Everybody knows Liverpool scored goals last season. Both Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge were ferocious in-front of goal, scoring 52 league goals between them and the entire side capping off with an impressive total of 101.
However, there were chinks in the armour at the back. Whereas The Reds netted going forwards, they also conceding a miserable 50 goals. Let's take into account the fact that Brendan Rogers spent £22m on centre-backs Mamadou Sakho and Tiago Illori, with veteran Kolo Toure also joining the ranks and a further £9m for goalkeeper Simone Minoglet to make the switch from Sunderland.
Case for the defence
In many games, it came down to Liverpool having to score a lot of goals to compensate for the amount they conceded. Three goals conceded at home to Swansea City, along with three away bottom of the table Cardiff City, Crystal Palace and Stoke City highlights there is a big problem Rogers must tackle.
If the title challenge had have come down to the last day on goal difference, all blame would be pointed towards the defence. Martin Skrtel was solid all season and put in some heroic performances. However he lacked what all superhero's have - a side kick.
Centre-backs were chopped and changed in the Liverpool defences like a woman changes her outfit. Mamadou Sakho and Daniel Agger made 17 league starts whereas Kolo Toure made 15. Out of all three, Daniel Agger looked the most solid of them all.
Dane deserves better
Agger has been at the club for eight years now and is a LFC veteran. He's a very gifted defender who reads play well, is hard in the tackle and very good in the air. As well as that, his ball control and ability is what he is most recognised for, as he picks out a superb pass, can go past midfielders and has one shot on him.
In Roger's first season in charge, The Dane was a regular in the side, playing 35 games and controlling the back four for the first half of the season. Both him and Skrtel clearly had a good relationship with each other and made decisive decisions together.
Considering Rogers' philosophy is to play football from the back, it is ironic he doesn't play his best centre-back with ball skills. Agger is so comfortable with the ball at his feet, so much so that he has been rumoured to go to Barcelona for the last few summer transfer windows. When Kolo Toure made the fatal mistake against West Brom, to gift Victor Anichebe an equaliser, Rogers defended the Ivory Coast native, saying that is the football Liverpool are encouraged to play.
Kolo a no-go
I really questioned why Kolo Toure was then playing over Agger. Toure is an old-fashioned centre-half who wins headers and clears the ball. That was in his prime, and he is clearly past his best.
Agger however is in his prime and is a class defender. The Reds have also struggled since the retirement of Jamie Carragher.
Carragher is a Liverpool legend, an individual who inspired everyone on the pitch. He organised the defence and made sure that there were no sloppy goals conceded. His voice could be heard from outside the stadium, never mind row Z.
Time to consolidate
It is no coincedence Carragher's retirement is a reason why Liverpool conceded so many goals last season. Even when Carra was missing, Pepe Reina did a fine job in organising the back four, however he spent last season out on loan at Napoli. That left new goalkeeper Simone Mignolet to fill his boots, something he failed at. That is no fault of Mignolet however, as he was a young goalkeeper new to the squad.
Liverpool's back four is crying out for a leader. Yes, Skrtel done a grand job of what it was worth last season, and is skipper of his national side, nonetheless for me, he isn't a born leader. The Slovakian has been prone to silly mistakes before and I think he needs to play his own game to fulfil his utmost potential.
Agger is the man to lead the defence. He is already vice-captain at Anfield and captain of Denmark. He posses all the ability to lead the defence, as he did during the first half of the 2012/13 season and he can carry on doing so this season. At times, Mignolet looked nervy, especially when coming to collect the ball. With a strong leader in-front, it takes a lot of pressure from the Belgian shot-stopper and should improve his game.
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