2 Oct 2012

'It needs fixing!' - Reds legend urges Rodgers to 'iron out' LFC's main 'problem'

Liverpool fans are on a high at the moment: seven goals scored in the last two games; a crop of top-class youngsters coming through the ranks; clear signs of progress on the field, and the club is playing exciting pass and move football, the likes of which hasn't been seen at Anfield for years. The future definitely looks bright, but John Aldridge believes that there is one particular problem that still needs to be resolved.

In his column for the Liverpool Echo today, Aldo hailed the team's performance at Norwich, but sounded a note of caution about the club's continuing defensive frailty. He observed:

"I’m sure Brendan Rodgers will have noted the defensive problems which will need ironing out over the coming weeks.

"Norwich were poor on Saturday, yet they still managed to score twice and could actually have had a couple more on another day".

"Liverpool scored five, and from six shots on target, but that won’t happen every week. And when games are tighter, that is when these defensive errors will cost us".

I've highlighted LFC's defensive issues several times this season, and even though the team player well against Norwich, Aldo is right to raise the issue:

* Martin Skrtel had another lapse of concentration and gifted Grant Holt a run on goal, from which he scored Norwich's second goal.

* Pepe Reina spilled a shot, which allowed Norwich to score the first goal.

Two more avoidable defensive mistakes from senior players, and if you add those to Skrtel and Reina's other mistakes this season, as well as Glen Johnson's four errors that led to goals, it's clear to see that the Reds have defensive issues that, if left unchecked, will cause problems in the future.

Hopefully, these mistakes can be chalked up to issues with the implementation of a new playing style, but if the same errors are still being made in January then Liverpool's bid to finish in the top six could be seriously jeopardised.

Unfortunately, a manager cannot legislate for concentration lapses and/or silly defensive mistakes. What he *can* do though is not accept them, and drop players who regularly make such errors.

Does Rodgers have the balls to drop the likes of Reina, Skrtel and Johnson? I doubt it, but he's surprised us before so maybe he will do so again.

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. Drop skrtel for Coates he is class...

  2. Agree. Give Coates a chance next to Agger. Play Johnson at RIGHT back. The problem is on the left side. Shame that Enrique's form has dropped off a cliff since last Christmas.

  3. i think were seeing that Rodgers is not scared to bomb players out.
    word is that Steve G and Carra told rodgers that carroll was not upto the job, shortly after he became manager, mostly due to attitude and lifestyle, carroll was shown the door shortly afterwards.

    Next came enrique and downing, who have been given chances and not shown anything good. im pretty sure downing will be sold in jan or next summer, and unless Enrique livens up, he will also be sold.

    Anyone who consistently lets the side down will be under scrutiny imo. unlike too many previous managers, there will be no safe hiding place under Rodgers(aka david brent).

  4. I don't get why you are complaining about Johnson, IMO he has been one of the impressive players and i don't blame him for any of the mistakes you associate him with except for that Sunderland one and even then i think Reina should have done better. But agree about Reina and Skrtel, Reina has dropped his standards really low this season and Skrtel looks like he still in awe of his last season performances and has yet to turn up this season.

  5. Have to admit, I agree with the Coates sentiment. Get his experience up and give Skrtel a bit of a push to concentrate more. Reina just needs some sports psychology added to his training and he'll be back on form. I get the feeling Enrique's form will come back. He's recently become a dad and he does have a knee problem, two understandably distracting things in his life. But he has been great for us in the past and I think he will again.

  6. that's the problem with lovely attacking football, you leave yourself open at the back. Good as all the kids are, we still need a Lucas, Mascherano or Momo Sissoko in there t break stuff up.

  7. Rodgers certainly has guts his gamble blooding youth proves that i think anyone who is not up to scratch will be getting a rest.

  8. Where does these stories come from? 'Stevie and Carra told Andy not upto the job....' and then what Brendan told that to you?... And what is wrong with Andy's lifestyle? He WAS a booze boy. But not since his move to Reds.... He changed a lot... matured a lot... if not on the field but definitely off the field. He had many issues with many players back at Newcastle... but not at Anfield...

  9. Reina needs to be dropped. Making too many silly mistakes.

  10. Hopefully Coates continues to stake a claim for a regular first XI slot, when he should hopefully start in the Europa game this week.

    Seems to be a regular thing now, the criticism of Reina and rightfully so, as he hasn't been good enough for ages.

    I have made criticisms of Johnson's defending in the past as I don't rate his defending but I do feel he needs to be cut a little slack at least, when he is playing on the left.

  11. It'as not about whether or nor Rodgers has the balls to drop them - it's about whether or not he has the SQUAD to drop them. The answer is no. Skrtel was our best player last season and therefore to talk of dropping him after a handful of games because of errors that were capitalised on is plain stupid. What if they hadn't capitalised on them?

    Johnson has never been a defender's defender - don't be under any illusion, but again he played well towards end of last season and was superb at the Euros. He's a much better defender now that a year ago too. And he's playing out of position. Many players cannot do that and still carry genuine goal threat?

    Reina has earned the right to get over his spell of spills, but I agree it needs an eye kept on it, but how much better is Doni going to be? Jones is a clown in football boots - he couldn't save at poundland. Sure, he's a nice guy, but then so am I.

    Given that Reina is irreplaceable until December earliest, none of this talk will do anything other than distract him further. so it needs to stop, especailly from the ex-players who claim to support the club.

  12. All the games so far we have been poor defensively .
    Midfield as well as back 4 & of course G/K. Against
    Norwich it was the worst so far , they scored 2 &
    could have had another 3 . Our one on one is
    awful we still allow teams to get their pass away ,
    we are pressurising better , but not stopping
    them passing . When we get this right we will
    a very good side .

  13. I love surprises Jaimie. :) btw, if you see reina before he split the ball, he actually attempted an unwanted long throw to Allen or someone. He needs to calm down, i know he has great long range passing but to concede from that is wasting.

  14. Skrtel has a f*** up every bloody game. He's guaranteed to have a concentration lapse at least once a match.

  15. I agree OC. Defense is a hard position to break into because is so critical for the match but I feel Coates beeds ti play a bit more. It send a message to the squad if a regular player gets dropped. Makes players be on their toes.

    GJ has made a few mistakes through his time at Liverpool, playing left back won't help that but what options at the moment do we have? Kelly is out and I'm not impressed with Flanagan although I know he has potential.

  16. Coates in skrtel benched and Next year bring Alonso back.as are defensive midfielder..... simples

  17. I think we need to buy competition for REINA in the next window and hopefully that will sort his performances out.He knows his place is secure that's part of the problem.
    JOSE ENRIQUE form has been in quicksand since the turn of the year.The first few games he played I thought we'd found a gem especially at 5m but the looks a bit expensive now.
    As fullbacks go GLEN JOHNSON is top 5 attacking wise.I know he's not the best defender but whatever side he plays that part of the pitch is always productive from a attacking sense.I'm not sure BRENDAN RODGERS would want to curb his adventure.
    MARTIN SKRTEL has concentration problems and I think that can easily be overcome. Better that than technical issues (not comfortable on the ball).Clean sheets will come once the players fully understand and are use to playing the system, it's still early days.

  18. Why Johnson is continuing to play on the left ?
    He is making mistakes there. He should play on the right.
    Also Coates needs to be given more chances.

  19. You finger your nan

  20. most of you have no idea what your on about

  21. alot of what is being said is true but the big problem is a defensive breakdown player which is still missing.I know johson is an allrounder so why not try him in midfield and let gerrard have a go as suares partner upfront. G.J will be an exciting winger or a midfield destroyer

  22. alot of what is being said is true but the big problem is a defensive breakdown player which is still missing.I know johson is an allrounder so why not try him in midfield and let gerrard have a go as suares partner upfront. G.J will be an exciting winger or a midfield destroyer

  23. You seem to have a "blind spot" concerning Johnson. You seem unable to see all the excellent work he does. As someone who has been very much involved in football at grass-roots level, I never cease to be amazed at the lack of perspective displayed by some football writers. It has been interesting to see the progress made by an increasing number of young players who have defied the comment I have heard at the Academy "He'll never make it".