The Future of LFC
by, 05/02/2011 at 03:22 PM (516 Views)
Following Torres' recent words, I thought I'd present my view on where I see us in 5 years and 10 years time. Torres explained in his interview that we are a club in transition, and are doing all the right things - but he thinks it will take 3 years for us to get back to where we were.
Personally I don't think it will take us 3 years to get back to where we were. I think it will take 2 seasons, and we have made perhaps the largest step already in hiring Kenny.
We have already made a huge step since the departure of Hodgson. We saw an immediate improvement in the way the team played from the first game, and whilst we didn't get the results we wanted for 2 or 3 games we looked improved each and every time. I don't think we have stopped improving since Kenny took over. We continue to pull out something new each match, snappier passing, neater footwork, more comfortable pressing action. The results have also continued to improve, and the 2-0 win over Stoke showed how far we'd come - we looked good pushing back possibly the most defensive and destructive team in the league. We continuously broke through their defence and whilst we only managed 2 goals and a limited amount of shots I feel we could have got more with 2 fit strikers.
So... we've seen an immediate improvement already, what for the future? Chelsea's game is possibly the biggest game this season for us. A win could take us up to 6th (depending on the Sunderland game) which is a huge step from the 19th we were at a few games into the season. But not only for the result, but if we win against Chelsea we are showing some huge intent - it will be a double over the reigning champs and other teams in the league will start to look at our games with fear rather than the "We can win this one if we want it more than them!" attitude. We would be sticking 2 fingers up to both Chelsea and Torres for their indiscretions and could possibly damage their confidence enough for them to drop down even further in the league, after all if they still can't win despite a 75m spending spree in January, then what else can they do?
If we don't win, it's not the end of the world - it'll set us back a bit, and may take us another game to build it back up again but Kenny doesn't give up.
By the end of the season - I see us finishing in 6th position. Spurs have been inconsistent this season, but somehow they still manage to get results (even if they don't deserve them). I think we'll probably end up 4 points behind Spurs or Chelsea in 5th, and I reckon that Man United will win the FA cup, giving us a Europa league spot.
As for the Europa league... I'm going to say we either go out in the semi finals, or we win it. The Europa league is strong this year no doubt about it, but Kenny is brilliant at managing the young players. He will use a mixture of young players and older players to give experience and bring a trophy to Anfield, because we could do with one right now.
I think the summer will see some intent from NESV with a nice spending spree for us. I can see some players going to free up space and take some weight off the wage bill, and some high quality signings coming in.
Kenny will look to strengthen the LB/LWB position, as Johnson isn't a true LB. The LW position, we haven't got any true wingers in the first team. The CM position, we could do with another classy player in CM, a Alonso-esque player as it's obvious Aquilani isn't coming back, he's playing too well in Italy. Personally I'd add a RW to that list, but I don't think Kenny will go for that.
The players I think going out will be:
Johnson: He has showed character that's for sure, and hasn't played too badly on the Left, but we need a left footed player there, and I feel Kelly is a better RB. - 9m
Aquilani: He's enjoying his time in Italy too much to come back. I don't know the full details of the loan deal but I've heard there is a 13m offer for Juventus to buy him at the end of the deal. If we can somehow not give them that, I'm sure some other Italian team would pay more for him. - 13m
Maxi: He can find himself space quite well, but his final shot is terrible. I don't think he should be kept on. - 6m
Joe Cole: He gets paid far too much for doing nothing, I don't see him fulfilling any sort of role - 3m
Konchesky: I reckon he'll stay at Nottingham forest at the end of the season. - 1m
Poulson: His best days are behind him, Kenny has given him a chance and he hasn't impressed. - 2.5m
Carragher: Retire, form the start of the boot room. I hope anyway, probably won't happen due to signing his new contract.
Players I would LIKE to see coming in (Nobody can predict who we'll sign):
FÃƒÂ¡bio CoentrÃƒÂ£o: He's the type of Left back we would do with, I reckon Meireles will be the catalyst to bring him here. Despite recently signing a new contract I think we could get him for a nice 19-20m.
Arda Turan: He made a come get me plea to liverpool a few years ago and we didn't pick up on it. I think he'll be looking to move on now, and we are desperate for a winger. - 11m
Honda: He is a playmaker, and we have missed a playmaker ever since Alonso left. His shirt sales in Asia would more than make up his cost anyway. - 14m
This would then be my first 11 for next season:
Kelly and Coentrau are in LWB positions here because of the extra width we need, but because of Turan and Gerrard on the wings they'd be well able to drop back and cover the LB/RB positions too.
Kenny should stay on, simply put. He can establish the new boot room and get Carragher into the assistant managers position eventually (I'd say 5 years should do the trick).
I reckon if we manage to make some signings in the summer and Kenny continues to train with the Team then next season we could be looking at Top 4/Top 3. The Team above could handle any single team in the premier league on their day, but I'm not naive enough to say we'd be going for the title. I reckon if we make some good signings, next season could be a fruitful season for us, perhaps with a FA cup and Europa league win as well, we could turn this bad situation into a good one.
On to the Youth... We have plenty of good youth now, and personally I think the hardest thing for Kenny now is finding a way to play them, and who to play. We are in the bitter sweet position of having multiple quality players in each position and are at a dilemma on who to play and when.
In Defence, Wilson and Kelly should be definite starters. Wilson was already playing first team football last year for Rangers and we thought he looked good enough to bring him here. Ayala would be another one I'd put in the defence, although I'd try and rotate Wilson, Ayala and Agger so that nobody gets any injuries.
In Midfield, I'd put Sterling, Suso, Shelvey and Ince straight into cup and Europa league matches to gain experience. They are ready to start playing, but no regularly yet. Suso and Shelvey should probably start to make an appearance on the bench for us next season coming on every now and again, then i expect them to be starts for 15-20 matches the season afterwards.
In Attack, I'd put Pacheco,Ngog, Ecclestone and Amoo rotating in for cup matches, . I haven't seen lots of ecclestone but I think he needs work on his finishing, and Ngog is good at getting into the box with the ball, but his final ball is terrible. Pacheco and Amoo have definite potential, but we need to help them realise it.
Next season if kenny stays manager and we make some good signings in the summer, I see a 3rd or 4th place finish, and a cup to our name.
This will be the season that the youngsters will start to force their way into the first team. Gerrard will be getting on a bit by now, and whilst he'll still hold a place in the team, I think we'll see the resurgence of players like Suso, Shelvey and Lucas filling the space. Meireles will be about 30, and I can see him having less of an impact on the team. Kuyt will be past it, and won't be a regular starter or will move back to Feyenoord.
But Suarez and Carroll will be nearing 24-25 and will be fulfilling their potential. Shelvey I feel will become a great substitute for Gerrard, and Suso will start to place his mark on the first team. I see a sort of 4-3-3 in the future.
Our biggest problem in the youth department is who did we play regularly and who do we not.
Anyway... that's my take on the future of liverpool. Sorry i haven't covered everything like the financial fair play rules etc... and all of the youth team.