Shades of similarity over Liverpool's shady defence

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As a Liverpool fan myself, even I had a laugh at Lovren's horror show against West Ham. Tripping over the linesman, passing it back to Manuel Lanzini and watching helplessly as Noble strolled the ball into the back of the net. All it needed was a Benny Hill type soundtrack and it could easily have been a clip on ITV's You've Been Framed. 

Of course, Lovren was not entirely at fault for the defeat. Skrtel had a terrible game and Gomez's inexperience finally, inevitably, shone through.

However, as other Liverpool fan's know Lovren had been sub-par all throughout pre-season; both defensively and offensively and even the most lazy of football fans know the terrible first season the Croatian experienced at Anfield.


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Still, three clean sheets against Stoke, Bournemouth and title contenders Arsenal gave fans hope that both Skrtel and Lovren had put their shakiness behind them, and that finally Rodgers or the board had added defensive stability in Gomez and Clyne that they desperately needed last year.

Does the result against West Ham open up that can of worms again? 

Lovren lost his place in the Croation national team after his display at Anfield with Niko Kovač believing Liverpool No.6 was not up to the task. If Lovren can lose his place in the national side based on form, it must be a bad omen for Liverpool.

This international break also saw Sakho dropped by France, despite being the captain. However, no one could argue with this decision due to his lack of match fitness, having not featured so far in the 2015/16 campaign.

Nonetheless, Rodgers obviously does not have faith in the Frenchman as he played so irregularly in pre-season. Despite becoming France captain before he was 23, and being one of our most consistent performers last season has not featured thus far. 

Additionally, Thiago Ilori has been allowed to leave the club on loan to join Aston Villa - another team in need of defensive reinforcements and who can offer almost guaranteed first team football. Not only this, but the club have the option to make it permanent for a measly £9 million.

When one considers that Ilori was one of the standout performers at the U-21 European Championships and that Liverpool signed him for £7 million a year ago, to be loaned out without featuring at all and will only receive £9 million in return is an insult to both him and the fans. 

Personally, I believe Sakho to be our best centre-back. Skrtel has been hit and miss since the departure of Daniel Agger and hasn't performed well enough since the Dane's departure to be called our top defender.

Although Lovren seems to have been a failure, if Sakho can come back into the team and perform I wouldn't categorise the position as in crisis. However, if he returns to the shakiness from the beginning of the 2014/15 season or Lovren keeps his spot, the position of centre-back will be an indefinite source of trouble for LFC, as we have now loaned out the one hope of a stable future to a club that will give him the time, space and managerial support he needs. 

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Brendan Rodgers
Martin Skrtel
Premier League

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