Saturday, July 28, 2007

Pre-Season Thoughts

Well, yesterday a senior Liverpool team were denied their first trophy (albeit a meaningless one) of the season by losing a penalty shoot-out, in which Reina failed to save any and neither Torres nor Benayoun could score from the spot... Today a young Liverpool XI drew with Colchester United at Layer Rd.

I haven't generally dignified pre-season matches with coverage, but thought I may as well express my feelings on the coming season:

I was disappointed to see Bellamy and, more particularly, Gonzalez axed from the squad instead of being given more time (At least we made a profit on the former, and I suspect there may be non-football reasons behind the latter).

Torres is obviously a good striker, but his record in Spain is only about 1 in 3 and I'm not really sure he's the main to fire us to a title challenge. An improvement on what we had before certainly, but a big risk for £20+m.

Ryan Babel is supposed to be very promising, but I haven't seen anything of him yet, and from what I hear it's not clear where he'll play - he's really a forward who likes to drift out left (like Henry in that respect), but I think he may play left wing, at least at first.

Formation-wise, from what I can tell we've mostly employed a 4-4-2 over pre-season, which surprises me. I'd have expected we might use either 4-3-3, with Babel/Kewell left-sided striker and Pennant or Kuyt on the right, or adopt Benitez' Valencia 4-2-3-1, which would line up something like:
(Back 5: Reina, Finnan, Carra, Agger, Riise/Aurelio)
2 defensive midfielders: Alonso, Sissoko, Mascherano
Right attacking midfield: Pennant, Gerrard, Benayoun, Kuyt
Central attacking midfield/link man: Gerrard, Voronin, Kuyt, Leiva
Left attacking midfield: Kewell, Babel
Lone striker: Torres, Crouch, Kuyt

Overall, some expensive new signings have certainly whetted my appetite, but so far they're untested and need time to gel. Man Utd have spent more, while Chelsea and Arsenal have relatively settled squads, so I'm not going to go crazy and suggest we'll win the league or anything. To be honest, I'd be happy if we hold onto 3rd provided we run the top two much closer and have a good run in the Champions League and one domestic cup (hopefully using youth teamers)

1 comment:

  1. Bad luck on the penalty shoot-out - those things really are a lottery.