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Hodgsen To Blame For Reds Losing ‘Real’ Aquilani

Liverpool’s Alberto Aquilani has joined AC Milan on a season long loan with the option to buy provided he makes 25 appearances. It’s a real shame, because there is no doubting the quality that the Italian possesses and had things gone differently when Roy Hodgson was in charge, we may well be talking about ‘The Little Prince’ as a future Anfield legend at this point.

Perhaps the most disappointing thing of all is that the problem has not been solved, only prolonged, by the deal not being made permanent. The midfielder said,

“I am delighted to have arrived here. This is a leap in my career. I have come to Milan to do well. I have different characteristics to (former AC Milan midfielder) Andrea Pirlo but this is a further responsibility for me.

I believe I can play in all positions in midfield. The clause of making at least 25 appearances? It’s not a problem for me and I’m not thinking about it. I will do everything possible to earn the trust of the club.”

There’s no denying Aquilani’s talent but his situation has been very complicated in the last few seasons. It’s clear that Alberto had a strong desire to remain in Italy and who can blame him?  The 27 year old has just had a new baby and enjoyed a fine season at Juventus, cementing a place in the Italian national team in the process.

Obviously feeling unwanted by Roy Hodgson’s decision to loan him out, Alberto most likely never had any real desire to return to Merseyside, where, based on previous experience he perhaps thought he wasn’t valued so highly and therefore wasn’t guaranteed first team football.

When he did return, it appeared the club were willing to give him a chance, but soon realized his heart wasn’t set on Liverpool, brought in replacements, and Aquilani, facing the prospect of a very competitive midfield and with interest from Fiorentina and later AC Milan growing, decided it would be better for his international career to move home.

There is no doubt in my mind that had Aquilani stayed on and fought for his place at Liverpool, fitness permitting, he would have gone on to become a great player for us.

His detractors point to him being too slow and not physical enough as evidence that he wouldn’t succeed in England, but many players: Modric, Van der Vaart, Deco, Fabregas, Nasri and Silva to name a few, have all shown that quick thinking, vision and a bit of skill can more than make up for it in this league.

In terms of raw talent alone, Aquilani is up there with the best at our club but there is little point in keeping someone who doesn’t want to be there.

Despite the quality of his performances in pre-season there was an obvious lack of desire to play for the shirt, most notably against Valencia, where his moments of magic were largely overshadowed by a poor work ethic. One thing to remember is this is not Kenny Dalglish’s fault. We almost certainly wouldn’t be losing a player of this calibre had he not been foolishly loaned out by Hodgson.

Dalglish inherited an emotionally damaged player who had every right to feel angry and push for a move back home. As he showed by selling Fernando Torres, Kenny is not afraid to ship out disruptive influences, no matter how good they are.

In the end, the club will be ok, and it’s a great move for Aquilani’s career, but you can’t help but feel Liverpool will lack that little bit of creative edge when key players like Suarez, Meireles and Gerrard are unavailable.

At the moment, for example, both Gerrard and Meireles are injured leaving Luis Suarez as the chief creative force against Bolton this weekend.

Young Jordan Henderson looks a decent player but so early in his career there are doubts about whether he has the ability to unlock stubborn defences with a moment of magic or take a game by the scruff of the neck. It will be interesting to see how Liverpool play this weekend with no Meireles, especially if Suarez is substituted off.

Certainly, already this season when Meireles and Suarez haven’t played Liverpool have looked a little short of ideas in the final third.

At Sunderland, Liverpool’s play turned sloppy after Suarez tired and was eventually subbed off. At Arsenal, Liverpool struggled to create chances before the double introduction of Suarez and Meireles saw the game saved and at Exeter, Suarez’s influence was again noticeable when after he was subbed off Liverpool’s attacks became increasingly predictable.

However, only time will tell if Liverpool has enough depth in terms of creativity to get the goals they’ll need for a top four finish. This is just a small tribute to a great player that could’ve been an Anfield legend had things panned out differently.

At the end of the day, we could end up ruing a missed opportunity, only time will tell. As Damien Comolli put it,

“I want to pay tribute to the way Alberto has conducted himself during these discussions. Throughout the entire process, his only desire has been to play football and he has put this ahead of any other considerations and at personal cost to himself. We wish him well for the season ahead.”

When all is said and done, all we can do is wish the player well too, and hope that both he and Liverpool prosper in the coming season. However, this whole situation is fast becoming a little bit like a bad break up. Both parties need to figure out a permanent solution at the end of the season, so we can all move on with our lives.

Submitted by Liverpool Football Blog




  1. FeintZebra

    August 26, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    At least spell Hodgson right!

    • liverpoolfootballblog

      August 27, 2011 at 1:49 am

      “Alberto Aquilani to AC Milan: Will Liverpool be left ruing this decision?”

      This was the original headline of the article. Editor made a mistake here. I know how to spell Hodgson.

  2. nik gresham

    August 26, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    spot on summary the player is actually the playmaker we need and Hodgson made him feel unwanted and the job Joe Cole could not do is what Aquilani could have done this mistake ultimately cost Roy his job as Liverpool struggled to create enough chances to win games.

  3. steve mcauley

    August 26, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    considering he couldn’t get a kick at liverpool, a move to accrington stanley would be considered a leap forward!
    maybe, if you work at it, you could blame old wub-woy with the iraqi war, the drop in dow jones (whoever he is!) or the bloody kennedy assassination!
    in case y’all haven’t noticed, Kenny Dalglish doesn’t fancy aqua either!
    if you’re gonna blame anyone then point the finger at rafa benitez who paid the guts of £20m for a crock!

    • liverpoolfootballblog

      August 27, 2011 at 1:51 am

      Aquilani looked very good in the second half of his first season with Benitez. He also looked very good at Juventus last year. And he looked very good in pre-season this Summer. Take off your rose tinted spectacles and see that this is a quality player and a dumb move.

      • steve mcauley

        August 27, 2011 at 12:19 pm

        i admit he looked good in italy where he has loads of time on the ball, he didn’t have that luxury here and as for pre-season, i would look good against the opposition we faced! as for the rose-tinted specs remark, i guess king kenny must have a pair too or he wouldn’t have let him go, i rest my case!

        • Bob Spencer

          August 27, 2011 at 4:22 pm

          It’s funny: you say YOU would have looked good against the opposition we faced, but very few of our players did….which is why we lost so many games, and shipped so many goals.

          Yet Aquilani shone….

          Make up your mind, will you?

  4. Mick Gamble

    August 26, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    What a load of rubbish this article is.
    Only Suarez being the only creative player tomorrow. What about Downing and Adam? Kenny stated Aqua was no trouble at all but couldnt settle as his wife and child were in Italy. So to label someone disruptive is incorrect.

    • liverpoolfootballblog

      August 27, 2011 at 1:52 am

      Downing is a winger, therefore he can’t impact everything on the pitch if he’s going to be out wide. And no, Adam is not creative enough. If Suarez is substituted against Bolton, we’ll look very average, you’ll see.

  5. Roger Hunt

    August 26, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    Hello Einstein, the whole premise of your article is totally wrong.

    Believe it or not Aquilani asked Hodgson to go on loan last season despite what he said in the press about staying.

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but it’s a fact. He’s played us for fools yet again for asking for yet another loan this season.

    Do you see a pattern developing…

    Perhaps he should “man up” and start wearing the trousers in his relationship as well.

    • Sib

      August 26, 2011 at 9:45 pm

      Aqua did not ask to go on loan last season until after he was advised he was surplus to requirements. That is FACT.

    • liverpoolfootballblog

      August 27, 2011 at 1:55 am

      Yes. I see a pattern of British managers favouring average British players instead of quality international ones like Aquilani.

      • Bob Spencer

        August 27, 2011 at 4:25 pm

        Seems so. I could understand that Dalglish thought he’d be on his way to Juventus, and had made plans (Adam) already, and to buy Adam, but play Aquilani would appear ridiculous, but clearly Aquilani is the better player.

        Quality ought to take precedence.

  6. Sylvergreat

    August 27, 2011 at 12:12 am

    Roy hodglson,gillet and hicks planned 2 kill lfc but God delivered us.lfc is so bigger than roy,he can’t manage us,bc of the high aspiration and ambition.he is where he belongs now.

  7. sai

    August 27, 2011 at 2:45 am

    hodgson and dalglish are the two idiot british manager all the time! british never succed coz they all are lazy! am i rite? see how the british economy now?

  8. Bob Spencer

    August 27, 2011 at 4:29 pm


    In general, I agree with your sentiments about Aquilani. It’s criminal he’s been allowed to leave.

    However, I strongly disagree with what you said about his poor work ethic against Valencia. He’s my favourite Liverpool player, and that was the first chance I’ve had to see him play live for us for over a year, so was watching his every move like a hawk: he was all over the pitch, running, chasing, closing down opponents, and this in spite of the fact nobody on OUR side was passing to him.
    At one point he was haring after the goalkeeper near his six-yard box, so this, I’m afraid, is clearly wrong in your analysis.

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