Inconsistent Liverpool

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Inconsistent Liverpool

Not since the days of Rafa Benitez managing Liverpool have the Anfield side managed to string a run of wins together. Liverpool came close to winning the Premiership during Rafa’s reign, but since he left the Anfield hot seat Liverpool have struggled to find the consistency needed to challenge for a Champions League place, never mind challenging for the League title.

So many times in recent years Liverpool supporters have saw improvement in their teams’ performances and results too often followed by a poor one to set the improvement process back again. Saturday’s loss to Southampton was another setback for Liverpool after encouraging signs in recent weeks, with the team scoring plenty of goals and last week beating a top four side in Tottenham Hotspur.

This season in particular has been very frustrating with inconsistent results under new manager Brendan Rodgers’ leadership, but his methods seemed to be paying off until Saturday as Liverpool were looking for their fifth consecutive win for the first time since the days of Rafa.

But once again Liverpool were brought crashing back down to earth with a thunderous bump as hopes of a top four finish in the league were finally dashed with Saturday’s defeat. The recurring problem of inconsistent results that Liverpool have needs to be sorted out soon or Liverpool will drift further away from the league’s elite as the gap widens.

Brendan Rodger’s Liverpool have played brilliantly in some games this season, but there has also been a few very poor performances which have set the team back this season. The first match of the season was a terrible start to the season as West Brom ran out 3-0 winners, then the defeat away to Stoke was a very poor performance, followed by the latest defeat to Southampton.

There seems to be a common theme in these defeats with Liverpool losing to big physical sides in each of these games. When Liverpool play teams that pressure the ball carrier and have a big striker to play up to with long ball tactics, they invariably struggle.

Liverpool have scored a lot of goals this season but they are conceding plenty too and they need to tighten up at the back to progress. The biggest problem in some games is the appearance that some players are not up for the fight and the defeats I mentioned earlier are prime examples of this. The pedestrian, lethargic attitude by the players is unacceptable for Liverpool Football Club and once again it occurred on Saturday with the inevitable result of another defeat.

There is never a problem to motivate players in the “big” games but a manager earns his corn by getting his players motivated for the games against the league’s “struggling” sides, and too often this season it seems Rodgers has been unable to do so. Good managers get their players motivated for every game and Rodgers needs to sort this out.

The team selection for Saturday was also a strange one, was Rodgers taking Southampton too lightly with Reina and Carragher not playing, although they did have injuries I think Rodgers was being too protective with them. Joe Allen playing in place of Lucas against a battling Southampton side was a major mistake by the Liverpool manager.

Lucas and Gerrard had been playing well together, so why did Rodgers change things ? Afterwards Rodgers said Lucas had a slight injury, but why put him on the bench if he has an injury, and Allen needs an operation on his shoulder, so it was crazy to play him, he could even have played Henderson if there were injury doubts about Allen and Lucas. The decision to play Allen instead of Lucas was a disaster and Rodgers realised that by bringing on Lucas for Allen at half-time, but the damage was done in the first half and Liverpool couldn’t recover.

The whole team lacked passion and the right attitude at Southampton and I don’t like to single out individuals but Allen, Skrtel and Glen Johnson were unbelievably poor.

I still back Rodgers and he needs more time to get things right, but he has to be careful when he changes personnel and tactics for certain games and he needs to get his players motivated for every game not just the games against the top teams.

Rodgers needs to get his team to finish the season strongly and give encouragement for next season, because next season will be very important for Liverpool and Brendan Rodgers to prove that progress is being made at Anfield.


  1. Most of us will understand mistakes made by the team this season I believe. But no doubt the numbers will be reduced next season. This season I will accept any place higher than 8th on the table, as it will prove we make progress. With some quality added in the summer, hopefully we’ll have much better team and result next season.

  2. i am agreed with that Jamie Mclaughlin written on this opinion and comment,i also found that sometime B.R changes personnel and tactics for certain games and he always make a poor decision. Hopefully he can improve the game and make a right decision for each game.

  3. Don’t you mean inconsistent team selection?, no Liverpool fan wants Allen or Skertl in the team. Why play Allen who is injured before Lucas, Shelvey or Hendo?, Coates needs games to judge him properly yet the useless Skertl cocks-up yet again………………….It’s down to Brendan and not for the first time!!!

  4. I think it’s quite obvious that the inclusion of Skrtela and Allen really hurt us against Southampton. After dwelling all week on this I feel that Rodgers should take the blame for this one (unlike the Villa defeat). I think to play a 4-3-3 away from home with a weak player like Allen in the middle is just asking for trouble, people may say the formation was different but I quite distinctly remember Suarez, Sturidge and Countino all grouped up top on many occasions. All the current top 4 would have been more defensivly minded than we were because you don’t know when your oppostion will play a blinder. Anyway enough ranting, glad to see Allen will be out beacuse he frankly isn’t even close to being a regular starter and is just a accident waiting to happen (Skrtel too).

  5. “Liverpool came close to winning the Premiership during Rafa’s reign, but since he left the Anfield hot seat Liverpool have struggled to find the consistency needed to challenge for a Champions League place, never mind challenging for the League title.”

    We struggled heavily in the PL during Rafa. He never understood the league. He was brought in to take us to the next level (winning the leauge) but failed massively. Also, back then the rivalry for 4th wasn’t half as tough as it i today. So I don’t buy in at all to this false logic the club went downhill after Rafa’s sacking. Rather the decline started during his reign but was masked by cup successes in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

  6. Early in the season it was expected that BR would throw some different teams and formations together to see what he has.

    I agree with those who feel his selection of Allen was a bad call. He should have selected a full strength Henderson instead, but I am not fortunate enough to spend all week with the lads while they train, so maybe he saw something he thought would work…It sure didnt…

    It is really puzzling what has happened to Skrtel. He is barely recognizable this season, compared to his good form last season?

    One thing for sure, I’m really looking forward to seeing who we get this summer, and see if we cant cut out the erratic play.

    If we dont, and were languishing in 8th at this time next year, BR might as well open up one of those famous envelopes, and write his name inside…

  7. Yes a very strange team selection by Brendan Rodgers. I suppose the result was scripted as soon as he started to mention catching Chelsea and Arsenal in the build up to the game.

    It is clear that we do struggle against physical players but not neccessarily physical teams. The mention of Stoke, West Brom and Southampton is spot on but we should also include Aston Villa and Oldham in that little list. Stoke are definitely a physical side, but are the others? They all have big, strong physical strikers – Southampton have Ricky Lambert, West Brom have Lukaku, Oldham had Matt Smith and Villa have Benteke. Stoke of course have Jones, Walters, Crouch, Jerome and others.

    It just seems that opposition coaches who have an option of playing a big fella up front know how to play Liverpool. That being so it is even more baffling that the manager then picks a midfield that does not cut off the supply line in these games.

    Yes we have some great performances this season but we have had some stinkers as well. The stinkers have coincided with Brendan Rodgers questionable team selection. Horses for courses for many games. We are a long way off being a Barcelona and like Barcelona we stick to the principles of the type of football we like to play. Having said that Barcelona do not come up against a Stoke or an Oldham so in our case we should consider Plans B and C if required.

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