One man who has seemingly got better and better under the managerial leadership of Rafa Benitez is full back Steve Finnan – the new Mr. Consistency who looks to be enjoying the best form of his career currently.
Finnan has been impressive down the right of defence and getting forward more often to supply some effective crosses for the likes of Crouch and Morientes.
When Benitez arrived at Anfield he made Spaniard Josemi his first signing – and some may have predicted it would spell the end for the Republic of Ireland international. And in Rafa’s early days Finnan was played on the right of midfield more often than in the back four.
But injuries to Josemi meant Finnan regained his more natural full back position and he hasn’t looked back since.
With Jamie Carragher now receiving all the plaudits he so deserves yet in the past hadn’t received, many have tagged Finnan our new ‘Unsung Hero’. It’s a tag he doesn’t mind: “I don’t mind that at all. I had the tag ‘unsung hero’ at others clubs. It’s nice to get some recognition but it’s more important to me the team is playing well and winning,”
Finnan’s form prompted Benitez to public praise him last week and that didn’t go un-noticed: “I saw what the manager said about me over the weekend. It’s nice when you know he has confidence in you, but you can’t always take a lot of notice of what you read in the press because it’s easy to get complacent.”
“Maybe I’m at a peak now. I’m touching 30 this season, which a lot of people may not realise. But I’m still looking to learn even more from the play-ers around me and the manager.
“Hopefully over the next few years I can win more trophies and improve even more as a player.” We agree, Steve!
Finnan’s form during the month of February makes him a front-runner for the TIA player of the month award. Registered members can place their vote here.
In other news, Momo Sissoko is said to be making progress following his horrific eye injury – but is extremely unlikely to play again this season. A spokesman for LFC said “The surgeon who examined Momo yesterday was pleased with his progress.” Get well soon.