OK, League-wise, the season has not gone to plan. Stating the obvious. In my opinion, our season has proven the fine line that exists between success and failure (turns out it's the goal line). 9 times out of 10 we have demolished teams, tore them apart and peppered their goal. But for all that, we've barely averaged more than a goal a game. I'm not stating anything you are not already aware of I'm sure, but a goalscorer is surely all we really need (plus some width on the right). A goalscorer, in my opinion, would have seen us still in the hunt for 4th, even at this late stage of the season- but as it is, we're languishing in midtable. For this reason, I'm not convinced replacing Dalglish is the way to go. Let him bring in a striker and see if that- added to the already-fine football he's got us playing- can take us up where we're meant to be.
Having said that though, I think FSG are likely to move him aside. Who will they bring in to replace him? Unai Emery seems to be leaving Valencia and has consistently got them punching above their financial weight in a highly competitive league year-on-year. Deschamps is a proven winner too. And then there's the more outside bets- Roberto Martinez, or even a return for Rafa?
Whoever's in the hotseat will need to prioritise two positions: striker and right winger. Here's my two cents on the matter.
I would ideally like to see us bring in Roberto Soldado if possible, and maybe Luuk De Jong as a replacement for Kuyt- who I think, sad as I am to say it, is well past his sell-by-date for us. Soldado is probably the most accomplished goalscorer we would be able to get at this moment in time, and I have no doubts would fit well into the Premier League. Luuk De Jong on the other hand is a promising wide forward who's rapidly developing into a top player, and would be ideal to take over Kuyt's role in our team.
As for the right, there aren't too many right wingers about. The wonderkid that is Iker Muniain would be an incredible buy, but rather unlikely, sadly. I also like Gaston Ramirez, though he is strictly more left-sided. Young Matty Phillips at Blackpool looks a prospect and a half, perhaps he could be the way to go? Either way we need someone over there to bomb down the flank. Having Downing as our only winger has skewed our formation to the left, allowing opposition backlines to shift over to their right and cut the space available to Downing. And a Downing without space is not a happy Downing.
Other business dealings will be much less important in my opinion- the team is far more complete than people give it credit for. As I've said, I'd like to see Kuyt go, and in a similar vein I think it's time for Carragher to step aside, at least to 4th choice centre back, and allow Coates to move up to 3rd. Carra may well not be keen on this and has stated in the past he'd have no problem transferring out if he felt it was right. We should not stand in his way if he does decide to move. If he does, I'd like to see young Andre Wisdom given a shot at the first team. Similarly, I'd like to see Coady given a shot as backup to defensive midfield next term (along with wee Jay). We have missed Lucas hugely, but I still don't think we need to look beyond our kids for cover.
In all, I really don't feel we should be seeking to bring in a plethora of new faces- and likewise I don't want to see a mass exodus either, considering how close I believe we are to being a real force. A striker and right winger would suit me down to the ground, with departures ideally limited to Kuyt and possibly Carragher. Any gaps that appear, such as at centre back should be filled by youngsters. Just these few tweaks, in my opinion is all that would be needed to see us shoot up to the top 4, from where we can eventually kick on to finally pick up where we left off in 2009.
But how about you? What do you think we need to do this summer? Do you think we need a greater squad overhaul? Many are understandably not sold on Carroll- should he be given another season? Or how about Suarez? Should we listen if we get a big-money offer from the likes of PSG or Palermo? We're certainly in for another very intriguing summer here in the Red half of the Mersey...