At least you can't say the club isn't efficient.
With yesterday now just another painful memory, we move forward.
As you know, the Premier League now mandates that teams name 25-man squads for the season---8 must qualify as homegrown, and 17 can be non-homegrown. Teams can also have as many U21 players as they want. It's not a huge hurdle, but it's a wrinkle in the plans for some clubs either in the immediate or long-term future.
Home grown players
Non home grown players:
Astute readers will recognize that there are, in fact, only 21 names on this list. The above squad is supplemented by the U21 rule, which includes David Ngog, Dani Pacheco, Martin Kelly, Daniel Wilson, and Jonjo Shelvey.
But this rightly causes some concerns about squad depth---the unlimited younger players rule helps, but from the names above, only Ngog and Kelly have logged significant minutes. Pacheco's got to be in the conversation as well, as his breakthrough seems imminent. That's still only 24 players that are likely to contribute any sort of minutes, though, and you can basically pluck Spearing, Darby, and Jones from the above list in terms of the impact they'll make.
A realistic depth chart, then, looks something like what I've posted below. A bit bastardized on positions, and I've used each player only once, but the sentiment is there:
Obviously there's some portability between the positions, especially up front---Maxi on either wing, Kuyt across and forward, same for Babel and Pacheco, etc. etc. But across the board it's not an exceptionally deep squad, and there's certainly not much depth of quality.
I'm hesitant to make a bigger deal out this than need be, although given yesterday's events I don't see how this isn't significant. Entirely preventable if money had been injected into the squad as promised, and now it's tough to see any additions being made in January under the current clusterf*ck.
Relatedly, the best-case scenario regarding the club's current situation was laid out by Fernando Torres today:
"It's fundamental new owners arrive who can make us a competitive side. We're not that far behind. We had an appalling season last time around, but the year before we were just four points from Manchester United. Hopefully, we can find a consortium that buys the club and can make Liverpool able to fight financially with Chelsea and United. Then let's see what we're capable of doing this season.
"Liverpool kept Steven Gerrard, which was fundamental. It's still a great team. It's a delicate situation because we're not in the Champions League but it's still the biggest club in England and to play at Anfield every week is a privilege.
"That's how I see it. I like to have targets and to be able to help bring Liverpool back where they deserve to be is a beautiful target. It's always complicated when you start with a new manager and new players, but we'll see what we're capable of.
"The club received offers and decided to reject them. That's where it ends. Everyone thought I was leaving for Spain during the World Cup when there was nothing in it. I said the day I returned to train that my future was at Liverpool. I have a contract until 2013.
"This year, our target has to be the top four. Like every team-mate, we all want to improve and win titles and, for that, it's fundamental we get new owners."
Assuming this interview actually happened, and that he's genuine in his assurances about his future, it's nice to feel positive about something just one day after such a let-down. Pessimistically we could read this as a "sell or else" statement (which could be the case), but I'm also hopeful that it's a reminder of where his loyalties lie.
That's it for the day---Euro qualifying is on the horizon, so I'll round up where we'll see Liverpool's internationals in the next couple of days.
Have good one, everybody.