There always seems to be a big issue or talking point around Liverpool, as there probably is with most clubs. At the minute, the amount of football Daniel Sturridge is getting seems to be high on the list of discussion points. I’ve seen countless polls on Twitter of preferred front 3’s and plenty of stats proving we’re better either with or without Daniel Sturridge.
This isn’t a Sturridge article, but the talk surrounding him and our front three got me thinking about our options and squad this year. It’s impressive. Due to being an optimist, I always go into each season with a belief that our squad is better than the previous year. Sadly though, I’ve been wrong and we’ve seen a very good starting eleven at Liverpool but never a lot coming from the bench. Even in our title chasing heights of recent years in 2008/09 and 2013/14, our bench has been poor. When we ran riot at Old Trafford four days after battering Real Madrid, we had a bench of Cavalieri, Insua, Dossena, El Zhar, Babel, Arbeloa and N’Gog. Jesus wept.
Although our starting eleven is not currently a title challenging, Europe conquering eleven, we have a very balanced, dynamic squad full of options. Such is the nature, attack wise you’d fancy every week three of Emer Can, JordanHenderson, Georginio Wijnaldum, Marko Grujic, Roberto Firmino, Phillipe Coutinho, Adam Lallana, Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi, Sadio Mane and Danny Ings will be on the bench if all are fit. Defensively, you’d also imagine three of Alberto Moreno, Ragnar Klavan, Mamadou Sakho and Lucas Levia will be on the bench when fit. This means that no matter how we set up, we will always have a plan B. That in particular is something that has been our downfall in previous years it seems.
As I’ve just touched upon there, the current squad being so big means that we can set up in different ways. Away from home Jürgen Klopp likes to go with Firmino up top and for us to press high. This allows us to put pressure on opponents and bring on Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi late on to change the game. When at home where we have struggled in recent years, we can go with Sturridge or Origi up top and go more direct. We could play them both and play the diamond with Can, Wijnaldum, Henderson and Coutinho as a midfield four.
After years of having no plan B, it appears we finally now have realistic options from the bench that can come on and change things. No more Alberto’s, Markovic’s or Benteke’s. This is the biggest squad we’ve had in a long time and for the majority of the season we’ll have one game a week. Exciting times to be a Red.
Written by @JackMitc_5