Date:Thursday January 14 2010
Liverpool are already out of the running for any domestic cup this season, and now look to be firmly out of the picture for a top four spot after it was revealed that their two most important players are sidelined with injuries.
Every fan in the Premier League knows that Liverpool rely soley on two players to win games, Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard.
After taking a 1-0 lead into half-time against Reading, a depleted Liverpool side emerged without either of their heroes, Torres already having been withdrawn in the first half for David N'Gog, while Gerrard was replaced by Babel during the break.
It came as no suprise that Reading were the better team in the second half, because quite frankly, not taking anything away from The Royals, the remaining Liverpool team were Championship standard.
The Merseysiders lack of depth is astonishing, how Rafa Benitez can field dross like Lucas, N'Gog, Degan, Babel and Insua is beggars belief. It is cringeworthy football and one has to feel for the supporters because the club is one of the true world greats, and now it has been brought to its knees.
There are many arguments to be made for its demise, the manager, players and owners. Maybe it is all three. It is certainly not the supporters fault, but they are the ones suffering.
So what could possibly make this season worse than it already is? Injuries to the only players capable of firing Liverpool into the Champions League.
A spokesman for Liverpool has stated: 'Steven [Gerrard] has a hamstring strain and will be out for a fortnight, while Fernando [Torres] has torn a cartilage in his right knee.'
He added that, 'the injury will require surgery and he is expected to be sidelined for six weeks.'
On top of this, it has also been confirmed that Yossi Benayoun has a fractured rib and will face three to four weeks out of action.
This dramatic turn of events means that the race for a top four spot is now wide open for Manchester City, Tottenham and Villa to fight over. Liverpool will do well to secure a Europa League place.
The remaining contenders all have healthy bank balances and if Liverpool fail to secure investment, they may fall behind the pack, especially if their prized assets leave the club.
Selling Gerrard and Torres may be the only way to save the club balancing on a knife edge, but the injury prone duo are deteriorating by the day and Liverpool may be forced to sell at knock down prices if they face any further spells on the Anfield treatment table.
There will never be a better time to take advantage of another clubs misfortune, and although one cannot deny that the Premier League would be worse off without them, it will certainly benifit from the emergence of City, Spurs and Villa as Champions League contenders for years to come.
Date:Thursday January 14 2010
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