Dave Davis believes that if Liverpool don’t recruit a new creative minded midfielder this summer, the Reds will need to grind out many a result this season.
Andy Robertson was correctly named Man of the Match at home against Crystal Palace on Saturday and Sadio Mané again showed why he’s our most important player.
Add that to a clean sheet, Matip looking back to his early Anfield form plus impressive cameos from Salah and Solanke, it should all be positive.
There is, however, one common theme that fans have identified in our opening home game and the next few weeks will be pivotal as a result.
With reports indicating that Adam Lallana is now out until November, the groans from the home fans could be heard right across Stanley Park.
Coutinho is clearly desperate to move to Barcelona and one way or another you feel that saga will draw to a conclusion by the end of next week. The biggest concern, however, is the importance of those two players in midfield for Liverpool.
Saturday’s line-up saw James Milner, Gini Wijnaldum and Jordan Henderson occupy the middle three positions. All three are honest players who always give their all for the cause. They are more than that and it isn’t a case of belittling anyone who plays for Liverpool, more a case of acknowledging a universal fear that’s a growing one among Kopites.
Wijnaldum has had an awful start to the season by last campaign’s standards and looks short on confidence so early on. Henderson hasn’t started much better and it was no surprise to see Emre Can switched out for Milner in a game where the opposition would need to be broken down.
All three of those gave us solidity as they battled, made tackles and ensured Palace had to go ‘route one’ to Benteke when they did have possession.
The problem was they never looked like really hurting Palace. A Coutinho or Lallana are capable of a disguised pass, a clever flick or some piece of imagination that panics defences. It was telling how often Daniel Sturridge dropped deep in his hour on the pitch to try and make something happen as little supply was coming his way.
With a few weeks until the window slams shut, defence isn’t the only priority anymore. If Coutinho stays, it will be an obvious solution in many Reds’ eyes yet no-one is fully sure where he and Klopp stand right now.
The Brazilian can’t be relied upon for all creativity though, and an additional body in that area might well undertake a Melwood lean before the window shuts.
Marko Grujic must wonder what he has to do to get a chance now that Klopp has already made multiple changes and Ben Woodburn must have an outside shot too. If no other midfielders do come in though, we may have to learn to grind out a few more results.