Date: 5th August 2011 at 9:00pm
Written by:

Before writing this article I asked 10 random LFC supporters which position they would strengthen in the remainder of the transfer window, through a popular Liverpool Facebook page. 4 of them said Left-Back, 3 of them said Centre-Back, 2 for a new striker and 1 for another winger. I appreciate this small-scale survey is by no means an entirely accurate way to gauge public opinion but I do believe most Reds fans would put a new LB near the top of their transfer wish-lists. However, in the light of Comolli suggesting we may have to offload players before we can bring anymore in, as Liverpool have spent much of their reported £50million war-chest, would any potential funds for a new LB be better utilized elsewhere?

Many may dismiss this argument out of hand but in my opinion it is an interesting debate to follow through, because I believe our strength in depth at LB at this moment is not as bad as many make it out to be.

Aurelio has all the qualities needed to be a top, attack minded, LB; he has a top draw left peg, a decent turn of foot, a good first touch and distribution, but he also possess enough tactical awareness to get into position to defend when necessary. On his day he is as good, if not better than most LBs playing at Top 6 clubs at the moment, Benoît Assou-Ekotto of Spurs, or Gael Clichy of Manchester City for example. However, as everybody knows he is very rarely without an injury concern; as yet he has not played a minute of pre-season football and to be honest I’ve lost track of what injury it is this time! Last season he managed 21 appearances, and the season before that 23, so I think we can expect around 20 again for the 2011/12 season. When fit he will hopefully be able to fill the berth at LB.

Then backing up Aurelio could be Insua once again. The main worry with this scenario would be that it is very similar to the 2009/2010 set up at LB, where frailties at LB were key to many embarrassing defeats. However, he has so far played well in pre-season, his best display coming against the Malaysian XI, and seems to have matured as a defender. He could quite plausibly be second choice LB but if it were up to me I would play Glen Johnson at LB when Aurelio is out. In my opinion he was more defensively sound in this position than at RB, probably because it wasn’t as natural for him and he had to concentrate more. He possesses a very neat left foot as well as right so opposition full-backs would be wary to whether he would send them down the line and get a cross in the box, or cut in and have a shot. His only performance of pre-season so far was poor, against Valerenga, but this could be down to his lengthy lay-off and not an indicator off his ability.

Playing Johnson at LB would also allow Kenny to start the thoroughbred that is Martin Kelly at RB; this scenario is more than likely because when Kelly was fit he forced Johnson over to LB, possibly showing that Kenny rates him higher than Johnson? Many people see Kelly ending up as a CB, this may well be the case when Carragher retires but at the moment I see him being deployed as a RB due to his immense fitness levels and pace. If we do buy a new LB I would still start Kelly at RB and deploy Johnson as a right-sided midfield player, rather than buying a new one, or defensive cover for either full-back; however, my preference would be buying a new CB not LB.

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11 responses to “Is there a left-back problem to solve at Liverpool?”

  1. trev says:

    i think you have a valid point i would rather a right out and out winger first and then a cb if possible and its not only a case of id like i think its essential we get both if we are to compete for a top four spot its a case of alot done a hell of alot more to do. YNWA.

  2. Steven says:

    Eden Hazard, Gary Cahil & Forlan is our answer for a top 4 finish!

  3. Kehins says:

    I support d last commentary will 3 or 4 more signing like of eden hazard, forlan, erique and cahil.

  4. Jrncusa says:

    Haha, hazard and forlan? You must be kidding. Not this year, or in the case of forlan, ever. Can we not stick to realistic possibilities?

  5. Steve says:

    Nobody is talking about degen don’t it means he’s no longer a liverpool player. The guy needs time at liverpool he may become the best defender in the epl. I wish him well

  6. Felderkirk says:

    Sucka my baww!!!

  7. a finnigan says:

    offer city 20m for clichy or buy jose enrique for 10m then buy clichy next year for whatever fuming we never got him 120k a week he is worth 250k a week if jovanivic and joe cole are on 120k each

  8. Chris says:

    Degan is a terrible defender and I wouldn’t have him in a championship side never mind liverpool.He has only ever possessed pace but were looking for a defender not an olympic sprinter.
    I think Insua could be on his way out after being dropped to reserves last week.Personally I would like to see a new CB more than a LB because as this article will show you even without Insua at the club Johnson or Aurelio can play there and we have Flanagan and Robinson who are more than willing to take there chance when giving the opportunity. I have always rated Scott Dann and think he could be a great signing for the club if we get him in Brum missed him when got injured last season.

  9. Leonidas says:

    Towards the end of last season, many were going “oh wow, fantastic, King Kenny has guided own kids well and have brought them through into the first team and we have wonderful kids doing well.”

    Right now, many seem to forget that King Kenny still has an eye on these kids coming through, and he knows, he has cover. Of course, many would say, well we are looking for world class first choice LBs, Rbs, CBs etc. to be able to challenge for the title. Who’s to say King Kenny won’t be able to turn these players into world class players?

    King Kenny philosophy is always to use players to play to their strengths. Therefore, there is no formation that will be set in black and white, but always changing, many times within one game, with the same set of players!

    Our formation depends much upon Agger! He is THE defender that will make our formations work because he is the ONLY defender we have that can bring the ball up, therefore he will essentially be playing two roles. In a more attacked minded formation, he will play the Central Midfield holding role half the game.

    Glen Johnson is best used Right midfield, right back is not his best position anymore. Let him use his pace and crosses.

    Martin Kelly to play RB/LB with Carra’s guidance until Carra hands over the CB role to him.

    John Flanagan to play LB until Martin moves into CB, then John goes RB.

    King Kenny has done extremely well in the market and brought in players that have added depth. He still knows our kids and he has faith in them. We should have some faith in them as well.

  10. Zayyanu says:

    pls. Aly Sissoko!.