Is Daglish Flooding The Midfield To His Demise?
Liverpool ended the 2010-2011 campaign on a high, sure they hadn’t reached Europe but after a disastrous start and the sacking of Roy Hodgson miracles could not be expected from King Kenny in such a short space of time. Hodgson left Anfield in a poor state, his summer acquisitions bar one were extremely poor notably Cristian Poulsen and Paul Konchescky. Daglish needed to come in and re-inject some life into the place, que the second half of the season and Liverpool’s dramatic revival.
The new season then, is a chance for King Kenny to put his stamp of approval on this Liverpool side. We already saw at the tail end of the season how he wasn’t afraid of giving youth a chance with the debuts of full-backs John Flanagan and Jack Robinson. We also know that he isn’t afraid to splash cash to buy quality players. It sounds like he is getting it all right so far, but then it comes to day 1 of the season, who does he pick for his first team.
His midfield options have been bolstered, but this is where I believe a problem lies. He has too many central midfielders and while competition for places is healthy, international players want week in week out football. Daglish will choose between Steven Gerrard, Charlie Adam, Lucas Levia, Jordan Henderson, Raul Meireles, Jay Spearing and Jonjo Shelvey. While the latter two may be content to warm the bench and wait for their chance the rest are surely first teamers?
A fit Steven Gerrard surely walks into the team, but who will join him in the centre? If Daglish chooses to play 3 in the centre as preferred last season he will need at least two to anchor the midfield and act as a foil for Gerrard’s forward ambitions. Lucas played this role well last season and Meireles is a player suited to this to. But then you have your £27 Million worth of signings left on the bench!
Problem is, bar Lucas and on his day Merieles no others can play a holding role which leaves Daglish a problem, he will want to play Henderson and may play him too deep for him to be effective. My solution here is, play Henderson wide on the right, kill two birds with one stone, Liverpool have suffered for their lack of width and Henderson could be the man to provide it with perhaps Downing providing it from the left?
The conundrum is hardly the worst in the world, I mean who can complain that they have too many good players, but it will be up to Daglish to make sure everyone is happy in that dressing room and whoever starts that first fixture may be integral to the wellbeing of that room for the next season.
Submitted by Football Friends