News today that Steven Gerrard is set to return to training on Monday. If everything goes well, and that's a continent sized "if" at this point, he could return for the first FA Cup match in the first week of January. But at this point, I think every Liverpool supporter knows to not count on everything running smoothly with our captain. He's been recovering in the Middle East, as it was thought the warmer weather would speed up his recovery. Why he couldn't have just done this indoors in Liverpool hasn't quite been answered, but I'm not going to nitpick.
Soon then, we'll get to discuss where Gerrard fits into the current set up. While it's easy to say that he will help fill in the gap left by Lucas's injury, he really only adds to the numbers. Gerrard came up as a defensive midfielder -- at times a right back as well --but it's been a decade since he played there. While the team shouldn't be remade around him, slotting him in between Jordan Henderson and Charlie Adam would seem the most likely option. That would however call for a change to Dalglish's preferred 4-2-2-2, shifting Henderson out wide where he just isn't effective as he is in the middle. Secondly, while Liverpool can get away with Adam as the deepest midfielder against the plebians of England, it's a far different thing to see if they could do so against the aristocracy. There may not be a choice, though. Still, a player of Gerrard's talents and inspiration will always be welcome.
-I've seen enough of these stories to feel it's worth a comment. There's even a fanpost about it over there on the right. The rumors are flying that Chelsea will try and flog Fernando Torres for about 30 million less than they bought him, and of course some bright eyed Liverpool supporters have thought there's a chance that he could be hauled bag to Anfield at quite the little profit, if you use that equation (which doesn't really work but whatever. That money's been spent). While it's kind of fun to dream about El Nino returning to red and then banging in the goals in a place where he feels confident and making Chelsea look stupid, it's probably not going to happen. Chelsea would be asinine to ever risk having come back to haunt them and possibly knock them out of a Champions League spot (it's a possibility, and one that would make everyone giggle). Secondly, with Drogba off to the ANC soon, Chelsea are going to need his at least somewhat warm body to take his place.
Would Torres even fit any more? Clearly some feelings of former teammates were hurt, though they might not say it. And though a player of that possible excellence would always be welcome, it would be awkward. And does he even fit in the tactics and formation? Torres has never really flourished with an out-and-out partner, though he and Crouch did have something going for a minute there. But Torres couldn't combine with Villa for Spain, and certainly has looked kind of Kabuki theater when paired with Drogba. He's better on his own with creative support behind. That would put Luis Suarez farther from goal, and as we've seen Suarez is at his best when farthest forward.
But it's hard to ignore the romanticism, isn't it?
-Suarez should get his decision today, I'll have reaction when he does. And a preview of the Villa match tomorrow.