Liverpool FC: 10 Realistic Targets for Kenny Dalglish Come January
Liverpool have had a turbulent campaign thus far, with clinical finishing lacking, though chances are being created time and time again.
You could argue that Mr. Liverpool, Steven Gerrard, is typifying Liverpool's season. Just as he seems back to his best and injury-free, he gets injured again as Liverpool pops a draw against a 'lesser' side.
Arsenal and Liverpool are now level on points, and Tottenham are ahead of Liverpool with two games or six potential points in hand. If Liverpool are to finish in the top four, serious changes need to be made. Those changes may be made little by little or over the whole season, but the whole board should sit down in January to discuss targets, both signing-wise and clubs for Liverpool Football Club as a whole.
If it were me, here are the 10 targets I would assign Liverpool.
Get Rid of Maxi Rodriguez Before the Start of Next Season
Maxi Rodriguez, like many signings under Rafael Benitez, never came to life. Looking past a five-match run where he looked like one of the best players at Liverpool, Rodriguez has never lived up to expectations.
It's been well documented that Liverpool's wage bill is high, so the weight in the form of the Argentinian being taken off would do the world of good. It's not worth paying over 100,000 pounds a week for a player that only plays in the League cup.
Show Alberto Aquilani the Door for Good
With Liverpool failing to score as much as they need to, you'd have thought that a versatile attacking midfielder like Alberto Aquilani would have his worth to Liverpool. However, 'Aqua Man' has spent the last two seasons on loan, as he couldn't quite adapt to the Premier League style of play.
So, give him another chance? No, I wouldn't.
Aquilani clearly prefers to play his football in Italian Serie A, where his style of play, which is much less physical, fits in with everyone else's. Like Joe Cole, Aquilani has been given his chance to impress and failed.
Therefore, I would urge Liverpool to sell Aquilani, even if they do make a loss and invest what money they do earn into another attacking player.
Do the Same for Joe Cole
Not much I can say here that wasn't just said in the last slide, except for the fact that for me personally, Joe Cole's time at Liverpool was a massive disappointment.
Integrate Conor Coady into the First Team for FA Cup Games
Conor Coady is still too inexperienced to get a good amount of game time in the Premier League, but the FA Cup would be a great chance to showcase the midfielder's talent, should the draw be kind to the Reds.
The experience gained would be invaluable and may well result in a club looking to sign Coady on loan.
Score at Least One Goal in Every Home Match
Statistically, Liverpool are the most unlucky side in the Premier League, after hitting the woodwork for the 10th time this campaign. Though they are slightly unlucky, that should not be an excuse for the Reds.
A lack of clinical finishing has dropped Liverpool at least six points. If Liverpool had not dropped six points at home this season, they would be sitting in third place and Tottenham could not overtake them, even if they took maximum points from their two games in hand.
So, Kenny Dalglish must look to improve on this. One way of doing so is to set the players an achievable target. For instance, score once per every home game. Momentum will do the rest, or the defence will.
If Liverpool can get the scoring part right, Champions League football may well follow.
Decide on a Starting XI, and for God's Sake Keep to It
A stable team works better together than a team that is mixed and matched week in, week out. For this reason, Kenny Dalglish must choose a starting XI, and keep to it. This way, in-game routines can be perfected and suited to the players chosen. This should have a positive effect on results.
Chemistry will improve, and the style of play that Dalglish wants Liverpool to adopt certainly needs high chemistry to work.
I don't know what formation would suit Liverpool best; it's not for me to decide. However, for me, Johnson, Enrique, Agger, Gerrard (when fit) and Suarez must start every game they can for Liverpool.
Sign Adam Johnson
Though Liverpool invested in Stewart Downing to solve the wing crisis, they still need to invest in another winger. Jordan Henderson does not yet fill requirements, meaning that Liverpool have no real winger apart from Downing (who has been poor).
Therefore, Liverpool must be prepared to splash out anything up to 25 million pounds to sign a proven winger. Ideally, it would be Eden Hazard, but he won't join Liverpool in my opinion, especially when other top European clubs come calling.
However, Adam Johnson might. Might. Johnson has to fight for his place in the Manchester City side, and so the prospect of starting every week may just swing his decision. Manchester City won't be too reluctant to see him leave either. It's not as if City are short of attacking options.
Resign Peter Crouch
Hahaha. Yes, I am joking. We've got enough on our hands with Andy Carroll.
Aim to Win Either the League Cup or the FA Cup
Everyone assosciated with Liverpool Football Club has had a long wait for the next piece of silverwear.
This year, Liverpool can definitley progress into the latter stages of the FA and League Cups. Should Liverpool get past Chelsea in their own backyard in the quarterfinals of the Carling Cup, they have a real shot at winning it.
It's not much, but it's a trophy. Every little helps.
Then comes the FA Cup. Unlike Rafael Benitez, Dalglish fields strong sides in both the domestic cups, so Liverpool have the opportunity to beat anyone. Fingers crossed.
Qualify for the Champions League
This one is the most obvious one of the lot, for me. Liverpool should channel everything into finishing in the top four once again, and though the start hasn't been great, it's not too late.
Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham stand locked at 19 points and it is those three (and perhaps Newcastle, though I wouldn't bet on it) who will be looking to finish fourth.
It's going to be one hell of a ride.