In the summer of 2005, so the story goes, Rafa Benitez rounded up all his back room staff and asked them to write down the names of everyone in the Premier League that they thought would improve Liverpool Football Club.
Knowing Rafa the exercise probably had several points to it. Who is thinking the way I am? Who is wide of the mark? But the main reasons given was to see what the coaches at Liverpool felt the deficiencies were in the squad, and to see if any surprise names came up that he hadn’t considered.
Today Neil Atkinson recreated the exercise with the most Iberian lads he could find. Sean Rogers, Steve Graves and Rob Gutmann wade through the Premier League 11 years later with their opinions on who would improve the current Liverpool squad.
Rob doesn’t pick as many goalkeepers as you’d think. Steve picks as many left backs as he can think of, but largely ignores anyone who plays in central midfield. Sean tries to be all sensible because he’s a real football manager.
The conclusions they jointly get to end up being a discussion of what certain Liverpool players aren’t bringing that they should be and who, from an attacking sense, might find themselves moved, or dropped, if players of genuine quality are brought in.