I was reading an article today where ex-Liverpool player, Danny Murphy was talking about Liverpool’s chances of winning the Premiership this coming season. One thing that he said was that he did not believe Liverpool had enough quality out on the wings compared to the likes of Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal. I agree, we do not have a Ronaldo, Joe Cole or Rosicky. But looking at what we have, it is clear that Rafa does not believe in going out and getting an out and out winger. And I believe I understand where Rafa is coming from with that.
For starters, there are not too many out and out wingers left in the game today. Gone are the days of having a winger who hugs the touchline for 90 minutes and is not affraid to get his boots filled with chalk dust from the touchline. Wingers who have tonnes of pace and are able to beat defenders with brute pace and a bit of skill and then at the end of it whip in a telling cross for their goal poacher to stab in; are becoming a rare commodity. So if Rafa were to find one of these wingers who could do this it would probably cost him a small fortune as there are not too many of them around. ‘Wingers’ today tend to like to drift and cut inside and take shots at goal or supply a through ball for their striker.
So besides the fact that Rafa may not be able to find an out and out winger, Rafa probably believes that the style or system he wants to use at Liverpool does not need an out and out winger. Rafa has been linked with the likes of Bentley and Quaresma for a while now, both who are what you would term out and out wingers. But Rafa has not decided to persue these two options. Rafa would rather get someone in like David Silva who some may term a winger but he is not an out and out winger who beats his men on the outside and gets his boots filled with chalk dust. Silva is more of an intelligent player who drifts in from the wing and at times can take the defender on the outside.
It looks like Rafa has opted to get his ‘width’ from his wingbacks, thus the signings of Dossena and Degen. I believe that we do not need out and out wingers at Liverpool. With the favoured system of playing with one man upfront, there really is no need for out and out wingers. Rather have men coming in from the wing to support the striker, just like the way Babel and Kuyt were doing it last season. If any crosses are to come in from the wing it would be via Dossena and Degen. That is another reason I would really like Barry to join Liverpool. Barry has the ability to whip in a telling cross by pulling out of the midfield and popping up on the left flank. Gerrard can also do the same from central midfield and pulling to the right.
So contrary to Danny Murphy’s beliefs, I do not feel Liverpool are undermined by not having out and out wingers.