Some might say it was one of Liverpools most important weeks in recent history and who would disagree? Ending 2009 on such a high was the best that could happen and scoring the winner in the 93rd minute will boost the confidence of the team and bring back belief. Having seen too many false dawns, I am fully aware though that we cannot afford any slip ups in the next games. Reading in the FA Cup will be a key game in terms of keeping our dreams of silverware alive but for our league position a win over Tottenham is even more important. We ended the year on a high but to build on that we have to add a bit of quality to our squad in January. And not only because our direct opponents will do the same.
It used to be an exciting time but these days, transfer rumours rather depress than excite me. Given the financial circumstances, we have to make the best out of it. It was written somewhere that Rafa can use money from the sales of Babel, Dossena and Voronin. That sounds good… but: who will pay good money for these players? I remember Pennant last year, no one wanted to buy him so we had to loan him out. And to be honest, I can see the same happening now. In fact, I’d be glad if we could sell at least one of these players. So I think we will have to go for some loan deals. Having said that, free agent Goran Pandev might be a smart alternate even though he’s hardly played this season due to contract troubles. Out of question is Carlton Cole. He could be an interesting option in summer but paying money now (even if we had it) for an injured player would be plain silly. Heskey and Kenwyne Jones are also linked with us but I’m not sure about their quality. Another very interesting player is Napoli’s Marek Hamsik and while we can’t afford him now we should definitely take a closer look in summer.
The win yesterday did not make me change my opinion, quite in contrary: we need a proper winger. I admit that Dirk Kuyt is working hard but football is more than that, especially on his position. At the moment he just doesn’t offer enough. His first touch doesn’t help him and his decision-making is “unlucky” to say the least. Fact is: Our wing play is terrible and while it’s not only Kuyt, the Dutchman is so out of form that he needs more than just a one game rest. The problem is: we do not have any alternates on that position apart from Nabil El Zhar and I doubt he is the answer. Daniel Pacheco probably could fill the gap and I’d love to see him against Reading on that position but still I think we need to sign a winger. My choice would be Adam Johnson. Can play on the left and right, is English, affordable, has bags of potential and while not yet the finished article, surely good enough to play a few games to give Kuyt a much needed longer rest.
While we can forget about signing top players at this stage of the season, there are a few “bargains” available so my modest wish for the new year and the January transfer window is: one of the duo Pandev/Van Nistelrooy and Adam Johnson signing for Liverpool.
Are there any other (realistic) suggestions?
Happy New Year to all of you, may 2010 become a great year for Liverpool FC, YNWA.