It was a meteoric rise from mid-table to second place that gave Liverpool another chance to play Champions League football for the first time in five years.
For most of the players in the starting line up against Ludogorets, it was a first taste of one of the greatest competitions in world football.
But the difficulties of European football have already manifested in the Liverpool squad. A disappointing 1-0 loss was followed up by a very poor 3-1 defeat against West Ham, two sides Liverpool should be defeating comfortably.
Granted, those matches were played without Daniel Sturridge; however, instances like what happened to their star forward are inevitable, and Liverpool needs to be ready. The problem is, they are not.
Rodgers failed to add enough quality
The problems began this summer in the transfer market. With European football looming Rodgers set out to add depth to his squad and fix the defensive problems that were so worrisome last season.
And he added the depth that is necessary to play in European football, the problem being, he did not add quality.
While Alberto Moreno, Javier Manquillo, Dejan Lovren, Adam Lallana, Lazar Markovic, and Rickie Lambert seem like good signings, they did not make the team any better. Rodgers added a lot of players who are good, but none of them are the great players that Liverpool need to become a force in both the Champions League, and the English Premier League.
Liverpool reliant on youngsters
Liverpool are dependent upon a 20-year-old right back and a 22-year-old left back to repair a defence that conceded more than half a century of goals.
They are dependent upon Dejan Lovren, 25 years of age, to become the leader of the back four, when he has never played in the Champions League and was on a team who finished mid-table last season.
To add onto that, Liverpool have failed to sign a suitable replacement for Luis Suarez. Mario Balotelli is a stagnant attacker, and while lethal on his day, does not have the mobility that characterises the fluidity of the Liverpool attack.
Rickie Lambert plays at most fifteen minutes a match, so he is not gonna score 20+ a season. There is so much dependency on Daniel Sturridge, and at this level, that will need to change.
Adam Lallana is a player we have yet to see the best of - injuries and lack of fitness have plagued the early part of his season - but Lazar Markovic has no excuse. He was average against Aston Villa, and while a good runner with the ball, does not create openings the same way Sterling or Coutinho does.
Rodgers signed average players
The real problem here is that Rodgers signed a bunch of average players. There is potential in many of them, but naivety will be punished at the extraordinary heights of European football. No longer are Liverpool playing for a top six finish - they are playing to win everything.
That will be the problem this year - consistency. The players signed in the transfer window are no comparison to Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas, and Falcao. This year needs to be seen as a learning season for Rodgers, as he figures out what he needs to do in both the Champions League and the Premier League.
Fortunately, he has already shown he has a steep learning curve. It should not take long for Liverpool to be back to the heights of 2005.
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