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Posts tagged “United States

A Long Awaited Liverpool Recap

I started this blog as an exclusive Liverpool blog, but I then started to venture into other sports. Then the blog died. But after this blog has come back to life again, and after adding two new members in, me and my colleagues have focused a lot on baseball partly because it was (and still is) in playoffs mode, but also because we had a lot of topics to discuss. Time to cover some soccer (or football as some might say).

I was really looking forward for the start of this season. I think it was quite clearly established that Liverpool was in rebuilding mode with a vision to forge a strong team to compete for honors down the road. A concept like that is quite common in the United States, where teams tank, have great draft picks and therefore get the privilege to draft the best prospects from colleges, high schools and sports academies. In Britain (or any other country besides USA), such a concept is not in place for a variety of reasons. First of all, there is no draft system. Secondly, if you tank, you actually get demoted to a lower league and then would have to fight with the teams in the league below to get promoted back up to the Premier league. So obviously Liverpool couldn’t afford to do any of that. But what Brendan Rodgers had in mind with the FSG sports group company was to purchase and develop young talented players who were undervalued or unappreciated in the market. And during last season and the offseason, they did just that. Rodgers brought in a variety of young players into the team while also spending his resources carefully and wisely and also went on to sell off the players that did not fit his vision for the future anymore. And he got a lot of stick for it last season since people were talking about how Liverpool were not doing so well and some went on to even say Rodgers should be sacked, which just irritates me to no end. The idea that just sacking managers will solve problems is really short-sighted and stupid in my opinion, but I digress. With all these new players in the team, I couldn’t wait to see how they would perform this season. And they did not fail to amaze me

The combination of Sturridge and Suarez in the front is something that is thriving and if Suarez does stay with Liverpool, its going to be a partnership that will not cease to amaze. It reminds me of the days when Gerrard and Torres came together to create a deadly partnership during their Champions League Run (seems like such a long time ago). With Coutinho, the midfield finally has someone who has the knack to find a slot to drop the ball in or create an open space out of nowhere to feed the ball to a striker. With Henderson also nurturing and maturing, hes actually looking to be quite a promising lad for the future. Mignolet seems to also be quite a bargain to fill up the goalkeeping void left by Reina. Sakho is going to be one hell of a mouthwatering prospect to fill in Liverpool’s desperate need of a solid Center back to shuffle with Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel. And Brendan Rodgers isnt done just with that. He has Samel Yesil, Luis Alberto, Tiago Ilori, Jordan Ibe and Aspas all in the reserves developing to strengthen the squad even further and take them to the next level. Rodgers isnt short minded, he knows what his job is and I think with his job security being quite solid and the backing of Liverpool’s ownership and the fans, hes going to have enough time to develop his project into fruition.

As I speak, Liverpool is sitting in 3rd place, 2 points behind leaders Arsenal. And there are some clear improvements with the team. The defense is still suspect and I fear that Rodgers Achilles heel in his tactics is his defensive approach. Another thing that quite worries me is that Liverpool play really well with a lot of possession during the first half of every game and then cling on to a lead during the second half with immense pressure from the opposition. Its clearly a work in progress but it is paying quite some dividends already. With time, patience and a good team chemistry, I personally think this team can develop into someone who can challenge for titles or atleast be in the mix. But for now, lets keep our feet on the ground, enjoy seeing a new team nurture and watch Manchester United sit in 12th place.