Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has spoken out about our stuttering start to the season, and insists the main issue is our formation, as reported by the Mirror.
We’ve endured a difficult start to the 2015/16 campaign, and despite early wins against Stoke City and Bournemouth, we have been far from convincing.
Carragher blames Brendan Rodgers’ insistence on playing a 4-3-3, and claims we need to start deploying two strikers – as we did two seasons ago when we came so close to the title.
“It’s the one [formation] he likes to use, but it’s never really worked,” said Carragher.
“I also mentioned the make-up of the squad in terms of strikers and, and Jordon Ibe is the only out and out wide player. That’s perhaps why he’s playing three in the centre of midfield.
“The thing for Brendan Rodgers is how can he get his players into the positions they want to play? At the moment, that’s the thing he’s finding difficult.
“Moving forward, they need to get two strikers on the pitch. It’s a system that brought them so many goals the season they nearly won the league.
“With Sturridge, you can’t rely on him for a full season, but he’s back training and he gets goals.
“I’d like to see him playing in that wide forward role, but something has to be worked on to incorporate the players into a team, as the lack of goals and creativity is what’s killing Liverpool.”
You may agree with Carragher, and playing 4-3-3 clearly hasn’t been working for us recently. But is it the manager’s tactics that are failing us, or is it our acquisitions in the transfer market?
It’s not like one formation is necessarily better than another, and 4-3-3 works superbly for a huge number of teams. But whether it’s down to Rodgers or those higher up at the club, we haven’t been bringing players in who fit that philosophy.
If Rodgers has set his mind on playing a certain way, then he needs to bring in players who can compliment that style. We currently have a plethora of strikers at the club, yet the Northern Irishman insists on only using one at a time.
Danny Ings was played out on the wing against Manchester United, and while he worked hard throughout, he clearly wasn’t suited to the role. Roberto Firmino was also pushed out wide, and though he is more at home on the flanks than Ings, he has shown both in the Bundesliga and for Brazil that he is more comfortable when deployed centrally.
Without a striker of Luis Suarez’s quality, it’s perfectly possible that we may not be able to recreate our 2013/14 goalscoring form simply by reverting to two up front. With the transfer window now closed though, Rodgers needs to work with what he’s got.
What he’s got is a host of striking options, and few wide players, so the solution seems fairly simple. Even if playing two up front is not the long term plan, it seems sensible to at the very least experiment with a formation that incorporates it.