Liverpool FC: A 4-3-3 Formation for Brendan Rodgers This Premier League Season
A shaky start for Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool saw the Reds unconvincingly edge past Gomel in the first leg of their Europa League qualifier. The "tiki-taka" style of play is not an overnight development, and fans should realise this before jumping on the bandwagon and already branding Rodgers a failure.
Liverpool are still only partially fit, with players such as Luis Suarez not even training with the squad yet so fans will have to wait a little longer before witnessing a full-strength side.
That being said, speculation is never too early.
Any side can be tweaked and tinkered with, and with the depth in a squad of a calibre such as Liverpool's, no player is guaranteed of a starting spot.
GK: Pepe Reina
Pepe Reina is one of the league's best, no question. For this reason alone, this slide doesn't need a lot of justification.
RB: Glen Johnson
Glen Johnson's starting place is under some threat with the emergence of Martin Kelly, and though the latter is incredibly talented, Johnson's improved performances (notable defensively) have made him my No. 1 choice for the right-back slot.
CBs: Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger
Provided both defenders stay at the club and stay fit, they pick themselves.
The pair have kept club legend Jamie Carragher out of the side by offering uncompromising, reliable defending. Daniel Agger's fitness has notably improved, and Skrtel's all-round game has skyrocketed.
Again, an easy inclusion.
LB: Jose Enrique
A brilliant start in Liverpool red last season was marred by a slight dip in performance levels towards the end of the season, but Jose Enrique beats challenger Jack Robinson to the left-back spot convincingly.
Enrique offers pace, intelligence and strength while attacking and defending and therefore will start the majority of games unless a serious contender suddenly emerges.
CDM: Lucas Leiva
Lucas Leiva has recovered months early from an injury that ruled him out of over five months of play last season. A determined attitude, dedication and general ability gives Lucas a convincing nod over Jay Spearing, who looks determined and dedicated, yet also completely lost.
Lucas, as seen against Gomel, will sit in front of the back four, breaking up opposition attacks while orchestrating Liverpool ones. Lucas's absence was heavily felt in the Liverpool midfield last season, and we're all glad to have him back.
CM: Steven Gerrard
The HUB of the Liverpool side for a little under a decade. A decade.
Gerrard is the epitome of the complete midfielder.
Steve Gerrard, Gerrard,
He'll pass the ball forty yards,
He's big and he's f*cking hard,
Oh Steve Gerrard, Gerrard.
In a nutshell.
Gerrard is simply irreplaceable and would still walk into any side in England.
So he walks into this one.
CM: Jordan Henderson
Oh, this one was tough.
Alberto Aquilani has departed, Charlie Adam has looked awful and is not yet match-fit, and Jay Spearing has also looked a disaster.
Aside from throwing Suso into the deep end, the only real competition Henderson faces is Shelvey. I thought long and hard about this one, and I believe Henderson pips Shelvey to the post.
Oooops. Don't mention the post. As Liverpool fans, we don't like the post.
Moving swiftly on, both Shelvey and Henderson show promise.
Henderson has been chucked into the first team and criticised heavily for somewhat lacklustre performances. But, we must remember he was deployed on the wing, and he is by trade a central midfielder.
Give the young man another chance, in his preferred role, and if he disappoints, replace him. However, until then, Henderson starts in central midfield for me.
Wingers: Joe Cole and Stewart Downing
Firstly, the reason there is no specific right wing or left wing spot is because nowadays wingers interchange positions regularly.
Downing and Cole have looked lively and much improved this preseason, and therefore they should be given the nod to start the season in pole positions. Cole was arguably Liverpool's best player against Gomel before he tweaked his hamstring, and Downing's goal spoke volumes about his improved performance levels.
Also, aside from putting Luis Suarez or Fabio Borini on the wings, Cole and Downing represent one of the few options Liverpool have. Sterling will not start games in all likelihood, leaving no out-and-out wingers.
Striker: Luis Suarez
Luis Suarez is perhaps the perfect striker to play in this system.
Quick, aware and possessing an extraordinary ability to create something from nothing, Suarez will be pivotal to any success the reds might have next season. Suarez needs to be as clinical for Liverpool as he seems to be in a Uruguay shirt, and if he does this, expect the press-magnet to be high up in the goal scoring tally come next May.
El Pistolero, Carroll and Bornini will all fight for the prized place up front, but Suarez will relegate the latter two to the bench.
A no-brainer really, unless Suarez replaces Downing or Cole on the wings, opening a spot up for Borini or Carroll.
This is my lineup.
Any thing you would change? Any glaring errors? Leave your thoughts below, and be sure to like this Facebook site: Liverpool Army F.C
Thanks for reading.