From time to time ‘This is Anfield’ publish articles in which a number of writers give their view on a particular topic. Below are my contributions and links to the full articles. Similarly, I also contribute to the ‘Burning Issue’ feature in ‘The Liverpool Way’ fanzine, which is the same type of thing. These contributions are also added as they occur.
IS KENNY DALGLISH RIGHT THAT LIVERPOOL’S 2012 TEAM OVER ACHIEVED? [1st October 2013]
“What those boys achieved in 2012 was fantastic,” Dalglish told The Liverpool Echo. “To win the Carling Cup and to get to an FA Cup final was beyond any expectations. People will turn around and say we finished eighth in the league, but how many points would you swap for three Wembley trips?”
This opens up the debate over where Liverpool’s priorities should lie; it’s crucial they get back into the Champions League is surely the aim of all?
We got the views of the This Is Anfield writers to find out if they agreed with Kenny, or whether finishing fourth have been prioritised over cup runs?
In 2012 we finished 8th on 52 points; 4th placed Spurs amassed 69 points. Would simply reprioritising the league over cups have been enough to make up a 17 point deficit? I seriously doubt it. Whilst the team could certainly have finished higher I don’t think that team was good enough to finish fourth.
In light of this, and specific to that year, I believe Kenny was right to prioritise the cups. Even taking the two finals out of the equation I would not swap that feeling I had standing in the Gods in Wembley after beating Everton in the FA Cup semi final. To say I was relieved doesn’t come close to it. I was truly elated. Gloating isn’t pretty, but it sure is fun! I’d have shrugged my shoulders if we’d finished 5th.
However, and overall, if there’s a good chance of finishing 4th I would prioritise it over cups. It’s sad that money is so important. Nonetheless the Champions League brings riches; those riches and the Champions League status attract better players; and those better players can help you to build a team that will consistently win cups in the future.
Read the whole article at: http://www.thisisanfield.com/2013/10/kenny-dalglish-liverpool-2012-over-achieved/
SELECTING LIVERPOOL’S STRONGEST XI [4th Sept 2013]
‘The transfer window is closed, Liverpool have successfully brought in eight new players. How many of the new signings would get into our strongest eleven now? We asked the This Is Anfield writers for their opinions…’
On current form Mignolet, Toure and Sturridge are un-droppable for me. Even with the return of Suarez, Sturridge’s 16 goals in 20 games means he deserves to hold his position as the focal point of the attack. Crucially he is enjoying his football and losing his place to Suarez (who can easily be utilised on the right of what is essentially a front four) would undermine his good work.
The arrival of Moses on the left allows Coutinho to move into the number 10 role as envisaged by Brendan Rodgers. Lucas and Gerrard would sit in midfield, with the latter given licence to get forward as the game demands.
Johnson keeps his place at right back, although depending on how long he is out with injury for I would replace him with Wisdom
My refusal to drop new fan favourite Toure creates a conundrum about how to fit in Sakho and Agger. I contemplated a back three and can see the merit in it. However in a season when we need to get back into the top four and pick up as many points as possible I’m not sure we can really afford to experiment with formations too much. Therefore, I’ve decided to experiment with positions!
Sakho, as the marquee signing slots into his preferred position at centre back. I don’t think Agger has been in great form over the last year. However he is vice captain and I don’t see Rodgers dropping him. Furthermore, he is a better defender than Enrique and has competently deputised at left back before. Enrique is consigned to the bench ready to compete with Cissokho as a substitute for Agger when he gets knackered with the running Rodgers’ demands of his full backs.
READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE AT: http://www.thisisanfield.com/2013/09/selecting-liverpools-strongest-xi/
MEET THE 9 DREAM (BUT REALISTIC) SIGNINGS FOR LIVERPOOL THIS TRANSFER WINDOW [13th August 2013]
‘With the new season just days away and only a few weeks of the transfer window remaining, we asked the This Is Anfield writers who would be their dream, but realistic, signing to improve the squad.’
I’ll be honest the ‘dream’ part of signing Leighton Baines lies largely in the thought of sitting back and smugly smoking a pipe behind bulletproof glass as bedlam is unleashed in the city and Manchester United also miss out on their target.
Nonetheless, Baines is a player who could add something to this current Liverpool side. He has the energy Rodgers’ demands of his full backs, is a better defender than Enrique and will chip in with goals and assists as well as being useful from set pieces. Throw into the mix that at 28 he is at the peak of his powers, wouldn’t need time to bed into the league or the city and could be available around the £12 million mark he could be the instant fix we need. Moreover, there will be no problem with us not being in Europe.
It is a long shot and Everton would be unlikely to sell. But Baines is a boyhood Red and I’ve heard he wears long sleeves to hide his Liverpool tattoo. [Insert winking smiley face here.] You never know, if we dangle the carrot and stoke the red fires that lie within him he could be training on his own at Finch Farm and refusing to apologise before you know it!