Damien Comolli has stated that the Transfer activity at Anfield is nearly over. Presumably this means players in, not players out, as I believe at least one or two will be shipped out of Anfield before the season kicks off, not including loan deals.
With this in mind I sat down with my mate ‘red Chris’ (red, as much in his passion for Liverpool as for the colour of his hair), and chewed the fat over our best starting Liverpool eleven.
In the recent seasons this has been pretty easy. The players pretty much picked themselves, either through class, or the fact there was no one else. This season there are real conundrums and players no longer merit their places based on reputation. Would anyone in their right mind have suggested a year ago, that Liverpool could function without Stevie G? That a young player such as Jay Spearing could come in and play with the confidence to actually cause selection headaches?
Firstly we had to decide on formation. This has been debated long and hard on fan sites all over already, but we stumped for the tried and tested 4-4-2. Including; two wide players, one defensive midfielder, one attacking, with one ‘free role’ behind a central striker.
Let’s start with the easy one, Goalkeeper. Pepe Reina. Simply class and needs no further discussion. Doni has signed to be number two and will push for starts, but if fit, Reina has the custodians role.
Right back, Glenn Johnson. His performances at the end of the season, after the shocking collapse of form and confidence during the Hodgson reign, began to justify his big player reputation. Adequate back up from Martin Kelly and John Flanagan, both with big futures we appear sorted in this area.
Left back. Let’s start the controversy here. Emiliano Insua. Farmed out on loan last season, did ok and now has a new start under Kenny, (if he stays). Aurelio is unreliable and too fragile. Johnson and Agger have played there in the past, but not a long term solution. Jack Robinson is coming through but to warrant a starting berth for the whole season is perhaps a bit much to ask. All this supposes we do not sign a left back before the window closes.
Central defenders. It has to be Carra. Yes he is getting on, but his pride and passion will get him through and his organisational ability is second to none. Who is to partner the vice captain is less clear. Agger is undoubtedly the best of the rest, but like Aurelio a bit fragile, hence the ever presence of Martin Skrtel last season. Kyriakos and Wilson will offer short term cover, but the clamour for another C.B. will go on (Scott Dann anyone?). I plumped for Agger, if fit, although Skrtel will push him close.