Date: 25th July 2011 at 9:00pm
Written by:

This was the song sang by many passionate Reds supporters, not too many seasons ago. To be fair, we probably weren’t too far off having the best midfield in the world. To remind you of this song that was proudly sung, regularly, at home and on our travels, here are the words! “Woah woah woah! We’ve got the best midfield in the world! We’ve got Xabi Alonso, Momo Sissoko, Gerrard and Mascheranoooo” …brings a tear of reminiscent joy back doesn’t it?

We all know that the sole standing survivor from this époque is our captain. Since then, I’ve noticed that Liverpool has seemed to have had a slight unnecessary fetish for central midfielders ever since the mid Benitez era, and this is not showing any signs of calming, continuing into the Dalglish era. I will get to my point shorty!

Granted, Dalglish surely must recognise this as he actually has the same amount of central midfielders (or players who can do a job there) on the books as he has fingers! Lucas, Aquilani, Poulsen, Gerrard, Spearing, Shelvey, Henderson, Adam, Maxi, and Meireles. (You counted them didn’t you, to make sure I know how to count! Hah!) This must be especially daunting for any academy players hoping to operate in this area of the field for the first team on a regular basis, not to mention a financial ‘waste of money’ on player wagers. Rafa and Roy spent a fair bit of money on bolstering up an already man strong position, whereas we we’re crying out for quality in other positions, no?

For a team that won’t be challenging in Europe this year, we have at least 4 central midfielders too many. I trust Dalglish will sieve out the best (the ‘dead wood’ expression is getting massively over used in regards to Liverpool players and I don’t find it respectful) from the abundance, whether it involves loaning or selling, leaving us with a quality rather than quantity situation. Comolli, in an interview for LFC TV upon the signing of Henderson said, “Oh yes, he is definitely a player for now. Obviously it’s up to Kenny to decide but we see him as a player for now.” This hints on him possibly starting more games than sitting on the bench, no?… Hmmm… Interesting. Who would you sieve out from our centre midfield?

A debate/discussion that I would like to set in motion is, I think, quite a new one but an important one nonetheless. There are a few Liverpool players who are of the ‘can do a job in various positions’ calibre. Joe Cole, Stewart Downing and Maxi can play anywhere across the midfield and even behind the striker, for instance. Fabio Aurelio can operate as either a left-back or a left midfielder (even playing in central midfield last season for a few games). Dirk Kuyt is another player who can operate on either flank or up front. The list goes on, you get the idea.

I’m interested to find out if you prefer an ‘out and out’ player or a ‘versatile’ player?


25 responses to ““We’ve got the best midfield in the world…””

  1. Ged says:

    Don’t call me shorty

  2. joe says:

    i’d prefer -no- liverpool player. Arsenal have the best midfield in the world.

  3. Lars says:

    I am sure phase 2 of the summer window will see 4-6 players move out and 2-3 move in. Comolli and Dalglish will need to balance the books and sell before they can buy.

    Aquilani is heavily linked with a loan move to Fiorentina, but I would love them to try a swap deal and bring Juan Manuel Vargas in. Stevan Jovetic should be back from injury soon and the club may feel they can let Vargas go. he can operate as a left back or left wing, and is arguably, among the best crossers of the ball in world football. Insua could also be part of such a deal.

    I also believe we should get rid of Spearing. Pardew may be interested and could be a make-weight in an Enrique deal.

    Paulsen needs to go and we shouldn’t keep both Cole and Maxi. Ngog is on his way out as well, but I don’t see us splashing the cash on another forward. Exciting to see what happens.

  4. Noodles says:

    For an “out and out” player, I hope joe cole is out and soon. Comes on the pitch might do something in the first five minutes then disappears. Sell him or give him away i don’t care just go.

  5. Greg says:

    To me the transfer activity shows that Dalglish has lost the plot and is still living in the 80’s.. I do not see us Challenging for CL with the squad as it is… We should have bolstered the defense and brought in 1 winger and a world class striker to partner with Suarez. I get it.. Dalglish walks on water and cures the blind… but he is not taking the club in the right direction with his transfers…

  6. Imran says:

    Greg, if Kenny is still living in the 80’s, why are you complaining? It was one of our most glorious eras! You can’t have it both ways, stop following the ManU supporters and actually get behind your team! YNWA

  7. Jevon says:

    Arsenal bwahahahahahahahhahahahahahhah ROFL bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha yeah sure lol

  8. Jevon says:

    oh by the way Gre ill trust Dalglish rather than you. hahahahah
    What will you be saying next season when were in the champions league???
    “Kenny has lost the ploot and hell never win the title? ffs man get a grip and stop playing so much football manager

  9. Robin says:

    so you were happy with our central midfield options last season? Gerrard hardly played, and when he did you hardly noticed. Lucas did fantasticly well yes, spearing did a job and a good one at that, but will he get us into the top 4? I dont think so. Charlie Adam is the key signing for me so far. (we do have more than a month to conclude our Transfer dealings, so let´s finish that before we pass judgement on the window) best case scenario – he continues to do what he did last season, and improves on ball control, we just might have us another passing player in midfield, who can give Suarez those through balls we know he´ll just eat up…
    add to that the arrival of Downing – winger extraordinar I believe the world class Striker has already been bought, expensively as we all know, he´s just not had a chance to show us yet.
    Defence must as you say be improved, and I´m positive it will. Lb and cb needed.
    Right winger would also be a priority if i had anything to say.

    But who is going…obviously Poulsen has to go, never good enough for this club, Joe Cole out as far as im concerned, If anyone will actually have him ,and then be able to pay him, no clue who that would be though.
    And the tough one: aqua or Raul? how do you sell meireless after thet season, he did very well for LFC, on the other hand Aquilani is a very skillful and intelligent footballer, at the end of the day, I guess Raul has shown what he can do in the EPL, aqua has not…

  10. Eddy says:

    HAHAHA Arsenal the best midfield?
    Joe, you’re insane. Neither do Liverpool have the best midfield, it’s undoubtably either Barca or Real.
    We DO have a chance at the CL, we were the second highest point scoring team after new years, that’s gotta count for something don’t it?

  11. Zahid says:

    @Eddy there was no pressure on us tho, knowone expected us to do that from where we were when KK took charge. This seasons different we’ve spent money added to the squad we will aim for the top 4, the expectations are higher and will test the squad and players.

    Regarding the best midfield in the world comment, Barcelona has the best one for me, but the guy who said Arsenal isn’t that deluded ok maybe not the world but one of the best in the PL and Europe way better then ours……YNWA

  12. Kenny says:


  13. Zahid says:

    @Kenny ‘girly Aquilani’?? was Patrik Berger girly? Aquilani is a good player but i do agree he should go back to Italy or to a club where he is going to be played regularly instead of wasting his talent on the bench, i wouldn’t let him go on loan tho his transfer fee would help bring in some more player(s)……YNWA

  14. Kopstar says:

    I think Barca have the best midfield in the world

  15. Oscar says:

    That Arsenal have the best midfield comment made me chuckle, their midfield for this coming season won’t be as good as the last one and none of them want to be there!

  16. M. says:

    We did have a great mid-field then. Had we got 2 wide midfielders, probably we would have the best team in the world for a 4-2-3-1 formation, with SG playing behind Torres, Masch breaking the play & Xavi marshaling the central mid-field. But, it didn’t materialized as we were missing wide men in both flanks. When we were playing top teams, in open play, we were better Head to head with top 4 in EPL, even beat Real, Barca, Inter & AC. These teams played to win & opened the game. But, we couldn’t win the EPL because of silly draws with mid to lower table teams, who ‘ll always over populate the third-half, close the box to box attacks & we could never unlock the heavy traffic. Had we got at least 1 winger in the ranks of Pires, Beckham, Giggs, Lunberg or Maluda we probably would have won the EPL once or twice.

    Our current midfield is very good in numbers, 7-9 of them, good to very good players, but I doubt any of them are in outstanding bracket. Lucas might match or even emulate Masch as a defensive mid-fielder, but I don’t see enough creativity. This is why, I don’t want to loan out Acqualini, only player, who might play as a creative play-maker. However, without Europe, this year, we are a bit handicapped in transfer market. May be next year, with CL, we should buy a player in the rank of Nasri, Ces, Ozil or Scnider.

  17. Tom Campbell says:

    It wouldn’t appear many people read the article before commenting! Just the title. It is talking about the midfield of the 08 season when we did have the best! So listing the current best midfield is pretty irrelevant.
    Meireles will probably go, despite being arguably the 2nd best midfielder we have. He is the only one we will get a decent price for and he won’t play week in week out either. Whilst playing in the deeper role, he didnt look as comfortable as he did in Gerrards position, and when fit, Stevie inevitably starts. So in answer to the question in the article, out and out players are what’s needed. Versatility is good, but not when there are 8 potential options in the centre of the park.
    Poulson needs to go. Sack him, just to save on his wages. David Ngog too although a move to Bolton would be nice. Lose Joe Cole too as he hasn’t come to terms with the fact that he isn’t as good as he once was.
    Oh and last point, M. Nasri, Cesc(im guessing you mean), Ozil, Sneider????? How on earth do you expect us to sign a player of that calibre without CL football. Yes it would be nice but you are dreaming.

  18. TroLLman says:

    Clearly Lucas and Raul should be the centre piece of jigsaw… Without them our defence looks shady.

    Lucas- last season showed why he’s one of the best in the world as a DM with the most tackles made in EPL, but he also played Many more intelligent forward passes so he’s a no brainer

    Raul – A diverse player who knows how to get stuck in and times his runs forward to perfection and will get us goals

    Henderson – iv seen him a few times and he is no more than an very expensive squad player untill proven otherwise that’s my opinion.

    Adams – was a very good deal for the money paid and a player who we can rotate with Raul if he is not performing.

    Maxi- Scored a hatful by his standards last season and again another good squad player.

    Spearing – I really hated seeing this in the team, but possibly one of the most improved players at the club and another player that will come in when necessary and do a job


    Aqua – A classy player who I would like to keep but with so much press on him leaving maybe it’s best him and the club

    Shelvey – not Liverpool standard

    Cole – has lost his legs and lungs. Thinks he can play in the middle with killer balls but they are just move killers. A few yrs ago he was class.

    Poulson- has never really had a chance and when he has played he’s looked very nervous. He’s a player we can do without though not as bad as has been made out.

    1) Pepe
    2) Johnson
    3) Carra/ Skrtl
    4) Agger
    5) new LB
    6) Lucas
    7) Raul
    8) Downing
    9) Kuyt
    10) Gerrard
    11) SuareZ

    That’s the team I’d like to see start with Gerrard upfront just Suarez.

  19. thomasz says:

    I think the article writer undermine’s his point somewhat by admiting that we had to field Aurelio in the middle of the park a few times last year. If that doesn’t display a need for greater depth in that position I don’t know what does.

    Admitedly I agree Poulsen needs to go, he is just too poor, but I am comfortable with keeping the rest. Maxi is really only viable as a winger, when you consider the physicality of the Premiership. Shelvey I can take or leave, he might benefit from a loan move and the rest will be filling spots as and when necessary. If Gerrard and Aquilani got long term injuries early on then all of a sudden you are looking at a midfield that is 1 or 2 more injuries away from being a serious problem.

    Controlling the middle of the park is essential in today’s game. Having a wide range of players who can do that in different ways is key to doing this consistently. Not one single side was consistently the best last term and all of them relied on a small handful of quality middle men to last a full season. If we can keep hold of, say the best 8 of our current midfield, then I think we would be doing very well.

  20. J says:

    I am an Arsenal fan.

    I have to say that I find your summer transfer activity eyebrow raising.

    Us Gooners would cry foul if any of your purchases had joined us instead. Perhaps that’s indicative of why we are so shit in recent years, because we’re too up our own arses. Whether this is the case or not, I can’t help but think Dalglish is stuck in the past with his clear opinion that British is best.

    I would be dismayed if we spent that much money on British players. Stewart Downing? If we got him for free I’d be pissed off.

    What do the Liverpool fans think of their midfield now? Has Dalglish made the right purchases?

    I really believe this season will implode for you with these British players.

    I hope not though; would rather you in the top 4 than the oil team and of course the dirty spud-peeling bottom feeders…

  21. Laurence Feather says:

    Thanks for all the comments guys!

    @ thomasz:

    I don’t see how I undermined myself as I merely stated it as a fact that Aurelio was used by Dalglish, on a few occasions last season, in the centre of the midfield. I didn’t say he did this beause of a lack or quality, or a lack of quantity. To have undermined myself, I would have had to have written that Dalglish utilised Aurelio in the centre midfield due to a lack of quality or a lack of players.

    @ J:

    I think our midfield could be compared to an over juiced vodka cocktail. At the moment there are too many different sorts of juices, Dalglish has to extract some juices bit by bit to find the perfect vodka cocktail! (Gerrard being the vodka base in this midfield cocktail as he is essential :p).
    Personally, as a RATIONAL fan, I don’t believe we should judge his squad business until the end of the window, after all the buying and selling has taken place. For the moment, I’m skeptical/curious to how things will pan out. I feel we need, like a lot of fellow Liverpool fans, a left back, a right midfielder and another striker.
    Talking with Liverpools best interests at heart, I’m delighted that Cesc and Nasri could be leaving this season and hope they do! 😀 What do you feel about this?

  22. TroLLman says:

    Gerrard was utilised best by Rafa just of the striker and this yr should be different…

    I’m not sure there is a place for him in the midfield unless Kuyt is sacrificed and he plays on the right with Carroll and Suarez up front and I don’t see that happening.

  23. TroLLman says:

    *Gerrard was utilised best by Rafa just off the striker and this yr should be no different.

    Sorry was walking a texting :/

  24. mike says:

    sorry didnt have time to read the article, but in reference to the banner at the top of the website – you know liverpool is in england, right?

  25. Paul says:

    Lets not start sucking each others dicks just yet, we don’t really have much of a clue as to who will play where and whether these players will get the best out of each other. Losts of potential but we’ll see