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A few were missing from the squad who weren't away on international duty though.

 

I'd be surprised if he's kept by Rodgers. Think Rodgers will fancy King more and there's plenty ahead of both of them so that says a lot.

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13 minutes ago, Arriba Los Zorros said:

Surprised at the bitterness towards Matty from many on here. I'm sure his career hasn't panned out like he wanted to with all the injuries. He had the potential to play for England, he was that good. I'm pleased LCFC have sorted him out financially, it can't have cost the club that much in the grand scheme of things.

It cost whatever his wages are over what 6 or so years, and his been available for what 18 months, and he still has years on his contract.

 

I’m not bitter, but it’s frustrating that he was given a new contract after not proving his fitness after not being available for two years, and he’s been constantly injured, the club went above and beyond not cancelling his original contract.

 

When some fans don’t earn in a year what he gets paid a week, but still pay their money for tickets etc, I can see the frustration of a player made a millionaire for sitting on a treatment table.

 

 Nothing against James, it’s poor decision above him to give him it, and if I was in his shoes, I couldn’t have signed quick enough, but maximum it should have been pay as you play, or retire and claim on his insurance which I’m sure he has.

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Think James is probably the one to drop off now if a midfielder does leave, since I get the feeling Brendan wants to keep King around for cup games / being happy to be part of the furniture reasons. Get him to a Champ club on loan if nobody comes in for him. I do rate him, moreso than King, but his injury problems mean I see him as too risky for a squad place.

 

If Leshabela comes through as predicted, that leaves us with an embarassment of riches in those midfield positions, a few of which could be utilised in one or more positions.

Tielemans
Ndidi
Choudhury
Amartey

Leshabela
King
James

Mendy (possibly going)

We just don't need 7 (8) midfielders for 2 positions - even 6 is pushing it.

 

Putting a positive hat back on - what a change a few years makes! We've been clawing around for a stronger midfield ever since the title season, yet suddenly we have a good few squad options I trust to slot in should they be needed. I'd be perfectly happy having Choudhury and a fit-again Amartey in the wings for the DMF role, plus Leshabela and King in and around the cup game squads.

 

My only qualm is that we'll be missing a back-up terrier if Mendy goes - I'd rather we held onto him, since Choudhury aside we don't have anyone else that I would really say does the tough-tackling defensive side adequately if Ndidi finds himself sidelined through either suspension or injury - which is always a risk for someone whose A-game is putting in challenges.

Edited by OntarioFox
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21 minutes ago, Arriba Los Zorros said:

If Drinkwater did, James certainly could have.

Drinkwater played for England on the back of a brilliant season when he was one of the reasons we won the Premier League. His passing was crucial, particularly to Vardy and his general play was to a very high level. It’s easy to look now in retrospect and say that he’s never reached that level before and since - and that he also benefited from having Kante beside him.

 

James has never provided any evidence that he is England quality. He’s always been a steady, sitting midfielder, who’s looked ok with a more gifted man (Cambiasso) beside him. He doesn’t have the range of passing or ability to drive forward with the ball to be a great attacking midfielder. He doesn’t have the disruptive ability of a Kante or N’didi to shine as a defensive midfielder. 

 

He’s a steady, effective, mid-lower Premier League defender whose career has been cruelly disrupted by injuries. I’m seriously doubtful, however, that he’d ever have been the quality we require if we have aspirations to hit top 8, top 6 etc. We  would have to do much better - and in Tielemans and N’didi we already have.

 

 

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I wonder what the terms of his contract extension were.

 

 

It wouldn't surprise me at all if he's actually on a very modest wage, lower than he was before the extension. He's had an unfortunate injury record over his career so if he hadnt signed with us again he'd have had to take a pay cut anyway, and he obviously has value to the club in training (lending his experience to help the u23s, for instance), so an experienced head who's not going to kick up a fuss about being left out the first team squad could be a very useful asset.

 

And of course as others have mentioned there's the moral aspect to it as well, with the club opting to look after a player who performed admirably for us in a defining period for the club. If they hadn't, then he may have ended up joining a long list of players who have started a severe downward spiral after major injury woes.

 

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33 minutes ago, Leeds Fox said:

 

It was a case of the club looking after an employee. It says huge amounts about how the club is run and how it treats the people in it. 

 

Maybe a waste of money, but morally it’s what the hierarchy felt was right. I can’t knock it to be honest. Helping him to get healthy/fit, financially looking after him after he was injured on duty and giving him an opportunity to get his career back on track. 

We have previous of it too, even stretching back to before Top & Vichai took the reins. I'm thinking our rehabilitation of Tunchev and Clemence, though of course the latter sadly had to retire in the end. And of course, we've done the same with Amartey, who it was great to see back against Scunthorpe

 

I'm proud of our club's approach to injured team members. It's not like we can't afford to help them recover and get their careers back on track, but it's a gesture and mentality that has long been a feather in our cap.

All that said though, I don't see it as beneficial for James to be pottering around in U23 games if he wants to get back to the level we saw from 2013-15. He needs regular game time to keep fit, and if he's actually ready to play he'd be an asset for any Championship team, whether on loan or permanently.

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I think his lengthy contract extension on the back of two years of not playing for us is more a case of Shakespeares keeping the band together policy rather than a moral decision by the club. The bulk of the 3 or 4 million he's earnt over the past few years (with more still to come) could have morally been spent on a lot of other more deserving things than making a rich but unfortunate footballer even richer.

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1 hour ago, Jobyfox said:

Drinkwater played for England on the back of a brilliant season when he was one of the reasons we won the Premier League. His passing was crucial, particularly to Vardy and his general play was to a very high level. It’s easy to look now in retrospect and say that he’s never reached that level before and since - and that he also benefited from having Kante beside him.

 

James has never provided any evidence that he is England quality. He’s always been a steady, sitting midfielder, who’s looked ok with a more gifted man (Cambiasso) beside him. He doesn’t have the range of passing or ability to drive forward with the ball to be a great attacking midfielder. He doesn’t have the disruptive ability of a Kante or N’didi to shine as a defensive midfielder. 

 

He’s a steady, effective, mid-lower Premier League defender whose career has been cruelly disrupted by injuries. I’m seriously doubtful, however, that he’d ever have been the quality we require if we have aspirations to hit top 8, top 6 etc. We  would have to do much better - and in Tielemans and N’didi we already have.

 

 

I think that given Jake Livermore got 7 England caps stretching into 2017, it's definitely feasible to say Matty James could've got an England cap or two had he stayed fit and progressed in our team. However, that says more about our (England's) midfield prospects during that time than Matty James' ability to be honest. It's hard to say how good James could've been, but I don't think he'll be on ridiculous wages, nor cause a fuss, so all in all as other posters have mentioned I'm fine for Matty to still be here getting towards fitness before presumably being moved on.

Edited by The_Rorab
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2 hours ago, Arriba Los Zorros said:

Surprised at the bitterness towards Matty from many on here. I'm sure his career hasn't panned out like he wanted to with all the injuries. He had the potential to play for England, he was that good. I'm pleased LCFC have sorted him out financially, it can't have cost the club that much in the grand scheme of things.

Given the dross England have picked in midfield in the last 5 years I wouldn't have put it passed him but I genuinely don't know what Matty James' role was/is as a midfielder. Can never remember him scoring nor assisting. He seemed to have a habit of looking busy. Certainly no bitterness from me but I don't think he's ever been as good as some have made out.


I know as a fan base we have a habit of knocking players very quickly but we also seem to over hype certain players and he would be the latter.  

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45 minutes ago, Leeds Fox said:

 

It was a case of the club looking after an employee. It says huge amounts about how the club is run and how it treats the people in it. 

 

Maybe a waste of money, but morally it’s what the hierarchy felt was right. I can’t knock it to be honest. Helping him to get healthy/fit, financially looking after him after he was injured on duty and giving him an opportunity to get his career back on track. 

As I said I don’t disagree with the club supporting him through his injuries and the existing contract he had, I would expect that like you say morally.

 

 What I disagree with is him given a decent extension after not being around for over 2 years, again nothing against James, can’t fault him for taking a contract but it should have been pay as you play, and he still has all the support of medical staff.

 

 Just say he’s on 30 grand a week, that’s 3.1 million over the two years out, and not including the time out before and since, I would like to think he was financially secure before the new contract.

 

 The fact remains the two knee injuries he’s had, I would imagine he knows he’s finished and will just run down his contract, then retire so he doesn’t permanently have mobility issues.

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2 hours ago, OntarioFox said:

Think James is probably the one to drop off now if a midfielder does leave, since I get the feeling Brendan wants to keep King around for cup games / being happy to be part of the furniture reasons. Get him to a Champ club on loan if nobody comes in for him. I do rate him, moreso than King, but his injury problems mean I see him as too risky for a squad place.

 

If Leshabela comes through as predicted, that leaves us with an embarassment of riches in those midfield positions, a few of which could be utilised in one or more positions.

Tielemans
Ndidi
Choudhury
Amartey

Leshabela
King
James

Mendy (possibly going)

We just don't need 7 (8) midfielders for 2 positions - even 6 is pushing it.

 

Putting a positive hat back on - what a change a few years makes! We've been clawing around for a stronger midfield ever since the title season, yet suddenly we have a good few squad options I trust to slot in should they be needed. I'd be perfectly happy having Choudhury and a fit-again Amartey in the wings for the DMF role, plus Leshabela and King in and around the cup game squads.

 

My only qualm is that we'll be missing a back-up terrier if Mendy goes - I'd rather we held onto him, since Choudhury aside we don't have anyone else that I would really say does the tough-tackling defensive side adequately if Ndidi finds himself sidelined through either suspension or injury - which is always a risk for someone whose A-game is putting in challenges.

Unless there is a suprise Mendy won't be going anywhere..!!

 

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I've said this before, but when he got injured in that Southampton game during the great escape I thought we were done for (In the sense that we wouldn't win that game or the remaining two). He was literally THAT good at that time. If he'd stayed fit it would have been him and not DD in the England squad and with the big money move. 

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1 minute ago, AjcW said:

I've said this before, but when he got injured in that Southampton game during the great escape I thought we were done for (In the sense that we wouldn't win that game or the remaining two). He was literally THAT good at that time. If he'd stayed fit it would have been him and not DD in the England squad and with the big money move. 

 Agree a very good player back then, it’s a shame for club and country and James he’s been so unlucky with injuries, if he stayed fit, he would have been picked up by one of the bigger clubs 

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Such a shame he’s been plagued by injuries, not going to say he could’ve done X or Y had he stayed fit but a lot on here obviously have short memories. A fit Matty James for me was better than Drinkwater, and had massive massive potential. 

 

 

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