Why Liverpool have been so poor this season

Liverpool have been way below par this season (©GettyImages)

Liverpool suffered further humiliation after they were knocked out of the Champions League following a 1-1 draw against Basel on Tuesday.

This along with their poor showing so far in the Premier League has got everyone asking: 'Why has it all fallen apart for the Reds?'

The hard truth is that it was always going to be difficult after Luis Suarez's £75 million move to Barcelona during the summer.

Suarez departure

The Uruguayan was sensational last season for the Reds. It wasn't just his goals but his overall play that was so mesmerizing, whether it was his tricks, his pace, his ability to bring others into play or simply just his workrate. And that is exactly what hasn't been there for Liverpool this season.

They have lacked that presence upfront that can keep banging in the goals as well as make space for others. Someone who can create a moment of magic from virtually nothing.

The loss from Suarez's departure wasn't helped by the fact that they failed to replace him. A year ago their rivals Tottenham were criticised heavily for making a big mistake by selling Gareth Bale and replacing him with seven or eight squad players.

Not learning from that, Liverpool made the same mistake. Understandably so, they needed to beef up the squad what with European football back at Anfield but what they also needed was to buy a prolific forward, someone along the lines of a Benzema or a Falcao to replace their departed Uruguayan.

Mario Balotelli

What they got instead was the troublesome Mario Balotelli. With all due respect to the Italian, it was obvious from day one that he was a compromise. A buy that would allow Brendan Rodgers to spend money elsewhere.

The problem with that is that Balotelli has been nothing short of a failure so far. Liverpool with the way they play need someone up front who works hard, has good pace and is a team player. Sadly he does not have any of those qualities.

So what Balotelli is turning out to be so far for Rodgers is a £16 million headache instead of a solution. That being said none of his other summer signings have covered themselves in glory. Lovren & Lambert have been a mere shadow of what they were at Southampton while others like Lallana and Can have also failed to live up to expectations.

Champions League demands

Playing in the Champions League is what every player wants but it has also been a problem for Liverpool. They aren't used to playing three times in a week every other fortnight and it has certainly taken a toll on them. European football is a must for a club like Liverpool but they need to have quality squad depth in order to meet the demands of the competition. So it maybe a blessing for them that they have been knocked out early as it may help them improve their domestic form and qualify for next season.

Admittedly the continuous injury setbacks for Daniel Sturridge hasn't helped Liverpool's cause. He was touted by many as the man to replace Suarez and he has been sorely missed by the Reds.

His return could spark a revival and propel Liverpool up the table. But it is quite clear that there is a large amount of work needed to be done by Rodgers and his crew if Liverpool are to become a domestic and European force again.

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