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As my nose is to the grindstone in the proverbial 9-5 that good old Dolly told us about..

So to distract myself I ‘tumble outta bed and stumble to Twitter for a daily dose of light heartedness, WTF moments and good old fashioned footie chat.

It was during one of my numerous daily flicks (behave) I drew inspiration for my article this week.

I must credit Dave Hendrick (@DaveHendrickTLW) with this, who is a must follow for any LFC fan as he is a veritable font of footballing knowledge!

You think you know a lot about world football? He knows more! The subject he was discussing that caught my attention was that of footballing hard men, and the apparent lack of, at Liverpool FC.

Alan Hansen, Graeme Souness and Norman Whiteside

Alan Hansen, Graeme Souness and Manchester United’s Norman Whiteside

At Anfield down the years we have been spoiled with the type of chap you want on your side in a rumble, in fact the type of chap who would make Hulk Hogan quake in his yellow and red boots brother!

The likes of Tommy Smith, Jimmy Case, Graeme Souness, Steve McMahon, Paul Ince, Didi Hamann and Javier Mascherano have delighted us with an inherent knack of winning those 30-70 tackles, crunching into the opposition and just walking round the pitch for 90 minutes like king of the hill.

It was their turf and you ruffle the feathers of one of their flock you would know about it. Personally speaking one of my guilty footballing pleasures, alongside the big physical centre-forward, is a good hard tackle (seriously behave yourself).

During my playing days I perfected the art of delaying a tackle long enough so I had to slide and take both ball and man…oooooooooooh that felt good! Goosebumps just talking about it!

As I have mentioned we have had a plethora of tough guys down the years but if you were to peruse the current squad the first thing that jumps out at you is the absence of a Leonidas shouting ‘THIS IS ANFIELD’ at opposing players, especially as we tearfully waved goodbye to Carragher last season.

Yes Stevie is still here and I would like to be the recipient of one of his tackles as much as I would want an Everton season ticket, but his natural game is not that of an enforcer, relying on him to bring this to the table takes away from his natural game.

You would suggest that the natural fit in this role would be Lucas, and whilst I like the Brazilian if I think I would actually get stuck into a 50-50 tackle with him, whereas if I was involved in an 80-20 tackle with Mascherano I would probably disgrace myself ending up in the foetal position, sobbing and wanting my Mum!

The same goes in the back 4 too, while we have Agger, and certain blonde centre-forwards are well acquainted with his elbow, but again, he is too much of a ‘footballer’ to fulfil the role. Skrtel should be that guy, and if we are honest he looks the part, like a Slovakian Mitchell brother, but he has never ‘brought it’, more often being the milky way in our Kop Candy Store rather than the fridge stored Double Decker we need! (probably the best football/chocolate analogy you will read today!).

Is this an important factor in today’s game I hear you ask? In a team where possession is king, why bother? I will tell you why we should bother, by having that person performing what in modern football has been known as the ‘Makelele role’ frees up those around them to do what they do best.

One look at our Spanish/Catalonian friends and a love him or loathe him figure of Busquets performs the dirty work freeing up Xavi and Iniesta (they are quite good you know). Our squad is shaping up quite nicely; we have some wonderful ball players in Allen and Countinho, hot youth prospects in Ibe and Sterling; and incoming talent such as Aspas and Luis Alberto who in the world of Bioshock would be accompanied by a Big Daddy to watch over them as they went about their business.

I am pleased we have been linked with Papadopoulos as he would absolutely boss our back line, no nonsense, and these recent links to bids for Diego Costa would bring more of a figurative bite to our attack than the literal one we saw last year.

Yet I haven’t seen any links to that Mascherano player I think we need, even if not to replace Lucas then at least to cover him following two serious injuries and give him competition.

Saying this I have a lot of faith in our new talent recruitment system, we have an excellently gather scouting setup who are trusted and are unearthing apparent gems.

Thanks for getting this far if you did, and equally I hope you were impressed that I referenced Country and Western, Chocolate and PS3 games in a football article!

I would love to hear your opinions and comments on whether you liked or disliked my piece and more importantly whether you agree or not! Do we need more steel in our system? If so, then who?

Originally published at live4liverpool.com

Post written by Tim Williams
Twitter: @timdibs

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