While not losing an away match in such a season is somewhat of an achievement, this isn’t what Liverpool are about, or should be at least. The problem for Brendan Rodgers is not having anyone but Luis Suarez to trust; to know he’s going to show up on game-day with a chance to score a goal. The tune is getting old, but it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be addressed.
Forget about the tactics that were too similar on both sides, creating somewhat of a mirror image in formations and tactics. There wasn’t want for space to roam and create chances; there was a lack of courage and desire to score. Swansea just don’t have the proper tools to get away with a win in such an evenly matches contest. Liverpool have just one, and as talented as he is, he can’t do it on his own every weekend.
Luis Suarez has scored 10 leagues goals in 13 matches, 58.8% of his team’s goals in the league this season. With the assists, it’s hard to find a goal that didn’t involve him. He is the finisher and the creator. He’s ready and useful with long balls and a ground passing game, but each time has to wait for more players to join him, besides the undependable Raheem Sterling, who might be quick on his feet and a fancy dribbler, but lacks any sort of soft touch with his shots and with his passing, which ruined a couple of scoring situations for Liverpool.
Jose Enrique has been turned into somewhat of a withdrawn winger in recent times, while Stewart Downing plays the left back position. Working? Liverpool didn’t lose and didn’t concede, making it a success at least on paper. Enrique, unlike Downing, keeps pushing into the box when he gets the forward role. Problem is that his skill set isn’t exactly compatible with the needs from a striker. He isn’t going to turn into the next Gareth Bale, it seems at least.
And then there’s the midfield, where Liverpool and most team’s trouble reside. Hardly an effort from Joe Allen, Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson. While Henderson rarely gets minutes this season, his performance was adequate. Responsible defending, decent passing, but not a single threat at goal with a shot or with a good pass. Joe Allen had a bit of help in holding the midfield, but he isn’t the man to be looking for when it comes to scoring. He does build up work, nothing more.
Steven Gerrard is the big disappointment, but sometimes you forget he’s pushing on 33, with a career filled with injuries behind him. Gerrard prefers to play a more withdrawn role, and with that goes one of Liverpool’s biggest weapons. Instead of being the midfielder that joins Suarez and Sterling, Gerrard prefers to hang back and deliver clever passes he isn’t so good in providing anymore.
Jonjo Shelvey is a more attacking solution; a lad that’s never afraid to try from long range. The problem is his bad defending and bad first touches, which often lead to turnovers. Rodgers is still looking for the right kind of balance in the middle of the park, while Luis Suarez tries to save the day on his own, waiting for some sort of help to drag this ship out of mediocrity.