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Player-by-player 2011/12 Preview

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Someone asked me what success would look like for each of Liverpool’s players, in 140 characters or less. Here goes:


Another season of great goal stopping and goal creation. A couple of saved penalties would be nice.


Safe hands if called on, patience if not. Nothing else required


Undisputed status – among opinions that count – as the finest right back in the league.


30 solid games at full back and centre back would be success. England recognition would not be a surprise.


Taking whatever chances are provided by the fitness of Johnson and Kelly with the same aplomb as last season.


Nothing to prove on the pitch. Success entirely measured by how often he actually makes it there.


Five to ten games played with the assurance and promise shown in every moment so far.


One more year of surprising the critics with top-class performances, or a dignified Hyypia role if it proves too much.


A successful audition to be our next long-term captain – in performances and in body and mind.


Renewed confidence and maturity, despite the likely rotating cast around him.


Playing out a last, bit-part season with the passion and reliability of the last two bit-part seasons.


Not panicking if the chances come. Not panicking if they don’t.


Perfecting the metronome role in front of the back four. Giving Adam what Mascherano gave Alonso, and more.


More free kicks and corners taken than Steven Gerrard. More positive comparisons to Alonso than negative.


A dozen appearances in place of Lucas and Adam and a shot at a first team role elsewhere if that’s all he gets here.


Sharing his wisdom and experience with the youngsters around him. But not playing, unless it’s at another club.


Adjusting to the fact that he has true talent all around him for the first time in years and learning to lead without feeling the need to do everything.


Clear commitment to the club, consistent sparks of magic, saying everything with his feet and nothing via his agent.


Signs of progress despite fewer playing opportunites. Or progress through more playing opportunities on loan.


Regardless of appearances, goals or assists, clear evidence that he’s learning from Steven Gerrard.


Making a position his own. Tackling as ferociously as his tattoos suggest he should.


Credit for providing the width in our play that’s been missing for so long. Elimination of the word “Mata” from conversation.


A desire to prove that he’s more than a fading squad player, chiefly evidenced by being fit enough to play.


The same as the last two months of the season, for ten months.


30 goals. Doesn’t matter how many he has the finishing touch on – how many his presence and input create for the team.


2010/11’s passion, workrate, team play and goals. Rinse and repeat.


Taking chances when they come. Either goalscoring chances or chances to lead the line for another team.


A repeat of the genius and commitment shown from January to May and a solid acceptance speech at the Footballer of the Year awards.

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