Liverpool: Brendan Rodgers' side a work in progress
Liverpool opinion: Brendan Rodgers' side have struggled for consistency this season
When Brendan Rodgers took the reins at Liverpool, many predicted a repeat of the Andre Villas-Boas/Chelsea saga at Anfield. Both managers advocate free-flowing football and insist on playing high up on the pitch, so its easy to see why comparisons were drawn.
But the former Swansea manager has a knack of giving incredible press conferences that instills his belief and vision for Liverpool firmly in the hearts of the Reds' faithful.
Fast-forward to the present, the Liverpool under Rodgers have not disappointed, but they haven't made any big positive strides forward either. You can see a slight improvement in the team performances, but nothing significant.
There are days when Liverpool plunder the opposition and steal the limelight, equally they squander their chances and get condemned on the other days. So what is the biggest hurdle that Liverpool and Rodgers need to overcome in order to consistently produce?
Liverpool regularly score more than once. Most of Liverpool's victories have come in matches against opponents that tried to play the ball, that means when the opponents try to move upfront on the pitch, Liverpool's players exploit the gaps and spaces that they are being presented with.
They have too much quality in their attacking department with Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge their clinical selves whenever they sense an opening. Their biggest strength has been the swiftness in passing and incredible creativity with players like Jose Enrique, Raheem Sterling and Glen Johnson giving goosebumps to opposition defenders with their speed and passing ability. The recent acquisition of Philippe Coutinho has proven to be a successful signing too.
It has been the teams that tend to defend deep within their half that have caused problems to Liverpool, leaving them fuming at the final whistle - Rodgers' side can be compared to Barcelona in this regard.
If Rodgers can concentrate on acquiring a physically imposing attacker in the mould of Didier Drogba, then they can overturn their fate in matches against defensive teams.
Even though the present Liverpool team is all about Suarez, the main linchpin has been the ever-present Steven Gerrard, the one who initiates the forward movement. But the captain isn't getting any younger, and so he can't always track back to tackle and defend too often, and that shifts responsibility onto the shoulders of Lucas Leiva.
Pepe Reina does deserve some blame for the way he has marshalled his defence - he has been poor in communicating with his defenders, and is often caught napping at his post. Not forgetting the blunders he has been committing in collecting harmless goal-bound balls. It's time for Rodgers to set his sights on another goalkeeper.
Though Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel give their best, Liverpool don't have a proper backup in this area. That said, if Rodgers can sign a couple of established centre-backs and add an imposing clean-tackling and ball-retaining defensive midfielder, the current outfit would turn into a top class outfit and may bring the glory days back to the club.
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