SO, our rampaging left back’s injury jinx has hit again. Colin Pascoe confirmed after the win at QPR that Jose Enrique suffered a tear in his hamstring and we wait with baited breath to find out how many weeks (or even months) he will be out.
Just after he seemed to have been overcoming various niggles, including knee trouble that kept him out of the early part of the season, again he has been stuck down.
Just how much will we miss the Spaniard?
Enrique has had a mixed time in his Liverpool career to date. In his first season he started very brightly, arguably our best player for the first couple of months alongside Suarez. But in the second half he faded and his weaknesses came to the fore. Too often he ran forward with reckless abandon, regardless of how much defensive cover there was. He took too many risks defensively while in possession and his positioning was at fault for a number of goals conceded.
The mistakes seemed to affect his confidence and more mistakes followed. The season’s end couldn’t come soon enough – perhaps a summer break would help him.
Unfortunately, after returning from injury earlier this season he started as he had left off – using his pace and power whenever he could but being unreliable and downright foolhardy in defence. Enrique is a technically strong player, evidenced by his crossing ability and accurate long range passes to Suarez (with whom he clearly has a good understanding).
When he plays well he uses this skill to maintain possession and drive the team forward, but his confidence can be his undoing, trying the high risk Hollywood pass too often or holding on to the ball too long and losing it when often simple passes are available. When he plays well he is composed in defence and frenetic in attack. When he plays poorly he is frenetic in defence and kamikaze in attack.
Downing put a man of the match performance in at left-back in the woeful defeat to Villa. While Glen Johnson was imperious when playing left-back earlier on in the season, with his defending improving markedly from previous seasons.
Robinson, who is maturing in the reserves, seems to be deemed not to be ready yet by Rodgers so it is either Downing or Johnson (with Wisdom playing right back) who will deputise.
Whoever takes Enrique’s place in his absence we are surely going to miss the Spaniard’s physicality and forward thrust in the intervening weeks.
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