Three reasons why Martin Skrtel’s new deal is good news for Liverpool
Dimitri Kondonis takes a look at three reasons why Martin Skrtel's new Liverpool deal is good news for the Reds
The 6ft 3ins Liverpool stalwart undoubtedly instills fear in opposition players week-after-week. Never frightened of committing to a challenge – although this can be his downfall at times – the Slovakian loves to make his mark upon a game. But he has only picked up one red card in 220 Premier League appearances, which is somewhat indicative of his subtlety – particularly in the penalty area when defending set-pieces. And he inspires a reluctance in opposition forwards to take him on, with his strong presence both aerially and in tackles.
He scores goals
Martin Skrtel is no stranger to a goal. Scoring seven league strikes over the course of the 2013-14 season, he was constantly out-maneuvering defenders from set-pieces to fire home from range. In fact, it became such a repetitive feat that Liverpool could rely upon the gigantic centre-back to find a break-through if their SAS (Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez) combination became nullified in matches. And although his other seasons produced lower goal tallies, he is still a serious force to be reckoned with in the air, and will provide an extra dimension if Brendan Rodgers’s “Plan A” of outplaying the opposition fails. His stout determination and forward prowess was clear in his last-ditch equaliser at Anfield last season against Arsenal.
From aggressive tackling to scoring goals, there is no doubting that Skrtel helps propel his team forward at crucial times. His determination to help the Reds see through a result is obvious, and invariably filters through from back to front. Although Liverpool didn’t enjoy the best of seasons last year, this arguably resulted from Rodgers’s unflattering partnership of Mamadou Sakho and Skrtel together, mixed with an unfamiliar system. With a partner who complements Skrtel’s defensive traits, we may well see centre-half’s leadership come to the fore as Liverpool look to return to the lofty heights of the 2013-14 season. And with a new contract under his belt, there will be plenty of opportunities for Skrtel to provide a foundation as the reds look to greater ambitions.