A new manager, yet a somewhat slow start to the season. New signings, yet a shortage of strikers. Hope, yet barely a reason to believe. What kind of season are Liverpool in for? The first four games of the season already paint a bleak picture for Roy Hodgson and his Reds. What has contributed to what’s happening and is there a solution?
(1) Lack of transfer funds–
It’s no secret that when a new manager is installed, he likes to inject his own style into the club. I can’t help but feel that given the lack of available funds, Hodgson wasn’t able to do exactly what he wanted. Most of the buys Hodgson made were average at best- Konchesky, Jones, Aurelio and Poulsen. I find it hard to believe that Hodgson would willingly target those players unless he had no other choice. I make that point because when he had some cash in hand given the sale of Mascherano, he splashed out on Raul Meireles, which is a decent buy. I would say though that given Lucas and Poulsen were already at the club, I think a more attack-minded midfielder should have been bought as Gerrard is the only central midfielder who is accomplished going forward.
Hodgson also made it known that he wanted to sign a striker before the window closed, but he was unable to bring that plan to fruition. There was the story that broke on deadline day concerning the loan capture of Mario Gomez, but reportedly, Bayern Munich blocked the move. Gomez signing at Anfield would have been a hit, in my opinion. He is the type of striker who is built for leagues like the BPL. He scores goals and he is a good target man. He certainly would have provided competition for Fernando Torres, who is yet to hit top form. That brings me to Liverpool’s next problem.
(2) Players are not yet hitting form–
This is a big problem within the Liverpool camp, especially given the fact that if the club’s leading players don’t hit form, there aren’t other players capable of stepping up to fill in. Their squad is threadbare. With that said, the likes of Torres, Gerrard and Joe Cole need to improve their game and soon. Failure to do so would result in an abominable season.
Given those problems, one would think that this club has a bleak future, but that is not the case. Roy Hodgson is a terrific manager. He proved that with Fulham, taking them from the cimmerian shade of the league’s basement to the first floor, so to speak. Now that he is at Liverpool, I expect him to guide the Reds back up to the attic and keep them there. Time is needed if he is to accomplish this. In an age where Chairmen and club owners are quickly growing impatient, I hope that the trigger isn’t pulled too quickly on Hodgson. Yes, things aren’t going according to plan, but every experienced manager has his way of turning things around, eventually.
The team has to help of course. The sooner the players hit form, the sooner the team can haul themselves away from trouble and once again compete amongst the big boys. Also, as all Reds fans would agree, new owners are needed. I recall Fernando Torres even put in his “two cents” pleading for new owners so that the club can compete with football’s money-bags. Again, all of these solutions have one common denominator- time. But, how much time does this club have before they get trampled and left behind? Realistically, with Spurs and Manchester City on the prowl, time is indeed in short supply.
Manchester United await the Reds this weekend. Given recent results, I’m sure many have already written off Liverpool’s chances of getting anything out of the game. In an effort to be positive though, it has to be said that a shock upset would surely see Liverpool turn a sharp corner. A loss however, would surely see Hodgson and his men stoop in anguish as the weight of the world gets that much heavier. So, what next for Liverpool? We wait with bated breath.