a starting 11 of reina, johnson, agger, skrtel, enrique, lucas, gerrard, downing, kuyt, bellamy and suarez would have been good enough to challenge the top 4 this season, though perhaps just falling short.
we have been unlucky with injuries this season, that is clear for all to see. Agger has missed games, johnson, gerrard and most importantly lucas. with those players fit and firing we are a good team. they are the backbone and our genuine quality. unfortunately despite huge investment you have to ask whether the squad players are really any better than the likes of babel, jovanovic, cole etc etc? I dont think they are.
spearing and adam are just not of the required standard. henderson and shelvey have potential but they shouldn't be regular starters. downing is inconsistent but i feel would be much better with better players around him. Kuyt is on the way down, and carra is done. Maxi?
carroll is such a problem. he seemed to be improving and then missed a few games and has been all over the shop since. do we play to his strengths? no. is he capable of adapting his game? we've seen little to suggest he can. but saying that, the supply to the front man be it carroll or suarez has been laughable since january. cross after cross, corner after corner wasted. nobody will commit from midfield so defenders can crowd out the strikers with relative ease.
since the injuries we have had to depend on the squad players players, and we have just not been good enough. the two players we would have expected to step up to the plate just haven't. have gerrard and suarez recognised that the league was finished and got their heads down concentrating on the cups? did they ever believe CL was possible? its a shit attitude but i think its happened to some degree. the evra episode has clearly effected suarez momentum and form and he's perhaps desperate for the season to end to draw a line under the whole affair. further, does anyone think gerrard has one eye on his international swan song at the euro's? scared to over commit in a failed league campaign for fear of another injury? either way its a while since one of those has grabbed a game by the scruff of the neck and made it happen.
one thing for sure, the players are letting kenny down.
however, its not just down to the players. are we playing off the cuff football or is there a plan? does the plan get forgotten as soon as we conceed? do the players know what their role is? none of the answers are clear from recent performances which is very worrying. exactly what have the coaching team been working on in recent weeks/months because there is nothing evident in the performances? away at newcastle after the wigan and qpr stinkers you might have expected us to keep it tight for an hour, chase them down and quiet the crowd. but we just seemed all over the shop. gave them too much space, played without any pattern or conviction and gave it up after we went behind.
it seems that there is something very wrong. we're relying on too many players not of the required standard. those players available that should be leading by example and stepping up are not performing. the fight and passion has gone. the tactics are not evident and the confidence is so brittle its not becoming of a liverpool team.
the end of the season can't come quickly enough. and when it does FSG have some big decisions to make. again.