Eight Things That Separate Liverpool from Being Title Contenders
Liverpool are currently undergoing perhaps one of the worse patches in EPL football. Although it is still very early days in the EPL, it is very worrying for a Liverpool fan to see their team sitting in the relegation zone, after only two games.
This is the first season in a long time since Liverpool will be competing in the Champions League, after tonight, they finally secured qualification after a shaky performance in Romania while Tottenham reached the group stages after thrashing Young Boys at home, pun intended.
SO what is the problem, where are the great Comeback Kings, why are they suffering so much? Well, hopefully this list can shed some light into those questions.
Back Four: Too Weak, Too Slow, Too Vulnerable
Well, you don't have to be a football fan to know that Liverpool has a serious problem in the back.
With Mascherano currently on strike and no real quality at the back besides the odd, few moments from Carragher and Johnson, Liverpool are really left vulnerable on all corners.
Ever since the likes of Riise, Hyppia, and Arbaloa left the squad, we never really seemed to find our form again.
Instead of wasting money signing Poulson to the squad, Roy should have really looked out for a strong left back with pace, like Riise. Hate him or love him, the man knew how to attack on the counter and run on the flanks; he was also a menace at taking free kicks and was a genius at delivering cross balls.
Since his departure, we have tried finding suitable replacements, however, the likes of Aurelio and Insua don't quite match up to the Norwegian sensation. I don't think we should waste our time with Paul Konchesky as he is in his 30s, and that does not bode well in this year's Premier League, especially with all the young, fast, and spearing talents the clubs have to offer.
Best guy for the job: Wayne Bridge.
Relying on the Same Players for Every Match
Torres, Gerrard, Reina, Kuyt, and Mascherano have had the heavy burden of picking up after the team when something goes bad.
Whereas in the past, the likes of Alonso, Benayoun, Babel, Crouch, and others were more then willing to help out when called upon, thus taking pressure off the other stars.
The best thing for this is to allow guys like Maxi, Jovanovic, and others to be a more prominent force in the team. Like in tonight's match in Romania, Liverpool were without Torres, Mascherano, and Gerrard, yet managed to hold off their opposition and fire in two goals in quick succession, with the help of Joe Cole and Kuyt, of course.
Financial and Ownership Problems
Not a businessman myself, so I don't want to write something that I have no clue about.
However, it is no lie that ever since the American took over, Liverpool are no longer the club they once were. With hardly any money to spend on the summer markets and transfer windows, it has forced us to put up some of our best players for sale, in the hopes to receive some cash in exchange.
All I can say is the sooner this problem is sorted, the better the club will be.
Letting Go of Decent Players
The following list of players are from the last five years since our glory days at the Champions League, who I feel should have never left the club under any circumstances.
If Alonso never leaves LFC, I am pretty sure that we would be in the Champions League this season, he was so instrumental on delivering balls and crosses to Gerrard and Torres, which allowed them to capitalize and score.
Hate him or love him, the man brought something different to the club, his height allowed him to win headers and perform feats of incredible magnitude.
Even though he was injury-plagued, it was Cisse's presence that allowed Liverpool to win the FA Cup in 2006.
Never should have left, he was key to our success in the 2008/2009 season.
Signing Second-Best Players
From letting go of all our great players, Benitez thought it would be funny to sign players who most of us have never heard of before, such as..
How can we succeed if our team is starting from zero every time we sign a new player? Chelsea let go of Deco and Ballack, two quality players, yet they are still as dominant as ever with Essien and Mikel. We need consistency.
A Strong Youth Academy Like Arsenal?
I was against Wenger's youth policy for some time, but then it hit me: On Arsenal's worst season, they finish third, and in their best season, they win the league.
Liverpool's worst season, we finish seventh or lower, and on our best season, we finish second. It is ridiculous that when the likes of Gerrard and Torres are injured, we have nobody to cover for them, because while we are looking for new strikers and midfielders from the Swiss leagues, we are forgetting about the talent right under our very noses.
I hope Roy takes a page out of Wenger's book and starts to create a decent youth programme, so that in the future, Liverpool doesn't have to worry about the home grown rule, and the fact that we may have to fight to stay in the EPL.
Holding Onto Past Glory
Yes, 2005-2007 were very good years for the Liverpool Football Club. However, while we holding onto those memories, Manchester United are catching up to our 18 league titles.
We need to make sure that the EPL remains Liverpool's cup, even though we have not won it for over 20 years. We are still the record holders.
I asked my friend one day: "If Arsenal play total football, what football does Liverpool play?"
He replied, "Standard."
This angered me to some extent, surely, the Comeback Kings play better football than just standard!!
However, after watching the match against Man City earlier this week, I realized how right he was. I mean, we were getting knocked around like we were a Division 3 team.
Players like Jovanovic and Lucas were getting manhandled by Toure and Richards, while Torres and Gerrard were kept quite upfront. I mean, how can we progress if every time we get the ball, we lose it to the opposition? That is not the Liverpool we have all come to love.
Even tonight in Romania, they scored in the opening four minutes, and it took us until the 85th minute to equalize.
We need better one-touch football, when Johnson gets the ball, he needs to pass it to one of the holding midfielders or Gerrard, not make continuous runs up the flank only to lose it in the process. I mean the first couple of times is fine, but on a regular, I don't think so, mate.
Lucas needs to be tougher with Mascherano on the move and Poulson in his 30s. Lucas is our only hope for the moment, but after his poor display against Tevez and Milner on Monday, I am surprised he is still able to walk. He needs to be tougher and more controlled in the middle.
Lastly, I hope Liverpool manages to win against WBA this weekend as drawing and losing mean the same things these days.