Ange Postecoglou is a pragmatic man. Before last season ended he was clear that he wanted some new players in before pre-season training began, because he did not want to begin this season the way he began the last one. He got a goalkeeper.
Three of the players he ended the campaign with are not present and two of them aren’t going to be. The club has not got the business over the line. He did an interview today where he gave a very laid back answer to questions about it.
But Ange knows what we all do; there is no point in moaning about it.
The deadline has been missed.
Now that this is the case, what’s he to do? He’s made it clear he wants the business done as quickly as possible but what’s the point in pushing it now? Those above him have failed in their first major task of the summer. All he can do is hope that it’s the last time they do.
There is no point in imposing deadlines on them only for them to miss again.
Nothing he said today will have comforted those in the support who are getting antsy.
The feeling continues to grow that something hasn’t gone quite right with the Jota negotiations. I still think that deal will get done … frankly, the embarrassment to the board will be enormous if this has been allowed to drag on for it to fall short.
Those who emailed me today to tell me the Portuguese window doesn’t open until the end of the month should be wondering how Liverpool managed to unveil Darwin Nunes nearly a fortnight ago, at around the same time we officially signed Carter Vickers.
We trust the manager 100%.
We do not trust those above him, and we have good reason not to.
The reforms of the club have stopped at the football operation; those in the boardroom still think they know more about running that operation than the man in the dugout. This is what happens when you promote from within in a system which has already failed time and again to do the most critical job they have; making sure the manager has full support.
The fact of it is that when it comes to summer transfer business, this club has slow-walked every manager in the last two decades, including Martin O’Neill and Brendan Rodgers. What we are witnessing is not new.
If they had been trying to hamstring previous managers, they could not have done it with more skill.
Rodgers endured a transfer window so appalling in his final months at the club that it made his leaving a certainty.
Peter Lawwell, on the day after their famous bust-up over John McGinn, told me at a meeting that “we’ve done things this summer the way we always do, so what’s changed?”
What I should have said that day was “nothing, that’s the problem.”
A manager who had won an Invincible Treble and been the first to win back-to-back trebles deserved full backing, not a CEO more focussed on saving a few quid than giving him that support.
The same mind-set exists right now, because the same personnel are in place in the upper echelons.
Lawwell has been replaced by the guy who sat in at that meeting, as his glorified secretary. That man has not uttered one word to the fans or media since taking the job. There is having a low profile and there’s having no profile to speak of.
If these guys let this manager down the way they have the others there will be forgiving them for it.
They don’t get any benefit of the doubt.
They get judged on what they achieve, not on vague promises of jam tomorrow, and they will definitely get judged if the jam doesn’t come around. The way they do things is farcical and it is not the first time since he took over that they have shoved Ange in front of the fans to take the bullets for them.
But that strategy eventually runs out of road.
Ange himself was supposed to be offered a new deal, on improved terms.
He has more than earned it, but still he waits for it as he waits for his players.
It makes you wonder what this board thinks its role really is.
The way they do things is a nonsense, and it has already led us into crisis several times.
They ought to have been hounded out the door the last time.
God forbid that we have to go through another summer of turmoil.
With his lot you never know.
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