24 Aug 2008

It only took 14 years...

Liverpool have won their opening two premiership games for the first time in a staggering 14 years. Yes, you read that right: 14 years.

The last time the club achieved this seemingly rare feat was back in the 1994-95 season. Roy Evans was at the helm; club legends John Barnes, Jan Molby and Ian Rush were still going strong; Phil Babb and Neil Ruddock were in defence (*shudder*); Kenny Dalglish managed Blackburn to an improbable Premiership triumph and Robbie Fowler scored 31 goals in all competitions.

Oh, and the team eventually finished 4th. Sound familiar?

It really is quite astounding that it's taken 14 years for the club to record such a good start to the season. Not that it really means anything, I mean look at last season – the club was unbeaten in its first 14 premiership games and still couldn't build on that solid foundation.

Liverpool have been fantastically lucky in the first two games – turgid, creatively void performances have been converted into undeserved wins by the club's only two real match-winners.

And as a result, over-optimistic (deluded?) fans are already wheeling out the cliché of clichés : “Winning when not playing well is the form of champions!”

Really? Well Liverpool have been winning games whilst not playing well for years but the premiership trophy is still as far away as ever.

The fact is, Liverpool have struggled against two teams they should be beating with comparative ease.

Any team that is serious about winning the premiership should be brushing aside the likes of Middlesborough at home and Sunderland away. The fact the team made such hard work of these games does not bode well for the tougher games to come.

Winning the first two games is admittedly great and – performances notwithstanding - it's obviously the best the fans could have hoped for. However, the victories merely paper over the cracks of the club's ongoing creativity problem.

The following problems still need to be addressed:

1. Left wing – Ryan Babel is NOT the answer.
2. Right wing – Dirk Kuyt is DEFINITELY NOT the answer.

Liverpool need to build on their good start to the season by signing DEDICATED WIDE PLAYERS before the transfer window closes. That means a left-footer on the left and someone who regularly plays wide on the right.

And if that means signing Stewart Downing and Sean Wright Philips then so be it! At least we'd then have dedicated, premiership proven wide players for once.

Many Liverpool fans seem opposed to the signing of both players – Downing in particular - but they have *surely* got to be better options than Yossi Benayoun, Ryan Babel and the lumbering, creatively bereft Dirk Kuyt?

I just can't face another season with Dirk Kuyt as the club's first choice right midfielder. As such, if Rafa fails to sign any wide players before August 31st then in my view he will be guilty of gross managerial negligence.

1 comment:

  1. It's Middlesbrough,not Middles*boro*ugh...They put up a good show against the top four,So,lets be realistic when talking about brushing aside clubs.

    While I agree that our style of play was dismal to say the least,it got us the results and saw a better link-up between Torres and Keane.So,some positives there.(Alonso,sadly,had an off day)

    I certainly don't condone the scrappy style of football being employed but the stylish Arsenal lost to a purely relegation-zone Fulham...there's no excuse for that.

    So,while I'd greatly prefer improvement in our style department,I'll settle for these minor improvements and hope for better things.And you are absolutely right about Kuyt.He is hopeless,we should've sold him when Martin Jol came calling.