Sunday, 2 November 2008


IT might be a small word, but it was looming large in my head after the defeat at Spurs: If.
It was all about ifs.

What if we hadn't hit the bar more times than Amy Winehouse? What if we hadn't seen something as rare as the full house signs at Goodison Park, a Jamie Carragher mistake?

Imagine if Fernando Torres had been fit. You can't help but think he would have buried one of the chances Liverpool carved out against a shaky Spurs defence.

And what if Rafa Benitez had managed to keep Peter Crouch on the books? He left Anfield for first-team football, and fair play to him. But if we could have kept him, he would have came in handy for a situation like Saturday night.

As it was, Robbie Keane again looked good as a second striker but didn't pose much of a goal threat. Dirk Kuyt, as ever, worked harder than anyone else on the pitch, delivered some quality crosses, scored a great goal - but, ultimately, missed a sitter.

So, now can we carry on pushing for the title?

Well, I reckon it could boil down to if we can get another striker on board in January. But that, of course, is all down to if George Gillett and Tom Hicks – who remain as welcome as a fart in a sleeping bag, despite what they seem to think – are prepared to cough up some cash.

Worryingly, and perhaps, tellingly, we are being linked with bargain buys.

Players like Emile Heskey, who could be snapped up for next to nothing because he's out of contract in the summer. It's the same scenario with Michael Owen.

But could either man shoulder some of the goal burden which is resting so heavily on the shoulders of Torres? Doubt it.

Heskey is another second striker, a 10-goal a season man.

And Owen? Well he seems to be injured more than Jonathan Woodgate – and that's some going.

Benitez, still to sign a new contract, likes Amr Zaki. But so does just about every other manager in the league - so he's not going to come cheap.

And if the Americans continue to keep the club wallet closed, and mess Rafa around over his future, how long before he starts to think seriously about the rumoured interest in him from Real Madrid, Valencia and Juventus?

If I was you Mr Gillett, or you, Mr Hicks, I'd start spending - credit crunch or no credit crunch.