Wednesday's match against Roma may have increased concerns over Liverpool's lack of depth in key areas, but there were still a handful of bright spots to go along with the worries. At the top of that list were performances by youngsters Jonjo Shelvey and Dani Pacheco, and though many had some expectation Shelvey would position himself as a strong contender for minutes following his promising loan spell at Blackpool last year, after failing to impress at Rayo Vallecano in 2011-12 most had begun to doubt Pacheco had much of a future at Liverpool. Two top performances in the first two games of the pre-season, however, are once again raising hopes for the Spanish attacker.
Playing from the left, Pacheco's willingness to take on the Roma defence was more than welcome after Liverpool fans spent much of last season watching Stewart Downing's often hesitant play in the final third. His efforts to get back to help first Jose Enrique and then Danny Wilson in defence were also worthy of note, as when Liverpool's left backs went wandering it often fell to Pacheco to race back in coverage—though as much as anything, that Pacheco put more effort into defending than any other winger on the day served to highlight just how terrible Liverpool's left backs were.
At times players who are on the fringes and struggling to make the cut will try to do too much, often leading to selfish play that in the end only hurts their own chances and makes the entire team look worse, and so Pacheco's willingness to take the simple option when it presented itself was commendable. It also helped the rest of the team—as when he handed off to Charlie Adam for Liverpool's only goal of the night—and likely increased his chances of making it at Liverpool under a manager who preaches one- and two-touch passing.
Whether Pacheco will make it in the end is still an open question, one that two strong showings on the North American tour are hardly an answer for, but it's at least fair to say that the young attacker has done enough that even as the club's international players begin to return to action over the next few weeks he deserves further chances to impress.