Liverpool

Liverpool FC: What Is Liverpool's Best Team and Formation Under Kenny Dalglish?

Jake RoddCorrespondent IIIMay 9, 2011

Liverpool FC: What Is Liverpool's Best Team and Formation Under Kenny Dalglish?

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    LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 23:  Liverpool Manager Kenny Dalglish gestures prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Birmingham City at Anfield on April 23, 2011 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    If you had the job of sending a Liverpool team out for one day, all injuries forgotten, who would you play? What formation would you tell your players to operate under?

    Fact: There are many great players at Liverpool. Fact: Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea fans will disagree.

    I will show you my best Liverpool XI. See what you think!

Goalkeeper: Pepe Reina

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 27:  Pepe Reina goalkeeper of Liverpool fails to stop the shot of Scott Parker of West Ham during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Liverpool at the Boleyn Ground on February 27, 2011 in London, Engla
    Scott Heavey/Getty Images

    Not the hardest to be quite honest. Charles Itandje, Brad Jones or, arguably, the best keeper in the prem? Er, Pepe, thanks very much.

    No matter how much pressure Liverpool are under, no matter how many shots they face, Liverpool can rest assured that it will take a lot to beat Pepe. A fan favourite, Reina has all the qualities required for a top-shot stopper.

    Agility: brilliant. Reactions: second to none. Confidence: extremely high.

    I'm sure you could ask any Liverpool fan who the best keeper at Liverpool is and get Reina for an answer (though, that's not really saying much).

RB: Martin Kelly

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    LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 26:  Martin Kelly of Liverpool in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Fulham at Anfield on January 26, 2011 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    The next Jamie Carragher, Martin Kelly bleeds Liverpool red.

    He has shown this season that he can step up to the top flight plate, delivering a string of constantly good performances. Though injured at the moment, Kelly will have a big say in the Liverpool back line next season, I hope.

    Kelly has shown determination to sprint down the touchline and sprint back again to make tackles. It is this determination that every Liverpool player should have, and under Kenny, will have. Or they leave, simple as that.

    I'm sure this man will occupy this position in the future, as his is very bright. Very bright indeed.

CB's: Jamie Carragher and Martin Skrtel

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    LONDON - OCTOBER 04:  Martin Skrtel (R) and Jamie Carragher of Liverpool (L) tussle with Didier Drogba of Chelsea during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on October 4, 2009 in London, England.  (Photo by I
    Ian Walton/Getty Images

    I was torn between Agger and Skrtel, but Skrtel has been better for me this season simply because he plays more games.

    Together, Carra and Skrtel have forged a new partnership that is proving difficult to break down. Just look at Liverpool's recent defensive record!

    Chelsea couldn't score against Liverpool despite being at home, which shows you how good the defence is. The talk of a new centre back is nice, but is it really needed?

    Carragher has at least another season in him, Skrtel has a long future—as does Agger—Kygriakos is always available should you want some reckless challenges and, if all else fails, Martin Kelly can play as a centre back too.

    Basically, what I'm saying is, the only reason for a new centre back is to replace Carra and I'm not sure I want that just yet.

LB: Glen Johnson

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    LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 08: England and Liverpool footballer Glen Johnson is seen on Ladies Day at Aintree racecourse on April 08, 2011 in Liverpool, England . (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/ Getty Images)
    Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

    He's not a rapper. He's a top class defender.

    You expected to see him at right back, didn't you. Well, the fact is, Glen has shown potential on the left too. He still defends and he still gallops up the lines, cutting in and having a pop from time to time.

    I feel that, since we don't really have a reliable left back at the moment, this man should occupy this position—with Kelly or Flanagan on the right.

    If you don't agree, at the moment, it's injury-prone Aurelio. Konchesky or rapper here. This man takes my bet.

RW: Dirk Kuyt

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    LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 23:  Dirk Kuyt of Liverpool wins the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Birmingham City at Anfield on April 23, 2011 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    It's always nice to see someone work as hard as Dirk Kuyt does for Liverpool.

    Like Martin Kelly, Kuyt is in the box scoring goals one minute and in his penalty area throwing his body around the next. It's his likable character, work rate and goal-scoring ability (at least, at the moment) that have won the crowd over.

    He has recently been on quite a run, scoring a hat trick against Manchester United, as you do.

    I feel that he can really flourish with Martin Kelly, and the two will provide the hardest working right sided players in the League.

CM: Lucas Leiva

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 27: Lucas Leiva of Liverpool in action during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Liverpool at the Boleyn Ground on February 27, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
    Scott Heavey/Getty Images

    I was torn between putting Steven Gerrard here and moving Raul Meireles higher up. But, as you can see, I opted for Lucas.

    Why?

    Lucas is a player who, like many others in my chosen side, works his little red socks off.  He tackles and then plays the simple ball. Players in this position for me don't need to always be hitting the 40-yard defence splitting pass. Sometimes, it's best to play the ball nice and easily to a teammate to start a move off easily.

    Look at Xabi Alonso. Yes, he plays the long ball at times, but usually, he plays the ball backwards. Not a long way back, but just to a teammate who is facing the opposing goal, giving them the chance to start the move off in the right way.

    Yes, also the most improved player for me—Lucas would play in this role.

CM: Steven Gerrard

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    BLACKBURN, ENGLAND - JANUARY 05: Steven Gerrard of Liverpool fires his penalty over the cross bar during the Barclays Premier League match between Blackburn Rovers and Liverpool at Ewood park on January 5, 2011 in Blackburn, England.  (Photo by Clive Brun
    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    This Captain, he can't be left out.

    Steven would play just ahead of Lucas for me, giving him the freedom to attack the opposition and defend when necessary.

    For me, Gerrard is at his best when he gets the ball at the halfway line. When he does get the ball in that area, Gerrard is lethal.

    Does he take a few strides forward and have a go? Does he play the ball out wide? Does he play a defence-splitting pass we all know he can pull off? Goodness only knows, so the opposition won't.

    When the game is seemingly out of reach, who has pulled the team up and dragged them to victory? This man.

    Who is arguably the best Liverpool midfielder ever? This man.

    Who plays in this midfield role? This man.

    This man, ladies and gentlemen, is Steven Gerrard.

LM: Joe Cole

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    BRAGA, PORTUGAL - MARCH 10:  Joe Cole of Liverpool holds off Leandro Sallino of Braga during the UEFA Europa League round of 16 first leg match between Braga and Liverpool at Estadio Municipal de Braga on March 10, 2011 in Braga, Portugal.  (Photo by Juli
    Julian Finney/Getty Images

    What? Where is Raul Meireles? Were is Maxi Rodriguez?

    On the bench, gentlemen.

    Raul Meireles shouldn't be playing out wide, he is a central midfielder. Maxi Rodriguez hasn't played well on the left, so the responsibility falls to Joe here.

    Yes, he hasn't flourished this season. Yes, he has been a disappointment.

    But he hasn't been given time. Every player needs time, and Joe hasn't had it under Kenny. You could argue that he had time under Hodgson, but nobody flourished under him, so it's not surprising that Cole didn't.

    When on form, Joe is devastating. He can beat players and cross the ball. He has ability; it's just the question of him unlocking it. Will he do that from the sidelines? I don't think so.

    There is no doubt that Cole is a fantastic player. I just hope he gets the time to prove that.

CF's: Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll

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    WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - APRIL 02:  Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez of Liverpool look dejected after the first West Brom goal during the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Liverpool at The Hawthorns on April 2, 2011 in West Bromwi
    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    No surprise here, then. A strike force worth 57.5 million pounds. That is not bad.

    Luis would play just behind Carroll, latching on to knocked down balls and tearing defences apart. I would also tell Suarez to try and assist the wings as much as possible, as service to Carroll is key. If on the wings, Gerrard could take Suarez's place behind Carroll, leaving Lucas for cover.

    This, in my opinion, would be the greatest strike force in the Premier League: Luis Suarez, Andy Carroll and Steven Gerrard. Nos. 7, 8 and 9. It all adds up. Ha. Ha. Ha.

    Seriously though, this would be my way forward. Should Kenny do something like this, I feel only success follows.

    Subs: Itandje, Flanagan, Meireles, NGog, Rodriguez

     

    Thanks guys.

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