‘Amused’ Lampard lists Liverpool’s ‘high-level’ spending

Frank Lampard finds Jurgen … The post ‘Amused’ Lampard lists Liverpool’s ‘high-level’ spending appeared first on Football365.

‘Amused’ Lampard lists Liverpool’s ‘high-level’ spending

Frank Lampard has branded Jurgen Klopp’s criticism of Chelsea’s spending ‘amusing’.

Chelsea have spent more than £200million on new recruits in a summer of Stamford Bridge rebuilding, but Klopp insisted Liverpool were different from “clubs owned by countries and oligarchs”.

Blues manager Lampard believes Klopp was as much defending Liverpool’s lack of summer signings as overlooking the Reds’ previous recruitment drives that have propelled the Anfield club back to the top.



“I was less annoyed with it, I found it more, slightly amusing, I would say,” said Lampard. “Because I think when you talk about the owners of clubs, I don’t think it matters what line of business they come from, we’re talking about some very wealthy owners of clubs in the Premier League.

“I think with Liverpool’s story – and I referenced it a lot last year, Liverpool’s story – it’s a fantastic story of a club over four-and-a-half, five years that Jurgen Klopp’s been there that have managed to get recruitment right to a really high level.

“And the reality is probably, other than maybe Leicester, which is an incredible story, most clubs that win the Premier League in the modern day have recruited well and recruited at a high level money-wise. And you can go through the Liverpool players: Van Dijk, Alisson, Fabinho, Keita, Mane, Salah, incredible players, that came at a very high price.

“So Liverpool have done it, and they’ve done it over a period of time. What we’ve done is come off the back of a ban, probably tried to address the situation ourselves to help improve us.

 

“So I think it’s par for the course, and I think we all know that there’s no point in doing the maths too much because I think we know that Liverpool have spent at a high level, we know they have an incredible coach, we know they have incredible players.

“And the really smart thing Liverpool have done I think is believe in their coach, believe in their system for a number of years. So it’s a great story, but it’s story that has seen money spent on players. And this summer we’ve spent money on players, and now the hard work has to be done.”

Lampard has admitted he expects Chelsea’s other rivals to follow Klopp’s lead in criticising the west Londoners’ free-spending summer, but also conceded that is all part of the Premier League battleground.

Asked if Chelsea have to accept their transfer business will draw attention from their rivals, Lampard continued: “Yeah and those are the rules because I would maybe reference it elsewhere.

“I probably mentioned the transfer ban quite a lot last year, and maybe I felt that was some of the reason we were 30 points behind the top two teams. And when Jose Mourinho might mention it, he maybe wouldn’t have done when he was at Manchester United. These are the rules.

“Sometimes if you have the opportunity to invest at a club, managers at a top club, you try to do it as well as you can.

“I feel we’ve done it this summer with a view on bringing in young players of high talent, I believe very high talent, of course with the exception of Thiago Silva and his age. But to try to improve the club, and that’s part of our plan.

“And my job is to work with that, and my job is not to get too caught up in the comments of others. Because a lot of managers who work at clubs at this level will be spending money.

“And we’ll be judged on how well we spend the money, how well we coach the players we bring in, and we’ll be judged by the results we get.”

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Why does the prospect of relegation still loom over Sheff Utd?

Astute signings who fit … The post Why does the prospect of relegation still loom over Sheff Utd? appeared first on Football365.

Why does the prospect of relegation still loom over Sheff Utd?

Not one of us predicted Sheffield United to be relegated: we were too scared. The potential for being right isn’t worth the possibility of a bloody nose and Chris Wilder’s public, brutal condemnation of our prognoses; he will absolutely have read them. But despite our hesitation to damn Dem Blades, a sense lingers in the Football365 basement (stemming particularly from our resident fan) that they may well struggle…

Wilder led his unique side to ninth in the Premier League last season, playing a nuanced style of football never before seen in the top flight. It was a remarkable campaign: one which saw them take four points off Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs and Wolves. They would have secured a place in Europe has it not been for three defeats in their last three games.

The business this summer has been solid and smart, if not spectacular, as is their wont.

Sheffield United’s system requires specialists, not just right-back or even right wing-back, but a specialist right wing-back. Whoever plays in those wide ‘defensive’ roles must be able to perform those classic lung-busting runs up and down the wing, but also be able to dovetail with the overlapping centre-backs, who require a very specific skill set of their own.

Jayden Bogle and Max Lowe – signed for a combined £15million from Derby – will provide competition for George Baldock and Enda Stevens in those expert wing-back roles, typically positions requiring competent back-ups given the effort they require.

They fit the lively youngster mould Wilder favours, as does Ethan Ampadu. The 19-year-old – signed on loan from Chelsea – will be hoping for game time this season. He has more caps for Wales than senior starts for his parent club and featured in just three Bundesliga games for RB Leipzig last season. But again, crucially, he has the ability to play the specialist role required. Comfortable on the ball with no small amount of technical ability, he’s been brought in with overlapping in mind.

Oliver Burke, despite his own relative youth, fits more snugly in Wilder’s other primary transfer category: the passion project. Punts on Ravel Morrison and Jack Rodwell may not have paid off, but the likes of David McGoldrick and Jack O’Connell are bit-part Football League players turned Premier League regulars.

If Burke is to resurrect what has so far been a bizarre career that’s seen him start just 28 games in four different countries in the last four seasons, Bramall Lane is the place to do it.

Astute signings then, all of which fit the tried-and-tested Sheffield United framework. So, what’s the problem?

Something could be said for teams working them out – ten points in nine games after Project Restart may suggest as much. But they were hampered by key injuries through that period and Wilder was ever-eager to point out that the poor results were due to their own failings rather than a change of approach from the opposition.

But that points to perhaps the big concern: they struggled to drag themselves out of a rut. Other teams, even relegation candidates, have X factor players – Wilfried Zaha, Jack Grealish – while the Blades are lacking someone (anyone) who can create something out of nothing.

Those sorts of players can be problematic and disrupt the delicate balance in an egoless dressing room like Sheffield United’s. And more simply, they are too expensive – unless you happen to find one in your Academy.

But it could be their downfall this season. And perhaps – to some extent – explains the lingering feeling of negativity, that we’re not brave enough to admit, but will probably evaporate as teams continue to be befuddled by a now old-fangled, but no less perplexing, eccentric form of football.

 

Will Ford is on Twitter

The post Why does the prospect of relegation still loom over Sheff Utd? appeared first on Football365.

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