Liverpool’s starting lineup for the season

Bereft of a true deep-lying playmaker and the departed Torres, Dalglish was forced to reconsider how to assemble his side upon his return to the Anfield dugout. Whilst critics feared his time away from the game may have rendered him outdated and irrelevant, the 59-year-old (with the assistance of Steve Clarke) has proven himself to be an innovative and adaptable modern-day tactician. In addition to using 4-2-3-1, Dalglish also briefly (and effectively) used 3-5-2, 4-3-3 and various permutations of the aforementioned shapes.

Dalglish’s movement in the transfer market thus far would also seem to suggest that he is assembling a squad with tactical flexibility in mind. Jordan Henderson, is adept at playing in central midfield and out on the right. Scottish midfielder Charlie Adam operates mainly as a deep-lying playmaker, although he could foreseeably be used on the left of a narrow midfield four. Reports in the media this week suggest that Liverpool have tabled a bid for Aston Villa’s Stewart Downing too. Downing, although predominantly used as a left-winger, has appeared for his current club in a more central role as well.

It seems as though Dalglish and his staff have fully embraced the idea of modern football as a ‘squad game’. Whilst certain members of his playing personnel, such as Gerrard and Uruguayan Luis Suarez, will almost certainly be guaranteed a consistent starting berth, the anticipated depth of Dalglish’s squad will ensure a healthy degree of competition and rotation next season. This will allow the Scot to adapt his personnel and shape to suit different opponents, and provide less opportunity for opposing teams to second-guess his starting XI.

For far too long, people have criticised Liverpool’s supposed lack of strength in depth and overreliance upon certain members of their squad. Thanks to the work of Dalglish and his staff, these statements should no longer apply.

Article is courtesy of Zarif Rasul for