Liverpool Club Focus - Carroll comes good as Kuyt and Maxi prepare to say goodbye
Lively Liverpool took revenge for their disappointing FA Cup final defeat by Chelsea last weekend, as they hammered the Blues 4-1 in the Premier League on Tuesday night. It was the Merseysiders’ final home game of the season and they signed off in style as a Michael Essien own goal and efforts from Jordan Henderson, Daniel Agger and Jonjo Shelvey earned them maximum points for just the sixth time at Anfield this term. That stunning result left the Reds a single point behind bitter rivals Everton in the table, with just one game remaining.
Therefore, unlike some of the other fixtures which will take place on the final day of the season, Swansea City’s clash with Liverpool will actually have some meaning. Kenny Dalglish will undoubtedly want to see his side finish above cash-strapped Everton, while a win for the Welsh outfit could still see them finish in the top half of the Premier League in what would cap a remarkable first season in the top-flight.
There is bound to be an inquest into Liverpool’s woeful league season come the summer, therefore the upcoming game at the Liberty Stadium could give one or two players a final chance to show the manager that they still have plenty to offer at the club. While the Reds boss and backroom staff will not base their judgement on just a single game, this is clearly the time of the season when they will be assessing which of the current crop of players are disposable as they look to bring in some fresh faces during the transfer window.
One player who may just have worked his way back into plans for next season is striker Andy Carroll. Just a couple of months ago, it appeared as though the Englishman’s Liverpool career was in tatters. Dalglish’s refusal to play the 23-year-old in every game sparked rumours that the Scot was dissatisfied with his most expensive signing, but the target man has turned things around in recent weeks by putting in a string of impressive performances. Both the energetic Luis Suarez and Carroll gave Chelsea skipper John Terry a tough time on Tuesday, to such an extent that there are now calls for the former Newcastle hero to be given a place in the England squad for Euro 2012. Another good display at Swansea will do his chances no harm.
Meanwhile, Argentine winger Maxi Rodriguez looks set to leave Liverpool this summer. The underused 31-year-old appeared to wave goodbye to supporters as he was substituted against Chelsea. He later wrote on Twitter: “Last home game and had a goodbye to the fans” and “Thank you very much to the people of Liverpool for much love.” The loss of Maxi will upset some supporters, especially as he has been relatively reliable in front of goal when given the opportunity since Dalglish replaced Roy Hodgson.
Another ageing winger who could be on his way out is Dirk Kuyt. The energetic Dutchman - a fans’ favourite at Anfield - has been linked by sources including Click Liverpool with a move away from Merseyside for a number of weeks. An appearance at Swansea could be his last in a Liverpool shirt.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Swansea v Liverpool