Liverpool’s Pre-season To-Do List Assessed…..
Liverpool are certainly heading in the right direction but we still have a lot of tweaking left to do before the 2011/12 season kicks off come two weeks time. Here is a checklist of pre-season to-do’s.
1. Get a Left Winger ☑
I’m very impressed with the left winger that we got in Stewart Downing. Yes, he came with a huge price tag, but I think that he can more than certainly justify it. One moment I remember from the Liverpool-Valerenga 3-3 draw is the moment where he absolutely tortured the rightback, got behind him, and then delivered an inch perfect cross for Andy Carroll to latch onto with a header. It was nearly a goal, but it was brilliantly denied by the goalkeeper.
I think that Downing serves all the needs that we require, which is crosses and lots of pace. It also has to be remembered that he statistically is in fact the second best in the business last season, with his cross completion percentage only second to Everton fullback Leighton Baines, so we’ve got a talented winger from this buy.
2. Get a leftback ☐
Well, leftback is really our Achilles Heel (not a joke to Aurelio there) and it really needs fixing. Glen Johnson might be out through injury, Aurelio as well, so we need some experienced second alternative to look to there. Liverpool have been interested in a few, namely Jose Enrique and Aly Cissokho, along with some lesser known British fullbacks.
I think it’s the role that we lack in most currently, with the striker, left winger and central midfield spots sorted out already with our transfer dealings. Rightback, doesn’t require any additional reinforcement because Carragher can slot in and we have our youngsters we can rely on. In central defence, I think it is just the attitude and the mindset that needs to change.
3. What to do with Aquilani ☑ ☐
Liverpool might just loan/sell him out soon, but I think that he showed against Valerenga just what we can expect if we keep him around. It has to be remembered firstly that he supplied both crosses which ended up in the net thanks to Agger headers from his corners. Along with that, it must be remembered that he earned both corners as well, two shots of his brilliantly stopped by the keeper.
His pre-season performances bar Hull City and Galatasaray have also been superb. His attitude has been pretty good and he’s really showing some class on the pitch. Loving the fact that he’s showing us a few tricks during pre-season as well, it’s making Liverpool games really interesting even without Luis Suarez.
The question is whether he will be given a chance by King Kenny or not. I personally doubt that, which is why Liverpool are undertaking negotiations to try and sell Aquilani. I personally think the best solution would be to keep the Italian man. He hasn’t been given his chance to shine at Anfield yet. Offer him some time and I am very sure he won’t fail to disappoint.
4. Give Sterling more time in Pre-season ☐
Raheem Sterling has been making waves, and pre-season is where you should be giving him the chance to excel. He managed to earn a game against Valerenga and I am well impressed. First of all, he ain’t a soloist, the fact that he passed the ball well simply suggested to me that he can handle the psychological maturity required to play regular first team football.
Pacey and he tracks back pretty well too, I am hoping that he will be given more time in our next upcoming friendly against Valencia, I want to see more of this young kid.
5. No-nonsense Defending ☐
Time to face the facts, Liverpool’s defending in pre-season has been awful. There most certainly needs to be no-nonsense defending, faster pressing, more blocks and one thing that I’ve seen very often is us conceding a goal from outside the box. Sure, most were quality, but our defenders, in my opinion, could have done a lot better getting to the ball and blocking it.
Martin Skrtel, the man whom represents this might not be playing, but I am hoping that Liverpool will fix this leaky defence really soon and I’m also hoping that Carragher will stop hoofing the ball up the field whenever Andy Carroll is playing, the chances of him getting to it are very slim, and the fact is, there’s noone close enough to him to take the pass.
6. Midfield Reinforcements ☑
A few out there have said that we don’t require central midfielder with the likes of Gerrard, Lucas, Meireles and Spearing in the mix, but I think different. The fact that Gerrard’s injury woes don’t seem to behind him suggest to me that it’s the right move to bring in extra central midfield reinforcements, along with that, Meireles doesn’t have the best injury track record either, so it’s a good move.
Henderson can also fit in on the right, it must be remembered, originally starting out as a right midfielder when he began making waves with Sunderland.
Submitted by Two Liverpool Friends
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