Have Liverpool proven that last season was a one-off?

Liverpool were back to their vintage best last season and we all thought that they were finally back to challenging for titles.

However, this season has started very poorly for Liverpool. After their opening six Premier League matches they have picked up just seven points. They’ve also had the Champions League to balance but after scraping past Ludogorets and losing to Basel, they’re not doing a very good job of it.

Last season The Reds finished just two points (+ goal difference) off the eventual winners Man City. They took second place and things were looking up. Lets face it, they more-or-less threw away the title.

We all knew how much of a loss Luis Suarez was going to be but are they particularly missing him enough to warrant this poor start? Well it’s not particularly down to losing him. Last season after the first six Premier League games (without the suspended Suarez) Liverpool were sitting comfortably in second place with 13 points. However, they largely had Daniel Sturridge to thank for that as he took the goalscoring upon himself.

Liverpool’s defence was pretty shambolic last season but because they managed to score over 100 league goals, they counter-balanced that problem. Brendan Rodgers has set out to strengthen his defence and I’m sure he was happy with his defensive signings. However when you compare the start that the Liverpool backline of last season made, compared to this season you realise where the problem still lies. Last year Liverpool conceded four goals in their opening six Premier League matches – compared to nine at the start of the current campaign. Interestingly they’ve scored the same amount (8) in that amount of time, as last year.

So The Reds are finding the same amount of goals from different areas but the defensive problem is still very much alive for Rodgers’ men.

Brendan Rodgers has already pushed the blame onto the pressure that the Champions League puts on his side. Of course playing more games is a big factor, but it’s not an excuse for the poor start, after all they’ve only been required to make one away trip thus far.

His signing of Mario Balotelli, seemed to be a bargain but certainly without Sturridge, the Italian bad-boy is not performing to the level that Liverpool require at the moment. Still, that’s not enough to warrant a start for Rickie Lambert, who has somehow made it into the latest England team.

I still feel that once Sturridge returns that Liverpool will progress up the table, but by no means will they finish top four – not this year.

I believe firmly that the Merseyside club had a one-off season last year, and the power of Suarez has not been replaced. More importantly their defence has started worse than last year – though of course – given time to gel, they may sort it out before it’s too late.

I really enjoyed watching Liverpool last year with their exciting brand of attacking football – each game guaranteed goals at both ends and the same appears to be happening this season but with more goals going to the opposition. As things stand, Liverpool will be out of the Champions League just in time to rescue their Premier League campaign but Reds’ supporters shouldn’t expect a miracle this time around.

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