Monday 20 November 2017

Brendan Rodgers hints at solution to Liverpool's striking problems on Monday Night Football

Brendan Rodgers on Monday Night Football
Brendan Rodgers on Monday Night Football

Mark Critchley

Former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has hinted at how his successor Jurgen Klopp could solve the club’s goal-scoring problems.

The Northern Irishman, who was appearing alongside his former centre-back Jamie Carragher as a pundit on Monday Night Football, harked back to the 2013/14 season, when his Reds side scored 101 goals on their way to finishing as Premier League runners-up.

Although stopping short of directly advising Klopp, Rodgers suggested that his systems during that title challenge always relied on an even split between attackers and defenders which guaranteed goals.

"Since Luis left, the goals have gone right out the team - and not only with that, but with Daniel being injured,” he said. “Jurgen has the issue now and the problem now as well, people talking about the number of goals, strikers.

"That season when we finished runners-up, if you look we had that front five of Suarez, Sturridge, Sterling, Henderson and Coutinho, then five behind them defending.

“Five on the attack, five behind plus the goalkeeper, you're going to score goals and as I said, they were absolutely outstanding.”

Liverpool have scored just 25 goals in 22 league games and their goal difference stands at -3, the worst in top half of the Premier League.

The Reds have also scored with just 10.33 per cent of their efforts. Only bottom-side Aston Villa’s shot conversion rate is worse.

Following the Sunday’s narrow 1-0 defeat to Manchester United, Klopp defended Roberto Firmino, the man he had deployed as the focal point in attack. The Brazilian put in a lively showing at Anfield but spurned his opportunities on goal.

“The smallest of our problems today was our centre forward,” insisted Klopp. “Roberto Firmino again played a really good game. He can play this position, he is a real centre forward when he plays there.”

Independent News Service

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