After two straight wins over hated Londoners Chelsea, Liverpool are floating on air. Into the semi-finals of the league cup (against a team that they should have beaten once already this season), a revitalized staff, their talismanic captain about to come back from injury, tied for the best defensive record in the league (12 goals allowed), and a belief that Champions League football is truly about to make its way back to Anfield are just a few of the things adding to the momentum behind the Liverpool jersey.
However, as bright as the future seems, King Kenny has a very real problem within the ranks of the Reds. Although he now has to also deal with Lucas’s season-ending injury, the issue of putting balls into the back of the net is something that has many wondering if LFC can win the close games that being a member of the top 4 requires. With the worst goal-scoring record in the top seven teams in the table (even Newcastle has scored more), Dalglish has to begin thinking about January and if he needs to splash the cash to bring in a striker.
“But Andrew,” I hear you saying, “Suarez has been one of the players of the year so far, and he even scored four in one game for Uruguay.” This is true, El Pistolero has brought the fear back into opposing team’s defenses that we haven’t seen since Torres’s best days, but he has zero help up front. Suarez has established himself as one of the best in the world at creating chances just by being so dynamic (just ask Maxi Rodriguez…he isn’t 9 goals in 8 games good anywhere).
The best solution is to find someone that can link up with Suarez and can finish any chances that the front-man makes. Although I’ll catch plenty of flack for this, perhaps buying Torres back at an amazingly cheaper price (I’d love to see how much Chelsea would sell him for…10 mil?) would create a fantastic Nike T90 Laser clad strike force. Carroll, although I admit he could EVENTUALLY become world-class, is far from a perfect match. Kuyt has seen his best days, but needs to not be depended on for goals…just depend on him for running every second of the ninety minutes. And Bellamy, although he was truly inspired in the league cup defeat of Chelsea, couldn’t produce consistently his first time with the Reds, and his second stint isn’t looking much brighter.
With Gerrard coming back soon, we can only hope that he and some of the other midfielders will start making Suarez’s ability count. We’ve seen Charlie Adam start finding his range recently, and he and Gerrard can both be dangerous within 35 yards of goal. If they start taking some of the pressure off of the Uruguayan, then the goals might start flowing.
The new ownership have shown that they aren’t afraid to spend money to create a great team, and this January they might want to take the wallet out once again to make sure Liverpool are back where they believe that they belong. Like I said, Torres is a viable option, and Kopites love to get any kind of leverage over the Chelsea faithful. Getting the Spaniard back at a much cheaper price would give them plenty of “song” ammunition for seasons to come. There are many possible fits for LFC (don’t even mention Tevez) and someone that can create a bridge between midfield and Suarez could make Liverpool’s goal total grow massively.
Written by: Andrew McCole, EPL correspondent, soccerprose.com
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