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Tactics, Spanish Goalkeepers, and Other Friday Notes

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Drink!
Four days since the January window closed?
Time for some new transfer rumours!

Is it too late to start a poll on which Liverpool player gets the first yellow card for a foul on Torres? Or how long it takes before he mopes when a call doesn't go his way? Nevermind. But hey, speaking of polls (woo! segue!), in the flurry that ended the window I somehow forgot there had been a transfer related poll earlier in the week. So, just what did everybody think was Liverpool's big need in the market, and did they fill it?

I'll ruin any suspense and tell you the answers are "Suarez" and "I really hope you don't need me to tell you" right off the top, as the attacking Uruguayan garnered a whopping 67% of the vote. A distant second and 16% went to the left back situation, with the other choices trickling in with single digits. None of us knew Torres was about to bolt at the time, but everybody seemed to want Suarez. So I guess that Liverpool got him is good. Or something. On with the show...


* For those who made it all the way through my latest attempt to get into the Guinness Book of World Records in the category of longest blog post but still find themselves craving more tactical deconstruction, Zonal Marking has its take on Dalglish's three-man defence. Apparently it was the first time this season that a Premier League side has used a three man defence, which is an interesting bit of trivia. Also interesting is the brief look at the way Dalglish's formation interacted with Pulis' 4-5-1 in key areas of the pitch.

* Also on the tactics front, Nate attempts to set the world record for most chalkboards in a single post. I rather suspect it was a successful attempt. In any case, of particular interest are the chalkboards that show just how Agger and Skrtel pushed up to aid in possession and attack, while he also gets into the other complimentary pairs on the pitch, pairs that confirm a few long held truths around these parts. Like that Lucas is awesome and Gerrard, though undeniably also awesome, doesn't really like to operate as though he has a fixed position. So head on over if you haven't already for a breakdown of the passing in Wednesday's master class against Stoke.

And now for something completely different.

* It went a little something like this: Ben Smith of The Times had a Twitter conversation with a handful of Liverpool fans and supporters. In it he talked of a gut level fear that Reina might well leave in the summer if somebody was willing to pay the £35M transfer clause, a tweak to his contract from the past summer similar to the one Torres had inserted in his contract by Christian Purslow.

This probably would have gone unnoticed for most, as there really wasn't all that much to notice, except that the Metro immediately turned said purely speculative Twitter exchange into a "news" story that suggested Reina might move to United in the summer. Because United will need a keeper with Van der Sar retiring. And Reina is unhappy about not having a Spanish manager any more and with the trickling exodus of Spaniards in general at the club.

Last time I checked Mister Alex wasn't a Spaniard, and Liverpool still had more of Reina's compatriots at the club than United does, but it's never good to let little things like facts get in the way of a panic attack. It would be laughably easy to ignore except that pretty much nobody ignored it, and so we've had the fun of watching Torres mk.II level hand wringing for the past little bit. I'm reasonably certain that the transfer window is now closed, and that it doesn't open up again for, oh, at least a couple of months, though of course people can correct me if I'm wrong there. So with all things considered--and at the risk of becoming some kind of bad luck charm for these sorts of things after laughing off the Torres rumours--I'm just going to roll my eyes and carry on as though nothing's wrong.

At least we now know what we'll all be losing our minds over for the next few months. In the meantime, I suppose we might as well just sit back and let the panic sink in...