1 Mar 2017

'Ridiculous': Aldo slates £78m Liverpool duo for going 'missing' vs. Leicester and causing 'damage' by HT

Liverpool legend John Aldridge has blasted two of Liverpool's midfielders for their lack of fight and physical presence during Monday's Premier League defeat at Leicester City.

In his column for the Liverpool Echo, Aldo argued that Liverpool lack players with 'aggression, physicality and character', and singled out two players for specific criticism:

"Monday night showed much we miss Henderson he’s not there. It was ridiculous how light we looked in midfield without him. Emre Can and Gini Wijnaldum went missing in the first half, and the damage was done by half-time".

This is an argument I've regularly made for years: Liverpool's first team squad is totally devoid of real men, i.e. imposing, self-confident, *vocal* leaders with relentless drive, who constantly demand high standards even if it means putting noses out of joint. In other words, the squad is short of the football equivalent of Alpha Males, and Liverpool are proof positive that a team made up of metrosexual Beta Males will never win anything.

Examples of the type of player I'm talking about: Graeme Souness, Kenny Dalglish, Emlyn Hughes (or basically most of the players from Liverpool's 70s/80s heyday); Roy Keane, John Terry, Steve McMahon, Dietmar Hamann, Jamie Carragher, Sergio Ramos, Carles Puyol, Patrick Vieira, Tony Adams, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Luis Suarez (who, admittedly, went too far!) The list goes on.

In my view, this is the single biggest problem Liverpool have to fix. Signing good players is one thing, but without proper leadership on the field it's ultimately futile. Since 1990, Liverpool have signed great players like Alonso, Torres, Mascherano, Suarez etc, but how many titles has the club won? A big fat zero, and it's no surprise that the title drought has coincided with a perennial lack of alpha male personalities in the squad.

In Liverpool's glory years, the team was filled with big, vocal personalities all over the pitch, but now, it's stuffed full of meek, and mollycoddled milksops who hide away when the going gets tough. How often do you see Coutinho cajoling his team-mates? When does Firmino ever demand positional discipline from midfielders or full-backs? When was the last time Lallana or Wijnaldum stepped-up and took a prominent (unprompted) vocal leadership role on the field?

I want to see Souness-like fire on the pitch; I want to see players shouting instructions at each other without being afraid of offending someone's fragile ego; I want Liverpool to have a captain who'll castigate players on the field if the situation demands it. I want players with this kind of attitude:

* Wijnaldum and Can: £78m combined value (What a joke)


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