Daniel Agger’s latest injury certainly won’t help and neither will Martin Skrtel causing the fans to have their hearts in their collective mouth every time the ball comes near him. At half-time on Saturday, a win against Wolves looked a formality. Liverpool were 2 goals up and deservedly cruising. Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez were starting to click and all was well. Not for long. A Steven Fletcher goal in the 49th minute made for a nervy second-half for Liverpool. We did manage to get the win, but on another day we might not have.
So, what could Kenny do to tighten it up at the back? Steve Clarke is one of the best coaches around and was part of Mourinho’s Chelsea who were known for their rigid unit, so the training methods are unlikely to be the root of the problem. It must be something else. Now, this is just a shot in the dark but I think there might be something in this: The likes of Skrtel are not good enough to play the amount of games they do.
Controversial? No, I didn’t think so.
“But what about Jamie Carragher?” I see you tweet. “He’s too old, too slow and just hoofs it” What would you do? Drop him and play Skrtel and Seba Coates together for a month? Disaster waiting to happen. Carragher has forgotten more about defending than Skrtel has ever known. He is the leader in that defence, he hates conceding and demands concentration at all times from whoever else plays alongside him, you only have to watch his reaction to Spearing after his mistake lead to the penalty in Brighton. That was a Carling Cup match that we looked to have wrapped up. The man HATES deficiency in his back-line, so much so that his anger warrants capital letters.
Lets imagine Agger is out injured until the end of the season, because as classy a defender as he is, he can’t string 10 matches together without breaking, tearing, bruising or stretching something. Is Carragher alongside Skrtel, Coates or Danny Wilson going to be enough? No.
In my humble opinion, Kenny needs to invest in January. Skrtel just isn’t good enough and should be sold. We need another leader in that defence to keep some authority at the back when Carragher does eventually start to get phased out. I know this name gets banded around a lot but I genuinely believe he would be perfect for the situation, and that man is: Christopher Samba. He’s a leader; he’s 27 so he is at a good age and hardly long term so he won’t halt Coates and Wilson’s progression.
I don’t think Coates is ready to be thrown in as a regular starter yet. He’s in a similar situation to Lucas, coming straight from South America having made a bit of a name for himself as one of the brightest talents in that that part of the world. Seba’s performances in the Copa America earned him rave reviews; one journalist went as far as saying he is “twice the player of Phil Jones”. High praise indeed. But I think he needs to be eased in to European and more specifically, English football. Next season he may well be a regular starter, and a darn good one at that. But it’s only early days for him yet.
Danny Wilson is in more or less the same boat albeit with more experience of European football. Arriving from Rangers last season with a pedigree as one of the brightest talents in the UK, he seems to have slipped under the radar. I personally think he will be a very good player but he just doesn’t get any games. Bit of a funny one, Danny Wilson.
Anyway. That’s about enough of me playing Football Manager. Over to you; what do you think? IS Carragher too old? Should Kenny persist with Skrtel? Let me know in the comments or Twit me @DanRobinson23.
By Daniel Robinson http://releasethekrakenlfc.