Most of the day's action is either wrapped up, currently underway, or about to get going, so we can gradually shift the focus back to Liverpool for the time being, as there's a few pieces of news worth mentioning ahead of the weekend. Unfortunately nothing about Steven Gerrard's groin, but at this point most of you can just rely on your imagination for your daily fix.
* One of the biggest stories of the past few days has been Kenny Dalglish's comments about the scheduling of Liverpool's League Cup match at Stamford Bridge. We'd all opined about the challenging nature of the schedule---away to Chelsea and hosting Manchester City in league before traveling back to London and playing Chelsea again is difficult enough, but it's compounded by the fact that the second Chelsea match is 48 hours after facing City.
It's not entirely out of line, then, that Kenny Dalglish would have some strong feelings about the problems this poses for his squad:
"Manchester City are in a similar position to us with their game at Arsenal and it's for them to argue their case, but it is my job to stand up for the interests of Liverpool Football Club. Here you have two clubs who have treated this competition with utmost respect over the years and they are being treated like this. I'd be interested to know what the sponsors think of the situation and what it does for the reputation of the competition."
He goes on to discuss the potential scenarios that would have played out had Stoke City progressed rather than Liverpool, as well as the very real possibility that there will be a vastly different squad for Chelsea from the ones that we've seen in the previous three rounds. All of which just indicates that he's a poor, bitter man who has a thin squad and doesn't trust his younger players.
Or, you know, that it's a valid criticism, and underlining the basic truth that another solution would have been found if Stoke progressed. And nobody's been more vocal than Dalglish about the depth in strength of this Liverpool side, but if they're asked to play two matches in three days, there's bound to be some concern about how well the squad as a whole can shoulder that burden. With the Football League already providing their mealy-mouthed response, though, it's doubtful that anything changes, and while we can expect that Liverpool will have some sort eleven ready, it certainly seems to put a dent in Dalgish's plans to field the strongest side possible.
* One of the mainstays in the League Cup has been Luis Suarez, who's notched three goals in the last three rounds, two of which came in impressive fashion in the 2-1 win at the Britannia. And while his performances in the competition have seen goals come a little easier, he's gained increased attention in league for the difficulties he's had finishing off the chances that, either through his remarkable solo ability or linking play with teammates, have come his way. And, as you'd probably guess, it's not something that's lost on the Uruguayan:
"As a striker I am always going to get plenty of chances and I could probably have converted one or two more," he said. "I also know strikers go through periods where they are trying so hard to score and they don't always go in. The main thing is I am playing well and the whole team is playing in the right manner."
It's the one criticism of Suarez lately that really has any sort of merit, and we're probably tired of rehashing it. He gets great chances, should probably finish more. Done deal. But yeah, do that.
* Finally, from a personal perspective, one player that I'm less likely to be patient with is, in a huge shocker, Charlie Adam. There's plenty for me to pinpoint that I dislike, and while I keep trying to give him a chance, I can't ignore the shortcomings that have driven me to a point of hoping he's out of the starting eleven on a consistent basis. Luckily nate over at OYB has a little more even-handed approach to the summer signing, as he's taken a look at the number of chances Adam's created so far this season---an apt topic of focus given the general consensus that his addition was largely down to a desire to have more chances created.
After 11 games, Adam's created 26 chances, more than any other in the Liverpool squad. Suarez and Enrique on 20, Downing with 17, and Lucas with 10 are the only other players in double figures. Adam played 35 games last season; currently averaging 2.36 chances created per game, Adam's on pace for 83 chances created this season if he plays the same number of matches. Which is 19 more than his total for Blackpool last season. And with Downing, Suarez, Henderson and (sometimes) Gerrard involved, he's not taking every set play either.
Something I dislike more than Charlie Adam is being forced to try to look at Charlie Adam more rationally, but if I take a step back, then yeah, fancy stat man, you're right. Adam was brought in to create chances, and he's done that better than anyone in the squad. And as nate points out, that doesn't take away from the other concerns about fitness and defensive contributions (or lack thereof). But I guess if we're doing this whole be supportive thing, it's only fair to acknowledge that in at least one regard, Charlie Adam's doing exactly what was hoped for.
That's all for today, but I'll be back early tomorrow with any other news and notes ahead of a guest contribution that will run for the remainder of the weekend. In the meantime, with supporters set to spend some serious time on the highway, you can ruminate on how cool it would be to have the name America: