by Chris Tobin
With all the talk around Anfield centring on the much lauded excuse of a lack of fire power, with Liverpool’s willingness to dump a multi-million pound striker whilst leaving itself woefully short in that position, Liverpool’s defensive frailty and a lack of heart in its midfield has mainly gone unrecognised.
The Stoke City game was a prime example of the many flaws the side have at this moment, which are being overlooked by the no striker’s situation, how we were bullied, out thought and out ran. Stoke to their credit and this hurts a purist like myself, were fantastic on the night, playing some excellent football alongside an attitude of no surrender, possibly even if we had one of the great sides from our illustrious history out on the field that night they may have also been defeated.
Criticism of the Rodgers regime and of course his tactics and selections, must be tempered with the knowledge that this is a small building block this season, indeed for myself I am quite prepared to give my critic with that knowledge that it is a 3-5 year plan. With that in mind the vitriol of my pen is quite blunted, ever wary that a brutal truth has no place in this so far short journey.
There will always be a requirement at Anfield to produce, both players & manager the prerequisite of the huge support always afforded those players & manager – Lately the shirt which historically has changed the ordinary as if magically from average to great, is now it seems lost amongst the mediocrity around the fields of Anfield Road.
Where are those that would die for this club, those who would not flinch when faced with the ultimate challenge of getting deep in the trenches whilst facing its foe – Liverpool do not have such players, such Warriors. The one man who could always be relied upon when the chips are down – Steven Gerrard seems lacking the edge to his game which was synonymous with everything the captain did, the Warrior seems weakened by his new found role.
Even the centre appears to have gone soft, from Reina, Skrtel and Agger they seem slightly at odds with the type of style that Rodgers is attempting to perfect – And that word seems to be the problem…PERFECT. Unless you can pass a football, then you will always be under pressure in a passing team, for all Skrtel’s many qualities, facing forward and passing the football in the same direction appears not to come naturally, add to this that he appears uncomfortable when being bullied by opposing strikers, for a senior player there seems some work still to be done.
My fear for Brendan Rodgers lies within an argument that perhaps we have the wrong personnel for such a plan to readily take on to the battle field, some may have been his own making, whilst the majority have been thrust upon him, those of a certain age will remember when Graeme Souness took over the reins from Kenny Dalglish and duly went about dismantling the team at super-sonic speed, whilst unintentionally destabilising this great institution in the process, this club has never recovered from those actions.
So the fans have a choice to stand by and accept that we and the manager need time, time for the disposal of services whilst nurturing the talent we have at the club, giving talent the opportunity to make their way in the game, we must remember how young some of those players are, Rodgers also owes it to these young players to flower the squad and team with experience.
Where the next warrior comes from I believe will be our next key signing; every top team or even mediocre team has to have its fair share of fighters, those required in the trenches. Over to you Brendan.
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