After an unbeaten run that instilled belief and momentum into Liverpool players and fans, the euphoria has come to an abrupt stop. As Liverpool faced two direct rivals for a place in the top four their resolve faltered and their ability seemed to waver between average and under par. Key players were out for both games but this cannot become Liverpool’s excuse after more than £100m spent to strengthen squad depth and add choice to a thin squad that was inches away from a Premier League title win. With only 7 games left, is it still realistic to say they can achieve a Champion’s League spot?
Next Two Games
Liverpool are without Skrtel and Gerrard for both and Can for our next FA cup game against Blackburn. This is a massive blow. With hopes dwindling regarding Champion’s League status this cup competition is now a top priority. Based on today’s performance our key players have proven that they are not replaceable and Liverpool’s confidence is heavily dependent on their inclusion in the squad.
Rodgers packed the midfield today and left our strikers on the bench. Sterling played as the front man and was ineffective in a frustrating and deeply disappointing performance. Liverpool weathered the opening storm relatively well- at the Emirates you expect to concede possession. However, very few chances were created and glorious opportunities to go ahead were wasted by Sterling who seemed to be a yard off pace today.
No match winners
Many saw Coutinho as a key player alongside Sterling however he was snuffed out by Arsenal today. The young Brazilian was given no room to manoeuvre the ball and Liverpool’s creativity was cut out. The inexperience in the squad showed today as too many loose passes and wrong decisions were made in play. Unfortunately our new signings once again failed to make an impact. We can hail Can’s positivity in attack but his challenges resulting in a red card showed that he still has a lot to learn. We have been waiting for Markovic’s growth in confidence to come since the start of the season and today’s display proved he is lacking considerably in this department. How can Rodgers move his development along?
The goalkeeper ensured the goal tally did not match it exceed our 5 goals past the gunners at home last season. He continued his assured form and made some brilliant saves. We must acknowledge that Arsenal put some excellent goals past us today which would have been too much for any top side.
Where do we go from here?
Lessons need to be learned. For two seasons Liverpool’s transfers have centred around young unproven talent. Yes, we have achieved Champion’s League status and credit must go to a talented and special manager. Brendan Rodgers has brought Liverpool to the top again but in order to stay there experience and proven quality is absolutely essential.
There are seven games left to clinch a top four spot, this season Liverpool are depending on other teams to get there. Changes to transfers need to be made so that next season Liverpool’s fate is in their own hands.