One Thomas Haynes Bayly wrote this commonly uttered phrase. No, I never heard of him either. But there is much truth in this statement. These days one way for a footballer to raise his profile, and become a favourite amongst supporters and pundit alike is to take a leave of absence for a couple of games. One might be injured, suspended or just decide that being teased about one’s new haircut is just not worth the hassle. Is the method of gaining plaudits by actually being out on the pitch and enhancing your reputation with outstanding performances old hat at this stage? Let us take a closer look.
Alberto Aquilani’s transfer to Liverpool from Roma was completed with the minimum of fuss, which is highly unusual for a transfer involving Liverpool considering the unsuccessful Gareth Barry saga of last summer, and this year’s Xabi Alonso blockbuster. The Italian has signed a five year deal, and the thing that will worry the Anfield faithful is that in his last five seasons at Roma, he has started a miserly 60 Serie A games. His ability is not in question, but his injury record leaves a lot to be desired. The midfielder will not appear until mid-September at the very earliest. But Liverpool have a very frustrating habit of employing players that seem to succumb to injury on a regular basis. Here are some examples from the years gone by: