Rodgers left to ponder Liverpool striker shortage
LONDON, Sept 3 — The hot seat at one of England’s powerhouses was already feeling a little uncomfortable for Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers yesterday after a 2-0 home defeat by Arsenal left him reflecting on the club’s worst start to a league campaign for 50 years.
Four months after gaining plaudits for guiding Premier League newcomers Swansea City to 11th place with an eye-catching brand of football, the Northern Irishman has plenty of problems to solve if Liverpool is to challenge for a top-four place.
The most pressing of them is a lack of goals.
Luis Suarez has proved profligate this season and Fabio Borini, signed from AS Roma, ran around to little effect before being substituted against Arsenal.
The fact that he was replaced by Stewart Downing — a shot-shy winger — hardly impressed the Anfield faithful still scratching their heads as to why England striker Andy Carroll was loaned to West Ham United with no replacement signed.
While Liverpool enjoyed spells of the kind of possession football Rodgers preached at Swansea, too often moves ended in cul-de-sacs or fizzled out in the final third.
Rodgers acknowledged the transfer window had left him with a lack of options upfront.
“It’s something that’s gone now,” he told Liverpool’s website. “We all know we needed reinforcements and the players needed help, but the window is shut.
“We can’t do anything about it now. My only concentration is with the players that are here and they’ve been fantastic. They’ve given me absolutely everything every day and I couldn’t ask for any more from them.
“We’ve got what we’ve got. A lot of young players are going to get an opportunity.
“What has happened has happened, we’ll reflect on it as a club and hopefully come January and the next window we can transition the group that allows us to compete.”
While the opening day defeat by West Bromwich Albion and yesterday’s loss to Arsenal have been disappointing, a 2-2 draw with champions Manchester City suggested that Rodgers’ side will not be languishing near the bottom for too long.
“We’ll get better as our season progresses,” he said.
“It was always going to be a difficult start. I have an inherent belief in this way of working, and I’ve had success with it. Over time here, that will be the same.
“These are the hard yards that you’ve got to put in early on and take the flak for.”
Because of next weekend’s World Cup qualifiers Rodgers will have to wait two weeks to try and kick-start Liverpool’s season when his side travel to Sunderland, after which they are at home to Manchester United. — Reuters