Liverpool Aren’t A Top Four Side Yet…

By on October 24, 2011

Liverpool a “top four club”…? Think again. Again Liverpool slip up against (reputedly) lower opposition. Again, Liverpool fail to capitalise on early domination, and yet, again more points dropped by the Reds. Norwich came to Liverpool and gave a fantastic account of themselves – as they did against Manchester United and Chelsea. The only difference being, and the most important one, is that Norwich lost both of those games. It’s clear Liverpool are a team that despite all the hype, if you take your team there and play well without making too many mistakes, then you’ll probably get a result. Anfield is by no means the fortress that it should be.

The line up looked very promising. Glen Johnson coming in for Martin Kelly, and Craig Bellamy coming into the side to partner Luis Suarez up front. Quite rightly, no starting place for Andy Carroll. This is a game Liverpool should be winning and they certainly started out with a winning intention. Moving the ball around quickly and asking questions of the Norwich defence. Suarez coming close on a number of occasions as you’d expect. Then, suddenly after half an hour, that stopped. Liverpool started to give the ball away too cheaply and failed to use possession effectively when they got it back.

In all fairness, Liverpool scored against the run of play when Bellamy snatched the lead with the last kick of the first half. Paul lambert clearly felt he had a more than decent chance of grabbing a result and promptly put big Grant Holt into the fray on 57 minutes, and sure enough three minutes later his substitution proved to be spot on. Beating the helpless Pepe Reina with a header to make it 1-1 and set up a stirring finale to the game.

Liverpool have only kept three clean sheets so far this season. Two of those occasions were against 10 men – Arsenal and Everton – and the other was the friendly against Rangers last week! I wouldn’t call that the defensive form of a “top four side” as claimed by the usually very knowledgeable Jonathan Pearce on the BBC. This is not the form of a top four side. Unless of course this supposed “top four side” is banging in three or four goals each time which Liverpool most definitely aren’t. Chelsea have conceded nine as of Saturday but they’ve scored 20.

I’ll hand it to Dalglish he did make a clever substitution in replacing Dirk Kuyt with Daniel Agger so he could push Jose Enrique and Johnson forward. If only he’d seen fit to do it 10 minutes earlier, then this blog may well have taken a different tone. Instead we rue more points missed. There was further proof of what a massive waste of money Andy Carroll has been when he missed what must have been a golden chance to snatch the three points in the dying seconds of the game. His header missing the target by (less than) inches. You have to make the goalkeeper work in those circumstances, as Suarez did moments later only to be denied by a fantastic reaction save from John Ruddy.

So, where does this leave Liverpool? Four points behind an – dare I say it – impressive looking Newcastle side who seem to be able to grind out results given their performance against Wigan and still coming away with three points. One point behind Tottenham who look to be improving all of the time after a dreadful start.

Last week I suggested Liverpool need a decent Striker to compliment Suarez, and a reliable anchor-man to protect the back four. We can add to that, a decent center-half also. For me, Jamie Carragher is nearing the end of his career. As good as he’s been in the past, it’s not helping Liverpool too much in the present. Martin Skrtel? Well I have seen worse, but we could do better. Daniel Agger possess pace and a good ability to read the game but his injury prone-ness will always make him somewhat unreliable.

In Kenny Dalglish, the Liverpool faithful must trust and I believe he’s aware of the team’s shortcomings. Those things in mind, t’s fair to say that the “spine” of the Liverpool side is not quite what it should be. That’s to say they lack a player in each of the main areas of the pitch. This must be addressed before Liverpool can go any further. I’d disagree with Jonathan Pearce to that degree. Liverpool aren’t yet a “top-four” side. Top six perhaps but top four? Not yet.

 

Loading...

14 Comments

  1. earl

    October 24, 2011 at 9:29 am

    Ehhh we lost 1-0 to Rangers

    • Bill

      October 24, 2011 at 10:23 am

      What do you expect when 90% of the side that played Rangers where the deadwood we failed to get rid of in the summer. This was the equivalent of a pre season game as none of them had played together this season. Kenny, I think was trying to tell Comolli and the board something, and that something was we don’t have any depth to the squad. I would also say that Carroll is just a very expensive squad player who will probably leave for Spurs next year.

      • Andy

        October 24, 2011 at 12:37 pm

        sorry bill, top 4 sides only sign good players, not carroll

      • Glen H

        October 24, 2011 at 1:48 pm

        i would definately take Carroll for say 5mill. I imagine he would be very useful for knocking things over and the like

  2. ryan

    October 24, 2011 at 10:16 am

    So Liverpool should beat Utd and Norwich given performance but don’t get all the points? Disaster! Or perhaps some of us are enjoying the style of play, are looking forward to Carroll coming good rather than writing him off, and are big enough fans to actually know the rangers score

  3. Geoffrey Buttergoose

    October 24, 2011 at 10:38 am

    I think Liverpool can’t get champions league football. They don’t win many games.

  4. DY

    October 24, 2011 at 11:09 am

    ‘That’s to say they lack a player in each of the main areas of the pitch.’…..Dalglish bought Carrol (35 mil), Downing (20 mil) and Henderson (20 mil)…..

  5. Mike

    October 24, 2011 at 11:10 am

    The bench’s tactical ineptitude is costing us plenty! Our best finisher who happens to bne gerrard played too deep, we were playing crosses into the box, yet our best header was on the bench! Kuyt should have been replaced by maxi, henderson should never be played on the flanks, sold meireles for an inferior adam who at best should be a squad player. The bench reeks of tactical ineptitude.

  6. Mike

    October 24, 2011 at 11:15 am

    The bench’s tactical ineptitude is costing us plenty! Our best finisher who happens to bne gerrard played too deep, we were playing crosses into the box, yet our best header was on the bench! Kuyt should have been replaced by maxi, henderson should never be played on the flanks, sold meireles for an inferior adam who at best should be a squad player. The bench reeks of tactical ineptitude. Pity.

  7. Tommy Vonsyld

    October 24, 2011 at 11:48 am

    So negative! Have you ever played yourself?!
    This is still a new team and every week there are players that for the first time are in the squad opposite each other.
    Team spirit takes long time to grow and when bad luck runs like this they will be vulnerable – mentally.
    They play very well and when the goals start to come they will hand out massive beatings!
    Just wait and see.
    And stop mention them as “top 4 team”, you so-called “supporter”!!!

  8. Moocher

    October 24, 2011 at 11:55 am

    I agree with this article… we’re not a top 4 side! We still need more quality and some of the players are simply not good enough. We certainly need more up front & I still question why the goalkeeper and 2 defenders were found lacking when Norwich scored. Holt should have never got to that ball first. More ‘shopping’ in January I think.!

  9. Mills

    October 24, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    Did you even watch the game or just try and write an article based on a match report? Liverpool piled the pressure on and created plenty of chances, Luis Suarez alone probably having more shots than the whole Norwich team. Norwich were kept in this by a great performance from Ruddy and this scoreline, like the draw against Manchester United, does not tell the whole story.

  10. RAY

    October 24, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    Liverpool had a similar draw to west ham at home the season they pushed united for the title. So I don’t think its fair to say they can’t qualify for the top four.

    • RoGue

      October 24, 2011 at 7:32 pm

      Until we get a deadly finisher, a stable and pacey centre half and a skillful as well as speedy right winger, Liverpool are far from being a top four team.
      KK should look at the likes of :
      1. Gonzalo Higuain
      2. Jan Vertonghen
      3. Eden Hazard

      These three lads are exactly what LFC needs to prevent from constantly dropping points to lower rated clubs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *