Tuesday, August 18, 2009


One weekend into the new season.. ya, just one weekend. And it seems to be crisis time already for Rafa Benitez and Liverpool!

I guess this could be called second-season syndrome too in a way. That term usually reserved for the second season in the top flight for a team promoted the previous time around, seems to also apply to Liverpool, especially coz they came so close to winning the damn thing last year. So everyone thought this year, with Rafa given more control over the transfers, might just be Liverpool's year.

And its already looking unlikely. The team lost just one player really, with Xabi Alonso deciding to move on after he had shown Rafa up for wanting to sell him last year. But the problem, as Sarah Winterburn pointed out in her pre-season analysis over at Football365, is really the complete lack of depth in the Liverpool squad. Even Arsenal, who didnt do much buying this year either although they did sell Adebayor and Toure, are better placed simply because they have a bunch of youngsters who strengthen the squad. In the case of Liverpool, they have brought in Aquilani as a probable replacement for Alonso. But this still leaves them with a lack of choices in many departments.

The first weekend, the first game of the season. A good Tottenham Hotspurs team, definitely one of the teams trying to break into the top 5. And the two Liverpool central defenders have a horrible misunderstanding, resulting in one of them ending up with a cracked jaw. It just goes to show how fragile this squad is, that with Skrtel out for 2 weeks, Liverpool will be down to their only other option in the middle of defence with Dan Agger.

On top of that comes then news that Rafa doesnt have any money to spend anymore. So, he is trying to loan players like Sylvin Distin from Portsmouth and that club doesnt want to loan the player out, they want to bloody sell him! But hey, we dont have any money, man! And every Kop fan out there, must be down on his knees praying every night, praying and hoping that the duo of Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres stays fit and injury-free through-out this season. Because, if we happen to loose either of them even for a single game, we do not have anyone covering for them! Its bizarre that Rafa decided to sell out Robbie Keane after not playing him much last season, and then proceeded for the new season without any backup for Torres and Gerrard. The completely untried (and frankly uninspiring) David Ngog, and the already discarded Andriy Voronin are the only options left. I will definitely not be confident of Pool winning any games based on the prowess of those two alone.

So, the season has begun, and there are some signs of Pool fans showing stress already! Unfortunately, this being a World Cup year complicates matters a heck of a lot more, especially for the teams competing in Europe as well. Rafa has done a lot of inexplicable things in his tenure at Liverpool, but he is also revered by the fans for the success he has brought the club. This year could well be his toughest, and I sincerely wish him all the best! Glory awaits!