The Reds’ boss has come under criticism recently due to his side’s poor start to the Premier League season, where they sit 14th after seven games played.
His critics have pointed to a lack of strike power at Anfield with Luis Suarez being the only recognized senior first-team striker at the club since the departure of Andy Carroll.
Carroll was loaned out this season after Rodgers deduced he was surplus to requirements in the new system he has introduced to the club. Carroll was brought in by Kenny Dalglish last season for a hefty £35million and was intended to function as a traditional target man.
But Rodgers’ proffered style of play, in the model of Barcelona’s possession dominance approach, renders a target man effectively irrelevant. But, critics have pointed to the lack of goals in the team as sufficient evidence that Liverpool are in desperate need of another out and out striker.
Rodgers failed to adequately replace the Englishman who had struggled to justify his price tag last season but the manager dismissed the idea that Carroll would be recalled from West Ham United.
“It isn’t something I have considered, to be honest. Andy has obviously gone out to get games.”
His response suggests that he stands by his decision that Liverpool do not need the striker and would not play him regularly. But, despite Rodgers’ claims, I have a sneaking suspicion the Reds’ manager wouldn’t have minded having the option of Carroll to bring off the bench, under the current circumstances.
Liverpool’s poor run of results have been as much a consequence of inadequate defending as they have a lack of goals. Equally, Suarez as the only striker, requires the assistance of the midfield and wide players who should be getting involved higher up the pitch.
Liverpool have had their chances to win every game and, in some cases have suffered bad luck too, but relying on Suarez and Steven Gerrard to do all the work isn’t working.
It comes as no surprise to me that Rodgers has stuck by his decision – no self-respecting manager would publicly conceded they were wrong about the fundamentals of their philosophy, especially after the fact.
But privately I suspect Rodgers wishes he hadn’t jumped the £35million gun so soon.