30 March 2014 Liverpool vs Tottenham
‘Brendan Rodgers Liverpool we’re on our way to glory, built a team like Shankly did and kids will have a story.’ It’s the chant that could be heard rupturing from the Kop as Liverpool were tearing a woeful Tottenham to shreds with a 4-0 win and Brendan Rodgers’ passing style of play in full swing.
It was this very match that claimed their stake in the title race last season as Liverpool fans were certain that their team could finally bring the premiership back to Merseyside after a twenty-four year wait.
Fast track eight months later and it’s the sight no Liverpool fans thought they would see after their miraculous run in last season’s premier league title race. Liverpool sit in eighth place after some lacklustre performances which included losses to Chelsea, West Ham, Aston Villa, Newcastle United, Manchester City and has also been hit hard with the sale of Luis Suarez to Barcelona and the injury to Daniel Sturridge.
Although Brendan Rodgers spent over £100 million in the summer, most would say that the signings he made have struggled to settle into the Rodgers’ squad and suit to his style of play.
One in particular struggling is Mario Balotelli, the 24-year-old signed for Liverpool in the summer for £16 million and was seen to be the answer to be Luis Suarez replacement in squad. Balotelli has been woeful in front of goal as he has only scored 2 goals in 14 appearances (Per Squawka)and has never looked like the player Liverpool needed to be the man to replace Luis Suarez.
What Suarez brought to the Liverpool front line along with Daniel Sturridge was constant pressing on opposition defences and not allowing them any time or space into conjuring something up to their attack. This suited Brendan Rodgers’ style of play so effectively and was arguably the key to their their successive victories last season, not only did they score 101 goals and but they leaked 50 goals from the defence which proved that Brendan Rodgers had work to do over the summer to fix up his defence.
Dejan Lovren, Alberto Moreno and Javier Manquillo we’re all signed in the summer with these signings expected to to depth to Liverpool’s defence after the loss of Aly Cissokho and Daniel Agger to Aston Villa and Brondby respectively and Jon Flanagan and Jose Enrique both out with a long-terms injuries.
Dejan Lovren put in solid, consistent performances for Southampton last season which saw his £20 million move materialise and would provide healthy competition for Mamadou Sakho, Kolo Toure and Martin Skrtel. So far so Liverpool’s defence is still at the same level it was at last season as they have conceded 15 goals in 11 games proving that their defensive woes have continued into this season.
For Liverpool, a new change of fortune is needed. A proper replacement for Suarez is needed as they always need to have Daniel Sturridge back from injury and scoring goals as soon as possible. Simon Mignolet needs to have his confidence back if he is going to be able to keep clean sheets and pull of solid, consistent performances for Liverpool as he will then be considered as a top premier league goalkeeper. Brendan Rodgers’ needs to have a centre-back pairing solidified in the heart of the defence to allow confidence and stability at the back.
Liverpool must learn to use Mario Balotelli effectively as he isn’t able to deliver consistent performances and his inability to finish and create chances. A clinical goalscoring number 9 is needed upfront along side Daniel Sturridge if Liverpool are going to replicate their goalscoring efforts of last season.
A big 6 months awaits for Liverpool and it will only be a matter of time to see how Brendan Rodgers can get Liverpool out of this sticky mess.