Have Liverpool been looking in the wrong places for answers to Luis Suarez’s departure?

Five months into the season and Liverpool have made a fashionably late arrival to the top-four-chasing party.

Better late than never, with the Reds able to see Champions League football again if they stand on tiptoes.

Whether they secure another seat at European football’s top table remains to be seen, but they are back on the Premier League guest list.

Just five points, a couple of positive results, now separates the men from Merseyside from their ultimate goal, with football betting (13/2 with Bet365) placing them back among the frontrunners.

Quite why it has taken so long to put themselves in contention is an issue which could be argued in any number of ways.

There is, however, no escaping the fact that most debates will somehow lead back to one man – a certain Mr L. Suarez.

His departure for sunnier climes in Barcelona was always going to hit hard, with it virtually impossible to find a like-for-like replacement.

Liverpool, though, really should not have made filling that void as difficult as they have.

 

Having seen upwards of £100 million made available over the summer, surely they should have started the 2014/15 campaign as strong, if not stronger, than they finished the last.

A slow start quickly quashed such talk, with a possible title challenge written off before the slog of winter set in.

Has manager Brendan Rodgers been seeking to address the wrong issues, though?

As mentioned, filling Suarez’s boots was an unenviable task, even without taking unfortunate injuries to Daniel Sturridge and the questionable purchase of Mario Balotelli into consideration.

It is for that reason that Liverpool should have turned their attention to other areas.

While they fell agonisingly short in their pursuit of the top-flight title last term, they were far from watertight at the back.

An Ossie Ardiles/Kevin Keegan ‘We’re going to score one more than you’ approach appeared to be taken at times, with Liverpool confident that they had enough firepower at their disposal to outgun just about every rival that dared to enter into a Premier League standoff.

That was never going to be the case this year, with the tireless running of Suarez and his enigmatic talent removed from their forward line.

Getting things right at the back should, therefore, have become more of a priority.

If you do not concede goals, you will not lose games. This is not rocket science.

Keeping things tight and frustrating opponents may not be an approach which comes naturally to Rodgers, with his ball-playing and expansive philosophies widely acknowledged.

There is no shame, though, in altering an approach. You can only work with the tools you are given, play the hand you are dealt etc.

Recent results and performances suggest that Liverpool are starting to come around to that way of thinking.

A five-match unbeaten run in the league has seen just five goals conceded, with clean sheets secured in two of those outings – both 1-0 wins.

Liverpool have found a way of getting the job done when unable to blow opponents out of the water

They have done this by tweaking their formation slightly and putting themselves in a position to reassess during the winter transfer window.

Rodgers will point to the fact that he spent more than £30m on defensive recruits over the summer, in the shape of Dejan Lovren and Alberto Moreno, but if he has to go down that path again in January, he should – especially when you consider that Glen Johnson is running down a contract, Jose Enrique appears to be on borrowed time and Simon Mignolet has seen his value questioned on a regular basis.

Suarez may have been a striker, and Liverpool undoubtedly miss him, but there is more than one way to skin a cat.

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4 thoughts on “Have Liverpool been looking in the wrong places for answers to Luis Suarez’s departure?

  1. Finally, someone who’s thinking with his head and not his cleats! I agree wholeheartedly that the leaky Red back needs some major repair and now may be a better time to do it, and let the summer window be better used for attacking players. Hopefully with a better standing in place by week 38, it may make Pool a bit more attractive to quality players than an 8th or 10th place finish. Can anyone get this Rogers to read this article before he makes more Balotelli-like mistakes??????

  2. I think we re on the track we just need one attacking striker and one central defender, we already got good mid field, wth the cotihnios , loveren sakho and recovery of sturridge, we can make t!

  3. Rodgers needs to think critically as a man but just not rash as to buy players as he did. Anfield is a place for quality players not mediocres that Brendan needs to understand

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