Damien Comolli has stated this week that he believes the Liverpool squad is complete and that they are not looking to strengthen any areas of the side in January. Is this just a public front, or are Liverpool really the finished article?
If you look at the Liverpool side, in comparison to how it looked this time last year, the changes have been dramatic. They have a lot more strength in depth and probably the strongest squad they have had in years, with most positions covered by two or more players fighting for the role. With most of the deadwood now moved on, and the fresh new players bought by Fenway Sports Group, Liverpool have certainly done a huge amount to turn around their fortunes.
The players that Liverpool have acquired over the past 9 months have undoubtedly made them a much stronger side, but to say they are complete is an over-exaggeration. Only time will tell how complete they will become, as it is entirely up to the players and how they fit together, and how youngsters like Jordan Henderson, Andy Carroll and Sebastien Coates grow and fit within the side. Let’s not forget that a lot of this side is being built for the future, so we might not see the best of them for a while yet.
In terms of their aim this season of getting back into the top four, Liverpool do look a complete enough side to achieve that. Without Champions’ League football on offer at Anfield this season, their side is nearly as complete as it could be, as the bigger names were unlikely to be attracted to them this year. That could change if they regain entry into the Champions’ League next year though.
Liverpool have certainly made improvements but they are yet to look strong enough for a title challenge. There are still problem areas of the side, and parts of any side can be improved by bringing in better players. It’s difficult to see whether a club can ever fully be called complete anyway, as surely they must constantly evolve to stay fresh and ahead of the rest of the competition. You can always buy better players and improve on your squad – even Barcelona still seek to improve on their current squad, and that is how a club stays ahead of the competition.
In terms of the current Liverpool side, Jamie Carragher is not getting any younger and it will be interesting to see how Coates beds in at Liverpool as a long term replacement for him. The right side is looking problematic, in comparison to the newly energised left; Dirk Kuyt always puts a shift in, but he is not a natural winger, and doesn’t offer the width or delivery that a natural in that position could. Liverpool need a proper right winger, not just someone filling in out there. Another goal-scorer wouldn’t go amiss either. There is definitely room for improvement within this side, and many ways in which it looks far from complete.
Liverpool have come a long way and are heading in the right direction, but there is a still a long way to go. Comolli is probably just playing up to the media and backing the squad in public to give them a boost, but privately I am sure Liverpool will have plans to strengthen in January. They are not yet the finished article or a ‘complete side’ but are definitely on the right path.
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