Soccerlens reader Kieren Hanlon, a Liverpool fan (strange people, them), writes about Liverpool’s chances in the upcoming season…
The new season is just round the corner and there seems to be a certain buzz around the Anfield faithful. This buzz in part is due to the signing of some quality players and shifting of the Chad, so to speak.
More specifically it is due to the abilities of a quiet little Spaniard called Rafael Benitez and his business genius.
Although not every player who has signed under his reign has made a lethal impact, unlike many of his predecessors, Benitez removes those who are not delivering the goods. For too long Liverpool have had to proceed with players who are frankly nowhere near the standard expected from supporters, usually because they came with an inflated price tag.
However at the beginning of last season (05/06) you could begin to see changes amongst the team that began to signal intent and although Liverpool only won twice in the first eight games, it is worth considering that had the league began at the start of November then Liverpool would have won the title. This only adds weight to the necessity of hitting the 06/07 season running.
With summer additions such as Bellamy, Gonzalez, Pennant and Aurelio, Liverpool have acquired a valuable new option, speed. Many may sit back and contemplate the past of Bellamy and Pennant, and wonder whether Gonzalez and Aurelio can adapt to the pace and power of the premier league. Any true Red will know Mr Benitez is a no nonsense manager and has recognised the abilities of both Bellamy and Pennant. He sees two players who are now more mature than before and is willing to give them an opportunity of a life time by signing them for their boyhood team. With both players suggesting themselves that this is their last opportunity, I feel it will enhance both players’ game and who knows they may become unlikely kop heroes.
With Gonzalez and Aurelio you have a lot of prospect. Remembering that neither player has cost the club large sums of money and both with a great deal of ability, they are certainly worth the risk. It is true they may not adapt to the premiership’s style, but fans can be confident that Benitez will not allow them to fragment within the first team.
Other additions this summer have been the Argentine Paletta and the Dutch striker Kuyt. Paletta is player with plenty of potential and a long term replacement for the aging Hyypia and with the goal scoring prowess of Kuyt, arguably a striker who can net 20 a season, I see two very promising purchases.
Along with all the summer signings, Liverpool has a core of players who have been paramount to the victories in Europe and last year the F.A. Cup. Such players as Reina, Sissoko, crouch (all three 05/06 season only), Finnan, Garcia and Riise have all been player who have improved Liverpool’s game dramatically. These players along with the magnificent contributions from Alonso and Carragher and least not forget captain fantastic known as Stevee G, it all adds to the buzz felt among the Liverpool fans, a buzz not felt since the 80’s.
Liverpool now have all the credentials of champions, they have the speed, the ability, the power, the depth, the desire it’s all down to whether it can materialise into a Premiership title. At worst this season Liverpool will be runners up and in a final of a cup but the feelings amongst the fans suggest much more. Let’s have it!!!