Speaking to 5-Times this week, Evans revealed his concerns about the way Rodgers utilises Liverpool's full-backs. He explained:
"I'm worried about the way Brendan plays his full-backs. I don't like the way he pushes them too high, too early.
"We end up with them up there, and the two centre-backs split. There should always be cover".
Time and time again, Man City ruthlessly exposed LFC's weaknesses at left/right back. During the game:
* City players easily got to the byline countless times, usually via simple one-twos and/or drifting past Enrique/Robinson/Johnson with a burst of speed.
* Full-backs were regularly caught up the field when LFC attacks broke down, which left the centre-backs exposed.
I'm sure most fans approve of Rodgers' progressive approach of encouraging the full-backs to attack, but that strategy only works when the covering midfielders have the pace to cover when the opposing team counter-attacks.
With Gerrard, Henderson, Allen, Can etc in midfield, Liverpool do not have the pace required, and the same applies to the full-backs, who struggle to get back in time to snuff out the danger. Steven Gerrard, in particular, is not an effective cover option, and against City, his lack of covering pace was evident on several occasions.
I'm not so sure that signing new full-backs will make much of a difference, though. Whoever comes in will (probably) receive the same instructions as Enrique et al, and the lack of pace in midfield will still be an issue.
Perhaps this explains why £18m Alberto Moreno is (seemingly) one of Rodgers top-targets. One of the Spaniard's key qualities is his electric pace, which will certainly come in handy when attacks break down.
It's increasingly clear, though, that Liverpool need reinforcements on the left AND the right. Preseason has underlined once again that Glen Johnson is not the answer on the right, and with less than three weeks until the new season begins, Liverpool are running out of time to solve this particular problem.
Author: Jaimie K