Liverpool were beaten 3-1 by Hull City yesterday as they lost their third league game of the season.
But what did they learn from their latest setback? Let's take a look:
1. Without SAS, Liverpool fell like a castle of cards
The Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez partnership has become the backbone of the current Liverpool squad and this game, without Sturridge, was supposed to be the true test of their character.
The old days are back to haunt Liverpool and once again it seems that they rely too much on individual brilliance and struggle to perform as a unit. What began as an over dependence on Torres-Gerrard during Rafael Benitez’s days has now transformed into extra pressure on Suarez and Sturridge.
The midfield remains weak, evident from the number of square passes among the defenders.
2. This was the last chance for Raheem Sterling
Sterling failed to impress yet again and it is doubtful if he will get another chance to prove himself. The attacking midfielder has seen a gradual slump in form.
His first touch let him down a number of times, he easily lost possession and at times his commitment was questionable. He seems too frail for the exceedingly physical English game.
Why this fall in form occurred and whether the increase in his weekly wages was a factor, is a different debate all together.
3. The depth of squad was good only on paper
When the transfer window closed in September, Brendan Rodgers claimed that they finally had enough players in various positions, so as to compete for trophies. Last night’s game was the first test of that claim.
Four key players - Daniel Sturridge, Jose Enrique, Daniel Agger and Philipe Coutinho were not fully fit and the lack of chemistry was visible in their absence. The defence was in shambles with both Kolo Toure and Martin Skrtel having their worst day of the season. Whatever little threat Glen Johnson displayed coming forward was ruined by Victor Moses’ poor control.
Coutinho’s arrival was so late that he failed to lift the spirits of the team, so much so that Suarez had the fewest shots on goal compared to previous games in the season. Luis Alberto is already the failure many were projecting him to be.
Iago Aspas is injured and Mamadou Sakho is yet to gain Rodgers' trust. None of the summer signings have solved the ever lingering problem of squad depth at Anfield. Now, the fans have to do the one thing they hate doing- wait for the January transfer window.
4. Fortune favours the brave
Unlike many would have expected, Hull city did not sit back and try to salvage a point when the scores were level at halftime.
They pressed and pressed and lady luck smiled. All three goals came out of poor defending but also because Sagbo and Livermore were always there at the right place at the right time.
They have provided inspiration for teams in the lower half of the table and proved that the premier league is unpredictable as ever.
5. You cannot win without big names
It was painful to watch Liverpool give up so easily. When the going got tough, none of the players stood up and took charge of the situation. Suarez and Gerrard have done it in the past but it is unfair to rely on them every time there is a crisis.
The loss only goes to prove that unless you have the big game players, you can only manage a mid table finish. Look at what Wayne Rooney and John terry did that very same day. The sad part is that there is no quick solution to this problem. It’s not that Rodgers didn’t try to sign star players.
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