Can Liverpool challenge at the top?
Liverpool opinion: Brendan Rodgers must spend money this summer to compete with England's finest
Liverpool have always been a side that had all other teams fearing the fixture when they have to play the Merseyside club.
However, in the past five years, they have not posed the same threat.
Brendan Rodgers was the man who had the media raving about him when he was in charge of Swansea and had them playing some of the best football in the Premier League. This begs the question, are Liverpool's players harder to train?
The team that Liverpool have now are of a different level. For example, Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard, are quite simply, world class. However, other players that they have in their squad outweigh this quality. For example, Jordan Henderson and Jonjo Shelvey are not quite good enough. Liverpool have the name and the reputation to get some incredible players into their side but they are not taking advantage of this and looking towards youth.
Fortunately for Liverpool, some of the young players they have coming through do have the potential to be incredible. Players such as Raheem Sterling have the potential to become greats of the game. However, they are not ready yet.
In this season, Liverpool have shown that they cannot cope with injuries and without one or two key players. The evidence is clear. Already with 29 goals this season, he has scored a large proportion of Liverpool's goals. Looking at these stats, it is hard to see how Liverpool can deal with losing one of the big players. The depth in their squad is not sufficient enough to cope with injuries and suspensions.
Except for Suarez and Gerrard, the team is mainly full of players who can only really challenge for Europa League. The fact that teams would prefer to go to Anfield than go to Merseyside rivals Everton is evidence that they are losing their grip on being a Premier League force. Daniel Sturridge couldn't quite cut it at Chelsea, Stewart Downing starts and has not shown why he is worth the money paid by Liverpool and this list can continue.
It seems like in the very near future, with Steven Gerrard not having a long time left in his career and Luis Suarez seemingly going to want a Champions League team, Liverpool will not be a force to be reckoned with.
However, with the likes of Raheem Sterling, Suso, Phillipe Coutinho and Andre Wisdom coming through the ranks, they have a good basis to work on. It is important, although, that Brendan Rodgers buys some top class players for these younger players to learn off of.
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