26 November 2010

Where’s Dani? Can You Find Dani?

It was the summer of 2009 and Liverpool had just finished a close second in the Premier League. Things could only get better (hindsight is a great thing isn’t it?) and I wanted a piece of the action, grabbing at everything that had anything to do with Liverpool that summer.

Unfortunately, things weren’t as great from a financial perspective so, rather than make plans for a trip to Anfield (a European night against Fiorentina or Lyon would have been good), I had to settle for whatever I could find within Ireland.

That opportunity came along soon enough when it was announced that a Liverpool XI would be playing a friendly against Bohemians at Dalymount Park on the 17th of August. It was a great chance to watch a pre-season friendly that would have included at least some members of the first team. Then, I realised that the match was scheduled after the Premiership’s first game. So, instead of being able to watch the likes of Carragher, Gerrard and Torres play, I was treated to a mix of Liverpool Reserve and Youth players.

There was the recently acquired Victor Palsson in midfield while Chris Mavinga was the club’s latest coup from PSG. Obviously, the squad had local Liverpool lads like Stephen Darby and Steven Irwin along with a couple of other promising English talents in the form of David Amoo and Nathan Eccleston. But, the two names that the fans were keen on watching that evening were Argentinean Gerrado Bruna and Liverpool’s current Number 12, Dani Pacheco.

While Bruna looked off the pace and slightly uninterested, Pacheco was extremely impressive as he pulled the strings from his free role just behind Eccleston. A friend of mine, having watched a very young Robbie Fowler play in the Reserves mentioned that it was glaringly obvious that Fowler was a class above the rest of his team mates. Well, I’m not a qualified football scout but it was as clear as day that Pacheco (on the evidence of this one match) was a special talent. So, it comes as no surprise to me why Liverpool fans (especially the ones that follow Pacheco regularly) are so excited about giving Pacheco an extended run in the First XI these days.

Here's a video compilation (by MilanKakaBaros) of Pacheco at the European Under-19 Championship last summer...

And, of a more recent goal against Everton in the Reserves.

Not surprisingly, it confuses and frustrates fans around the world as to why the Spaniard hasn’t even made the substitutes’ bench since September 2010. This of course, coincides with Pacheco’s last first team appearance in Liverpool’s humiliating exit from the Carling Cup after having been defeated by a “formidable” Northampton Town side. Whether it’s true or not, it does appear that Hodgson was disappointed with Pacheco’s display against Northampton and has sent him packing back to the reserves.

Maybe he does need to be re-trained in a different role or bulk-up to survive the physical aspects of the English game but in the meantime, here’s hoping that the coaching staff at Liverpool really know what they’re doing with Pacheco. We just can’t afford to let such a talented player go to waste or worst still, get sold to some La Liga outfit on the cheap in exchange for an aging, average at best player.

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