By Chris Rowland.
After last week’s Symposium took a look at favourite low-expectation signings, TTT subscriber Dakotadc47 suggested a follow up – the most disappointing signing, one where you did have expectations but they were dashed. Good idea – and plenty to pick from. Let’s see what the Symposees (TTT copyright) thought.
Dave Cronin: This is tough. To me there are four big contenders:
Diouf – A horrible human being and a terrible signing compounded by the fact he was chosen over Anelka. Hailed as the final piece in our title-challenging jigsaw we slid from 2nd to 5th with Diouf in the team. Three League goals in two seasons (two coming in his first home game) says it all.
Aquilani – Going into 2009-10, much of our hopes for building on the previous season’s title challenge hinged on how well Aquilani would fill the void left by the departure of Xabi Alonso. It’s safe to say based on our 7th place finish that season that he didn’t do that very well. Injured for the first half of the campaign and used infrequently in the second, showing unsustained glimpses of quality, his first season left more questions than answers. His second and third would involve farcical summer sagas culminating on loans here, there and everywhere until he was finally sold for a pittance last summer.
Keane – Having always rated Keane when seeing him at other clubs, I was optimistic we’d added the final piece of our title winning jigsaw when we bought him for £20m from Spurs in 2008. The lesson I quickly learned is that seeing a player in Match of the Day highlights is very different to seeing a player over 90 minutes week-in, week-out. He was a disappointment generally but I was astonished at how poor his finishing was. He seemed to just lash every chance at goal with no attempt at precision or consideration of the goalkeeper’s starting positions. That sort of approach could as easily lead to an impressive goal tally or a poor one depending on luck. For us, Keane was largely luckless.
Carroll – Gutted as I was to see Torres unveiled as a Chelsea player, the £35m signing of Andy Carroll hinted we were not dead yet and, indeed, could expect to be far more competitive under the new American owners than the last pair. Of course, £35m seemed a high price but the clear message seemed to be that we would pay what it took to get our man and we clearly saw Carroll as our man. It didn’t work out that way though, did it? Kenny quickly decided he wasn’t our man and Rodgers couldn’t get him out of the club fast enough. His Liverpool career amounted to a handful of indisputably good performances and a host of disappointingly ineffective ones.
And the winner is… Aquilani.
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