An Interview With Vital Liverpool
Liverpool and Brendan Rodgers' new project face the Saints this weekend, so time for the questions.
With thanks to Gavin John Day from our friends at Vital Liverpool.
1) What are you expecting from the season?
Tough to say. Going into the season I was fundamentally just looking for an improvement on last season especially in terms of consistency and final league position (8th). At this stage things are not looking great, even against those modest targets, but there is a long way to go and with a couple of additions in January I think we will climb the table. Top six is probably still a realistic goal.
2) Any highlights from the season so far and what do fans think of Rodgers now he's been in the hotseat for a while?
There's been a lot of encouraging performances such as those against Manchester United, Manchester City and Everton but on each occasion the result hasn't quite reflected the quality of our play.
Most of the individual highlights have of course come from the phenomenal Luis Suarez; notably the goal against Newcastle United and the hat-trick against Norwich City. We've effectively been a one-man team in terms of goal scoring.
In relation to Brendan Rodgers I've seen enough in the team's style of play and his blooding of youth to think the future looks fairly bright. It was always going to take time for the new manager and his philosophies to bed in, even more so after a number of valuable squad players were allowed to depart without being replaced, but progress is being made even if its not immediately evident.
3) Are you happy with your clubs business in the transfer window?
Nope and it has cost us dear. A lot was made about Andy Carroll not being replaced but the likes of Dirk Kuyt, Craig Bellamy and Maxi Rodriguez also left without the same number and quality of personnel being bought in. Clearly the team is lacking in attack and this will no doubt be rectified in January. Unfortunately it will be several months too late.
4) Who is going to be your main dangerman when we play?
Main dangerman or only dangerman? ...Luis Suarez has single handily kept us going at times this season and for all his annoying tendencies and the bad publicity there is no doubting he is truly a world class talent.
Elsewhere the hype surrounding Raheem Sterling is entirely justified. His pace, skill and directness clearly excites fans but, given he is only 17, it is the awareness, attitude and composure that really sets him aside.
5) What are your weaknesses, any clues for the game will be appreciated :-)
It's no secret that we don't score enough goals - 18 in 14 games is a terrible tally for a club of our stature. The figure becomes even more damning when you consider Suarez has 10 of them and another 3 can be attributed to own-goals. Therefore it becomes abundantly clear that if the opposition scores they will have a great chance of recording a positive result.
6) Have you been surprised with how Saints have performed so far?
I think everyone knows how big a step-up the Premier League is despite the fact that all three newly promoted teams survived last season. As a result it's not a surprise to see you struggling down the bottom but I admire your positive style of play and there is certainly enough quality in the likes of Adam Lallana, Gaston Ramirez and Ricky Lambert to give you a decent chance of staying up. Must improve at the back though and a regular first-choice goalkeeper would probably help.
7) Do you have any thoughts on Nigel Adkins?
Who? I genuinely think many fans of other clubs would struggle to name or identify your manager! He seems a decent guy though and I like the fact he isn't a high profile name who loves the limelight. You cannot argue with his track record either; back-to-back promotions with the Saints and two in four years at Scunthorpe - not bad for a physio! He's certainly warranted the opportunity to test his managerial skills at the highest level.
8) Has anyone stood out from our recent buys?
Not particularly - Ramirez is clearly a class player but one who is still finding his feet. Not a new signing as such but I do like the power and directness of Jason Puncheon which is surprising giving he's done the rounds at numerous lower league clubs without ever setting the world alight.
9) If you could take one of our players, who would it be and why?
To be honest and with all due respect I cannot see any Saints players getting into our first choice line-up but given our lack of goals and options up top I'd like to see how Lambert would fair alongside Suarez and supplied by the likes of Steven Gerrard etc.
10) Who do you see as our main threat in the game?
Lallana has been phenomenal thus far and leads by example. Full of energy and has a goal in him too. A lot of your play goes through Lallana so it's important for Joe Allen (or whoever plays in a defensive midfield position) to keep a close eye on him.
11) Finally, a prediction for the game please?
I cannot see us losing but I wouldn't totally discount you guys from getting a draw like so many have at Anfield this calendar year. That said I expect a home victory and will plump for 3-1.
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