Sunday, July 30, 2006

Being absent

Not been a good week for me - haven't been to ward or classes for the past week (actually since the previous Thursday). Something is just keeping me from getting to classes. I feel if I can get past that first hurdle, it will be fine.

Anyway just watched bits of Liverpool playing Kaiserlautern last night. Funny that Pepe Reina was asked to play in midfield and totally missed a sitter in the second half. The result shouldn't matter (for those who want to know, they lost 3-2), just that some of their stars from the World Cup are back. What the should be worrying about is the Champion's League 3rd qualifying round 1st leg against Maccabi Tel-Aviv (and I'm not just talking about the security). Tricky fixture with a potential for an upset.

This season will be an important season for Rafa Benitez. He has shown improvement over the past two seasons in the league whilst winning trophies. Now he's got the players he wants and should be be challenging title (or at least second place, which is the new title thanks to Chelsea's dirty money). Fans will also think this and if the team disappoint, it will be difficult to justify the spending and probably the manager as well.

Positional review

GK: Pepe Reina, Jerzy Dudek, Scott Carson
I left out Chris Kirkland, who is on loan to Wigan and most likely will be making a permanent move. However all the goalkeepers bar Pepe Reina could be & should be moving. Jerzy Dudek lost his first place last season and it cost him a trip to the World Cup. Any more time on the bench and his chances of getting back into the international fold will be over for some time. Scott Carson might be staying for a while but eventually he will leave, considering how hard it will be to dislodge Reina. Being called up for the England squad for the World Cup will only whet his appetite for bigger and better things. What Benitez needs at the club is a second-choice goalkeeper who is happy in that position.

RB: Steve Finnan, Jon Kromkamp (Jamie Carragher)
Despite Benitez's effort to get a decent right back he wants, Steve Finnan is still number one. It will be disappointing if Benitez does replace Finnan, who has shown signs of massive improvement in the past few seasons. I also think Kromkamp should be given a chance and not be used as a makeweight for Dirk Kuyt's transfer. Every player needs time to adjust to a new league and I think Kromkamp is capable of playing in the Premiership.

LB: Fabio Aurelio, Steven Warnock, Djimi Traore (John Arne Riise)
With Aurelio coming in, it definitely spells the end of Traore at Liverpool. He knows action will be limited and should move on. The same could be said about Warnock. He started signs of great promise but with Aurelio & Riise most likely in front of him, he'll probably consider whether or not he will get enough action, especially with a new England manager looking at future international prospects.

CB: Jamie Carragher, Sami Hyypia, Daniel Agger, Gabriel Paletta (Djimi Traore)
I finally think Benitez has found the cover he needs for Carragher & Hyypia. Two very young but good prospects who will be willing to bide their time and learn from the two veterans.

RM: Jermaine Pennant, Luis Garcia (Mark Gonzalez, Steven Gerrard)
Another good prospect with Jermaine Pennant coming in. He will help bring balance to a midfield needing a good right winger and allow Gerrard to play his more natural position. Also Pennant will provide crosses for Crouch to convert or at least cause problems in the penalty box.

LM: John Arne Riise, Mark Gonzalez, Harry Kewell (Boudewijn Zenden, Luis Garcia)
Now that Mark Gonzalez has finally arrived in England, it could end the spell for Harry Kewell at Liverpool. He has never been Benitez's favourite but now this might be the final nail in the coffin.

CM: Steven Gerrard, Xabi Alonso, Momo Sissoko, Boudewijn Zenden, Salif Diao, Anthony Le Tallec
Diao and Le Tallec should surely know that their careers at the Reds are over and should be going on to newer pastures. What the more larger dilemma is at this position is who to play? Gerrard & Alonso are great but will they fit together? Bring a more defensive midfield in Sissoko will mean dropping a player. Or should they play all three? And what about Zenden?

FW: Craig Bellamy, Peter Crouch, Robbie Fowler, Neil Mellor, Florent Sinama-Pongelle
With Cisse off and Mellor plus Pongelle most likely to follow suit, this is one position that Liverpool need to strengthen in. It most likely will be Kujt but will they be willling to pay that absorbent amount (rumoured to be 14 million pounds)?

If Liverpool can get another striker in, I think they will be there challenging for the title.

1 comment:

arthur said...

"...do it..."
"wha?"
"DO IT!!!"