Soccer

The ones that got away: Liverpool edition

Liverpool have made some mistakes over the last few years...

I’m feeling melancholy. After Daniel Sturridge salvaged a point from the jaws of an underwhelming defeat, I can’t help but think that Liverpool misses a bit of creativity from the midfield. It doesn’t help that said creativity is currently doing some absolutely disgusting, nay illegal things for Barcelona.

Indeed, it seems that swapping Croxteth for Catalonia has done the little Brazilian wonders. It hasn’t really hurt Liverpool until now. As usual, I have overanalyzed the loss of the $142 million man, and have found a recurring pattern over Liverpool’s history: the ones that got away always sting. Without further ado…

We never knew what we had until he was gone: Xabi Alonso

Hard truth: sometimes I like Xabi more than Steven Gerrard (sorry Stevie, I shall repent later.) Seriously though, Alonso was as classy on the pitch as he is off it. He literally never misplaced a pass, read the game so well, and did this twice:

The midfield trio of him, Stevie Gerrard (the best English midfielder of all time, and it’s not close), and Javier Mascherano was almost unbeatable. Which is why it makes sense that then Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez offloaded Alonso in favor of Gareth Barry, who he failed to sign anyway. Wait what?

Rafaaaaa

Nice one, Rafa lad. Liverpool’s midfield was never the same again. Fernando Torres saw his form disappear, and the tailend of Stevie G’s prime years were spent playing with Jay Spearing. We love you, Xabi.

The bad boy we thought we could change: Luis Suarez

Luis Suarez is a special kind of awful human being. But we loved him so. He fits into the Sergio Ramos category: hate him when he’s playing against you, but adore him when he wears your favorite team’s colors. When Liverpool signed him for a remarkably cheap $30 million, we got our hands on one of the best strikers in the world.

There was a catch, however. The man had a violent history: biting, racism and just being a bit of an arse:

And we thought we could change him. (shoutout to how he tried to give it the “What? Me?” treatment)

But something remarkable happened. Although booed everywhere, Luis cleaned up his act. He became a bit more classy, reserved. It was the perfect love affair. The bad boy we turned into the sweetheart. But then trouble struck with Suarez in trouble for saying a horrifically racist thing to Patrice Evra. He was banned eight games.

He returned and did this:

Again, there was a period of pure ecstasy in what was a BRILLIANT 2013-14 season that definitely didn’t end in one of the most heartbreaking moments of my life.

Then he had to and bite Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup, and that was it. We had to let him go.

The one who was not right for us: Philippe Coutinho

This still stings. For a while, we didn’t miss good ‘ole Phil, but Liverpool fans would be lying if they said they wouldn’t take Coutinho back in a heartbeat. The issue was, Phil never really bought into Klopp’s system. He would have moments of brilliance, but then disappear for 60 minutes. They never had the same interests. He always wanted to be wild and free, while Klopp needed him to, well, actually defend. While it was brilliant at the start, the relationship started to crumble. Rumors of an imminent Barcelona move started floating around in 2016, and by Christmas 2017, he was gone. It was a mutual breakup, and both of us are happier now, but it’s impossible not to wonder what could have been.

The one who developed a pretty bad drug habit and we’re probably relieved we don’t have anymore: Daniel Agger

Poor taste? Absolutely. If anything, the tale of Agger is an incredibly sad one. An incredibly talented center back, with a canon of a left foot, the Dane was brilliant for us for a few years. However, various ailments left him unable to play without being loaded up on a frightening amount of painkillers. Poor Danny, he was so good. He quit football in 2015 and is now supposedly a reasonably successful tattoo business owner. Good for you, Danny. Stay off the juice.

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