Why Liverpool Will Finish Second

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By Andrew Kabuura

The one fact I can’t edit is the swaying fashion in which Liverpool finished last season. The other is that Arsenal have lost the plot while it’s logical to have Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United in the same sentence.

But just before I get into Anfield and probably create more enemies there, I can’t help but apologize to Arsene Wenger after under-rating his talents sometime back. He is a bigger comedian than I thought. How you watch great team dissolve without any resistance beats my understanding. Wenger needs to understand that the best way to keep competitive is to monitor happenings in your rival’s backyard.

Over the past few weeks Manchester United and Man City have been busy clipping pages out of their checque books to sensibly expand their squads. Not that Chelsea have been that busy but the addition of Romelu Lukaku and talk about Luka Modric shows the Blues have one eye on next season’s fight. The Exit of Cecs Fabreags and Samir Nasir (soon) should end the Gunner’s irritating claim to be a top-four side in England anymore. You see, the logic is simple. The best and cheap players are available usually when the window has just opened and not when the deadline is around the corner. Then, the feeder clubs too hold you at ransom and you end up coughing more. So, if Wenger is not the “I buy expensively type”, how on earth is he ready to replace Fabregas and Nasir with just days to go?. I rest my Case.

For the few times I have let-fly my opinion about Liverpool,I have always been threatened by the Kop into a joint dislocation. So I guess I should try and stay positive for the sake of my body parts.

For starters, you’ve got to applause King Kenny for his contribution since the much talked-about return. He has pulled it off. But this season will be a different page considering he’s fully in charge from the beginning and maybe until the end. The arrival of three promising English-men in Downing, Adam, Hernderson and the Spaniard Jose Enrique doesn’t only show Kenny is enrolling into the “develop British talent” thing but also knows when players are worth a chance at the highest level. Another applause.

To this background, allow me to declare that Liverpool will still not win the Premier league but will finish second. Yes second, ahead of Manchester City and Chelsea. Please don’t ask me about Arsenal again.

Not just because their fans make the loudest noise, but the quality in depth at Anfield is amazing. By now You and I know the best way to create a winning team is having a leveled ground for competition in the squad because this way only the best start. The battle for places in the Liverpool midfield is hair-raising. Take for example where Steven Gerrard is going to fit when Dirk Kuyt, Charlie Adam and Suarez keep at their best? Stuart Downing and Jordan Herndason could have been the automatic option for the bench but not after Downing’s opening day display. Anyway this means either Downing, Kuyt, Adam are destined for the bench since Lucas and the front two strikers almost seem assured of starting. All am saying is the competitiveness in the Liverpool dressing room is going to eventually show from the outside through good form.

But You and I also know “all that glitters is not Gold” meaning Liverpool’s great finish to last season, a fully fit Steven Gerrard, four promising arrivals and the image of Kenny Dalglish doesn’t really mean a 20th league title this season.

The amount of pressure at Anfield is visible, issues like squad gelling can not be under-rated and the strength of the rivals is a must consideration. Sometimes pressure gets the best out of squad but like I said, sometimes. Injuries will definitely have their say as well with Captain Stevie and all the right backs starting to get addicted to the treatment table.

The bigger issue at Anfield though is the back line. Since I should not talk about injuries again, I will say Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel are good defenders who can dictate issues at the most intimidating grounds. Yes, Jamie Carragher too. Jose Enrique should be a good addition but could easily be referred to as the the only one-eyed man a room packed with the blind.

To this reasoning, I believe Anfield will surely be a hard ground to visit, they will bully some teams in their own backyards but will certainly fall short and finish second.

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