Despite possessing a vast array of attacking talent, is the lack of a natural and successful partner for Luis Suarez a problem that will hold Liverpool back? The resurgence under John W. Henry and Kenny Dalglish from the barren spell under Tom Hicks and George Gillett has been noted; they finally look like a side who are once again capable of competing at the highest level in the Premier League. But with the rise of Manchester City and Tottenham in Liverpool’s recent dark years, should there be a concern that they just might be lacking something extra to put them firmly in the top four bracket?
The side have spent ambitiously over the past two transfer windows, acquiring talent that possessed both the necessary qualities and Premier League experience to prepare their assault on the Champions League places, and, most importantly, silverware in the immediate future. But while Liverpool look to a undeniable favourite son in Luis Suarez, is there too much pressure on him, and is he carrying the team with very little help in the goal scoring department?
The troubles Andy Carroll is having at Anfield have been well documented. The striker’s £35 million price-tag is one of high expectation; an expectation that seems, for the moment, far out of reach and unattainable judging by recent performances. The problem for Liverpool now is with that particular investment, they’ve put a lot of faith into a player who, despite having age on his side, is extremely inexperienced at the highest level. Perhaps Andy Carroll needed the comfort of Newcastle to firmly establish himself as a candidate suitable to lead one of the big guns’ attack.
But if we examine the depth of attacking quality at Anfield outside of their January purchases, many would look to players like Stuart Downing, Charlie Adam and even Craig Bellamy as strong enough characters to help the club push on. The fee spent on Downing alone could have been justified had his ability to drill crosses in from the flanks been put to better use through the end product of Andy Carroll, while Charlie Adam has managed to transfer his courageous and productive performances for Blackpool onto the field at Anfield.
The problem for Liverpool is that, in spite of their good performances against Chelsea and Manchester City, there is a growing concern over a lack of goals, specifically in a consistent form away from Luis Suarez. Their 1-0 loss to Fulham last week saw a number of missed opportunities with the woodwork coming to Fulham’s aid on more than one occasion. Similarly, their 1-0 victory over QPR on the weekend must have left manager Kenny Dalglish wondering why his side were failing to convert the many chances they create.
Is the burden too heavy on Suarez and, in reaction to Andy Carroll’s failure to have any great impact, is the transfer window a necessity to ensure Liverpool remain in the increasingly congested European places?
One particular individual who has caused a stir in Spain could be the perfect candidate to help Liverpool along. David Villa has reportedly fallen out-of-favour at the Nou Camp following an apparent conflict with Lionel Messi, and the Spanish striker’s omission from the starting line-up of last weekend’s El Clasico might have been a clear indication of where things are headed. Villa has also hinted that he could look to England as an arena to showcase his talents, but with Barcelona looking to recoup much of the £38 million they paid Valencia for his services, is another high priced gamble in the attacking department worth it for Liverpool?
While there is much to be hopeful for Liverpool as they recover from the fallout of Hicks and Gillett: a number of bright talents emerging from the youth system with Kenny Dalglish taking them under his wing, as well as making Fernando Torres an afterthought due to their inspirational yet controversial Uruguayan; the need for stability up front is something that should be addressed, whether it be persisting with Andy Carroll in the hope that he’ll find his form or looking to the transfer window.