Around this time in the season, it seems to have become tradition for football fans to begin pondering another disappointing campaign at Anfield. This week is the perfect time for that, as Brendan Rodgers looks over the tapes of a 2-0 humbling at home to West Brom, who swiftly leapfrogged Liverpool into 8th place. It was a game where Liverpool didn’t exactly play badly, but a missed penalty from Steven Gerrard was as much a symbol of frustration on the night as the two late goals conceded.
For whatever reason, Liverpool seem destined for a mid-table finish, despite fan aspirations at the start of the season.
It’s a frustration heightened by the club’s recent spending, which could rival anybody in the top flight. That has been funded partly by outgoing deals, and in most cases those top players who have left, have gone on to bigger and better things: players like Xabi Alonso at Real Madrid, Javier Mascherano at Barcelona and even Fernando Torres has been picking up medals. The players who have come in as their replacements have, by and large, been a disappointment.
The departure of such players has been the story of Liverpool’s woe the past couple of seasons, but that isn’t the only reason Brendan Rodgers’ side are far from the top of the table currently. Here are the six reasons why, once again, Liverpool’s season is failing.
6. Over-Dependence On Suarez
Since joining Liverpool in January 2011, Luis Suarez has cemented his position as the club’s most important asset. Controversies aside, he is an incredibly talented striker who is arguably the most dangerous player in the Premiership with the ball at his feet. Liverpool have pinned pretty much all their hopes for this season on him, praying he would avoid injury and keep them chugging along.
Relying on a player that possesses such lofty talents as Luis Suarez isn’t exactly an awful idea, but you have to wonder where Liverpool would be in the table but for his fantastic goal return. ‘No support for Suarez’ was the soundbite of the first half of the season at Anfield, with Andy Carroll going out on loan to West Ham and nobody coming in to replace him. Things have looked up since January with the arrival of Daniel Sturridge, but no matter what happens between now and May, surely Rodgers will be looking back at the 4 months of the season when Suarez seemed to be the club’s only goal threat.
With their sketchy record in the transfer market in recent times, the speculation surrounding the future of Suarez and goalkeeper Pepe Reina is a real worry for Liverpool. They simply could not afford to allow these players to leave and be replaced by flops, especially Suarez. The key to Liverpool’s ‘transition’ is the Uruguayan front man; his departure would be a real blow for a club that relies on him so heavily.
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This article was first posted on February 14, 2013