WE might not have had a game at the weekend but there was a moment which gave me as much joy as beating Manchester United.
I was doing the Liverpool Legends tours at Anfield on Saturday and when I walked into the home dressing room they had all the shirts lined up with the names on the back.
I looked along the line and thought to myself ‘finally, all the deadwood has gone’.
There was no Poulsen, no Konchesky, no Insua, no Jovanovic, no Degen and no El Zhar.
All I could see was the names of proper players who are worthy of wearing the red shirt. It gave me such a lift. Looking at the squad now, it’s probably the strongest we’ve had for 20 years.
Kenny Dalglish and Damien Comolli have done a fantastic job shifting players this summer.
They’ve had to deal with the mismanagement of the past when the club bought players who weren’t even good enough to play in our reserves.
We picked up players supposedly on the cheap but it was a smokescreen because the club was paying them ridiculous sums of money in wages.
Over the past eight months Dalglish and Comolli have worked miracles. They’ve had to bite the bullet with a few players and pay them off, while we’re still contributing to Joe Cole’s wages.
But by off-loading 18 players during the transfer window the wage bill has been cut and we’ve shifted those who were getting in the way of the young kids coming through.
The owners have been tremendous with their backing but we’ve also been canny with our business.
Yes, we’ve spent but we’ve also brought in a lot of cash this year by selling Torres, Babel, Ngog and Meireles. The net spend has been around £40million which isn’t as great as some people think.
Meireles left just before the deadline and I wasn’t surprised. I always thought one midfielder would move on and he was the most likely.
Meireles, like Joe Cole, Dani Pacheco and Alberto Aquilani, can’t really play in the 4-4-2 structure that Kenny likes.
He was used out wide but everyone can see he’s no winger. Meireles needs a role in a three-man central midfield - that’s the way Chelsea play.
He went with his head held high because he did a decent job. I think £12million was fair so it was a good deal for everyone.
It was a nice gesture on Liverpool’s part to sell him to Chelsea.
After all Chelsea have played a massive role in turning Liverpool around. The £50million they gave us for FT enabled us to buy Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll and the £5.5million for Yossi Benayoun also helped rebuild our squad. Maybe letting them have Meireles is a little thank you for everything they have done!
Our final signing of the summer was Craig Bellamy and I’m delighted with that. He’s dynamic and can unsettle defenders. His versatility is also important as you can play him out wide as well as up front.
I spoke to Bellamy at Liverpool’s Christmas party a few years ago and he’s very passionate about the game.
He’s fiery on the pitch but that’s because he’s a winner and it’s good to have him back.