Analysis of Liverpool's Season
The start to Liverpool's campaign this year has been very impressive, even though we are yet to produce any 'real' quality football.
That excludes however the four or five games which are including matches against Man Utd, Everton and Chavski - to the delight of our supporters, especially ending with Chanvski's excellent unbeaten home record!
Our strengths remain from Pepe Reina to the forward line. The work rate and our commitment remains as industrious as it has ever been under Rafael Benitez.
We are at our strongest through the spine of the team, including a few of the most talented and formidable central midfield players in Europe presently.
In my opinion, our weaknesses stem from the fullback areas and possibly the right midfield berth.
In today's game any successful side possess physically adept fullbacks who have ability on the ball and show intelligence in advanced positions.
Presently, in Arbeloa, Dossena and Aurelio I feel there is not enough strength or pace to match other top sides' attacking prowess.
Regarding Alvaro Arbeloa, I think he is competent in possession and elegant going forward but lacks the pace and physical presence to succeed fully in the EPL and I feel the same applies to Fabio Aurelio.
As regards to Andrea Dossena, Rafa must have received some excellent scouting reports from Italy. I say this because I am sure he would not have seven million on him otherwise.
Keep in mind it does take time for an overseas player to settle down, learn the language and adapt to the new culture.
At the time of writing I'm in the middle of a night shift and we have just crashed out the Carling Cup in fine style.
Although I did not witness the debacle, I have seen from match reports, we well deserved to be eliminated. With Rafa admitting that serious defensive errors were the reason we went out and not the 10 changes that were made to the starting eleven.
Over the next month we have five EPL fixtures with two CL ties sandwiched in between. These are as follows: 15/11 - Bolton (A), 22/11 - Fulham (H), 26/11 - Olympique Marseille (H), 1/12 - West Ham (H), 6/12 - Blackburn Rovers (A), 9/12 PSV (A) and Hull City (H).
Every one of these fixtures are winnable, including the CL games. If we can take 12 or 13 points for the league games, then I'm sure we will sustain our current challenge and may even be clear at the summit of the EPL.
Finally, a quick assessment of our 'summer' purchases and those who have impressed and distressed in the RED shirt.
I've already touched on Andrea Dossena, in my opinion we should all try to be patient as he certainly has ability going forward although his defensive attributes are not up to scratch as of yet.
In the few outings he's had as our new number two, I must admit that he does not omit confidence, again the language barrier could be an issue and as we all know communication is an essential between a goalkeeper and his back four.
I've already published my thoughts on Riera, but to sum up I think he is an excellent addition to our squad. He exhibits pure confidence, has ability on the ball and is always an option for us on the left flank. He is a player who has started his Liverpool career well and is only going to improve.
Although the goals have only started to flow, this has not affected his attitude. He is an excellent professional who's work ethic is a shining example to all, and I'm sure he will flourish under Rafa's guidance.
His work rate has been well documented over the last season or so but this year I've observed him playing with far more confidence and as a result of this, he has been finding the back of the net with some regularity. He has been an adequate reserve while Fernando has been injured but now should retain his right midfield berth.
My two disappointed players
The two disappointments for me are Pennant and Yossi. For Jermnaine Pennant this has always been his last chance at a top club, but he just does not seem to realize this fact. This is a player with so much potential, but just does not show the desire or motivation to succeed at our beloved club.
I'd rather see El Zar bled into first team action than see a non-committed Pennant, at least the youngster would show passion and spirit which should be a basic requirement when you pull on that shirt.
A gifted ball player at best, I feel so many games have passed him by this term and last with maybe the exception of the first half in Madrid and the West Brom game this season. Although he is a squad player at most but could be more, again if he shows the correct spirit and demands the ball more often, maybe then he could be the influential and creative force that we all saw at West Ham (Big fish in a small pond springs to mind!).
Thanks for reading,
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