With Roy Hodgson’s extensive experience in European football he must have come across The Scorpions and their 90’s power ballad “Wind of Change” that may have been single-handedly responsible for bringing down the Berlin Wall, finishing off communism and winning the Eurovision Song Contest. Well if he is then it might have been an inspiration for him as the events of this week have shown some important changes at Liverpool.
First off, the first win in the Premier League this year. Three games in, won 1, lost 1 and drawn 1. With all due respect to the opposition, West Bromwich Albion, Liverpool should have won this game a lot more comfortably than they did. As it was it finished 1-0 thanks to a Fernando Torres volley in the second half. The major change though was a move from the tired, old 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1 of the first games to a much more fashionable 4-2-3-1. With the players Liverpool have this formation seems to suit the team better and should allow for more fluidity through the lines. For all the changes afoot Liverpool still found it difficult to open up a team resolutely determined to take a point from Anfield. West Brom came to stifle Liverpool with a 4-5-1 and for the most part they managed as Liverpool struggled to break them down. The attacking “3” behind Torres featured Gerrard in the middle and in the first half Jovanovic on the left and Kuyt on the right. Despite a promising start Jovanovic has looked off the pace recently and he is clearly finding the Premier League a significant step-up in quality from the Belgian league. He was ineffective until he was replaced in the second half. In the second half Liverpool had most success when Kuyt switched sides with the former Standard Liege man. Most of Liverpool’s best moves came down the left side and indeed this led to the only goal. Kuyt broke down the left and crossed for Torres, lurking on the edge on penalty area, to score. I heard some internet jokers saying Liverpool looked like Fulham, but in truth they just looked like Liverpool last year.
|Christian Poulsen is another player who has looked a little uneasy, particularly in the first halves of most of the games he has played in. However he seems to improve as the game goes on and indeed he did just that in this one. With the transfer of Javier Mascherano to Barcelona finally completed Poulsen who apparently wasn’t bought to replace el jefecito is going to have to now. Make no mistake, this is not going to be an easy task for the Dane. Mascherano is one of the finest defensive midfielders in the world, Poulsen is not. But neither is he a bad player and if he can recreate his Sevilla form and not his Juventus performances at Liverpool he will do alright. Alongside him should be new signing, and another breath of fresh air at LFC, Raul Meireles. The former Porto and Portugal midfielder was just what Liverpool needed following the departures of Mascherano and Alberto Aquilani. He is a real box to box midfielder, with a greater range of passing and a far better goal scorer than Mascherano.|
There is still the prospect of two more players signing for LFC before the deadline tomorrow. A deal for Paul Konchesky from Fulham appears to be almost completed. Fulham have already signed his replacement, Carlos Salcido, from PSV. Many Liverpool fans are asking why they didn’t just sign Salcido and forget about Konchesky. Roy does seem to have a preference for English players, which given the bedding in period that Jovanovic and Poulsen are having is understandable. Although being English and having Premier League experience isn’t helping Joe Cole. To be honest I always thought that if LFC were going to sign any player from Fulham then it should be Konchesky. He is not the glamour signing that many want (although he does have a foreign sounding name, seemingly the only requirement for many fans…) but he will be a valuable addition to Liverpool’s back four and is not as bad as many seem to think.
The second signing should be a striker to support Torres and provide more experience than the promising David Ngog. There are many rumours but who, if a deal is finally done will be revealed tomorrow…