A 4-1 defeat to Arsenal effectively ended any hope Liverpool had of finishing in the top four putting them 7 points behind 4th placed Manchester City who also have a game in hand. Their great run of thirteen games unbeaten which saw them surge into contention for the Champions League places ended against Man United and the Arsenal defeat looks to be the final nail in the coffin.
The two games have shown that Brendan Rodgers’ side simply are not good enough to compete with their top four rivals. Upon looking at the team sheets before the Arsenal game there was a sense of inevitability that Arsenal would have too much for the Reds. Arsenal starting eleven contained Ozil, Sanchez and Cazorla, three top quality players. Compare that to the Liverpool side’s stars, Couthino, Sterling and Henderson, good players but not of the same quality.
Against Man United it was more of the same, Van Gaal’s side contained the likes of Rooney, Mata and Herrera, players a class above what Rodgers has at his disposal. It was always going to be a struggle without the class of Suarez but few predicted a struggle of this magnitude, of course the injuries to Sturridge and Gerrard’s decline have been factors in the poor season but the harsh reality is this Liverpool side does not have good enough players to compete at the top.
Would any current Liverpool players make it into their rivals starting teams, Couthino maybe on his day would creep into starting place but would Chelsea pick him over Oscar? or would Arsenal pick him over Ozil? both are unlikely. Jordan Henderson has been one of Liverpool’s star men this term, he is a good consistent player but he wouldn't be considered a top top player. Sturridge is probably the one player who would get into most teams but his injury prone nature means he doesn't get to show his class all that often.
Rodgers’ transfer dealings in the recent past haven't been good, its hard to say any of his summer signings have been an overriding success. Can has been good but not great while Markovic, Lallana and Moreno have been inconsistent in their performances. If Liverpool want to compete at the top of the Premier League they must add quality to their team instead of taking risks on unknown players who show some potential.
Liverpool are currently missing a star player or two, last year we saw with Suarez how the team was built around him and how effective that was. Just look at Chelsea who play around Hazard or Rooney for United who is the centre of most of their plays. Currently in the squad there is no player good enough to warrant the team being centred around them and thats where Liverpool are lacking.
It may have seemed that Rodgers had turned things around after a disastrous start to the season but the past two weeks have shown that Liverpool just don't have the players to compete with their rivals.