Where do you think we'll finish

Discussion in 'Liverpool' started by kopiteinkc, Jul 28, 2002.

  1. kopiteinkc

    kopiteinkc Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jun 1, 2000
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Now that we are into pre-season matches and the Charity Shield just around the corner, where do you think we'll finish in the league this season?

    Not just a "we'll win it" thread, but give your honest opinion about our chances, strengths, weaknesses, the impact of the summer signings, etc.

    Fire away ...
  2. scouseratheart

    scouseratheart New Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    Depends largely on injuries...if we can keep Gerrard and Owen generally healthy and if nothing happens to SHx2, we stand a good chance of winning the league...its also imperative that we not only finish strong like we did last year, but also to get out to a flying start, and open up as large a lead as we can before Arsenal get Pires & co. back...I also worry about Dudek's confidence level after the WC...
  3. usscouse

    usscouse BigSoccer Supporter

    May 3, 2002
    Orygun coast
    Where do you think we'll finish as opposed to where would we like to finish..!
    It's a bit of a poser right now until we see how the new signings work out. Resting Stevie during the friendlies is a bit worrying as well. I don't think Jerzy would have any 'head' problems after the WC, he's a bit too down to earth to think that they'd win anything. The win against the US must have felt good after all the press counting them out.

    I feel optomistic about the team on the whole but I don't want to do the 'We'll win it all jinx' on them...

    So I chickened out..:D
  4. 655321

    655321 New Member

    Jul 21, 2002
    The Mission, SF
    If Gerrard stays healthy AND has the same sort of season that he did in the treble year, then we could really go places. Other important things...

    We need all of the players to step up and score some goals on a regular basis. The biggest difference between the last year and the treble season was that we were scoring left, right and center, and getting these goals from all different players. Last season we could really only rely on Owen to score alot. Heskey, Smicer, and Gerrard all scored some, but compared to the year before, were a little anonymous.

    We need Babbel back and fit to help on the counter attack that makes us so deadly. Watch the Treble video, and check out how many times Babbel brings the ball down the wing, quickly, to create some real chances.

    A bunch of other s*#t, but it's too early, and I'm too tired.
  5. kopiteinkc

    kopiteinkc Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jun 1, 2000
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:

    This is classic, usscouse. You'll notice in my opener to this thread I didn't say what I thought either.

    Superstitious lot aren't we! :D
  6. Theo

    Theo New Member

    Feb 14, 2000
    Philadelphia, PA
    i don't think things often come down to just one player...but i really think that if Gerrard is healthy and has a smashing year, we could really do some damage in the league. the team is just different without him.

    good points all around about needing others to step up and score goals besides Owen. if another striker can come up with some consistency, and the midfield can find some more frequent goals, that would help us go a long way as well. i'm looking to Diouf to have a great year.

    i guess i didn't really answer the question of the thread, huh? i don't want to jinx us, either.
  7. Liverpool_SC

    Liverpool_SC Member

    Jun 28, 2002
    Upstate, SC
    If we had signed Duff, I would have been very optimistic of top position in the League and a better showing in the Champions League.

    But since we have not signed him . . .

    I still think we have a good shot at winning the league. I think the lack of a Duff-type player will really hurt us in the Champions League. I don't know if we can expect to squeak by again as we did in our second group and I am not sure we have made ourselves much better relative to the top sides in Europe.

    How Well Do the New Signings Fit In?
    I think that having Diouf will help. I hope that GH determines early in the year how ready Cheyrou is to contribute so that we don't have an ugly sorting-out period on the left side of the field.

    How Well Do We Avoid Injuries?
    We have better cover for MO now. I am a little concerned about cover for Didi and Gerrard in the middle. Is Igor Biscan finally going to show? Not having Diao from day one might put us in a quandary if Didi gets suspended/Stevie G gets hurt. Also, Danny Murphy needs to come back strong from his injury. It will be strange not having Macca in their from time to time, and I hope we don't miss his influence.

    Where Do Last Season's Injured Players Fit In?
    There are so many unknowns regarding former starters. Is Markus going to be fully match-ready from the beginning of the season? Is Berger going to contribute or mostly sit on the bench? Does Barmby have anything left? I will be interested to see how many starts these guys get vs. Smicer, especially if GH keeps JA Riise in the midfield. I truly hope that Barmby, Smicer, Berger, Baros can all be kept happy. Another Fowler-type cancer could really put a damper in a generally classy squad (sorry I mixed my metaphors).

    How Big is the GH Factor?
    I will be fascinated to see how big a difference it makes having Le Boss on the bench during the entire season. Certain players Heskey and Murphy seem to draw so much inspiration from him - but we might also have underestimated how much he contributed through PT/how effective PT was in his own way. This factor could lead to a big improvement and it could be completely negligible. Only time will tell.

    One other thing that needs to be said - I don't think that there are going to be as many obviously outclassed sides - i.e. Derby, Leicester and Ipswich (at least when we played them) - in the league this year. Say what you will about Man City. They are going to score goals, which always makes them dangerous. I think they will resemble a poor man's (especially after the £££ KK has spent) Spurs. Birmingham has developed into a little derby with us (dating back to the FA Cup a couple seasons back?). Bolton and Blackburn have consolidated and don't look liable to have a second-year swoon (a la Ipswich). Fulham could be vulnerable, but they are still a decent opponent. Everton always plays us tough and Moyes will get a lot more out of them than Walter Smith did. Do you think Gazza would have started so many games for Moyes:)?

    I don't think that there will be too many big challengers for the elite. In fact I think that Newcastle, Chelsea and Leeds are going to struggle to put as much pressure on ManU, 'Pool and Arsenal as they did in the past season. But these lower-and mid-table clubs (who we are sometimes liable to underachieve against) could easily cause us to drop a couple of precious points and lose out to Arse or Manure.
  8. kopiteinkc

    kopiteinkc Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jun 1, 2000
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    I do see some more playing time for Baros.

    This from the official site:
    Milan Baros could play a big part in Liverpool's quest for honours this season, according to manager Gerard Houllier.

    Houllier has been delighted with the Czech striker's form and fitness during pre-season so far, and he is expecting big things from him over the coming months.

    He said: "Milan Baros has come back a completely different player. He has made a dramatic improvement. He is a lot sharper, a lot fitter and has lost a lot of weight in the summer.

    "I can understand why people were disappointed with his performances last season. He wasn't producing the form I knew he was capable of, but I think he could play a big part for us this year."
  9. usscouse

    usscouse BigSoccer Supporter

    May 3, 2002
    Orygun coast
  10. usa1950

    usa1950 Member

    Aug 18, 2000
    Indiana USA
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    We can win the league, and I truly hope we do it. I've been a Red since 1994, and have never experienced a league title. I would Luv-It Luv-It Luv-It!!! But I don't think we will. *****Note -- this in no way "jinx's" the Liverpool team. I typed the statement with my toes, while wearing only my LFC shirt, and a stategically placed scarf. A big long scarf. :D

    After the obvious needs -- A healthy Gerard, Owen, Henchoz and Hyppia, I think two or three other players will be critical.

    I'm expecting big things from Heskey this season. We need him, or in a lesser role Diouf and Baros, to score some goals.

    A varied attack is a must, especially when Gerard's ineveitable injuries come, and our mids don't necessarily bang in lots of goals. We'll get a few from them, but the second striker spot is crucial.

    I think Emile can bang in a dozen or so goals this season, and we'll need it to keep defenses from cheating towards Michael as much as they do. If Emile is not up to the task, a hungry pair of strikers are ready to step in. Last season, GH stuck with Emile even with a fit Fowler waiting in the wings. This season, I think Emile will feel more pressure from Baros and Diouf, which will hopefully raise his play.

    I also think Hamann is a huge player this year. Only for the fact that I remember how sh!tty we played last season when we were without him for a handfull of matches. With new players who will see some time (Bruno, and the aforementioned strikers) the calming influence of Hamann will be even more critical.

    And every morning, we should all kneel and face towards Anfield. Pray for Stevie G's Groin, Thighs, Ankles, Knees, bits, elbows, hair, and everything else.
  11. Matt Clark

    Matt Clark Member

    Dec 19, 1999
    Liverpool FC
    We essentially face the same task we did last year.

    We have the best defence in the league and some of the best strikers. Our first choice central midfield can match anyone for tussle, but only a top-of-his-form Stevie G provides drive and sparkle. Out wide, we are still facing a number of unknowns. Bruno Cheyrou is absolutely RAVED about in France and has done well thus far in the Red. If he turns out to be another Ged Gem, the Hyypia of his position out wide on the left, then let's face it - we're in business. Likewise, having Babbel, Vignal and a rejuvenated Traore back makes a huge difference to the defence.

    As Houllier has observed, we have finished fourth, third and second in our last three seasons. So, we need to raise our game by one more notch (without wishing to be too simplistic about all this). We need to add authority and verve to our discipline, determination and speed of execution. If the new players (and the returning ones) provide us with that sparkle and the tactics employed evolve to recognise that, then we can win the title.

    United will take some stopping, but they always do. We can't rely on West Ham et al to make it that easy for us this time. But we need not fear them directly. What we need to do is seek to emulate their consistency against the lesser teams - when they lost that last season, we overhauled them. When they regain it, we need to match them.

    As usual, the first three months of the season are crucial. We always wobble during those opening exchanges of the campaign. If we can get this season off the ground without things like away defeats to Bolton and crap home losses against Villa, then we may just push on through the winter and gather enough momentum to weather our equally traditional wobble in April.

    Where will we finish? Well, I will chicken out too, to some extent, and merely commit myself to saying I look forward to watching Champions League football in the 2003-04 season ...


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