Football Season Guide



Fabio Borini (forward)(Roma); Joe Allen (midfielder)(Swansea City); Joe Cole (midfielder)(return of loan from Lille)


Dirk Kuyt (midfielder)(Fenerbhace); Maxi Rodriguez(midfielder) (Newell's Old Boys); Craig Bellamy (forward)(Cardiff City)

Liverpool fans are still reeling following their worse season in many years. Although they did somehow win the Carling Cup last season, which affords them a passage to European football this term, the Reds have a lot to prove this season. The dire 2011-2012 campaign was made even more bitter as expectations where sky-high after club legend Kenny Dalglish had taken the reins. Liverpool's season never got off the ground, with their home form in particular letting them down all season, meaning an eighth place finish behind sworn rivals Everton. Dalglish was logically sacked in the summer to make way for Brendan Rodgers, who comes in with a big capital of sympathy and goodwill. The former Swansea boss has been treading carefully so far in his Liverpool carrer with only Fabio Borini on board yet. The Reds do recover players like Lucas, who was injured for most of last season, and Joe Cole, who is back from a good loan spell at Lille. There remain question marks over the involvement of a number of players this season, such as Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel, who are in the visor of major clubs, and Andy Carroll, who has struggled to make a mark since his sensational move from Newcastle. Rodgers is likely to embrace an offensive style of play, possibly in a 4-3-3 formation, with at his disposal talented wingers like Stewart Downing, Joe Cole and Borini to feed striker Luis Suarez. The midfield will be an area that Rodgers will need to pay particular attention to. The return of Lucas will be welcomed by fans since Jordan Henderson didn't exactly convince last season in the holding role while Charlie Adam was at times disappointing. Jonjo Shelvey has showed promise last season while Jay Spearing, for all his industry, lacks quality at this level. Besides, the long term fitness of Steven Gerrard remains a worry after a couple of seasons in and out of the treatment room so more signings could intervene following the capture of Joe Allen from Swansea City, if only to make up for the departures of Dirk Kuyt and Maxi Rodriguez. Craig Bellamy has also departed for Cardiff City. In defence, Glenn Johnson and Jose Enrique look set to occupy the full back roles again while Agger and Skrtel have been a solid central defensive unit last term and should easily ward off competition from the ageing Jamie Carragher and up and coming youngsters such as Sebastian Coates, Jack Robinson and John Flanagan.


The Reds still see themselves as a major force in English football so expectations will be high of Rodgers. Realistically, considering the opposition, a top four finish would be a major achievement.