Former Liverpool director of football, Damien Comolli has lifted the lid on some of his discussions with the Liverpool owners during his time at the club. The Frenchman has revealed that FSG were unimpressed with his signing of Jordan Henderson among others.
Henderson, who signed for Liverpool for a deal worth upto 20 million pounds was deemed as an abject failure before he turned his career around under Brendan Rodgers and is now tipped to be the future captain of Liverpool football club.
Comolli stated that John Henry and co. viewed the transfer as a massive mistake and it eventually cost his job. Further, Comolli also admits that he made no mistake in signing 35 million pound flop Andy Carroll of Newcastle as he believes that the England international is unplayable on his day and was unfortunate with injuries.
He also stated that he was not the only one responsible for the decision and therefore it is unfair to put all the blame on him.
‘The decision was made in a conference call between the owners, myself, Kenny Dalglish (the manager at the time) and the commercial director at the time who is now chief executive, Ian Ayre.
‘We made the decision collectively, knowing exactly the money we would lose if it did not work out, and they said they were happy to go ahead with the transfer.
‘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’.
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.’
The England midfielder has been ever present for the Reds since last season and was one of the key figures during Liverpool’s title challenge last season. Currently the vice captain of the club, Henderson is also expected to take over from Gerrard as the club captain when the club legend departs in summer.
Finally he also reflected on the process of recruitment in football and stated that success is never guaranteed and there is always an element of risk as far as transfers are concerned.
‘Nothing is guaranteed.
‘What we do is try to lower the risk in the decision-making process. But we are dealing with human beings. It is not as though we are buying shares or property.
‘Sometimes things work out, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes life gets in the way of talent, sometimes there are injuries, sometimes the player doesn’t adapt to one place’.