It’s all about Strength In Depth, and we don’t have it!
Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard admits he is frustrated by the side’s failure to challenge for the Premier League title this season.
The Reds are currently languishing in seventh spot 12 points behind leaders Chelsea after an indifferent campaign to date.
Rafa Benitez’s men find themselves in a battle to finish in the top four rather than competing for the Premier League crown and Gerrard admits they have failed to live up to expectations this term.
“It’s frustrating to be where we are in the league now because this was meant to be the year where we were going to be right up there all the way through,” said Gerrard.
“It would mean everything to win it. It’s frustrating not to have it already and I’ve come close on a couple of occasions.
“I will continue to fight for the Premier League from now until I stop playing. Hopefully I can add it to my collection because it would round a fantastic career off.
“It would be extra special if I could do it as captain in the next couple of years. I’m not sure how long I’m going to be captain for – probably another two or three years. If not as captain, then hopefully I can still lift it as a Liverpool player.
“Now, though, it’s important for us to try to get back up to the top of the table.” (Sky Sports)
I guess Stevie G is only speaking his mind and it’s good to hear him making a commitment to his future at Liverpool Football Club and one can only hope he does indeed fulfill his wish of a League Title at the club. Right now we find ourselves in seventh place and whilst its obviously true we have had a horrid start to the season it is worth also noting that improvements evident at the likes of our top four contenders.
Manchester City‘s win over Chelsea goes some way to proving they really are the genuine article and that the oddles of money spent by Mark Hughes is beginning to pay dividends, remember the Eastlands outfit have lost just one game this season and they have already played all the traditional top four sides. Tottenham have continued to progress under Harry Redknapp’s guidance and Aston Villa have quietly crept upwards.
It seems clear that this season will be a struggle and Gerrard’s hopes to lift the Premier League title before he retires looked far more promising last term when we appeared to be showing great potential. It would be churlish and plain wrong to blame our bad start on injuries and anyone who does so is missing the point. Every team has injuries, and its down to the strength in depth in a squad to help a side battle through such set backs, and we don’t have it.
Our squad is simply not good enough. If you were to take the best elevens you could make out of the current top seven sides then yes I think we would safely be in the top four, but if you look at the squads then we are probably lagging behind everyone, perhaps even Aston Villa. So that is what its all down to, the one thing we do not have (and haven’t had for a long time if we are being honest), strength in depth. A selection of good quality, not necessarily top quality, replacements for our first 11, we don’t have that right now, not even by half.
Again this isn’t just down to a lack of money its also down to buying the wrong players and also not playing the players you have just bought (anyone who saw my piece on Alberto Aquilani yesterday knows of who I speak). With a prevailing wind I can see us putting together a good ten match unbeaten run to put more pressure on the top four but in order to put together such a run everyone needs to be pulling in the same direction. We are in a better position than we were say a few weeks ago, but we are still a long way away.
As for our skipper’s title dream, well that will have to wait another year, for this season is all about making the most of what is available to us and hopefully we can make room for a trophy or two as well as a top four finish. Anyone know what the Europa League Trophy looks like?