When looking at Newcastle United’s encounter with Liverpool, it is difficult not to take into account the relative resources each manager had at his disposal.
This summer, it was widely acknowledged/reported that Rafa Benitez was desperate to bring in a new first choice striker and number 10.
Having been blocked from making any signings at all in January, Rafa found himself once again undermined by Mike Ashley, only allowed a net spend of £11.5m.
No new number 10 brought in and the United boss having no other option than to go and pick up a bargain buy in Stoke’s £5m reserve striker, Joselu.
So whilst Liverpool had an expensive array of attacking options, on and off the pitch, Newcastle started with a £7m front pairing of Ayoze Perez and Joselu.
Money doesn’t necessarily buy success or results, as Sunday showed, but it does make it very much easier/more attainable.
Just have a look at this comparison, the cost of the 11 Newcastle players that started yesterday, compared to the seven who were left on the bench by Jurgen Klopp.
Newcastle United starting 11 v Liverpool, with transfer cost for each player (as per respected website Transfermarkt)
£3m (loan fee) Merino
Total is £61m
Then the same for the Liverpool Substitutes:
The Liverpool subs costing some £35m more than the Newcastle first team and even Firmino and Oxlade-Chamberlain costing £10m more for the pair of them, than the NUFC side.
This is without even taking into consideration players such as Lallana, Robertson and Clyne who weren’t even in the matchday 18, and who cost well over £50m between them.
Newcastle supporters weren’t expecting unrealistic amounts to be spent, with Mike Ashley making out that Rafa Benitez and the fans were wanting to compete with the spending of Manchester City and others.
However, surely the right balance would have been to see at least a couple of more expensive transfers to have happened, especially in those most difficult positions up front.
Rafa Benitez masterminded a very good performance and excellent outcome, considering the options he had available to him, but you can only just imagine what he could achieve if getting proper support in the transfer market.