What's Wrong With Sturridge On His Own Up Front?

'Do Liverpool need to replace Suarez?' is the question raised by one mailboxer, whilst we also have thoughts on Markovic, McCormack, Fulham and 'doing a Spurs'...

Last Updated: 08/07/14 at 15:06

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Wanting Liverpool To 'Do A Spurs'
I'm finding interesting that people presuming Liverpool will 'do a Tottenham' next year after signing a few decent players to replace one world class player. As if Tottenham went from challengers to relegation fodder.

Last season, Tottenham finished with 3 fewer points and one place lower than they did the year before.

If Liverpool can finish with 81 points and finish 3rd next year, I'll be quite happy to be honest.
Gary Orford, LFC

...In response to the various emails discussing "Liverpool doing a Spurs". Personally I wouldn't be too upset if, having sold their best and most creative player, Liverpool, like Spurs, finished 1 place lower in the following season.

I'd take third now if offered.
Rob Smith

...The way everybody is predicting that Liverpool will 'do a Spurs' I had to double-check that the Londoners didn't get relegated last season.

And what did I find? They dropped 3 points and a single spot on the table to sixth from the previous season. Not the improvement they hoped for, but not the disaster it's remembered as. If that's the sum total of the devastation wrought on Liverpool after Suarez goes I'd be content enough.
Damien, Belfast (still need some new fullbacks though)


Liverpool Can Play One Up Front
Recently in the mailbox and in other places, I've seen lots of people saying that Liverpool need to buy a proper world class forward to replace Suarez. This may seem insane on my part but do they really need to? Yes, by losing Suarez Liverpool are losing about 45 goals + assists a season but I would argue that this now presents them with a very good opportunity to solidify their team by changing system.

In a way, it was both a blessing and a curse that Brendan Rodgers had both Sturridge and Suarez, as having 2 brilliant strikers necessitated him playing 2 up front, which worked to an extent but was a massive contributing factor in Liverpool's inability to defend. Rather than looking to directly replace Suarez, Liverpool would probably be better off playing with just Sturridge up front and putting an extra midfielder in the team, rather than looking to splash out on Falcao etc.

Whilst obviously I can't read Brendan Rodgers' mind, it seems that his moves in the transfer market would indicate he's considering something similar. Before Barcelona moved for Suarez, I was wondering where Lallana was going to play but now it's not hard to imagine a fluid 3 of him, Sterling and Coutinho/Markovic operating behind Sturridge with Gerrard and Henderson holding.

While it's going to take some time to adjust to the loss of Suarez, in the long run Liverpool could end up marginally better off. They shouldn't concede as many goals playing like that (it would be gruesome if they were to try and play 2 up top in the latter stages of the Champions League) and it's not beyond the realms of possibility that Sturridge could step up and hit 30+ goals if he were to be the main striker.

This is all conjecture at the moment though so I wouldn't be surprised to see Liverpool splash out £50m on Cavani!
Brett (the more pertinent question is why aren't they buying any defenders), AFC


He Got Three, But Point Still Sort Of Stands
It is correct that Bebé is a striker and Markovic is a winger.

You would think then that by playing as a winger/attacking midfielder in that Benfica (won the league by 7 points) team surrounded by far "higher calibre" players that the ones on offer at Paços de Ferreira (avoided relegation by 3 points) he would be chipping in with a fair few assists?

Lazar Markovic assists 2013/14- 0. Zilch. Nada

You also mention that Markovic is only 20 and Bebé is 23.

Whilst that is undisputable, I think it should be taken into consideration that in terms of footballing development, while Markovic has been brought through academies since the age of 12, Bebé (through his well documented upbringing and lack of a proper home) only started playing with a proper club at the age of 19 and, due to a combination of injury and being Bebé, last season was his first proper crack at the whip in terms of being a starter in a proper league.

As much as it may appear this is not a slight on Liverpool FC or its fans famous grasp of transfer related maths, it isn't. It's rather a slight on the state of the transfer market where £25m for a player of Markovic's quality becoming the norm.

To put it another way- it seems bizarre that Markovic will be costing nearly 4x the amount of Origi, despite having had near identical seasons (30 appearances, 5 goals, 0 assists) in a similarly competitive league.
Scott, Manchester


Save Holtby
Out of interest, how is Daniel Storey party to how highly Pochettino rates the Spurs players? And why would Holtby, a central midfielder, worry about the presence of wingers (Chadli and Townsend) in the squad?

A quite bizarre inclusion, it has to be said. Holtby is highly rated by everyone I've spoken to at Spurs (fan-wise), probably has more energy than the rest of our midfield put together (definitely more enthusiasm), and seems like a keen learner.

All in all, I'd expect him to fit the Pochettino mould far more than Sigurdsson, Paulinho, and possibly even Dembele for example. I doubt you could find me many Spurs fans who wouldn't be upset if Fritz was sold, when we could have a Van der Vaart mk II on our hands. Silly Mr Storey.
Alex G, THFC (seems like a lovely chap too)
(MC - It was more based on the fact he has been loaned out to a relagated side where he didn't impress, and at 23 needs to be playing regularly. No slight on the man, who does indeed seem a lovely chap)


McCormack Madness
I can't decide whether to Ross McCormack's transfer to Leeds is hilarious or depressing. Fresh from last season's ridiculousness where Harry "bare bones" Redknapp seemed to spend most of August acquiring more and more highly priced players, despite the club having already recklessly splurged cash in the Premier League the previous season, Fulham seem determined to demonstrate to the entire world just how ridiculous the Championship has now become.

For as they lay out £11m for a 27 year old striker with a modestly good Championship goal record, the rest of the clubs in that division have to learn to adhere to "Financial Fair Play" regulations, sensibly restricting their spending relative to their operating budgets. Quite what is supposed to be "fair" about the three relegated clubs receiving more money in parachute payments than the rest of the division receives as their total share of the TV money, is beyond me.
Jack Saunders (Ipswich Town for 7th!)


Suarez WILL Miss Liverpool
Chris Bascombe's article about how Suarez will miss Liverpool is ridiculous, and Mediawatch was right to lampoon it - but I think he's right. Suarez will miss Liverpool, just like Torres has admitted recently.

Barcelona fans are outraged at the new President's decisions. There are many things that Bartomeu has done since being appointed that have annoyed Barca fans, and signing Suarez for a record fee when they would seemingly rather sign Falcao or Aguero is the biggest one. Local fans apparently would rather keep a La Masia-based team than buying the likes of Suarez, and after big names like Sanchez and Ibrahimovic have failed in previous years, its hard to blame them. That is before you even consider moral issues with Suarez's biting and the Evra incident.

I wish Suarez would realize how good he has it at Liverpool and stay, but I've come to terms with the fact that it makes sense to let him leave, especially for 75m GBP. I'll miss him, I've never watched anyone remotely as good at football as him play in real life (seen Messi in 2 games live but unfortunately he didn't do much). But Suarez will miss Anfield too, even if he does well at Barcelona.
Oliver (He won't miss the English press, though.) Dziggel, Geneva Switzerland


Okay... They Should be Walking The League
Looking forward to all the F365 Articles of how Fulham should be walking the Championship considering they've just spent £11million on Ross McCormack...
Smuggler McSmugglerson

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