Steaua stuff and centre back claptrap.

So we are without Jamie Carragher for three months due a dislocated shoulder.

“I’ll be having surgery at the end of the week. The average is about 12 weeks. I’d like to come back before that but I’ve got to make sure it’s right. It will probably be late February or early March when I’m looking to come back.”

Injuries are part and parcel of the game but to lose a player like Carragher for so long is always bad news. We are without the Steven Gerrard, the heartbeat of the team, and now we have lost its soul. HRH commented…..

“…….it’s a serious injury. We’ll miss his leadership skills, and we’ve got Agger still injured and we’re not overly blessed with centre-halves.”

I have to take some issue with this. Although Daniel Agger is injured I think this is a good opportunity to give Martin Kelly a long run in the side. I’ve been impressed with the way Kelly has acquitted himself when he has played and feel he will be an able replacement. Skrtel and Kyrgiakos have already been paired in the middle this season (when Jamie was at left back filling on for Glen Johnson) and did well. We also have Danny Wilson who I understand has been earmarked to start tonight against Steaua Bucharest in Romania.

Where we undoubtedly lose out is having the benefit of Jamie’s experience on the pitch, and as HRH stated, his leadership. Time for someone else to step up to the plate and organise the back four? Also, and I know this sounds harsh, at 32 years old Carra is nearing the end of his career so we need to start planning for his successor and this an ideal opportunity to do so… every cloud?

The signs are already there with HRH stating

“Martin Kelly and Danny Wilson will start against Steaua Bucharest and it’s a great opportunity for them to stake a claim to be in the first team. Not being able to take the points we deserved against Tottenham has kept us in a mid-table position so the next games coming up are going to be very important. I’ve got to be careful not to risk too many of the players I want out on the field against Aston Villa.”

With only a point needed to ensure qualification to the next bit of the Europa League (I think it’s the jungle trial section!) this seems to make sense and it also looks like Torres, Meireles and Kuyt will miss out. However, the papers seem to suggest that Joe Cole will feature. Time for him to get fit, get a good run going in the side and show us what we all know he can do?

I don’t know what the weather is like in Romania but if it’s a bad as it is here then this, together with the long trip, is the last thing we need. However at least we have an extra day to recover as we are due to play Aston Villa on Monday night instead of the usual Sunday, thank you Sky…. for once!

Prediction? Although one could be forgiven for thinking that after the 4-1 home win, Steaua might not present us with too many issues one should remember the way they came at us in the first part of the game. They knocked the ball around and at times made our defence and midfield look very ordinary. They showed no fear which suggests they will be more than up for it tonight especially as they need to win to keep Napoli or Utrecht from threatening their own qualification.

Prediction. I think a win could be too much for the strength of side HRH is planning to field but, ever the optimist, I’ll say we will hold out and get the point we need. One goal each and job done.

Related link: Liverpool 4 Steaua 1

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