Liverpool Player Review: Sotirios Kyrgiakos

Still get nightmares


Well this shouldn't take long. Continuing the tradition of Rafa Benitez signing an absolutely clueless defender in an emergency (following that whole Mauricio Pelligrino disaster), Kyrgiakos came in at the beginning of last year when everyone got hurt. From the moment we saw him, we feared he couldn't keep up with a striker who had more pace than a sleeping three-toed sloth, would be penalty prone because of it, and in general he just looked like he smelled bad. So it proved.

Positives: Well, there were a couple. That brief stretch at the end of January where Kenny employed the 3-4-2-1 that kept Menelaus shielded with two of Agger, Skrtel, or Carragher. He was pretty commanding against Stoke, the first time they ran that formation out. And when Chelsea ran out of ideas (somewhere around the 39th minute), Kyrgiakos again couldn't be breached. He also did provide a goal-threat on set pieces, which Liverpool didn't have while they were trying to rebuild Daniel Agger. So there's that.

Negatives: Pretty much everything else. Not only was Menelaus slow, but he wasn't all that bright either. At least when Hyypia lost whatever pace he had his brain kept putting him in the right spots. Not so Kyrgiakos. He challenged for every ball he couldn't win, which led to many free kicks being given away. When he wasn't covered by two other centerbacks and two holding midfielders, he was far too exposed. The sitcom that was the West Brom match would be Exhibits A-GG. He gave away two penalties to the frightfully quick but somewhat limited Peter Odemwingie (well he only fouled for the first but was culpable for the second as well). Those were points we very well could have used.

Outlook: Gone. Perhaps in a team that Roy Hodgson envisions, one which plays deep and the backline is heavily protected by a midfield squatting on its shins, Kyrgiakos would still be a commanding aerial presence. But in a Dalglish team that wants to play high and at least consider completing three passes in a row, Menelaus's lack of pace, inability to hoof the ball less than 50 yards, and recklessness in challenges simply has no place. With a new signing possibly coming in, and both Martin Kelly and Danny Wilson probably in need of looks in the middle, that should spell the end of Kyrgiakos's time on Merseyside. We can only hope.

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