Date: 25th July 2011 at 10:00pm
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Liverpool certainly look like a side who will entertain next season. The sheer number of quality attacking players is baffling. Andy Carroll is slowly but surely finding his feet in a Liverpool shirt, Stewart Downing is provided much needed width, whilst Charlie Adam, Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson will look to get forward from midfield. This is without mentioning others at the club such as Alberto Aquilani, Maxi Rodriquez and Dirk Kuyt. Of course, the most exciting prospect for next season is Luis Suarez, who exploded onto the scene last year with a number of scintillating performances.

However, for all Dalglish’s forays into the transfer market for attack minded players, there still remains serious doubts as to whether the Reds have enough quality in the centre of defence. Daniel Agger is a superb defender, but is more prone to injury than Santiago Cañizares juggling a bottle of aftershave. Martin Skrtel was an ever-present at the heart of the defence last season, but doubts still persist about his quality. Two defenders at either end of the age spectrum, Sotoris Kyrgiakos and Danny Wilson, are simply not good enough – especially if Liverpool hope to challenge for a Champions League berth. And Jamie Carragher has undoubtedly been a superb servant for the club, but it is widely expected that this season will be his final chance to play a large role in the team.

No secret has been made of Dalglish’s desire to bring a defender to the club, with Birmingham’s Scott Dann being one such player linked with the club by numerous sources.

However, the answer may be closer to home. Since making his first team debut under Rafael Benitez, Martin Kelly has gone from strength to strength. With Glen Johnson switching to left-back last season, Kelly emerged as a shining light in Hodgson’s otherwise dour reign as manager and continued to impress under King Kenny.

Although he has played primarily as a right-back in the senior squad, Kelly plied his trade as a central defender in the reserve side. At 6’3”, Kelly has the physique to play as a centre-back and under the tutelage of Jamie Carragher, he is sure to improve. Importantly, we have others who can play comfortably at right-back if Kelly were to make to switch inside.

Glen Johnson is the club’s most established right-back, but John Flanagan came into the side at the back end of the 2010/2011 campaign and wowed the fans with his committed attitude and solid displays.

So does Dalglish really need to splash more cash on a defender? Or will he put more trust in the promising youngsters at Melwood?


25 responses to “Centre-back to basics : Why Liverpool do not need to sign a new centre-back”

  1. Ralf says:

    I do not believe we can challenge for much with the existing backline. Carragher, yes he is still a huffing and puffing kind of player, but his speed and timing is not there anymore proven last season when he banged his head into his own players and the opposition. And there is always a big chance of the opposition to get a penalty when he kamikaze diving in the penalty area. Yes, he has been a hero for a long time and he will not step down by himself. He is way to competitive for that. But maybe someone should tell him? Skertl? To much kamikaze style also. And these two guys together with the ball always get me very nervous, and it always end up with a long ball into nowhere or a really bad ball back to Reina who gets into all sorts of trouble. These two can to an extent still stop the opposition, but they can not start a new attack. Even Reina is much better to do that. Agger and Soto? Agger are all injury and Soto has not the quality required at this level. Simple as that. So if we want to challenge for anything, we really need better CB’s. We seem very promising from midfield to attack now, but I am not so optimistic about the backline.

  2. Aslan says:

    Dalglish has no clue about defence and that will be our falling next season. If Rafa had been given £100 mill he would have built a title winning team.

  3. Imran says:

    Asian, don’t talk rubbish if you can help it and get behind your team.

  4. The Rock says:


    Kenny signed graeme le saux for £650k from Chelsea and converted him from a going nowhere left mid to established England left back. Henning Berg anyone? Jeff Kenna? Colin Hendry( or was he already there?) If Hendry was already there when Kenny arrived nobody knew anything about him. Kenny knows what is required. That said if Rafa did have £100 in the kitty I do believe that we would have seen 5-6 players coming through the door of a better standard that what we have bought in. (I only say that because it was rare that Rafas signings over £10m didn’t come off) Kenny it seems is looking for harmony within the squad something Rafa was never able to bring to the table. The problem we have now is when Downing eventually gets injured we will again have no natural left sided player unless Charlie Adam plays out there. The way Kenny has spent, putting all of his eggs in one basket so to speak, means he is happy with who will come in in the event any of them get injured. If he does have reservations about our back up players he has taken a huge gamble on the ability of the players he has signed to stay fit.

    Kenny all the way………..

  5. Lee says:

    For starters, Asian is allowed an opinion and good on him for having one. Rather that than some moron spouting on about getting behind a team. We will all get behind the team when the time is right but we will otherwise have our say.

    Fact remains that we need at least one quality centre back, one left back, one winger and one striker. That will not change and the fact that I’m saying it does not mean I do not support the team. With my unblinkered, realistic view on matters I will say that we will challenge but not actually win a thing.

  6. The Rock says:

    Agree 100% about Carra. His body as in the final stages. There must come a time where we take a leaf out of Man u’s book and move people on the way they did with ALL of their great homegron and bought in players. Neville, Beckham, Keane, Hargreaves, Ince, Bruce, Pallister, Stam. The list goes on and on and always results with success.

  7. SuaRed says:

    1. Carragher is old so is the soto!
    2. Agger is often injued
    3. Ayala, Wilson and Kelly are all inexperienced and have a way to go n the position.
    that just leaves Skrtel who’s form could be anything good or bad!

    We need a real quality centre half leader!

  8. Kopstar says:

    Kelly as centre back only if we had got jones from blackburn .Kelly and jones would been great we all now what happened went to the dirty SCUM

  9. tom says:

    My feelings are that we are ok with our back line this year, the money this year has appeared to be spent and spent well, we have enough options at the back to cope with the premier league demands (no europe) this will aid Agger and others by limiting the games and having more recovery between games, Skrtel will be solid (it was only in the first part of last season that he was looking dodgy, but so did most of the squad) Carra will also benefit from less games.

    I Also personally want to see Kelly and Flanagan get regular time on the pitch, we have other youngsters that will step in when needed. (plus Kenny will use them)

    Yes of course next season buy one/two quality center backs but wait until Europe helps being in better quality players. at least this season we do not look like suffering from the same problems as last – this season if Gerrard or one of the other key players is injured we will still be a threat – thats an improvement in my book

  10. paul davis says:

    We keep going on about Kelly and Flanagan and they show promise but neither has the quality that Scott Dann has got and he’s also Liverpool born and bred and LFC supporter. At 24yrs old and 6ft 5in tall he has the presence and personality we need to build around at the back. Not only that but he is comfortable on the ball and could end up being our next captain – we should be all over this signing and making it happen.

  11. steve says:

    i dont get some people.ok Kenny’s offered this club so many things and trophies and he loves the club and we love him…but,this is about managing a club.we’ve spent 50 million this summer and bought Downing,Adam,Henderson and Doni.Rafa had bought Torres,Mascherano and Xabi Alonso for that kind of money,that’s the difference.i mean that we spend too much on “proven” premierleague players while other players can play in the premierleague as well.Carroll had played in the premierleague when we signed him but Suarez hadnt.who made the most impact?Luis Suarez of my opinion we need a lot of players to compete.At keepers we are well with one of the world’s best keeper,Pepe Reina,and a proven back-up Doni.then we go to the defence where we need a centerback and a leftback.get rid of Soto,Insua and Aurelio too.then midfield.get rid of Poulsen,Joe Cole,Jovanovic and buy another winger too.Sc*m united have Nani,Ashley Young,Valencia,Park and Giggs as wingers and we have Downing,Maxi Rodriguez only.and hopefully our attackers are good with Suarez,Carroll and Kuyt providing chances for squad rotation.So:
    1)Centerback,someone like Mamadou Sakho
    2)Leftback,Jose Enrique
    3)Winger,Milos Krasic
    Those three at least if we want to compete with teams like Man utd,Man city,chelsea and Arsenal.

  12. tom says:

    i get your point about quality in depth and competing with the other teams, but i think strength in depth has improved with the midfield this season, as for Kelly and Flanagan showing promise – last season was a break through year for both, i agree Scott Dann is a great player but we need to build over a couple of seasons and he will come

  13. Micky-G says:

    Why don’t we you ask??? Like the ones we have are any good? Carra is a club legend but getting on and is moving a lot slower. Sotir is just average at best. Agger….Does he still play for us or does he just enjoy our medical facilities?? Skrtel look clumsy and seems to panic under pressure. But all in all I’d say your right. Not

  14. Oscar says:

    I believe Aqualani and Keane were signings around the 20m mark? Were they huge successes? I love what Kenny has done to the team, increasing the strength in depth and versatility of the squad. He also filled the Alonso sized hole with Adam and finally brought in that winger Liverpool have always been missing on the Left-side; in Downing. I watched alot of Jordan Henderson’s games last season and his awareness and one touch passing was breath-taking at times. Carragher still has one top season in him, his defensive awareness is much better now than it used to be, and for me defensively he is better than Terry and most defenders in the EPL. I don’t believe he gave a penalty away this season and that block on Torres at Stamford Bridge was sensational. Skrtl didn’t put a significant step wrong this season and was a mainstay in the team, and we all now that Agger is fantastic when fully fit; and for me he is the defender who starts attacks from the back, him and Carra would be my first choice. Ideally I would like to see Soto replaced by Dann and the very promising Wilson used as cover. And I doubt we are going to buy another top striker, can anybody justify paying 35m for Carroll and then not playing him? Carroll is our top striker.

  15. tom says:

    i think it would be worth a punt on Daniel sturridge, something different and looked good for Bolton last season whilst on loan as a extra striker,

  16. Andy says:

    Re Steve, I think you’ll find we’ve spent far less than £50 million Adam £6.75 million rising to 8.5, Downing between £18 and 19 million and Henderson ???, remember DC said that he’d heard figures banded about for Henderson and none were close so let’s say an intial 12 mill probably going to £20 million means we’ve spent less than 40 million so far. In regards to your Rafa comparision sorry but we were a CL team under Rafa, Mascherano made sure he got out when things turned sour, as did Torres who only came because we were a CL team. Xabi Alonso was a great signing but it was a case of taking a punt on a young midfielder tipped for greatness but had not yet proved it playing for a traditional but limited club. I see some likeness there with Henderson, not in playing style but in stature of club he’s come from and being tipped for greatness. Let’s get back to the Kelly for CB issue. I think it’s a distinct possibility that Martin will end up there eventually, I don’t see him as a centre back for next season as I have long had a theory that you can’t play as a regular centre half in a top EPL side unless you’ve had 3 years expierance of playing either in the EPL or at a high level. It’s the worse position for a youngster in the EPL, one mistake and as well as probably costing your team a goal the chances are that one of Hansen, Lawro or the loathsome Dixon will make you look a fool on TV. I recently read that the coaches were truly amazed by Kelly’s fitness levels which suggests to me his immediate future is as a full back or wing back. I do agree the need for a centre half and if Kenny has come to the same conclusion as most regarding Aurelio (i.e that glass is less fragile) a left back is also required.

  17. rafiee says:

    liverpool must buy one or more centre back to cover carr if carr injured.. Don’t waste liverpool budjet to buy more in midfiled or forward…

  18. danny says:


  19. njanja says:

    With Adam, Downing, and Doni already in, we still need additional four to bring the EPL trophy to Anfield. Unfortunately the money wasted on Henderson could have conveniently fetched us Dann and Enrique, while the proceeds from the sales of Cole, Polsen, Ngog, Soto, Aurelio, Degen, Jova, etc can get us Cattermole and Rodallega

  20. M. says:

    Considering that, we are out of Europe, KK has built a reasonable team, though, and we could have saved few mn, had we gone in continental Europe, for similar quality. No matter, how much we spend, I doubt we could have brought the best in England or outside. If it’s fact, even 22mn was not enough to bring an unknown but potential teenager. AYoung & Clichy rejected an offer with assured starting spot & now a player as average as Enrique (25 years back, players of his quality, would have cashed in transfer market, on the rumors that LFC is considering him; it’s that harsh reality now). KK is building a good solid team with EPL experience, to take us within top 4, which should be our realistic target this year. My only objection to KK & DCs transfer policy is, they are too British biased, which is costing us too much.

    I think, we are only covered for the GK position for next few years. We are missing a world class LB, 1 CB – similar age of Kelly, so that in few years these 2 can make a great pair (May be Hummel, Subtic or Shakho), 1 DM (Lucas is there but Paulsen, Coady or Spearing are not good enough. May be Cissokho or Ma’ villa), 1 RW/RMF (Hazard or Affalelly) & 1 back up striker. Finally, we have many good CMF/AMF, but none of them are as outstanding as SG at peak. Need a young potential AM to replace SG in 1/2 years, with great creativity.

  21. 'Will says:

    Henderson a waste of money?
    The second best young English midfielder is a waste of money?
    Only Wilshere could be said to be better among his peers.
    Let yourself down there.
    He’s gonna be a fantastic signing for us.

  22. emmy says:

    we definitely need a LB,CB,WG and an alternative for carrol…
    Scott dann is more or less a player like danny agger…I ‘D SUGGEST Gary Cahill or SAKHO; Jose enrique or maxi perreira for our LB…..charles Nzogbia or promisn ibrahim Affellay will be better on the wings….while Taarabt or hugo rodallega will be our alternatives…..chip off j.cole,soto,poulsen,aurelio,Ngog and jova for nw guys…*ynwa*

  23. emmy says:

    where was lee cattermole when you waste 20mil on henderson…20mil would’ve fetched us craig gardner and a leftback..chip off poulsen,j.cole,ngog,aurelio,degen,jova and soto and bring us a solid winger and a centreback..

  24. 'Will says:

    I don’t see how another winger is a priority, as we’ll most likely play 4-3-3. Especially now Maxi has been given the 11 shirt, he’s most probably in Kenny’s plans?
    I’d like to see LB, CB, DM in that order of I importance. Since I’d imagine we’ll only make 2/3 signings max – anything else is a bonus.

  25. Redshadow says:

    No Aslan – He has no CLUE about defence DESPITE winning FOUR English LEAGUE TITLES!!! Prat………….

    Andre Wisdom BTW is even BETTER than the much touted Phil Jones at United (he plays like an English Vidic) and Martin Kelly? Has everything he needs to be another Rio Ferdinand at the back – Yes, the priority for a centre back IS a pressing one but? Nothing LIKE as pressing as the NEED for both a Left-Back AND a backup Striker – remember just HOW badly injuries to Torres, Gerrard & Bellamy etc have HURT us in the past. Dalglish is something ALL the IDIOTS doubting him on here seem to forget – He is an absolute MASTER of SQUAD Building (never mind Team Which he does as well & Very well indeed).

    You see? Kenny KNOWS what we need and WHAT we need now the REST of our recruitment is done IS? A Left-Back And Striker (backup) above ALL else, then? A spare Centre Back and Right midfielder/Winger – The GENIUS of Dalglish is? That even IF we DON’T get ALL of them? He’ll STILL fashion a team that WILL eventually challenge for trophies without them – Everyone now SEEMS to have forgotten just WHY United have been top so long and WHY Liverpool were before them right now – Don’t they?

    WHAT is their secret? – NOT money (or Chelsea would have won what? The last SIX titles – City a few by now to), NOT star players (ditto Chelsea & City), NOT stadium/city size or Newcastle would be serial trophy winners but MANAGEMENT is Their secret and THE One manager to MATCH Ferguson if not Better him over a season (as he’s PROVEN 4 times already?) Is Dalglish; Managers like him and Ferguson? Are Rare and rightly so – given that THEY are often THE magic ingredient on their OWN – They need JUST enough money, talent/ability & discipline to work with at the right size club and then?

    Well then, the results/trophies start to ROLL in – Look at LFC’s and MUFC’s past for PROOF if you so wish. Anyway – With enough resources? Kenny WILL do it again you know? He’ll win titles at Liverpool – And he has More than enough resources. He WILL get us there and WHEN he does? Life will change VERY much for both Manchester United AND Everyone else; You have to know WHERE and HOW to build to formulate a title winning team – It’s NOT a question of HOW MUCH – But WHERE, HOW and WHAT is the RIGHT quantity (Consider Stuart Ripley at Blackburn for an example – how about Downing NOW?); Anyway, Kenny KNOWS the right answer to ALL those questions and? He WILL show that at Liverpool soon enough; He’ll find THE right blend/’magic formula’ again soon enough – He Always does & this will be no different – Mark my Words……………..