Date: 12th July 2011 at 10:18am
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Liverpool will begin their pre-season preparations with a friendly against Chinese outfit Guangdong Sunray Cave. The match, which marks Kenny Dalglish’s first non-competitive fixture since returning to the managerial hotseat earlier this year, will provide the Scot and his side with their first opportunity to answer several burning questions.

For the first campaign in living memory, Liverpool will seemingly enter a season without most fans and pundits fully aware of what the side’s strongest line-up and formation is. For the best part of two-and-a-half seasons between mid-2007/08 and the end of 2009/10, former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez religiously employed a distinct and identifiable 4-2-3-1 shape. This formation, of course, was engineered to extract the best from the talismanic duo of Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres.

Gerrard, who was often accused of lacking the discipline to operate effectively in a conventional central midfield berth, thrived with the diminution of defensive duties and was allowed to roam in the part of the pitch in which he is most dangerous. Torres, a player who seems ill at ease with the idea of playing alongside another out-and-out centre forward, was deployed as a lone striker, and benefitted immensely from the movement and precision of Gerrard.

Whilst the use of this system was often devastatingly effective, the absence of the system’s key ingredients, be it Gerrard, Torres, or midfield fulcrum Xabi Alonso, frequently left the side desperately short. Dirk Kuyt often deputised admirably as centre-forward during Torres’ many absences, but he lacked the acceleration and clinical finishing ability to thrive as the side’s spearhead. Similarly, many attributed Gerrard’s mediocre campaign in 2009/10 to the way in which he directly suffered as a result of Alonso’s exit.

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12 responses to “Liverpool’s starting lineup for the season”

  1. Parm says:

    Good article. The points you cover are well thought out and reasonable. You perhaps don’t deal enough with the other aspects of having too many midfielders: whilst we have bought players, we still haven’t disposed of the dead wood yet. In addition, we still haven’t addressed our problem of width in the team. Downing or not, he’s one player. We need more players like that. Man Utd, City, Chelsea et al all have an abundance of genuine attacking wide players. It is an area that has concerned our midfield for an age it seems.

  2. Aliz says:

    Yah bt 4 me i thnk we r gona use 433 wth lucas adam SG un dats y we r after downing un nt mata coz KK wants a player who wil b on de line us suarez cuts in coz mata playz like our suarez un dat wil mn carol wil nt get eneugh crosess un dats de onli thng wch is making KK 2 go 4 downing un nt mata so us fans we hve 2 understand.

  3. Jimbo says:

    Best goalkeeper in the league

    Overrated international
    Plodding has been
    Euro rubbish
    Youth team player

    20 million journeyman
    31 year old Stevie Me (with dodgy groin)
    South American square ball merchant
    One season wonder

    Luis Suarez
    35 million pub player

    Liverpools year undoubtedly.

  4. Gerrardious says:

    @Jimbo: just give it time…. It will heal eventually..
    I bet u still see Suarez in ur nightmares after what he did to u guys.
    am so sorry believe me

  5. Tezza says:

    Can someone please translate the post made by Aliz. Or possibly tell us what language he is using.

  6. tass says:

    Aliz Translation lol

    Yes but for me i think we are going to use 433 with Lucas Adam Steven Gerard and thats why we are after downing and not mata because King Kenny wants a player who will be on the line with suarez cuts in because mata plays like our suarez and that why carrol will not get enough crosses and that the only thing which is making King Kenny to go for downing and not mata so our fans have to understand.

  7. William Shakespeare says:

    I am currently turning in my grave attempting to make sense of the post made by Aliz.

  8. Donncha says:

    I imagine we will go for a 4-3-3 style team

    I have hopes this style of team will work, and that the winger/wingers we sign can provide quality crosses wor caroll

  9. Billy says:

    ….so Steven Gerrard doesnt get in your team.

  10. E'lnino says:

    I support billy for asking that question from Don, with his idea of using 433 that does not include the skipper of the team. What a stupid idea of formation by Don.

  11. Dave says:


  12. Rory says:


    only put carrol in there because we paid so much for him, still dont know why. So many midfielders in our squad and theyre all class. buy another two defenders only keep Johnson in the back. Give Cole and Aquilani a chance. Adam on the bench, shattered we signed him. If aquilani doesnt perform, replace with Adam.

    sell Carragher, Agger and Carrol, buy 3 quality defenders and play Gerrard or Kuyt a bit further upfront in a diamond formation like 4-4-1-1 and we could beat any team.