After beating Preston North End in England, Liverpool continue their preseason to more unfamiliar territory. Not much was known about the reds’ opponents, apart from the fact Arsenal beat them 7-0 a few days earlier. Rodgers opted for a full 60 minute team, with most substitutions happening with around 30 minutes left. The goals came from Coutinho in the opening 9 minutes and Sterling, towards the final closing stages of the game. So why did Liverpool score 2, and Arsenal 7?
Liverpool dominated the match, but looked nervous at times, and lacked the cutting edge. Many of the problems came from a bobbly pitch and unfamiliar climate conditions. But lets not look for excuses. Lets see where we went wrong football wise. If I can assess these areas, then surely Rodgers can examine them.
It’s clear that even with new summer signings, Liverpool score goals. That was proven last season. But instead of looking thousands of miles away to foreign soil for players, we have players right here at Anfield that can do the job. I’m talking about Coutinho, Sterling, and to an extent Ibe. Both Coutinho and Sterling have scored 2 in 2 games; Ibe 1 in 2 games. These young, fast, skilful talents will cause problems for defenders, and have done, yet we have not seen them work together for long periods of time. Perhaps that the lack of experience would inhibit their ability, which is why Suarez, Aspas and Downing are going to be seen alongside them. We haven’t even mentioned assists yet; do I really need to though?
So why exactly does Rodgers line non-technical players, such as downing up against these sorts of players? I doubt he can really teach them anything and barely keep up with them. He may have earned a place in the squad last season, but that should change. Downing failed to create any impact on the game, so when faced with an English Premier League team, can we expect much? No, not really.
On the upside, we have familiar faces coming back. Gerrard is gaining fitness, the absolute towering wall that is Martin Kelly has made an appearance, and the Kolo Toure – Daniel Agger partnership seems to be working. Perhaps we don’t need another central defender after all, and maybe a new fullback, after a poor performance was shown, and silly mistakes were made and old problems began to surface. Both Johnson and Enrique were under-par and cost possession.
All these problems can be solved, and fans are behind Rodgers. Especially the spectacular fans in Indonesia.
What do you think Rodgers can learn from the Indonesia XI game?