Date: 26th November 2014 at 3:03pm
Written by:

Liverpool’s worst start to a season in 22 years has put Brendan Rodgers under real pressure, but it’s somewhere he has been before.

I’ve read so many articles over the weeks on who’s to blame at Liverpool and what the reasons are for their decline, but it’s very easy to start pointing the blame at certain people within the club.

Over the season, Balotelli has been the scapegoat along with Gerrard and the problems in hand are bigger than both of them.
Losing a world class striker like Suarez would be a blow to any team but all over social media this week I have seen such things as ‘shows how much Liverpool relied on Suarez’.

To say Liverpool relied on Suarez last season is an easy statement to make, however he didn’t carry Liverpool in the way Gareth Bale did for Spurs when they finished 5th under AVB and narrowly missed out on 4th on the last day of the season.

Suarez netted 31 goals with Sturridge tallying 24, Skrtel got 7 goals, Gerrard hit 14 and Sterling 10 in all competitions – so where is this ‘over-reliance’ on Suarez all of a sudden coming from?

The answer is that it’s easy for neutrals to point at an under performing team and say it’s because ‘Suarez isn’t there anymore’, but if you take your two best players out of the picture, Suarez and Sturridge, then the problem is much greater.
Suarez was suspended for the first few games of last season but the Reds had Daniel Sturridge at their disposal and didn’t look out of sorts at all, winning games and scoring goals. But the Reds don’t have that luxury this time around with the England international picking up two injuries, the second of which will now keep him out until the New Year.

Rodgers has tinkered and changed his starting 11 so many times this season that most fans probably don’t know who’s going to start, especially in the full back positions. Glen Johnson has been in and out, along with Javi Manquillo and Alberto Moreno who has been our only positive from what is so far, a dismal season.
Some will say that Rodgers has had to change things up because of injuries but I think he is a manager who is trying new ideas but unfortunately it is unsettling the team – how are they meant to get any rhythm?

Back to basics
It’s very clear for everyone to see that it’s back to basics for the Liverpool players. Rodgers needs to address the defense by picking his strongest back four and sticking to it. I think Liverpool would benefit from employing a defensive coach because there’s no shame in sitting back sometimes in a game and digesting the pressure collectively as a team and being hard to beat.

The woes of Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard must be partnered with someone in midfield beside him but he can’t be the last man in front of the back four. Without Sturridge in the team, he can’t play the holding role because Lambert of Borini don’t run the channels like Sturridge does so he isn’t able to ping them passes he is more than capable of making, forward.

Teams have targeted Gerrard as the weak spot in the team and pressed him all over the pitch because they know without Sturridge in the team, his options are limited when on the ball.
This is where Liverpool would benefit from leaving a defensive midfielder in there to clean up Gerrard’s mistakes he is forced into making by the opposition. He is so isolated in midfield and he needs that cover and that support by either Lucas or Emre Can.

The part of Liverpool’s decline I have found most frustrating is Rodgers selection of Balotelli upfront. Balotelli is selected as the lone striker time and time again when it’s clear it’s not working and then late on in the game, Rodgers brings on another striker when things aren’t going to plan and we are chasing the game.

Did Ballotelli look out of place at White Hart Lane alongside Sturridge?
Ballotelli was monstrous at White Hart Lane next to Sturridge, his strength and touch on the ball gave the Spurs back four so many problems, especially when this left space for Sturridge and Sterling to run in to and cause problems all afternoon.
Ballotelli needs a striker beside him to flourish, with Sturridge out, it has to be Borini. I’ve ruled Lambert out because he’s quite similar to Mario, his game isn’t pressing the ball, but it’s something Fabio Borini does well and he works extremely hard for the team.
Borini can be Liverpool’s new Dirk Kuyt – not a mind blowing player to watch but a player that is capable of scoring a goal and running his socks off and best of all, he can score goals when it matters – as he demonstrated at Sunderland last season.

It’s time that the manager put in players that are two things:
1. His best players
2. The hardest workers

With Liverpool’s game against Ludogorets in the Champions League tonight, it’s time they pulled together and big changes must be made. It’s not about playing good football anymore (which Brendan Rodgers seems to think is more important than winning), it’s about being a team again and finding that team that finished second in the league last season and rn Manchester City so close to the title.

So to all of those worried Liverpool fans, just remember…. Brendan Rodgers never said it was going to be ‘easy’ and we are still on that long hard journey.

Follow me on Twitter @danielracheter and let me know your thoughts. 


5 responses to “Brendan Rodgers never said it was going to be ‘easy’”

  1. Stuart says:

    “To say Liverpool relied on Suarez last season is an easy statement to make, however he didn’t carry Liverpool in the way Gareth Bale did for Spurs when they finished 5th under AVB and narrowly missed out on 4th on the last day of the season.”

    Suarez created space , scored 33 goals..created chances for himself ..didnt rely on others .No one else in the Liverpool team at the moment is doing or is capable of doing that . Suarez created Space for Sturridge to roam and for Sterling to create havoc with his pace . Without him Sterling looks easy to mark. As for sturridge not looking out of place when hes been in the team without Suarez …did you actually watch Liverpools first few games of the season …QPR should have beaten us , Southampton murdered us and we robbed them.Sturridge was good against spurs and Ballotelli too but was that just a lucky one off —who knows .
    BR said it wouldnt be easy but he was full of himself and willing to take the praise last year when finishing second and mounting a title challenge .Where as now we are back to where we were when he first took over with the same poor tactics- was last year a fluke and nothing to do with BR is the question I ask more and more . Buying 29 players in his time in charge and playing 6 of them- alarming.Take the red glasses of and see this as you would any other team a poor manager struggling.But I hope I am wrong .

  2. Daniel Racheter says:

    so nobody else assisted luis Suarez? It was a team effort.. The point I was trying to make is that we was a TEAM last season, hence the goals from all areas of the team.

    Sturridge was a star when Suarez was suspended and for the QPR game Sturridge didn’t even play.

    I don’t call finishing second a fluke. I suppose smashing arsenal 5-1 was a fluke too? I suppose Brendan’s tactics of targeting Sagna at right back with Suarez and blowing them away in 20 minutes was a fluke too?.

    Yes we are poor at the moment and I have criticised rodgers for that quite clearly in my write up.

    Your a typical liverpool fan who calls for a manager out after tough times. Take the red glasses off and see the bigger picture.

    After all.. Who made sterling the player he is today?.. I’ll leave you to think about that one

    • Stuart says:

      Who is calling for Rodgers to be sacked ? Im pointing out that he might not be the ” Football Genius” that many called him . All too often there are Liverpool fans like yourself that just cannot bare the thought that we are not the club we were and always clutching at straws e.g I am willing to bet you are the first person to proclaim “we are back” when we win two on the bounce . Your point about Sterling has another side to it , should Rodgers be greatful to Sterling for being as good as he is then again without Suarez how good has he been? Remember when Rodgers put Sterling into the team it was at a point when at the start of Last season we were struggling and the only bit of pace and spark we had was him, it worked both ways.
      Suarez carried us through alot of games with very little assistance from others,.So your point about being a team last season well only one player is missing from that “team”. As for Coutinho ,where is he these days – a passenger in most games.By the way what tough games ? Still yet to play 3 of the top 4 from last year . The struggling teams ? are they what we consider tough these days. Agreed things should and I believe will improve but this bandwagon of Rodgers being a great manager is wearing very thin . Alot of money wasted and I feel we will regret that big time. If you still believe that champions league will be at Anfield next year Im sorry for you as your optimism clearly out does your view on reality and makes you deluded.” A team that spends over 100 million should be challenging for leagues” cocky Rodgers at his best and as I said when he got the job I believe he is a spoofer.

  3. Daniel says:

    your whole comment just contradicts everything you said. I never said we was ‘ back ‘ I never even said rodgers HASNT wasted money because I believe he has. I just indentIfied that we are still on that long hard journey.

    You seem like a guy with a lot to say for himself. Sign yourself up to write for this website and if your writing is good enough it will be published.

  4. kyle du preez says:

    if i were Brendon Rogers i would do everything in my power to sign Marco Reus ,then Shaqiri and Peter Cech/neto. Liverpool’s problems solved! They would uplift the spirit of the rest of the team.. And bring the best out of the young lads who find themselfs under to much pressure. I hope that BR has gave the point im making some thought. But yeah his the expert im thinking out load. . May we get back to winning ways and glory days threw the guidence of our Manager BR ! we owe him our support now more than ever.. You’ll never walk alone!!!