NEIL ATKINSON sits in for Rob Gutmann and is joined by Mike Girling, Adam Smith and Craig Rimmer to discuss the size of Liverpool’s squad in comparison to that of their rivals.
What is the ideal squad size?
Is there a difference between Europa and Champions League in terms of what you want and need? How can this change through a season and across campaigns?’
Interesting show. The question I have is.. Who would play in your Europa League / League cup squad? So many denominations due to the squad size, but I’ll take punt bearing in mind where the players are now in terms of preparation for the new season.
I’ve left Beardy man (Lallana) in as I think once the trinity are fit, he may find he is going to have some reduced playing time in the league.
Gomez Lovren Ilori Toure
I would love to see other people’s choices for the 2nd string
When I typed that I was in the shape of the 442 diamond.. Not that you can tell now.. Bloody tablets!
In Europe I think that you’ll see a 4-3-3 as its a bit more defensively stable. Also, with players coming in and out of that 2nd string it may be easier to create basic cohesion.
From what I’ve seen in pre season, I see Ings ahead of Origi in the pecking order, so Origi up top, with Ibe and Ojo (maybe Lallana). Just shit loads of pace really. The three behind would be some combination of: Lucas, Can, Tex, Rossiter, Allen. A back four made up of Kolo, Gomez, Lovren and Maguire.
So: Ojo Divy Ibe
Allen Lucas Ross
Maguire Lov Kolo Gomez
It depends a heap on form and who gets picked at Stoke. I tend to agree with Mike Girling in that this plan (if it exists) may fall by the way side as soon as pressure comes on. If it goes to plan though, I think that you will see at least two old heads (like Lucas and Kolo) as fixtures.
Interesting times ahead though…
We might have one or two more players in the squad than necessary, but at the end of the window it will probably be a similar size to last year, but with what should prove to be a few upgrades.
We have brought a lot of players in again, but it has been pretty much like for like, one in one out changes. (Clyne – Johnson, Gomez – Manquillo, Milner – Gerrard, Ings – Lambert, Origi – Borini, Benteke – Balotelli, Firmino – Sterling).
We also have Ilori and Teixeira back from loans. It will be interesting to see if Ilori hangs around. Perhaps another year on loan before replacing Toure (or Lovren!) next year? Teixeira might find himself in the same situation as Suso last year, although I think he is faster and stronger than Suso which might help him keep his spot.
If everyone stays fit, some players might struggle for game time, but it will only take a couple of injuries when the games are coming thick and fast for us to be glad of the extra depth.
I think there is a tendency for us to under estimate the fringe players in other teams’ squads because we aren’t as familiar with them as we are with our own players. Last season injuries meant we saw the depth of Arsenal’s squad and it looked strong. Mourinho on the other hand, has said he likes a small tight squad, and he seems to have the durable players who don’t leave him too exposed by injuries.
It was amusing that in a pod where the theme seemed to be that our squad was perhaps bigger than needed, it finished with Mike saying we needed another attacker! We don’t. We finished last season with Gerrard up front, we will not find ourselves needing to resort to similar set ups this year.