Fascinating interview with former Liverpool director of football, Damien Comolli in the Daily Mail, in which he said that Liverpool owners believed that the signing of Jordan Henderson was a ‘massive mistake”.
Henderson, who signed for Liverpool for a deal worth £20 million pounds took a long time to settle at Anfield and his signing was viewed as a failure before Brendan Rodgers took him under his wing. Today Henderson is viewed as the future captain of Liverpool football club.
Further Comolli stated that his transfer plans were in accordance with FSG’s philosophy and his signings should have been given more time to establish themselves before being branded as a failure.
‘The issue I have got is when a group of owners approach somebody like me and say we want to invest for the long term, we want you to sign young players, we want you to put together a squad which has a future for the next three to five years, we want you to work with the academy and we start to do all this and after a few months or a few years they say: “Sorry, it’s not working out”.
‘You cannot say you have to focus on the future and at the same time say the young players are not ready to compete at the top level.
‘When I left Liverpool, the owners told me Henderson was a massive mistake. Now he’s turned out to be the next Liverpool captain and he’s a regular in every game.’
Comolli also believes that spending £35 million on Andy Carroll was a good decision as he is unplayable on his day and was unfortunate with injuries.
‘I will stick to what I have always said about Andy Carroll. When he is fit, he is unplayable. When he has been fit at West Ham, he has shown what he can do, scoring goals, making assists, being a constant threat.
‘When people say we made a mistake, I’m still not convinced we made a mistake. It’s just we haven’t seen the best of Andy Carroll because of all the injuries’, he said.
‘I don’t think I have to justify whether Carroll was a good decision or a bad decision. Look at it as a whole. When people talk to me nowadays about Liverpool, they say what a fantastic job you did in bringing players like Luis Suarez and Jordan Henderson to the club’.
I can see Comolli’s point on having a transfer policy based on signing good young talent and then giving up on those players too early. Henderson being the prime example. But it is often the case that it takes players time to settle at a bog club like Liverpool, especially if they are moving to England for the first time.
Look at Luis Suárez for example. It took him a season and a half to really hit his stride. In 2010-11 he scored 3 times in 13 matches. The next season he got 17 goals in 39 games. Not bad, but nowhere near as good as his last two seasons where he scored 61 goals in 81 matches.