In our last poll, we asked whether the club needed to sign a striker, winger, attacking midfielder, or holding midfielder in the transfer window to shore up one of the areas of weakness that had become apparent over the course of the 2011-12 season. An overwhelming majority of nearly 70% said that what the club needed more than anything was a striker, while 17% said winger, 8% said attacking midfielder, and only 5% said holding midfielder. In the end, however, the club went for an option we hadn't considered reasonable: None of the above.
At the time of asking, things were a little rough for Liverpool. There had been a depressing nil-nil draw with Stoke a week after being beaten by Manchester City by a convincing 3-0 scoreline, and worst of all a 3-1 defeat at the hands of relegation candidates—and owners of the worst home record in the top seven tiers of English football—Bolton. Luis Suarez was in the midst of his ban; Lucas' injury was obviously hurting midfield cohesion; and people were still reaching all the way back to a match in April of last year against City in search of a convincing performance from Andy Carroll in a Liverpool shirt.
While it would be good to keep those bad times—and in fact the many struggles this particular squad has experienced throughout the season—in mind and not get too carried away, it's fair to say that the outlook as we prepare for the first match of February is a far cry from what it was two weeks ago. In the interim Liverpool has secured their spot in the League Cup final by avenging the loss to City in the league over two legs, defeated Manchester United in the FA Cup, and actually put away a side they would have expected to beat in the league.
Of course, this is a Liverpool side that as with many of recent vintage has shown an ability to play up—or down—to the level of their opponent, and so for many the prospect of cup ties against Manchesters City and United always seemed to offer the promise of a good result despite the club's poor form heading into them. It also can't be ignored that the side Liverpool put away in the league was a 19th-placed Wolves one that had arguably the worst performance of any of Liverpool's opponents so far this season. In short: The mood is certainly improved, and with good reason, but there is little evidence to support any belief that the problems and shortcomings that seemed so apparent two weeks ago have suddenly disappeared.
Unless of course Andy Carroll actually has found something resembling good form and an ability to combine with his Liverpool teammates to good effect. And unless Kenny Dalglish has completely learned the lessons of the dangers inherent in playing Charlie Adam as part of a midfield duo against even the most lowly of opposition. And unless Suarez having had a month off leads to him rediscovering the form he carried from the World Cup in 2010 through to the early stages of the current season before tiring.
Because if that's the case, things might just be looking up for good. And if that's the case, maybe the club was right to ignore the cries for reinforcements from the fans and choose that none of the above in the January transfer market. But we already know what the club thinks, and we want to know (in our typically roundabout and long-winded way) what you think: Was it a mistake that the club didn't secure the services of any senior players in January that could have helped them push on to silverware in the cups and a potential Champions League berth? Or are you content that they stood firm with what they had in the belief that the players already on hand should be enough to do the job?