Transfer window a real pain for suffering Reds

SO the transfer window slams down on our fingers again, and who were they reaching towards?

Carlton Cole.

Carl-ton. Cole. Few of us awoke next day singing ‘O what a beautiful morning’.

What is going our way right now? Not much if we’re kicking up a fuss about Heskey-lite chaff.

Strange thing is we’d also have been moaning if we got him but a bare cupboard triggered the Asset Strip alarm.

A decent transfer budget for Rafa’s successor was hinted at on a couple of occasions. Nothing promised of course, these things never are, but enough for some to cling to a drowning man’s straw of hope.

Honestly, what were you thinking? We have massive debt repayments thanks to the biggest liars on earth and the Champions League won’t help us pay them, the cads.

Outrage seemed a waste of energy. If RBS do not rip the club from the carpetbaggers’ grasp next month that will be the moment to stiffen the sinews and stock up on lighter fluid.

Problem is that some departures were justifiable cost-cutting, merely common sense. There were too many players here, blocking the corridors and impeding the progress of others.

Not even the shriekiest of soothsayers complained about Plessis or El Zhar leaving (the oldest teenagers in town), but they still hyper-inflated the talents of Aquilani and Dalla Valle in order to stoke fires and sharpen pitchforks.

A small but voluble section often points a finger at Hodgson as a collaborator; mostly Rafa diehards with nothing but contempt for anyone who’d have the audacity to accept His job.

He even got blamed for Mascherano’s crudely selfish exit strategy! Some, a dwindling minority certainly, have lost all rationale where the Inter manager is concerned.

Those living in the now aren’t exactly thrilled either of course. We must sound like we’re resigned to an ugly fate. In moments of crisis I remember (rationalise?) how lucky we are to support Liverpool.

Some of you chose to follow us, back home our choice was usually made by our fathers.

I was six months old when Shankly arrived. In the darker times – we came eighth once – we will always count the cups, the Moments and our blessings.

In 51 years there’s only three things I’d change; Heysel, Hillsborough and the Americans. Everything else has been a stroll in the park.

Many are waiting for us to hit rock bottom, and then it all depends whether we bounce upwards or splatter. Five decades of privilege can never be erased whatever happens.

One can hope that eventually everyone will come to the conclusion that we can’t buy our way back to the top, and how we did it under Shankly and Paisley remains the blueprint.

Others need more convincing. Even when Huang was blustering, with little to back it up, you could still read some fans’ extravagant shopping lists and wistful yearning for the billions the Chinese government would throw at us, Samaritans that they are.

Our last two managers started throwing mud at the wall when the chequebook was dusted off; in their earlier days when they were comparatively restricted they at least displayed some of the necessary ingenuity.

People see our plight and resort to cliché. What would Shanks have said, they pine. In the week of his birth it was hardly coincidental that Anfield paid tribute to a player he’d have admired greatly.

Not since Keegan has a Liverpool man wrung every last drop of opportunity out of his talent to see things and go places he could barely have dreamed of as a Bootle schoolboy.

Had Butch and Sundance, or Huang, lived up to their hype Jamie Carragher and indeed Steven Gerrard might have become the last players to emerge from the old Liverpool Way; footballers attained cheaply or for free, raw talent nurtured and coached to Olympian levels of achievement. Like Owen, Fowler and McManaman it’s not their fault that others more expensively acquired did not match their stellar standards.

Now ‘thanks’ to the unscrupulous connivance of men who didn’t know we existed until they caught a whiff of fool’s gold, we have little choice but to return to the old days and ways.

In the future our surroundings may not emulate the opulence elsewhere, but at least the air will be cleaner.


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