Liverpool FC, having lost the Premier League by the narrowest of margins last season, will be looking to mount another challenge for the title in 2014/15.
As expected, Brendan Rodgers has been busy in the transfer market, making four signings already. But unless Rodgers changes his transfer policy, he will find that Liverpool cannot keep up the same form that almost clinched the league last term.
Why Liverpool lost the title last season
Last campaign Liverpool had, indisputably, the best attack in the league. With Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge up front, plus superb attacking contributions from Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling, few defences could contain them.
Indeed, Chelsea were the only team in the top nine finishers last season not be defeated by Rodgers' side. They scored 101 goals in 38 matches, which is quite frankly incredible. Their was no problem with their attack.
However, the combination of a slightly inconsistent 'keeper in Simon Mignolet and a very, very dodgy defence conceded them the title. Indeed, they conceded 50 goals, and many to smaller clubs e.g. Hull, Swansea and Stoke. With a better defence, they would have strolled to the title.
Liverpool's transfer business...
So, it's very clear that Liverpool urgently need a world class defender, maybe even two. A goalkeeper to challenge Simon Mignolet wouldn't be bad, and a left back completes the situation.
However, Luis Suarez's £75 million transfer to Barcelona means that Liverpool could do with ONE more attacker, but only one. Given that Sturridge is reliable enough, an attacking midfielder would be ideal. A reserve striker would be necessary in case of injury.
So far Liverpool have signed; Emre Can (midfielder), Rickie Lambert (striker), Adam Lallana (winger), Lazar Markovic (winger) and are on the verge of signing Loic Remy (striker) and Dejan Lovren (defender).
Is it right?
So, this ticks off; a reserve striker (Loic Remy), a reliable defender (Dejan Lovren) and an attacking midfielder (Adam Lallana). But, what about the rest? Are Liverpool going to leave players such as Markovic and Lambert on the bench, to be used scarcely ever?
Remember that as it is world class striker Remy is going to be on the bench week in week out. Some might say Rodgers signed Markovic and Lambert for "depth". But remember Rodgers has players such as Fabio Borini, Oussuma Assaidi, Suso and Luis Alberto at his disposal. Depth in attack is something Rodgers has.
And, whilst it is always better to improve a team's qualities, even if they have some already, is there not a case of priorities? Liverpool's defence is what mattered last season, and, while Lovren is a good defender, he cannot transform a defence from poor to excellent, as Liverpool so need.
Another world class defender and a left-back is what Liverpool have been crying out for all of last season, and wingers/strikers are most definitely not.
Also, one wonders why the likes of Lambert and Markovic joined Liverpool if they knew they would be bit part players. Is it because of money?
Finally, consider this; Liverpool will most likely play with Henderson and Gerrard in central midfield and Sturridge up front. This leaves three spaces for No.10s.
Which three do you pick out of Raheem Sterling, Philippe Coutinho, Lazar Markovic, Adam Lallana, Fabio Borini, Suso and Luis Alberto? The ultimate point is; why spend so much money of world class attackers when, mathematically, some must sit on the bench? And why not completely reform the defence, as it so desperately needs?
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