Liverpool mustn’t panic buy despite early season defeat
Monday night’s 3-1 defeat against Manchester City at the Etihad stadium was not the fairytale start to the season Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool had in mind.
August 28th, 2014
Having edged past Southampton at Anfield on the opening day of the season, the Reds were convincingly beaten by Manuel Pellegrini’s men—but it’s a result that can’t be seen as too surprising, nor too disappointing.
Question marks were raised yet again over Liverpool’s defence; poor positional awareness and a lack of pace causing poor errors for all three City goals.
Whilst new signing Alberto Moreno looked a good weapon going forward, he was at fault for the first goal and later sustained a nasty-looking ankle injury on a torrid debut for the Spaniard.
Fellow new recruit Dejan Lovren was caught off guard several times as Liverpool’s back four looked disjointed and lacking communication.
But to come away from the reigning Premier League champions in defeat doesn’t necessarily need to raise alarm bells.
What Liverpool mustn’t do now is panic buy in the final few days of the transfer window.
The signing of Italian international forward Mario Balotelli just hours before the damp squib of a game in Manchester on Monday took Liverpool’s summer spending to £117 million.
Balotelli’s arrival should naturally force Liverpool to play a higher game, switching back on the relentless attacking nature to their play that made them so exciting last season.
There’s also the attack-minded midfielders Lazar Markovic and Adam Lallana to settle into the team and help that cause, whilst Javier Manquillo and Moreno will no doubt take time to settle into Liverpool’s Iberian-flavoured full-back positions.
Barcelona’s Alex Song has recently been linked with a move to Anfield and would be the perfect antidote to Gerrard’s aging game.
Whether Steven Gerrard can maintain his defensive-lying playmaker role at the age of 34 for the full season remains to be seen, so Rodgers may be thankful he has other central midfield options in Emre Can, Joe Allen, Jordan Henderson and Lucas Leiva, although only the latter has much experience in defensive midfield.
A back-up goalkeeper to Simon Mignolet—one that is an improvement on Brad Jones and give the Belgian shotshopper competition for his place would fine tune a Luis Suarez-less, improved Liverpool team to last season.
Liverpool go to Tottenham on Sunday—one day before the transfer window closes. A more cohesive performance from the team is needed—but the personnel is almost spot on now.