Right let’s get this out of the way early doors…. we were terrible against Sunderland, we have drawn too many games, Dalglish’s record is worse than that of Hodgson’s during his reign, doom, gloom, it’s just not good enough, blah, blah, blah, whatever!
We really do like to focus on the negatives don’t we? I think people fail to remember that we were close to relegation under Hodgson and we had owners that cared more about lining their pockets than the intentions of the club. Now we have a management team and Owners that really have the club at heart and are giving their all to try to rebuild the team we love back to its former glory. Yes we’ve spent £100 million (£50 million less Torres) and some of the players are yet to “shine” but no one can surely say the football we have being playing recently isn’t a damn site better than what we were turning out with last. A base has been established from which we can build…..
We are leaking few goals and under KD we look truly solid, he has had the ball’s to drop JC and in doing so has let Agger and Skrtel flourish as a centre back pairing, so much so that Skrtel picked up player of the month last month. KD has also got the ball flowing again; for the most part we are starting to see the old “pass and move” style of old. This was seen most recently in the game against Arsenal where a number of slick moves could have seen the Red Men 4 or 5 up by half time. It wasn’t to be and ultimately a lack of quality and good fortune saw us squander 3 valuable points.
It’s true we have been missing that killer edge and too often we have let our performance levels drop dramatically. Although I cannot say I am pleased with our season to date (of course I would like more) I do feel in my heart of hearts that we have made progression. We do have players that can pass the ball well and improve the squad as a whole. I mentioned that we have base in place now and in the summer I think a few quality acquisitions can see us challenge for the coveted top 4 (I expected us to challenge for it this season but never truly believed we would achieve it)
So where to strengthen?
Keeper: Reina has had a less than Stella season but still commands the respect of those in front of him and has the trust required for them to perform without pressure. He is still the right man for the job.
Defence: Right back is well covered with Johnson and Kelly. Centre back positions are occupied by Agger and Skrtel with Carra and Coates as back up. Enrique has been a fine signing and he and Aurelio (who may leave) have us covered there. All in all we can be pleased with our back line and any other side in the Prem would be happy to have what we have there.
Midfield: Lucas (who we have missed massively) will be back to take his (first on the team sheet) position, he allows the rest of the midfield to push on without fear of leaving gaps at the back. Downing has had an indifferent season but still possesses quality and I expect him to kick on. Bellamy has been a breath of fresh air and will continue to play when he can. Hendo, Spearing and Shelvey will all feature; they are young and have a lot to give. Gerrard is Gerrard, he will play (when fit) but I honestly feel he is detrimental to the team (sorry). We rely on him way too much. He gets marked out of the game and that foils any strategy we have. Adam will be gone; he hasn’t cut the mustard and goes missing way too often. Maxi will also leave, I expect Kuyt to stay and play a bit part. 2 players will (should) be acquired here, a creative midfielder who can open up the opposition defence and also a Right Winger (think Johnson, although probably won’t happen). As a footnote I would love to see Suso drafted into the first team, I think he has what it takes to make it at the top and deserves his opportunity.
Forwards: Llorente Llorente Llorente, did I say Llorente. I hate it when dreamers say we should sign player after a player but Llorente would be a fantastic and necessary addition. If not him, then definitely someone in his mould. I don’t believe we will cut our losses on Carroll as we are too stubborn to admit we got it wrong, Carroll has been poor and there are wealth of strikers that can emulate what he does and offer so much more at half of his cost. Suarez is a leg end and will not be allowed to leave no matter what. We could also do with bringing in an “up and coming” youngster to make up a fourth striker to ensure we are adequately covered.
Apologies if I have gone off on one a bit but I feel that many of our supporters expect too much too fast. Take a look at City and what they have achieved since their injection of wealth. Shiekh Mansour took over in September 2008 and to my knowledge all they have won to date is the FA cup in 2011. Yes that’s 3 years after signing the likes of Robinho and Tevez before they won anything. We have the Carling (Mickey Mouse) Cup already and we are well placed in our FA cup run. Look at City now, they are a totally different proposition and are well placed to compete for England’s Premier prize (although they dropped a massive bollock today). If we are in a similar position over the next few years then I will be more than pleased.
Keep the faith kopites, it will come but it will take time, let’s not become Plastics like the Stamford bridge boys