5 Jun 2013

'I made mistakes' - £13m LFC star vows to 'improve' in two areas. Too late...?

Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel recently admitted that he would 'seriously consider' any offers that come in for him this summer, and after continuously warming the bench for the last six months, his apparent desire to move on is definitely understandable. However, in a new interview, Skrtel accepts that his form nosedived last season, and he seems dead-set on recapturing his place in the team '

In May, Skrtel revealed that Reds boss Brendan Rodgers informed him that the team 'lacked the organisation and defensive leadership personality', which led to the Slovakian being dumped in favour of Jamie Carragher. He told Dennik Sport:

"I have not had any specific offers but, if some should come and they interest me, I would probably ponder it seriously.

"I am not saying that I want to leave at any cost. I feel sorry for what happened in this season. Obviously I was not happy [about being benched], and it bugged me"

Speaking to the official LFC website today, Skrtel appeared to accept that his form warranted his exclusion from the team:

"It wasn't my best season and I know I made a few mistakes. It could've been better. I'll do my best to improve and be better in the future".

He also outlined areas of his game he intends to improve:

"You can always learn something new. I try to improve my positional play and my game with the ball, so every single day I can improve something and that's what I try to do".

Skrtel's positioning is definitely an area that needs drastic improvement, especially when it comes to balls into the box on set-pieces. He's 28 years old now, though - can he really improve in this area, or is he too set in his ways.

With regards to his use of the ball - Skrtel's achieved 90% passing accuracy last season, which is amongst the best in the team.

Last month, Russian newspaper Isvestia claimed:

"Zenit are considering the possibility bringing Martin Skrtel back to the club. The National champions plan to strengthen their defensive line up with the return of Skrtel, who will have no problems adapting to the Russian league"

Former Russian footballer Boris Chuhlov believes that £13m-rated Skrtel would make a great acquisition for the club, but doubts that the Slovakian would actually make the move. He told Isvestia:

"Skrtel is good and reliable defender and his return would greatly increased competition for a place in the starting line-up. He would really help the team, but I don't think he would leave Liverpool. The only reason he might leave is to get a better, and the chance to appear in the Champions League"

Prior to joining Liverpool, Skrtel - described in February by Ray Houghton as being 'rash' and having 'a lot of deficiencies' - spent 4 years at Zenit, and in a recent interview, he revealed that he still watches out for the club's results. He said:

"I enjoyed my time in St. Petersburg; the the fans and the city were great. This team, which collected a large number of high-profile players, sets a very high goals. I always watch the progress of the Zenit and enjoy seeing their success"

Rafa Benitez's Napoli are also reportedly interested in Skrtel, and when asked about the possibility of a summer move to the Serie A club, his agent, Karol Csonto, told TMW:

"It is too easy to say, but if there is contact from Napoli then we will begin to evaluate it. Napoli are a great club and Benitez is a great coach, but Skrtel is a Liverpool player and for this reason he is already looking to the next season with the Reds."

Publicly touting himself to other clubs notwithstanding, it's good to see that Skrtel seemingly has the right attitude about his future at LFC, and that he's willing to work on fixing his alarming propensity for defensive mistakes. If he stays, however, will skrtel be first choice, or is he now stuck as a squad player?

With the Reds actively trying to sign new central defenders, it doesn't look good. Additionally, the arrival of Kolo Toure is surely a red flag. If Rodgers had faith in Skrtel, why would he sign a 32-year old central defender in the twilight of his career?

online polls

NOTE: Please stick to the Comment Policy (Click to read)


  1. He must stay

  2. sell now before its too late. hes got value right now. if we can get £10-12M for him we can add it to our budget. we will be signing tiago ilori. got toure and iago aspas. we've got kelly returning and we need to raise up £20M for Mkhitaryan. its a must we get this guy, he will send us straight back to Champions League. but other weaknesses in the team should not be ignored and i think we should sign Momo Diame from west ham for competition for lucas, mohamed salah as our new right winger and german left back Bastian Oczipka. 10 assists for frankfurt from left back and also very solid. he and carlos zambrano, who we are linked with, are great in defence together. altogether this summer we should get at least £30M from outgoing transfers and spend about £45M

  3. See this is what we want. Players who want to stay and fight. Too often fans just want us to sell players to replace them with others but they won't necessarily be an improvement. Skrtel hasn't become a poor player overnight but he had a poor season. Some players then run away but he wants to stay and fight. That's what makes a squad stronger, not constant swapping of players.

  4. Mr. Point Of View1:59 pm, June 05, 2013

    Agree for point his area need to improve. Agree he has a bad season (very costly mistake he does) . But cant put all the defensive problem to his shoulder (alone) thru out whole season.

    Maybe myself imo about how many times his service thru broken forehead still playing for our team. I know that doesnt count much or maybe tat dun save his as* getting kicked out soon.

    Last, no player is irreplaceable. If $ is right i will say sell. But today i vote KEEP on JK poll.

  5. liverpool4life5652:00 pm, June 05, 2013

    Sell for 13/14 million :)

  6. Agreed. I'm a bit tired of Brendan taking no public blame for Martin's apparent demise. If you were a centre-half, would you prefer to play the first half of a season for an unsettled side attempting a new style of play, or the 2nd half of that season when your team-mates have had time to adapt? Add to this the fact that Martin's rare opportunities to atone for his early season shakiness involved 2 games in which he played behind a non-existent midfield in a 4-2-4 formation, and it's fair to say that he's done well not to publicly moan about his treatment.

    Also, I personally feel that Skrtel has always played better when Carragher is nowhere near the first team. Skrtel strikes me as a fairly sensitive bloke, and he's admitted himself before that Carra's bollockings can be quite unsettling for him.

    I'd give him another chance to prove himself under improved circumstances - a steady midfield with proper defensive midfield cover, and no Jamie Carragher.

  7. Skrtel's not the worst defender in the world, and I believe if he does stay he will have a better season. If he goes I won't shed too many tears though.

    Personally I think Johnson has made more mistakes, but they're less noticeable because they are positional. Look how poor we are from balls swung in from the left Johnson always seems to be a foot or two out of position for those goals. It's a shame because every other area of his game he's rock solid

  8. I don't think the Kolo Toure signing has much effect on Skrtel's situation.

    With Carra leaving, we would have needed to bring in a defender anyway.

    If/when we sign another defender this summer, that will almost undoubtedly have an effect on Skrtel, unless it's a prospect.

  9. Skrtel and Agger both need to go. Agger made more mistakes that led to goals than any other player. And a lot of them, stupid concentration and awareness mistakes. The amount of goals we conceded from corners because Agger didn't stay with his man was outstanding. And of course, Skrtel can't really play football. He's an ok defender for the likes of Stoke and Swansea, but Liverpool need to climb back up the table and so need real quality defenders.

  10. agreed. hes 28 now, turning 29, if we manage to get around that price for him we can surely sign someone else younger and of better quality. maybe carlos zambrano from frankfurt or alderwerield from ajax. there both available for £8M. which would give us an extra £4m to go towards other transfers. our top target must be Henrikh Mkhitaryan. theres alot of bargains up in the summer.

    1.Keisuke Honda - he will be a free agent in november and refuses to sign a contract. heard not long ago we had a pre-contract for him but either way hes available for £3M this summer. i see a michu-type transfer in him, but hes already proven quality. michu werent.

    2.Momo Diame - his release clause is £3.5M. hurry up and activate it BR!!!


  11. As long as we get a good player in place of him, I see no problem in selling him.
    He may want to improve, but that doesn't mean he will. I want to score 10 goals in my next game, but I'm sure that I wont.
    I do like Skrtel, but it sounds like he isn't bothered if he goes or stays which kind of says to me that he may not put in the effort required to improve.

  12. Thought that in the past Carra gave a mouthful to everyone else, too, not only Skrtel.

    I didn't know it mattered after what games exactly Skrtel went public with his criticism of the manager. He did it, so I think your claim that he didn't go public is wrong.

    We probably could speculate all day long why Carra didn't do it anymore. Your guess may be right, or wrong. Maybe he just didn't care as much anymore or maybe he wanted to save his energy for something more important, like a decent performance. And perform decently he did indeed.

  13. So if I understand correctly everyone is to blame but Skrtel? I guess someone else was to blame for his mistakes that cost us wins against Arsenal and Citeh too. In the second half of the season. When we supposedly had this settled team. Skrtel had a poor season. He's admitted it so you can too :-) But I do hope he stays and we have him, Touré and Agger to pick from on top of some strong youngsters.That can only improve us as a team unless of course we start with a different CB pairing every other match

  14. He must be sold "ONLY" if we bag Papa

  15. They played zonal marking on corners as opposed to man marking.

    As a whole, the defense on set pieces was subpar (at best).

    Agge, when healthy, is one of the best CBs (top 5) in the premier league. Hence the interest from Man City last year.

    And Skrtel can play football just fine. Just a year ago, he was the player of the season for us. He had a bad year. It's not acceptable, but not unheard of. It happens.

    If he stays, he's going to need to step up his game or else he will be replaced.

  16. Despite his 90% passing rate, you could always sense a palpable around the stadium when he gets hold of the ball. He puts his team-mates under pressure with his passes. He's a defender, who even on form needs a World Class defender beside him.

  17. 'Publicly touting himslef to other clubs not withstanding'

    I don't understand how you gloss over Skrtels comments and castigate Riena for his .. In fact you find it 'understandable'

    You question people's objectivity with regard to the Reina situation and I've had a few conversation's with you on your articles attacking him at every opportunity in the past.. And again I'm proven right when..

    YOUR desire to see Reina leave LFC leads to these biased articles where a player who made comment's far worse than Reina's gets some understanding while Reina get's attacked by you at every opportunity.

    Any chance of some objectivity yourself..

  18. to be fair pepes only ever been after a move to one of the two spanish giants and never sulked when it has not come off,and at the moment it seems that lfc are more likely wanting to get rid of him to whoever matched there price just my opinion

  19. You say that but currently we have Agger, Skrtel, Toure, Coates, Wisdom, Kelly. It's not that weak.

    I think people are forgetting about just how good Toure is. He is a real leader. Captained to Title winning teams, his country etc. I love Carragher but Toure is alot more experienced and a better over all player. He is also hungary!!

  20. You are correct. I'm nearly sure Jamie wrote on article on it.

  21. I would play Coates


  23. I honestly dont see the need to sell Skrtel. Personally I think him being dropped from the team had more to do with it being Carra`s last season than anything else.

  24. For me the difference is "just cause". Srtkel hasn`t been played at all in in ages, I completely understand him wanting to play football, Suarez though has been getting loads of games and been supported by the club through so much, and that is why I feel his comments were out of line.

    I also feel there is a slight difference in what was said by both players.

  25. the only one sulkin is me cos its looks like uncle festa is stayin.. oh well thinks pepe I may as well stay and pick up my 100k a week ..if barca don't want me!! he thinks hes got us the bollocks . teach him a lesson fine him and sell him .he is crap and has been for 3 seasons

  26. should have read (got us by the bollocks)

  27. 13m with 2m in add ons sounds good :D

  28. his point is sound ......coates has pace and he was known in uruguay for his reading of the game not some bone crunching tackles

  29. No it's not moaning for the hell of it .. but thaks for the antagonistic start to your reply.

    have at every occasion defended your biased attacks on Reina, as you
    well know. But like Reina, you like to colour the picture in your favour
    and make me out to be moaning .. and it's not the first time either
    you've said this.

    This is MY opinion and observation as what I perceive to be as a biased coverage and criticism of a great servant to
    the club at every oppurtunity.

    You in your most recent article
    claimed Reina had been disrespectful to the club, and that he brazenly
    and shamelessly tout's himself out at every oppurtunity. But this
    doesn't count as castigating a player in your book.

    provide evidence of this 'repeated' behaviour, besides the 'it would be
    hard to say no to Barca' comment your so fond of using. Reina has
    repeatedly said he is happy at Liverpool, his family are happy at
    Liverpool at he has a good relationship with BR that he wants to build
    on. All comment's you conveniently neglect to mention in your articles.

    Reina, in YOUR opinion, is guilty of being disrespectful and shamlessly
    touting himself out to other clubs , then surely Skrtel is too. But he
    only done it 'once' so that's ok in your book .. that's a fairly poor

    Reina is I believe , as I have always believed and wanted, going to continue to be a LFC player.

    were trying to convince everybody for months( with the aid of Marca the
    bible ) he wasn't and now that it's more or less likely that I was
    right and not you, you cant resist pot shots at a player you desperately
    want to see moved on..

    Even if it means you come across as
    hypocritical or at the very least employ double standards when it comes
    to Reina and other players

  30. coates has WHAT ??? PACE that's the reason he cant get a look in he hasn"t got any .god ive never seen a22 year old as slow . more help needed me thinks ha ha

  31. maybe but it would not pay for an adiquit replacement

  32. Moaning for the hell of it??? SOunds like most of your articles :)

  33. It was all over the media, too. Well, not as much as the things Suaréz says and does, but nevertheless.

  34. Aren't you a bit hostile here towards Chris?

  35. I agree with you on the Suarez issue , and that all these types of comment's in the madness of transfer season aren't the greatest crimes in the world.

    But Reina's comment was in direct response to a question about a move to Barca.. a move that the media world had propagated. i.e Marca and the like.. He didn't say it off his own back..

    And it's a fair comment .. 99.9 per cent of footballers would find it hard to say no to barca if they came a knocking.

    Skrtel on the other hand gave a come and get me to ANY club.. which constitues touting yourself far more than Reina's response to a direct question about one club. If Skrtel wants to leave and play ball somewhere else fair enough, best of luck to him.

    My point is there hasn't been any balance on this site with regards the whole Reina Saga.. A) because JK doesn't want him at LFC anymore and B) he put's far too much weight in the stories from Marca when they are no better than the gutter press in England that fabricate stories daily to keep their circulation going.

  36. Spot on, Chris

  37. Shouldn't that read "white Coates" :-)

  38. Wisdom and Kelly have a combined zero appearances at centre-half for the first team. They may or may not one day play in the centre, but as per now I would consider them as back-up for our back-up in that position.

    Coates doesn't exactly seem to have a future with us. I like the guy, because he looks a bit like Stan Laurel in some pictures, and I hope he can still make it with us, but I don't see him every day in training. It's pretty obvious that our manager, and probably the rest of the coaching staff, don't see enough in him to be a first-team regular.

    That would leave us with Agger, Skrtel and Toure. Thought we were all not too sure about the latter's fitness level, as he didn't play much in the past two years. Is he perceived as back-up? Maybe. Skrtel seems to be on the market by the looks of it. Therefore, I stand by what I've said. Centre-back is where we need to strengthen first.

  39. he may look like stan .but has the pace of oliver !!!!!!!

  40. But he continually got us into another nice mess, just like Stan!

  41. go see again he runs quite fast

  42. i think we can afford to add 2m :P

  43. Cheers mate..

  44. Why was my response to your comment removed.. ?

    Is this part of your comment policy ? To remove somebody's opinion which was expressed in a rational and decorous manner, even though you were less than so yourself and antagonistic in yours.

  45. Can I ask if you felt my response to JK's response to my initial comment warranted removal ?

    You might also note he removed your comment about him being harsh on me .

    Is it just me or is this site getting a bit totalitarian ?

  46. I think he is good with the ball and shows some attacking threat while going forward with the ball much like Agger.

  47. ye were cash care free

  48. I think the point has been missed slightly. Skrtel's more obvious slip ups came in games in which Brendan was arguably more at fault than himself. Skrtel deserves another chance in my opinion because he has been the victim of a couple of tactical experiments by Rodgers whereas Carragher was praised by all quarters for his performances in a side that had played together regularly and which didn't change tactically as much - or wasn't as new an ideology - as the team's Skrtel played in.

  49. The point is that certain players don't respond well to that kind of barking attitude. Carragher is hailed in the media for his commanding attitude and shouting orders, but I personally think it's reductive to suggest that that kind of mentality is ideal.

  50. Jesus. I'd forgotten why I stopped visiting this site long ago. Cheers.
    "So if I understand correctly everyone is to blame but Skrtel?"
    Suffice to say, no, you haven't understood correctly.

  51. Then you probably need to express yourself better..

  52. I see what your saying.

    But right now as things stand, we have just swapped Carragher for Toure. An upgrade IMO.

    We have 3 class CB's and Coates who plays internationally for a top class team.

    Last season Agger and Skrtel were considered two of the best in the league and clubs were looking at paying 20M for them.

    There has been a lot of talk of Kelly moving into the centre. He is a serious talent, his progress has just been stalled recently by injury but hopefully the worst of these are over.

  53. Yeah, I'm sure THAT'S it Eric.

  54. Well I'm glad we agree then. So go ahead, give it another try. I'm listening.

  55. Not at all - a manager would make such a sentimental choice for a game or two, not for half a season. And if that was the case, Carragher wouldn't have been made a benchwarmer for the first half of the season.

    The simple fact was that Carragher was much better than Skrtel last season (and better than Agger also imo!)

  56. The sooner Skrtel is replaced with a superior option, the better.

    Then again, I actually think that Toure and Kelly would make better options than him already, so he wouldn't be missed even if we fail to bring in anybody else

  57. Carra only announced his retirement at around Xmas time, which oddly went hand in hand with him going into the first team again. The simple fact was as Carra hadn`t told people he was retiring why would a manager pay him due to him retiring?

  58. I think his performances against Man U and Oldham had more to him being dropped.

  59. Do you not remember his game against oldham?

  60. By any chance have you watched any games this season?

    For me his performance against Man u was bad but against Oldham.. OMFG..

    He let Matt Smith bully him and stan, it was embarrassing to watch.

    Against a striker like RVP you think okay, but Matt Smith !!!!

  61. If what way can BR be at fault? MS's job is to defend and this season he has failed at that job.

    You want BR to tackle for him?

  62. No. I avoid outliers when analyzing a player completely. Oldham game was a collective failure of all players. Coates NEVER EVER got a chance to prove himself. By chance I mean 5 league games at a trot. Its a biggest flaw of Liverpool transfer policy and player management. Buying prospect for 7mn and not even giving 7 league games is seriously stupid. Lose Lose situation for player, club and fans.

  63. I've covered this above.

  64. As I mentioned above, Rodgers played him in an unsettled side in a 4-4-2. This is all mentioned above.

  65. Well that's a very valid point - Skrtel hasn't exactly set the world on fire. In the past, I've been a big critic of him myself. But I felt it became evident that he played quite well when he was in charge of his own decisions - and by that I mean he was good when Carragher wasn't ordering him around. When he was allowed to boss his own defence, I thought he played his best football. Saying that, those occasions were sadly infrequent.