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Off And...Well, Moving In Some Sort Of Way

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Nice job, whoever you are.
Nice job, whoever you are.

A preseason game is in the books. What that means? Not much. Of the 23 players that were on display Saturday, no more than a handful will matter this season. And the one a lot of us would like to see matter and created the Liverpool goal, Raheem Sterling, has pretty much been told by Brendan Rodgers that he won't. Now that could be motivation tactics or something of the like, but it sounds more like Sterling can look forward to a loan spell in the Championship this season. Which really isn't the worst idea. Anyway, some thoughts on what took place in the T.O. on Saturday.

-Just like last preseason, Alberto Aquilani was the classiest player on the pitch by some distance. It's only one preseason friendly, but as we thought he might he's eating up the Rodgers system. Being tidy with the ball, and getting into the box from midfield are the two biggest strengths of his game. I still believe that Dalglish genuinely wanted to keep him around, but was jaded by his misplaces affection for Charlie Adam. Rodgers, hopefully, will not be swayed because he didn't chase Adam around for a year, and can judge these two on their merits. Because...

-....even though it was only one friendly, Charlie Adam was awful. Granted, first game and he's got the bigger obstacle of not playing for a month or two at the end of last season after injury. But he looked lost, wasteful, and slow. Whenever he did look somewhat good last season, it was in a two-man central midfield with Lucas. With a third, far better player joining, Adam simply didn't know where to be. When he did, he didn't know what to do with the ball. If the board is really looking to trim the wage bill and that's the problem with Aquilani, I'm pretty sure I have a solution.

-Ok, my heart jumped when Lucas ran on the pitch. Nothing could mean more to Liverpool's hopes this season.

-Jack Robinson has really bulked up since his brief appearances two seasons ago, as one might from the ages of 17-19. But that can only help.

-The first half was a far better display of the Rodgers' methods than the second half. The latter half saw Suso and Shelvey trying far more long balls and switches than Spearing or Aquilani thought of. Except they were all aimed at Sterling and Toronto figured this one out right quick. And of course, with no natural holding player in the second half, Toronto scored from having the middle wide open. Still, Suso impressed and Shelvey could be quite useful in this system, just farther up the pitch.

-I think Pacheco just put in another terrible final ball after some nifty footwork.

-Joe Cole can thank Charlie Adam for providing a low benchmark that he couldn't reach, even though he tried. I wanted to believe in Joe Col two years ago, I really did. I wanted to even though I never thought he really did anything impressive at Chelsea, and when he was providing something it was when Mourinho had to completely strip him down and make him essentially a shorter Malouda or Kalou. The only time Cole impressed me was in World Cup 2006, and he faded when the rest of the team collapsed around him. But Cole was once again ponderous in possession, not all that quick as his legs are shot, and a bit ambitious. Just can't see where he has a part to play this season.

That's about it. Hard to see any of the big names getting in on Wednesday after only two days of training as they join up today, but we'll see.