Liverpool FC: the one-trick pony. Where are Owen & Keane when we need them?
It amazes me that after coming so close to winning the Premiership title last season everyone and his dog knew that if we were to go all the way this season we needed to strengthen the midfield, to replace Alonso, and buy a quality, established, striker to partner & support Torres. Everyone except Rafa and the rest of the Anfield management team that is.
Rafa apparently has filled the void in midfield with the signing of Aquilani. I say apparently as no one has seen him play yet beside the 20 minutes he got in the Carling Cup game against Arsenal. Now am I missing something here? If Aquilani was OK to come on for 20 minutes in that game why hasn't he been used since? Rafa your logic is mystifying. But let's give Benitez the benefit of the doubt on this one. Perhaps Aquilani's injuries were more serious than we thought and he does indeed prove to be a class player.
However, there can be no forgiveness on the striker issue.
In this department Liverpool are a one-trick pony and we are paying the price big time for not having the foresight to buy another decent striker. How can Liverpool go into the Premiership season knowing that if Torres gets injured (inevitable at some point) we have no one in the squad to fill his role? Blame it on lack of funds from the Hicks/Gillett duo if you wish, but we did have options coming into the season, particularly with Michael Owen being available on a free transfer. I know the arguments are that Owen is no longer the player he used to be, which I frankly don't believe to be true, but no one can tell me that N'Gog and Voronin are better forwards than Owen. I had it on good authority (a friend, of a friend, of a friend) that Owen would have leapt at the chance to return to Anfield and he called Carragher every day asking him to tell Rafa to call him. Rafa refused the offer.
Rafa's stubbornness also led to the departure of Robbie Keane. The lad wasn't given a chance to prove himself and again he would have been a far better option than those mentioned above, plus we lost millions of pounds within a few months. Terrible management.
So here we are languishing in 7th place in the Premiership, 12 points behind Chelsea and out of the Champions League. Should we really be surprised?
I think not.