Liverpool: Pulling A Tottenham

Last season Gareth Bale joined Real Madrid in a historic record deal, Tottenham Hotspurs, the selling club managed to buy several players following the sale of the Welsh winger, the consequences were terrible, Spurs failed to break into the top four and all the work and planning they had done went down the pipeline. Fast forward to the past summer, a media campaign urged Liverpool to get rid of Luis Suarez due to his bad discipline record. The Uruguayan joined Barcelona for a huge sum and Liverpool did exactly what Tottenham did, signed a host of players who seem to have no clue what they are doing.

Liverpool’s team is looking poor on the pitch, it can easily be noticed that many of the players have never played together before. Of course, one may argue that they players need time to adapt to each other but November is almost over and Liverpool, the club that was only two points away from winning last season’s league is now just four point above the relegation zone. Even if the players get their things together, it’s too late. Three years of planning have gone to waste, the club had just recently returned to playing Champions League football but from the look of it, they won’t be in the competition the following season.

Arsenal’s troubles are very similar to those of Liverpool. But the gunners were able to snatch a big name like Alexis Sanchez, a player who has the capacity to win games on his own.  At Liverpool, The arrival of Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert is questionable; the latter is at best a benchwarmer for a club aiming to win the league considering he’s 32 years old, there’s little he can still offer. Mario is no different from Suarez when it comes to discipline and behavior. In fact, Suarez’s determination on the field made up for what he lacked in discipline, whereas Balotelli is easily distracted on the pitch and it reflects on his performance, he’s yet to score in the Premier League. Daniel Sturridge’s injuries are certainly bad luck, the English forward has suffered nine separate injuries to the same thigh and he hasn’t featured since August but Liverpool should have had the right players to cover his absence. The reliance on a young inexperienced Raheem Sterling was never going to keep Liverpool among England’s best even if Sterling will develop into one of the Premier League’s best, at the moment, he’s not ready to lead a team aiming for the title.

Liverpool average the second highest possession in the Premier League(57.2%) only Arsenal are ahead of them, while their passing accuracy (84.6%) is also among the best in the country. Things go even further with the chances they’ve created this term (134) ranking them the fourth best in this category while in terms of dribbling they are among the best in dribbling with 117 of them, yet they only managed to score 12.5% of their shots. It’s clear that Liverpool don’t lack in quality but rather in character and determination.

Defensively, Liverpool needed to improve as their back-line was their only real problem last term yet the arrival of Dejan Lovren hasn’t done any help. He is yet to form a good understanding with his partner Martin Skrtel. The full backs Alberto Moreno and Javi Manquillo are both talented but they have never played in the Premier League before. In fact, the two were playing at Sevilla and Atletico Madrid respectively, the clubs were they kickstarted their careers, at Liverpool they faced a major change and the Reds took a huge risk in signing two players who have only proved themselves at their home clubs.

Liverpool can still save what is left of this season, with Sturridge out indefinitely, either of Balotelli or Lambert can finally step up. Brendan Rodgers needs to focus on the players at hand and not at the ones who are injured or at a player who joined Barcelona. They still have many games coming up and if they shift their focus from Europe to the Premier League they can still mount a serious challenge. Manchester United’s fourth spot is only five points away. They players need to believe in their capabilities and establish a fear factor to be able to overcome small clubs, maybe the club could need a change in management to freshen things up.

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