Liverpool Football Club saw the busiest summer transfer window of the last decade this close season with no less than 11 new players joining the club while a massive 15 players went in the opposite direction. This summer was always going to be pivotal to the club’s fortunes as a good window would ensure that they consolidate their place close to the summit of the Barclays Premier League while a poor one would banish the former greats to mid-table mediocrity.
With the transfer window closed, the Reds will be one of the few clubs who can truly raise their hand and declare that their business is done. In fact, they could have said this on the 25th of August, the day they signed Balotelli. At this point of time it is fair to say that Liverpool have a totally new squad at their disposal.
Of the 11 players signed in this window, a whopping eight have been signed for straight inclusion to the first team, and of those eight, six have already gone on to make their debuts in the opening two games of the season. The two players who are yet to feature for the Reds are Adam Lallana and Mario Balotelli. The former is recovering from an injury sustained at the start of pre-season while the latter was only signed on Monday. This clearly proves that Rodgers has, quite obviously, signed these players because he wants to play them right now. This is unlike what a certain team (no points for guessing which one) does when they buy players with the intention of farming them out on loan or fielding them once in a blue moon.
Alongside their brand new squad of 26 top class players, Liverpool also seem to have developed an all new strategy for this season. Last year the Reds had a terrific attacking flow to their game and the 101 goals they scored just goes to prove how good they were.
However, it was always pretty evident that they had only one way to do their scoring, that was by passing and moving at speed. This method was wonderfully effective on most occasions, but against certain teams who prefer to play the 8-1-1 formation, they would come up short.
This year, the Reds have developed a Plan B that they can put to use when things aren’t going their way. The Plan B quite obviously includes Rickie Lambert in the box and crosses being swung in from the flanks. This tactic has already been used by Rodgers’ men in both the games they played this season and it has borne fruit on both occasions.
In the Reds opening game of the season, Rickie Lambert was brought on with the game tied at 1-1 and the winner resulted from a ball into the box. The game against Manchester City also saw Lambert being brought on and once again the only goal we scored on the night came from a cross into the box that was bundled over the line.
All in all, the Reds seem to be ready for another long campaign of top class football after having strengthened their squad and finding a Plan B. At the same time however, we need to keep in mind that the 19 other teams in the League will have strengthened as well and I personally feel that Liverpool will not be able to reach the dizzy heights they did last year. Manchester City and Chelsea have both bought well and both are off to a flyer, hence, the chances of Liverpool finishing higher than those two are very low.
Liverpool need another 100 goal season to give last season’s champions a run for their money but there is no guarantee of that happening once again, especially now that we are without Suarez. A top four finish looks much more possible and I expect Liverpool to secure third place with minimal fuss.
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Tags: Liverpool FC