Robbie Keane is now a Red

Liverpool have made their first big transfer of this summer, signing Robbie Keane from Tottenham Hotspur in a deal that could be worth up to £20.3m. After passing a medical on Merseyside earlier today Irish forward Keane signed a four-year contract for the Reds, said to be worth £80,000 per-week, and is expected to be unveiled at a press conference tomorrow, ahead of Liverpool’s flight to Spain for a pre-season friendly.

According to the Spurs website, Liverpool will pay the London side £19m for Keane, with a further £1.3m potentially to be paid later, based on undisclosed conditions.

Liverpool's Robbie Keane in an Ireland matchBefore the Keane deal was done, Liverpool boss Rafa Benítez had so far spent less than he’d brought in for transfers over the summer. His four previous signings added up to a total cost of £11.5m, with £7m Andrea Dossena the most expensive ahead of £3m Diego Cavalieri, £1.5m David N’gog and free transfer Philipp Degen.

Peter Crouch has been the most lucrative departure at a potential £11m, with the £4m received for John Arne Riise, alongside £3.25m for Scott Carson and £2.5m for Danny Guthrie, bringing in a total of around £20.75m. Jermaine Pennant, Andriy Voronin, Álvaro Arbeloa and Steve Finnan are some of the names still linked with moves away from Anfield, with Xabi Alonso’s future still uncertain.

On top of these sales Rafa is believed to have a £20m net transfer budget; his net spend so far for the summer, including the full Keane fee, is just over £11m.

For Keane it’s a second chance to pull on the famous shirt of the club he supported as a child. He was given the chance to sign as a youth for Liverpool fourteen years ago, but instead chose to start his professional career at Wolves, moving from local schoolboy side Crumlin United. The South Dublin club are believed to be entitled to a small cut of the fee Liverpool have paid for the player.

After Wolves he joined Coventry for £6m, which in 1999 was a record for a teenager. Then his value more than doubled when Inter Milan snapped him up for £13m. This didn’t work out after the coach who bought him – Marcelo Lippi – was sacked by the Italian side and so Keane was soon back in the Premier League, playing for Leeds, on loan initially.

Leeds were still spending big money at the time, and turned the loan permanent six months later for £12m. A little over a year later the financial troubles had hit and Keane was sold to Spurs for £7m.

That proved to be the longest run he had with any club, today’s transfer ending a six-year spell with the London side. In that time he scored 80 goals in 197 league appearances, 107 goals in 253 appearances overall. He was named vice-captain and wore the armband on numerous occasions in the absence of Ledley King, and was very much adored by the White Hart Lane fans.

Surprisingly he has only won one major honour, picking up a Carling Cup winner’s medal last season as his club beat Chelsea at Wembley.

Internationally he became Ireland’s skipper in 2006, and with 33 goals is their all-time top scorer, well ahead of previous record-holder Niall Quinn’s haul of 21. Quinn was just ahead of former Liverpool striker John Aldridge, who ended his career with Ireland having scored 19 times.

Keane shares an agent with Liverpool captain and vice-captain Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher, and it seems this link has helped this deal to come off. Spurs weren’t happy, according to their chairman Daniel Levy, who recently claimed he had reported Liverpool to the Premier League for an unauthorised approach. This claim related to Rafa admitting in a press conference, in response to a direct question, that he was interested in Keane. But the admission came after Liverpool and Spurs had already been in advanced discussions for some time. Spurs were annoyed all the more that Rafa’s comments also appeared on the club’s official site on July 10th: “Keane is one of the other names and, okay, we are working on other names. We were in contact and we will see now.”

Spurs now say that they have dropped any action against LFC, in return for a Reds donation to a Spurs charity, the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation. A statement on Spurs’ official site read: “The Club can announce that it has reached agreement with Liverpool FC for the transfer of Robbie Keane.”

It then quoted Levy, who said: “I was incredibly disappointed when I first heard, not only that Liverpool had been working behind the scenes to bring Robbie to Anfield, but that Robbie himself wanted to go and he submitted a transfer request to this effect.

“I have already made my opinion clear on the nature of this transaction. I don’t regard it as a transfer deal – that is something which happens between two clubs when they both agree to trade – this is very much an enforced sale, for which we have agreed a sum of £19m as compensation plus a potential further £1.3m in additional compensation.”

The Spurs site said Liverpool had “acknowledged” how putting Rafa’s comments (which had been on many other websites over the course of the day, including in video form on the Sky Sports website) on their own website was “inappropriate”: “Liverpool FC has also acknowledged that the way its website reported comments of its manager, which were widely covered by the media, was inappropriate and in light of that acknowledgement has apologised and agreed to make a donation to our Club’s main charity, the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation. Tottenham Hotspur has therefore agreed not to pursue its official complaint to the Premier League.”

Keane himself actually thanked Levy, and said he hoped the Spurs fans would understand why he felt he had to make this move: “I would specifically like to thank Daniel Levy for understanding that, as a fan, joining Liverpool is a lifelong dream of mine and one I couldn’t let pass me by. I hope one day the Spurs fans, who have been brilliant to me, can understand this, too.”

Although it seems likely Liverpool will need to sell at least one player first, the pursuit of Gareth Barry isn’t entirely dependent on Xabi Alonso being that player sold. Rafa has spoken before of how Barry would not be a direct replacement for Xabi. Regardless of that, Liverpool will not pay Villa’s asking price of over £18m, no matter how many times Martin O’Neill complains through the press. And the hints that Robbie Keane has been signed instead of Barry are wide of the mark; Keane’s signature has not ended Liverpool’s interest in Barry.

After fining him and banning him from Villa’s premises, O’Neill is now talking about how he wants Barry to stay, perhaps even offering him a new contract. Knowing Liverpool are still very much interested in him, Barry is unlikely to accept that offer, knowing that he becomes more and more affordable the less time is left on his contract.

O’Neill turned down the option of first refusal on Scott Carson earlier in the summer, a fee of £8m believed to have been agreed when Carson first joined Villa on a 12-month £2m loan deal. Rafa is believed to have later offered him Carson for just £6m, again O’Neill unwilling or unable to meet that price. With Carson joining Villa’s local rivals West Brom for just £3.25m, O’Neill could still have stepped in with a better offer and turned Carson’s year-long stay into a permanent deal. Instead he has bought another former Liverpool keeper, Brad Friedel, for a fee believed to be just £2m.

The £10m fee often reported as agreed between the two clubs was believed to include the £2m loan fee already paid for Carson’s 12 months at Villa park, but it did seem to be the fee holding O’Neill back from buying Carson permanently: “We have a number of issues,” O’Neill said in May, “Scott is not our player. Liverpool have the right to do what they see fit at the moment. What I would like to say is that he has come here this season and other than being sent off in one game against Manchester United, he has played all the games possible. He played 35 out of 38 games in the league and overall I am really pleased he came to us.

“Scott came in and he had a lot to face up to in terms of having played for England in his tenure here. All the England players, and especially him, were blamed for their failure to qualify. Then he had the next couple of weeks where he was under pressure. I thought he coped with that pretty well.”

Despite those praise-filled words, O’Neill decided against beating the West Brom bid of just £3.25m, and once again questions have to be asked as to just how much of a budget O’Neill has this summer, and how much his plans might hinge on persuading Liverpool to pay his valuation for Gareth Barry. Although Liverpool’s interest in the player remains strong, the more of pre-season goes by the less effective his arrival at the club could be, and eventually there will come a point where Rafa will look at other options.

But Rafa Benítez will be delighted that Robbie Keane will be pictured alongside him in a Liverpool shirt tomorrow, LFC scarf over his head, after the club have paid what is second only to the Fernando Torres fee in their list of record signings. He’ll be delighted to have a similar photo-shoot alongside Barry, but O’Neill will have to accept a lower fee first, a fee that would still be Liverpool’s third-highest transfer fee of all time.

Keane is expected to be given the number 7 shirt, recently vacated by his former Leeds team-mate Harry Kewell.

66 thoughts on “Robbie Keane is now a Red”

  1. £20 million for Keane?

    The world has gone mad..He is a good player ,quick thinker,creative but NO PACE,NO POWER,NO STRENGTH..

    Tottenham must have a replacement already in place or they would not have let him go.

    Arshavin will be a very good acquisition for less money than they received from Keane sale…He will be a Spurs player by the end of the week.

    Spurs are on a winner here.

  2. Now why would Judas Keane want to go to a club that wins sod all and further drive a nail into the coffin of the Premiership as 16 other teams go under due to all their players wanting to go to Chelsea/Man U/Liverpool/Arsenal

  3. Superb piece of business by Rafa, hopefully Keane will play his best football at Anfield.

    Our squad now compared to that of the 2005 Champions League team is so radically different it’s insane. The team is so much stronger in all areas (except maybe fullback as this has been a problem area).

    Good luck Robbie! I’ll see you at the Lazio game hopefully.

  4. At last it is a good transfer for us but I bet there are many unhappy spurs fans Robbie is the kind of goal getter that should compliment Torres I expect he will take the number 7 and the left wing which begs the question where will Babel fit in now?

    Speculation has Silva in Raffa’s sights as O’Neill refuses to negotiate the Barry deal with Liverpool.

  5. How are bitter spurs fans gettin on our site? Hahahahahaha a club that wins sod all? That league cup must be goingto your head mate !!!

  6. @name

    “Now why would Judas Keane want to go to a club that wins sod all”

    I think you’ll find that we’ve won more major trophies in the last 8 years than anyone, except Man Utd.

    Idiot.

  7. name // Jul 29, 2008 at 12:07 am
    Now why would Judas Keane want to go to a club that wins sod all and further drive a nail into the coffin of the Premiership as 16 other teams go under due to all their players wanting to go to Chelsea/Man U/Liverpool/Arsenal

    you only have yourselves to blame!! We have won sod all….check our stats… you lot don´t even come close….loser

  8. i think this could be potentionaly a very good signing as you see keane is a proven goalscorer in the premiership fair eneogh he scored 15 goals last season and we need at least a 25 goal a season man man. When you think about it spurs were brutal last year keane will get far better service of the ball with us and that could create 20-25 goals a season. Rafa sees something in him and that is why he was bought he’s our player now so we have to get behind him and give him support BEST OF LUCK ROBBIE DO US PROUD

  9. @ All

    Tottenham did win a trophy last year….not that I can remember what it’s called now! Is it still called the Milk Cup???

    To be fair to Spurs they do play attractive football. I watched their game against Norwich last night and nothing’s changed there. However, is (largely) losing prettily enough?! Clearly not for Keane or, apparently, Berbatov.

    Keane to Liverpool is an interesting connundrum for us/Rafa. Presumably he will start up front with Torres. But I can see him playing on the right with Kuyt, yes Kuyt, playing up front with Torres – and of course there is the Stevie G option. Rafa now has a number of permutations to try in one game. Much like Man United but without the same quality as Ronaldo, Rooney, Tevez et al as some would argue. We are now in a new ball game. But we do need to sort out our left side ie someone who can take care of the skill of Ronaldo or the power of Essien to be in with a real chance of taking on Utd and Chelsea, for example.

    Interesting time to be a LFC fan. But I’m still struggling to answer the question: what difference have our new owners made in this transfer window? Rafa seems to have made all the cash himself (EPL, Champions league and trades in sales). This question is not a dig at our owners as such, but I do want to know what the difference is between their ownership and the one previous and also whether we may ever find ourselves buying ‘snoogy doogy’ without being a selling club first – as Wenger admits Arsenal currently are due to the costs of their stadium!

  10. The Robbie signing does pose some interesting options for the boss 4-3-3 could look like this
    Pepe
    Carra Agger, Skrtel, Dosena
    Macha, Gerrard, Alonso,
    Kyte, Torres, Keane

    Now then that looks like a champion team to me

  11. KEEEAAAANNNNNNOOOOOOOOO!!

    Brilliant signing by Rafa. I can’t think of any player who would be better alongside Torres.

    What’s so important about Keano is that he is a red through and through. That’s worth an extra 50% in itself. Look at Gerrard, Carra, Fowler et al…… they have that extra 50% because they passionately love the club. Count Keano in that gang too.

    Keano and Nando are going to be a class act.

    Does anyone remember the Dexy’s Midnight Runners song Gino? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJYDPw6yl4M

    Da da da da daaaaa da da da da da, ooo-ooh KEANO!

  12. Hes Fast
    hes red
    he talks like father Ted
    he robbie keane

    i stole this from another thread

  13. Barry staying at Villa, according to Villa’s official web-site. I wonder what Mr. Barry has to say about that?! I wonder if he’ll sign a new contract or leave on a free at the end of his current deal?

    At least, for now, Alonso stays and gets a chance to prove Rafa wrong. Fingers-crossed!

  14. I dont think we’ll get him this year but next summer i wouldnt be surprised to see him signing for half the price MON wants for him now. Thats if he’s not too upset with Rafa for not striking a deal this year

  15. O’Neill has blotted his copy book on this one and some does rub off on Raffa between them the summer spectacle they both engineered is a pathetic demonstration of mismanagement.

    I am not disapointed in missing out on Barry in fact I am relieved because I do think Alonso is the better player. Alonso has had some terrible mis-timed tackles in some dangerous positions from time to time but overall I think his passing is second to none.

    Come on you reds

  16. What a joke this hole Barry saga. That’s lasted now for three months. Where is the backing for Rafa? The Thruth is: Our ”pennyles custodians” have not backed Rafa this summer!
    There is and has not been any budget. Not this summer and not last winter or summer. All Rafa has is the money he generates for selling players + maybe 30% from last years CL run. Where is tv-money and CL-price money then going? What about this £60m borrowed money in january? Was it not for starting the stadium and for new players in the summer.. Fact is our whole net spend in the new ownership until now has been about £30-35m,(three different transfer windows)
    and three times Rafa has demanded backing, in one of the times came the famous ”concentrate on coaching the players you have”…
    Sell before you can buy, that’s what Rafa has desperately needed to do this summer. Wait for the Riise money to buy Dossena, wait for the Crouch, Guthrie and Carson money to buy Keane. Oh, i’m sorry, they have actually backed Rafa in this summers transfer window! For about £10m. Great! And for their and Rafa’s defence i have to say Martin O’neill is amazing also, is he really trying to force unhappy player to stay who has publicly declared his wish to go Liverpool…I have to admire Barry for his professionalism in this soap opera..
    Nowadays in this site if you dare criticise the owners you get ”branded” like a child whose crying for not getting what he wants, or not genuine fan, or get totally dismissed for saying things that ”doesn’t help in the current situation” i think thats wrong and totally opposite. I cant believe fans who are saying Hicks and Gillett are our owners, accept it and start to support them. Wake up friends!
    It’s true we should concentrate on the field issues, support the team(including Voronin and Degen), be happy of the arrival of Keane and our young talents in the reserve and youth teams. But sometimes you get frustrated and can’t help but wonder how SHORT MEMORIES SOME FANS HAVE! What happened last season? What has happened in the ownership of our custodians? Off the field chaos!
    We have been in the champions league semi-finals three times in the last four years(better than anyone in that time) and our manager has to wheel and deal for a decent backing, Amazing!!
    Fact is Barry IS better for us than Alonso, whether it’s a straight swap between them or not, Rafa still would sacrifice Alonso to get him..

    Spurs bought Bentley for £15-17m, how much for Pennant then? I have to say between £9-11m or Rafa is right not to sell.

  17. Well said Jussi, your clearly a pissed off guy! But what you say is right, Rafa has had to sell to buy, and of course that’s a natural thing to happen, it shouldn’t happen in this way.

    We should be a club that buys Barry first, then sells Alonso and Pennant, otherwise clubs will hold us to ransom.

  18. There are questions to be asked of the owners in relation to why Rafa seems to be required to have a fire-sale before other players can come in, not least because the ‘success’ of the team has brought in cash from EPL and Champions League.

    But I don’t think this should cloud our judgement on the Barry situation. Barry’s simply over-priced. We appeared to be sticking to our guns – although from further reports today and contrary to MONs words, we seem willing to pay it now.

    I watched Alonso play in the Villareal game last night. He played only 20 mins but there was one sumptuous pass to Torres which had his class written all over it. I just hope that we don’t undervalue a player in the market to piece together a deal for a player I like, in Barry, but don’t value higher than Xabi.

    Then, once Rafa gets all the players in and out that he wants or finances dictate, we need to assess what the owners contribution has been and take it from there.

    Whatever happens I really don’t want an uncertain club ownership situation like we had last season.

  19. Jim
    Have you fell asleep on us what is the inside gen on the Barry Saga????? He’s in he’s out O’Neill bluffing or a clown?????

  20. @Yossa Hughes: It seems that Villa are moving the goalposts, whether that’s because they really, desperately need the money or just because they really, desperately want to keep the player isn’t clear.

    Barry and Villa are tied to each by contract, it’s got two years left to go, and Villa can refuse to sell him at any price if they wish. The flip side to that is that Barry can refuse to sign a new contract, and so his value will go down each window until the time he can sign a pre-contract agreement to go for free.

    Villa’s spending so far in this window suggests they’ve not got massive amounts to spend, and O’Neill has said on various occasions he needs to sign a number of new players.

    We’ve gone to them this week with the money needed to clinch a deal as had been “agreed” beforehand. We even, I believe, got a bridging facility to put the money in place now rather than wait for players to be sold. Villa seem to have then changed their requirements.

    The player still wants to join us, LFC still want to sign him, but O’Neill and Villa are blocking it for reasons unknown. Personally I’d say it was time Villa got a final non-negotiable offer from LFC, with a deadline of our own, with payment schedules clearly stated, after which there should be no more contact on this deal.

    I think O’Neill and Lerner would be worried if we backed out now.

    Notice too how Barry’s not gone on record saying he agrees the move is off. And those claims in some papers that Barry wasn’t despised as badly as previously thought seem far-fetched – there’s still a lot of opposition to him staying at Villa from what I can gather, and just wait until he makes a mistake on the field!

  21. @Kopite999: The game’s not on TV, possibly due to rules on the showing of football live on TV at 3pm on a Saturday (supposed to protect other fixtures from reduced attendances). It’s on the official internet site, if you’ve got an e-season ticket, but not on the official satellite/cable channel. It could be on overseas.

    Delayed coverage is on the TV channel at 7pm. http://www.liverpoolfc.tv/tv/today.htm

  22. Thanks for that Jim. I think i’ll wait until 7pm because i’ve watched a couple of games through the website and the picture quality was awful

  23. Good game……for us!

    4 goals in one game matches 4 goals previously. The gig guns prove they are just that.

    Benayoun was very lively. Plessis did well with his shot – for Torres’ goal – and Ngog and Nemeth looked impressive. Just hope we can gradually ease them into the side without them wanting to move on elsewhere, like Carson.

    Young Spearing has a good shot on him. Pity there are so many top-rate central midfielders ahead of him. Darby has a real chance too, if he keeps his head.

    As for MON giving us the green light to sign Barry, I still wouldn’t pay the full amount: Aston Villa now need to sell (as he wants to go!). MON needs to buy and needs the deal to happen as soon as possible.

  24. @midlands-red: Agree with that MR. Hopefully the outfield players will get more opportunities than a goalkeeper would purely because it’s so much easier to rotate out there. We’ve also got the increase in subs from this season, seven can be named every game. So there’s more of an opportunity for a youngster to be on the bench, and where a game is more-or-less sewn up he’s a good chance of coming on.

    Rafa is said to have told some of the youngsters who are going out on loan that he wants them to find clubs relatively near to Anfield, and for the clubs to be preferably Championship, preferably with good set-ups. He’s said to have taken more of an interest in the youngsters than he had previously, and this has helped morale massively at that level.

    I think MON needs to accept a lower offer from LFC, if he wants to use the money for new signings, because it’s not going to be much use to him if he only gets it on August 31st. Interesting that Voronin and Finnan were missing yesterday – the values of those two plus the money we should have remaining from the £20m budget would probably be enough to allow us to pay for Barry.

    The attraction between Alonso and Arsenal is growing, outside of Turkey they are thought to be the only CL side showing any real interest in him. We don’t need to sell him to buy Barry, but you have to question how much football he’d play if Barry was in the squad too.

  25. @Jim

    It does look like Barry is coming – and now I’ve had chance to think about it – I do think our left side needs bolstering (against your Essiens, Ronaldos, even Bentley’s, Rosicky’s etc). But what a poor reflection on MON who had a great deal of respect for. I wonder how many players will be put off my his behaviour!?!

    If, and I still hope we don’t sell Xabi, at least not until we seem his form with Monster and Lucas not around, it does beg the question: what will Rafa do with the extra money from the sale of all the fringe players plus Xabi (given that you infer, and I agree, Xabi’s fee will not be needed for Barry)? Will it be banked? Or is there another ‘surprise;; purchase in the offing?

    Xabi at Arsenal would mean a different type of Arsenal play this year, as Xabi is not Flamini or Gilberto or Vieira. He doesn’t offer the same protection as either but against Greece we saw how Cesc and Xabi could link-up.

    One other question Jim, while I’ve got your attention.

    To what extent is the monies spent/raised as a result of Rafa selling and making money through the Premiership, Champions League and how much is down to the owners putting their own money into the club? I believe they had £20m left out of the money they raised but have they hactually had to find anymore money? I ask because I wnat to know whether it’s time to be fair to Hicks and Gillett (re. their support for the club) At the moment I’m in the doubting camp (ie Rafa’s raised the funds through wheeling and dealing on sales and ‘success’ on the pitch), while the owners have not delivered on snoogy doogy. However, I am open to be pointed in another direction.

  26. @midlands-red I also am an Agnostic but perhaps we have at last some sense of direction which has been sadly lacking. Lets hope so.

    Independent Today
    “At Liverpool, Hicks’ role in the move provides the biggest boost to his reputation since he arrived at the club in February 2007. Though the biggest concern at Anfield has always been the two American owners’ capacity to get a new stadium built, two top-bracket signings and Saturday’s 4-0 friendly win at Rangers provide a sense at last that the club is moving forward.”

  27. Robbie Keane, Kop Chant

    To Tune Of ‘Music Man’
    He Is An An Irish Man
    He’s From Across The Way
    And He Can Play,
    It’s Robbie Keane !

    Kia-Kia, Keano, Keano, Keano

    Kia-Kia, Keano

    Kia, Keano

  28. Lets not get carried away. I know with time passions fade but the owners have not invested in the transfer market. Rafa has generated huge money from sales. The Champions League money coming in over the last two seasons has been huge. And we have a record TV deal from the premiership. Despite all this we still need loans to buy players?

    Why?? Where is all the money going and why are we risking the future of our club in this way??

    I believe its because huge amounts of cash are being drained out of this club from the owners. They have done it in every other business they have ever been involved in. What makes us special?

    Nothing.

  29. Point taken Stephen but what I’m after is some data/facts/figures.

    It’s clear the Americans are involved in our club to make money. Most owners are. And I accept that. The question is: how much money is coming in and how much is going out and to whom? Then we/I can understand whether Rafa’s budget spend is all of his own making (and I actually exclude the money from the TV deal) or not? In other words how much praise do they owners deserve for Keane (and perhaps Barry) and others?

    Then as the season develops and rumours develop around the ownership of the club – and these rumors will start – we will have a better understanding of the facts.

    @ Jim – any figures for us Jim?

  30. Just watching LFC TV and our live friendly.

    Xabi’s scored one and set-up another with a sumptious pass. He’s been close a couple of other times too. He’s top draw, for me.

  31. Benayoun scores a great 3rd goal.

    If we are selling Xabi and Benayoun on this form (regardless of the opposition) it seems we’ll be able to re-pay all the debt on the club!!

  32. With Stevie G injured (at the moment) and Masch and Lucas away, it could well be that Alonso has to play next week in which case he’ll be cuptied for the CL which means that Arsenal et al will not want him. Amen!

  33. I drove past Stanley Park yesterday behind the Anfield road end and there are tree’s felled, BIG trees at that.

    Has anyone any news? I thought we could’nt cut them down untill next month.

  34. Alonso is on sale, until the window will shut 31.8.

    Intreresting point that Rafa publicly declared that benayoun and kuyt are not going to be sold after some speculation in the papers. He did it also fast and clearly.
    He even mentioned of speaking to both players and telling them they will stay.

    yet, on Alonso which has been the main speculation (on players leaving) Rafa simply says he’s very happy to have him, he’s a very good player, professional etc. but not a word to stop the speculation about his future. Clearly he’s out if there is a good offer coming.
    Same could be said about Voronin, Finnan and Pennant also..

  35. @ Jussi

    I agree that Xabi is on offer – Raf’a silence on him yesterday is prove about that – but if he plays next week (against Standard Liege) it changes the picture somewhat.

    In normal circumstances when an employer says he’s happy for you to walk, you walk. But it’s really fascinating watching Xabi play and his muted celebrations (accepting it’s only friendlies). At the back of my mind, I wonder whether that incident when he decided to stay at home (for his new baby) rather than travel to Inter Milan has played against him – we’ve seen what Rafa was like with Pako.

    I hope there’s some way back for him but the signal’s aren’t great………but there’s always Standard Liege.

    Today’s big story – or at least gossip – is about the owners finding the money for Barry. Whether they do – or Rafa finds it in sales from the current squad – we can see where the mood music is ready to sway, if the boys on the pitch are not performing!

  36. With Robbie being a Red I’m sure he’s quickly coming to terms with the media-hype and pressure that comes with being at a club like ours.

    The transfer window is firmly open – not shut for 3 weeks – and because we have not already signed Barry the issues surrounding the clubs owners comes to the fore again.

    Now United haven’t signed Berbatov. Chelsea have not signed Robinho. And Arsenal have yet to buy their experienced central midfielder. Yet I don’t hear large noises about the Glazers, incompetence by Peter Kenyon and the stadium costs crippling the gunners.

    The season is going to be one of noise whether we’re winning or not. Our media cards are marked (with some justification based on the American owners ownership sofar). Even wins won’t be enough. Only the PL will satisfy the critics.

    Welcome to Anfield Robbie. Just make sure you get that first goal soon. You’ve been warned!!!

  37. @midlands-red

    I agree. But if we dont buy now MON head games will be seen as a triumph and make us a laughing stock.

    Did anyone pick up on Voronin’s gesture after he scored last night. I wonder who it was aimed at?

  38. “That was positive for us. He is a good player and hopefully we will have another good player coming in soon. We can improve so we will try to improve.”

    “Clearly we have problems on the left,” he said. “We have sold Riise and Kewell and Fabio Aurelio is injured. Leto doesn’t have a work permit and Babel is at the Olympic Games, so I think we can improve in this area.”

    Just read these comments from Raffa after last nights game. I know what I think.

  39. A new season and already we’re beginning to wonder whether the Americans PR machine is on holiday.

    Power struggles at the top of our club still makes headlines, let’s hope it’s not the fact!

    You would have thought they’d want to get off to a great start. Get some positive headlines. But yet here we are less than 2 weeks away and already we’re in the headlines for the wrong (ownership clash with manager) reasons. I just hope they’re prevaricating on the Barry transfer to make Villa reduce Barry’s cost.

    Otherwise, @ LFC Born and Bred, you’ll be well and truly right: we become the laughing stock not Villa.

    I too was confused by Voronin’s finger-to-the-mouth celebration. Then I heard that he’d been booed. When will some fans learn. You don’t boo you’re own. And to be fair to him he has done well pre-season and he’s never been disrepectful to the gloom (unlike Ronaldo, Adebayor and, perhaps, Lampard). Give the free transfer a chance, I say. And in any case it looks like he could be sold for a profit. He can’t be all bad!

  40. If there is an impasse between the owners and Rafa, and I’m not clear there is – at the moment – could someone please tell me how much of the owners direct money has been spent on players and how much has come from Rafa raising the funsd himself?

    This answer may explain why the owners are being so coy – apparently – re. Rafa’s current demands.

    And if the owners are not giving Rafa the cash, is this the end of any pretence we have about signing ‘snoogy doogy’?

  41. Liverpool pull out of Barry deal. It’s official. At least official unless/if Villa reduce the price.

    Now it’s open season on the club, the owners and Rafa……again. Who the hell got us into this mess!!

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