Liverpool Message Board
I hear what you saying, and Owen may have a few more good seasons left in him, but 2 things would concern me, even if he did drop his wages to come back. First second time around rarely works out. And second how motivated he would be to play for us. I can forgive him going to Madrid, but then holding us to ransom when he wanted to come back was a bridge too far IMO.
The simple answer is that Owen would have a lot more ability if he came back to us than Fowler did at the stage he retirned. As I have said I agree that the conditions of his return would have to be correct (pay per play etc), but that under those terms he would be a good signing. Why? Because he would cost nothing to sign, and if he did not perform, he would not play, and would cost next to nothing again.
Like Ajay, I believe that it is a bit 'precious' for us to think that Torres must play every game, and that he would get unhappy if he did not. Torres + another great striker, battling it out for the starting slot brings out the best in both players, if it does not they should not be here in any case. It also provides other options, such as the possibility of going two up front (with genuine strikers), as well as ensuring ready made cover, such as we could have had for earlier in the season. Great clubs have great players battling for the homour to pull on the jersey. No player at Liverpool is too big to fight for his place.
It's very similar to the "problem" Chelsea and United face each week.
Last night Chelsea went from the midfield
I think they were worried about a blip against a resurgent, highly motivated Newcastle so they started with pretty much 6 men back, Lampard in the middle and 3 up front, just to settle things down and take the sting out of any Newcastle dreams.
Late on they took off Essien for Bollocks to move into right midfield in their standard 4-1-4-1 or 4-1-2-3 formation. Point is Bollocks, Deco and Drogba not in starting 11. How often DO they play Anelka AND Drogba up front? And we all know how big Anelka and Drogba's egos are.
United similarly will have Berbatov up front with Rooney in the "Gerrard role" and Tevez on the bench or any other combination of 2 out of those 3. Then they pack their midfield with attacking options. One thing you can say about United - they rarely (never?) go out with 6 at the back.
You rarely see 2 out and out up front strikers, amongst the top 4 clubs at least. Villa pairing Carew and Heskey against us was a big gamble that didn't pay off. They expected to win lots of crosses against our back 2 but the service wasn't there.
Bottom line, I think is we NEED two good/great players in the main positions like striker, creative midfield, defensive midfield, goalie and 3 centre backs. They just need to know they will not play EVERY game of the season. Having them does give you the option, though of going all out attack with 4-4-2 (4-2-4?) or super defensive with 3-5-1-1.
But when you are challenging for EPL, ECL and FA Cup there will be a lot of games to go around. That's modern football and the players should be glad they can get a rest occasionally.
I really think our problem has not necessarily been lack of enough quality players or playing two quality strikers but lack of ambition(?) or belief(?). As one or two other posters have suggested, now the lads seem to have been given the green light to really attack they have looked awesome. Last night was just the latest example of what we have been seeing for the last 4 weeks. Sure, we didn't stick 4 away last night but for a couple of centimetres we could easily have won 5-0.
Without E'to or Villa.
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If it was any other (former) worldclass striker, who is no longer the player he was, but still has ability, lets say Gudjohnsen (sp?), (I know he is still good, its just illustrative) who was happy to be the back up striker, would cost nothing, and agreed to a pay per play deal we would be right behind it. Those are the conditions you would need to justify signing such a player, and if Owen accepted them I would say he was worthwhile. It is not that I have a short memory about the way he left the club, but it is hardly unheard of - it was Real Madrid for gods sake, and yes, it was a lot of money! I wish he hadn't left, or at the least we managed to get what he was worth, but it was hardly groundbreaking never been heard of before stuff either. Get him on those terms and he is a sensible buy. That pay per play clause is a must though - you have better odds on the lottery than Owens hamstrings!
For an all out attacking formation, I'd say it has some merrit, althought think I'd put Alonso in the center to be the focal point, rather than wide. Rather have Kuyt or a real winger out there. Otherwise think we'd tend to be a bit narrow with only one dedicated wide player in Riera.
But for most matches I think Rafa would like a little more defensive cover, and I'd tend to agree with him. That means 2 holding midfielders, which only leaves room for two players up front, ether as 2 out and out strikers, or as we've set up, Torres up front, and Gerrard behind as a 2nd striker, or advanced midfielder depending on what you like to call that role.
I know many find this set up too defensive, but I really think it depends on how you look at it. In reality we've got 4 potential strikers going forward. Torres who plays the point, but you've also got wingers who are given the freedom to pinch inside. Whether that's Kuyt, Yossi, Riera, or Babel, they can all play that role. And, while we do set up with 2 holding midfielders, really you've got one (usually Masch) who's primary role is to protect the back 4, the other, while playing deep, really is responsible for transition play, which Alonso does extremely well.
I know people are banding on about a new striker myself included but we've still got Voronin and he's eager to prove himself to us..
Although the other week he claimed he was all set to turn his back on us claiming he didn''t wanna play for us anymore..
Whatever the truth is.. we still have an available striker we can recall if need be..
Either that or we sell him for around £4m ..
Not bad considering he was a free transfer..
I think bringing back Owen probably would be a sentimental act..
Despite many of you thinking he's a "traitor".
On a long longer term basis we should be thinking of someone like Silva.. Who maybe bought for £18m+ ?
I see what your saying, but if you bring anyone in, and they take a starting spot, someone has to sit (unless they've changed the rules on 11 players). If its not Gerrard or Torres who has to sit to make room, then as you've suggested you have to change the shape, which means a different players sits.
The first point on your suggestion of changing the formation, has to be that its very unlikely due to Rafa's thinking. While we may never know what he's actually thinking, his actions show he does not put out a traditional 442, unless the personel he has force him to. He much prefers a lone front man, with either an advanced midfielder, or support striker behind him. While he could play a new striker in the postion Gerrard has played this season, and shunt Gerrard back, I don't see this as likely. It would break the Torres partnership, and eliminate the ability of Gerrard to roam anywhere on the pitch he can find space.
Second, is who you drop. Either you drop a winger, and you play more of a 433, or you drop Gerrard back to midfield, and play either a traditional 442, or a 4411. On the first, think the player droped is most likely Kuyt, but do you get the best out of either Torres or Eto (or Villa, or any other top striker) playing them wide on the wing? Alternative is putting Gerrard out there, and we get back to the old debate of playing Gerrard out of position.
I think I've already covered the 442 formation, but the logic for that is the same as the 4411. You've got Torres and the new striker up front, and Gerrard goes back to the center of midfield. That means either Alonso or Masch has to sit. If you drop Alonso, I think you loose what might be the key player we've had this season. He's been our rock in transitioning play, and IMO one of the main reasons why we are challenging this season. But, if you drop Masch, you drop vital coverage of the back 4, which is a key reason we've been solid defensivily this season. Now Gerrard could more than fill the void left by either of those players. But if he's ask to do that, then he can't also push forward which has allowed him to re-discover himself this season as a support striker.
Well I think he doesn't have the desire to play football again. Like Ian Wright said, it seems Michael is more interested in his horses than football. Do we really need him in his current state? I for one would not be happy if he came back. Don't get me wrong, he served us greatly of which I'll never forget, but he turned his back on Rafa and us TWICE!
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