Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Adam Signing Is Huge Step Back For Liverpool

After the arrival of Kenny Dalglish in January, Liverpool looked to be on an upturn, entering into an ascendancy which would eventually see them reclaim their place alongside Europe's elite. The signings of Carroll and Suarez in exchange for the sale of Fernando Torres looked to be smart business by the Merseysiders, deals which would help to push the Reds back into the Champions League. Given their results during the second half of the season, Liverpool would have had no trouble qualifying for this year's edition of Europe's premier competition, had Dalglish been manager all year. Now though, they are about to take one huge step backwards.

Or perhaps they already have. The signing of Jordan Henderson for twenty million pounds was definitely an example of a club paying over the odds for the signing of an overrated English player, while Liverpool's continued pursuit of Stewart Downing also beggars belief.

Players like Downing, Adam and Henderson do not belong at a club the size of Liverpool, all are average, mid table quality footballers, not the sort of men to lead the Reds back into the Champions League. For a club which has boasted midfielders of the quality of Xabi Alonso, Steven Gerrard, John Barnes and Ian Callaghan, fielding low quality British players shouldn't be acceptable.

As I mentioned a couple days ago in my column about the future of the Premier League's top four, Liverpool are a club well positioned to take advantage of the deficiencies of rivals like Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal. Those two teams are struggling to hold onto key players, and the time is ripe for Liverpool to make their move and return to Europe's greatest stage. But with money being wasted on below par acquisitions, Liverpool are putting their own Champions League future at risk, allowing Tottenham and Arsenal to get away with what could have been a very damaging summer for North London.

Attracted by Adam's ability to pick out a teammate from sixty yards, Liverpool have fallen into the trap of signing a big fish in a small pond, a player who only looks good in comparison to his teammates, but on closer inspection is caught out over his many weaknesses. Adam tends to be sloppy when possessing in midfield, gifting the opponents the ball in dangerous positions just as many times a game as he whips in brilliant corners. His ill fated back header against Birmingham early in the season embodied exactly why Liverpool should have steered well clear of the Scotsman, he just isn't consistent enough on the ball to warrant a ten million pound splurge.

Henderson as well will put Liverpool back, he has never really threatened opposition while playing for Sunderland in the Premier League, and his performances for England at the European U21 Championships were mind mindbogglingly poor. Once again though, nationality seems to have blinded Liverpool's view of player, just because Henderson is English, and will comply with upcoming quota rules, doesn't mean his lack of ability should be ignored.

Liverpool have a unique opportunity next season to push their way back into the European limelight, a chance that they must take, or risk having to wait years for it to come again.  However, their transfer business so far has put that ascent under threat, and unless the quality of signings improves, Kenny Dalglish's revolution at Anfield could come to a premature end.

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