Liverpool should direct all their funds towards a new striker, right? Wrong, says supporter Mal James.
Take a quick look at fan websites and comments in the local paper and it is easy to see what many supporters feel is the most pressing transfer need.
The general feeling is the club is desperately short of at least one quality striker.
I'm not saying this isn't true, but this is overlooking a more fundamental problem. This is that there are only five teams in the Premiership that have conceded more goals than Liverpool. And, the club has managed only one clean sheet all season.
Out of seven games this season, Liverpool would have needed two goals in four of them, and three in another to even get a draw. There is little point in shopping for a striker if the side has to score two, or even three goals to get even a draw.
The defence needs at least as much attention as what is happening up front:
Glen Johnson may be good going forward, but as a defender he is a liability. A fan website elsewhere (See Liverpool-Kop) lists five goals so far this season where he can be held at least partly responsible.
Martin Skrtel was recently described in a letter to the local Liverpool newspaper as "Always being just one game away from a disaster." Yes, he had a good season last time around, but one swallow doesn't make a Spring.
In previous seasons he was error-prone and gave away unnecessary fouls in dangerous positions.
This season? He's not been one game away from disaster. Too many matches have actually been one. The back-pass against City was a disgrace; and the failure to cut out the through ball for Norwich's second was utterly inept.
Add in the way he was utterly unaware to give a penalty away against West Brom, and we can see he lacks what Benitez always called 'game intelligence'.
Jamie Carragher has been a great servant to the club, but is past his best by any measure. Daniel Agger is quality, but error injury-prone.
Jose Enrique seemed to be a good player at Newcastle, but hasn't been convincing at Anfield. The tendency for Liverpool to prefer to Johnson in his position is not a great vote of confidence.
Yes, there are promising signs. Coates will turn into a useful central defender and (hopefully) will soon become first-choice ahead of Skrtel. And Andre Wisdom really looks like he will be the business. However, making the defence more secure must be a priority, even ahead of a new striker.
image: © jbj