Liverpool are currently second in the Premier League. If West Ham decides to spoil Manchester City’s title party and take all three points at the Etihad on Championship Sunday, the Reds could still come away with the title – provided they beat Newcastle, of course.
But that doesn’t mean Brendan Rodgers is content with his team’s performance. “We know the areas we need to improve. We’ve got 99 goals. It’s fairly clear and simple for me – we need to improve defensively away from home,” the Liverpool manager said.
It’s impossible to argue with Rodgers. While the Reds have scored 99 goals, second only to the 100 scored in the league by Manchester City, they’ve also conceded 49. The majority of those have come on the road, with Liverpool falling behind Southampton, Swansea and even Aston Villa in the number of goals they’ve allowed away from home.
Of course, everyone knows what happened against Crystal Palace on Monday, with Palace scoring three in eleven minutes to ultimately draw 3-3 with Liverpool. But the Reds also conceded three at Everton, at Hull, at Stoke and at Cardiff. While they ultimately won the last of those two, there’s no denying the side must improve defensively. And if individuals are unable to do so, they’ll face tough consequences.
“To have that much control and good organisation in the game, and then to let that go with 12 minutes to go, it shouldn’t happen. There’s an element of quality from the opponent, but I analyse the games intensely and a big part of it is concentration. It’s about organisation – concentrating on your job,” said Rodgers.”If you can’t keep your concentration long enough, you’ll lose your place in the squad. It’s as simple as that.”
With Rodgers having already stated he’s set to bring in around six top quality players come summer, you’ve got to wonder just how many of those will be defensively oriented.