Liverpool stumbled into the Champions League Group Stages last night, after an uncomfortable and frustrating 120 minutes of action. In my previous post I suggested Liverpool would have hit their stride by this stage, but this clearly has not yet happened. The team are still labouring through games, seemingly relying on the brilliance of Torres or Gerrard to rescue them. As has been highlighted on more than one occassion, there is a severe lack of width in the side. Which makes it fairly easy for the opposition to set their team up against us. All they have to do is pack the midfield with ballwinners in the knowledge that Liverpool have no threat out wide. Alas, when Benitez finally brought on Babel to play on the left wing, it eventually resulted in a superb goal. I am reminded of a statistic Gordon Strachan once pointed out, which is that about 70% of goals in football are scored as the result of a cross. It amazes me how any top flight manager cannot see the importance of providing width.
In other news, Liverpool appear on the verge of signing the Spaniard, Albert Riera, from Espanyol for £9m. Meanwhile Chelsea look close to tying up a £30m deal for classy Brazilian Robinho from Real Madrid. And this perfectly illustrates why Liverpool will not win the league either this season or any other season in the near future. The Londoners are able to spend big money on established world class internationals with a proven track record of winning championships. Riera had a disastrous spell at Manchester City a few seasons ago and is not considered for the Spanish national squad at present. As I have said before and will say again, money talks in the Premier League (something which Alex Ferguson is very well aware of). As Arsene Wenger has discovered in recent seasons, it is now no longer sufficient to scour the continent for promising young players and develop them into league winners. You simply have to spend big to win the English League title and that is not likely to change any time soon. So while the Merseysiders persist in spending money on decent but hardly world beating players, that 19th League title will continue to elude them.