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(Almost) Mid-Week Musings

 Posted by on March 27, 2013 at 10:46 pm  Blogs/Media, England, EPL, Liverpool
Mar 272013

Liverpool had the weekend off thanks to World Cup qualifying, so let’s go through some rapid fire questions to reset.

Will Luis Suarez leave Anfield this summer?

Yes. Yes he will.

Juventus are playing coy and it’s no secret Suarez is Pep Guardiola’s number one target for Bayern Munich. About a month ago I wrote about all the reasons why Suarez would want to leave. It basically boils down to his desire to play in the Champions League next season. Steven Gerrard himself has said the volatile Uruguayan forward deserves as much.

Should Suarez depart, he will bring in quite the payday but it will also deal a serious blow to Liverpool’s hopes at being competitive next year. The Reds have no backup plan for Suarez and they’re also going to need some upgrades to the center back and goalkeeper positions. But if you believe the rumors, Brendan Rodgers won’t have much to spend.

And speaking of goalkeepers…

Is Guillermo Ochoa the next Liverpool keeper?

Ochoa has been wallowing in Ligue 1 with Ajaccio lately. He also managed to earn a start in goal for his native Mexico against the United States on Tuesday. His start was controversial as Jesus Corona seems to be the next big thing in goal for Mexico.

So why did Ochoa get the nod? Reports are surfacing that Ochoa got the start in an effort to help earn himself a work permit in England. Why England? So he can join Liverpool of course!

Personally I’m not wild about the idea of Ochoa replacing Pepe Reina as the starter, but he would definitely serve as a suitable backup; though I’m not sure why that’s necessary since Brad Jones has done well this season.

What’s the deal with Joe Allen?

One week Brendan Rodgers is saying the Welsh central midfielder needs surgery, the next he’s starting him. Now it turns out Allen is in fact having surgery and will miss the rest of the year.

I would say this is a huge blow, but Liverpool blew their last chance at a Top 4 run when they lost 3-1 to Sunderland. Not only that, but Jordan Henderson has proven himself more than capable of performing well.

Is Jordan Henderson Liverpool’s Most Improved Player This Season?


He’s still not living up to his hefty 2011 transfer fee from Sunderland, but he has come a long way from being the punching bad he once was. He’s notched three assists in league play despite inconsistent playing time and he has developed a fine shot from long range. Look for him to continue turning heads now that Joe Allen is done for the season.

Will Liverpool bounce back against Aston Villa this weekend?


There aren’t enough adjectives to describe how poor Villa have been this season. Granted, they defeated Liverpool in the first meeting this season but the Reds have had time to rest and collect themselves and the loss to Sunderland is still fresh in their minds.

Look for Suarez to do what he does best and torture the Villa backline single-handedly.

Prediction: Liverpool 3-1 Aston Villa

Look At The Big Picture

 Posted by on March 17, 2013 at 8:56 pm  Blogs/Media, England, EPL, Liverpool
Mar 172013

*Full Disclosure-I did not watch the match on Saturday*

But that’s also not what I want to discuss right now.

Saturday’s starting lineup featured Joe Allen, who is supposedly due for surgery any day now according to Brendan Rodgers. Meanwhile regular holding midfielder Lucas was nowhere to be found. Liverpool were thoroughly outplayed by a Southampton side fighting to avoid relegation and lost 3-1.

That, however, was just one game. Brendan Rodgers can be forgiven for one or two puzzling lineup decisions. But take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Liverpool have been outscored 5-0 by West Brom, lost 3-1 a few months ago to a pitiful Aston Villa side, and they’ve struggled mightily against quality sides; Manchester United and Arsenal in particular.

Recently we heard some harsh criticism from Nuri Sahin, who failed to impress in the first half of the season. Sahin complained that Brendan Rodgers insisted on playing him out of position as an advanced playmaker in the midfield as opposed to his more natural holding midfield position. The Turkish international was apparently not pleased with Rodgers’ tactical inflexibility.

While Rodgers appears to have had a good January with signings of Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho, it is hard to ignore the botched attempt to sign Clint Dempsey even after letting Andy Carroll go on loan.

All of this put together makes me wonder if Rodgers is, in fact, the right man for the job at Anfield. We’ve been asked to be patient with regard to the Welshman bringing in the right players for his system. So far it appears the current roster has done well to adapt. The offense is flowing, but just as much for the opposing team as for the Reds. Can the defense be solved with one or two additions this summer? Perhaps. But as I’ve said many times before, you cannot wait 3-5 years to build a great club in modern football. You need the desire (and the funds) to go out get the best available players at any given position at any given time. But Rodgers doesn’t want the best players available, he simply wants the best who can play his game. That kind of tactical stubbornness will only get you so far. You have to be willing and able to adapt. Nuri Sahin’s comments suggest Rodgers isn’t prepared to do so.

At nine points out, Liverpool’s hopes of a Top 4 finish have faded fast with Saturday’s loss. Luis Suarez could possible be on the way out this summer and the talisman Steven Gerrard is running out of time. If a return to Champions League football is the goal, Liverpool are not doing themselves any favor right now.

Maybe it’s time to be proactive and make a change at manager before everything becomes too much about the Brendan Rodgers Way.


“Walk on with hope in your heart and you’ll never walk alone!”

Dare To Dream!

 Posted by on March 11, 2013 at 9:35 pm  Blogs/Media, England, EPL, Liverpool
Mar 112013

“You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger Darling…”

If you’ve seen the movie Inception, hopefully you’re chuckling a little bit. But Liverpool doubters should not laugh at those of us dreaming of a return to the UEFA Champions League.

Brendan Rodgers’ men passed their second toughest remaining test as they erased an early blown lead and defeated Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 on Sunday at Anfield. Luis Suarez got the Reds on the board early, but they fell behind thanks to Jan Vertonghen. Eventually, Steven Gerrard did what he does best and stepped up to score a clutch penalty kick that gave Liverpool the victory.

It was display of both the best and worst the Reds have to offer. Philippe Coutinho linked up brilliantly with Suarez for the first goal. The defense showed they are not as strong as we once thought by letting Spurs back into the match. Then Captain Fantastic stepped up in the clutch to save the day.

Your 2012-13 Liverpool squad summed up perfectly in 90 minutes.

Now all you have to do is glance at the league table and see why Reds fans are so optimistic.  Although they have a game in hand, Liverpool currently sit just seven points behind Chelsea for the fourth and final Champions League spot. Of their nine remaining league matches, only three come against squads in the top half of the table: Chelsea, Everton, and Fulham (who currently sit 10th). Four of those nine come against four of the five worst teams in the league: Southampton, Reading, Aston Villa, and QPR. A clear path to fourth place lies before this squad.

And I believe they can make it.

It was a bit odd to hear in the middle of Sunday’s match that Joe Allen will require shoulders, only to see the Welsh midfielder take the field as a sub moments later. But there are bright spots like the newcomer Coutinho and the ever improving Jordan Henderson who can step up in his absence. Stewart Downing’s goal suggests he has a horseshoe tucked away in his back pocket. Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard continue to do their thing and lead the way by example. Yes, the backline is still shaky but if Liverpool can continue to score at their current rate they need not worry so much.

So get excited Liverpool fans. Our dream is not as far fetched as some would have us believe.


“Walk on with hope in your heart and you’ll never walk alone!”

Riding The Roller Coaster

 Posted by on February 19, 2013 at 9:33 pm  Blogs/Media, England, EPL, Liverpool
Feb 192013

Consistently inconsistent.

It’s something you hear a lot of in sports. Sometimes it’s just members of the media and people like me who have too much time on their hands and not enough things to write. But in the case of Liverpool’s 2012-13 season it’s pretty darn accurate.

Saturday’s 5-0 win over Swansea was just their second over a team in the top half of the table this season. It also came on the heels of a 2-0 defeat to Zenit Saint Petersburg in Russia in the first leg of their Round of 32 Europa League match. Luis Suarez (who had another fantastic performance Sunday) went into Sunday having scored 13 of his league goals against clubs in the bottom half and just four against those who reside in the top half. Manager Brendan Rodgers seems to be doing the exact opposite of Kenny Dalglish last season. The latter’s team struggled against the bottom dwellers and thrived against the top while the former continues to beat up said dwellers and struggled against his toughest competition. It’s a testament to their two styles really. Dalglish was all about motivating his players properly but had no sense of tactics while Brendan Rodgers is on the brink of a significant culture shift at Anfield in terms of his tactics, but fails to get the best of his players in the most crucial of matches.

You could even extend the analogy to a fringe player like Jose Enrique. The Spanish left back scored on Sunday, but has been wildly inconsistent this season and has led some to believe he needs replacing. Daniel Sturridge got off to a hot start but has since cooled. Philippe Coutinho scored a clever goal in his first league start, but obviously more time will be needed to evaluate him.

And with all of that being said, Liverpool STILL find themselves just nine points away from a Top 4 finish. Hell, even in the Europa League group stage their results were inconsistent and they managed to advance on a tiebreaker. It’s absolutely maddening trying to figure out if they are any good. And we probably won’t for the rest of the season. If they make a run and finish Top 4, we’ll all say they’re not THAT good and if they stumble and finish 8th or 9th we’ll scratch our heads and wonder how they wound up there.

So don’t expect to find out any more about this team for the rest of the season. And if you think you know one way or the other…just know that you’re wrong.


“Walk on with hope in your heart and you’ll never walk alone!”

Feb 052013

Doesn’t matter how hard I try

Half the words don’t mean a thing

And I know that I won’t be satisfied

There’s a lot of happiness out there among Liverpool supporters after several 2-2 draws with Arsenal and Manchester City. But much like this song’s lyrics, I feel nothing but teenage angst right now.

Both matches were very entertaining. For the first time, we saw Liverpool carry out Brendan Rodgers’ true vision. They possessed the ball with short, smart passes. They moved the ball forward with pace and zeal. Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez looked like they were capable of great things. And mixed in there was some throwback Captain Fantastic as well. Everything was coming together. Life as a Liverpool supporter was great.

And then leads were squandered. The back line faltered. Pepe Reina briefly lost his mind. Just like that, six points became just two. Had Liverpool won both matches and all other results remained the same, the Reds would be just five points out of a Champions League spot.

Now that deficit is nine.

This is why I can’t get as excited as most fans. Yes, it was great to see Liverpool take the fight to Arsenal and Manchester City. They played two of their best matches of the season. And yet that still was not enough to get the job done. If the goal is in fact a Top 4 finish (and it should be) then results like these last two cannot be considered acceptable. And yes, it is okay to have such high expectations. We’ve seen what this team is capable of. Now it’s time to start capitalizing on the team’s good form and grab as many points as possible.

In my last post I spoke at length about how Luis Suarez could depart for Bayern Munich this summer. Regardless of who could be purchased for such a transfer fee, losing Suarez would be a huge step back. Suddenly the expectations cannot and should not be Top 4. They become Top 8 as was the case this season.

I’m not all “gloom and doom” though. I look at the schedule and I see a lot of winnable matches the rest of the way and very few that are cause for concern. Daniel Sturridge isn’t wrong when he says making up nine points isn’t impossible.

But it’s a much more difficult task than it could have been with two wins instead of two draws.


“Walk on with hope in your heart and you’ll never walk alone!”

Jan 312013

A lot has been made about Liverpool’s newest signing, Philippe Coutinho, selecting the No.10 jersey.

The young Brazilian playmaker is the closest thing the Reds have had to a true “No.10″ in their ranks. Although he’s only 20 years of age and has yet to prove himself on a big stage, Coutinho is exactly the sort of player who can provide a spark to Liverpool’s attack.

With Steven Gerrard biding his time until retirement, Liverpool have been searching for a new midfielder who can pull the strings up top. Luis Suarez has had to resort to feats of incredible skill and majesty to carry Liverpool’s offense. Coutinho can make his life a lot easier and he’s also the perfect fit for Brendan Rodgers’ long term vision.

But before we go praising the youngster, let’s not forget a few things. First and foremost, Wednesday’s match against Arsenal showed us that Liverpool’s greatest need is in fact a world class defender, whether it’s on the left side of the back line or somewhere in the middle. Jose Enrique isn’t terrible, but he doesn’t always inspire confidence either. Andre Wisdom is not a natural fullback and even the once reliable combination of Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel seems capable of faltering at any moment. And speaking of Arsenal, they seem to have snatched up the best left back available in Malaga’s Nacho Monreal.

With Coutinho’s signing and Jordan Henderson’s rise in form, we can bypass the midfield and go straight to the top. While Luis Suarez is going to benefit greatly from Coutinho’s signing, he is also Liverpool’s second greatest concern. Bayern Munich’s new manager Pep Guardiola reportedly has a strong desire to sign Suarez this summer, to the tune of 30-40 million Euros. And it’s not just the price tag that Suarez will find appealing. Mario Gomez is inconsistent and Mario Mandzuckic has underwhelmed since arriving in Munich after a solid Euro 2012 outing. Suarez is the perfect compliment to Bayern’s stacked midfield. Guardiola would give him license to roam freely and feed off the service of guys like Toni Kroos, Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, and Tomas Muller.

Liverpool supporters should prepare themselves for the very real possibility that their only goal scoring threat could be gone in six months.

Yes, Daniel Sturridge is waiting in the wings but without Suarez to push him you worry he become too complacent. Sturridge’s biggest issue has always been his attitude and his second biggest issue is his selfish tendencies when he has the ball within 20 yards of goal. Even if Coutinho turns out to be the next Kaka, the idea of Sturridge being the No.1 striker is less than thrilling. Of course, if Suarez does in fact depart, there will be plenty of cash on hand to splash on another world class goalscorer if John Henry and Co. can be smart.

Hopefully we’ll get a good look at Coutinho in Sunday’s match against Manchester City. A win would allow Liverpool fans to hold onto hope and dream of a Top 4 finish. Just take a look at the remaining schedule. But said fans must also remain guarded. A new “No.10″ is nothing without someone to finish everything off.

Identity Crisis

 Posted by on January 24, 2013 at 8:54 pm  Blogs/Media, England, EPL, Liverpool
Jan 242013

It’s not a pun, but it still feels good to write a cliche headline again.

So last week it was announced Pep Guardiola will take over as Bayern Munich’s new manager this summer. Several days later the rumors started to fly that Luis Suarez was high on the former Barcelona manager’s wishlist.

Suarez has never complained publicly about much of anything during his time at Anfield. Despite his unsavory (and not entirely undeserved) reputation, the Uruguayan forward has always worked hard and produced goals regularly for a club so desperately in need of offense on a regular basis. Even the most stubborn of haters can’t deny that Suarez is currently one of the world’s finest players. There’s no reason to think he’s unhappy with Liverpool.

But it’s hard to tune out completely when you hear talk of a transfer fee upward of 40 million.

No one can definitively say right that whether or not Pep wants Suarez with him at Bayern to the extent that he’d pay 40 million of any currency. But if that is the case and such an offer were to come through, Liverpool would be foolish not to at least listen. The mere thought of things playing out like that has led me to wonder just how far Liverpool’s stature in the international community has fallen. They’ve seen numerous world class players depart over the last few years for places like Barcelona (Javier Mascherano), Real Madrid (Xabi Alonso), and Chelsea (Fernando Torres). Steven Gerrard is the last remnant of the group that captured our hearts in Istanbul in 2005.

But Gerrard is growing old and weary. Luis Suarez has become the only other truly world class player to populate this new Liverpool squad trying to form a new identity under Brendan Rodgers. That identity is starting to take shape on the field. But what about off of it? Are Liverpool still one of the premier destinations in Europe? Or are they falling by the wayside? The answer will reveal itself if Bayern come calling for Suarez this summer.

It’s somewhat appropriate timing for such a question given the latest deals completed in the last week or so. Swansea City locked up their diamond-in-the-rough strike Michu to a new four year contract. Newcastle United continue to pillage the youth ranks in France. Queens Park Rangers are trying to spend their way out of relegation with the purchase of Loic Remy. Tottenham have snatched up Germany U-21 captain Lewis Holtby, who will join Spurs in the summer. Most recently we’ve seen Southampton defeat Liverpool head-to-head for the services of Vegard Forren and the Saints are reportedly about to outbid the Reds for Inter Milan maestro Philippe Coutinho. Oh, and I’m just now mentioning the Clint Dempsey fiasco.

If Suarez is sold this summer, is anyone convinced about the remaining talent at Liverpool going forward? Do we trust in Daniel Sturridge, Jonjo Shelvey, Jordan Henderson, and Fabio Borini to lead the charge back to European glory? I, for one, do not. If the goal is to ultimately get back to competing in the Champions League, then Suarez’s departure would make that task seem almost impossible.  I’m not convinced Brendan Rodgers and John Henry’s Fenway Sports Group can come together and spend a significant transfer fee properly. I’m still not convinced Sturridge is worth 12 million pounds and he definitely can’t be the one who takes the torch from Gerrard.

But at this point everything is just speculation. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that Suarez will stay and continue to try and carry this new Liverpool squad back to European competition. If does go, however, expect Liverpool to take a huge step back in terms of quality on the field and stature off it. A step so large, they may never be able to recover from it.


“Walk on with hope in your heart and you’ll never walk alone!”


Jury Still Out On Sturridge

 Posted by on January 16, 2013 at 8:53 pm  Blogs/Media, England, EPL, Liverpool
Jan 162013

He has said all the right things. He has scored twice in his first two appearances.

But I’m still not convinced Daniel Sturridge is a long term solution for Liverpool’s woes.

First he scored against Mansfield in an early round FA Cup match. Yes, it was away from Anfield but that’s hardly a true “test” of his ability. Jonjo Shelvey set him up brilliantly and I would EXPECT a player of lesser skill to finish that particular chance. He also had another one on one with Mansfield’s keeper later on, only to take way too much time deciding what to do and ultimately fluff his chance.

Then came his performance in the second half of a match at Old Trafford. Certainly a bigger stage for the young striker to shine. But once again Sturridge scored a goal that any halfway decent striker should score. Steven Gerrard did all the hard work and Sturridge simply buried the rebound.

It’s still too early to form an opinion about Sturridge’s fit at Anfield, but I did not like what I saw in the second half of that Manchester United match. When Sturridge came on, Liverpool seemed to lose their shape. Everyone ahead of the back four seemed to drift in and out of various positions. Not only did the team’s shape look poor, but there were several occasions where Sturridge showed us why Manchester City and Chelsea gave up on him by demonstrating his propensity to keep his head down and look for his own shot when it’s not there. This would be a problem on any team, but it’s an especially large problem for Liverpool because Luis Suarez needs to have the ball at his feet as much as possible in order to be successful. Sturridge, on the other hand, needs a lot of service. Despite the results, I’d rather have the former scenario.

Yes, Liverpool have had issues scoring, but when Suarez is the focal point of the attack everyone’s role is that much more defined. The team is able to hold its shape much better and the attack looks more fluid. Liverpool need an attacking player to complement Suarez; not clash with him. Fabio Borini struggled early in the season, but he’s on his way back to being 100% healthy and I still think he’d be a better option. He can play on the wing in Rodgers’ 4-3-3 and complement Suarez much better than Sturridge can. If the ManU game showed us anything, it’s that Sturridge and Suarez (at first glance) appear unable to co-exist on the field at the same time.

Of course, it’s only been two matches. As the second half of the season unfolds we’ll learn more, but for the time being I’m still not impressed with the man who consumed 90% of Liverpool’s January transfer budget.


“Walk on with hope in your heart and you’ll never walk alone”

Jan 142013

Manchester United 2 -1 Liverpool
Michael Carrick Mancheste 008 Carrick Has a Career Day at the Expense of the Scousers!Victors by the hairs of their chinny-chin-chins, Manchester United kept their fans hanging on and praying to the football Gods until the very last second of injury-time on the watch of football’s real King of Showbiz, referee Howard Webb. Nevertheless, at the end of the match, United had retained their ten point lead over champions Manchester City and 24 points over their savage Scouser nemeses Liverpool F.C. Goals from Robin van Persie and Nemanja Vidic proved just enough to keep the advantage after a fight back over the game’s last thirty minutes led by their brand-new striker, substitute Daniel Sturridge.

Yet despite decades of rancor, gamesmanship and flying handbags between both teams players and supporters, the two managers, Sir Alex Ferguson and Brendan Rodgers kept their troops on a short leash. Indeed, the red Scousers were shockingly passive throughout a first half as United pressed them tight in midfield and Michael Carrick, freed up by the clever running bursts of both Tom Cleverley and Shinji Kagawa, waited patiently for passing lanes to open up. Then, nineteen minutes in, with the ball buzzing around Liverpool’s box, Carrick, Kagawa, an energetic Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley, threw together a flowing sequence of one-touch passes before feeding a flying Patrice Evra as he moved at express speed down the lane between the throw-in line and the penalty box, keeping his usual low sense of gravity before firing a low Bangalore-style cross that the predatorial assassin, Robin Van Persie, seized on before giving Daniel Agger the slip and shooting past goalie José Reina.Manchester United v Liverpool Robin van Persi 2885345 1 Carrick Has a Career Day at the Expense of the Scousers!

A flat Liverpool’s response was to barely hang in there. Minutes on, Cleverley was desperately unlucky not to double the lead with a a superb left-footed volley as he picked off a soft spinning header from Joe Allen and was centimeters away from the net. And, later, just before the half time whistle, young Rafael Da Silva dummied Glen Johnson before picking up a pass from Carrick. The little Brazilian tripped, but kept on his feet before passing to Van Persie. The Dutch striker, ever alert as always, had the presence of mind to back heel past Reina. A brilliant block by Martin Skrtel saved the Scousers and then a brave dive from Pepé Reína saved Kagawa’s stinging rebound.

For the second half, Brendan Rodgers added Sturridge to aid a lonely Luis Suárez. Yet, despite Liverpool’s improvement up front, United drew first blood in the 55th minute as Nemanja Vidic headed home yet another beautiful Robin Van Persie free kick after a Skrtel foul floated up to the high-flying Patrice Evra, whose header was touched further toward goal by Vidic as each flirted with the margins of being offside.

Four minutes later, though, there was a game-changer moment as Liverpool’s skipper Steven Gerrard picked off a weak pass by Cleverley, and a flying David De Gea made his first save of the match. All reflex, De Gea could only parry the ball away, and Sturridge was on the spot to speed past a flat-footed Rafael and fire home his second Liverpool goal in two appearances since his £12m transfer from Chelsea.

From then on, United fell into a state that verged on the cusp of panic. Meanwhile, it was impossible not to notice a hooded Jose Mourinho animatedly making notes as the tired pairing of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand labored to contain the slippery Luís Suarez. Yet, with the the diligent, but often awkward Danny Welbeck pulled back to support the ebbing center back pairing, the biggest worry was that of anyone in defense committing a stupid foul to the Machiavellian Uruguayan Liverpool striker. Indeed, outside the relentless threat offered by Robin van Persie in Liverpool’s penalty area, Mourinho surely drew lines under the names of Shinji Kagawa, quick-footed and impressive with a very deft touch getting better and better at making connections with Cleverley and the more delicate leadership of Michael Carrick. Yet, just as impressive as United’s central core was behind Van Persie, the Real Madrid manager will have noticed how weak and vulnerable a slowed-down Patrice Evra will be to the shifting flank wizardry of Angel Di Maria and CR7. It doesn’t require the help of a soothsayer to predict that Ronaldo will hone in on Paddy’s weakness like a school yard bully. Although Rafael and Evra played well against Liverpool’s wingers, Raheem Sterling and Stewart Downing, they are about to have their plates overflowing from competition with Spurs’ Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale as an appetizer before the fun games begin in Madrid with DiMaria and Ronaldo.

Despite the danger from Sturridge and Suarez, Liverpool remained  more or less toothless and United deserved their win. There is no substitute for hard work and preparation. Sir Alex Ferguson did his homework on this one, getting his first half tactics dead right. Indeed, although our goalkeeper was savagely criticized by the usual crop of Haters after the match for fisting the ball into the opposition’s path before Sturridge took a goal back, I  thought the young man–with so little to do throughout the match–kept his concentration well and needs to emphasize being in psychological tune with his fellow defenders. It’s called communication! I don’t want to talk too much about Carrick, who was brilliant on the day. This was the position he used to play in for West Ham United and Spurs.  He is not a natural defensive midfielder!

Finally, there are the injuries. Jonny Evans seems to have hurt his right knee during pre-match warm-ups. Ashley Young got on the team bus wearing crutches and Nemanja Vidic did not look happy about his hamstring before being taken off for Chris Smalling.. With Wednesday’s looming F.A.. Cup replay fixture at Old Trafford against West Ham, United look like they won’t be getting any respite for weeks to come.65252501 van persie2 getty Carrick Has a Career Day at the Expense of the Scousers!

Round Hole, Square Peg

 Posted by on January 3, 2013 at 10:05 pm  Blogs/Media, England, EPL, Liverpool
Jan 032013

After all that I work I may or may not have put into compiling a list of forward targets for Liverpool, they go and sign Daniel Sturridge right out of the gate!

None of the details were officially revealed, but the young English striker will join Liverpool immediately and was in the stands for Wednesday’s thrashing of Sunderland. Sturridge first broke onto the scene as a teenager at Manchester City, but failed to make a lasting impression. From there he went on to underwhelm at Chelsea; a team also desperately seeking the services of a true forward.

Sturridge is certainly a big name and he’s still very young so he has time on his side. But if he wasn’t good enough for City or Chelsea, then why would he be good enough for Liverpool? The young striker has a history of taking one too many difficult shots and no one has ever accused him of being a great teammate. He’s always played in a traditional striker role and he hasn’t even been able to catch Demba Ba in terms of league goals in the past 365 days.

All of these are reasons why John Henry and Co. have once again gotten things all wrong in the transfer window. Assuming Sturridge cost more than 10 million pounds (and let’s be honest, he did) this was not a great move financially either. Henry capped off a massive fire sale last summer by failing to secure the services of Clint Dempsey on Deadline Day after Andy Carroll had been sent to Upton Park on loan for the season. All of that on top of the Charlie Adam/Andy Carroll/Stewart Downing/Jordan Henderson mess and Liverpool have had a disastrous two years in the transfer market. So how did their new, financially wary owner(s) react? By immediately splashing a bunch of cash on a big name signing 48 hours after the window opened.

Then there’s the question of how he will fit in with the team on the field. Yes, only Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez have scored more than one league goal this season. But there are tons of cheaper options out there at striker who would probably fit in with this team better. My opinion of Sturridge is that he has the same selfish, score at all costs mentality as Suarez but with none of the Uruguayan’s natural ability. The former wishes he could shoot from the same kind of angles as the latter. Sturridge cannot create on his own like Suarez; he requires a lot of service. Brendan Rodgers may want to pass the ball into the net, but at some point a striker has to be able to EFFECTIVELY get his own shot off.

So no, I’m not thrilled with this particular signing. Sturridge has burned a lot of bridges and this is last opportunity to make a big impression at a big club. There’s a reason he’s in such a position and it isn’t a good one. Brendan Rodgers is finally getting this squad to come together at the right time and Sturridge can just as easily mess all of it up in a heart.

But here’s hoping I’m wrong!


“Walk on with hope in your heart and you’ll never walk alone!”