As it draws to that one time of the year I’m sure nearly every bloke around the footballing world dreads the final day of the Premier League season. We see the end of another thrilling and exhilarating season come to a close, and thus enter the stage of the year in which I myself, personally despise, the inevitable summer transfer window.
The one time of year where everyone is a transfer outlet for rumours and apparent ‘done deals’. It goes from Guillem Balagué who knows absolutely everything there is to know about every single transfer coming in and out of Spain - yeah right - to simply Pat the Milkman throwing vicious rumours of players joining your beloved club due to ‘the chats’ he’s had with the lads down at the local.
But yes, here it is, it’s the inevitable time, I oh so despise. But sure like Christmas it only happens once a year, except Christmas abruptly comes to a halt after one day, unlike the summer transfer
window which lasts for three months, but to me seems like forever and a day.
Enough from me stating why I don’t like this time of year footballing wise. I now come to the topic which has dominated the headlines in the last few days, the one and only Raheem Sterling saga.
It has been rumoured for several months now, that Sterling has rejected several contract offers from Liverpool, the number of offers I’m not entirely sure and can’t quote a number but it has been more than one offer.
As for Liverpool, this is familiar territory they find themselves in. For people who don’t remember, Liverpool have found themselves in this situation far more than any other club.
My main criticism of how they handle this situation is how they treat the player as individual inevitably leaving the player with no choice but to leave the club.
After the latest comments released from Sterling’s agent Aidy Ward quoting ‘£900,000-a-week would not keep him at Anfield’. Also Sterling’s agent goes on to label Jamie Carragher a ‘knob’ for the comments the former Reds defender released about the Liverpool winger telling
him to ‘keep his mouth shut and get on with his football’.
I thought if things couldn’t progress even worse for Sterling and Liverpool after the annual awards ceremony the other night where Sterling was presented the Young Player of the Year award, he was then booed and jeered by fans and former players of the club.
I thought this was the final straw, but apparently I was wrong. Ward's comments appear to be the final nail in the 20-year-old’s Liverpool career.
Personally I don’t think Liverpool will ever learn from recent mistakes regarding player wants/wishes/demands etc. I will draw up a list of the players who Liverpool have recently failed to deal with in an appropriate manner.
The first that springs to mind for me is Javier Mascherano; he was a vital member of the Liverpool midfield which consisted of Xabi Alonso and Steven Gerrard. Mascherano publicly slated Liverpool for ‘breaking promises’ they had made to the player, nobody knows the promises but clearly it had affected the player’s happiness at the club which inevitably led to his transfer to Barcelona.
The next player in the list is another member of that midfield trio, Xabi Alonso. The Spaniard for me was one of the best if not the best player for Liverpool ever since he was signed by Rafa Benitez.
Alonso went on to establish himself as a fan favorite and a key figure in the squads obtaining of the Champions League and FA Cup the year after. Surely Liverpool wouldn’t be foolish as to let a player of Xabi’s quality leave? Wrong.
Five years later after the manager attempted several times to buy Gareth Barry which convinced Alonso to move on. Quotation from the former Liverpool player as follows.
“At the end of that  season, speaking to Rafa, he told me the situation and that he wanted to sign other players and I could be one of the replacements,” said the Real midfielder.
“If an offer would have come, probably I would have been sold. That’s when I told myself that the situation had changed – from being a very important player to being one of those who can be sold to get funds to sign other players.”
Brendan Rodgers' way of dealing with players has also been somewhat skeptical. Luis Suarez I’m sure everyone remembers stated on more than one occasion that he wanted to leave Liverpool.
The first occasion he wanted to join Arsenal after it had seen Liverpool reject a bid from the London club for the Uruguayan international. Hats off to Brendan this time he convinced Suarez to stay for one more season, everything seemed so perfect when Suarez went on to sign a contract at
Christmas time much to the delight of Rodgers.
But Liverpool’s frailties at Selhurt Park which saw their Premier League title challenge crumble in front of their very eyes was the last straw for Luis and inevitably stated he wanted to leave the club, again.
This is where the club's same vulnerabilities shine through, again. They were willing to keep Suarez against his own will and play him regardless of what the player wanted. Simple if you don’t respect the player's requests, why should he respect the club's requests?
Suarez finally moved to Barcelona after the World Cup for a hefty fee of around £75 million. That summer seemed bad enough for Liverpool losing their best player, but wrongly again it turned out certain events were unfolding behind the scenes at the club.
The day every scouser never wanted to hear in their lifetime, Steven Gerrard is leaving the club. Again this is due to the way the club dealt with the player. Their very own, born and bred
captain. You think it would be the first thing on their agenda to keep Stevie at the club. Nope.
Liverpool didn’t feel the need to offer Gerrard a contract straight away, but obviously Gerrard got cold feet seeing what happened to many players he once played with he made the first decision and decided not to renew his contract at his beloved club.
With all these players that have come and gone you would think Liverpool would learn. Instead they treat Sterling even worse than any of their past players who have left, with the attitude of ‘here’s a contract now accept it or you’ll stay here weather you like it or not’.
The term ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds you’ springs to mind for many Liverpool fans who believe it is all down to money thus the reason why Sterling is leaving.
Let me ask you this if you saw the likes of Gerrard and Suarez leaving only to be replaced by the likes of Lazar Markovic and Mario Balotelli (who by the way are earning more than Sterling).
If you saw your club let players leave with such quality and magnitude only to replace them with such mediocrity. Would you stay? Would you say that the club are progressing?
I don’t blame Sterling whatsoever, the way Liverpool have treated yet another player is questionable. But the scourging comment from past players and fans is only going to convince him that his decision to leave is the correct decision.
Liverpool have once again shot themselves in the foot and now will learn the hard way that they must treat players differently. No reputation, history or club stature will keep any player at a club they don’t feel happy, valued or in Sterling’s case respected.
Ah the joys of the summer transfer window…
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