The New Era: Why Fabio Borini Should Be Moved into the Centre Forward Role
So far this season, Liverpool's 2012/2013 season has gotten off to a less-than-impressive start. FSG placed a huge amount of trust in new manager Brendan Rodgers, and while his implemented tika-taka style possession football is being slowly introduced, results have not gone their way and pressure is already taking it's told, if the papers are to be believed.
Fans and the media alike have pointed out many flaws in the new regime, mainly the lack of strikers at the club and the players who had been brought in last season (e.g. Charlie Adam, Andy Carroll) have been sold straight away by Brendan Rodgers. However, many have indicated the lack of goalscorers in the squad. With just Luis Suarez and Fabio Borini as the only recognized strikers at the club (with Borini playing as a left forward role), Liverpool came into a campaign sweating on the fitness of the two, knowing they would have to delve into the reserves to find a replacement. With Liverpool failing to sign Clint Dempsey in an embarrassing transfer deadline day, the available strikers must now pull their weight even more now as Andy Carroll moved to West Ham in a shocking deadline day transfer.
Because of this, I feel that to get more goals, Fabio Borini has to be moved more centrally to get the goals Rodger's paid a cool £9 million for. He is often played on the left flank due to his intense pressuring and work rate. However, Suarez is well known to drop back and help the midfield, while also leading the line with his twisting turns and dribbling ability. Many fans will claim Fabio Borini was more a replacement for the departing Dirk Kuyt than a player to lead the line for the Reds, but comments made by Brendan Rodgers in preseason sounds likes he expects Borini to play like Liverpool-era Michael Owen; a player with pace to get away from a defender, and someone who is expected to always hit the net from inside the box.
To do this, Borini simply has to be played centrally. Rodgers expects his wide forwards to cut inside and take the shot or find a man inside the box, but Borini hasn't adjusted to the physicality of the English game yet and is always muscled off the ball when he attempts this. With Suarez playing on the left, the little Uruguayan can use his dazzling dribbling skills to beat the full-back and put the ball on a plate for Borini. It will take time to adjust, but as the tika-taka flows better (Allen has been the player Henderson was meant to be, and if he keeps his form up, he can be a key player for Liverpool) so will Borini's goal tally; and with Suarez playing the left forward role for Ajax before moving to Anfield, it could suit both players.
Rodgers is used to playing Borini centrally; he played in the role many a time for both Chelsea reserves and Swansea (on a loan), and was prolific for both: a 1-in-2 ratio in his Swansea days should be noted, as should his build-up play and unselfishness at Chelsea and a 1-to-3 ratio in his debut season at Roma. While reserve form may be criticized by many as not as difficult as first team football (just look at Dani Pacheco, the invisible man of the first team who was the star of the reserves not too long ago) Borini proved his worth at Roma. Many fans were excited by the potential Borini has when his transfer was announced and have been slightly disappointed at his form so far. However, I'm sure if Borini is played centrally, the goals will arrive, and Liverpool will climb the table.
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