No Defence for the Lack of Centre Backs

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The Pre-Match Press Conference Drama

The pre-match press conference for the Reds trip to Newcastle (this Sunday afternoon) was a combination of when Mohamed Salah would be leaving and when new additions would potentially arrive. On top of this, the already agitated fanbase was informed that we may well have lost Ibrahima Konaté to yet another injury. The vague reporting had the ailment as a muscular problem, which could mean just about anything, in terms of longevity. The whole point of this summer of change was to regenerate either departing or depreciating assets. The transfer window started wonderfully, with the additions of Alexis Mac Allister and Dominick Szoboszlai exciting a raft of expectant supporters. It is fair to say that the recruitment teams prearranged plans may have been altered due to the constant circling of clubs within the Saudi Pro League, or the complete neglect for profit and sustainability by Chelsea. It appears that wealth has overtaken the want to explore one’s footballing ambitions, yet there was surely more that could have been accomplished by the Reds, regardless of any intangibles.

A Summer of Change and Challenges

One would imagine that the permanent appointment of an elite Sporting Director may have seen Liverpool navigate the was informed varying obstacles, instead of comments on how Jörg Schmadtke is busy topping up tan in Ibiza. After the debacle of last season, there was clearly and absolute and utter determination from Jürgen Klopp to ensure all areas of need were addressed. The need for three or four midfielders was always a certainly, which I believe can still be achieved.

The Need for a Sporting Director

In concentrating all efforts of the squads’ middle ground, it may be that the defence has been neglected. For several years now, Nat Phillips has been continually cast as the 5th choice central defender within the Liverpool squad. For an academy product that turns 27-years-old next March, it is absurd that once again we walk into a long and unforgiving campaign without having addressed a glaring deficiency. Phillips has a mere 29 senior appearances across his Liverpool career, which indicates the coaching hierarchy has become increasingly reliant on luck within the defensive group. After Virgil van Dijk sustained an ACL injury a couple of years back, it was assumed that Joe Gomez and Joël Matip would take up the enormous responsibility of filling the Dutchman’s shoes. Eventually, Ibrahima Konaté was signed from RB Leipzig, though the reliance on that back up three of Joe, Joël, and Nat, has continued ever since. All three options are either injury prone or simply not up to task, yet all three will undoubtedly be drafted into first team action sooner rather than later.

Midfield and Defense: A Balancing Act

On a day when Micky van de Ven has excelled for his new club, Tottenham, in their 0-2 away victory against Bournemouth, it shows just how sluggish the Reds have been in attempting to regenerate their backline. As I write this, it is being reported that the ultra-talented 21-year-old Brazilian, Murillo, is on the cusp of signing for Nottingham Forest. This is yet another indication of how lethargic and ignorant we have become in the market. An opportunity has arisen once again to improve our group, yet once again we have sat idle and watched.

Missed Opportunities in the Transfer Market

With just a few days remaining in this transfer window, it does feel like it could be a telling moment for the short- and long-term aspirations of this team. This period of uncertainty has dragged on for months now, with the risk of injury and lack of options always likely. With game three of the league season now upon us, the risk just became a harsh reality.

I sincerely hope the next few days can prove decisive, or this could be yet another season of what ifs, and ultimately, failure.

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