Saturday, July 19, 2008

Wislaw Krakow 1-1 Liverpool

This was Liverpool's sternest test of pre-season so far, against the current Polish champions (who, btw, played their first team and are only a week away from the start of their season proper).

It was pleasing to see a bit more of some fringe players, but I have to say that aside from Pacheco (and maybe Insua) none have really caught the eye while the new signings have yet to impress. Buying Cavalieri for £3m and selling Carson for £4m hardly strikes me as good business, even if the former will presumably be happier on the bench. Can't really comment on Dossena after one game (even Skrtel looked shaky at first), but with Degen ruled out tonight after a minor knock I think it was evident Derby and Hobbs offer less going forward but are more solid defensively. I wonder if Degen may get tried at right midfield, if we stick with 4-4-2 - or if Rafa is planning to try playing wingbacks again as we seem to have the players for it.

Leto's lack of final product is frustrating. Spending so much time on the sidelines probably hasn't helped his development but with his permit/passport problems apparently not yet solved I'd be tempted by the rumoured £1.3m offer from Olympiakos. I also hear that Voronin is attracting interest from Germany and, while he's looked quite good in pre-season (this his second goal), a bid of £3m for a player we signed on a free last summer does look good business - although we'll need another striker (at least) until Nemeth and Pacheco are ready to step up. The worrying thing is that players like Voronin and Benayoun have looked a class above most of those they're playing with so far, but they're not up to the standard we need.

So far, not too impressed with the summer's transfer business then, or on-going wrangling over Alonso, Barry and Keane, but there's still some time so room for hope I guess.

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