What is Liverpool’s best starting XI for the 09/10 season?

Ollie Irish

20th, August 2009

50 Comments

PA-7722584.jpg
“Weeeeeeeeeee!”
This is where you get to step into Rafa’s shiny slip-ons and pick Liverpool’s best starting line-up for this season. First up though, I’ll reveal my selection (based on the Pool’s squad at time of writing).
I meant to post this before the season started (duh), but horrible server gremlins meant I’ve had to wait until now.
This is the default team I would go with:


My XI (in a 4-2-3-1 formation):
Pepe Reina
Glen Johnson, Martin Skrtel, Jamie Carragher, Emiliano Insua
Javier Mascherano, Steven Gerrard
Dirk Kuyt, Alberto Aquilani, Yossi Benayoun
Fernando Torres

OK, the back five is easy to pick. Pepe is top-class. Glen Johnson looked great going forward against Stoke and is a clear upgrade on the solid-yet-unadventurous Arbeloa. Carragher and Skrtel make a solid pairing, although I think this is possibly Carra’s last season as an automatic choice. At left-back, Insua is lively and gets the nod over the uninspiring (uninspired?) Fabio Aurelio.
In midfield, the Xabi Alonso situation is crucial. As in, there is no Xabi Alonso. Rafa Benitez has decided that Lucas can do a decent impersonation of Xabi, but it’s obvious that the Brazilian has still not figured out how to play in the Premier League – and anyway he’s nowhere near as good a passer as the Spaniard. With that in mind, I’d be tempted to move Steven Gerrard back alongside Mascherano and bring in new boy Alberto Aquilani, who can link up with Torres in the way that Gerrard did so well in 08/09; Aquilani is not a direct replacement for Xabi, but he is talented enough to warrant a place in the team. The workhorse Kuyt and the underused Benayoun would flank Aquilani and offer support to the only top-class striker in Liverpool’s squad: Nando.
You might say I’m removing Gerrard from the role that he played so well last season, but he could only do that because Xabi was there to protect him/play him in. Without Alonso, the structure of Liverpool’s team needs a rethink – a team with both Gerrard and Aquilani is surely better than a team with both Gerrard and Lucas, no?
Anyway, that’s my take. Let’s have your thoughts and starting XIs…
MORE
What is Barcelona’s best starting XI for the 09/10 season?
What is Tottenham’s best starting XI for the 09/10 season?
What is Arsenal’s best starting XI for the 09/10 season?
What is Man Utd’s best starting XI for the 09/10 season?

You have already read 4 premium articles for free today
Access immediately the premium content with Multipass

Or come back tomorrow

Posted in Liverpool

Share this article: Email

50 Comments

  1. Philando Torres says:

    Mine would be pretty much the same. However, I’d keep Gerrard behind Torres and have Aquilani behind Gerrard. Mascherano will obviously be the holding midfielder (we only need one anyway). I reckon Aquilani drifting around centre-mid would work well. The only postition that’s truly interchangeable is the left-wing. Riera if you need balance. Benayoun if you need trickery. And Babel if you need pace.
    Oh, and Voronin needs to be shot, for all our sakes. He’s in serious danger of challenging Salif Diao’s position as “Liverpool’s most useless player of the modern era.”

  2. Ollie says:

    Yeah, well, Gerrard and Aquilani could be interchangeable, certainly. Fairly fluid formation.

  3. megaman789 says:

    Reina
    Johnson Carra Agger Aurelio/Insua
    Mascherano Lucas/Aquilani
    Kuyt Gerrard Benayoun
    Torres
    Ok I know Aurelio is really injury prone but when he plays, he is one of the best crossers and better than Gerrard at set-plays. Liverpool have a serious problem with lack of players who can take headers and Gerrard is awesome with header and so he should not take indirect set-plays which can be taken by Aurelio or Johnson. People are only saying that we are missing Alonso but its Aurelio too that we are missing. Aurelio’s ability to score free kicks from any position makes him a valuable addition. I’m still not sure how Aquilani will fit in so will wait for him.
    Maybe if Aquilani does well, how about this?
    Reina
    Johnson Carra Agger Aurelio
    Gerrard Aquilani Mascherano Riera
    Kuyt Torres
    A natural 4-4-2 formation with Gerrard at right wing(you can’t deny he would be one of the best winger if he played there as he used to play there and bagged 23 goals in maybe 05/06 season)
    Kuyt could maybe be a more support striker and Gerrard is given free role. While Aquilani operates the through pass, Masch is the main person who will tackle like hell. At the back I think its solid enough.
    Note: I will always choose Agger over Skrtel because of his natural attacking ability. Carra is extremely solid and could handle things. Maybe its time to bring in the Agger-Skrtel partnership too bu one of them has to takke the leading aspect of Carragher.

  4. NIP says:

    Reina
    JOHNSON Carra Agger Insuna
    Maschi
    Kuyt Aquilani Yossi
    Gerrard
    Torres

  5. Nip says:

    Reina
    Johnson Carra Aggar Insuna
    Maschi
    Kuyt *YOSSI*
    Aquilani
    Gerrald
    Torres

  6. Nip says:

    Reina
    Johnson Carra Aggar Insuna
    Maschi
    Kuyt *YOSSI*
    Aquilani
    Gerrald
    Torres

  7. kop23 says:

    but riera?

  8. carra says:

    Lucas is definitely of different class..inferior class that is.Benitez always hyped up Lucas when we can clearly see how shit he is.Rafa called box to box player when he first came and now the best player in pre season..when the actual fact he’s not even good enough for teams like stoke or burnley.

  9. GreekYNWA says:

    After tha latest signing of kirgiakos (or about to go through) i would come up with those:
    pepe
    carra-kirgiakos-skrtel-insua(or aurelio when fit)
    masch
    gerrard-aquillani
    glen-yossi
    torres

  10. Paddy says:

    REINA
    JOHNSON CARRA SKRTEL INSUA
    MASCHERANO AQUILANI
    KUYT GERRARD BENAYOUN
    TORRES

  11. Paddy says:

    REINA
    JOHNSON CARRA SKRTEL INSUA
    MASCHERANO AQUILANI
    KUYT GERRARD BENAYOUN
    TORRES

  12. johnredtillend says:

    hi
    i wud start with
    johnson cara ager/akrtl aurelio(coz insua is too inexperienced and aurelio is beter at passing and set piece)
    mid field wud be masch and gerad(this guy shud be the best footballer the world has ever seen coz he fits in every position… he is better than alonso in all fields wen it comes to passing or off the ball runs… or givin thru balls.. or closing in on attackers.. or tackling hard… be it anything he can do it)
    wingers wud be riera and benayoun( sorry mr. harworking and committed kuyt… coz talent has no replacement… in wings u need surging runs and crosses which wud need some skills which kuyt lacks and the other 2 possess)
    supporting striker wud be injulani errr.. aquilani…if he stays fit then reds cud win the league.. coz this guy is a serious talent and he shud be played as an attacking mide fielder)
    juz behind the best striker in the world…el nino

  13. Anonymous says:

    Interesting to note that noone features riera in the starting xi? He is now 1st choice for spain and gives undoubted width down the left. At the moment i would have Yossi in the team somewhere. At the moment i would put him in the hole and bring stevie g back ahead of mash. When aquilani is fit i would then be lookin at kuyt dropping 2 the bench. Could become even more interesting if we actually got van der vaart! Therefore, pepe …. Johnson, agger, carra, insua. ….. Mash… Aquilani, riera. Yossi, …. Stevie g…. Nando

  14. Anonymous says:

    Interesting to note that noone features riera in the starting xi? He is now 1st choice for spain and gives undoubted width down the left. At the moment i would have Yossi in the team somewhere. At the moment i would put him in the hole and bring stevie g back ahead of mash. When aquilani is fit i would then be lookin at kuyt dropping 2 the bench. Could become even more interesting if we actually got van der vaart! Therefore, pepe …. Johnson, agger, carra, insua. ….. Mash… Aquilani, riera. Yossi, …. Stevie g…. Nando

  15. gfergo says:

    reina carragher agger skrtel insua/aurelio
    johnson gerrard mascherano riera/benayoun
    torres kuyt
    obviously when aquilani is fit he would be in the frame and with the defensive injuries we have agger and skrtel may not be starting but i would like to see johnson playing as a right winger and not a full back and you cant drop dirk kuyt so he would have to play alongside torres with gerrard dropping back into centre midfield making sure lucas doesn’t get a sniff.
    RED TILL DEAD

  16. Johan God says:

    GK Reina
    RB Johnson
    CB Skrtel
    CB Agger
    LB Insua
    DM Mascherano
    RM Kuyt
    CM Aquilani
    LM Babel
    AM Gerrard
    CF Torres

  17. StevieGistheMan says:

    I know it’s ridiculously early in the season, but the change in outlook of Liverpool’s chances between yesterday and today is quite drastic. Depth was thought to be an issue (and still is at forward and Alonso replacement), but after looking at all the starting combinations, I see them making a run for the Premiership. I really don’t think they can afford to move Gerrard back so far as they will need for him to contribute as many goals as last season at least.

  18. nia says:

    what the hell? I think Yossi should play in the place of gerrard.., since aquilani still injured.. we shoul play riera on the left flank.. gerrard shoul play just behind torres as it is an effective position for him.. YNWA!!!!

  19. Torres9 says:

    Reina
    Johnson Agger Carra Aurelio
    Masch Aquaman
    Kuyt/Yossi Stevie Yossi/Riera
    Nando
    Gotta have Agger, just think you don’t need 2 blood n guts defenders. Agger has that ability to bring the ball out from defence, can score freekicks and has a belter of a left foot. Just thinks he offers more than Skrtel power. Aurelio is great at set pieces which allows Stevie to lurk at the edge of the box to score screamers or get in the box for headers, as we lack this threat from set pieces now Sami has gone.

  20. MistryMan says:

    first of all i think we should buy van der vaart for 7 or 8 mil, although if rafa really wanted him he would have asked for him in xabi deal.
    anyway, starting XI:
    ………………..Reina………………
    Johnson…..Carragher…..Agger…..Aurelio
    ………………Mascherano……………
    Kuyt…………..Aquilani………Benayoun
    ……………Gerrard…………………
    ………………….Torres……………
    Subs: Cavalieri, Kyrgiakos, Insua, Lucas, Van der Vaart, Riera, Babel

  21. Garett says:

    Reina
    Johnson Carragher Agger Aurelio
    Mascherano
    Kuyt Aquilani Benayoun
    Gerrard
    Torres

  22. Garett says:

    Actually,
    Reina
    Johnson Skirtel Agger AURELIO
    Benayoun Masherano Aquilani Reira
    Torres Gerrard

  23. instepsaggers says:

    GK Pepe
    RB Johnson
    CB Carra
    CB Skrtel
    LB Agger
    DMC Mascherano
    DMC Aquliani
    RM Dirk(hopefully Van Der Vaart)
    LM riera
    AMC Stevie Gerrard
    FC Nando
    love to see van der vaart play for us, and i think a fit dan agger would thrive at left back

  24. Lemitris says:

    I couldn’t choose the same best XI for a match against the Mancs in Trafford and against Wolves in Anfield…..So I will propose 2 best XIs.
    1.For matches were we need compact style & solid defence
    ……………..Reina………………
    Johnson….Skrtel….Carragher….Aurelio
    …………Mascherano….Lucas……….
    Kuyt………………………….Riera(or Yossi)
    …………..Gerrard……………….
    ……………Torres……………….
    2.For matches were we need to break down packed defences
    ……………..Reina………………
    Johnson….Carragher….Agger…..Insua
    …………..Mascherano……………
    Babel……….Aquilani…………Riera
    …………..Gerrard……………….
    ……………Torres……………….
    If we buy Van Der Vaart we shall be victorious.
    He is pure class and he would provide a previously unknown depth of quality in the squad in terms of creativity, flair, width and immense scoring ability.
    Get him Rafa!!!!!!

  25. Hardy says:

    Reina
    Johnson Cara Skrtel Aurelio
    Mascherano
    kuyt Gerard Aqualani Benayoun
    Torres
    bench:
    Cavalieri
    Agger
    Insua
    Kyrgiakos
    Lucas
    Reira
    Nemeth

  26. johnnyred says:

    THAT TEAM ABOVE FROM HARDY COULD BE THE ONE !!!!

  27. Lemitris says:

    re file plaka mou kaneis?eipame na stiriksoume ta patriwtakia……alla an o kyriakos parei thn thesi tou carra sto kentro tis amynas tha sou steilw thn dieuthinsi mou na ertheis na me gamiseis kai tha sou pw kai evxaristw,

  28. Bikram says:

    Reina
    Johnson-Carra-Skrtel-Insua
    Kuyt-Masch-Aquiliani-Benayoun
    Gerrard
    Torres
    I would also use Riera and Lucas quite a bit.
    And what the fuck are all the so called “fans” here talking about? Lucas has really improved from last season. He’s gotten bigger, and is playing with more confidence, and his passing has improved as well. He will be one of our better players this year, mark my words. He was really good against Stoke.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Reina,Johnson,Carrager,Agger,Aurelio,Kuyt,Mascherano,
    STEVIE G,Riera,TORRES and Benayoun just behind him.

  30. megaman789 says:

    @Anonymous(1st one)- We want to feature Riera but thats the prbloem here.
    Right now Yossi is needed more and No one can replace Kuyt right now.
    We play mediocre without him and he is the working horse there along wiht tracking back and defensive cover for Johnson.
    Riera and Benayoun should be regularly switched as they both provide different style of play imo

  31. megaman789 says:

    @Anonymous(1st one)- We want to feature Riera but thats the prbloem here.
    Right now Yossi is needed more and No one can replace Kuyt right now.
    We play mediocre without him and he is the working horse there along wiht tracking back and defensive cover for Johnson.
    Riera and Benayoun should be regularly switched as they both provide different style of play imo

  32. kate says:

    I would play a 4-1-4-1.
    johnson-carra-agger-insua
    mascherano
    kuyt-gerrard-aquilani-reira
    torres

  33. machine goooner funk says:

    ….pepe….
    johnson..agger..skrtel..aurellio
    kuyt..aquilani..masch..benayoun
    gerrard
    nando
    the formation from last season wont work w/out alonso so a 4-4-1-1 would probably suit them best. it allows kuyt’s tireless workrate and he can drift in to the center and so can benayoun while johnson and aurellio wreak havoc on the flanks. after watching the spuds game carra is past it. once agger is fit he should get the nod ahead of him (he was culpable for bassong’s goal, terrible marking. this formation also allows gerrard to slot in behind torres where he is so effective. they’ll never truly replace alonso but with the passing of johnson, aurellio, and aquilani (once fit) should provide atleast adequate service for gerrard and torres. as a gooner i hope they stick to whatever they did against spuds but if i was rafa id play it like this.

  34. Danny says:

    Personally, the team hasnt and will not change much this season. Yes, alonso was key in the title race and will not be forgotten nor will his influence on the team. But personally the lose againts “Spurs” was down to a lack off talent that rafa shouted out was there. Babel did nothing and only performs off the bench. “nando” looked tired. And lucas is quite francilly just appalling. I think “Injulanly” might have the talent to fill the “Alonse” role, but what rafa needs to remember is how to brake down the lesser teams something the “Alonso killer pass” did quite well.
    GK: Reina
    RB: G.Johnson
    CB: J.Carragher
    CB: D.Agger
    LB: Auralio
    DCM: J. Mascherano
    DCM: A. Aquliani (when he dicides not to injur himself)
    RM: Kuyt
    CM: Stevie G
    LM: Y.Benayoun
    CF: Nando

  35. Anonymous says:

    4-4-2 diamond with gerrard roaming
    pepe
    johnson skrtel carra aurelio
    masch
    kuyt riera/yossi
    aquilani
    gerrard
    torres

  36. stuart Inman says:

    Reina
    Johnson Carragher Agger Aurelio
    mascherano Aquilani
    Kuyt Gerrard Riera
    Torres
    Cavelieri
    Skrtel
    Insua
    Babel
    Lucas
    Benhyoun
    Voronin

  37. niall says:

    my team
    REINA
    JOHNSON AGGER SKRTEL CARRAGHER
    MASCHERANO
    KUYT/BENAYOUN AQUILAINI RIERA/AURELIO
    GERRARD
    TORRES
    AND HOPEFULLY SOON OR IN JANUARY ARSHAVIN AND A DECENT STRIKER

  38. fernando jose torres sanz says:

    he the best

  39. arshavin says:

    i am a honest player arnt i

  40. arshavin says:

    gay boy

  41. You’ll Never Win The Leauge……SIGN ON…..JOHNSON U’d of been better at Pompey….CAUSE YOULL NEVER WIN THE LEAUGE Liverpool starting 11 Gerrard Torres that’s it

  42. better than benitez haha says:

    reina
    insua agger carragher johnson
    benayoun aquliani mascherano kuyt
    gerrard
    torres
    hey benitez y wouldnt u buy villa to support torres so
    he doesnt get injuredd every bloody week
    u could swap kuyt with gerrard and then kuyt with villa or even silva
    benyaoun mascherano aquiliani silva(gerrard)
    villa(gerrard) torres
    genius

  43. reidy says:

    Reina
    johnson carrgher agger insua
    aquilani lucas
    kuyt gerrard(c) benayoun
    TORRES
    bench:
    cavelieri
    kyrgiakos
    aurelio
    babel; good sub for torres unless we get david villa
    mascherano; he gets red carded alot
    riera
    ngog

  44. reidy says:

    torres is a legend and all tat think liverpool wont win the premier league…u dnt know s***

  45. Christos says:

    I think we have problem. we need a player like ALONSO , so I put STEVE in the place of ALONSO because he can passing like XABI . I put kyrgiakos in a cd role because hi is tall and he can help ass in the dangerous corners and i know him and he is very good. Also GERRARD can tacling well he can help Mascherano and BENAYOUN can play near TORRES

    ..JONSON…CARRAGHER..KYRGIAKOS…AURELIO..
    ..KUYT…..GERRARD….MASCHERANO…RIERA…
    …………….BENAYOUN……………….
    ……………..TORRES………………..

  46. Christos says:

    IF BENITEZ buy VILLA or another star at the attack we can play like this :………………REINA………………
    ..JONSON…CARRAGHER..KYRGIAKOS…AURELIO
    ..KYUT…..GERRARD….MASCHERANO..RIERA[YOSSI]
    ………….TORRES…VILLA [or another star on
    the attack]

    SUBS:CB AGGER
    CB SKERTL
    RB DEGEN
    LB INSUA
    CM AGUILANI
    CM LUKAS
    RM MAXI
    LM BABBEL
    AM PACHECO
    CF NGONG

  47. Anonymous says:

    GK reina
    RB johnson
    CB carragher
    CB agger
    LB insua
    RM kuyt
    CM mascherano
    CM lucas(aquilani if fit)
    LM benayoun (reira)
    CAM gerrard
    ST nando

    bench:
    diego
    kyrgiakos
    aurelio
    babel
    maxi
    aquilani
    ngog

  48. peter says:

    GK reina
    RB johnson
    CB carragher
    CB agger
    LB insua
    RM kuyt
    CM mascherano
    CM lucas(aquilani if fit)
    LM benayoun (reira)
    CAM gerrard
    ST nando

    bench:
    diego
    kyrgiakos
    aurelio
    babel
    maxi
    aquilani
    ngog

  49. lewis says:

    my team (4-2-3-1)

    Reina
    Johnson
    Carra
    Skertel
    Agger
    Maxi
    Gerrard
    kuyt
    Nando

  50. lewis says:

    plus masch and lucas forgot them

Leave a Reply