Another in the collection of reviews we didn't think we'd be writing. And had Kenny Dalglish had his choice, we probably wouldn't have been. But with things going so pear-shaped as they did injury-wise in the defense, Flanagan was forced into action. And things went pretty well, didn't they? While he didn't wow anyone, he certainly didn't let anyone down either.
Positives: Considering he was chucked in against Man City and all their attacking talent -- which they thankfully forgot to bring that night -- how unflappable was Flanagan? He didn't look out of place in all seven of his starts, with only Newcastle's Jonas really giving him a hard time. That's when Kenny started the policy of flipping Glen Johnson over to whatever side the most dangerous winger was on, shielding the rookie. But Flanagan stared down both Nasri and Walcott (though that's not all that hard these days) at The Emirates and kept them mostly at bay. He was part of clean sheets at home to City, Newcastle, and Birmingham. While he won't be part of the first 11 next season, Flanagan certainly proved he can be a useful squad player as he continues his growth.
Negatives: Really not many. Flanagan occasionally showed his inexperience, as in the aforementioned clash with Jonas and he was also part of the backline at home to Spurs and away to Villa. Only Downing's goal came from or was started from his flank though.
Outlook: As stated, Flanagan hardly put a foot wrong in his bried, emergency cameo into the team. Liverpool will be in serious trouble if they are going to count on him again next season. But as a backup to both fullback slots, you could do a lot worse. And whatever cash is saved by not having to acquire cover in those areas is a good thing, as well as having yet another homegrown product in the squad to satisfy quotas. And it delights the fan as well.
Notes: Yet another day, yet another player/agent claiming they're on the verge of coming to Merseyside. Yesterday it was Fernando Gago, which makes about as much sense as wearing watermelon on your feet (though I bet it feels kinda good). Gago is another box-to-box midfielder, of which we seemingly have 12, and not all that good of one either.
Today it's Christian Zapata of Udinese. This one works a little better, as he can play either in the middle of defense or at fullback. Why a player would leave a Champions League club for a non-one is a bit mystifying, but maybe he thinks like us and we'll return at the earliest possible chance, and stay there which Udinese might not.
There's going to be dozens more of these. It at least makes for good reading.