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The Rebuild

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Why Liverpool are even more American than we thought.

Michael Regan - Getty Images

Like the new look? Spiffy, no? You've probably noticed this all across the network. Anyway, there's a whole post about it you can check out. It'll take some getting used to, but once we all do we're going to be much better for it.

Anyway, on to today's musings about really nothing. As I try and reconcile where Liverpool are now, and where they're going to be in a couple months, a couple years and beyond, I think I may have hit on something. I came to it while watching Suso and Sterling and even Henderson against ManUre.

Liverpool are in an American sport-style rebuild. And it may not be a bad thing, though initially pretty painful. It's certainly unique to the football world.

For those who aren't familiar, with no threat of relegation in American sports, teams will enter into a "rebuild" when their championship window closes. Or at least they should. It's most common in baseball, but you see it in the others as well. Expensive veterans are jettisoned via trade for kids that might not even be with the top clubs yet but in the system. Payroll is slashed, pricey free agents are eschewed for stopgaps that will be moved aside when the kids mature. You lose a lot, but you also give kids a chance to play at the top level and see whether or not they're going to be part of the solution.

You almost never see it in European footy. You can't bottom out for fear of a relegation that could cripple your club forever. Middle to smaller clubs can't get away with fielding a team full of youngsters for fear of that relegation, or that they will be poached by bigger clubs and the whole thing starts over. They don't get a chance to grow together and improve the team through the years. Bigger clubs simply don't have the patience or the tolerance. Any problem can be solved by money, and any promising kid is either going to have to be a star or develop while out on loan. In the past decade or two, United was able to do it on the fly, but that was a special class of young players. Leeds tried it, almost worked, now look where they are.

But this might be where Liverpool are, though they probably didn't choose to get here. Because of limited funds and poor transfer management, a lot of kids are going to get serious looks. Coates, Flanagan Robinson, Henderson, Allen, Sterling, Shelvey, Suso, maybe Pacheco, maybe Morgan. Liverpool don't need to sell them to turn a profit. There's enough veterans around to make relegation laughable, even if that's what the current league position says.

Maybe Rodgers doesn't like any of them and is only using them because he has to. Maybe they'll all be moved out. Considering how hard Rafa Benitez worked to get most of them here though, I doubt that. Suso, Shelvey, Allen, Sterling, and Coates look like they could have real futures. And they'll get to grow together, learn together, fuck up together and ultimately benefit from that.

The problems are that Suarez or Agger or Skrtel or other veterans may not want to stick around a rebuilding side long enough for someone to replace them adequately, and LFC could get stuck in the mud. Maybe it won't work out. Maybe the fan pressure would force Rodgers out before he could see his vision through.

But hey, it's something to grab onto.