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A gentle applause for Fenway Sports Group

Salah & Mané

I’ve seen a number of Liverpool supporters commenting across the KopTalk network that Fenway Sports Group (FSG) should be praised for the investment in the squad this summer. Well, I’m not sure that I can big them up that much to be honest. Yes, I absolutely want to thank those involved for the strengthening of Jürgen Klopp’s squad, but I see no reason to offer any extra special praise for [finally] doing what they’re supposed to do in the first place.

What I will reluctantly say, as I don’t want to tempt fate, is that maybe the owners are finally getting things right? I want to big them up, I really do, but I’ve become used to seeing someone being sold whenever it appears that they have invested into the squad. However, this summer we have held on to Mo Salah and Sadio Mané, two very important players who were heavily linked with leaving the club and if nobody of any significance is moved out during the January transfer window I’ll be delighted. It wouldn’t have surprised me had Georginio Wijnaldum been sold but it would appear that the only sales being sanctioned are those players who are genuinely surplus to requirements. Let’s hope it stays that way!

There’s been extra television money and a fantastic, very lucrative run in the Champions League which has helped filled the Anfield coffers. Personally, I still think more investment is needed. I worry about the likes of Firmino, Salah and Van Dijk picking up injuries, for example. But if the boss is happy, then I’m happy. We go again!

Isn’t it nice that for once there is a real positive vibe around the club going into a new campaign? Who cares about the net spend just now? Who cares whether Fekir is secured or not? I honestly couldn’t care less. While of course I want us to spend big without selling our best players and of course I want to see a deal for Fekir finally brokered with Lyon, for once I am happy. That’s right, the Big Man is happy! When was the last time you could say that about me going into a new campaign?

Every summer, just as the Premier League is about to kick off, I often ask myself what our chances are. Usually it’s met with negativity or as I prefer to call it, realism. This year, for the first time in what feels like decades, I feel that we can genuinely challenge. Only an idiot would write Manchester City off and there are other teams that are in with a shout, but under Klopp I have seen very positive changes and not just on the pitch.

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Yes, there remains a lack of silverware but maybe progress shouldn’t only relate to the trophy room? For example, I believe players genuinely want to sign for us these days. In the past we are fed that rubbish every summer, but this year I actually believe it. I also believe that we are signing players who Brendan Rogers would be proud of. That’s right, players with good character! With the exception of a couple of players who aren’t considered that important to the cause anyway, we have a group of players that are not up their own arses. Look how humble Salah is despite his status?

In a day when modern day footballers tend to only think about themselves, Klopp has assembled a squad of players that I believe genuinely want to play for us and who are focused on the team rather than themselves. That may not make much difference to some of you but I think this adds to the positivity. Players who see the club as a stepping-stone to further their own career from the moment they arrive or graduate have to be a distraction behind the scenes. In the past, certain individuals have been there chuntering away, planting the seeds into the minds of others but not any more. We are now a destination club again, but we must build on this and quickly.

Due to our recent recruitment I’m constantly reading that Klopp is under pressure to deliver. Well, of course, there has to be some truth in that, but I only see this pressure coming from the media and rival fans who want to see us fail miserably. I do not believe for one moment that the club’s owners have made this a ‘must deliver’ season. Whether we win something or not, I believe he still has time. I think things would have to go dramatically bad for his position to be questioned [by those who matter].

I’m sure there are many of you out there like me, that expect that in a few weeks we’ll be saying: ‘Same old story, same old Liverpool’ when we fail to capitalise in certain games. I really hope that’s not the case because I want us to remain positive. The current mood is one that I am certainly enjoying. I have hated rattling on and boring you with negativity over the last few years but that’s not my fault. The club sets the discussion. I have no idea how we’ll fair this season, all I ask for is 100% from all involved.

The transfer window slams shut tomorrow (I’ll be broadcasting live all day) and the media are suggesting that we are done with our recruitment. I’m not convinced. At the time of writing, I believe there is still a chance of us landing Nabil Fekir, for example. Who would bet against Liverpool pulling off a late transfer with the way we shrewdly operate these days? One thing FSG have got right is Michael Edwards. It was initially feared that he was out of his depth but he has proven himself to be a cool operator. This is another positive. The amount of information leaked from the club has decreased significantly, unless it helps them to get it ‘out there’ and this also has to be another positive. Even Liverpool CEO Peter Moore appears to be relaxed on Twitter as a result of not having to fend off sarcastic supporters!

Everyone’s chilled, me included. Can we please keep it that way?

Duncan Oldham
KopTalk Editor

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