Red Alert, Could Liverpool be a title-challenging team this season?
It’s been a while since Anfield had a team that could genuinely challenge for the title, but it might just be that manager Brendan Rodgers is building a team to change all that. This season promises to be the most open for a while, so there couldn’t be a more opportune moment for the Reds to launch a challenge, the question therefore is are they ready to do it?
In the time that Rodgers has been in charge at the club, Liverpool have been very much a work in progress. All managers have their own ideas of how a team should be built and deployed, and the Northern Irishman is no exception. His tenure at the club was never going to be the ‘whizz bang’ solution to its ailments. Here was a man that had a plan to develop the club in the way he wanted, with the players that would fit his plans and the will to make it happen. Now, just over a year in, the fruits of his labours are becoming clear.
Currently Liverpool sit proudly atop the nascent with maximum points, and no goals conceded, form their first three games. This is now clearly Rodgers’ team, with his players, playing his style. The defence has an assured look about them and in Simon Mignolet, Rodgers has secured the no-nonsense assured presence between the sticks that all successful teams need. In front of him, the addition of Kolo Toure, previously languishing in Manchester City’s reserves has given the experienced balance to the talented Dane Daniel Agger.
The midfield has been Liverpool’s strong point for a while now, with the soul of the team Steven Gerrard settled into his deeper role alongside the steady influence of Lucas. Providing depth and support Rodgers has not only added good talent to his squad through the transfer market, he has also managed to resurrect the career of expensive Dalglish purchase, Jordan Henderson. The young England international, who for so long looked lost at the club is now producing the form that his potential always held. Complementing this unit is the exuberant talent of young Brazilian Coutinho, and he is the pivot which links this unit to the front end of the team.
At the sharp end, Liverpool probably have the brightest hope for the England team for a few years. Plucking Daniel Sturridge from Chelsea’s bench was an astute move. Now released to operate in his favoured role, the young striker is repaying his manager in the valuable currency of game-winning goals. So strong has his effect been that the side-lined Luis Suarez, yet to feature in the team’s success this season, will probably be shunted to a place on the wing on his return. Rodgers has also returned to Chelsea for another element of his frontline. The winger Victor Moses is with the Reds for a year -long loan period, and with the Nigerian international, hungry and determined to prove his worth, there’s every likelihood that he’ll be an important element to the team.
Liverpool have been away from the top for a while now, but now with probably the right type of manager in position, the corner could be turned and the established ‘top four’ teams will need to look to their laurels as the Reds are prepared to gate-crash the party.
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