Ugh, where to begin? Work (again) prevented (saved) me from watching this match live, but the result, highlights, and reaction from my friends in Liverpool were dire.
The vibe I’m hearing more and more, and am starting to believe personally, is that Rodgers’ rigid thinking and tactics are killing us. We always seem to look like we can’t be bothered unless we’re playing a top table team. We always play down to the level of our competition or in yesterday’s case, get played off the pitch.
The first two goals brought on the PTSD of last season’s colossal game-altering points-dropping defensive mistakes that saw us finish well below where we wanted to be. At this point what is it going to take for Sakho to get a game? Ilori? We all knew it was only a matter of time until Lovren did what he’s known for; complicating matters and given up goals. Skrtel, I love him, but he is also prone the odd defensive error while being a complete liability in the box with all the grappling he does. The worst part about making a switch at the back is that even if Sakho or Ilori do find themselves in the line up, they too will likely be far from solid due to lack of time beside Clyne and Gomez.
We played far too narrow and it was apparent that Coutinho and Firmino were attempting to occupy the same space much of the time. West Ham did a fantastic job of denying them that space. Making matters worse, Benteke (the 34mil pound decoy in Rodgers’ tactics) had zero service. Conversely, Dimitri Payet was simply running $#!+ and for a guy who led Ligue 1 in assists (17) last season and cost just under 11mil pounds, should have been on our radar. Gerrard leaves and there’s a guy available who can pass like a boss and deliver a great set pieces? Brendan…transfer committee…where are you?
This game exposed so many of our weaknesses as a squad. The results from the first three matches could have been drastically worse considering all the favorable calls we received and will rightfully lead supporters to think there has been a smoke and mirrors game going on. With Hendo out, we lacked a player who can control the tempo of a match in mid-field and Firmino, Lucas, Can and occasionally Coutinho being inconsistent causing the lack of any cut and thrust to our game. It’s also evident that Lucas is not going to lead the fight back, so why exactly did Can come off?
What about Markovic? He’s officially off to Fenerbahce for a season long loan. Lazar had a difficult time acclimating to the English game last season, but I still have high hopes for him. Hopefully the Turkish club will put him to good use and he’ll come back confident to have another go at the Prem.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; If we’re adrift of top four in the January window, I don’t see Brendan hanging around. More performances like yesterday’s and it won’t even by that long.