5 Aug 2015

Anfield Pariah: 79% of fans want Liverpool to sell 'nervous' £20m star ASAP. (Site Poll)

Last week, Liverpool legend Mark Lawrenson delivering a withering assessment of Reds defender Dejan Lovren, and indirectly suggested that the Reds should dump the error-prone Croatian. After a middling debut season, Lovren is on borrowed time at Anfield, but should Liverpool just bite the bullet and sell the £20m signing? LFC fans certainly seem to think so.

In his column for the Liverpool Echo, Lawro blasted Lovren looking 'nervous and error-prone', and argued that he 'doesn't seem to have improved much'. He explained:

"Worryingly, he [Lovren] always makes a mistake during the course of a match. If you’re an opposition manager, you’d be telling your striker to be aware Lovren can blunder at any time".

I recently conducted a poll asking fans whether Liverpool should sell or keep Lovren. The results were emphatic:

This is a massive vote of no-confidence in Lovren, and after failing to convince against comparatively inferior pre-season opposition, he's unlikely to see a surge in support any time soon.

If Lovren can't put in confident, commanding performances against a Malaysia XI, how is he going to fare against the top teams in the league?

To add insult to injury, based on recent poll results on the site, Lovren retains even less support amongst Liverpool fans than Mario Balotelli, who - in a similar recent poll - achieved a 58% approval rating.

With so many tough games in the first few months of the season, Liverpool can't afford to start slowly, and in my view, there's no way Lovren is ready to be trusted as part of the club's first-choice central defensive partnership.

Whether he'll ever be ready is debatable, but one thing is (arguably) clear: If Liverpool sell Lovren tomorrow, it won't make a blind bit of difference to the club's forward progress. As such, perhaps now is the right time for the club to cut its losses (ditto with Lazar Markovic, another £20m signing)

I freely admit that I got it wrong on Lovren. Having watched him in Ligue One, Southampton, and Croatia, I was in favour of the deal as he seemed to have all the attributes required to be a success at Anfield.

Like many other fans, though, I baulked at the ridiculous transfer fee, especially given the fact he cost Southampton £8m only a year before.

That said, I predicted Lovren's Anfield failure to some extent (on mental toughness grounds). On 10 August 2014, I posted the following:

"Dejan Lovren is under intolerable pressure to perform. Liverpool's defensive woes are well documented, and many fans expect the Croatian to make an immediate difference.

"Rodgers has built Lovren up as a 'commanding leader', but what happens if he makes mistakes? He'll be immediately under the knife, especially in the media, and doom and gloom amongst fans will explode.

"Pressure goes with the territory at Liverpool, and we'll soon see if Lovren is strong enough to deal with it".

Clearly, Lovren isn't strong enough to deal with it, and like Lallana, Lambert, Downing, Carroll, and countless others, he arguably doesn't have the mental strength to make it at a pressure-cooker club.

Is it all over for Lovren, or is he capable of silencing his doubters this season...?

Author: Jaimie K


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