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Where Do We Go From Here?

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What do you mean 4th is gone?
What do you mean 4th is gone?

Last Saturday’s match against Arsenal was another embarrassing showcase in the final third of the pitch. As much as I hate to admit it Robin VanPerse oozes class and can finish anything that is thrown his way. It makes me wonder where we would be in the table if we had a clinical finisher like the Arsenal captain. One main question to answer is where does LFC go from now?

We have captured the first piece of silverware in 6 seasons by winning the Carling Cup. As I have pointed out in posts before this was another horrible effort in front of goal against a club that is currently ranked 8th in the Championship. 37 shot was the tally against Cardiff City . 17 on goal: two goals. That is anemic at best. The RVP show at Anfield left us feeling frustrated as we completely dominated the match and lost all three points on a volley that RVP slotted past Pepe Reina. Same old story, our inability to score goals cost us points. Manditory penalty practice would be first on my agenda during this weeks training. Dropping points in this fashion cannot happen if our goal is 4th place.

One thing in my mind is clear. We need a clinical striker. Given that I am likely preaching to the choir, I can suggest a few things in this area of need:

  • Andy Carroll needs a consistent run of matches to improve his form. He has shown signs of improvement that can be built upon. My major beef with him is his effort and his lack of being at the right place at the right time in the box. I can recall several through balls where there was not a single red shirt in the box. This is unacceptable to me.

  • FSG needs to pony and purchase a poacher during the summer. I think the fact they did not go into the market in January and purchase someone who can put the ball in the back of the net is what cost us a run at 4th. I am a realist and can imagine that not many big name strikers were calling on FSG to sign them but the stated goal was Champions League football, and that is not going to happen. Even a Luuk DeJong or Texeria signing would have shown initiative.

  • Loan Deal for a veteran that can benefit everyone. I personally thought that all the crap aside that Carlos Tevez on loan would be exactly what we needed. He can put the freaking ball in the back of the net. Was a long shot but could have worked. If we can broker a deal for a displaced or veteran striker riding the bench during the summer it could help a run for Champions League without breaking the bank.

  • Another thing that could benefit LFC in the long run is to let the youth play a decisive role in the remainder of the season. While I have suggested that Kenny will not do this, there is a way to give the youth valuable minutes while not throwing caution to the wind. Sprinkle the kids in with the regular first teamers. I share almost everyones sentiment of letting Charlie rid the bench for the rest of the season, why not give Suso, Raheem, and Joao Carlos Teixeria a run? Partner them with our best from the first team and let them experience the premier league. Also, all respect due to Carra but he would not see my starting line-up if I were Kenny. He is fantastic cover and could provide a captain during next seasons Europa run in the early stages but cannot compete with the best that the Premier League has to offer. I actually would have preferred Coates given Glen was out. This blind loyalty is also shining through to Charlie Adams; he is too wasteful with the ball and tries way too many Hollywood passes.

    What do you all see as the next steps forward? Do we play the future or keep trying for fourth? Would you load all your eggs into the FA Cup basket? What would you all like to see happen during the summer? Please give reasonable transfer targets (not Cavani, Messi, or Ronaldo). Does LFC need to clean house again this summer with some of the elder statesmen leaving (Maxi, Kuyt, etc)? Does LFC have to worry about Pepe, Luis Suarez, Lucas, or others leaving this summer?

    UPDATE: See Zonal Marking review of LFC/Arsenal Match here

    You are likely tired of me beating a dead horse but here are some key points

    Arsenal were much improved in the second half, though, and Liverpool’s midfielders became wayward in possession – Charlie Adam tried too many of his long diagonals, Spearing seemed to be under more pressure when he got the ball, and Henderson simply wasn’t involved – attempting less than half the passes he did in the first half.

    In the end, the game was decided by nothing more than efficiency in the box. Liverpool had more possession (54%-46%), more shots (12-10), played more passes in the attacking third (134-79), played more crosses (38-8) and won more corners (12-0). Yet Arsenal managed to get more shots on target (7-4). This is the story of Liverpool’s season, particularly at home – they dominate the game but fall down when it comes to goalscoring. Usually that’s been enough for a 0-0 or a 1-1, but van Persie’s sheer ruthlessness in the box meant they suffered their first home defeat of the season.