Well, as the first of many friendly games is completed, thoughts turn as they always do this time of year to the forthcoming season and what we can take from the match. For those who didn’t catch it, Liverpool played the mighty Guangdong Sunray Cave of China’s second tier in a game in no way motivated by marketing (I understand the need to attract new revenue streams, don’t get me wrong, but it still feels a little sleazy…!). Lots and lots of talking points but I thought I’d just touch on a few here.
The final score was a thrilling 4-3 to the Red men; it’s fair to say we put out a team mostly composed of reserves, young talent, and the odd misfit *coughcoughPoulsencough*. Players such as Shelvey, Kelly, Flanagan, and Pacheco were all given some playing time and certainly didn’t disgrace themselves. Neither, surprisingly, did those who we might not be seeing at the start of the new season. Ngog and Poulsen scored and Joe Cole looked lean and lively, and we saw the return of Aquilani who gave a quietly composed and impressive performance. I for one would love to see the Italian given a chance to shine under Kenny’s pass and move revolution, on form he’s one of the best passers in the league and links play up beautifully as Juventus fans will attest from last season. Plus I bought an away shirt last season with his name on the back, didn’t I….
We were missing a whole host of first team regulars but a definite high point was the introduction of new signing Charlie Adam. Some of you might remember me explaining last week that I wasn’t overly excited by his signing, but if he links up with Carroll as well as he did today on a regular basis then I’ll happily admit I was very wrong. Our play might just have a whole new dimension and attacking threat with him in the team; great technique and passing range and a genuinely promising rapport with the big Geordie, not to mention a refreshing head-up style of play we’ve been missing since our Xabi jetted off to the Santiago Bernabeu.
Speaking of Carroll, if I were a betting man (I am, just not a very successful one) I’d lump a large wad of notes on him being top scorer next season if he stays fit. Five words: how do you stop him? I reckon defenders up and down the country are biting their nails down to raw, bloody stumps at the thought of trying to do just that. You’d pick Kenny as the best man to nurture his obvious talent and in my opinion the sky’s the limit with this lad, if he stays away from the ale of course. Wonderful first touch, frighteningly powerful, leaps like a salmon, a cannon of a left foot, and deceptively quick to boot. I understand that £35m is a staggering sum of money for an as yet unproven player but please remember the last 22 year old raw Geordie striker that Kenny broke the British transfer record to sign at Blackburn.