WELL, it was some quite refreshing television on Saturday at 3:43 pm to see somebody other than our talisman – Luis Suarez – scoring against the opposing team. For far too long this season, we’ve relied on Suarez’s ability and, perhaps slightly more importantly, goals to see us through.
So when Dan scored against the Saints on Saturday, I was hoping for something quite similar to the Wigan result when the first goal opened the floodgates.
It’s unsurprising that that didn’t happen against a pretty dull and probably destined for the bottom-3 Southampton side – but a win is a win, right?
With that in mind, somebody is really required to step up against West Ham next Sunday, at 16:00, because with January still a whole month away and no other proven striker currently fit (at the club), we really are in dire straits at the moment.
We’ve only managed 34 goals in 26 games so far this season. Of those, the striker has chipped in with 13, which is quite scary for the Reds, as it equates to just a few decimal points short of 39%. Take Suarez away for a prolonged period and we would figuratively (and perhaps, also literally) be screwed.
The really odd part about this is that we’re not short of alternate goal-scorers, in that, we’ve had 14 other players score this season. It’s just a depressing fact that only four of those have managed more than one.
It would be unfair to expect the likes of Skrtel, Agger, Allen, Lucas, etc to chip in regularly, as this isn’t what they’re there for. But it would be nice if players other than Gerrard, Suarez and Shelvey could contribute more often, when the chances are presented to them.
Somebody may be given the chance to audition to prove that they are worthwhile stand-ins for Luis when we pay a visit to the Italian city of Udine on Thursday however, given the make or break nature of the game and that he is banned for the Premier League fixture the following Sunday, it’s likely that Suarez will start and probably stay on until the game is secured.
We can only hope that a positive result will breed confidence in some other goal-scorer (or two!) and they will take that confidence into the West Ham game with them for Sunday away at West Ham United.
For me, the role should be Shelvey’s, as I pre-empted prior to him being chosen to ‘lead the line’ against Young Boys two weeks back at Anfield. He scored that night and is our second highest goal-scorer this season with four goals. Although, all of those have come in the Europa, he is still a goal threat and that’s exactly the sort of player that needs to play in the role of Suarez, while he is out.
Given that Jonjo is still a young lad (a fact that some still seem unable to get their heads around), I would push Gerrard out of midfield and put him on the right, drop Sterling – who looks quite tired at present – and Enrique on the left to give him some more experienced support at the opposite end of the field and to give our attack some real punch with two powerful players in support, in the absence of Luis Suarez’s trickery.
Who’s your choice to ‘lead the line’ in the absence of Suarez?
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