By Coral Barry
The Merseyside club’s fans are growing restless, Danny Ings has nailed down a starting role and other things we learned from Liverpool 1 Carlisle 1, with the two sides separated only by a penalty shoot-out won by Brendan Rodgers’ team.
Anfield Is Angry
Rodgers is wrong again: Anfield isn’t anxious, Anfield is angry. Angry because it’s hungry for goals – Liverpool haven’t scored two in a game since March – desperate for improvement and, judging by the mood on the terraces, praying for Rodgers’ departure. You can feel the tension in the stands and the boos during extra-time demonstrate just how alarming the Merseyside club’s situation is. No Liverpool supporter wants their side to fail, of course. They were right behind Liverpool and Adam Bogdan in the shoot-out. They have just had enough of Rodgers. He is in extra-time now.
Quality of opposition has no bearing on Liverpool defenders
Every side that plays Liverpool expects to score at least one. The quality of opposition has no bearing on these Liverpool defenders. Lacking confidence, leaders and basic defensive logic, there will be no improvement with these players. Rodgers picked virtually a full-strenth team. It made little difference. Bastien Hery ran straight at the back three causing panic and Derek Asamoah drifted unchecked into the box to score. It is a personnel problem, it is a coaching problem, it is the new old problem. The manager and his new coaching staff can tinker with formations as much as they like. Liverpool’s defensive woes have nothing to do with tactics.
Ings thrives on responsibility
Danny Ings is quickly becoming one of Liverpool’s leading lights. That’s two in two for him and he has thrived under the front man responsibility. At the moment no Liverpool player is having a bigger impact. The striker headed in Adam Lallana’s cross with a pinpoint header and buried a crucial penalty during the shoot-out. His movement and finishing adds quality to an attack seriously lacking potency. Liverpool had an incredible 47 shots and 16 on target, but Ings’ was the only goal in 120 minutes of play against a League Two team. With Daniel Sturridge, absent from the squad against Carlisle, working his way back to fitness and Christian Benteke out for up to three weeks with a hamstring injury, Ings has become a key player.
Bogdan can challenge Mignolet
Adam Bogdan grabbed his opportunity on his first-team debut as he showed that Liverpool have a more than adequate back-up to Simon Mignolet. Three penalty saves and a handful of crucial saves during the game has put Bogdan right in the mix for potential number one spot. He expressed his ambitions before the match and, following the latest in a never-ending series of Mignolet mistakes at the week-end, he could be a viable alternative after a match-winning debut.
Coutinho too good for Liverpool
Does anyone really believe Philippe Coutinho will be at Anfield next year? There is no reason for him to remain struggling with this Liverpool side. Neymar has spoken this week about how much he would like his compatriot at Barcelona and even the most die-hard Liverpool fan would struggle to find a legitimate reason for Coutinho to reject an offer to play in Spain. He is a match-winner and you could see his frustration growing after he had been hauled off the bench at the 64-minute mark to rescue this match for his team. Following Luis Suarez in 2014, Raheem Sterling in 2015, the next transfer heartbreak for Liverpool to endure will surely be Coutinho in 2016.