Why 2011/12 will be a successful season for LiverpoolPosted: August 28, 2011
After the debacle that was Roy Hodgson’s reign as Liverpool manager, the Kop faithful had their prayers answered when club legend Kenny Dalglish returned to the helm to take charge of the Reds once again. After a fantastic second half of the season under his influence, its easy to understand why optimism is at a high for the fans, with a number of reasons for why they have much to be excited about this season after an already impressive start, with 3 wins and 1 draw.
Liverpool had been crying out for a new star signing having lacked one since Fernando Torres, and Dalglish’s first signing since returning in January 2011 has proved to be his best bit of business so far when he signed Luis Suarez from Ajax for £22.8 million, also becoming the club’s record signing for a few hours before Andy Carroll signed for £35 million.
Luis made an instant impact, scoring on his debut in front of the Kop against Stoke City, but he showed the very best of his abilities in March when he single handedly tore the Man United defence apart in a 3-1 victory over the Red Devils at home, setting up 2 of the 3 goals scored by Dirk Kuyt.
Suarez impact has certainly been felt already this year, appearing head and shoulders above the rest in almost all 4 games already this season, scoring 3 goals in 4 games and showed how his presence on the pitch can change when his introduction against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium saw him create one goal and then score a tap in with minutes to go.
He is one of the most exciting players in not only the League, but probably the world right now and he will be crucial to Liverpool’s bid to regain their status as a top 4 team again.
Other Transfer Activity
Although he’s had the biggest impact, Suarez isn’t the only exciting player King Kenny has signed, and could be about to bring his total number of acquistions for 2011 to 8 with a new centre back to come in.
In addition two the January signings of Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll, their have been some exciting arrivals in this summers transfer window, most notably winger Stewart Downing and left back Jose Enrique, two problem area’s for Liverpool in recent years. Jordan Henderson, one of the most expensive Premiership signings of the summer is also the youngest Liverpool acquisition, and after an initially nervy start to life at Anfield, he looks he might be starting to settle after a cracking performance against Bolton yesterday.
Xabi Alonso has never truly been replaced, but in Charlie Adam they may have found an answer as he brings the same exquisite range of passing and the ever valuable asset of being a set piece specialist. Finally, Doni, the Italian joined Liverpool as the understudy of Pepe Reina, and apart from a cup game or two, its highly unlikely he will dislodge the Spaniard from the starting line up.
Uruguayan defender Sebastian Coates looks set to become the next player to don the red jersey, having completed a medical and all that is needed now for the colossal centre back is to sign the paper work. Craig Bellamy has also been linked with a return.
One thing is for certain, they’ve come a long way in 12 months when they were signing Paul Konchesky and Christian Poulsen for the starting 11! To quote Mort Goldman: “Those were very bad times!”
The Inevitable fall of Arsenal
In a season where Arsenal have already lost key players, a growing injury list and a still ever present problem with constant bookings, Arsenal’s problems are just growing all the time, but Arsenal’s fall could be Liverpool’s gain in their efforts to achieve a top 4 finish.
Usually you’d put money on them to finish up there, but this season its looking very bleak for the Gunners, with Arsene Wenger proving to be very stubborn in the transfer market and just looks to be plain out of ideas at the moment and they and remind me of the 2009/10 Liverpool side.
Things might pick up, maybe i’m being too quick to judge, but I think Arsenal’s fall has been coming for some time now as they appeared to become weaker each season and unless they act quick in the transfer market, it could be a very long season for Arsene’s men.
Its been a while since this man has played for Liverpool, but his return in September could be huge for the team and the way they play.
No one can undermine the influence Gerrard has on the team, he drives them forward and is simply sublime on form, but unfortunately he’s missed that in the past two seasons due to a mix of injuries and what seemed to be a lack of confidence.
If ‘Stevie G’ has hopefully put the worst of his injuries behind him, his presence in the side could see an even more exciting attack minded Liverpool side, and playing under Dalglish would be a dream for him having watched him guide the club to their last League title in 1990;
I’ve watched Gerrard enough to know what he brings to the game, and I am fully confident his return will play a major role in inspiring Liverpool towards that top 4 finish.
No European Football
The lack of European football for Liverpool this season disappointed many, but if you ask me, it could be a blessing in disguise.
In order for Liverpool to get back to where they want to be, a season without the distraction of European football could benefit Liverpool as they can put a near sole focus on the Premiership.
It will also allow Dalglish to keep his regular starting 11 together, rather than changing the team around for European games as they continue to gel together.
Its fair to say the club is still in a rebuilding process and European football is a distraction Dalglish could do without in his first full season back at Liverpool.
Should they qualify for Champions League football next season and keep the majority of this seasons squad, the Scot will then have a very settled squad to play with for top European honours next year.
Its already there for us all to see, Kenny Dalglish has great ambition and is taking no competition for granted as he’s already shown by fielding a fairly strong starting 11 against Exeter in the 2nd Round of the Carling Cup on Wednesday.
Its this kind of attitude the likes of Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger don’t show, often playing a completely different 11 in the early rounds, and end up being punished for it, but its this ambition to achieve that makes success all the more likely to come along sooner rather than later.
Kenny also has the freedom to drop a few players for the early rounds, with a much greater strength in depth than last season, so you wouldn’t really say he is fielding a weakened team, because its not weaked, just changed.
I think Liverpool have a great shot at the Carling Cup, they’re taking it seriously and thats whats needed, Its an attitude vital in the League too, because although people determine title challengers by how they do against each other, I for one think a potential League winner is decided by how complacent they are against the smaller Premiership teams, and its dropping points in these matches tend to define how the top half of the table looks at the end of the season.
There’s a lot to cheer about if you’re a Liverpool supporter. A Premiership proven manager who also happens to be a club legend, a squad who play as a team and show a massive amount of confidence and most importantly, the club is in the safe hands of John Henry and Tom Werner, who are running the club professionally and are playing a big part in taking the club back to the top. Fenway Sports Group have done it before too, taking the Boston Red Sox to all new heights in baseball over in America.
Do you agree ? Is this going to be a successful season for Liverpool ? Please be sure to leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.