In the beginning of 2011, Liverpool Football Club began to make a statement of intent that was designed to kick start the revival of the sleeping giant.
John Henry made a pledge when he won command of the club. That promise was to strengthen the current Liverpool squad and to continue a building process that would bring back the good times at Anfield.
The purchases of Suarez, Carroll, Bellamy, Coates, Henderson, Adam, Downing and Enrique have given Liverpool added strength but more is needed if Liverpool are to return to the Champions League and a possible challenge for the title within two to three years.
Early indications show that Mr Henry has been true to his word but ambition comes at a price and Mr Henry must spend now or risk the squad becoming stale and losing some prize assets.
Luis Suarez has been a revelation since his arrival but how long can you keep such a talent without the attraction of Champions League football? To even consider a move to Liverpool, it’s the requirements demanded by the best players.
John Henry has major decisions to make over the club’s transfer policy. Does he spend big now or wait until the summer transfer window opens? Also what players would be prepared to join Liverpool if they fail to gain Champions League football? The gap between the Manchester clubs and Chelsea would grow and the emergence of a splendid Spurs team makes Henry’s decisions even more important.
It may be the case that Liverpool will have to pay more for the quality players required to add to the current squad but its a gamble worth taking. To be in a position to compete, Henry needs to fund the transfer budget without hesitation or fear of failure.
That does not imply that Liverpool should vastly overpay or make ridiculous wage promises, but to see long term success it will take courage and a degree of risk which am sure John Henry knows all about when he took control of the Boston Rex Sox.
Liverpool have underachieved for 20 years in the Premiership and the cycle must now be addressed and broken. Kenny Dalglish has a good eye for quality players and he must be strong and assertive when requesting funds for highlighted players.
Dalglish has managed to offload many non-performing players such as Cole, Aquilani, Jovanovic, Poulsen, Ngog and, possibly the worst ever full back in Liverpool’s history, Paul Konchesky.
Liverpool as a club will always be an attractive club to play for but it needs to provide the player with some sort of reason to come. Europa League football will not attract the type of player Dalglish wants or needs for Liverpool if they are to become a real force in the Premier League.
Liverpool’s problems don’t stop with transfer deals it also has the problem of realisation. No longer can Liverpool expect the right to be a top four club or have a divine right to expect trophies. As a Liverpool supporter, I have witnessed the change in fan expectation with regards to status within England’s top flight league.
Liverpool’s fans are without doubt the most knowledgeable, loyal and passionate group of people in world football and understand what is happening at the club under John Henry is a work in progress and will take time to reach its peak.
But how long must the fans wait? Two seasons. Three seasons? Liverpool fans just want to see their club move forward and progress, but what the fans don’t want is years of more underachieving and more missed opportunities on player transfers.
This is why its vital John Henry keeps his word and spends the funds to make Liverpool a great power again, buying the players over the next two transfer windows will make a impact on the other teams in the Premiership and drive the club into contention for honours, also making the club attractive to players who want to play for us.
Every Liverpool fan knows that instant success is a long shot. Even fourth place my not be achievable this season, but what the fans do expect is to see is Liverpool at least come close or be challenging for it come the end of the season.
We all know ambition comes at a price. I just hope so does John Henry.