Thursday, September 27, 2012

(Sports) Football: Three Reasons Why Liverpool is 18th

While Liverpool FC fans might beg to differ, this may be the worst Liverpool team the Kop has ever laid its eyes on. This is not the fault of Brendan Rodgers, who has given the job to rebuild Liverpool with little money and a unbalanced squad in positions and experience. 

Liverpool over the past two or three years have floundering due to rash decisions (getting rid of Roy Hodgson before he could hang family pictures up in his office) and a strange and expensive transfer policy which is responsible for why the likes of Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson play for Liverpool and Xabi Alonso and Javier Mascherano do not. There are five reasons as to why Liverpool is 18th and Everton are 3rd, the first being:

Unbalanced Squad

No matter how good your first team is if your squad is unbalanced, under staffed or overstaffed with players of similar quality, it is likely that the team is question is going to struggle unless addressed quickly. Liverpool has no real striker except for Luis Suarez, who finishing skills are poor to say the least.

Liverpool’s defence is the only part of the side that looks balanced and settled, probably because there is little competition to replace them adequately. However this is again is not the fault of Brendon Rodgers, forced to make do with the squad left by Kenny Daglish due to the desire of Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group to cut down the clubs’ wage bill with the spending done by Kenny Daglish cited as a reason[1].  

Poor Transfer Policy

A poor transfer policy has been at the crux in Liverpool’s slight decline as they have failed to replace players who have left with players of equal or greater quality. The most recent example of this was Fernando Torres departure to Chelsea where Liverpool used the proceeds to purchase Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll, which has proved of late to be frustrating for Suarez and a £35m disaster for Carroll. However Liverpool’s recent flops are not all Daglish fault. Rodgers made a whooper when he loaned Carroll out to West Ham and shoved hard working but ineffective Fabio Borini upfront.

This may be down to the high wage bill Liverpool has but it hasn’t quelled Rodgers frustration as he missed on a number of targets during the summer but his angst was underlined by missing out on Clint Dempsey, who was poached by Tottenham at the last minute of the august transfer window[2].

Experienced/star players not showing up

There are number of players at Liverpool who can make a difference, but none have done it has much as Liverpool captain Steven Gerard. It’s doubtful Liverpool would  have won the 2005 champions league without Gerrard timely volley against Olympiacos or his fantastic drive into the bottom corner against West Ham in the in the FA Cup Final just a year later. However what is become clear recently is while he is still capable of great moments, there aren’t that many left in the locker.

 WhileG errard was influential in the 2-1 to Manchester United; the 2-0 defeat against Arsenal showed that Gerrard best days are behind him. Arsenal controlled the midfield due to a acres of space afforded to them and Abu Diaby making Toure-esque runs through midfield the whole match. Steve Gerrard decline is only an issue because Liverpool has no replacement and has relied on him even when the likes of Torres and Alonso were at Anfield. 
In sum, Liverpool may or may not recover from its slight decline but what is clear is that if they are to survive this rough patch, they have starting winning and quickly.

[2] J. Bernstein, 2012, Rodgers fury over transfers: Liverpool boss can’t hide anger as players allowed to leave club,

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