Date:4th February 2011 at 2:53am
Written by:

I check the Guardian’s website fairly often for football news, and today was no different when I found this turd floating around the news wire:

Mascherano hits out at Liverpool

Now I’ll be the first one to say that I loved what Javier brought to our team, especially in matches against sides that liked to break with pace on the counter.  He is perhaps the best destroyer in modern football, but let’s see if we can destroy a few things ourselves here as far as what he had to say recently.

First of all, seeing the reaction to this in various places I think we’re all sharing somewhat of a similar feeling of betrayal at the moment.  I think Mascherano has one key idea ass backwards here, and that is the idea that somehow the supporters and the history of the club are tied in any way to the financial exploitation going on in the boardroom of what is sadly a privately owned and operated business for the most part.  England doesn’t have the fan ownership models of some other European leagues, and this is what led us to H&G’s awful tenure in charge of LFC.

Mascherano blames the press for suggesting these moves were down to he and Torres respectively.  Liverpool “didn’t show the interest in keeping them at the club”, he says.  What he should say here, is that H&G didn’t show the interest necessary by which he means investing in the squad and the stadium and keeping us in the top 4.  I agree with him 100% that they didn’t show that interest, but that’s not a lack of interest in Javier Mascherano, it’s a lack of interest in Liverpool Football Club.  It was H&G’s inability to pay attention to, improve, and even ever really be a part of LFC that I think Mascherano should mention.  The way that it left supporters just as gutted for their club as it did the players on the pitch.  These are people who have invested lifetimes in supporting Liverpool.  These are their heroes facing defeat and humiliation publicly as they slide out of the Champions League places.  These same people cheered him at the top of their lungs and sang his name in appreciation for the love they felt for him.  These supporters are Liverpool, not H&G.

This historical club was left rudderless at the top just as we seemed to be about to make a push towards the top of English football where we once spent most of our time, and aspire to do again.  New ownership and investment was on the way, an Oct deadline was fast approaching when Javier pushed for an exit towards the end of August.  A few months he would have had to wait to see the new direction of the club.  A few months where his presence may have meant an extra 3-6 points in the table, leaving us with a shout for CL football and perhaps a better case for keeping Torres Instead he abandoned us, and essentially poured fuel to the flame just when we needed him the most.

With that said, when Javier suggests that it was as if he had killed someone when he left the club it’s because in a sense he had.  Here you had a club that had taken him on from West Ham where he couldn’t get a sniff, elevated his pay to a whole new stratosphere, and turned him into the sort of player that could even being to think of a move to Barcelona.  Would he have ever have even experienced the Champions League to miss it this season without us? Does he think that any of this would have happened without Liverpool?  It’s possible but I don’t think so.  I don’t see anyone else shelling out the quoted 18 million price tag for him had he spent next 18 months not playing for West Ham.  He most likely would have gone to a lesser club in Spain or Germany, or perhaps even back to Argentina.  His path would have been delayed by years in any case.

So what we have here is someone just entering his prime who has had his prospects enhanced years ahead of time by us and was more than fairly compensated for his “trouble”.  It’s not as though he was a 30+ year old midfielder who had given us half a dozen or more good years and was looking to make the most out of his last few seasons and needed CL football right away.  I appreciate the desire to compete on the highest level, but this was going to be our first year out of the top four.  He could have waited until January to see how things went, or better yet till next summer and if he hadn’t been able to help us reclaim our previous heights then he could leave at a fair price and fair play to the lad.

Instead, he waited until the very end of the summer transfer window leaving us fair little time to come up with a replacement (though Meireles is doing well, he’s not really a Masch type) and even went so far as to refuse to play for the side in the Premier League so as to remove all of our leverage with Barcelona. How can you hold onto an asset that refuses to perform when we have few enough assets as it is?  We couldn’t, and promptly sold him as he wished. Funds he knew would go mostly to pad H&G coffers, not to be invested in the squad as it may have been next summer.  Basically what happened is, we had one bad season because we finished out of the top 4 (a year after coming 2nd) and one of our star players waited until we had no wiggle room and put a gun to our head demanding what he wanted when wanted it and he wanted it now.

Shame on you Javier, you’re riding the pine for Barca and walking very much alone.