What Liverpool needs
The club is in dire need of new world class players. Mediocre defense and a serious lack of imagination haunt them.
After Liverpool’s dramatic takeover by New England Sports Ventures’ John W Henry, the off the field issues and controversies at Anfield were finally put to rest, but a lot needs to be done still to return the club to the dizzying heights that were once familiar territory for it. The club’s dismal showing in what is their worst start to a season for quite a long time, suggests that all is not well on the pitch.
Lately the plot again seems to have gone awry with defeats against Stoke and Tottenham after a period of revival that had seen the club notch up important victories against the likes of Chelsea and Bolton. True, some of the problems, like having to settle for a spot in the second tier Europa League rather than the glamorous Champions League, might be because of last season, but signs this season too have not been too heartening for the club’s multitudes of passionate fans.
Liverpool's big problem
The biggest problem Liverpool currently face is that they possess a squad that is utterly devoid of the depth required to keep the club competing on the levels it used to. Take out the talismanic Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres from the team, and it is hard to come up with even a single player, who one can confidently say can win the team a match on his own.
The striker’s role
To win a football match a team must score goals, and it is common knowledge that strikers are best suited to that job, apparently the past owners of Liverpool were unfamiliar with this concept, or perhaps they thought Fernando Torres was a super-man who would never get unfit or out of form. Wait, perhaps they even thought David Ngog was really a striker, a very costly mistake for Liverpool, when it is evident that the guy is just not capable of showing the ball the back of the net, whatever his other great virtues might be.
Lack of imagination
Also painfully evident has been the lack of imagination and creativity in Liverpool’s midfield in all their matches this season. If a team manages to effectively mark Steven Gerrard these days, there is not much more left for them to do such mediocre is the rest of Liverpool’s midfield, with Maxi Rodriguez, Joe Cole and Raul Meireles all looking out of their depth. The recent injury to talismanic club captain Steven Gerrard has left teams with even less to do when they come up against Liverpool now.
Joe Cole, it might be argued, was a Premier League player even before he joined Liverpool, but the truth is that Liverpool do not have anything to gain from listening to grand tales of his heroic performances of the past, frankly speaking there are not many of those, if he does not perform on the pitch. Doing the holding job for the unfortunate Reds nowadays is Leiva Lucas, who the Brazilians must be ashamed of to own up to, so pathetic is he.
A mediocre defense
The defense while not too solid-looking at the moment is at least in better shape as compared to the rest of the team. A right-back who actually thinks about defending instead of just going on glamourous marauding runs all day (that leave the back-line much too exposed and vulnerable), is very much a requirement.
All the above debate leads to just one barely startling conclusion; that Liverpool are in dire need of new world class players to help take the club forward. That is where Mr John W Henry and his cohorts come in, it might all be very good that they wiped out the club’s debt while purchasing it, which by all means was a great service to this fantastic club.
But - and it is a big but - they must invest substantially to let the manager buy players in the January transfer window, or if not that at least next season. Speaking of the manager, they would do well to get rid of respectable Uncle Roy, who might be a very good manager for a solid mid-table club, but is just not the man to lead an ambitious club in their quest for glorious triumphs. A manager, one who is young and dynamic, and is not willing to settle meekly for drawn games like Roy Hodgson so often is, must be brought in to stop the rot.
It is evident then that Liverpool’s owners have much to do if they are serious about the well-being of the club. The club’s supporters are behind the new regime and are waiting expectantly to see a paradigm shift in general policies (the upcoming January transfer window would be a good time for Mr Henry to show the fans that shift) that is only too necessary if there is to be a bright future for this great club.