they do. However, with continuing ownership problems it is thought that Liverpool may have to sell a star like Gerrard (linked with Real Madrid) or Torres (linked with Barcelona, Man City and Chelsea) to rebuild a squad which is in need of work, but unlikely to gain much investment from the much abhorred American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett.

Things seem a little bleak on Merseyside at the moment as failure to clinch Champions League football could hit the club the club hard as they are already suffering debt issues, with the ownership saga looking to run on and on.

Reds fans will hope that they manage to keep hold of their best players as an exodus could lead them to fall behind Tottenham, who have Champions League football (pending qualification) to help them attract players and strengthen further. Also, big spenders Manchester City are reportedly going to back Roberto Mancini with anything up to £150 million in order to turn the Citizens into a club capable of mounting a serious title challenge.

Personally, I cannot see a player like Torres lining up for Manchester City and I doubt Chelsea will pay an astronomical sum for him (at least I hope not). That would leave Barcelona as the only viable option and after already landing David Villa have made Arsenal’s Cesc Fabregas their number one target, which leaves a move for Torres highly doubtful.

As for Steven Gerrard, who knows? He’s going to turn 30 in the next ten days and if he fancies one last challenge many would argue that now would be the right time to leave (we all know that Real Madrid do not mind spending ‘silly money’ on their players)…we can only speculate, I guess.

It is not all doom and gloom for Liverpool though. The Premier League club still boasts both talented and committed players like Carragher and Jose ‘Pepe’ Reina. Fans will also find comfort in the fact that Rafael Benitez wishes to stay at the club despite countless stories linking him to Juventus in recent months.

To follow me on Twitter click here – ajwilliams1987