This article will come in three parts due to the vast array of squad players at Liverpool’s disposal. The first aspect will focus on the Goalkeeping and Defensive positions that will need filling and which players within the large squad will be considered as back up to the first choice players in the aforementioned positions. Reasons will also be cited behind my choices, which of course can be debated and argued against.
The one position in the team which I think every Liverpool fan can agree on that is not up for grabs is that of Goalkeeper. Since Rafael Benitez Benitez snapped up “Pepe” Reina back in 2005, he alongside Steven Gerrard has been the mainstays of the team. Reina’s consistency particularly came to prominence in the troubled final year of Rafa’s reign when he produced a string of match winning saves against Spurs and Villa.
He has broken many records as keeper of Liverpool winning the Premier League golden glove three years out of five as well as cementing his reputation as one of the best keepers in the business. His position is unlikely to come under threat via recent acquisition Doni, the Brazilian just signed on a free transfer from Roma as understudy to Reina.
The full back positions have dogged Liverpool for many years. Signing Glen Johnson has been somewhat of a poisoned chalice due to his inconsistency and weakness at defending. Whilst going forward he is a potent threat, often is the case that he finds himself in tied knots marking players. He will be the first choice right back under Kenny Dalglish, but will face stiff competition from two fresh faced youngsters who have emerged from the academy breathing a new lease of life within the squad.
Martin Kelly will be considered back up to the England international with his buccaneering raids down the right flank. There is also the possibility of John “Flanno” Flanagan figuring in King Kenny’s plans after the great impression he made towards the tail end of last season, producing courageous performances not only at right back but at times at the left back position illustrating his skills as a utility player.
The middle of defence will pose a slightly more difficult problem for Kenny Dalglish. With many critics calling for Jamie Carragher to be axed from the team last year due to his loss of pace and old age. His absence through injury proved why the talismanic figure was sorely missed. His positional sense is second to none and his ability to organise defences is reminiscent of Alan Hansen. The local lad is certainly guaranteed one of the two slots in central defence. The second slot will be wholly incumbent upon the opposition Liverpool will face and the type of style Kenny and assistant Steve Clarke look to exert on the opposition. In my opinion Daniel Agger should be given the role in most games because of his ability to bring the ball out from the back and great tackling ability.