I wanted to wait until all the news was in from deadline day before commenting. So much has happened I don't know if I can get my head around it all, but I'll try.
The main story is Andy Carroll and the lack of strikers in to replace him. First on Andy. I have a very similar feeling today as I did when Alberto Aquilani was sold to Fiorentina. It just feels like a complete waste. A waste of a young talent, a waste of a stay at this club, a waste of money. Just a waste.
There's no villain here. The moment Brendan Rodgers was hired, I think we all knew that Carroll was going to struggle to make his mark in a Rodgers team. What's so frustrating is that he never got a chance. Rodgers decided he wasn't part of his plans, and nothing was going to dissuade him. But to not even give him a chance to prove different, that just feels....not right. Wrong almost seems too strong a word. But not right is all I can come up with.
And the reasons don't make all that much sense. You can tell Andy that he won't get games, but do the match. Liverpool are weeks away from having to compete in four competitions. There are simply too many games for two proven strikers (if indeed you count Borini as a proven striker) to cover. Wouldn't it have made some sense to keep Carroll at least until January merely because he was a warm body who might turn into a contributing player, however remote the manager thought that would be?
As for Clint Demspey or no one else coming in to replace him, I don't know whether blames lies with Rodgers or the board here. While some have wailed that Dempsey went to Spurs over the sum of 500K, I think it's important to remember that the rest of the soccer world views Liverpool as pushovers when it comes to transfer negotiations (thank you very much Comolli and Ayre and whoever else). At some point you have to prove you won't be held over a barrel. That you can play some hardball and get people to come to your terms. Is it worth handicapping your playing squad to prove a point? That's a pretty healthy debate.
When we look back at Carroll's confusing, frustrating, and ultimately short and unfulfilling time as a Liverpool player, I wonder if we'll even believe it happened. He arrived in such a whirlwind, and I wonder if those circumstances always made it impossible for Andy to succeed here. The only villain of the piece is one Fernando Torres, who told the club he would stay the season and then gave them all of three days to offload him midway through. Liverpool needed someone quick and available. Carroll fit that bill. Was it a panic buy? Yeah, it was. Would the club have been better off suffering through with that hole in the squad and readdressing it in the summer? Obviously. Carroll would have been better off too (though Newcastle might not have been). And in fact Andy played so few games in that half season, that's how it worked out anyway. But the club still had hopes of reaching 4th that year (almost did too) or at least a European place, and it was understandable that they felt they needed to get someone in.
Maybe it was the fee, maybe it was the circumstances, but we all wanted Andy to do well so badly. He showed up pressured and injured. Then he couldn't get in the lineup. When he did, he felt so much weight that every chance missed felt like the end of the world. And just when it looked like there was a flicker of light signalling that it would work out in some way at the end of last year, it was snuffed out by a manager who had never worked with him. It feels so...callous.
Best of luck to Andy, I hope it works for him soon. He never complained, he only worked hard, and he wanted to become a true player for Liverpool. He didn't ask for that exorbitant fee, in fact he never wanted to leave his hometown club at all. He didn't want to leave Liverpool either. His head must be spinning.
Where are Liverpool now? Woefully short up front. Adam Morgan is not ready for the games he almost certainly is going to have to get now. Without someone in, you wonder if Liverpool haven't sacrificed a run in the Europa League, because the squad seems incapable of maintaining a fight on multiple fronts. I know I won't be happy watching this proud club voluntarily capitulate in a competition, and give up the hope of some European nights in the spring. That doesn't sound like Liverpool at all. But how many games can Suarez and Borini play? And I'm running short on evidence so far that Borini can be trusted this much.
And yet I'm forced to say that Rodgers has a plan, and we have to see it through with him. Because that's where we are. We can't yet rant and rave, but blind trust doesn't feel right either. I won't tell you how to feel or that you're wrong, because Liverpool supporters have a right to feel just about anything right now.
-Oh, Charlie Adam was punted off to Stoke, so that's nice. He was always an odd fit and won't work with Rodgers either. Same goes for Jay Spearing who goes to Bolton for the season. But central midfield isn't the problem, is it?
-Maybe Rodgers wants to chuck the Europa League after that draw. Udinese and Anzhi are hardly pushovers. So that could have gone better.