Why Liverpool may struggle this season
I have been following Liverpool's pre-season games. The stats read played 7, won 2, drawn 2 lost 3.
I am not normally too concerned about friendly matches, as they are all about getting players fit and ready for the new season. Perhaps I shouldn't therefore read too much into Liverpool's disappointing form, but there are several reasons why I am concerned that Liverpool may struggle this season:
1. Absence of Alonso - no doubt he will be missed. Rafa will replace him with Lucas until Aquilani is fit. That's the double wammy here - Lucas is a poor player and Aquilani sounds as though he won't be fit for another 2 months. He will also need time to settle into the English football (not a certainty for a player who has only ever played in the Italy). Alonso's absence has created a massive void in Liverpool's midfield and I cannot see any current Liverpool player who can come in a do as good a job.
2. Defensive frailties - Carragher, Agger, Skrtel and Aurelio have all suffered injuries in pre- season and are doubts for the start of the season. Johnson is a good signing but Liverpool look seriously vulnerable in defence when they replace any one of the above with their younger reserve players.
3. Lack of wingers - this is a old old problem and for some reason has not been rectified. Kuyt on the right and Benayoun on the left - where is the width?
4. Gerrard and Torres cannot play every game - if they could, they would be supermen. If either one of these players gets injured, Liverpool virtually lose 50% of their attack. Liverpool have no decent replacements for these players - Voronin, Ngog, Babel are nowhere near as good.
5. Will other players want to leave? Mascherano has already given Barcelona the green light to make an offer. Thankfully they didn't, but how long will it be until he and others get fed up?
6. Lack of transfer funds - Liverpool have to sell to buy - period. They simply don't have the power in the transfer market like Chelsea, Man Utd, Man City etc do. Liverpool risk being left behind.
7. No new stadium - as much as we love Anfield, it is too old and too small. Liverpool need that new stadium built asap to generate the revenue to even get close to the likes of Man Utd. The stadium won't be built any time soon however.
8. Pressure - Liverpool came very close to wining the league last season that there will be even more pressure this time round for them to go one better. Ths slightest sign of a stuggle will pour the pressure on Rafa. 3 season without a trophy - how long can this go on for?
9. The Americans - enough said.