Team Focus – Liverpool: Back To Dominance?


Liverpool once was the most feared teams in the world post the Premier League era, winning 18 league titles, 4 FA cups, 4 League cups and an amazing 13 FA charity shields (Now renamed FA Community shield) but have yet to win a league title in the modern era, but this year they look one of the favourites to secure the premier league title with 9 games to go and have one of the most deadly and clinical strike forces in ‘SAS’ which is Uruguay’s Luis Saurez and Englishman Daniel Sturridge who have an amazing 42 goals between them in the league and have scored more than half of Liverpool’s goals this season(73) but this does raise the question, are Liverpool dependent on the two? If you took out the goals scored by SAS, the team would be sitting in 7th, the position in which they finished last season meaning they missed out on European football and Champions League football for the 5th year in a row although they look right on course to finishing top 4.

This season saw Liverpool’s man between the sticks change from the experienced Spaniard Pepe Reina who was loaned out to Napoli, to Simon Mignolet who Rodgers bought from Sunderland for £9m and got off to a great start to his Liverpool career, saving a penalty against Stoke City in the opening day of the Premier League. When Pepe Reina was Liverpool. he was constantly linked to Barcelona, being the number 1 target for the Catalan club as Victor Valdes stated he wanted to leave the club but he opted to play down the final year in his contract, thus ending Barca’s pursuit of Reina and went for Borussia’s Monchengladbach’s Ter Stegen so Pepe is looking to get a permanent move to the Naples. Although of recent, Simon has been making mistakes which have cost Liverpool quite a lot but he is still only 25, and still can have a long and prosperous career with the Merseyside team. One area which really improvement on their defence. Their fullbacks are strong links, in England international Glen Johnson who is slightly getting on now, at the age of 29 nevertheless is a great player from them and on the left they have Jose Enrique who has good qualities and can play an array of positions in defence and midfield. Their centre-half options are quite limited since Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher retired and in order to regain some of that experience in the back line, Liverpool recruited Ivorian international Kolo Toure on a free transfer from Manchester City and it seems age is getting to him, as he has made countless mistakes and has actually scored more own goals then goals for Liverpool. Martin Skrtel has also been pretty abysmal this season, scoring 2 own goals and often slipping up, although he shown few glimpses of the Skrtel of old, aggressive and willing to take the fight to the opposition.Agger and Sakho have been bright sparks in Liverpool and could potentially be a great partnership should they start more games together at the heart of the defence. The brilliant attack Liverpool often overshadows their woeful defence and Rodgers needs to bulk up their defence, especially if they make it to the Champions League.

Liverpool’s midfield is very balanced and very creative, with the perfect mix of experience and young talent just waiting to flourish. Liverpool still have the Merseyside great Steven Gerrard in their ranks and has been a pivotal player yet again for the team, although he has been playing in the withdrawn anchor role this season opposed to the attacking midfield position we’re used to see the Englishman play and he has adapted well to his new position. Steven has been emulating the Yaya Toure type of play, naturally playing back with the ability to bomb forward and provide the killer passes that open up defences and expose teams. He has been great at either side of the pitch, boasting an impressive average of 3 successful tackles a game and with 8 goals and 9 assists as well as having 1.7 shots and 2.2 key passes in the Premier League. Another impressive midfielder has been the little Brazilian brilliance that is Philippe Coutinho. Although he has had an injury plagued season, when fit, he is preferred attacking midfielder and with 4 goals and 1.7 key passes, he could potentially be a long-term replacement for Gerrard, at the tender age of 21. Another player who has vastly improved this year is Jordan Henderson. Previously seen as dead weight by many Liverpool fans in seasons before, Henderson has really stepped up his game and due to his excellent performances for Liverpool he has become a regular in the England set-up and is somewhat deserving of his spot unlike Manchester United’s ‘scapegoat’ Tom Cleverley. Henderson has 6 assists to his name in the Premier League and although he is having a decent season, I still think Liverpool would benefit by letting him go.

Their attack is without a doubt their strongest part of their game and is one of the most clinical and potent attacks in world football. Liverpool have very good wingers in the form of on loan Nigerian Victor Moses and youth graduate Raheem Sterling who finds himself propelled into the first team at 19. Victor Moses impressed during his brief stint at Wigan thus then European champions Chelsea come in and buy the Nigerian. After buying a whole host of attacking players, Moses was froze out and was loaned out to Liverpool. He made an instant impact to the team, scoring on his debut and just provided that extra width that Liverpool often seem to lack at times. With him probably not going to be a starter at Chelsea, Brendan Rodgers may weigh up a permanent move for Moses as he is still young at 23 and is valued at around £10m, making the winger more than affordable for him. Raheem Sterling has been a revelation for The Reds, breaking into the first team after a very performance from the last half of last season and getting the Jamaica born England international to sign a 5 year contract with Liverpool back in December 2012 was a great decision and investment into the club and so far, it has paid off. The season Raheem has racked up 11 goals and 12 assists in all competitions and he has a knack for dribbling, having an average of 2.5 dribbles and due to his quick feet and lighting fast pace, he can weave in and out of crowds as well as executing exceptional wing play, being able to hold the ball well and dribbling past player into the 18 yard box. Raheem Sterling has been dubbed to be one of England’s best winger in the next 5 years and I for one can agree and hope that he reaches the heights he is capable of getting to. Liverpool’s two men up top have obvious to their success this season and are priceless to the club, more so Luis Saurez, who’s ‘secret’ release clause has been activated by Arsenal in the summer but Liverpool ignored it and kept the striker and reaped in all the benefits of having a clinical striker, something Arsenal desperately need right now. SAS is one of the best partnerships in the world alongside the BBC of Real Madrid and Rooney and RVP of Manchester United.

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Collective stats of Liverpool’s Premier League season up to match day 30.

Brendan Rodgers has used a range of different formations and tactics this season and this has worked as not many teams have been able to catch them out and Rodgers has been a class act for Liverpool could be the man who guides them back to glory.Though Liverpool may never reach the success they may had in the past, they are definitely onto better things and with the club potentially getting back into the Champions League, the only way is up for Liverpool Football Club.


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