Liverpool have declined season-after-season into a team which may not even be the best on Merseyside but, under Brendan Rodgers, things are starting to look up.
Back in the 2008-09 season, the last time the Reds finished runners-up, they had a solid midfield trio in Javier Mascherano, Xabi Alonso and Steven Gerrard.
Mascherano was a give-it-all tackler and Alonso pressed hard and was also a deep lying playmaker. He aided Steven Gerrard from time to time.
Gerrard, himself, had a season where he didn’t have to worry about injuries and went on to score 24 goals in all formats that season.
These three formed the core of the squad which was often boosted with the constant goal scoring form of Fernando Torres.
However, after selling Javier Mascherano to Barcelona and Xabi Alonso to Real Madrid, they started conceding a lot more goals and scoring less. Their goal difference dropped from a plus 50 to a meagre plus 28 which is just not enough for a team with ambition and a history such as Liverpool.
They signed Jordan Henderson hoping he can reciprocate Steven Gerrard just like how they replaced Mascherano with Lucas Leiva. However, they lost both Gerrard and Lucas to injuries consistently and Henderson did not live up to his expectations.
They made a whole bunch of unnecessary signings under Kenny Dalglish with the exception of Luis Suarez. Andy Carroll just did not live up to his price tag which forced his sale to West Ham United.
A lot was expected from Brendan Rodgers and although Liverpool are on the rise with Coutinho looking like a brilliant signing, a lot has to be done for them to qualify for the Champions League again. Somehow, the Manchester clubs, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham seem far ahead as of now.
What Liverpool really need now is to establish a solid midfield trio. They should either keep Steven Gerrard and Lucas fit to support Coutinho, or they should sign some like Danielle de Rossi or maybe even Xabi Alonso?
Along with that, they should be looking to keep Suarez at the club and bring in some defensive reinforcements. They need work in all areas frankly but it’s the midfield trio that they should be focusing on.
A more proactive transfer window could and some more tactical work from Brendan Rodgers could change things for Liverpool.
It’s yet another season to look forward to under the Brendan Rodgers revolution and although Liverpool are on the rise once again, it’s seems to be rather slow.
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