Solving Liverpool’s Defence Issues


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.

Michael Mongie
Just like you, I am a hugely passionate Liverpool supporter. I started Rousing the Kop in January 2015 and since then it has grown tremendously and has even been nominated as 'Best New Football Blog' in the Football Blogging Awards.


  1. For me we all need to recognise the fragility of the defence and decide on a DM being essential. Therefore, Can should be behind Milner and Henderson.
    One of the front three will certainly be Benteke, at least until Sturridge returns and probably after. That leaves two from Coutinho, Firmino, Markovic, Ibe and Lallana. Mostly the selection will be on form and how they gel together. I think Coutinho and Lallana are competing for the same spot. We’ll learn more about Firmino but that leaves Ibe and Markovic trying to convince the manager they need to be in ahead of him. not an easy thing to do. But it does mean we have cover, for injuries, loss of form, shear number of games and maybe just a alternative when we need a change in a match.
    At centre-back, my preference would always be for Sakho to play. if lovren’s renaissance continues, it should be to compete with Skrtel for the RCB position. At some points this season Ilori must be given opportunities. I think he is the longer term partner to Sakho but may also have chances as a deputy to Can at DM.

    • I like your outlook on things. If you watched against Stoke on Sunday you would have noticed that his involvement had an immediate effect and this will surely have been noticed by Rodgers. If he continues to play then I firmly believe that we will have something to be excited about in midfield. What with Milner and Henderson and the way they press and Can sitting deeper the midfield will be be stronger this way. For a change, we have depth in our side and this is exciting. Give this a read to see my thoughts on Emre Can in midfield.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.