Mid-Term Report: Liverpool FC

Current Standings: 6th – Pts: 34, GD: +9

Best XI (4-4-2): Pepe Reina; Glen Johnson, Daniel Agger, Martin Sketel, Jose Enrique; Craig Bellamy, Lucas Leiva, Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing; Dirk Kuyt, Luis Suarez.

The Season in a Few Words:

Drawing games they dominate. Big money spent on flops.

The Manager:

Kenny Dalglish. The King of Liverpool has done a fine job at rejuvenating the club. Since he took over a year ago, he’s steady the ship and implemented his own brand of attacking football. Able to press high up and take the game to their opponents or play scintillating counter attacking football, Kenny has made Liverpool a dangerous and impressive unit.

Key Player This Season:

Luis Suarez – the problematic Uruguayan has been in good form this season, but constant issues (most notably the racism case against United’s Patrice Evra which has resulted in a 8 game ban) has put Suarez in the limelight for all the wrong reasons. Sparkling when on the ball, the little striker has been a beacon of creativity for the Liverpool and has chipped in with a couple of goals too. Dalglish will have to make sure he controls his emotions if they are to grab a European placing.

Best Player This Season:

Lucas Leiva – A colossal rock at the base of the Liverpool midfield, he’s been in fantastic form until ligament damage ended his season. His hard work, tough tackling provided a base for others on the team to express themselves and get forward. Charlie Adam has benefitted most, with the Scotsman pulling the strings at the back thanks to Lucas’ covering the defensive work. Will be sorely missed. 

Worst Player this Season:

Andy Carroll. £35 million; Two goals; Zero assists. Enough said.

Most improved Player:

Lucas Leiva – read above.

Best Signing this Season:

Charlie Adam. An absolute steal for £7 million. Dictating play from the midfield and forming a lethal understanding with Leiva, Adam has grown in his role and become a crucial part of the midfield. Has played all 18 games so far and is leading his side’s assists chart with five in the league this season. Has secured his place in Starting Eleven week in and out. 

Best Match they played:

Chelsea 1 – Liverpool 2.  The Kop travelled to West London for what is becoming a derby of sorts. Liverpool started in bright fashion and controlled the tempo in the first half and lead 1-nil thanks to a Maxi Rodriguez strike after some Barcelona build up. Chelsea came back early in the second half with Sturridge levelling the scores. But Liverpool held firm, playing on the counter and nicked it at the end with a Glen Johnson to compound Chelsea’s miserable week even further.

Worst Match they played:

Tottenham 4 – Liverpool 0/ Liverpool 1 – Blackburn 1. A split between getting trounced 4-0 by Spurs at White Hart Lane in which they were totally outclassed. And drawing 1-1 with basement dwellers Blackburn. At home.

What they need to do:

Get Carroll playing like he is worth £35 million. Slowly implement and find a place Steven Gerrard in the line-up without harming the chemistry of the team. Win the games they are dominating and especially at home, where they have won only three games and drawn six. Hope that Suarez beats his 8-game racism ban.

Prediction for 2012:

Dalglish is slowly building a team and no doubt it will take time. A Champions League place would be fantastic result come the end of the season. A bit out of reach maybe this term, but a Europa League place isn’t too bad either. 6th.

 Andrew Bishara

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