View from the Kop

It was probably best we didn’t get him but what now for the Reds?


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.

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  • live4pool says:

    well said. Roy made some good moves, the right ones, Meireles, Koschensky, Cole it’s not like we haven’t brought in quality. But we still need a striker, I think everybody knows this and Roy will need to be careful when he plays Torres because other teams’ defense will pressure him a lot knowing we have no replacement. I still think Kuyt should be up front with Torres, and Jova should get real he is not a left winger he has done nothing in that position this season. Strikers – Torres, Kuyt, Babel, Jovanovic, Ngog, Pacheco the problem is four of these players are predominantly used out wide goddammit Roy why did we not buy a striker?!?!

  • Alfred Wynne says:

    Dont worry I think Babel will be a quality
    Striker if Roy gives him the chance and he plays
    a few times as a sriker.

    Alfred Wynne.

  • pool-FC says:

    Ryan Babel, played through the middle, will score goals…

    That said though, we DO need a striker, but now we must move on and focus on working with what we have, how we work a system that fills the areas where we fell short, and accommodate the players we brought, to supply the quality ball to the 8 who sits behind the 9, I believe that Mr. Hodgson is just the man to do so…

    January beckons, but the core of our squad is still strong, and still together…

  • stan howard says:

    ryan babel is forever telling us what he is going to do but never actually does it, i think he is intent only on running his contract down, his actions have always been selfish

  • berno says:

    Ryan Babel should go and never come back. He will always walk alone. Stop updating on Twitter about LFC, no one gives a s**t.

  • LFCDIEHARD says:

    we still can have babel back to his normal post upfront maybe along side torres would be gr8 to see what the pair can produce both got pace and skill and concerning cole good news he’s not in infact bobby zamora would have been better option!!!

  • elnino says:

    Stan dont be silly… Babel has always said that his prefered position was through the middle, yet Rafa played him as a winger time and time again. Early indications show that Roy may well give the kid a chance as a striker to see what hes made of! I hope he takes the opportunity and really makes a name for himself this year.. otherwise it could be his last for liverpool!

  • nkk says:

    this is the chance for babel to step up to the plate…

  • nkk says:

    roy’s hands are tied by the non-investment from tom and jerry. I’m not overly excited by some signings, but at the end of he day, Koncheskey has 10 years prem experince and is a solid player, who could do well for us. Jovanovic will need time to settle, but showed he’s a good player at world cup. Meireles is a good midfielder. J Cole is chomping at the bit to play regular. Danny wilson was scotalnd’s best young prospect. So all things considered, apart from another striker, it’s a successful transfer window.

  • stan howard says:

    elnino (surely not you fernando), anyone on £40.000 a week who spends 4 hours in a new york police station over a percieved £10.00 taxi fare overcharge is not right upstairs or as tight as a ducks arse, ryan has a good shot, he has pace, he is big and strong but he is timid on the pitch, i admit i would let him take some free kicks, i hope he scores loads of goals but i think he is playing games with us waiting for the big pay day when his contract runs down

  • stan howard says:

    by the way ryan played as a lone striker the other week he scored a great goal but he was awful otherwise, if he can score o0ften he can be as awful as he likes, if i was a big issue seller i would give ryan mcbabela wide berth

  • stan howard says:

    sorry to go on again, last effort – ryans agent keeps getting misquoted in holand, ryan twitters away unknowingly, all well considered propaganda, he would not go in the transfer window because he is within a year (i think ) of having the boss hand, prove me wrong mr babel and i will, come on here praising you to the heights

  • al says:

    First of all Rafa didn’t play Babel as a winger or a left sided midfielder, he played him as a left sided forward as one of the attacking 3 in the 4-2-3-1 formation. This is pretty much the position that Babel played for both Ajax and Holland.
    Secondly Jova does not see himself as winger or left sided midfielder either but is prepared to play there. He too plays mainly as a left sided forward. Jova said to the offish site “it won’t be a problem if I have to play on the left wing again. Maybe with a bit of time and when I know all the small things about playing in that position, then it will help me”. So far Roy has played him on the left of midfield in a deep bank of four in 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1. This is way too deep for a forward and he often has to pick up the ball deep in his own half.
    Neither Jova nor Babel seem good as out and out wingers but neither seem so good as lone strikers. Kuyt is too slow to play there. So I really think we’ll be stuffed if and when Torres is injured again. Just like last year.
    However if I take my happy pills I’ll concede that Babel took his goal well against Trabs so maybe him and Jova and Cole can offer more than last year. Roy has to pray that they can.

  • al says:

    didn’t this site publish an article a week or so ago saying that LFC had great strength in depth and it was a myth to suggest otherwise?
    well, I argued that was nonsense then and its even more so now that our threadbare squad list has been confirmed. We are seriously depleted compared to our main competitors and cannot even name a full 25 in the list. In our 21 named players are Darby & Spearing who aren’t up to the standard required for the prem. Fortunately Pacheco and Kelly have stepped in well so far, but we have glaring omissions in the positions of winger and back up striker.

  • Jay Wright says:

    Al, we did not play a 4231 last season at all. The wide midfielders had to play closer to the holding midfielders than they did to the attacking midfielder/support striker and that policy has continued through to this season so far.

    If we were using wing forwards (433 or 4231), there wouldn’t be as much emphasis on the widemen defending as there has been with us using a flat 4411 or 442. Imo all of Babel, Jovanovich & Kuyt would benefit from being deployed in such systems further up the field than they have been so far.

    Maybe it is just the lack of athleticism in our back line that sensibly discourages our managers from opening the team up in such a way but the current system definitely does not benefit our attacking players, …

  • happy garden says:

    I think Liverpool is better off with 433 formation with the current squad member.


    Johnson Srtkel Carra Konchensky

    Meireles (poulsen-backup)

    Gerrard Cole / Maxi

    Babel/Pacheco/Javi Cole/Kuyt / Javi


    I would prefer Pacheco to play rather than Ngog.
    This formation is better that current 442 and 4231 formation because we are playing with only 1 holding midfield. Others 2 formations will have 2 holding midfield, then we are back up aquare one form Rafa tactic last year, which is a failure.

  • happy garden says:

    I think Liverpool is better off with 433 formation with the current squad member.


    Johnson—-Srtkel—- Carra—– Konchensky

    —————-Meireles (poulsen-backup)—-

    ———-Gerrard———- Cole/Maxi——-

    —Babel/Pacheco/Javi—— Cole/Kuyt/Javi——


    I would prefer Pacheco to play rather than Ngog.
    This formation is better that current 442 and 4231 formation because we are playing with only 1 holding midfield. Others 2 formations will have 2 holding midfield, then we are back up aquare one form Rafa tactic last year, which is a failure.

  • smarts says:

    Play Babel upfront with Fernando and you will see the difference. When we have played 1up the 1 always seems a bit over run so far. Jova can play on the left but is a bit slow for that position. Babel however is better on the right hand side. But with encouragement and more games I think he will play well on either wing or up front!

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