By Alex McMahon
Liverpool have been a pillar of inconsistency so far this season
In all honesty, it’s been difficult to learn too much from Liverpool’s opening four matches of the campaign. Brendan Rodgers’ side have been incredible inconsistent, showing glimpses of quality but also many of the negative traits that plagued their league form last season.
Despite winning their first two games, the Reds sit seventh in the table and were well beaten 3-0 at Anfield by West Ham United in their last outing. With the international break in progress, we take a look at what Liverpool’s first four fixtures have told us about their top four prospects this season.
Brendan Rodgers must change his tactics regularly
On the most part, Liverpool have been solid in their opening fixtures. However, Rodgers must ensure that the squad is fully prepared for each and every match. The Northern Irishman is one of the best managers in the Premier League and regularly tweaks his tactics and style of play to combat the threat of the opposition.
In order for Liverpool to reach the levels that they are aspiring to achieve, Rodgers must assess their opponents fully if they are to compete with the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal over the course of the season.
Liverpool invested wisely in the transfer window
Unlike last summer, the Reds got the majority of their business done early and their decision to invest in June could bear fruit in the coming months. Liverpool suffered last season, mainly due to Luis Suarez’s move to Barcelona, but they are likely to prosper this year after some excellent signings.
Nathaniel Clyne, Roberto Firmino and Christian Benteke are all phenomenal footballers and could succeed at Anfield this season. Rodgers must present his flair players with the freedom to express themselves if they are to make an instant impression for Liverpool.
The Reds have already faced some tricky opponents
Liverpool have already defeated some difficult sides in the early part of the campaign. While there are no easy fixtures in the Premier League, the Reds have faced tricky outfits in their opening four matches. Rodgers’ men won 1-0 away at Stoke on the opening weekend before defeating a spirited Bournemouth side by the same scoreline in their next fixture.
A 0-0 draw at the Emirates Stadium against Arsenal followed before their most recent defeat against West Ham United in front of their home fans. While Rodgers may have expected to win their last encounter, they’ve certainly enjoyed a positive start to the campaign in terms of results.
Their defensive signings have been impressive
Summer signings Joe Gomez and Nathaniel Clyne have probably been Liverpool’s standout performers throughout the opening month of the season. The former, who joined the club from Championship side Charlton Athletic earlier this summer, has impressed Brendan Rodgers and has kept Spaniard Alberto Moreno out of the side.
Clyne, meanwhile, has continued where he left off at Southampton and has slotted in comfortably at right-back. The England man remains one of the best full-backs in the Premier League and has helped to solidify and add reliability to Liverpool’s suspect defensive unit.
However, Rodgers’ side has the ability to capitulate
Defeat to West Ham brought Liverpool back down to earth. After their impressive start, this was yet another reminder that the Reds will always have bad days under Brendan Rodgers. While they won’t lose these type of matches on a weekly basis, there will be a few throughout the season.
Liverpool’s main responsibility now is to ensure that they don’t lose many of these encounters or else they will struggle to regain their place among England’s elite. With a bit of luck, Rodgers’ men will overcome their defensive deficiencies against the smaller clubs and they will improve their form throughout the campaign.
Do you think Liverpool will finish in the top four? Is Brendan Rodgers the right man for the job? Let us know your thoughts!