Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers admits under-performing striker Mario Balotelli’s problem of being out of scoring form has helped deflect attention from Liverpool’s main problem in defence, with the Reds having kept just one clean sheet in their last 18 matches and a summer overhaul of the defence has not rectified an increasingly worrying issue.
Liverpool have so fa conceded 19 times this season, two more than they have scored, and inconsistent performances ad indifferent results have resulted, and the misfiring Balotelli, with just one goal in 10 appearances for the Merseysiders, has so far failed to cover up front for the injured and continued absence of Daniel Sturridge, and the departure of former star goalscorer Luis Suarez, who departed for Barcelona, but at the other end of the pitch, there are worries as well.
£20 million centre-back Dejan Lovren and £12 million left-back Alberto Moreno have been brought in by Rodgers but have appeared to have had no affect on the Anfield side’s vulnerability particularly in the air, but the Liverpool manager insists it is an issue which is relative to the whole team.
“Defensively we need to be better as a team, not just the defence and goalkeeper,” he said ahead of the visit of Hull City.
“We all pride ourselves on clean sheets but we need to be more competitive and aggressive in those moments as a team.”
“That was the disappointment against Real Madrid (a 3-0 defeat on Wednesday) and also the goals we have conceded a large number of them have been soft and it is our job to improve that quickly.”
“We need to work harder and make it better. We need to reinforce key principles in that organisation and then it’s you as a player on the field showing that competitive spirit.”
“The great competitors don’t get done so easily in those situations and that’s something we need to improve upon.”