Liverpool: Kenny Dalglish Must Secure Service of Good Winger in Window

illya mclellanSenior Analyst IJanuary 28, 2012

The standard of service has been below par
The standard of service has been below parAlex Livesey/Getty Images

As the transfer window nears its close, there is typically frenetic activity and panic buying.

Rumor has it Liverpool are after Milos Krasic of Juventus and there is an obvious need for a good crosser. Of course, they did sign a winger at the last opportunity, though so far Stewart Downing has literally failed to deliver. His quality is undoubted, though it seems the pressure could be too much at such a big club.

In order to save himself from criticism on the Andy Carroll deal, Kenny Dalgish needs to buy shrewdly  in order to provide one of his most potent goal scoring weapons with adequate service. Andy Carroll is a finisher par excellence, and he is still capable of proving this still, but until the recent return of Steven Gerrard, he has generally not received anything near the service he enjoyed through his understanding with Joey Barton and others at Newcastle United.

A winger who can be relied on to put over at least five to six decent crosses a game would be enough for Carroll to get his confidence back. The only way that the need for this signing could possibly be ignored is if someone stands up in the upcoming FA Cup match with Manchester United and plays in several effective balls over the course of the match.

Dalglish is no mug, everyone knows that. He knows a good player, he has played with and managed many. It would seem all he really needs is someone capable of creating the opportunities that Carroll craves—the well hit cross at height, away from defenders and into the run of the advancing striker.

Though of course not an easy thing to do, there are many who produce such a ball like clockwork. An excellent example in the last few years of course being Antonio Valencia, who has an outstanding understanding with Wayne Rooney and is able to put it to the England striker just where he can take full toll of it time after time.


Carroll has had an awful time this season, struggling terribly and suffering from a lack of confidence, as has the earlier mentioned Downing. Both players, it seems, were in some ways not ready for the level of pressure that comes with playing for one of the world game's truly great clubs. It is another level altogether, just because every team the Reds play lifts their game, and it is up to Liverpool players to go to the next level, as it is merely club tradition to do so.

Carroll's rebirth as a Liverpool striker relies on the service he will receive in the coming months. The need for a winger is clear, even if it is a lower-profile signing, just to put pressure on Downing to up his game and realize what he was obtained for in the first place.

Dalglish, of course, on the last transfer market, nabbed Downing and Charlie Adam simply because they were outstanding performers last season, each of them registering nine complete assists, not to mention second to final passes, third to final passes and so on.

It seemed a flawless plan in some respects, buying two excellent crossers to service the powerful frame of the Newcastle favorite Carroll. So far, though, the magic has been rare.

The clear and beautifully manufactured chances need to come, simply because they are the meat and drink of a striker. Chance creation is not the striker's job—Carroll has seemed to have had to do to much of this himself. It seems obvious that another good crosser could well make all the difference.