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The five players that Brendan Rodgers needs to step up for Liverpool to have a shot at the Premier League title

The Luis Suarez hangover has surely been cured by this stage? If not, apparently a coke and ice cream float works wonders.

by David Lyons | July 3, 2015

Did anyone else get the impression Steven Gerrard just brought down the whole atmosphere in Merseyside last season? It seemed as if he was in a permanent sulk following the previous season’s… slip up.

Last February, we thought Steven would have the dream finish to the season, but it wasn’t to be. The only bit of life we saw from any Liverpool player last season was when Gerrard was brought on as a sub against Manchester United… aaaaand then he got sent off.

minion shrug

Too many players for Brendan Rodgers failed to live up to the previous season’s exploits, regardless of whether it was a Suarez show. Last season though – horrendous.

Even the transfers were a shambles. Liverpool bought squad players as if they still had a star striker in their midst, when what they should’ve done was just replace Suarez with someone of his equal instantly. Kind of sad really… like a diabetic kid trick-or-treating.

So who needs to have a big season this year for Liverpool? Well we’ve picked out five players who, whether you like it or not, had a calamity of a year and really need to pull up the socks if Liverpool are to have a good year. 

Alberto Moreno Perez

Four defensive errors leading to three goals. That’s the equivalent of losing out on nine points. There’s a word to describe that… oh yeah! Poor.

£12 million spent to get him from Sevilla, and it started quite well with a 40 yard dribble to score in his second game for the club. But after that he was more up and down than a prom date’s dress, and ended up picking up six yellows throughout the season thanks to committing 36 fouls. He did manage to make 33 key passes, although none of those was an assist.

Yes we realise he’s new and all that and while Brendan may think he showed great character in his first season, let’s hope that he pushes on next season. To be fair, when Patrice Evra arrived at Manchester United, he wasn’t the greatest, but he turned out alright in the end.

Dejan Lovren

Lovren

A stellar season at Southampton saw Liverpool splash out £20 million on the defender. However his performances last season left Liverpool fans wishing for another Sakho, or even their own Chris Smalling. Scary times indeed.

Lovren had six defensive errors which ended up with Liverpool conceding two goals. Pretty much another six points gone there! He also only got himself in the way of the ball six times compared to Skrtel’s 30.

He started well, went straight into the team and just like Moreno, scored after only a few games. But then, as a man you would assume to be extremely vocal and would take command on the pitch, just kind of ended up being a bit meh.

Southampton actually had a better defence than Liverpool, and arguably a better season after selling four of their best players. It’s as ironic as that time I met a homeless guy named Rich.

Big season needed from this Lovren, or else it’s another £20 million down the tube and I doubt Southampton do refunds.

Martin Skrtel

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From being one of Paddy Power customer’s most profitable players thanks to his goal scoring feats of the previous season, Skrtel now finds himself in a blog post shaming the poorest of the poor.

Martin’s five defensive errors may not have led to a goal this season, but the fact that three of Liverpool’s defenders were in the top 10 for defensive errors last season paints a very sad picture indeed. It’s a painting of a depressed onion cutting itself.

Pool fans can cry out all they want about “lack of cover” etc etc, but coming so close the season before clearly wiped them.

Liverpool had 30 defensive errors last season – the second highest in the league after Everton. That’s more than all of the relegated clubs, and even Manchester United’s back line who were slated throughout the season.

Skrtel only managed to get his head to one cross last season to score. A huge drop from the man that put fear into a goalkeeper during corners. While you can’t say a defender was worse because he didn’t score, he didn’t exactly cover himself in glory with any other aspect of his game.

Adam Lallana

Adam-Lallana-840

Lallanas in Pyjamas was another to suffer from the Southampton to Liverpool slump. Nine goals and five assists turned into just five goals and three assists in the Liverpool strip. His rating dropped from 7.24 right down to 6.28… that’s slightly better than Fabio Borini.

Sakho has a 50% shooting accuracy. Adam has 46%. Add to that the fact that he had less key passes than Moreno means that a big, big season is ahead for Lallana.

He is a lovely little player, but now with last season’s top scorer now gone (that’s Gerrard by the way) and Raheem Sterling after signing for Manchester City, players like Lallana will have to step up this season, either by creating more or by chipping in with more than just five goals.

Mario Balotelli

No player sums up Liverpool’s dismal season better than Mario. 16 goals and six assists with AC Milan before his £15 million move to Anfield, turned into just three goals for his new employers.

It says much about a team when you see that their top scorer last season was a 35-year-old defensive midfielder who had limited game time, and who was heading off to LA for a bit of sun. It also says a lot about a manager’s confidence in a player when your main striker is injured and you refuse to give your new signing a fair chance. Sad seems to be the most appropriate word here. Almost as sad as seeing a guy with only one eye… in a 3D movie.

This season will make or break Balotelli’s Liverpool career, and perhaps his footballing career in general. 10 starts last season in the Premier League just isn’t good enough for a man who is a confidence player. 2015/16 needs to start with a bang for Mario.

  • Think Liverpool need to add more players than just Clyne, Milner and Ings? Transfer odds here: Desktop | Mobile

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