On Friday night I watched Liverpool Under 23’s play away at Swansea at the Welsh clubs academy. It was pouring with rain and the pitch looked a bit like it was set on a school playing field. The Liverpool side was something of an assortment of players who’d been on loan last season but had returned but will probably be back on loan soon – either that or they will find a new club before the Transfer window is slammed shut. Other had been upgraded from the Under 18’s and can be listed as ‘prospects’ – at least for now. There was also Danny Ings. Ings was returning after another long layoff and this was his first bit of action since last November.
Contrast the Ings situation with what else went on Around The Fields of Anfield Road on Friday. It was the eve of the new season and we all knew about the Barça bids for Coutinho and the players desire to go to Cataluña. The club had said no deal regardless but then Coutinho who was reported as being unfit for duty because of a bad back announced to the world he wanted a transfer and emailed the club requesting one. Meanwhile his family [allegedly] said Liverpool don’t let players go amicably and cited Luis Suárez and Steven Gerrard. It was all well and good them telling us how Coutinho loved the fans and the club but handing in – or emailing – a transfer request of the eve of the season smacked of someone who couldn’t give a toss about the fans or the club.
There can be no doubt as soon as the Neymar business began Coutinho would be earmarked by Barça as one possible replacement. Players don’t have loyalty in great abundance these days although there may be a few still dotted around. Neymar wasn’t considering the Barça position when he made it clear he was off and Coutinho isn’t in the slightest way bothered about what happens next at Liverpool if, and more likely when, he goes. If this had occurred in May or June, our club could have got someone lined up but twenty four hours before the opening game and a crucial early season period coming up hasn’t left the club with many options but to try and stall things. He’s not only upset the fans, he’s disrupted the club and possibly even the dressing room although his teammates usually know what’s going on anyway, maybe even before the club.
Jürgen has surely got enough on his plate trying to sort out the messed up defensive situations that should have been sorted a long time ago without having to think about who’s left in the market place to replace Coutinho? As for the player if he does have any feelings for the club and the fans he would at least give us another year but I suppose his bank balance would be better if he went to Spain. Barcelona’s always going to be a Champions League club but are they moving forward at the moment or slipping a bit further behind Real Madrid? If they see Coutinho as the player who can get them going again then we know how much they got for Neymar so maybe we should be asking for nearly all their money from that deal for his replacement? For Liverpool to find a suitable replacement at short notice won’t be cheap either.
Mind you, the club spent a good deal of time on Thursday telling us we’ve now got a shirt sleeve sponsor so goody goody.
Meanwhile after suffering the torment of another defensive nightmare I thought back to Danny Ings on Friday and what a contrast in attitudes.
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