to Craig Bellamy's comments about Liverpool's Dan Agger. Is the defender really
destined for greatness?
Liverpool fans rejoice – Craig Bellamy
believes the club has finally found the new Alan Hansen.
The West Ham striker, who left the
Merseyside club in July last year, believes that Daniel Agger is destined for
is outstanding. I have watched Liverpool a lot over the years and for me Agger
is the closest thing I have seen to Alan Hansen,"
Bellamy told Setanta Sport.
the best compliment I can give him. When he gets possession he can move
confidently into midfield, he joins in the passing.
fazes him, nothing gets on top of him, he is an outstanding player."
At 6‘3", the 23-year-old Dane clearly has
the perfect physical attributes for a modern central defender. He also has
great technical abilities – he is generally solid in the tackle, capable in the
air, and more than comfortable on the ball.
Perhaps most importantly, Agger is not
afraid to put his head in where it hurts – as Saturday's lost tooth incident
demonstrated. And, unusually for a central defender, he seems to have a great
habit of scoring goals at crucial times.
However, Agger is still far from the
finished article. He has been prone to the odd mistake already this season, and
was part of the woeful Reds defence that conceded four against Tottenham in the
Carling Cup. Nevertheless, Bellamy has been impressed.
The 29-year-old, who came up against Agger
in Wales' international friendly with Denmark on Wednesday, also admitted he
was in awe iof the strength in depth Liverpool now have at their disposal –
pointing at the competition between Agger and the currently injured Martin
was injured [earlier this year] and that cost him his place to Martin Skrtel.
Even when he was fit again he could not get back into the side, but at a place
like Liverpool you have to earn the right to play.
had to bide his time and although it was bad luck for Skrtel when he got injured,
Daniel has got his chance again. The same will happen when Skrtel is fit again.
does not surprise me at a top club where the best players do hold down their
places in the side."
Indeed, it is the defence's recently-found
strength in depth that should most excite Liverpool fans. Baring injuries,
Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez now has options in every position along the back
Andrea Dossena is a competent replacement for
the preferred Fabio Aurelio at left-back, and Phillip Degen is capable of
stepping in for Alvaro Arbeloa on the other side. And – as Bellamy referred to
– with Agger, Skrtel, Jamie Carragher and Sami Hyppia all fighting for two
positions, Liverpool have an impressive depth in central defence.
Bellamy might have been impressed with
Agger's individual talents – tooth or no tooth – but for Liverpool fans, it is
the wealth of defensive talent now at their disposal that should be the most