If you are like me, you are still on a high from Saturday’s dramatic win over Middlesbrough. I have been watching the Stevie G goal over and over again and I still can not seem to get enough of it. But that was then and we now have to move on starting with Standard Liege on Wednesday night and then a trip to Villa Park over the weekend. I will be honest, I still have a lot of concerns about our team even if we have won our first two games of the season. They have not been ‘pretty’ wins and we should count ourselves rather fortunate to have 6 points when we so easily could have only had one (that from a 0-0 draw at Sunderland). So instead of only having a point we have six, that means we have potentially made up five points. I remember watching a Graeme Souness interview sometime ago when he was asked if Liverpool could win the league again and he said, “Without a shadow of a doubt they can, it will take lot of work, a bit of luck and lots of money.”
I think there is no doubting we will put in the hard work, the lots of money is still very questionable if you compare us with what other teams are spending on buying new players. We still are some way off from being able to buy any player we want. But on the ‘bit of luck’ part, I think we have had a bit of it in the first two games of the season and one needs such luck in order to win the league.
Earlier on in the summer, I had thought that we could do well this season even if Rafa did not go out and buy some wingers, but now I have had to change my mind. We need some out and out wingers in our team. In the first two games of the season we have failed to see some quality wing play. We have used Benayoun on the left and Kuyt on the right. Both very far from being wingers. And with only a few days left before the transfer window closes, I can not see where Rafa is going to get his width from. There have been suggestions that Rafa is after Spanish winger Riera who for me I do not think is the answer. The guy is not even a Spanish international and we need some proven quality to slot into our team. Downing has also been linked with us and we got a first hand account of him on the weekend and he did not have the best of games but there are glimpses of his potential. I would take Downing over Riera any day. Speculation about Quaresma has cooled down so I do not think that dream signing would happen.
One other problem I have spotted and was prominent in Saturday’s game was failure to deliver from set pieces. Over the years we have actually not been much of a threat especially from attacking corners. I can not remember the last time we scored directly from a corner. Firstly the delivery from the corners has been very poor. Alonso was the corner taker and he was woeful. Stevie G then had his hand but yet again his deliveries were not great. We seem not to make the most of set pieces and I feel that is an opportunity for us to be getting more goals.
Now a player like Quaresma is great on delivering set pieces and he is a winger so we would be getting a player who meets two of our weaknesses. Gareth Barry is also quiet a decent dead ball specialist but as an out and out winger, he does not fit that bill.
Seven more days before the transfer window closes and then we can finally forget about speculating on who is coming in and going out and we can start to focus with what we have come the 1 September. But please please please get us a winger or two and a dead ball specialist.
I’d have to completely agree with you here Ron. I was disappointed every time we got a corner and wasted them away. We tried a few different players and still couldn’t convert. I do like the idea of getting the ball out to Skrtel (which happened twice in the game) where he was unmarked and headed the ball wide on both attempts. However, a winger with the ability to pick out our players and create something in the box when we get each corner would add another gun in our artillery.
Two words: ALBERT RIERA
Your kucky you got watching the match – all I had to deal with was the highlights on Saturday night. The international channel I watch all the premiership matches was down. Things better be sorted for this weekends match with Villa.
……..and a couple of new full backs! arbeloa is our worst right back since kwarme. These guys must have graduated from the Torben Piechnik football academy.