As I sit down to type this article it's 11:14pm on January 17th 2012 and the winter transfer window is a mere two weeks away from closing.
The reason I felt the need to sit and write at this hour is because Liverpool's legendary manager, Kenny Dalglish, has said something this past week that has been bugging me ever since.
The quote refers to Liverpool FC's apparent lack of involvement in the current transfer window and the reasons for it:
Now forgive me for bringing this up, Kenny, but Liverpool are currently lying in 7th place in the Premier League table and are five points off a top four Champions League position.
I've heard people say that five points is nothing, but we're past halfway in the season now and Liverpool are only looking marginally better than the early slip up at Sunderland.
Do you think Liverpool need to buy to ensure Champions League qualification?
Liverpool's home form has been poor—of that there is no question—but who is to say it won't improve and our away form falter as we continue?
Football is, and has always been, a fine balance of ability, judgment and some days blind luck —Darren Bent and a beach-ball can testify to that.
So, back to Kenny's quote.
It seems the Liverpool hierarchy are happy with what the players have done since August. I am assuming they aren't including Luis Suarez' racism charge within that comment, but who am I to question!
If we take Liverpool's first half of the season and double it, Liverpool would not be in the Champions League next season. So in what way are the club happy with what the players have done?
Liverpool have had a good Carling Cup run that could lead to Wembley if they get the right result against Manchester City, but that's of no financial significance anymore. In fact winning the trophy wouldn't even pay Steven Gerrard's wages for a week.
It's all about the Champions League revenue for Liverpool, and if Dalglish doesn't purchase this month there will certainly be none for the Merseysiders next season.
If Dalglish is pinning his hopes on Gerrard and Suarez hitting it off for the last few months of the season then he's taking a huge gamble. Suarez has played tremendously well since he signed for the Reds but he lacks the killer instinct in front of goal that Fernando Torres used to provide. Gerrard is seemingly back to full fitness, but doesn't have the power and pace of the 08/09 season which saw him grab his best tally of 16 Premier League goals in a season.
So, what should the club do?
Coincidentally, Arsenal and Chelsea have already moved to address problems found within their own squads, as Thierry Henry and Gary Cahill have been drafted in to aid their respective Champions League charges. Who knows whether those purchases will be the last ones in this window? They certainly haven't declared themselves out of the market so you'd have to assume not.
There's a small chance that Dalglish was wearing his poker face when he issued that statement, and he could be playing mind games with rival managers whilst secretly plotting a masterstroke signing that would satisfy fans yet not stretch the Liverpool budget.
Unfortunately, I don't think he was.
Some people say buying isn't always the answer, and Andy Carroll has proved that to a certain extent, however the current squad isn't getting the job done, so what other course of action is there? Sack King Kenny? That's not going to happen and it certainly isn't what the fans want, nor can I see it improving Liverpool's on-field performances.
It has to be fresh faces for Liverpool, and Dalglish has to swallow his pride and realise that some of his Summer signings haven't been good enough.
Liverpool have improved from last season but so have the teams around them. The Champions League positions are now a six-way tussle—seven if you include Newcastle, who are currently sitting above them—whereas previously there were just four teams really capable of filling those spots.
Newcastle are another team that have already moved to buy in the January window and have secured the signing of Demba Ba's international teammate, Papiss Cisse, for £10 million which will put even more pressure on the Anfield side.
Liverpool's remaining Premier League fixtures see a run of games starting in February that involve Tottenham, Manchester United, Everton and Arsenal consecutively. While three of those four games are at Anfield, let's not forget Liverpool's poor home form this season. What better way than to go head on into these matches with the uplifting knowledge that Liverpool have a new player or two that could affect the results?
It's just a thought Kenny.
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