Today I thought that I would just discuss what I think Brendan Rodgers still has to do with Liverpool and the Liverpool squad in general.
Players Who Might Just Need to Go
There needs to be more structure in terms of the wages at Liverpool FC. At least I am helped by the fact that Liverpool FC have been doing something about it in the summer. They’ve done a good job of clearing out Dirk Kuyt and Maxi Roriguez, although I think that Liverpool could have done better for a deal for Alberto Aquilani, as with them pocketing 7 million pounds (which is already pretty little), they also have to pay for a lot of Aquilani’s wages whilst he is with his new Italian club.
I honestly think that as the Premier League draws closer, Andy Carroll has to go. He is not ready to play in this system of Brendan Rodgers, given the lack of time the Englishman has gotten under the Northern Irishman. It is clear that he can’t play the intricate passing game that the Tiki-Taka demands, whilst it doesn’t look likely that the Northern Irishman is likely to change his philosophy sometime soon. Therefore, I think that it is only right for us to sell Andy Carroll, as much as I would hate to see him move on.
Another player that I believe we should clear off would be Joe Cole. Whilst an exceptional winger in his prime, he looks really out of depth and unable to play more than 60 minutes of football a week before his hamstrings take him out of the game. No squad player (especially a Liverpool one) should be on £90,000 a week wages to sit on the bench regularly.
The Stewart Downing issue splits me in half. Whilst he was really disappointing last term, he is showing signs of finding form once again. His confidence was always the problem for Liverpool last year – with that shot which crashed off the bar against Sunderland being a catalyst to a poor season in red. Whilst on ridiculous wages, I believe that he is the type of player that Rodgers can squeeze performances out of.
Ideally you need to have Suarez and Steven Gerrard at the top, on wages of around £110k a week. Then you have Pepe Reina, Daniel Agger, Fabio Borini and Martin Skrtel at around £70k. Lucas Leiva, Jose Enrique and Glen Johnson at the £60k a week category.
Then comes your Martin Kelly, Jordan Henderson, Joe Cole, Stewart Downing, Andy Carroll, Jamie Carragher and Charlie Adam type of wages, which should rightfully be around £50k a week. That is how the wage structure should be – depending on performances. I reckon that Joe Allen would come at the £50k ++ category, with him set for a huge payrise from his Swansea City days, should he make the move. However, I am also worried about a recent statement from the Welshman, with him claiming that this deal would apparently ‘set him for life’.
Lack of depth Clear to See
One of the biggest weaknesses about this current 2012/13 squad right now would be the lack of depth in this side – especially on the wings. We have had Maxi Rodriguez and Dirk Kuyt moving on, we will eventually see Craig Bellamy find a move elsewhere, whilst the future of Dani Pacheco remains unclear as well. This leaves very few options, especially out wide.
The options we have left are Joe Cole, Stewart Downing and Raheem Sterling. With Joe Cole a very risky player in terms of injury and form, we also have Sterling, who remains untried and untested against the very best, and might not be ready for the biggest league in football yet. Luis Suarez could also be shifted out wide, but he wasn’t very efficient when he was brought out wide last term either.
Brendan Rodgers really needs to secure the services of a player in the mould of (or him himself) Gaston Ramirez, because he is the type of player that Liverpool need at the moment. One who is bold and will get shots off, whilst tactically sound. Quite simply, a winger is required.
Two other departments where reinforcements are needed? That would be leftback and central defensive midfielder. Our previous season went downhill when Lucas Leiva went injured and Jay Spearing was brought into the first team. The result: disaster. With Lucas only just returning from injury, I reckon that Liverpool should invest in a player who can provide suitable backup for the Brazilian midfielder, because Spearing will not cut it in the league games anymore, although he would prove to be a good squad player.
Jose Enrique’s dipping form at the tail-end of last season will show that he needs proper competition on the left flank. Daniel Agger and Glen Johnson can deputize, however it would be wiser to bring in a natural leftback, with the centerback and rightback roles already pretty stretched as it is. A player such as Vargas might be good, given the fact that he can play both on the wings and at the back.