Liverpool’s 3-1 loss to Crystal Palace on Sunday 23rd November was hard to take for Liverpool fans. After Rickie Lambert scored his first goal for the club in the opening stages of the game, it was a perfect start. What they did for the remaining 88 minutes of the game summarised the start to the season that the Merseyside club have had.
You know there’s crisis at Liverpool when rumours spread of Rafa Benitez coming back to save the club he took to victory in Europe. But you can’t blame the punters and pundits after Crystal Palace struck three goals on the weekend to cause more pain for Rodgers’ side. They now lie 12th in the table and far away from the level that they were challenging at last season. Pressure is mounting on the club that is also struggling in the Champions League after defeats to Real Madrid and FC Basel.
Where can the club turn?
Rodgers was the first to admit on Sunday that his team was “nowhere near the levels we’d expect.” Mario Balotelli missed the game after injury on the international break and now Daniel Sturridge has been ruled out until the New Year. The problems only seem to have got worse as the squad has failed to replace the impact of Luis Suarez. The northern Irish manager has lost his two best strikers (Suarez and Sturridge) and was helpless towards both of them.
This summer, the club failed to sign a star striker despite going after several big names. Alexis Sanchez chose Arsenal, Loic Remy moved to Chelsea at the last minute and Wilfried Bony stayed at Swansea having signed an extension to his contract in the past week. Liverpool failed and so reverted to the policy of spending to fill the attributes of the departing Uruguayan. The mediocre signings of Lallana, Balotelli, Can and Markovic have failed to bring the skill, eye for goal, strength and pace that the manager craved. The gap wasn’t filled and a lot of money was spent on the players who are a different class.
What has already been done? What else do Liverpool need to do?
In total, Liverpool spent £100m on players in the summer including 3 Southampton players. Ronald Koeman has come into the Saints realm and they’re currently placed second in the table. Only Chelsea has had a better start.
Now the mockery has turned to the Merseyside club who aren’t the same outfit as last season. The young English talents of Raheem Sterling and Jordan Henderson have failed to deliver the same menacing threat as last season and the defence has conceded 18 goals so far. New signings are essential to turning the fate of the Reds around.
It is no surprise that change might be needed. The side looks lost without Suarez and a leader in the squad. The owners remain committed to a long-term outlook as a chance to correct the wrongs. But the transfer window could make or break Rodgers’ time at Liverpool who craves success after a disastrous start to the campaign.