Spurs recall Jake Livermore amid a central midfield injury crisis… but who is he?
He has spent the majority of this season on-loan in the Championship. He started off at Derby County, where he made 11 starts, and 5 sub appearances. Towards the end of his spell there, he was finding it difficult to get into their side, so he was brought back and sent to Peterborough United. He impressed their fans in his 9 starts there – some of my previous articles cover updates on his progress (Spurs loanee update 11/02/10, Spurs loanee update 17/01/10).
The last time I personally saw him play (aside from his 10 minute goal-scoring cameo against Barcelona!) was in another pre-season friendly, against Aldershot – here’s what I wrote about his performance:
Livermore – whilst he provided a solid base and tried to get the ball down quickly and keep things simple, he didn’t really excel. He showed some solid defensive positioning, and some responsible tracking back, but he’s playing in the area of the pitch where you’d hope for possession to be kept, and we surrendered the ball far too easily at times. 7/10
This season – he has been heavily involved with the first team during pre-season which could show that he’s highly thought of, or could show that he’s this year’s Pekhart (involved early on, and then swiftly sent to the Czech Republic on loan!). I would imagine that he’ll go out on loan for the first few months of the season. He’s a strong lad, so could cope with the rigours of the Championship if a side wants to take a gamble.
And here was what I wrote about his performance against Arsenal reserves last April:
Livermore © – He shields the ball in a way that reminds me of Jenas. He was not afraid to play simple passes (unlike his midfield partner, who seemed to want to try too much). He positions himself pretty well, and also has a decent engine. Seems to be a solid player, but perhaps lacks the vision or ability in the final third. Having said that, he took his goal very well indeed, pouncing on a defensive error and slotting home. 6/10
Chances of him being at Spurs next season? I think it’s important to remember that injury has totally ruined Jake’s season. He was all set to be at Crewe for the entire season, but broke his leg during pre-season and has only just come back in the last month. I’m left wondering whether he’ll ever recover from that set back. 7/10
As I mentioned above, he had a long spell out of football with a broken leg, which unfortunately cut short his loan spell at Crewe in 2008/9. Prior to that he spent time at MK Dons, where he mde 5 sub appearances.
So will we see him?
With Huddlestone and Jenas out in the medium-term, Palacios is our only fit central midfielder. However, Palacios is currently on nine bookings, and will receive a two-match ban when he receives his tenth yellow card.
If we want to stick with 4-4-2, we have the option of moving Modric into the centre, but on previous showings he tends to get outmuscled and overrun in there, and has certainly shown his best form when playing from the left.
Alternatively, Kaboul could continue where he left off on Sunday; I felt that he did a reasonable job, but he is not ideally-suited to this role. Finally, we still have O’Hara at Portsmouth, but it’s unlcear whether we have a recall option. Regardless of that, given his recent comments about wanting to leave in the summer, it’s unlikely that we’ll see the best of him were he to come back temporarily, and we may be better off leaving him there.
So Livermore is a genuine contender to get some game-time, particularly if Palacios were to pick up his tenth booking on Saturday.