22 Sep 2014

'It hurt us': Does BR really expect LFC fans to buy this lame £120m excuse?

Many fans refuse to accept it, but Brendan Rodgers performance in the transfer market over the last two years leaves a lot to be desired. At this point, only Daniel Sturridge is a consistent success, and despite spending over £120m this summer, there are question marks once again over Rodgers' signings, and LFC's manager is already wheeling out the barely credible excuses.

When asked after the West Ham defeat why Liverpool are underperforming, Rodgers offered the following tenuous explanation:

"We showed our potential in the Tottenham game, when we had players fit and key players that have been with us for a couple of seasons. We showed in that game the real quality and intensity of the team. When those guys aren't available, it can hurt us".

With the greatest respect, this is an exceedingly poor excuse. Rodgers has spent over £200m in TWO YEARS since arriving at LFC, and the whole point of this summer's transfer business was to improve and enhance the overall strength of the squad.

In my view, Rodgers should not be complaining about how Liverpool are missing 'key players' - it is his job to buy the players to ensure that LFC can handle their absence, and his claim that the Reds are suffering as a result of missing the likes of Sturridge, Johnson, Allen etc, is basically tantamount to an admission of failure in the transfer market.

Rodgers has repeatedly crowed about how happy he is with his signings, but based on his comments above, he doesn't appear to have any faith that his new buys are capable of doing the business.

If losing one or two key players is enough to 'hurt' Liverpool to this extent, then it is a sad indictment of Rodgers' summer transfer performance. The likes of Lallana, Markovic, Balotelli, and Lambert are supposed to be good enough to plug the gaps in the squad, but as of yet, that is very far from the reality.

Yes, new players need time to settle-in, but at least ONE of the big-money signings should've come in and hit the ground running. Instead, none of them have made the required impact. Additionally, in some cases, they're not even getting the opportunity to make a difference.

For example, against West Ham, Rodgers kept Lallana and Markovic - combined cost: £46m - on the bench and started Borini instead. Why?! Are we to believe that the Italian is more capable than the aforementioned duo of making an impact for Liverpool in a must-win game?

If that's the case, why desperately try and sell Borini over the summer, and then splurge £46m on Lallana and Markovic?

Additionally, the only real key player missing is Sturridge. Johnson adds very little to the team these days, and Allen - despite his talent for pressing - is not a game-changer, and rarely effects games in a result-influencing manner.

Before anyone twists my words: I am 100% behind Rodgers, and regular visitors will confirm that has been the case since day one. However, I respectfully submit that the manager needs to stop making flimsy excuses, and start addressing the real problems, i.e.

* Gerrard's role in the team.
* Choosing the best central defensive partnership.
* The dire goalkeeping situation.
* The lack of a dynamic, mobile, central-midfield dynamo.
* The effective integration of Lallana and Markovic.
* Coutinho's worrying drop in form.
* Questionable use of certain formations/systems.

Blaming Liverpool's poor form on the loss of 'key players' just deflects attention away from the real issue: Rodgers' continued misuse of LFC's transfer funds. Ultimately, it's simple: £120m worth of new blood should be able to cover the absence of ONE truly key player (Sturridge).

That this is not happening is an ongoing cause for concern.

Author:



91 comments:

  1. Jamie you have read my mind! Thank you

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  2. Few games into season how can you judge the new players. Jog on.

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  3. Judge new player when 10-15 games not 2-4 games!!! No article to write anymore?? Useless

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  4. I'm not judging the new players. If you don't get the point of the article, why do you even bother to respond?

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  5. I agree 100%. What about Suarez? He came in and hit the ground running. So did Mascherano. So did Matic at Chelsea. Mid season too. What key players have been with us for a couple of seasons anyway? Allen and Lucas hardly featured last year. Agger has been sold. Every single time we get close we ef it up in the transfer market.

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  6. The knives are out for Rodgers, yet as scrutineers say his signings have been flops, many would advocate the signing of Mata, who ironically amongst other clubs fans and managers is judged a flop !!

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  7. How has Costa been doing so far? A few games into the season? Or how has Matic been doing since January? Suarez, Alonso and Mascherano? How many games did they need?

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  8. I completely agree with Jamie. And I'm not jumping on the "gloom and doom" wagon, I'm just looking at what is glaringly obvious to all fans and Jamie articulates it well.
    Personally I still think stevie has one/two more years and we just need to realize that we need two very mobile mids to be his legs because playing him and lucas makes us play a man down. Migs needs to start taking leadership classes and also get a good backup keeper to challenge him because I think it's unacceptable that he can go an play a game like he did at West Ham and know he's still the automatic number 1. Brad Jones will always be part of the LFC family for those who know his story, but we need someone more apt to make migs look over his shoulder and realize if he cant marshal his defense someone else will. Couts shows up at the big games and, imo, I think the biggest place we're gonna miss Suarez is in the smaller games. We need one or two players to step up and take these tricky games by the scruff and get us going from the kick-off. Our team isnt quite the "come from behind" pedegree yet and we need to score first and quickly in order to progress this season.
    Step up L & M: The integration of Lallana and Markovic worry my almost more than anything previously said. From what I've seen them do, these are the two players (along with Couts and Sterling) who are meant to be opening up defenses, scoring goals, and pushing us over the line against the "weaker" teams in the league. They look like they dont know what their role is in the team and there is clearly no chemistry out there which is hard to observe after last season. Top four is the goal again and we can't let last season distract us from the fact that we're still in rebuilding mode especially with the investment this summer. I think we'll get into the top 4, do well in the CL, and perhaps snatch an FA or Carling cup trophy but I think this all depends on whether BR is willing to play each player in a position of their strength and not experimenting with formations and sacrificing chemistry, fluidity, and cohesion.
    Because right now Lallana plays more like a DM than an AM, the wrong Brazillian is taking shots on goal, our GK probably doesnt know his defender's first names, and I will buy rounds of drinks at the pub the next time we score a Lverpool set peice because we have a bucketfull a game and dont threaten from even one which every set peice against us looks like it might be a goal

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  9. this nonsense about the new players struggling with the expectation, as if they didn't know LFC expect alot from anyone coming here, we want to win trophies for crying out loud... get a grip and stop with the excuses.....

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  10. Any club that loses key players to injury can and have struggled?

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  11. Totally agree- hope Brendan hasn't lost the plot, Im also worried that he is over his depth now with the C.L to think about and in such quick fire sequence ..also Im shattered he sold Agger and loaned Ibe off n Origi

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  12. Nail on the head there Jamie...


    Constant tinkering with the system (He is reaching AVB obssession levels here with 'systems')


    "Lack of a dynamic, mobile, central-mid dynamo".


    I would add we are still 1 striker short plus 1 proper wide player...not a kid learning his trade like Ibe but a proven wide player.

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  13. "But we still should be better than what we were today. So there's no doubt we need to go back onto the training ground and continue to work.



    See you left that quote out Jaimie.

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  14. Many seem to think and have realised how important Allen is to our midfield.

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  15. It's time to play Gerard alternatively and let Lucas on the bench.

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  16. Maybe because that key player is the best striker in the world and the fact that no world class players actually think we're good enough or the fact we won't offer the wages they want. The players we have are all in their early twenties plying their trade in a new league for the first time with new expectations, apart from lallana Who missed pre season. We have 3 new guys in the back four plus a keeper badly affected by a loss of confidence, you also have to remember the lack of playing time for these guys in pre season.

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  17. I hate to say this its another KK in progress in terms of splashing on transfer, paying premium for unworthy british talent and i don't understand why hes keeping allen and letting suso go.

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  18. I am still waiting for Rodgers to explain his preposterous stating line-up against West Ham

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  19. you mean the bench in Stanley Park

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  20. the saints have lost half there team ...its a lame excuse logan all teams lose players..we have been played off the park by villa and west ham and if we are honest the saints should of beat us and we have signed all there best players...Rogers is in trouble if everton beat us and its fifty fifty we will really be up against it

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  21. i would sooner have ibe on the bench than borini who was woeful against west ham....the reality is we are going to struggle, the win against a very poor spurs team just papered over cracks

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  22. he cant explain it he has spent a fortune on players only to leave them out and pick players he was trying to dump.....

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  23. serious doubts about BR, he was handed Suarez and Sterling and by some accounts he wanted Clint Dempsey before Sturridge !

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  24. its not that allen is good logan its just that Gerrard and others are so poor ...we have one decent fit midfielder at present in hendo.....rogers has filled the club with players who can play off the striker like lallana and tino or as i call them show ponies great players when you are two nil up on a sunny day

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  25. what annoy me even more than the result is Rodgers refusal to take the blame, he just send the message to the team that they are just not good enough and it could affect the players to know that their coach dont rate them.
    it could turn ugly for the club to field players with no confidence.

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  26. rogers has been a disaster on the transfer front there is only sturridge who you can call a success ...remember this is the guy who was inches from loaning out sterling and selling hendo he now tries to make it out it was some motivational masterstroke to get them to pull there socks up it wasn't hendo just refused to go ...

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  27. be hard to stomach if we had another phoney in the managers office

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  28. you seriously believe Villa played us off the park ?

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  29. as a coach i rate him but he is way off base on transfers...

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  30. Transfers are what mangers live and die from

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  31. yes i do, at no point in the game did i think we would win in fact thats how i have felt watching all our games

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  32. seem to remember many 'writers' also calling for Hendos head, of course thats easily forgotten.

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  33. thats why we will struggle playing borini and lucas and skirtal ( who i rate ) was tantamount to putting the white flag up and saying ive wasted all the money

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  34. it's not about thinking we wouldn't win, you said Villa played us off the park, different game to the one i watched !!

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  35. ive never been one of them even when kenny was playing him out of position ...at the very least hendo has always put a shift in which is more than can be said for a lot of our players

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  36. villa beat us quite easy IMO you may think different but they got the 3 points

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  37. spot on. I have no idea what his thought process was, sometimes a bloke gets called ' Manger of the Year ' and actually believes it.

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  38. but there were many many nay sayers, just as there are right now, as last season progressed they just went quiet.

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  39. last season was last season

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  40. and as i said 'as last season progressed' when this season progresses i expect the same silence !

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  41. Have doubts about him to say the least, Saturdays selection was more like a Hodgson team and I certainly did not like him

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  42. you said .... Quote '' played us off the park ''

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  43. did these doubts materialise last season ?

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  44. They did not because BR had Luis Suarez to call on.
    This season he seems to see something in Lucas and Borini depending on what day of the week it is.

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  45. Is it not fair to say that the top 6 as it stands at this point after 5 matches will look entirely different after 38 matches?

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  46. Key players who have been hear a couple of years. The new lads are exactly that. With little to no preseason depending on when they were signed and injuries. When you lose your main striker the leagues second top scorer it will affect you. It's not like we are City and can call on the second choice of another £30m player. Even if we did he may still need time to settle. Not all players hit the ground running. In fact I would say that it was less rather than more likely.

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  47. So he was ok in your book last season because he had Suarez and he's not ok this season because he doesn't have Suarez. Dalglish had Suarez ??

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  48. The fact we can name them suggests its the minority rather than the rule. Also the more players you need to integrate the harder it becomes.

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  49. That is the point. Suarez arrived with KK here and Rodgers was very fortunate to have the benefit of him. BR will be judged on the players he brings here same as KK was let go coz of the Carroll and Downing farce. You seem to be a fan of BR so we will see how Lallana, Markovic etc turn out. John Henry will be watching closely

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  50. they did tactically they started fast got a goal then sat back and hit us on the counter....and easily got the 3 points ...if you have an opinion state it instead of nit picking other peoples comments

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  51. its not the results
    that worry me its the way we are playing ...we just don't look right ...we lost games last year but looked like a unit

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  52. I think everyone need to calm down. We are 5 matches into the season and we have some injury issues. Tomorrow is a good chance for Markovic, Lallana and Lambert to get some game time.


    My biggest concern is the ever present lack of communication in our defence. That is one of our biggest problems!

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  53. Allen played in 26 league games and Lucas played in 27. How many games did Flanno play in? How many Johnson (despite form was a regular and his absence means rushing new players in). Then the obvious Sturridge and Suarez being missed.

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  54. as will you i have no doubt :)...... criticism is always easy when all's not going well. Unfortunately all went well last season and you didn't get the platform to express your opinion. Rodgers right now is easily one of European footballs top coaches. Ask Daniel Agger.

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  55. How mush of the remaining team had a full preseason? Most of their team were a part of that team last year. We had five players in the team at West Ham who were not playing for us last season (yes I included Borini).

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  56. Well many problems have surfaced for Rodgers to go ponder about. He needs to fix them.


    If he does continue to start with Gerrard and Lucas then we are in major trouble so hopefully that is the first thing he has ticked off as 'no more' on the current list of problems.

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  57. i'm not 'nit picking' .... i'm saying we were easily the better team,therefore we were not played off the park, we lost the game as the better team.

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  58. They did play us off the park. Or do you think us passing it in our own half for 70 minutes constitutes us playing well? Get a grip.

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  59. You know that the Suarez purchase didn't have a great deal to do with Kenny? All the scouting and most of the decision making occurred before he arrived back. By his own admission which has been pointed out on this very site.

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  60. but how are players going to settle if he is constantly changing the team...what must sako lazer and tino think to have borini and lucas picked before them ..if you get my drift .....there seems to be little or no logic to his team selection play one week out the next

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  61. will we lost and villa got the 3 points thats the reality of the match ...in some parallel universe you may see it as a win but on Merseyside its a loss

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  62. I agree I don't think we have actually been "played off the park". We have made some poor defensive errors and Southampton were better than us for a fair bit of that match.

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  63. Are you some sort of sports psychologist? What's your point? This lad is trying to express his own opinion n you get all weird on him? Get a grip man.

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  64. I agree that team selection was diabolical. But he did do this last year. He is trying to find his best team. He may have felt that Lucas more defensive inclinations and Borini's work rate would help. If so he was very wrong. We don't know. But the form of Cout has been a worry and he can't help that Gerard's form is pretty terrible too. Right at a time that if he was going to show the courage to drop him he has little choice due to injuries.

    He has to try to find something that works and sometimes that is process of elimination.

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  65. do one stu im not starting again

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  66. Lets agree that is fair to say that signing Suarez was a lot more to do with KK than BR.

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  67. i never doubted that's the reality of the match, i doubted we were played off the park.Sometimes it's easy when the pressure is on to make comments that aren't accurate, My point is we've played worse and won / no fallout, we were the better team and lost and Rodgers gets it, personally i think he's an excellent coach,as i did last season

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  68. rogers needs to get back to what worked for him a high tempo pressing game,what i liked was he stated the players would match he system and not the other way around but he has gone full tilt to the system matching the players

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  69. My comment was for Will and is only an opinion as are all the posts on here.......

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  70. Ok I'll stay then :-)

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  71. when i say played off the park i mean we never looked like winning and i stand by it i dont mean getting beat 10 nil,,,,villa did a job on Liverpool if you think otherwise state how the game was a success for Liverpool

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  72. Yeah Suarez £22m, Enrique £6m and Hendo £16m were such wastes of money by KK. Brendan has a terrible transfer record.... Far worse than KK!.... Who was waste of money?.... Carroll, Downing and Adam.... Three failures....three successes.. A 50% success rate for players he bought who cost more than £5m. If only BR had such a good transfer record....

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  73. _
    Well said Jamie.

    The Time has come to walk the walk, instead of talking the talk...

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  74. ok ..... my played of the park means we were totally outplayed. That's not how i saw it, many teams are dominant and still loose, it doesn't mean they got hammered, feel now i've really dragged the point but the criticism in my book is easy when we're not going well, last season where was the criticism of Rodgers.

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  75. I think the answer to that is work rate.. from what I gathered from Enriques interview was that not only is Suso the laziest player at the club he is the most whinging... from a fellow country man... not a good review, not to mention Rodgers speaks Spanish... not going to help Suso any day of the week

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  76. Suarez is the key player we are missing, not Sturridge, wrong call. Coutinho's form has dropped because he does not have have movement that Suarez provided, along with Sturridge, IMO.

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  77. Agreed lack of communication at least Lovren and Sakho can converse in French.. though knocking out your own player ain't great... but they at least had eyes on the ball

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  78. Dont wanna ruin your supper, but apparently Henderson is not fit, he has an injury,

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  79. Rodgers said they should put their heads together to sort our defensive problems. Sakho took it too literally.

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  80. Its an argument I suppose but the thing with our 'philosophy' (tired of that word) is showed up in the way Barca used it when Bayern won the CL. When Messi didn't play a few seasons back they were terrible and got slapped against strong opposition despite the fact they had Sanchez, Pedro, Villa, iniesta xabi and Fabregas on the pitch. Every team has a architect, a main man who runs the show and is confident enough to know that he is the man. At the moment that player for us is Sterling and although he is a good player he isnt a talisman for me.... not yet anyway, he operates in flashes. All of our play has been going through Suarez for years. Our team needs someone to emerge from the pack as our out and out best player. No one is yet to claim the thrown which is crucial in a 4-3-3.

    The king has gone to Barca long live the king whoever that may be.

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  81. I think Lallana is someone who would have settled in much quicker without the injury. Mario is not a player that is exactly known for his work rate so I am sure he wasn't talking about him, In fact the time I read quotes of that like it was before he arrived. Can looked like he could and would play that way and Lambert did play in a system that has that. Unfortunately it only works if the parts asked to do it are working.

    The issue is it is not just pressing constantly. It is knowing when to press and when not to. Many people have said we look like the Rodgers team when he first arrived. Perhaps that is not too far from the truth. Maybe he has said to focus more on possession whilst players learn when and when not to press in training. It really is a team thing and may explain the obvious gaps in midfield.

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  82. It's far too early in the season to be judging the summers transfer business. The main player I expected to but the ground running was Lallana and he was hampered by injury. Markovic needs time to settle and Mario needs to get up to speed with what's been asked of him. Other than that the 2 fullbacks look very good and Can's injured.
    I totally understand why we started Borini in the last game as our lack of movement up front was really lacking in the previous couple of games. Rodgers big mistake at the weekend was the unbearably immobile Gerrard/Lucas combo in the middle. Surely that will be the last time that lesson needs learnt.

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  83. Spot on, failure to address the Gerrard issue is really killing the team. The reality is that his slip up against Chelski last season was the pattern of things to come. Teams are now targeting Gerrard and he's powers of recovery have left him. BR lacks the testicular fortitude to drop Gerrard! I knew Can would not be enough, for all the money spent on Markovic why didn't we just keep Ibe? Then use the cash on Alex Song?

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  84. Fair enough. Like it is fair enough to say he played better under BR.

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  85. Fully agree. Especially about Lallana.

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  86. Someone with a little perspective, thank god

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  87. Yep, people had been blaming FSG for inadequate net spend, but Rodgers has had more than enough money at his disposal, but like his predecessors has not spent wisely. There is still not enough quality throughout the squad and also we are a few players short of a balanced team. We still need a decent goalkeeper, a defensive midfielder, another midfielder that can create in the manner that Coutinho can and a left-sided midfielder/winger.


    The team is presently capable of good things, but in order to compete at the highest levels, there are issues that need to be addressed.

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