06 September 2006

Momo is Boss

Sissoko fit for derby day

It is excellent news that Momo Sissoko will be fit for Saturday’s game against the bitters. It’s especially fun as Liverpool basically hijacked his signing after Everton had agreed a fee, but Momo has become an essential part of our midfield. Not only is he a tireless workhorse, breaking up play as few others do, but he allows Alonso and Gerrard to play their own games. Momo runs and tackles and runs some more, Alonso sets the tempo with his vision and distribution, and Gerrard is given creative license to attack from wherever he pleases. They all have their roles, and it all fits together quite nicely.

Sissoko’s development as a player over the past year has been nothing short of fantastic. Yes, he is still rash at times, and his passing, short and long, leaves something to be desired, but he’s improved these elements as well. It is no coincidence that Liverpool’s slip in form in late February/ early March of last season took place while Sissoko was out with that frightening eye injury.

The depth in the squad that Benitez has finally achieved this season is designed to allow Liverpool to lose a key player like Sissoko (and Carragher, and Riise...) and carry on, unlike Rafa’s first season where injuries doomed the league campaign. So far it’s worked, but thankfully, we haven’t had to see much of it. Having Momo back in the squad, especially for a game as unrelenting as the Everton game undoubtedly will be, is very reassuring.

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