Liverpool: Why not replacing Carroll was criminal
There are worrying times down on Anfield Road as Liverpool’s defeat to Arsenal, their second in three games, means that the Merseysiders have picked up just one point out of a possible nine and the pressure is already mounting on new manager Brendan Rodgers.
A comprehensive defeat at West Brom on the opening day of the season, followed by a draw at home to Manchester City – a game in which they were the better side for the most part – and then a home defeat at the hands of Arsenal have meant a difficult start for the Irishman and the early signs of Rodgers’ regime don’t look overly promising.
There’s no doubting Rodgers’ ability as a manager, he is a man with principles and a philosophy of how the game should be played. He is a purist, a firm believer in neat, technical, passing football - as was the case when in charge of former club Swansea.
But the problem Liverpool have at present appears to be their lack of a natural goal-scorer. Despite Luis Suarez scoring an incredible 49 goals for Ajax in his last full season before joining the Reds, missed chances and a lack of killer instinct in front of goal have suggested he simply isn’t a centre forward. A wonderfully talented player no doubt, but perhaps wasted when playing furthest up the field and would be more effective when utilised behind the striker or even cutting in from the left.
And although Fabio Borini, who arrived in the summer from Swansea, has shown promise in the early stages of his career, at such a young age he surely can’t be expected to shoulder the enormous burden of scoring the majority of Liverpool’s goals.
It seemed unfathomable that Liverpool should sell Andy Carroll, a man in whom they invested so much money only 18 months ago, without first securing a suitable replacement but strangely that’s exactly what they did and such a calamitous oversight could prove extremely costly with the possibility of missing out on Champions League football for a third consecutive season seeming inevitable, without a constant supplier of goals.
The acquisition of Nuri Sahin was a shrewd move. The Turkish-born German international is an intelligent craftsman capable of unlocking defences and creating chances with his accurate passing and intricate footwork but without a proven goal predator - someone in the mould of Michael Owen or the man the Anfield faithful refer to as god, Robbie Fowler - Sahin’s powers are somewhat wasted and regardless of the amount of chances created, without someone to finish them off they will inevitably win less games than they ought to.
Relied upon in times of adversity so often in years gone by, recently skipper Steven Gerrard has looked increasingly jaded and it appears father time has caught up with their talisman and he just isn’t able to impose himself on games and drag Liverpool over the finish line, as he once did.
On the positive side it’s not all doom and gloom at Anfield and there is cause for some optimism. Young recruits Joe Allen and Raheem Sterling, who have perhaps been the only shining lights to an otherwise bleak start to the campaign, have looked promising, assured and despite their tender years, not overawed by their place in the Liverpool side.
But until the void of a proven centre forward is filled and a natural, predatory goal scorer is bought, Liverpool will continue to struggle to impose themselves on the summit of the Premier League and Brendan Rodgers’ new era could be over before it has even begun.
Calling all Liverpool fans: Do you agree with Darryl? Whatever your views, we'd love to hear from you.