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Expectations and Concerns Now That Transfer Window Is Closed

Now that we have a general sense of the squad that Liverpool and its competitors will field I wanted to get a sense of everyone's expectations and concerns. This isn't focused on whether Rodgers should stay or go since I get the sense he's not going anywhere anytime soon.

Here are my concerns:

1. With the sale of Sterling, the loan of Markovic, Ibe's lack of form and the lack of a LB that can LB (at least that Rodgers trusts) this team looks awfully narrow and unbalanced. I'm particularly concerned about the left side -- if Gomez starts he offers no width and whenever Lallana or Coutinho are out there they always drift inside. Similarly, I'm sort of appalled at the lack of speed in the team that was offered by Sterling last year and would have been offered by Markovic this. In this regard I'm perplexed by the decision to loan Marko. Hoping Sturridge can offer something in the speed department when he returns.

2. Phil, Lallana and Bob - how do these three all fit in the same team? I get the sense that they all want to play in or around the No. 10 position and all can't fit there.

3. Midfield - Lucas, Can and Milner are too one dimensional/one paced against a team like West Ham that is bus-parking. Once Hendo returns he should start and seems that Milner is going to as well. Not sure how Rodgers intends to shoehorn Coutinho, Firmino, Benteke and Sturridge into the lineup but seems like those need to start. However, see the above concern about lack of width.

4. Defense - Clyne seems like a great buy but concerned about the rest. Skrtel is Skrtel but Skrtel and Lovren together doesn't seem like a good combo (and never has). Gomez is REALLY limited going forward and Moreno has issues defensively. End of the day I'd prefer Moreno since he'll offer width on the left that nobody else does. If you don't score goals you can't win regardless of how well you defend.

Expectations:

I haven't seen anything that indicates this team has solved some of the issues that existed at the end of last season (but I sure hope to). I honestly don't see this squad with this coach finishing ahead of City, Chelsea or Arsenal. That leaves ManU and Tottenham and perhaps even Swansea, who don't have much depth but look to be well-positioned to have a good season. So my expectation is a not-too-successful push for 4th, probably ending up 6th or 7th. Just hoping the play improves -- not a lot of joy watching 1 shot-on-goal matches.

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