As Liverpool Lose Again, Can Rodgers Save Season?


Only the really fanatic of Liverpool supporter would have been expecting a victory over league leaders Chelsea today at Anfield. The fact is that the ‘Reds’ of Merseyside have taken a few step backs this season and no longer look like title challengers.

They are certainly not the same dangerous outfit they were last term.

In todays fixture with Chelsea, they weren’t quite at the races. Now Liverpool’s fans might (rightly) complain about a bad refereeing decision costing them at least a point, but no side should rely on the officials. They should be clear by that point and to be honest Chelsea could have also had a penalty in the first half for a similar incident. Also Liverpool should never allow the opposition to create more chances and have more shots in a home fixture.

Now let’s get the Luis Suarez saga out of the way. Yes the Uruguayan was a talismanic figure and did carry the side at times last season. But they received £75m for their star player and had time to sign adequate replacements. In Rickie Lambert and Mario Balotelli they have two strikers, who have struggled with the tactics and look uneasy in their Liverpool kits so far this season. Fabio Borini again doesn’t look to be a top English Premier League striker.

Now in Fairness to Brendan Rodgers, looking at those that were available during the summer transfer window, the player that could have done more than most in replacing Suarez would have been Alexis Sanchez, and Rodgers made a play for him. But unfortunately for Brendan the Chilean didn’t fancy Liverpool and had his heart set on going to Arsenal.

The Liverpool boss has also had striker Daniel Sturridge missing most of this campaign through injury. His goals and his runs have been badly missed. But again the strikers that have been available haven’t been good enough and all three have been brought in by the current manager.

Really he needs to change his formation or tactics to get more from Balotelli. Maybe push Raheem Sterling up front and in and around the Italian, playing on the edge of defenders and waiting for key flick ons to run onto. Without out doubt Sterling has been Liverpool’s best attacking threat so far this campaign, so they need to try and get every ounce out of him.

This Liverpool squad still relies too much on captain Steven Gerrard. At thirty-four, you cannot keep expecting him to dig you out of trouble with a wonder pass or a thunderous strike.

Philippe Coutinho needs to start dictating games and getting on the ball more. The Brazilian playmaker only has one assist in twelve appearances so far this season, and that was in the Capital Cup, that isn’t good enough. He has the ability to unlock defences and he needs to start doing that more often. The ‘Reds’ also need a fully fit and consistent Adam Lallana. The English midfielder is another versatile performer who can turn games and change his teams fortunes.

WIth Joe Allen, Jordan Henderson and Emre Can they have plenty of decent midfield men that are tidy and charge around the ground. But they are missing a real bit of steel in the heart of the park. A player like Nemanja Matic, someone who’ll be extremely strong in the challenge and break up play in the big games. At the moment Liverpool’s defence are vulnerable and they desperately need a midfield marshall to help them out.

For me the main weaknesses are coming from the back.

Simon Mignolet is a very good shot stopper, but you need a lot more when your a goalkeeper at a club looking to stay in the ‘Top Four’. You need a keeper who is capable of commanding his area and who has the respect of the defenders sitting in front of him.

Dejan Lovren is another new signing still finding his feet playing at a higher level. The defence have made too many costly mistakes and always seem second to react in their own penalty area, just look at Chelsea’s goals today. They seem weak, nervous and slow and that’s the reason why they’ve leaked goals in both the league and the Champions League. No one has came in and been better than Daniel Agger, who was sold in the summer.

Speaking of the Champions League, that was always the goal for Liverpool as a club. It’s the illustrious playground where everyone wants to be as it guarantees big money. But unfortunately for Rodgers and Co, it could be a dream that turns into a nightmare as they’ve struggled to gain too much respect or points from their outings so far. The squad have also failed to impress after their midweek exploits and that along with the European struggles have heaped more pressure on this fragile pool.

Fitness also seems to be an issue. Liverpool aren’t pressing the opposition for as long. Again that’s probably a hangover from playing in elite European competition this season.

In the Premier League, you can’t help but feel that Liverpool are now no longer title challengers. They seem to be more in line with the likes of Spurs, Southampton, Man Utd, Arsenal and Everton as teams capable of either getting into the top four or having an also ran season.

It’s not all doom and gloom for Rodgers. Yes the title seems beyond them, but even after this difficult, inconsistent start to the season they have remained in touch with those also challenging for a top four finish. After the ninth of December they will no longer have to worry about European football until late February, thus allowing them a chance to gain some momentum in the league.

In Europe if they can beat Basel and Ludogorets, which is entirely possible, then that should be enough to see them thorugh to the last sixteen. That would be a triumph for this season.

The squad could just need that bit of luck. Maybe Mario Balotelli can have a run of scoring or maybe Sturridge can return with a rich vein of form.

That said, it’s hard to see everything going Liverpool’s way. Rodgers has made too many changes this summer and the side are void of imagination, goals and defence strength.

I said that Brendan Rodgers wouldn’t have a better chance to secure a league title with Liverpool than he had last term and I’m pretty sure that still stands. As the club look a lot weaker this term.

His squad, even after a huge rebuilding job this summer, still look in need of more faces. Will further ins and outs help or only set them back further. It will be up to Brendan whether he should stick or twist? The wrong call could ultimately cost him his job!

One Response to “As Liverpool Lose Again, Can Rodgers Save Season?”

  1. No he can’t. There are no strikers capable of scoring.

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