The former Liverpool captain believes that an ultimatum from Gerrard and Torres would turn up the heat on American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett and force them to back Rafael Benitez with a big transfer budget in the summer. Thompson said:
“He and Stevie Gerrard should be saying ‘If you’re not going to invest, why would we want to remain here? They need to give them some ultimatums.”
Before everyone moves to crucify Thommo, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. Thompson’s intentions are well meaning, he is thinking with his heart if not his head. He obviously wants to help improve the team and believes that an ultimatum from their key players will help Liverpool in the long run. The Liverpool squad has looked bare at times this season, especially due to injuries to the likes of Gerrard, Torres and Aquilani that have constantly disrupted Liverpool’s progress this season, and investment is definitely needed to help the club reach the heights of last season’s second place finish.
While I can admire Thommo’s intentions, the idea of Torres and Gerrard giving Liverpool an ultimatum is a disastrous idea. Gerrard and Torres are the two best players at the club and the spine of the team. To demonstrate their importance to the team: the pair have scored nearly half of the team’s 50 goals in the Premiership this season, with 22 goals (Torres has 16, Gerrard has 6). If Gerrard and Torres took Thompson’s advice and followed through on their ultimatum’s and left the club, then where would Liverpool be then? The pair are irreplaceable for the club and even if they got, say £100 million for Gerrard and Torres combined, who could they bring in that would be better than those two?
The timing of Thompson’s remarks are not great either. Liverpool are locked in a battle for fourth place at the moment, four points behind fourth-place Spurs who also have a game in hand. Liverpool don’t need their best players distracted and thinking of leaving the club, they need them to be focused on securing that final Champions League spot.
Another reason the ultimatum’s may not succeed is the Hicks and Gillett factor. The American’s plainly have no love for the club and are only interested in making money. Who is to say that the American’s would not refuse the ultimatum’s from Torres and Gerrard and sell the pair just to balance the books? Also, there is no concrete evidence that Rafa Benitez will still be in charge at Anfield next season, so they may not have to up the transfer budget to appease the Spaniard.
Liverpool clearly need Torres and Gerrard to stay at the club if they want any hope of winning any silverware in the future. Therefore, even though Thompson’s comments are well-meaning, it is the last thing Liverpool need at the moment, to effectively have their best players going on strike. What do you think – if Gerrard and Torres give the American owners an ultimatum, will it work or will it just make things worse?
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