Liverpool’s hopes and dreams have come unfulfilled this season. This was to be the “one”. The season where Liverpool would rise up and take back the silverware they used to own. Again, we failed, and again, injuries are part of the blame.
It seems that after every match a Liverpool player has picked up an injury. We’ve had at least 35 injuries this season alone. Whilst that might sound like the norm (it isn’t actually too far from it) if you look at who has been injured, and for how long, you soon begin to see there is a definite problem.
At the moment we are without Torres, Johnson, Benayoun and for a week or so, Aquilani. All four of these players would usually be playing in the first team week in week out. The gaps left by these players are startlingly clear. Up front, we lack the strength, pace and finishing prowess of Torres. Ngog is doing his best but he still lacks experience and needs to mature a bit. If we can’t score goals, there is no way we can compete for the League title, and maybe even fourth place.
Another attacking player that is dearly missed is Benayoun. He’s been a bit of an unsung hero for us and he gives an extra bit of energy to the attack. We do have a new winger in Maxi but he still needs time to settle in. I don’t feel we’ll see the best of him until next season.
After Arbeloa left, there were a lot of worries flying around as to whether Johnson would be able to replace him. A few games before he was injured, he was definitely putting in some great performances. However, now he’s out, we have to play either Carragher or Degen at right-back. Degen is extremely young and I wasn’t impressed with what I saw of his brief cameo against Arsenal. Carra knows the role inside-out but playing him wider makes the centre of defence significantly weaker. And with Carra picking up a little injury against Arsenal, our right flank is going to be under a hell of a lot of pressure.
Aquilani may only be out for another week or so but he’s only just recovered from the injury that kept him out for the first half of the season. It will still take him the remainder of this season to get to the form that we bought him for. This is the one player that doesn’t matter too much as we have Lucas, who is doing a fine job this season, in his place.
I should mention that we have had to play a large portion of the season without both Torres and Gerrard, arguably our best two players. No other club has had to deal with something like this.
When you compare our injury list to the likes of United and Chelsea, you can see just how unlucky we are. All clubs have their fair share of injuries but the tell-tale sign is who is injured. Chelsea have a handful of players coming back round about now, two of which are Alex and Belletti. They are hardly what you’d call “crucial” players; they would usually be sat on the bench. United have Giggs, Vidic, O’Shea and Hargreaves out. Giggs isn’t the player he once was and whilst he will be missed, United won’t be missing out too much. Hargreaves has never really featured since he joined them, and therefore won’t be missed at all. I’ve never really rated O’Shea and I feel that United have better defenders that they can play. Vidic will be back any day soon and will probably be featuring in the team within two weeks.
As you can see, Liverpool have far more “important” injuries on their plate than the two clubs competing for the league. You can’t argue about depth of squads either because the simple fact is that United and Chelsea haven’t got many injuries to their regular first-team players and Liverpool have had truck-loads.
Perhaps some time soon, Lady Luck will decide to let us off and have a fully fit first team. Wouldn’t that be nice?
Joe owns a blog called The Daily Daniels. He has only just started but managed to partner with the Liverpool Footy Hut website (www.liverpoolfc.footyhut.com) and a couple of good feedback comments. He writes about Liverpool FC as is a die hard fan and hopes to express his feelings, and possibly other people’s, with his writing. You can see his blog at www.thedailydaniels.wordpress.com