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?