I think it’s fair to say how former Liverpool man Steve Nicol (“Stevie” to most) stands on the Clint Dempsey kerfuffle around Anfield.
In short, the Liverpool deciders made a mess of it.
Not that his opinion is a unique one. It’s just that Nicol is one of the revered voices around Anfield Road. Nicol, of course, spent no less than 15 years as a through-and-through Liverpool man. Plus, that’s not all that makes Nicol uniquely positioned to address all things Dempsey. He was the U.S. international’s coach at New England for three seasons, Dempsey’s first three years as a pro, in fact.
What he told the TalkSPORT Extra Time show out of England. (Not to be confused with Major League Soccer’s Extra Time soccer podcast.)
Liverpool should have kept hold of Andy Carroll. But at the very least, if Brendan, or whoever is making the decisions at the club, decides to let Andy go, then before you do anything you must have a replacement all done, dusted, signed and sealed. Otherwise you are left with a situation that they find themselves in now. Quite frankly, it’s a horrendous decision and it could really cost them. If Luis Suarez gets injured, I have no clue whatsoever who will play center forward.”
Nicol now does the bulk of his analyst work for ESPN FC’s Press Pass.
As for the Dempsey situation specifically, Nicol was no more complimentary of LFC management. Liverpool, as most supporters from the United States, Liverpool and Fulham all know, was Dempsey’s primary target all along as he targeted clubs with higher ambition.
This, also, from the Extra Time show:
They weren’t happy that Liverpool had let it be known that they were interested in Clint Dempsey. They saw that as trying to influence Clint, and in the laws of the game, that’s wrong. But at the same time, had Liverpool made an offer which was sensible, then Clint would be at Liverpool right now.
“The fact of the matter is that they made a derisory offer, I think, which smacks of inexperience, thinking that Fulham would be desperate to get rid of him and, of course, they just shut the door on them.”
All that said, Nicol added that he was happy seeing Dempsey landing at a “great club,” one with a plenty of tradition and one that likes to attack – which should fit the U.S. man well.