11 Apr 2014

Redknapp: Forget SAS - 'excellent' £16m star is 'essential' to LFC's success. Player of the Year...?

However this season ends, Liverpool's attacking players will receive most of the plaudits for the team's scintillating form, with Luis Suarez likely to win the club's internal player of the year award. However, in my view, Martin Skrtel is equally deserving, and Jamie Redknapp has hailed the Slovakian's influence on the team this year.

In his column for the Daily Mail this week, Redknapp reserved special praise for Skrtel, who put in another great performance against West Ham. He enthused:

"So much is said about Liverpool’s attacking players but I was really impressed by Skrtel, [who] has been excellent this season. There were doubts that he may not feature much but he has been essential to their success"

Like Suarez, Skrtel - recently described by Rodgers as 'exceptional' - has overcome adversity this season to become an integral part of Liverpool's title charge, and his proactive, can-do attitude is a great example to the young players in the squad. Skrtel's stats this season are also pretty formidable:

* Clearances: 356 (Best in the Prem)
* Total passes: 1460 (3rd, behind Hendo and Gerrard)
* Pass accuracy: 90.7%
* More league goals than Henderson and Coutinho (!)
* Duels won: 66.7%
* Aerial Duels Won: 69.2%
* Recoveries: 148
* Tackles Won: 77.5%

It's six years since Rafa Benitez signed Skrtel for £6.5m, and overall, it's fair to say that he's definitely been a bargain at that price. The Slovakian is now rated in the £16m range, so if the Reds were to cash-in, there's (potentially) a huge profit to be made.

On the subject of Benitez, it's interesting to note that four years after he left Anfield, five of his signings - Agger, Skrtel, Sterling, Lucas, and Johnson - remain an integral part of the current Liverpool team, and have played a huge part in the Reds' charge for the title.

Conversely, only three of Rodgers' signings - Mignolet, Sturridge, and Coutinho - have played consistently across the whole season. I haven't researched it, but I suspect that it's quite rare to have five players from a previous regime still propping up a team 4 years after the signing-manager leaves.



  1. What were peoples thoughts of Sakho in the West Ham game? I thought he looked solid.

  2. Yes, he was solid

  3. I think it really confirms the fact that we have always had a core of players, each individually capable of playing at the highest level. All that was needed was a good tactical manager whos extremely aware of how players should develop tactically and technically to improve the team collectively.

  4. Next season i hope that LFC will not sell out Sebastian Coates and Tiago Ilori before they proven the best yet.Both players having big potential to shining as new stars for the future and also very versatile centreback who can operate as CDM or Midfielfder.Please trust and give oppurtunity to them.

  5. poor lad SC needs confidence. So hard now to grasp. but like you say , i second.

  6. I think Rodgers has been good for him and maybe the drama of potentially leaving the club has helped him mature. If his problems were about concentration then it's often just the attitude that needs adjusting. Rodgers insists on players giving 100% and being in the right mindset and when your own career depends on it you soon realise that something has to change. no doubt he's worked incredibly hard so credit to him for lifting his game to another level. He's certainly been one of our top 3 players this year alongside SAS. I rank his contribution above Gerrard, Henderson and Sterling. We need to keep him here and look to solidify our defence, not start mixing it up. I'd really be surprised to see us sell any of our defenders, even if Agger continues to be an injury risk and Johnson has a question mark over his contract. We need to start next year with a predictable back four and that means maybe only 1 or 2 new players, probably both wing-backs. If we then find that some players are surplus to our needs we can let them go, but in the first instance it's better to have an over-abundance of depth rather than a lack.

    For all of Rafa's dud signings it's never in question that he found some gems. If you made a starting 11 of Rafa's best signings it would be a very good team. He just had to sign so many players to finally get a few right. I can sympathise with that. In my work I often have to get things wrong at least once before I come out with a final solution that's proper top quality. Maybe that's why I never got too bothered with Rafa's duds. At least he wasn't stubborn enough to keep sticking with players who didn't do the job, he was never shy about moving a player on who didn't perform.

  7. Skrtel struggled to adapt to Rodgers playing style last season but has been a totally different player this season and well done to him for stepping up his game.

    As for player of the year, Suarez IMO should and will win it hands down.

  8. People have been saying that Skrtel has been consistent all year. I disagree. I thought once he came back in he was good an he has gotten better and better all season (barring a couple of slip ups). I have been critical of Martin in the past and for good reason but he has been fantastic this year. It's a pity we have had so many injuries in the defence as it's hard to say what they would have been like with consistent players throughout the season.

  9. He was and to top it off he had 96% passing accuracy. He is so comfortable on the ball it's weird. If he didn't have gangly legs people would think more of him in this respect.

  10. Coates played yesterday for Nacional in the Copa Libertadores, no idea how he played, but he got about 40 minutes at the end of the game, should be getting some more game time over the next couple of months, and has a good shout at making the World Cup squad.

  11. Redknapp is always making the kind of comments to 'STAND OUT' from the norm. A hippie of his time. The accolade goes to Suarez this season for sure.
    On a side note, its heartening to know that while Rafa has left for many years, the seeds that he has sown continues to feed the club until today.