Free Friday: Net Spending, a Laughing Stock and We’re Not Singin’ Anymore

Free Friday: Net Spending, a Laughing Stock and We’re Not Singin’ Anymore
November 3, 2017 Chris Rowland
In Free, Free Friday

This week’s posts selected by Chris Rowland.

1 – Krishaldo with some net spend figures across Europe; Manchester’s spending much higher than Barca, Bayern, Juve, Napoli, Red Bull Leipzig, Chelsea and Liverpool combined:

Net spend over the last 5 years for CL clubs (source is Talksport, so pinch of salt):

Napoli – £102.5m

Juve – £121m

LFC – £150m

Chelsea – £153.4m

RBL – £161m

Bayern – £165.9m

Barca – £226m

PSG – £507.7m

Utd – £569m

City – £633.9m

2 – Chris Rowland talking about the Kop, from his article My Day at the Match – Huddersfield Town (H) Oct.28th 2017

There was a time when being in the Kop meant you were actively involved in the match and with the team, actually affecting the outcome, a participant rather than a mute sullen passive observer and critic like now. It detracts considerably from the matchgoing experience, in my opinion. The old sense of the Kop being able to change the course of a match if you didn’t like the way it was heading was very empowering and exciting. Just watching is not the same. We used to be part of the cast, not the audience.

3 – Red Mick responding to Alan Shearer’s comment that Klopp and Liverpool were ‘a laughing stock’:

Just to clarify the managerial record of Alan (laughing stock) Shearer at Newcastle, where he played at the top level, knew the English game and knew the club inside out. The record is P8,W1,D2,L5. Win percentage 12.5. Gives him every right in the world to describe a double Bundesliga winner and CL finalist as a laughing stock. What a prick!

4 – Jeff on why Liverpool may be a realistic destination for Leon Goretzka and other top German players:

My German is decent maybe a bit better but I would not call myself fluent. To me Goretzka has been evasive when talking about his future and the most evasive when talking about going to say Bayern or Barcelona or Real Madrid or for that matter staying at Schalke.

Now, at least to me, if you want to take a guess at what Goretzka may or may not do, you have to move beyond what he has said about either moving to any number of clubs or staying at Schalke and pay attention to the rest of his remarks. He knows that no matter what happens whether he moves or stays at Schalke he will be a very well paid player and will at the end of  his contract be at least to me a rich man. Therefore, I have tried to think about beyond the whole world of pay what does he want from any club he wants to join or what does he want if he stays at Schalke. To me if you listen closely, he wants to go somewhere where he will develop as a player including playing regularly and wants a club that competes for things such as winning the league or winning a major trophy. I might add that Julian Brandt has pretty much said the same thing.

He knows that taking the money such as Draxler did at PSG is a mistake and he knows that players such as Khedira did not prosper at Real Madrid and he wants to avoid both of these realities. I do know he has talked positively about Jurgen Klopp and wanting to play for him.

I have no idea what at the end of the day Goretzka or Brandt will go but I do know  that they will put thought into it and not go for the money and will go to a club where they will play and where they belief they will develop. In this world, Liverpool would be an attractive potential option.

Perhaps I did not phrase my initial comment as well as I should have. The point I was trying to make is the days when Bayern could get the best German players by simply wanting them seemingly is gone and the days when either of the Spanish giants came calling meant that a player would jump to join them seemingly is gone. Too many players have seen their careers set back and some players are actually learning to weigh their options more carefully.

To me if you want a sign what may or may not happen with either of the two players under discussion, I would suggest that you take a look at what does or does not happen to Joshua Kimmich. If he leaves Bayern and there are plenty of rumors that he is leaving, I would say that the vast number of stories about unhappy players at Bayern in general and unhappy German players in particular have some merit and in this reality I would suggest that players such as Brandt and Goretzka might think about avoiding this mess.

The point of my comment was I think there is a possibility that Liverpool would be in for players a year ago thought was out of the question.

5 – Paul Tomkins on news that Emre Can is still stalling on a new contract and likely to leave in summer:

Agree with others on Can. He’s an excellent player, who offers some bite and some height. He scores a few goals. And he should get better.

But he’s not integral. It’s a blow losing one of the best younger players at the club, especially for nothing. But if he’s not committed, fine – we move on. Keita is younger, and better, although smaller.

The bigger issue is losing him, aged 24, and Coutinho, 26 (as they’ll be next summer). If we don’t sell Coutinho as well we’ll have the same old shenanigans. These are players not quite in their peak yet, and ideally you want to hold onto those. And losing two first-teamers at once would be a disruption. I guess the good news is that PC’s value has risen while Can’s has run down to £0. We also got Keita for about £30m less than Leipzig wanted this past summer, due to his contract situation. It’s swings and roundabouts.

While we have no key players near retirement age, but means that Sturridge also has to stay another season, I guess – what we don’t need is a mass exodus. But if he does well this season and isn’t getting games as Firmino is better, would he – to paraphrase East 17 (and there’s a first) – stay another year? (Stay now, stay now…)

I’m fascinated to see how Grujic develops, as he’s a real talent, but not yet aggressive enough or good enough in the tackle, although he’s improving. Chelsea sold Matic at the same age (21), before buying him back when he was ready (then selling him again!) I think some of that comes with age, bar those rare kids who just go in the team as a teen and own it (Gerrard, Rooney). After the injuries of last season, this could be Grujic’s bridging season, and next season he becomes more of a first team player. Similarly, if we lose PC, then Woodburn has to be closer in a year’s time. What will Harry Wilson become? Will Rhian Brewster be more developed? We have so many special “nearly” players, mostly due to age and experience.

Articles published this week:

Monday October 30th:

My Day at the Match – Huddersfield Town (H) Oct.28th 2017 by Chris Rowland and Roger Lester.

Tuesday October 31st:

17/18 Champions League Preview | Matchday 4 | Maribor (H), by Gary Fulcher.

Wednesday November 1st:

Tactic Stats: How Liverpool Shape Up with Different Formations, by Andrew Beasley.

Thursday November 2nd:

17/18 Premier League Preview | Matchweek 11 | West Ham (A), by Gary Fulcher.