If sections of the media are to be believed, Liverpool are a club in crisis. Stuck down the wrong end of the table and with rumours of a dressing room divide regarding the future of their manager, their season seems to be on the slide. Everyone within football has their opinion about what’s gone wrong at the Merseyside club – ranging from Rafa Benitez’s transfer policy, to the appointment of Christian Purslow as managing director back in June 2009.
However, the Premier League table shows the real reason for their failures, one glance at the goals for and goals against columns tell you more than any number of protests or celebrity-endorsed YouTube videos ever will. The bottom line is that, from their nine games this season, they have scored a meagre nine goals and conceded a whopping 14. One thing that can be said for Liverpool under Benitez, is that they concentrated first and foremost on their defence – an approach which often meant that just one goal would equal three points. But under Hodgson they don’t look like they can buy a clean sheet, which means scoring two or three goals is now not just a luxury, it’s a prerequisite for winning.
Sure, they have Fernando Torres, one of the finest strikers on the planet, but at the moment he is either injured or low on confidence and the football rumours suggest he could even be looking to move on. His back-up, David Ngog, is willing, but he lacks the star quality required to lead the line on his own. Ryan Babel obviously isn’t trusted to play up front by his manager, possibly due to his lack of discipline, and the same can be said for new-boy Milan Jovanovic.
Despite signing a number of players in the weeks after his arrival, Roy Hodgson failed to bring in any striking options. When Kenwyne Jones signed for Stoke for £8 million and took a pay-cut in order to do so, many were wondering why Liverpool failed to express their interest in a player Sunderland boss Steve Bruce claimed they made a “hugely disrespectful” approach for in the January transfer window. He is both quick and strong, attributes which make him a handful for any defence. He also leads the line well and would take plenty of hits for the team. At it is, the Aston Villa betting suggests they should manage to finish above Liverpool, a clear indication of the work that needs to be done at Anfield.
However, it’s still too early in the season to completely write off the clubs chances. Liverpool could very easily go on a winning streak and climb the table in no time. Although they may be too far gone for the Champions League, it might be worth backing them to reach the Europa League again. At this moment in time, Liverpool fans would probably take that.