Let’s pretend for 1 minute that it is Monday 30th December 2013. After a busy holiday schedule, it is now time for the Liverpool staff and fans to look at the number of points collected by the team. How is this going to impact on the team’s January transfer activity? and how is it planning out the rest of the season? title/ top4/ top6 contenders?
My straight forward answer to that would be NO for both questions.
Everybody knows what Liverpool’s flaws are and hopefully Brendan Rodgers will address that sooner rather than later. However, as mentioned in his pre-match press conference today, he will not rush in buying players just for the sake of doing so. The appropriate player should be available at the appropriate price. He has proven that it is possible 12 months ago by bringing in Sturridge and Coutinho who have done great at the club since.
Despite having 10 recognised defenders in the first team squad, Liverpool’s defence has been quite porous this season. BR has tried different formations – 2 or 3 CBs – with different player combinations but has yet to find the solution. Another weakness in this defence is the left back position. With Jose Enrique out due to injury, young Joe Flanagan has come in. Don’t get me wrong, he put in a great performance in the Everton game and has been decent since coming in but just lacks that extra bit of quality and experience. Watch out for the words ‘decent’, ‘quality’ and ‘experience’.
People have been crying out for BR to get another defensive midfielder to either replace Lucas or at least provide some competition. While this would be good, I think a combination of the likes of Lucas, Gerrard, Allen and Henderson will have to do for now.
You must have been living under a rock or out of this world to not know that Coutinho has been phenomenal for Liverpool since joining them last winter. It was there for everyone to see, the lack of creativity in the Liverpool side when the Brazilian magician was out due to injury earlier this season. Having said that, I would not mind another of BR’s tricks to bring in a quality playmaker in January, with a lot of people pointing to Mata who seem to be out of Mourinho’s plans.
Liverpool’s forwards, what else to say except for the phenom Suarez and his striking partner Sturridge. Unfortunately the latter is injured and all the responsibility has fallen on Suarez’s shoulders and how he responded to the challenge? Well everybody knows… 4 goals against Norwich and another 2 against West Ham. Yes, these are middle to bottom table teams but still that amount of goals are remarkable. Aspas was brought in during the summer transfer window but has yet to impress and is also coming back from injury. Only time will tell whether he’s able to adapt to the team and show us what he’s really made of.
All in all, I think that Liverpool should strive to get a left back and an attacking midfield during the January transfer window and if a defensive midfield comes available at the right price, then go for that too.
As for the table standings come May, as I have said since the beginning of the season, Liverpool will be challenging for the top 4. Despite being second now, they do not have the quality yet to be title contenders – not that I would mind if they prove me wrong.