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  • dsteer_lfc_68 dsteer_lfc_68 Jan 12, 2010 03:57 Flag

    How bad is Rafa in the transfer market?

    How bad a job has Rafa really done in the transfer market. Seems to be a hot topic, but think you've got to look a the whole picture to come up with a real answer.

    Here's a recent cherry picked list I found, so how do these stack up:

    Babel - bought for 11.5M. Jury still out but if sold break even is our best chance
    Leto - bought for 1.8M but could not secure work permit. Never know how he'd settle as never given the chance, but currently doing very well in Greece
    Gonzalez - Bought for 1.5M and proved to light weight for the prem. Not a huge waste of cash
    Skertl - bought for 6.5M as a relative unknown. Proved decent if not first class. Far cheaper than say Man City's pair, and better IMO.
    Lucas - Bought for 5M, and developing into a solid squad player. Much cheaper than Anderson and at least as good.
    Carson - 1M, hardly a big outlay, and sold on for 3.25M when proved not good enough to start. Not bad IMO
    Itandje - Nominal fee to bring in, and released.
    Pennant - Bought for 6.7M which is cheap for a winger. Not as good as we hoped, but proved a decent squad player while with us.

    Some also complain about players who've left us and gone on and done better things elsewhere. So here's another list I found somewhere:

    Bellamy - Bought for 6.7M and sold for 7.5M to help finance Torres. Sure I'd like him still in the squad as a back up, think rather have Torres over Bellamy, which was the choice at the time
    Robbie Keane - Most likely the worst signing IMO Rafa has made. In for 19M, out for 16M. 3M pound loss is not a good thing, but at least not as bad as some other managers big mistakes
    Crouch - In for 7M, but would not stay to play second fiddle to Torres. Got our money back and some by selling for 11M. Irony is he's now a second fiddle in a 4th place hopeful squad, but I still think he's a good lad.
    Warnock - Home grown, but not considered good enough for a starting slot. Doing well at Villa, but judging by the mistake that gifted us the 3 points at Villa park, maybe we made a wise decision.
    Kirkland - not a Rafa signing, but never mind the man who made the original list.
    Arbeloa - Good servant while he was with us, and can't blame him for wanting out for more first team football once Johnson arrived. Since he was in for 2.5M, and out for 3.5M we also turned a little profit, so not bad overall.
    Sami - Neither a Rafa signing (who made this original list?) and left to get one more season to play. Got a feeling however we'll see more of our tall Finn
    Riise - Also not a Rafa signing (really who came up with this list?). Looks to be doing well in a much slower Italian league, and most will remember him fondly. Despite the own goal against Chelsea, a great servant to the club.
    Finnan - Whoever wrote this list needs to explain this one.

    So now we've looked a the cherry list of someone else. How about a little counter weight by looking at some good Rafa signings that those who don't like will never list, as they represent inconvenient truths:

    Alonso - Great servant, and provide great profit when he moved on
    Garcia - no profit of this one, but who can forget the goals
    Reina - no need for words
    Agger - may not turn out as good as we'd hoped, but still a fine signing IMO
    Aurellio - The lad was Free! Can you believe it?
    Mash - Yes expensive, but captain of Argentina has not disappointed IMO.
    Torres - say no more.
    Benayoun - 5M, that's it, and worth every penny
    N'Gog - 1.5M. Sure he's not Torres, Wayne Rooney or Didier Drogba, yet. But 1.5, come on that's not bad

    Now that is just a sampling, and does not include a range of kids we've yet to see brought in very cheap. If just a few of them can make it to the first team, we're in for a treat.

    So overall definitely made some mistakes, but every deal a dud, even a majority of the deals bad. I don't think so, but that's just my opinion.

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    • I would have thought the simple measure is whether he has made your squad stronger or weaker. My impression is that it is weaker, particularly in defence.


    • I dont think that a target man would be the best sort of partner for Torres, if anything I would say he is a line leader and plays to far up top to be effective with a target man umless you played with a man in the hole, which would mean changing to a 4-3-1-2 (my favoured formation) or a host of 3 CB line ups which are best ignored. Wayne Rooney would be his perfect partner.....prob a tad unrealistic!

    • Ah yes he would be very welcome in my squad. Having him come on for the last 10-20 mins and hassling the defenders like a little terrier would be a great option to have. As i mentioned before he is versatile and can cover a lot of positions to not a bad standard so I am sure he would still start a good few games due to injuries, suspensions, resting players etc... It also makes us a bit less predictable as we would have a stronger more versatile squad meaning we could comfortably change formation from say 4-2-3-1 to 4-4-2 by bringing kuyt on and putting him up top to hassle the tiring centre backs.

    • I'd agree with that, and if we got a top class RW in then I think he would see more bench time. I'm not sure if Maxi is that player, but he might be.

      I'd still however want Kuyt in my squad, as he is a good fill in for a number of positions like you say. Also, while I know his graft is not enough for many, that hard work does see him end up in the right place many times, and putting in some critical goals for us.

    • Dave, from what I have seen of Babel at both Ajax and the Holland u21s before he came over to us Babel was predominantly a support striker that revelled in the role being able to pick the ball up deep and get at the defence, linking midfield with attack and he looked at home where he was at his best, he was hardly used as wing man in his time in Holland or with the u21s at this time, this was his strongest position at the given time and I still feel it is, for what Rafa has done is tried to mould him into a wide player which he is'nt by any stretch of the imagination, he's been played out wide because Rafa thinks that is more beneficial to the team on the whole, not for once have I seen him deployed in what I feel is his strongest position where managers beforehand constantly played him due to his awareness and strength (which I previously stated the latter I aint a clue where that has gone).

      We will never know what his strongest position is for Liverpool as he has never been deployed in that role with us plain and simple, I'm still a great a believer in his ability and when he does eventually move on I reckon he'll be a big hit where he will be given the chance to show what he can do in that role.

    • Well going on what your saying i really think kuyt should be a squad player. A utility player. Someone who could competently fill in for torres or a number of other roles such as wide right and just off the front man. That is the problem with our squad i guess. We just dont have the strength in depth that we need and that we should have. We should have a better right winger and a better option of partner for torres (as you say a target man would probably be best) meaning kuyt would take his place on the bench or the majority of games.

    • I think that is fair enough, and as you say it comes down to the individual’s opinion of where a given player is best.

      For me the question on Kuyt playing in the center comes down to is he better there than Torres alone if we play a one man front, and the answer is no. If however we play a two man front, I still think he plays second or third fiddle behind either Stevie or Yossi playing the support striker role.

      But, if we were to play a more traditional 2 man front, then if Torres is in the mix, I think we need a target man that Torres can play off, but I don't see Kuyt being that man. Instead I see him as a poacher who could play off of a target man instead of Torres (for when Torres is not available) or in his current role, which on paper maybe considered a winger, but I'd define as a wide support striker.

    • Ok fair enough you win that one as neither of us really know where is best position is, for the player as an individual or for the team, but where would i prefer to see him play? I would rather he was up front partnering torres or just off of torres like gerrard does. I think we can get a better right winger (right forward whatever he is) than kuyt, in fact i think johnson would be a better right winger than kuyt.

    • Spot on Ricky, its not just any ordinary business where NET spend is important it is much more than that. The influx or players arent good enough, the outgoing players are. rafa is indeed experimenting with players out of position where theres no need. I think rafa's trying to save face pretending to be a master tactician but indeed he's just been lucky in the past. The experiments are not lucky enough and we're seeing the true Rafa

    • The question then becomes still in which position is he a better player, and or in which position does he make the team a better team? With all the variables not sure that answer can be answered (although we can all have an opinion) but I'd suggest the Dutch national set up agrees with Rafa, that they can get the most out of Kuyt by deploying him wide, so is that really out of position?

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