They loaned out striker Andy Carroll to West Ham, expecting to get a replacement in, but one never arrived. Yesterday's home loss to Arsenal highlighted the problems the squad face, but for now they must make do with the squad available to them.
As with any organisation, the buck stops at the top. The Fenway Sports Group are the owners of Liverpool, and ultimately they must bear some responsibility for the poor dealings. They could have put up more money, and insisted the dealings were completed earlier rather than left until the last minute. John W Henry is not thought to be happy at the turn of events, and who can blame him? The Times reported they are going to factor the lack of strikers into Brendan Rodgers' performance review. That's nice of them.
Ayre is Liverpool's Managing Director, but for how much longer? Ayre was tasked with leading transfer negotiations, and the failure to acquire target Clint Dempsey will rest on his doorstep. Liverpool offered as little as £3-4 million for the American, a clear undervaluation on the former Fulham forward. Given FSG's trigger-happy approach to hiring and firing, and the outcry among supporters, Ayre may find himself made a very public scapegoat.
Ultimately the problems which faced Liverpool this summer took root 12 months ago. Kenny Dalglish was the manager then, and paid the price with his job. It was Dalglish who bought Andy Carroll, Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson - all players who underperformed and need replacing. Liverpool would sell all four if they could, but only managed to get rid of Adam, and loan Carroll. Dalglish backed the players to the hilt, but it is clear they just were not good enough and Liverpool are still paying the price.
if Dalglish is to blame, then so is Frenchman Damien Comolli. Liverpool's former director of football, he presided over the disastrous signings and is arguably even more culpable than Dalglish. King Kenny may have wanted each of the players, by Comolli was the one who overpaid for all of them, and should have turned around and looked elsewhere. The £35 million they paid for Andy Carroll will go down as one of the worst pieces of transfer business in world football history. Quite rightly Comolli was sacked, but Liverpool are still untangling the consequences of his actions.
It may seem harsh to blame Brendan Rodgers for problems he has largely inherited, and it seems the actual negotiations were partially beyond his control on deadline day. It was reported that Rodgers met with Ayre on Saturday to find out an explanation of just why the club could not bring in a replacement for Carroll. Even so, Rodgers forcing Carroll out in the first place was his own decision. He elected early on that Carroll did not fit his footballing blueprint, but did not give him chances first hand to show him otherwise. Carroll was just coming into form at the end of last season, and at Euro 2012, but Rodgers' push to sell him set his confidence back to square one and ultimately made staying untenable.
Who do you ultimately hold accountable for Liverpool's transfer woes this summer?
image: © kong niffe