Towards the end of the 2010 January transfer window, I prayed that Liverpool could get another striker in as it was evident that we had a lack of firepower upfront. Meanwhile Fernando Torres personally was struggling with injuries which led to an over-reliance on the young David Ngog. Fast forward to the end of last season and I found myself still hoping for a new striker but was at least content that we had the Standard Liege striker Milan Jovanovic apparently joining in the summer.
We already knew that while playing for Serbia, Jovanovic wasn’t really used as a striker but more as a left-winger, but upon his arrival he himself declared that he was predominantly a wide man. This sort of put us back to square one in terms of our search for striking cover because Milan Jovanovic has indeed been used only as a left winger so far (and admittedly looks like he’s going to need time to settle). Naturally I expected that Roy Hodgson would address this with the signing of another striker before the end of the summer transfer window but it wasn’t to be as our hopes were dashed by the deadline arriving.
I understand that Roy Hodgson had failed in an attempt to sign Carlton Cole late on in the transfer window and although he does have qualities which would be useful to our forward line (an aerial presence being one), I couldn’t help but feel like we were settling for second best in our approach for Cole. Whichever striker we ended up with didn’t have to be on the same level as Fernando Torres since he would mostly be arriving as a back up to the Spaniard. At the same time though, he had to be good enough to be able to step in for Torres whenever it was necessary and basically lighten the goalscoring burden which currently rests on the Spanish hit man’s shoulders. I’m not overly convinced that Carlton Cole would have been able to fill in for Torres effectively since he’s never been able to prove himself as a consistent goalscorer.
I like David Ngog and believe that in future he could be a real Premiership star but seeing him in our starting line up against both Arsenal and Man City worried me. He did well against Arsenal with his goal but I did feel that a game as tough as Manchester City away would be a bit too much for the young Frenchman. Seeing Ngog start in both of these tough matches also brought back bad memories of last season where he was played way too much due to there being no one else to choose from in his position. It has to be said that anybody who’s capable of playing up front (players such as Kuyt, Babel, Jovanovic and Pacheco) will hopefully be able to step up and put in a decent shift when filling in for Fernando Torres this season.
It’s now September and I find we’re in the same position we were in nine months ago in that we need a new striker to help Fernando Torres. It’s a shame that we only seemed to be able to afford a striker once Javier Mascherano had completed his move to Barcelona as it left us with very little time to find a suitable quality player. This left us bidding for Carlton Cole, who I personally don’t believe was Roy’s first choice but time constraints made it very hard to conclude a deal and I even found myself a bit disappointed that the deal couldn’t be done as I’m actually that desperate for us to get a new forward.
It’s not all doom and gloom though as our first XI on paper is good enough to beat anybody and I’m very excited at the thought of watching Steven Gerrard, Raul Meireles, Joe Cole and Fernando Torres all linking up to rip into opposing teams this season. I’m just praying that Torres especially can have an injury free first half of the season so that our forward line isn’t exposed for what it is; fragile and lacking in depth by being just one decent striker short.
Follow us on twitter @live4Liverpool
Live4Liverpool is recruiting columnists. For further info contact the site editor at email@example.com