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Who’s The Boss??

Liverpool manager roy hodgson

Written by Brad Wyllie.

Liverpool’s Javier Mascherano has recently been involved in a conspicuous three way battle with Spanish Giants, Barcelona, Italian treble winners, Inter Milan, and his own club, Liverpool. With only a few precious days left before the dreaded transfer window slams shut, something has to give in order to remotely satisfy all parties involved.

Liverpool Boss, Roy Hodgson, has stated to the media that he is aware of Mascherano’s (or his wife’s and family’s) unhappiness and is willing to let him go, but he has made it very clear that he will only go if the price is right. He has `stuck to his guns’ by reportedly rejecting a cheeky £12 million offer from the Catalan club. Subsequently the Argentinian seemingly refused to play in Liverpool’s disappointing 3-0 loss to big four rivals, Manchester City, on Monday night. Since when did players have this sort of power? Sure they could have fined him two weeks wages (as that is the maximum allowed without involving the PFA) but what good would that do when his future employers would most probably refund that money and give him a pat on the back for his hand in sweetening the deal?

Mascherano is not completely in the wrong by requesting the move. He first asked to leave the club over a year ago but was told to stay for one more season. With Xabi Alonso’s expected departure, former boss, Rafael Benitez, had no option but to hang onto his prize asset. Since then a lot has changed at Anfield. There is a new boss at the helm, the highly disliked American owners are on their final stretch as the club’s owners, new faces are involved in the boardroom as an effort is made to successfully sell the club and Liverpool has just had their worst season since the 93-94 season, in which they finished 8th.

New Liverpool boss, Hodgson, would presumably value the idea of having a player of Mascherano’s ability in his armoury, but as Liverpool fans saw briefly at the start of the last campaign when Mascherano was told he was going nowhere, an unhappy players performance levels are questionable.

Inter’s interest in the player has been silently obvious. Benitez is clearly a big fan of the 26 year old as he was the one who brought the current Argentinian captain to Liverpool in 2007. Liverpool reportedly paid a fee of £18 million for the defensive midfielder when he was taken from the pits of West Ham’s reserve squad with his career spiralling downwards. Since then he’s played a total of 139 games for the club, becoming his country’s youngest ever captain and won his second gold medal at the Olympics with his Argentinian team.

The experience he has gained and the reputation he has built up while on the books of Liverpool FC is staggering in comparison with the reputation he had as an exceptional young talent when he joined West Ham in 2006. Now surely this would not have dropped his value from £18 million to £12 million? Surely it would have now increased somewhere closer to the valuation Hodgson has placed on the player, which is thought to be closer to £25 million?

Barcelona are no strangers to tapping up players and using player power to their advantage. Just ask Arsenal fans and Arsene Wenger after the roller coaster ride they’ve recently been on with Cesc Fabregas. They seem to have a very emotional tie with players where they make the players feel like there should be no other destination but the Camp Nou. They brain wash targets without even speaking with the player’s club. The player then loses interest in his current club and demands to leave, drops his performance, complains about his unfortunate circumstances and thus forces the clubs to sell their unmotivated players. Due to the lack of choice for the club they are then forced to sell the player for a lot less than the market value, or face the idea of losing him for nothing at the end of his contract.

Not only is it the Barcelona management, but also their players. International teammates, friends and former playing partners are tapping up potential targets, marketing their club as the best and initiating the interest. Not only do they manipulate the target but they use the media as a weapon. Many Barcelona players have in the past pleaded with coaches to allow their players to leave for the Spanish champions. Most recently in the latest chapter in the Javier Mascherano saga, Lionel Messi, who is regarded as the best footballer in the world, has come out and said Liverpool need to act `humanely’ as quoted in the Daily Express. Asking someone to act humanely is a term which could very much have been used in the apartheid days in South Africa or the days of slavery in the United States. Definitely not in a case where a player is earning close on £100 000 a week, playing regular football for a club whose fans, up until now, have shown more than enough love and support for him and where he is in no way a victim of human right’s violations. These types of accusations and pleas are not at all valid or acceptable. Sure the player wants to leave, but as stated, he may leave – but only at the RIGHT price!

It all comes down to this new shift in power from the club to the player. Something has to change soon otherwise the validity of a player’s contract will wither away to nothing and the clubs will fall victim to huge financial losses and disloyalty for many years to come.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. The EPL Kid

    August 27, 2010 at 10:06 am

    We have seen barcelona do this with Cesc Fabregas and now with Mascherano but no one in world football wants to touch them. Why? No team should be above the law and they should be slammed with a transfer ban similar to that of Chelsea

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