The Premier League has just kicked off and so Damon and Damian take a look at their respective team’s chances. Here is Damon looking ahead to his team’s Liverpool’s 2011-12 season. There is a transcript below, while explanations of key vocabulary (in bold) can be found at the foot of the post, while other key phrases (in blue) and links (in red) also have meanings explained.
For Liverpool last season it was a season of two halves – one dreadful and the other very promising. Despite that finish, the Reds still ended up in 6th place with no silverware. Will this season be different? I’m not so sure.
But first the pluses: Liverpool have new owners and stability – that must be a good thing. They have a new manager, Kenny Dalglish, a fans’ favorite. The ex-player and manager was effective in turning around last season and has brought an exciting style of football back to Anfield. There have been new additions to the squad on top of the two big buys last season Suarez and Carrol, the Reds have added some width in the form of left-sided Downing, some experience and passing in the centre of the park with Adams, a youthful midfielder, Henderson, and a quality left back with Enrique. This on top of the reserve team players coming through the ranks. So, the club has no debts, sensible owners, a strengthened squad, and optimism with a new manager.
What about the downside? Well, the squad has been improved, but it also still bloated with a surfeit of midfielders on high wages, and a lack of depth in the centre of midfield – an aging Carragher, an injury-prone Agger, and a reliable but not great Skrtel the main three. The Reds also face stiff competition from Tottenham and Arsenal for the 4th spot in the Premier League – I think it’s a given that Chelsea, Man United and big spenders Man City are the ‘Big Three’. There is also the worry that without a decision on a new Stadium or an expansion for Anfield, Liverpool will fall further back in the revenue table and drop out of contention permanently – money talks in the Premier League.
With their first choice squad, Liverpool will give any team a game, but they still lack top quality in all the back up positions.
Champions? No way
Top four? Very unlikely – 5th
Other? The club will decide to build a new 60,000-seater stadium in Stanley park and Gerrard will be gone before next season.
to turn around: to stop bad performances and start playing well, to reverse poor form
to add width: to have a wide player, a winger, to be able to play from wide on the pitch
to come through the ranks: to progress through the youth and reserve teams, to develop and get experience in the youth team and make it to the senior team
bloated: too fat – in this context, too big
injury prone: easily injured
stiff competition: difficult opponents, serious rivals