The 2011/12 English Premiership season is almost upon us and barring any natural disasters or chav induced riots it should get under way this weekend. As always the summer transfer window has been an entertaining one and with our new owners it was good to see money being made available for the manager to purchase recruits that the he needed to improve the squad. Yes some may argue that the prices paid for certain players is rather much but when one has to see how the market has gone with clubs that are owned by the super rich making absurd bids for players and add that to the new FA rules, they are justified in a way.
Lots of teams have had a good preseason, Liverpool's hasn't been one that would have raised eye brows but 2 losses isn't so bad. Kenny spent most of the time playing around with formations and players, mixing youngsters in with the experienced guys, hoping to find some sort of magic between them. For most of the time, I couldn't see much happening but not to say we don't have some quality players coming into the squad. Lad's such as Kelly, Robinson, Spearing & Shelvy continued to show their quality and the new boys Henderson, Adam & Downing put their hands up as well. One player in particular caught my eye, we hardly see much of him so to me he is still like a new player even thought we've owned him for little over a season and a half now. Who am I talking about?
Alberto Aquilani, that's who. At the beginning of the preseason Kenny never did give him much game time, sending him out with 15 odd minutes left in the games to get some practice was all he was given. In true style he didn't just go out there to have a run around but had a proper go, showing his talents of what he is renowned for. Expert crossing, passing and surging into the oppositions box when ever possible. After every game he was the one substitute that stood out from the rest and made the biggest impact for the team. After the games many criticised Kenny for not praising the player, one can take that approach or look it from his point of view. Its a team game, you praise the team, not the individual and especially in preseason, you don't want other players heads to go down. You want to sing equal praises for them all, in order to build up the teams moral in preparation for the new season but Alberto was quite something it must be said.
When the tour of Asia ended, he was used more in the games against Hull, Galatasaray and made another super sub performance against Valerenga with 2 long range efforts resulting in corners for us and him subsequently taking them and on both occasions Daniel Agger scoring for us. He made another memorable performance against Valencia, a game in which he started for us and we ended up winning with a clean sheet. Now you must be wondering why the post for Aquilani? Well it is sadly quite evident he isn't wanted by the coaching staff, yes they might say they wont want to sell him but the writing is pretty evident that he will be sold, if not now perhaps in the winter transfer window. Now we always will have different opinions on players compared to the managers but bottom line we have to understand that they also wants whats best for the club and if they feel a certain player doesn't meet their requirements to their future plans, who are we to tell them what to do? After all they are the ones getting paid to do this, all we do is watch and cheer from the side.
Ultimately whether Alberto is sold/ sent on loan or if he does stay for the start of the season, I think he is a quality player and wish him well on what ever the case is but in saying that I am also a Liverpool supporter through and through and will respect any decision made by the manager and club. Like they say, there is no such thing as a player being bigger than the club.