With four days to go until the 2015/2016 season kicks against Stole City and many are still wondering who will feature in Liverpool’s back four. Or whether it will be a back four for that matter. Regardless of what the starting back four will be on Sunday afternoon it is very clear that Brendan Rodgers is unsure of his best defence.
Last season the defence, for the most part, was composed of three center-backs which were flanked by wing backs. This system was instrumental in turning the Red’s season around and helped set the Reds up on a 13 match unbeaten streak.
That being said it would be in the best interests of all to lineup with a flat back four. A center back pairing of Mamadou Sakho and Martin Skrtel with with Alberto Moreno and Nathaniel Clyne occupying the respective fullback positions be wise. This is what prompts me to think that Liverpool’s manager is not in fact wise or capable of common sense. Last season it became apparent just how awful Lovren is and yet Rodgers is too proud to admit his £20 million signing is rubbish. During pre-season those on Twitter nearly lost their minds when Lovren was selected in place of Mamadou Sakho.
Brendan Rodgers paid £20 million for Dejan Lovren. Right? His performances during the 2014/2015 season nowhere justified the price-tag. I remember his debut against Borussia Dortmund was brilliant. We’d all thought Rodgers gad found a proper center back. He scored a great header and he was drilling inch perfect drives from 50 odd yards all game. Whatever that was it never happened. His calamitous nature is further worsened when put alongside the the insecurity with which Martin Skrtel has operated in his Liverpool career.
The biggest issue with the center-back pairing is that they both prefer to be the deepest in the defence so when the midfield is passed by the opposition there is complete discord between them. A problem that is produced as a result is that Lovren tends to look at Skrtel to make sure of his positioning more than he should. By doing so he loses vital time and space on them man he is marking
Furthermore by placing Lovren at left center back it means that he is the covering defender for Moreno. I don’t like this. At no point should this be allowed to happen. The Spaniard showed as early as his second game for Liverpool that he has a tendency to switch off. This happened at Manchester City when he allowed Alvaro Negredo to sneak in and score when he should have had no chance whatsoever. Given this, a reliable defender should be covering Moreno and this is by no means Dejan Lovren.
Sakho has had a difficult time at Anfield and credit goes to him for the way he has dealt with it. He has been repeatedly left out for Lovren when commons sense this should not be the case. The Frenchman left Paris Saint-Germain in favour of Merseyside and despite the trying experience he has seemed happy to fight for a place. Such tenacity should be rewarded. Should.
Below is how, ideally, Liverpool would lineup. This isn’t even Liverpool’s full strength squad. Sturridge is still out injured and until he returns the squad is below full potential.