While I agree with Ron that our right flank should contain Gerrard (his lack of a left foot forces him into width) I find our left to be rather more interesting now.
By adding Riera, Babel now finds himself with a compeititor in every position, rather than knowing even off the bench that he possesses the quality we need down that left flank. He was one of the few players I felt who truly lacked any sort of meaningful compeition for his place. Being young as he is, he was never going to get more than the minutes Rafa allowed him anyhow. So why push harder? Why force yourself to be confident on the pitch? Why do anything outside your comfort zone if you know you’re going to get your proscribed minutes?
I know we needed a full time player out wide as I suspect Babel’s future is up front once he shows he is ready, but this still has the potential to bring the best out of the young Dutchman. We have all seen the flashes of absolute brilliance from him, but I’m not sure that they are something he can bring on when he needs to. What we’ve witnessed so far in my opinion is nothing more than his natural talents bursting through whatever reservations he himself may have. With his goal this weekend against the Scum, we could have had no better matchwinner.
Ryan is one of the few players currently on our roster who can transform our season. We know what we’re going to get from Stevie and Torres. I also have no doubts over Mascherano, Agger, Skrtel, and Carra (though you’re making me crazy lately!) to provide what we require from them. The same can then go on and on through the bench and bit players etc. However in Babel we can see what is to come, the only question is will it be this season? If he blossoms into a true gem of a player sooner rather than later then we could find ourselves in an enviable position indeed. He has the potential to be someone to threaten and harass even the stiffest competition.
Let’s hope this year is the year of the lowlands. Dirk has it off to a flying start by keeping us in the CL.
Liverpool 3-Marseille 1