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When will we see Baros?


Curly Tom:
This is not a critical article, or a moan but more of a wondering and a pondering one!
I have faith in Thompson and Houllier, always have and always will. Some people will call it blind faith because I never question their decisions, I don't criticise who they put in or who they leave out because I know they have much more of an idea than I do!
My belief is that if a player is left out or at times seemingly ignored there must be a reason. We've seen over the past few seasons several players who has apparently been left out or frozen out at times.

There was the obvious case of Fowler, now I won't go into to it all, but many including myself felt he was unduly left out and eventually frozen out. Looking back I'm sure that there must have been reasons. Not necessarily that Houllier and him didn't get on or that he didn't make an effort, perhaps it was simply because he didn't fit into our style of play. Despite my sadness at the time of seeing my all time favourite player leave the club, looking back Houllier and Thompson obviously knew what they doing. After all it has hardly effected us has it?
Then more recently there has been Litmanen, again, apparently frozen out by the management.
I'm sure that there must be more to it, reasons why he hasn't figured as much as we all thought he would. Everyone knows what a great talent he is, I mean if some braindead mainstander (no offence to non-braindead main standees although they are a dying breed) can see that he has talent I'm sure Houllier can. There could be several reasons: perhaps like Fowler they can't fit him in without sacrificing other aspects of the team, after all he is a difficult player to put in position especially in our rigid format. It could well be that he just hasn't done well enough on the training pitch, or even that he has had a few minor injury worries that weren't reported. Whatever the reason I believe that the management had their reasons.

Going back to the point, which is Baros, we are all starting to wonder when we're going to see this great young prospect. Apparently he has spoken out a bit about his lack of starts. Now I tend to think that in whatever position, a player shouldnít speak out against his management. I havenít heard exactly what was said and Iím sure it was more him stating his frustration at not playing rather than his frustration at not being given a chance. After all footballers want to play football and it is obviously frustrating for him however I just think both him and us should bide our time. I think the problem is that we see Baros as being something he isnít: a replacement for Fowler. Everything happened at the same time, but Baros was on his way well before Fowler was on his way out. Iím sure that Houllier or Thompson had someone else lined up, i.e Anelka.

Iím guessing that the management lined Baros up, like they have for others, as a young long-term prospect and are not going to rush him. Iíve no doubt that he will figure soon, especially with the injuries to several of our strikers. I just donít think that we should worry about the fact he has yet to start. Obviously I would have liked to see him earlier but again there are obviously reasons why we havenít. There is the obvious complication of the limit on non EU players. As well as that perhaps he hasnít impressed the management on the training pitch, then again it canít be easy to impress when youíre competing against Owen, Anelka, Heskey and Litmanen.

The way I see it is there is nothing to worry about, in Baros we have a great prospect and at the moment thatís what he is a prospect. Owen and Heskey are the hear and now and the near future, Baros IS THE Future. I canít wait to see him play but Iíd rather he didnít play now and was still here in 5 years time rather than him being rushed and perhaps leaving after a year.

Letís just be patient, I trust Houllier and Thompson. Do you?

Given that Dudek, Henchoz and Smicer seem to have the 3 non-EU spots wrapped up in the league, there is almost no way Baros will get a league start this season, unless one of those three gets injured. †Even then, I think that Jari would get the nod ahead of him in the run in - just too much to expect him to get it spot on straight away and we can't afford a single slip up.

Next year, with Henchoz naturalised, that opens up one of the three spots and it's between Biscan and Baros for it - I guess there's always a chance that Smicer and/or Biscan may leave in the summer, but that's another discussion.

In any event, there was very little chance of a 19-year-old, who was in the middle of the Czech league winter break and doesn't speak much English, being put into the team right in the middle of an English season. †

I can understand his frustration, as he's already an interntational for his country, but his time will surely come, albeit next season. †We need four strikers and Milan is going to be one of them, of that there is no doubt.

Then there is the Jari factor, as it seems that Milan is the 'Heskey' type player, while Nico is Mickey's back up - again, another debate!  If so, does that leave a role for Jari?  Probably, such as coming on for the last 20 minutes now and then when we're chasing the game, but will he be happy with a bit part again?  Who knows.†

Back to Milan - if he doesn't start getting in the squad next year, we can definitely expect more whispers of discontent and there might be problems. †However, hopefully we'll be competing on several fronts for a prolonged period next season and we can give him enough games to keep him happy. †

An example would have been today - Milan would have started or at least come on for Emile, who was looking pretty tired towards the end. †However, as he can't get in the squad because of the non-EU rule, there's not much that can be done at the moment.


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