Where do LFC still need to improve?

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Lovren has had a rought 48 hours but where do things go from here?

Lovren has had a rought 48 hours but where do things go from here?

Well, the West Ham game was a sickening reminder that Liverpool still have a ways to go before they get back to being a top 4 team again. Contrary to what fans might have believed after the first three games of the season, the Reds did not fix all their problems in one magical summer. While I’m inclined to believe that the 3-0 defeat was just a bad day at the office, it’s clear that LFC still need to improve in a few areas.

For one, as the scoreline suggests, the defence still needs to improve. Mignolet was the only player who couldn’t be blamed for our defensive frailties at the weekend, and at least three of our back four were found wanting. It was Skrtel’s poor header away that gave West Ham a sniff at goal for the first one, and he offered no resistance for the third. On his day there’s no getting past Skrtel, but for every one of those there are several others where he’ll let opposition forwards just bat him aside. If Skrtel doesn’t improve, then this will likely be his final season as a first choice defender for the club.

Then there’s Lovren. The man who makes Skrtel look world class in comparison. I was ready to admit that I might have been a bit hasty in giving up on the Croatian after our first 3 games this season, but then he seemed to experience a sense of deja vu and turned back into the player he was a year ago. I’m not really sure what he was thinking when he decided to take on a player by his own corner flag, but if that’s Lovren when he’s actually confident then I don’t think he’s really worth keeping anymore.

Unfortunately it seems as though Rodgers will be sticking with Lovren at Old Trafford after the international break, but if he keeps this up then it’ll be an absolute crime if Sakho isn’t starting in his place by the time October rolls in. Everyone else seems to realise that Sakho should have been starting at the beginning of the season anyway. Everyone except the manager.

While Clyne seemed to try and do his best with the defensive partners he had available, Joe Gomez really struggled. Lanzini inexplicably beat him to the ball for the opening goal and continued to cause problems for him for the rest of the first half. It was the first time that Gomez really looked like a right-footed centre back/right back being asked to play left back. But it’s important to remember that Gomez is still only 18 years old and this was his first bad game after three impressive performances against difficult teams, so it’s easier to forgive him.

In midfield, we seem to have some real issues with personnel once you get past Henderson and Milner. Allen is good at keeping possession and picking the right pass, but I wouldn’t say he’s ultimately more useful to us than as a squad player and he’s injured at the moment anyway. Lucas is our “veteran” defensive midfielder and clearly needs his defenders to help him out by not being complete idiots, but nevertheless his legs seem to give out after the hour mark and he ends up chasing the ball for the remainder of the game.

Liverpool aren't short on options in midfield but are they of a high enough quality?

Liverpool aren’t short on options in midfield but are they of a high enough quality?

Emre Can will seemingly grow into his role in midfield, but right now he’s not quite there yet. He’s not as experienced as Lucas in DM, but when he plays further ahead with Milner he proves himself completely unreliable on the ball, often giving the ball away when trying to do anything beyond a simple pass. With Henderson currently out injured, it means we still have some real weaknesses in midfield when either the captain or vice captain ends up sidelined. Fortunately neither play has a reputation with injuries so we have to hope this won’t happen often.

Up front, our creative midfielders and forwards still seem to have problems linking up with Benteke. It’s clearly not as simple as “just swing more crosses in the box” like the commentators and pundits would have you believe, as some of Benteke’s best chances have come from linking up close to Coutinho when the ball’s on the ground. Nevertheless, in 3 out of 4 games so far this season, Benteke has been feeding on scraps. Almost as if our midfielders/wingers don’t really know how to get the ball to him.

It doesn’t help matters that Coutinho is now suspended for the United game, and he was the one who seemed to understand the Belgian best. It would seem that responsibility will almost certainly lie with Firmino now in the little magician’s absence, as the £29m signing is likely to start in the number 10 role at Old Trafford.

However to be effective there will require him to make a considerable leap in quality, as he’s understandably spent his appearances so far adapting to a new league and developing an understanding with his team mates. I don’t think you can accuse him of not working hard enough but right now he often spends too long dribbling with the ball and running into someone before he decides to pass to a team mate. He’ll need to cut it out if he wants to be as effective as Coutinho.

Jordan Ibe has a great future ahead of him but we can't place too much pressure on him just yet

Jordan Ibe has a great future ahead of him but we can’t place too much pressure on him just yet

Jordon Ibe seems to be getting games in the hope that he’ll transform into Raheem Sterling in the next few games, but it could be a lot longer before that happens. It took months of regular appearances before Sterling exploded into form (including a particularly bad game in a 3-1 defeat to Hull) and it looks like it’s all come too soon for Ibe, especially with the heightened fan expectation after what happened to Sterling.

I’m all for giving Ibe more minutes and more first team experience, but not at the cost of the team’s performance. Once Sturridge comes back will be hard to accommodate him, so I hope Rodgers has a plan when that happens.

My final concern with the team is that Rodgers seems very reliant on the idea of playing one up front. While there will be games where playing a lone striker supported by attacking midfielders will be beneficial, sometimes it does more harm than good. For example, after getting that early goal West Ham were just fine sitting back and playing on the counter. They were well organised and hard to break down. Playing Benteke on his own without another striker is not going to be enough in those situations, especially when you consider that he’s still finding his feet in a new team.

Ings has barely had a look-in so far this campaign, so I hope he gets more opportunities to pair up with Benteke as the season goes on. Of course, when Sturridge gets back we all hope that he’ll be given time to develop a partnership with Benteke as well.

Liverpool have a lot of problems to sort out before things start getting better. Let’s hope Rodgers proves he can do it before it’s too late.

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Drummer, gamer and football fanatic. I love to write about Liverpool and spend most of my time thinking about the mighty Reds. That or Game of Thrones.


  • bri says:

    It doesnt matter what players Liverpool have in the squad, it’s bad management thats to blame, the man is clueless!.

    Rodgers OUT!!!.

  • David says:

    I prefer Rodgers to stay for another year or so and wait for gerrard to take over

    • Karl says:

      Let’s be realistic gerrard . don’t destroy his legacy like he nearly did by staying as long as he did 5-10 years down the road maybe. Unfortunately Rodgers is the problem buying players and not playing them in there best position . Markevoic a left sided player put on the right plus 1st season in a new country only a kid not given a chance and sent of to another country exceptional management & crushing way to destroy a young maybe great talent. Can u seriously tell me he was as bad as adam lalana cos i just can’t see what lalana is good at. Just one of a number of players br can’t seem to get right. Why bring them in the 1st place

    • gimio says:

      Honestly I don’t see any quality in him doing management when he said Joe Cole is as good as Messi.

    • Chan says:

      If we goes with your plan, most likely Stevie would be managing a Championship side

  • bezo says:

    with Rodgers Liverpool can never move forward..

  • bezo says:

    with Rodgers Liverpool can never move forward.. even balotelli is far better than benteke if only Rodgers would have manged him well with 433 formation… since 451 ain’t working why not change formation

  • Billious says:

    If you can’t support us when we lose or draw don’t support us when we win

    Bill Shankly

    Just go where you’ll be made welcome with the rest of the whingers the other side of the park.

    • David says:

      Excuse People with opinions but I think shankly would have a lot more to say if he was around to witness this demise . We support Liverpool win or lose , but even an idiot can see when a manager is way over his head

    • redrainbow says:

      You’re wrong mate or Shankly, If you die fighting for cause you’re a warrior but if you die fighting for money nobody gonna back you, we can take whatever result that comes but we can’t take a clueless man dragging our beloved club to hell, Shank, Paisley, Fagan, Kenny, Rafa these are the man that love Liverpool and give their all and we will go to hell with them or club but BR is only doing it for his career, sorry to say that you’re supporting Liverpool like a clueless supporter mate.

      • Chan says:

        You are absolutely right, the Conman is just interested to build a profile for himself nothing more. It’s interesting to know that millions of fans are able to see this BUT those FSG guys who made their BILLIONS CAN’T and willingly be dupe by this conman for another season.

        Wonder how JH and Co made all those billions.

    • Chan says:

      We support LFC not a fraudster. I think the great Shanks would had vomit blood if he is alive and sees the club now under that fraudster. Just because this conman likes to quote Shanks does not mean he is really Shanks

  • musinguzi says:

    rogers out

  • jibril says:

    rodgers isnt helping liverpool he makes stars and sell them after we will never reach the top 4 if sell continue this

  • petrr says:

    Rodgers and Enrique out. Liverpool has best players currently.

  • Tealucky samson says:

    the problem is not on players but Rodger’s management.

    • redrainbow says:

      You’re absolutely right mate, Rafa inherited a very average players but still manage to win the Mickey cup (CL).

  • petrr says:

    Ibe should have been loaned instead of Markovic,,,,,,,,,,,Rodgers out

  • yemi says:

    markovich is better than ibe and he also has better experience.rogers is clueless lije fsg.

    • Chan says:

      In that one game, we found out that;

      1) BR is still as clueless by employing such a tight formation without any width while playing at Anfield, against a team which had lost their last 2 games, one against a just promoted team.

      2) BR still has tremendous ego and STILL would place his ego higher than that of the club’s interest by playing that disaster called Lovren. We all could see it coming, Lovren had one whole season last season to proved that he is an absolute car crash defender. However BR must plays him as BR PAID more than 20 mill for him, this despite having Sakho in our ranks. Can’t blame Skrtel, anyone would feel nervous with Lovren by his side.

      3) We absolutely need Klopp to come in, YESTERDAY. Let’s be honest, BR with his game plan and personnel selection just proved to just like last season, he is absolutely clueless how to bring us forward. We were lucky not to lose the first 3 games, it took one moment of magic and a dubious goal to win the first 2 and another dubious decision not to lose the Arsenal game. All it takes is a little bit of organization and discipline for any team to roll over us.

      I hope FSG would come to their senses soon enough, while the season is still salvageable and a viable replacement is still available, they must ACT NOW and get rid of BR. It would be pointless to let this fraudster spend all those millions and at the end of the day brought us 2 steps backwards. PLEASE REMEMBER FSG, OTHER ARE IMPROVING TOO, ACT NOW, SACK THAT CONMAN.

    • Norton kELLY says:


  • Jerry says:

    Just show Skrtel, Lovren and Allen the Anfield exit… A backline of no square pegs in round holes comprising of Clyne – Gomez – Sakho – Moreno would be preferred…

    As for Rodgers, he has never convinced in the Anfield hotseat… A manager who wins championship knows when to win, lose or draw… He doesn’t… He lost the title for us… Not Stevie’s slip… His stats speaks for itself… That are the true facts… Please remember… The league is always improving… But we’re way behind and not up to speed in terms of improvement, hence the struggles for us today… And that all points to the manager…

  • sulexxy says:

    Pls Ings deserved playing time with Benteke to reduce the presure.

  • medi bike says:

    liverpool need anotherDM!

  • gimio says:

    Where do LFC still need to improve? Most of the liverpool fans around the WORLD can tell you we need a quality, top class manager.

  • David says:

    We are only 3 players short of winning the league : pogba , messi and ronaldo !!

  • Norton kELLY says:

    agree with all the criticism on the page,

  • nicholas says:

    BR is the worst thing that eva happened to liverpool….the club is bigger than him..he should rather coach a team like debby counting.

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