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3-5-2 For Liverpool?

Another reader submission for From The Terraces, as COS reader Mick reckons This Is Anfield might know better than a highly paid professional manager.

This Is Anfield are proposing a radical solution to Liverpool’s problems this Premiership season. Bring back Roy Evans? Sort of. What they actually want is a return to 3-5-2 – with wingbacks and everything – which they feel would suit the current crop of players better than Rafa Benitez’s current formation (whatever that is).

It’s currently in vogue to laugh in the face of 3-5-2, the evidence being:

1) No one has ever won anything playing it recently
2) Croatia 2-0 England

But there’s a fairly convincing argument to be made in Liverpool’s case. And here it is:

Sami Hyppia’s tortoise pace could be covered up if both Carragher and (particularly) Aggers played alongside him in a back three. The big Finn could head balls away all day long, without getting skinned alive by any forwards who are under 40.

Wing back wise, John Arne Riise should rule the left side. He’s flitted between left back and left mid all his Anfield career, so maybe somewhere inbetween would suit him best. Steve Finnan is similar player on the other flank (minus the thunderbolt shot, obviously). Bad news for Mark González and Jermaine Pennant though.

3-5-2 would also solve the never-ending Anfield midfield debate. Xabi Alonso and Steven Gerrard would both benefit from playing in a central midfield three with a holding player doing the defensive work. Ideally they could play with Momo Sissoko behind them, though the long legged Malian is recovering from that nasty dislocated shoulder (recently operated on by the way). The alternative is to let Alonso sit and dictate play while Sissoko and Gerrard do their headless chicken impressions up and down the park, knowing someone was covering.

Up front it would be the same old problem though, with Benitez struggling to choose two from Crouch, Kuyt and Craig “the new Thierry Henry” Bellamy.

It’s unlikely to happen of course, with only Steve “Mad Mac” McClaren loopy enough to play 3-5-2 in the Premiership as a first choice tactic in recent memory. But maybe someone at Liverpool should dig out Vegard Heggem’s mobile number, just in case.

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