Alisson to Liverpool, a done deal. The Reds, eh? Back at it again. Last year we conquered all of Europe, told you all repeatedly that we were never going to stop. This year we’re buying all of Europe, and will more than likely stop when the Coutinho money runs out.
It’s another purchase that wouldn’t have happened on Merseyside pre-Jurgen. Sections of the London-based media who have an intolerance towards any Liverpool success or Liverpool fans enjoying themselves at all, often pose the question: “But what has Jurgen Klopp actually achieved? He’s got to 3 finals and he’s lost all 3.” These lads don’t get it, and frankly, it’s both mad and sad that the likes of Jason Cundy are still paid to speak about football on a national sports radio station when there are so many others who don’t get the chance, so many others who ‘get it’.
Over the last three years, Jurgen Klopp has united what was a divided club. He’s earned the trust of the owners, being given more money to spend than Rodgers and Dalglish could’ve ever dreamed of having.
Rodgers says Adam Bogdan will push Simon Mignolet to be the No 1
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) July 16, 2015
He’s made football more enjoyable again for Liverpool supporters, playing the most exciting football in the league and already creating dozens of wonderful memories for match-goers. He’s been involved in two European campaigns, and has reached finals in both. He’s secured back-to-back Champions League qualification with 75+ points, despite sitting in eighth upon arrival 33 months ago. He’s united the fan base, which had turned somewhat toxic by the end of Brendan Rodgers’ reign. And his record in the transfer market has been impeccable. Well, almost…
The Alisson move is another sign of both Liverpool’s and Jurgen Klopp’s intent. Liverpool are serious about winning. I’m serious about winning too, but I’d also like to see Liverpool retain their values and traditions of doing things the right way.
I’m not into transfers, to be honest. I find it a bit cringe-worthy when people casually bandy about figures such as Alisson’s price, £66M as if it’s nothing, or say player X deserves a pay rise from £100,000 to £150,000 a week. I know a lot of people find it fun, tracking whether or not a player’s dad has liked a tweet from a guy who follows a guy who once met Maurizio Sarri at a wedding when he was at Empoli, all but confirming an imminent move to Chelsea. However, it all seems a bit fake to me. A bit too 21st century, if you will.
As desperately as I want Liverpool to win the league, I never want to see us become a Manchester City type model of buy, buy, buy in the hope that you’ll eventually fix the problem – ending up with five or six Eliaquim Mangalas before you get your John Stones.
It’s a tough balancing act, where do you draw the line? Realistically, it would take Liverpool decades to win a league title with an Athletic Bilbao style of development. I also don’t really fancy us selling Mo Salah, Naby Keita, Bobby Firmino and Dejan Lovren just because they weren’t born in Toxteth.
That’s one of the big reasons I like big Jurgen. He gives players a second chance, and sometimes even a third or a fourth. He sees the potential in footballers and believes if they have the right attitude, he can get that potential out of him.
The Karius situation was different. The position of a goalkeeper itself is completely different. Compare it to Lovren last year after he gets hooked after half an hour against Spurs. He’s taken out of the side for a few weeks, comes back in when injuries occur, plays well and builds from there. Even if he had come back and committed another howler, it wouldn’t have been ‘end of days’ stuff for him, it would’ve just prolonged a recovery.
Not having Karius be a meme at every ground in the country is worth £66m. Don't need that type of shit at every stadium.
— Ste Hoare (@stehoare) July 18, 2018
But the Loris Karius saga has gone too far. I’m a believer in the idea that he’s a sound goalkeeper overall. And if truth be told, he wasn’t what stopped Liverpool from keeping up with the Manchester clubs last season. But he’s the talk of the footballing world, not least the banter brigade.
He already got rinsed for a blunder at League Two Tranmere in a friendly last week, can you imagine if he lashes one into his own net against West Ham on August 11th? Liverpool Football Club would have to be bringing out statements left, right and centre. It would be Liverpool’s own bus that would be getting pelted with cans on Champions League nights, and the Kop would have to have a huge glass panel put in front of it, eastern European style, for fear of supporters setting the pitch alight. Pyro wouldn’t be used to celebrate Xherdan Shaqiri screamers, but rather it’d be used to burn the Main Stand down.
That can’t be risked (it would be a shame, we spent all the Suarez money on that Main Stand y’know). A Karius blunder on day one could single-handedly derail our whole season, and Anfield could soon turn toxic again. The reasons behind the need for all this are sad. Fans lack of willingness to persist with so-called “failed projects” and the media’s obsession with every one of these players’ slightest errors makes Karius’ position untenable.
The frustration from other Reds is justifiable in many respects. Supporters have remained loyal through 28 years without a league title and over a decade with only one piece of silverware. There is a sense that the club owes the fan base something after a fair few fuck-ups down the years.
But the reality is that if Alisson makes the same mistakes Karius has made, which will no doubt happen at some stage, the Brazilian goalkeeper won’t be questioned and ridiculed nearly as much as his German teammate. A lot of that is down to supporters of other clubs though. Y’know, the lads that were sharing Lovren’s quotes with that laughing-crying emoji a few weeks back, or the same lads who reckon Jordan Henderson is the worst midfielder in English football history. All the best, lads.
Then again, I’ve seen him play four times, and one of those four times he conceded five goals at Anfield, in a Champions League semi-final. We’re all clueless. Think about all the pundits and journalists who make predictions every week about games. Now think of all those who are known for getting it right on a consistent basis. None, zilch. The sooner we accept we’re all just a bunch of chimpanzees paying ridiculous money to watch 22 lads kick some leather ball around a field for extortionately high wages, the better.
All the best.