07/08 Liverpool FC Preview

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Here we are again, staring down the barrel of another season. Where does the time go? It doesn’t seem all that long ago that we were back on that grand European stage in Athens.

But, with the Gold Cup, Copa America and the U-20 World Cup on offering this summer, the off-season has flown right by and now we’re ready to lace up the boots, hike up our socks and enter the fray once more.

We are ready, right?

I suppose that’s the Big Question and driving force behind “The Official Being Sven 07/08 LFC Season Preview” Yes, as always, questions abound…

How will the new signings perform? 

Can we continue to build upon our European success?

Is this the year Liverpool win number 19?

Will Rafa shave his goatee?

So, as one would usually do with a ‘preview’, let’s take a look at the where the club is and where it might be heading.

The Past

The 2006/07 season ended with no silverware. (You’re not really counting the Community Shield, are you?) Not to say the season was a complete failure or even unenjoyable, but years from now, the history books (or internet pages, as it may) will judge the campaign as fruitless.

It was frustrating to not only have been out of the the title race so early, but to have regressed in our attempt to ‘close the gap’ on the champions to the tune of 21 points. And, a season after notching 82 points, we only tallied 68 this time around.

There were other low points, as well. The two cup games with Arsenal immediately spring to mind. Losing to United twice was disheartening. The embarassment at Goodison Park was especially maddening. And letting Fulham stay up at our expense was disappointing if not unexcusable.

There were certainly positives, though. The 4-1 win over Arsenal and the 2-0 result against Chelsea signaled intent and ability to produce against the other title favorites. And even though it didn’t have the fairy tale ending of 2005, reaching a second Champions League final in three seaons (having beaten Barca and Chelsea along the way) was certainly a special achievement.

So, we enter the fourth year of the Rafalution and all Red eyes are fixed on the Premier League title. Even the man himself has laid it out:

Top sides try to win every competition and every game and the order of priority is clear. First it’s the Premier League, then the Champions League, then the FA Cup and league cup.

We are a good team, but the league will be as difficult as normal.

The Transfers

So, using the cash provided by Gillett & Hicks, Rafa spent the summer building his squad, adding missing pieces, looking for quality where it was demanded the most.

And build he did, spending some real money and luring a cache of talent to Anfield. On the eve of the new season, Rafa reveals his state of mind (well, as much as he reveals anything) on his summer catches:

What we have achieved this summer is to ensure we won’t need to buy many players every year. We’ve bought young players with quality who will improve us. We will add to this every summer, but we are happy at this moment and believe we can try to win every trophy, even though we recognise others can do the same.

In all, Rafa’s transfers (including the multitude of youth purchases) look something like this:

(This list is not guaranteed be comprehensive, but is pieced together from my ‘Youth on Parade’ post and the Summer Transfer Forum list compiled at RAWK)

The In’s

ST Andriy Voronin (Bayer Leverkusen) – Free
MF Sebastián Leto (Lanús) – £2.5M
MF Lucas Leiva (Gremio) – £6.75M
ST Krisztian Nemeth (MTK Hungaria) – £750K
ST Andras Simon (MTK Hungaria) – £750K
MF Alexander Kacaniklic (Helsingborgs) – Undisclosed.
MF Gary Makay Steven (Ross County) – Undisclosed.
ST Marvin Pourie (Borussia Dortmund) – Undislosed.
GK Nikolay Mihaylov (Levski Sofia) – Undisclosed
CB Mikel San Jose (Athletic Bilbao) – £270K
ST Dani Pacheco (Barcelona) – Undisclosed
ST Fernando Torres (Atletico Madrid) – £20M
MF Ryan Crowther (Stockport) – Undisclosed
ST David Amoo (Millwall) – Undisclosed.
MF Yossi Benayoun (West Ham Utd) – £4.5M
MF Ryan Babel (AFC Ajax) – £11.5M

The Out’s

GK Jerzy Dudek (Released)
ST Robbie Fowler (Released)
MF Bolo Zenden (Released)
ST Florent Sinama-Pongolle (Recreativo Huelva) – £2.7M
GK David Roberts (Released)
CB Danny O’Donnell (Crewe) – £100K
MF Luis Garcia  (Atletico Madrid) – £2.7M
ST Djibril Cisse  (Marseille) – £5.4M
ST Craig Bellamy  (West Ham) – £7.5M
MF Mark Gonzalez (Real Betis) – £3.5M
MF Danny Guthrie (Bolton) – Loan
CB Godwin Antwi (Hartlepool) – Loan
MF Paul Anderson (Swansea) – Loan
MF Adam Hammill (Southampton) – Loan
MF Lee Peltier (Yeovil Town) – Loan
CB Miki Roque (Xerez) – Loan

The Line-up

We all know Rafa has a bumper sticker on his car that reads “I ♥ Possibilities”* and his words back it up:

When you ask me each week who will play as a striker, my answer will always be it could be Crouch, Torres, Voronin or Kuyt because all of them are good.

It’s the same in midfield with Gerrard, Alonso, Sissoko, Mascherano and Leiva. All my options are really good and we can use many different players and have a strong side.

You can see we have more pace and quality. Away from home, especially, we have a lot more options.

(*this is a complete fabrication)

Now more than ever, Rafa has a plethora of on-field options from which to choose. Having brought in numerous strikers and midfielders, the possibilities, while not endless, a certainly many.

While it would be the height of folly for me to attempt a prediction at Rafa’s XI (b/c it’s a trick question without one answer), one look at the names on the roster and their corresponding positions reveals that The Raffer really does have a slew of weapons ready to deploy.

This is quite a rough estimate of the versatility Rafa has at his disposal, and doesn’t even take into account variations such as playing Gerrard, Kewell or Benayoun in the slot behind the striker(s) or most of the youths who surely will get a run-out at some point.

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Starting up front, we currently boast a diverse stable of four strikers. From Crouchie’s aerial threat of Crouch, to the work-rate of Kuyt, to the supposed dynamic Torres and the wildcard (strength? passing? work-rate?) that is Voronin, the gaffer can mix and match strengths and weaknesses as the matches dictate certain needs.

He may, however, prefer a certain pairing (once it’s worked out who works best with whom) to another. That said, the striker who’s consistently scoring goals is the one who’ll find his name on the team sheet more often than not. It really will be as simple as that.

When it comes to the midfield, our cup truly runneth over. In the center of the park, we boast Gerrard, Alonso, Mascherano and Sissoko. Few clubs in the world are lucky enough have that much talent in the midfield, let alone just in a central role. With a solid defensive anchor behind him, Stevie G should enjoy much more leeway to barrel forward into the opponent’s box, releasing cannon blasts and wrecking havoc on their defence.

Benitez seems pleased with his wing purchases, now here’s hoping he’ll be pleased with his wing play. He has at least two options on either side; Kewell and Babel on the left, Pennant and Benayoun on the right. The options are further multiplied when one considers that Kewell can actually play on either flank, Pennant has also operated on the left in the pre-seaon, Babel is right-footed and Benayoun (or Gerrard, or Kewell) is no stranger to playing in the slot behind the striker(s).

There is now pace to burn along the touchline and a quality strikeforce ready for restaurant-quality service. Who makes the starting positions on either side should greatly depend on their offensive output and ability to successfully link up with their supporting fullback.

The defence, methinks, is a slightly different story. While Arbeloa provides Rafa with a left and right back, the backline picks itself; Reina, Finnan, Carra, Agger, and (probably) Riise. Left back may be the most rotated position in the defense this season. But, as much as the manager will continue to tweak the line-up from match to match, he’ll keep the back four (and Reina) untouched more often than not.

Ah, yes, ‘rotation’. Expect it. We may not see wholesale changes, but Rafa has a large squad and the ideas to match. But, Senor Benitez will like to make small changes, a player or two here and there for various reasons, so the press should have plenty of opportunity this season to once again have a go at his ‘tinkering’.

I call it ‘thinkering’.

As for style of play, this may be a season of change at Liverpool. The defense will remain as staunch as ever. Not that that’s any sort of revelation. But when it comes to attacking, the pace, the timing and the way we move the ball could all be ratcheted up.

I believe Rafa is looking towards a faster, more fluid attack, with quicker movement and less time spent dwelling on the ball. There seemed to be multiple games in the pre-season where Liverpool was deliberately setting a high tempo, constantly moving off the ball and stringing together quick passes and making darting runs.

While this style of play may not be able to be replicated every match in the Premier League (there will be slow, physical slugfests), methinks the onus is shifting from a more methodical tempo to one that dials up the heat and continually asking direct questions of our opponent’s defense.

And, while I have deliberately not mentioned them, the youngsters (such as El Zhar and Leto) will have a role to play during the season. It’s safe to say we’ll see their names for the League Cup and early FA Cup outings, but how much Rafa will ask of them in light of his full squad remains to be seen.

As for the players expected to see the most action this year, let’s run through them one-by-one…

The Players

25. Pepe Reina – GK

 pepeshotnewthreads.jpgThumbnail: Considering the reputation he’s built for himself, it’s almost hard to believe Pepe has only been with the club for two short years. In 104 appearances for the club, he’s played an intergral role in 56 clean sheets. He’s now the foundation of one of stingiest rearguards in Europe, and at 24 years of age, has a solid decade of excellence ahead of him. And do I even need to mention his penalty kick expertise?

What’s Expected of Him? More of the same. I feel completely safe with him between the sticks and have even noticed he’s punching less (granted, that’s ‘less’) and is claiming balls in traffic with no problem. The scary thing is, he’s only going to get better with time. To swap him for any other goalkeeper in the world would be madness.

Fun Fact: Pepe holds the Liverpool record for fewest number of goals allowed by a goalkeeper in their first fifty appearances. (29 goals in 50 matches)

26. Scott Carson – GK

Thumbnail: The England U-21 net-minder spent a valuable season on loan at Charlton last term. Although the Addicks were relegated, Scott produced numerous valiant efforts, earning the club’s Player of the Year honor. Rafa had originally stated that he wouldn’t be going back on loan, instead staying at Anfield to compete with the Colossus for the starting job (i.e. he’ll be backing Pepe up). But, it looks as if he’s relented and will ship Scott off to Aston Villa for another season-long loan.

What’s Expected of Him? Make himself the #1 at Villa, help them secure a Top Ten finish and continue his progression as a player. Scott is a quality goalkeeper with bounds of potential, so it’s simply unfortunate (for him) to be stuck behind an entrenched #1 that’s so talented and so young. He obviously wants first team football and rightfully so. Sadly (for him), if Reina continues his form, I don’t know how many more seasons Carson’s Liverpool career is likely to last. At some point, he’ll likely head for the door.

Fun Fact: Scott owns the U-21 record for caps, having recently broken the record formerly owned by Carra.

3. Steve Finnan – RB

Thumbnail: Mr. Dependable. Everybody’s unsung hero. Arguably the best right fullback in England. Although the arrival of Arbeloa gives Rafa another option at right back, no one is under any illusion that Steve’s starting job is in jeopardy. Signed up for another three years, the staunch defender may not be flashy, but has demonstrated just how dangerous he is, not just in the back, but also getting forward and overlapping with the right winger.

What’s Expected of Him? Would more could you ask for? More of the same. His continued selection is a practical no-brainer game in and game out. Look for him to continue to link up and overlap with Pennant, as the pair showed an increased awareness of one another’s game by the end of last season.

Fun Fact: Finnan has played in every flight of English footy, from the Conference to the Premier League.

6. John Arne Riise – LB/LM

Thumbnail: When Houllier first brought the Norweigan to Anfield, JAR made it be known that he considered himself a midfielder, not an everyday left back. In the years since, he’s become a staple at the position. But under Rafa, he’s recently come to split time as a fullback and a midfielder. He can run for days, likes to get forward and has a lethal left foot.

What’s Expected of Him? This may be the season that JAR faces some real competition for his starting spot. With Arbeloa on board, Aurielo on the books and rumors of a move for another left back, Riise’s days among that backline could become less frequent. Although Kewell and Babel are both ready for deployment on the left wing, Riise is still a strong option for midfield. At 26, he’s got his best years ahead of him, but can’t afford to coast. Not that he ever would, considering his incredible fighting spirit. I still believe he needs to work on his defensive game, but he has plenty to offer the club. And with a rocket shot like his, JAR is always a threat.

Fun Fact: It’s not a trivia fact or even all that fun, but here’s video of the Riise cannon blast that broke Alan Smith’s leg.

17. Alvaro Arbeloa – RB/LB

Thumbnail: He’s only been with the club since the January window, but had a helluva an introduction with a great performance against Barcelona and hasn’t missed too many beats since. Having a full back who can play on either side is a handy tool.

What’s Expected of Him? Continue to provide Rafa with a strong back-up for either fullback position. Even though he hit the ground running, he’s only had five months of exposure to the Premier League, so he’ll be expected to improve his game. And with Aurelio’s injury, this may be Alvaro’s opportunity to challenge Riise for the starting left back spot. (That is, if a certain Argentinian doesn’t make a move from a certain club)

Fun Fact: When he scored his first goal (against Reading), he was the first #2 to score a league goal for Liverpool in almost 15 years. Ironically, he’s changed shirt numbers for this season, switching from #2 to #17.

12. Fabio Auriello – LB/LM

Thumbnail: Another versatile defender/midfielder who won La Liga with Rafa at Valencia. He’s displayed an ability to both defend and get involved in the attack, providing the squad with flexibility on the pitch. Sadly, the former Olympian has suffered through injury problems over the past few years and is currently out with a serious Achilles injury. He’ll be sidelined until late Fall.

What’s Expected of Him? Continue to heal. Should he make a successful recovery, adding a fresh pair of proven legs to the squad around the New Year may prove invaluable. He then could resume his challenge for inclusion in the starting XI.

Fun Fact: The first Brazilian to play for Liverpool holds an Italian passport.

23. Jamie Carragher

Thumbnail: Liverpool through and through. Having blossomed since Rafa took over, he’s easily one of the best center backs in England, despite the lack of widespread acknowledgement. He marshals the backline superbly. One of the first names on the team sheet and an absolute legend-in-the-making.

What’s Expected of Him? Continue to lead by example and keep the defence tight. He’s forged a strong partnership with young Daniel Agger, which should only flourish as the young Dane matures. Other than that, what’s he going to do? Score goals?

Fun Fact: Watch Jamie’s GOAL against Fulham last season:

5. Daniel Agger

Thumbnail: It was an impressive first full season for The DAgger, who has joined Carra in already strong and promising center back pairing. Last season had its ups (comparisons to Alan Hansen after that sublime goal) and its downs (criticism after the Drogba goal in the CL semi’s), but having shown his talent at only 22-years old, the club look to have themselves another top-notch defender for the next decade.

What’s Expected of Him? Continue to adapt to the Premier League and continue his partnership/internship with Carra. While rarely did the inked-up Dane ever look out-of-place last season, the young defender will no doubt continue to improve as his on-the-job training progresses. A few more cracking goals certainly won’t hurt either.

Fun Fact: Daniel’s entry on Wikipedia claims that he’s a tattoo artist. I thought it a complete fabrication until I found these pictures on RAWK…

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You see, kids, it’s important to have a back-up career, because you can’t play sports forever. Surely, TLC has a ‘Copenhagen Ink’ show in the works?

4. Sami Hyypia – CB

Thumbnail: A wonderful servant to the club, Sami has been at the heart of two of the defences’ finest hours in recent years. He’s formed formidable partnerships with both Stephane Henchoz for the cup treble in 2001 and Jamie Carragher in 2005’s Champions League conquest. Now, with his career (and Liverpool contract) winding down, Sami is playing the role of back-up and mentor to the two talented center backs ahead of him. Think he fancies a coaching job?

What’s Expected of Him? We know he’ll be ready to step in when needed, whether because of injury or squad rotation dictates that Carra or DAgger need a rest. More than ever, he’ll have to play the game with his head, not his legs. As back-up center defenders go, the Big Finn is a trusty deputy.

Fun Fact: As a 20-year old, Sami had a two-week trial with Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle.

7. Harry Kewell – LW

Thumbnail: Since joining the club from Leeds, Harry has become the Australian Sicknote. But after sitting out the 06/07 season with Septic Arthritis and having let his body heal, this could be a season of rebirth for #7. On his day, a fit Kewell offers a pace and creativity on the flank rivaled by only the highest percentile of Premier League players. He can also play as a second striker, but barring multiple injuries, we’re unlikely to see that scenario this season. Whether or not he’ll stay fit enough to offer Rafa an extremely dangerous alternative on the wings is the million dollar question.

What’s Expected of Him? More than anything, stay healthy. If Harry’s body doesn’t betray him, the Aussie could very well nail down a regular place on the left wing and do some real damage for the Reds. He can run at defenders, cut in or cross with aplumb. A fit and firing Kewell would be a useful weapon in both the title race and in Europe. An injured Kewell may find himself on offer to another club.

Fun Fact: Was the youngest debutant for Australia when he took the field in 1996 (vs. Chile) at age 17 (and 7 months).

16. Jermaine Pennant – RW

Thumbnail: It’s fair to say that Jermaine’s first year at Anfield was a mixed bag. He’s shown glimpses of the talent that landed him at Arsenal and now Liverpool, but also frustrated with some regressive performances. Promisingly, his game improved dramatically in the latter half of the season and it would appear he’s taking the coaching staff’s training to heart as his in-game IQ and confidence were obviously improved. Should he continue to progress on the right flank, not to mention his apparent foray into playing on the left wing, not only will he be a valuable asset that can switch between wings, but could earn himself that England call-up he’s been dreaming of. (Once McClaren gets fired, of course)

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What’s Expected of Him? Continued improvement. Nobody expects Pennant to light the world on fire. But, he’s more than capable of going past defenders and supplying the revamped strike force with quality balls. He and Finnan have worked well together and I dare say his star could be on the rise.

Fun Fact: Jeramine is the only player ever to have worn an electronic tracking bracklet during a Premier League game.

19. Ryan Babel – LW/ST

Thumbnail: One the new boys, a product of the famed Ajax youth system. At only 20 years of age, he comes to Anfield with considerable promise and bags of talent. And the sooner he starts unpacking those bags, the better for the team. He played out on the left wing in Ajax’s 4-3-3, so he should be equally comfortable at left wing or striker.

What’s Expected to Him? Bed in and start learning. A healthy Harry Kewell will likely be preferred to Ryan, but Rafa will call upon him for some run-outs and he should be ready to showcase his talents. That said, he’s young and new to the club, so he’ll be afforded some time to settle in. I also think that since he’s right-footed, learning to play on the right (like Pennant is on the left) could only enhance his future standing.

Fun Fact: Scored on his full senior national debut, becoming the youngest Dutch goalscorer in almost 70 years.

22. Momo Sissoko – DM

Thumbnail: The midfield destroyer. Energy personified. He’s a force to be reckoned with, harassing players and disrupting the attack with incredibe effectiveness. His natural progression may have been hampered by the lingering effects of his eye injury, but didn’t damper his enthusiasm. Momo’s defensive abilities are not in question; It’s his offensive skills which have come under the most scrutiny. Right now, he’s basically a one-dimensional player, but plays his role to perfection.

What’s Expected of Him? Continue to grow as a player, especially on the offensive side of the ball. If he’s able to refine his passing and first touch, a better-rounded Momo could do serious damage all over the pitch. Regardless, he should keep up the energy levels and continue destroying our opponents’ progress.

Fun Fact: It’s widely reported that Momo was a striker in his younger days at Auxerre and it was Rafa who converted him to the midfield at Valencia.

11. Yossi Benayoun – AM/RW

Thumbnail: Another of the new boys. The captain of his Israeli national side. Although he’s often played behind the striker, he’ll most likely find himself on the right wing for most of his outings in a Liverpool shirt. He has Premier League pedigree and should provide a creative spark much in the same vein as the recently departed Luis Garcia.

What’s Expected of Him? Replicate the exceptional form he showed at West Ham. Continue to excel in setting up goals, as we could use each and every extra one he can create. I have a feeling he’ll have plenty of opportunities on the right wing, splitting time with Pennant. I was initially against his purchase, but I’ve liked the look of him and back him to make a positive contribution.

Fun Fact: As a nine-year old, he and his father had to hitchhike to his Saturday games.

20. Javier Mascherano – DM

Thumbnail: A great loan signing/rescue by Rafa who has blossomed since his move from West Ham to Anfield. An industrious midfield anchor who reads the game exceptionally well, tackles hard but has shown his talents are not lost further up the pitch.

What’s Expected of Him? Keep up the hard work and prove he’s worth buying permanently at the end of the season. While he doesn’t bound around like Momo, he doesn’t have to as he keeps popping up in the right place at the right time over and over again. I also enjoy Masch’s proclivity for hard tackles. His passing proficiency and ability not to gum up the works in the final third could keep him ahead of Sissoko for the ‘midfielder destroyer’ position.

Fun Fact: Scored his first two international goals for Argentina this summer at the Copa America. Here’s his first, the game-winner against Paraguay:

14. Xabi Alonso – CM

Thumbnail: What a buy by Rafa. Three years later he’s one of the squad’s most influential players. One of the classiest passers in the Premier League and he also is a threat to score from his own half. Although he does well to lie deep and pull the strings from 30+ yards, he’s just as sharp standing outside the opponents 18-yard line.

What’s Expected of Him? After a good but not great post-World Cup season, Xabi needs to return to the form he spoiled with us the first two seasons. When he’s paired with Gerrard, he’ll hang back more often. But should he play along side Masch or Momo, his leash becomes that much looser.

Fun Fact: While his father is a former Real Madrid star, his brother Mikel is on loan at Bolton, his other brother, Jon, is a referee.

8. Steven Gerrard –  CM/MBE

Thumbnail: Captain Fantastic. One of the best talents in the game. He’s brought the fans on a roller-coaster ride the past few seasons, between the transfer saga, the incredible Cup Final performances, and most recently, the ‘Middle vs. Wide Right’ debate. But, having been through it all with him, he’s still one of the best players in the world and I can’t imagine Liverpool without him.

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What’s Expected of Him? Lead by example. While it would be unreasonable to expect a 2006 FA Cup Final performance from him every match, I’d like to see him stamp his authority on league matches with an increased frequency. It’s those crappy road games at Fulham we can’t afford to lose and Stevie needs to make sure we kill those teams off, on both ends of the field. Rafa has recently said that now that the squad has enough wingers, the captain will spend the majority of his time in his preferred central midfield role. He’s coming into his prime and it’s time for him to lead us on to further glory.

Fun Fact: Had a trial at Manchester United at age 14.

15. Peter Crouch – ST

Thumbnail: Save the jokes, we all know how tall he is. In his first season, Crouchie scored 13 (eight in the league), then netted 18 times (nine in the league) last term. He’s actually gotten better in the air, but what’s most impressive about him may be his soft touch.

What’s Expected of Him? Like every other striker in the squad, score goals. He’ll continue to provide Rafa with a different on-field look and play a towering foil to whomever he’s partnered with. Hopefully, he’ll continue his yearly improvement on his goal tally in addition to helping create scoring chances for his teammates.

Fun Fact: Peter says The Robot is dead, although he could resurrect him for a special Champions League goal.

18. Dirk Kuyt – ST

Thumbnail: Dirk was our leading scorer in the league last season with 12 goals. An industrious striker whose onfield work ethic has already endeared him to a legion of fans in only one season. His selfless attitude on the field and willingness to labor for his teammates brings a real grit to the team. It also reminds me of a certain legendary striker who also defended from the front…

What’s Expected of Him? Score goals. Keep up the work-rate. He may do better to convert a few more of the close-range chances he’s presented with, but just as often his tireless efforts produce a chance for another Red. I wonder if growing a shaggy mustache might not help his game immensely.

Fun Fact: He and his wife run the Dirk Kuyt Foundation which benefits inner-city youths in Holland and impoverished children in third-world countries. He also has a clothing line, whose profits all go to charity.

10. Andriy Voronin – ST

Thumbnail: The new #10. Another of Rafa’s summer imports, but this one was free. Partnered with Shevchenko for Ukraine and Berbatov at Leverkusen; let’s hope his debut season is more like the latter’s. Has looked impressive in the pre-season (yes, it’s just ‘pre-season’ though), displaying a high work-rate, strength, touch and ability to work with and for his teammates.

What’s Expected of Him? Like the broken record says, score. But, as a new addition and having come to the club under the shadow of the Torres transfer, expectations for the Ukranian may be a little lower. As long as puts out the same efforts he’s already displayed and scores or creates goals, he’ll be received just fine.

Fun Fact: Was nicknamed ‘The Raven’ earlier in his career, which has now been adopted as ‘The Crow’ by some Liverpool fans.

9. Fernando Torres – ST

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Thumbnail: Our new #9. El Nino. The £20 million man. He’s the most high-profile signing Rafa has made in his tenure at Anfield. 14 goals in 42 appearances for Spain, 82 in 214 for Atletico and the captain’s armband is a hell of a resume. Quite frankly, expectations for the 23-year old are high. With such a bright future ahead of him, he could become the attacking talisman for Liverpool. We know he’s got the pedigree, it’s just a question of his settling into the English game.

What’s Expected of Him? Score – just like all the other strikers. Learn the rigors of the Premier League. Whether fair or not, the fans will expect more from the Spanish international than any of the other strikers. But, with plenty of his countrymen (including the gaffer) to help him settle in, I like him to bed in quickly and make an impact. We may not see the magical “20 goals” this season, but Torres has all the tools to succeed in the Premier League.

Fun Fact: As a ten-year old, he scored 55 goals in his first season with his youth club.

So, there is it is. Hopefully all this adds up a successful year for the Reds. And, silverware = success. While I’ll make no claims of #19 or #6, I look forward to Saturday’s kick-off at Villa with my head held high and my heart already singing a tune.

YNWA.

So, what do you think?

What are your thoughts on this years squad, the style of play and the tactics we’ll see?

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20 Responses to “07/08 Liverpool FC Preview”


  1. 1 Kinsley Ransom August 10, 2007 at 3:43 am

    EMILIANO INSUA, SEBASTIAN LETO and LUCAS LEIVA will definitely make some part for us this season. Insua especially looked very good at defending and tackling in the later games of last season and the friendlies recently.

    Of course you have also not mentioned Palleta and I think that with some time in the middle of defence with Carra or Agger will improve greatly this season which should give Rafa a chance to ‘rest’ the other defenders.

  2. 2 voxyReercor October 20, 2007 at 4:09 am

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  3. 3 johnny January 18, 2008 at 11:58 am

    hhhhhhhhheeeeeeeeeeellllllllllllllllllloooooooooooooooooo

  4. 4 arta February 24, 2008 at 11:17 am

    wowowo is daniel really a tattoo artist????

  5. 5 Dakano May 19, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    You forgot Itandje. We also sold Paletta.

  6. 6 rio June 2, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    the most importan is gerrard….he is the best n loyal to the team!!!bravo gerrard…

  7. 7 rio June 2, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    joe cole n ribery must sign with liverpool next season!

  8. 8 saTandark July 16, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    *i love You liverpool*
    i love You gerrard
    این تیم قهرمان لیگ برتر میشه

  9. 9 sanja marinkovic September 14, 2008 at 8:42 am

    TORREW IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL MAN IN THE WORLD!!!!I LOVE HIM!!!!

  10. 10 sanja marinkovic September 14, 2008 at 8:49 am

    SORRY, I MEANT TORRES, NOT TORREW!!!BUT IT`S NOT IMPORTANT HOW HAVE I WRITTEN IT, `CAUSE HE`LL STILL BE THE BEST, THE PRETTIEST FOOTBALLER AND THE OLNY REASON WHY I STARTED LOVING FOOTBALL!!!!!

  11. 11 bashiir November 16, 2008 at 4:00 am

    aad iyo ayaa u jeclahy torres

  12. 12 medya July 12, 2009 at 10:01 am

    fernando torres is the best of the heal world

  13. 15 demi November 27, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    i luv fernando torres so much he is my hero number 9 woop woop
    lol

  14. 16 sof December 30, 2009 at 11:45 am

    Torres, my number 9! I will love him forever<3 he is the reason why I started my footballll career! He is the most sweetest and best player in the world!<3<3 my number 9, love U!<3
    P.S! I remember when i was on Liverpool-Lyn(Lyn is in Norway), and i saw Torres 2 meters infront of me!! I started crying lol<3<3

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