Monday, February 1, 2010

Back In the Saddle

It has been sometime since words have occupied this space, and I figured it would be a good time to 'get back in the saddle' as they say. A lot has happened in the four months since my last post, not a lot has gone right for the Reds and most of it has been awful. There is no denying that this is not the path we expected of this team, but it is not at all surprising.

After a summer of speculation an hope for investment in the squad, just Glen Johnson and a then injured Alberto Aquilani arrived at Anfield. It wasn't until a defensive crisis forced Rafa Benitez into purchasing Sotirios Kyrgiakos at the end of the transfer window. It is easy to look back after six months and view the transfer dealings, but even back in the summer, we were left woefully short of options.

It had been reported that when Benitez signed his new contract that he would be receiving a minimum of £20m plus whatever he received in sales. For those that have followed to club's board room commitment, you will know that this was yet another false dawn. The fact is, the owners had a crushing £60m loan payment due in the middle of the window. It is no surprise to me that money supposedly earmarked for transfers never materialized.

While the owners are only part of the equation, it is safe to say that they have a lot to do with our torrid season thus far. I will not absolve the manager of any guilt, nor can the players get away without mention, but the owners control the purse strings. Everyone who follows football knows that we have been one striker short for some time. While the Robbie Keane era was an unmitigated disaster, he was still an option for the manager. If this team cried out for anything, it was an accomplished striker to fill the void should Fernando Torres get injured. As it stands, Torres is injured and likely to miss this entire month.

With a brutal run of fixtures coming up, it will be important for the team to stand up and put in a shift. I am less worried about this month of fixtures as I was in December, but it will still test our resolve.