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Thursday, 05 February 2009

Liverpool - January 2009 Transfer Wrap

For many clubs January is the month of hope, a time when they get to dream about that potential signing that could make or break their season.

At Liverpool, however, that isn’t the case.  Certainly not this year where the hope of winning the league title has been slipping away with each game and dropped points.  Not that many were expecting any players to be joining during the month: it had been made quite clear that whatever money there was had been spent during the summer.

So how is it that there is such a mood of despondency now that this month of hope is over? Well, the team's lack of form and the title dream fizzling out has a lot to do with that but even that seems to be the symptom of a bigger ill.

Indeed, Liverpool's biggest problem lies in the boardroom.  The lack of stability there has apparently gotten to Rafael Benitez who first came up with his mis-timed rant against Alex Ferguson and then announced his decision not to sign a new contract.

His public reason for this was that he didn't want to be distracted by the negotiations.  If that was really his motivation, then he got his calculations wrong because it heightened the uncertainty surrounding the club.  For one thing, there was never any hope that players like Daniel Agger and Dirk Kuyt whose contract was coming to an end shortly were going to sign a new deal.  As for the rest, it simply sent out the wrong message.

Some players, however, never got to hear it.  Jermaine Pennant was, at last, shipped out during January even though it was on a loan deal that will take him to June when his contract comes to an end and he can chose who he  wants to join.

Pennant’s case is quite strange.  A good player – or at least a good squad player – he seemed to do what was expected of him: he steered away from controversy, never complained about being dropped and turned in enough decent performances to deserve to stay.  Yet Benitez saw it differently and so decided to ostracise the player.  Even so, that would have been fine provided Liverpool had players who were better than Pennant.  Yet the only right winger that Benitez has available is Nabil El Zhar and he certainly is as good as Pennant.

Apart from Pennant, a number of other players left Liverpool on loan.  Ryan Flynn and Craig Lindfield joined Wrexham and Accrington Stanley respectively in moves that signal the beginning of the end of their time at Liverpool.  On the opposite side of the scale there is Kristian Nemeth who has been loaned out to Blackpool and Mikel San Jose who went to Atletico Bilbao.  Both are highly rated and for both the loan deal is aimed at giving them first team experience.

The two are exactly the sort of young players that Benitez points at when he says that he is building for the future, an indication on his part that he intends to stay.  Victor Pallson, the Icelandic midfielder who joined from AGF Arhus this January is probably another.  Then again, Robbie Keane probably thought that he had a future at Liverpool when he joined last summer and that doesn’t seem to be the case either.



i just think Bennitez has not been doing well recently. i dont know and cant understand why he sold back keane. The man was doing fine. Didier drogba's first year in chelsea was not impressive. he was given time. look at berbatov he's been given time. Bennitez is shit now. I am tired of feeling bad all the time

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