What we need part 1 – Defence

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By Robert Magee   (@OptaAnfield)

This season has shown us how vulnerable our squad is and the shear lack in depth that we have. In this article I will discuss each position and possible targets to improve each.


Goalkeeper –

Despite our roller coaster season, Pepe Reina possibly had one of the best seasons for Liverpool. At the age of 28, he is still relatively young for a goalkeeper and definitely has at least 10 years left in him. In terms of a back up, Brad Jones had very little football last season for Liverpool due to Reina’s quality and fitness. Plus, he was a Hodgson signing and Dalglish may move him along to another club. If that does happen, there has been some speculation about signing Brad Friedel from Aston Villa. He would give us a great option if Reina got injured but at the mature age of 40 – we would only get at most two seasons out of him. I think that we should give Péter Gulácsi a chance as back up first team goalkeeper if Brad Jones is sold or loaned out for another season.


Right Back –

This season has seen a number of players playing right back for Liverpool. Glen Johnson predominately played RB under Roy Hodgson. When Johnson got injured, we were introduced to Martin Kelly. Kelly came completely out of the blue for me, I hadn’t heard much about him prior to his debut. For a young player, he showed a lot of defensive experience and versatility as his usual position is centre back. As his confidence increased, so did the quality of his performance but his season was ended sadly due to injury. He is an exciting prospect for next season, here’s hoping he gets back to training early July and has a good pre season with the team. Following Martin Kelly’s injuring, Kenny Dalglish gave young John Flanagan his debut against an in form Man City team at Anfield. Dalglish’s faith paid off and Flanagan was very encouraging. With Glen Johnson and the ever improving duo of Martin Kelly and John Flanagan, I think we have enough quality in that position to be happy with. Also, Stephen Darby is a promising player too who would add to the depth we have in that area, if not loaned/sold this summer.


Centre Back –

With Carragher aging, we need a quality back up for him. I believe that we currently don’t have one. Daniel Agger is a great player but is too injury prone and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was moved along by Dalglish, unless his fitness increases greatly. Kyrgiakos is a liability in my eyes. Whenever he plays, I can never be comfortable or confident that he will do his job. Last season he did have a few good games but I think that he is too old and not sharp enough for the pace of the Premier League. We have Danny Wilson whom we bought from Rangers who I would like to see given more of a chance but I believe that we need to sign a big-ish name as back up. One of the names being branded about is Scott Dann but personally I think that we should sign Gary Cahill.


Left Back –

This position has been a source of weakness for the past few seasons. Hodgson brought in Paul Konchesky last summer who was poor so left back position has continued to be weak. Fabio Aurelio is a quality player but again is affected by a lack of fitness and he is injury prone.  Under Dalglish, Glen Johnson has been played at left back where he has done well but he had to cut inside a lot to get a cross in and as he is right footed, all crosses were towards the goalkeeper. There are a lot of names being branded about including Jose Enrique and Fabio Coentrao. Fabio Coentrao is the bigger name in European football from the two but I prefer Jose Enrique. He is proven in the Premier League, is great going forward and would be significantly cheaper than Coentrao. I heard all this speculation about Coentrao and watched a few Benfica matches and he is nothing special.  It also looks like he will be heading to Real Madrid this summer.


Part 2 to come soon, WHAT WE NEED – MIDFIELD.



  1. what we need full stop is;

    a top class playmaker – striking option that can either help suarez out and or play with or without him.

    Suarez is just pure class, but we will have to be watch we dont over relie on him.

    Aguero is the only player we need up top, he can do it all, play as a winger, play deep lying, or up top with or without someone, just think of gerrard suarez and aguero,- its game over for other teams if we could ever pull it of.

    Then we need a powerfull left back who can operate down the whole left side, this guy would be aly cissohko, its the pace and height that cissohko has that could help out at both ends.

    Cissohko has long legs gets up and down all day long and is very young still and will get better under kenny and the team.

    Next – forgett adam, we need matuidi, this guy is young, strong, fast and heavy weight into the tackle, we havent got a single player who can really win balls and snap at people, this guy has the workd at his feet and would not break tha bank, mark my words, this guy is great and can pass also.

    We need another center half, carragher might get a knock, soto is ok but way to old and slow to put in week in week out, agger just never plays games, skrtel is ok, but we could better, center half choice would be either godin or sakho, both have different factors.

    winegrs are not really the right way to go, if we have pace in the team coming down the flanks then thats ok, its not just about having fast players who do not produce, ie, lennon, wallcott, – no thanks for that type of over rated player.

    for me if we can pull this of then this would be what we need;


    1. i partially agree with your comment but due to the ruling being brought in by fifa we would have to leave some of these quality plyers on the bench or not even in the squad which would not leave the players or the owners happy so unfotunately we need to invest in some overpriced homegrown players:-

      parker (writers player of year)
      connor wickham (dubbed the new rooney)
      ashley young (think hed prefer champs league)
      leyton baines (cant see this happening)
      adam jonston((man city)would be a quality addition)

  2. Kelly is a centre-back normally, I’d like to see hime given a chance there is say the Carliing cup. I’d go for Dunn, self confessed LFC fan, should understand the passion and comitment required by Carra in the first instance, followed my KK and then the fans.

  3. I am a Liverpool fan. After reading your analysis for left back position, I am sure about one thing. You need to get a mental check up done. Accepting that we cannot compete with Real Madrid is another thing but stating that Coentrao is not needed or is not special is completely delusional from your part.Your reasoning on preferring Enrique is the most used abused excuse by a EPL fan. Premier league experience! Didn’t Konchesly had bucket load of experience? Just get a grip dude and try to come out from your sour grapes syndrome.

    1. Was there any need in that sort of abuse towards the writer? He’s just expressing his views on the situation. If you think your so amazing and know everything, why don’t you start producing articles? Respect a fellow red :) YNWA

    1. i agree with you but we have to be realistic and with Coentrao already publicly stating that he wants to play at Real Enrique seems to be only realistic option right now unfortunately…

  4. re Goalkeeper: When Brad Jones signed for LFC, my Middlesboro supporting pal laughed, and quipped “why the hell did Hogdson sign him? He’s was completely s***e for us…”

  5. re Centre Back: We did it with Andy Carroll, now do it with Gary Cahill. Whatever fee it takes.

  6. Some of the analysis i agree with some i cannot, we need to sign a left back and a centre back but the centre back we buy should be first choice not as backup. Gary Cahill would be a player that could forfill this role. Scott Dann would be the cheaper option and would be happy to play second fiddle although be is not as good a Cahill. Soto is past his best and needs to go. Our Centre backs should be Carra, Agger, Skrtel + New Signing competing to be first choice with Wilson, Kelly and possibly Daniel Ayala if we keep hold of him as backup.

    Right back is pretty much sorted i totally agree with this.

    The Left back slot is an area we definatly will address this summer. Fabio aureilo despite his qualitys can not sustain more than one or two games at a time which makes me think he should not be offered a new deal. Enrique is a good going forward but at times is still suspect at the back, i would prefer a solid defencive player who can get forward on occasions. Coentrao is a deal that will not happen so we should forget about that (He is alot better than Enrique though in my opinion). My preferred choice would be Leighton Baines but obviously buying from Everton is something that would be extremly difficult so cant see that happening either. Emilio Izaguirre is another good option that i think should be considered by LFC he seems to have a good mix of attack and defence that i think would suit our defence.

  7. The subject of this article is DEFENCE:
    Seems to me that we are well covered at Right Back with Glen Johnson, Kelly and Flanaghan.
    There can be no doubt we need at least 1 Left Back and I prefer Aly Sissokho with Sakho to cover at Left Back (as Aurelio is too injury prone and over 30) and for Agger at Left Centre Back (as he too is injury prone). For Right Centre Back then I would go for Dann or Cahill.
    So, for defence, I would suggest:
    1. Aly Sissokho Left Back,
    2. Sakho Left Centre Back/ Left Back cover,
    3. either Dann or Cahill for Right Centre Back.
    These 3 are suffficient as Kelly can cover either Right Back or Right Centre Back, and Robinson can step up for odd games at Left Back.
    So with these 3 we would have both good players and plenty of versatility/cover in defence.

  8. 2 wingers, 1 centre-back and 1 striker, we need,

    1) Downing and Arda Turan…..Downing can play either wing.
    2) Scott Dann
    3) Connor Wickham.

    These players will massively improve Liverpool today, Downing for me is a player of real balance running with the ball, Arda Turan is an artist. Scott Dann is a dominant ball carrying defender with pace too (ex-season ticket holder and Scouser), Connor Wickham is a big powerful striker who is still a baby but offers huge potential!!!

    If we get these players Liverpool could win he title next season, Im deadly serious lads. The opposition is not that great and we can jump a few places very quickly, over to FSG!!!!!!

  9. l agreed with u sam u make a good list enrique is a good player but if nt get cissohko or the young rose of tott.l dnt think the winge is the problem but the midfield we nd a good stopper ok look at man utd vs barca the game end at the midfield so get yann m villa or matuidi and final aguero or falcao of porto.defence if lfc can get gary cahil then best option is sahko,may just one winger mata or genviho.get good keeper to challenge pepe renia lik fredel or skeleenburg

  10. Don’t think left back squabble needed as Coentrao has quoted from Portugal camp that he expects and wants Real move. Enrique has improved. We have young Robinson in reserves. We have just signed Irish wonderkid left back from under noses of man utd, but he is only 16. I’ve heard good reports about Celtic left back but this position has become confusing. I think one centre will come in. It appears we have one the battle to sign Downing from Villa but the rest is up in the air. I really believe Comoli and Dalglish have multiple options and will want players who want to play for club long term not for money reasons. Youth will priority as well.

  11. Is Arda Turan one of most magical wingers in the world?, how is he still at Galatasaray?.For me he is everything we need, left or right foot, no problem and pace to burn, his dribbling is like Suarez and Messi.
    We could easily get him for reasonable money, £15m i reckon, him and Downing can swap wings as both are two-footed. They would destroy defences and create mayhem with Carroll, Suarez and Kuyt!!!!
    We need to get moving here as players are being lined-up by top sides, come on Liverpool get your fingers out!!!!

  12. Thanks for the feedback. Bare in mind that this is only part one dealing with defence. Should have part 2 about midfield done soon. YNWA

  13. Basically, your view is that we should only shop domestically.

    Well, we recently bought Konchesky from the Premier League, and Suárez from abroad. The PL has great players, but not in every position, and not in every club. Dann is a Liverpool fan, but so am I, and neither of us have the required quality to PLAY for Liverpool. Gary Cahill is probably the most overrated player in world football now. He is an average-at-most defender who the media has made such a hype about that he is now over inflated. £15m for him? Heck, I’d pay that for Per Mertesacker – a stablished German International. Or I’d pay £20m for Leonardo Bonucci or Giorgio Chiellini of Juventus…

    As for right/left-backs, I do not think you watched the same Coentrão as I, and the rest of the world, did. Saying that Jose Enrique is better than him is like saying Ryan Giggs is better than Messi (and I have seen that written somewhere). Enrique is nowhere near the kind of player that would play at a top European club, competing for National and International titles. If we were desperate for a left-back and with money to spend (as we now have), I’d go for possibly the best full-back in the world – Philipp Lahm. It might just be a pipe dream though. Cissokho of Lyon is a great prospect too though. And I wouldn’t sign a Right back. I’d stick with Kelly/Johnson/Flanno. And yes, I’d pick them in that order, Kelly over Johnson.

    Anyway, that is just my opinion.

  14. We have been linked to Arda Turan for the last 3 years I wouldn’t get my hopes up this time like how i did last summer or the 1 before… or the 1 before … But I definitely would welcome him to the Merseyside with open arms tho

  15. 1) Aguero if we have the money for aguero and he has publically announced he wants to leave we should be going mad trying to get him although we have competition from man city and chelsea but with chelsea wanting neymar we have a strong chance of getting him.
    2)Chiellini arguably one of the best defenders in serie a, a great buy as a first team player leaving carragher to play at right back and johnson or kelly on the left.
    3)Downing we have maxi and suarez is also known as a great winger with aguero also available to play on the wing, downing would be a fantastic signing for us.
    4)Cissokho an amazing left back in the french league he has pace and is very tall and strong and would be a great asset to the team
    5)Lavezzi an utterly brilliant player can play an attacking midfielder role and also up top or on the wings, a great playmaker and scores a fair few goals himself, lavezzi has performed in the europa league against us already


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