Our 3-1 destruction of the mancs on Sunday resulted in an epic celebration that left me nursing a hang-over of biblical proportions the next morning, but it was worth it. A great performance, a thoroughly deserved victory, a hat-trick by Deadly Dirk, Nani squealing like a pig, Ferguson struck dumb, a first look at Andy Carroll and The Kop singing Happy Birthday to Kenny, it just doesn’t get much better than that!
The energy and commitment from our players was terrific, everyone played like a Dirk Kuyt except for Dirk Kuyt who played like a Gary Lineker and Suarez zig zagged through the manc defence as if he was trapped in the crosshairs of Carlos the Jackal! I’m really enjoying the football at the moment, the little Red shoots of recovery and the mini revival we’ve been having under Dalglish. I’ve obviously particularly enjoyed our victories over the mancs and the chavs but I’m not getting too carried away because the games we’ve played between those matches have shown us there is still a long road ahead of us and a lot of work to be done.
Firstly I’d like to see King Kenny sorted out with a decent contract as soon as possible. He is clearly the right man to get us back on track and he is a respected figure among supporters and players throughout the game. Getting him signed up to a contract is the number one priority to ensure we have continuity and take a little of the uncertainty away from next season when I think the minimum requirement will surely be a return to the CL places. I believe this will happen but I hope the owners don’t drag their heels about it and wait until the summer because announcing a contract for Dalglish would give everyone a huge boost and it would be a shame to waste it at a time when there’s no football to be played.
Once Kenny is signed up it will be time to sort out the squad. Under Rafa I always felt that with everyone fit we could put out a strong first eleven that could compete with anyone home or away but beyond that our squad was too weak and light on quality to sustain a challenge. These days our overall squad is still too light and even with everyone fully fit, I also have my doubts about our first eleven.
Kenny can be at his inspirational best but if he hasn’t got the tools to work with, he can’t do the job. John Henry recently said that everything they do at the club is designed towards bringing the title back to Anfield but to do that they are going to have to dig deep. By my reckoning we need to bring in at least five first team quality players in the summer, even more if possible. Players to beef up the first team and the overall squad.
In defence we need a good quality left back with attacking qualities that can get down the line and help the attack. Johnson and Kelly are good options on the right side and we’ve got a good mix of players for the centre, a new face would be nice but other areas are more of a priority for us right now in my opinion.
I think our midfield is the area that needs the most work. We need another option for the centre, if not Charlie Adam then a Charlie Adam-type would do nicely. Gerrard should no longer be an automatic choice. At his best he is a huge asset to us but his performance levels have definitely dropped over the last two seasons and he has also been picking a lot of niggley injuries. I wouldn’t be as harsh as some people seem to be about our skipper. He is one of our greatest ever players and has pulled our asses out of the fire countless times in the past but he is missing games and not really playing to his level when he is available so we need another option to cover and compete with him.
We also have the old chestnut of lack of width. We’ve been crying out for a proper winger for years and I’m hoping this will finally be addressed in the summer. Suarez and Carroll look as if they would form a good partnership in attack but we need quality in the wide areas to provide them with the ammunition. We need good crosses coming in for Carroll to get on the end of and we also need proper width to stretch defences and create more space for Little Luis to do his thing. One winger would be nice but two would be better and would frighten the life out of most teams if we could attack them down both sides and have Little and Large in the middle,
I also think we need another experienced striker in the squad. We’ve already brought in two big money signings and I think Deadly Dirk will start to be used more in attack then on the right but there are a lot of games and a lot of competitions to play in over the course of a season and we need a better extra option in the squad then David bloody Eggnog! We need someone who could be in the starting line-up or brought on from the bench to change the course of a game.
But all that’s for the future, tonight we are back in Europa League action against Braga. I have my fingers, toes and everything else crossed that we can go all the way in this competition because the final is in the Aviva Stadium in Dublin this year which is less than a 30 minute journey from my home and I’ve already got my tickets sorted. To have Liverpool playing a European final in my backyard would be a real once in a lifetime and there’s no way I’m going to miss it, but of course we’ve got to get there first.
The next stage of the journey begins tonight away to Braga. I saw a little of them in the last round and this is going to be another tough tie especially as we will be missing a few of our first team. It would be good to see Andy Carroll get some more playing time and Joe Cole getting a run out, but I really don’t want to see anymore of the likes of Eggnog and Jovanovic etc. They are about as much use as a one-legged tap dancer and it’s now gotten to the stage where I am actually annoyed to see them in a Liverpool shirt. These guys have no future at the club and I’d much rather have some of our young prospects in the side.
Anyway, whatever side Kenny puts out I’m hoping we can get out of there with a clean sheet and finish them off at Anfield, my money is on a 1-0 win for The Reds. Hopefully we also won’t pick up any more knocks to add to our growing injury list because we’ve got some big games coming up. On Sunday we’ve got a tricky game at Sunderland.
Our current league position is most likely as high as we can finish this season and we need to protect it. One of the nearest challengers behind us is Sunderland so if we can beat them on Sunday we’ll have a nice bit of daylight between us but the Stadium of Shite is a tough place to get a result. Hopefully we can create enough space for Little Luis, Raul the Merciless and Dirk Lineker to do the business and grab us a couple of goals because I’ve got this one down as a 2-0 win for The Reds.
Keep the Faith