Do squad number matters? Are they an indication of where a player is within the squad? Should we hold onto tradition and number accordingly?
Tradition. It’s much debated, particularly with regards to Liverpool FC, whether traditions can hold you back or prevent you from ‘moving with the times’.
For me, personally, wherever traditions can be easily maintained and not in any way be a hindrance to progression, they should be. Simple little things are what make up the tradition and heritage of Liverpool Football Club.
For instance, I hope that for as long as I attend matches at Anfield, the visiting goalkeeper continues to be applauded as he takes his place in front of The Kop (and roundly jeered if he doesn’t show appreciation with a little clap).
Apparently, although I’m not sure I believe the PR story, Brendan Rodgers suggested replacing the modern version of the famous ‘This Is Anfield’ sign with the old, traditional one upon his appointment last summer. Nice PR for Brendan, but regardless at least it showed the importance of the club’s heritage.
I grew up like most people watching a team who wore 1 to 11. It’s a simple tradition that is long gone in the modern era of Premier League football. I blame William Gallas – a centre back wearing number 10. So wrong. Previously worn by Dennis Bergkamp.
Some people claim too much is made of squad numbers but to me, it’s simple, 1 to 11 should be for your core first-team players. Why would it not be? Furthermore, it’s a simple way to maintain some form of tradition without it being any hindrance to progression whatsoever.
Of course, marquee signings will always take up a prestigious squad number, so why shouldn’t the rest of the squad be numbered according to their place within the squad?
This week we’ve seen Kolo Toure handed number 4, and youngster – and forward – Luis Alberto handed number 6, along with new signing Iago Aspas taking number 9.
Is this an indication that Toure, Alberto and Aspas are regarded as first-team players in terms of our strongest 11? I highly doubt it. Is this perhaps a move from LFC to encourage supporters to purchase the shirts of these new signings? Quite probably.
But what happens if/when/hopefully we actually sign a first-choice centre back partner for Agger? What number will he wear and the club promote to purchase? Or does Toure taking 4 mean there isn’t a first-choice centre back arriving, that Toure is that.
1. Mignolet – 2. Johnson – 3. Enrique – 4. New Centre Back – 5. Agger – 6. Lucas – 7. Suarez – 8. Gerrard – 9. Sturridge – 10. Coutinho – 11. New Midfielder (cough, Mkhitaryan please).
Looks lovely doesn’t it. Just the way it should be!