Liverpool once again came up short last night as they stumbled to a 2-2 draw with lowly Ludogrets in the Champions League - no matter what Brendan Rodgers told the media afterwards.
The result means the Reds have won just one game in Europe this season and even that was rather fortuitous. They still have their fate in their own hands going into the final showdown against Basel, although on current form it's not a certainty that they will beat their Swiss opponents.
Liverpool are of course dealing with a host of problems, although their biggest issue is both their most obvious yet most difficult to fix. They have lost the goals of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, thus rendering their 'we'll score more goals than you' approach pretty redundant.
Any defensive mistakes they've made this season were being made last time round, but now the SAS aren't there to bail them out.
With that in mind, Rodgers needs to look at ways of shoring up his backline, starting in goal. Simon Mignolet has proven himself to be an excellent shot-stopper throughout his career but the issue comes to silly mistakes that dog his game - exactly what happened for Ludogorets' first goal last night.
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But it's more than that too; he doesn't exude confidence when coming off his line - something which Bruce Grobbelaar rather clumsily pointed out this week. That makes it so difficult for a pressing side like Liverpool to do their job effectively; their goalkeeper needs to be supremely confident on the ball and behind a high defensive line, which Mignolet simply is not.
Enter Petr Cech. The Chelsea goalkeeper has been heavily linked with Liverpool in recent weeks because of his lack of game-time at Stamford Bridge. The 32-year-old is said to be available for around £7 million which is a real bargain for a player of his quality, plus he could easily play on for the next five years making him a serious long-term option for Liverpool.
There have been few better than Cech in the Premier League over the past ten years; he rarely makes mistakes and exudes confidence.
Sound familiar? Sound like exactly what Liverpool need? Of course Chelsea may not be willing to sell to a rival - but they did just that with Juan Mata and Rodgers has connections at Chelsea which could make the deal work.
From there Liverpool could start to build a more solid base which would counter the loss of their main goal threats. Dejan Lovren has looked unsure, just like the rest of his fellow centre-backs, and could use a calm head behind them. If Liverpool are looking to rebuild in the post-Suarez era, then they need to start with the foundations. Cech is the perfect cornerstone for just that.
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