Liverpool set up a Wembley FA Cup semi-final against Aston Villa last night with a 1-0 victory at Championship side Blackburn in a quarter-final replay.
A Philippe Coutinho effort 20 minutes from time was enough to give the Reds a hard-won victory.
On Sunday the Liverpool coaching staff and players held a meeting to discuss their recent displays and other issues.
Claims that it was a crisis meeting was slightly over the top, as it was not like the Reds were in a relegation battle, or outside the top six.
They may have lost consecutive games, but they were against two of the Premier League’s current form teams in Manchester United and Arsenal. The defeats were almost fatal for their top-four challenge, but still crisis is slightly too strong a word to describe the situation at Anfield.
Liverpool overachieved last season with strike-partnership Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez tearing the Premier League up at times. Youngster Raheem Sterling also experienced his breakthrough season and suddenly became one of the hottest young properties in European football.
Suarez leaving, Sturridge out for most of the season and Sterling suffering from fatigue have contributed to the Reds current fifth place position in the Premier League table.
The Liverpool squad of last season was nowhere near the second best in the Premier League, but momentum and the goals of the aforementioned Suarez and Sturridge put the Merseysider’s in contention for the title and eventually a second place finish in the league.
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers was acclaimed as one of the brightest young British bosses in the game. However, football is a fickle old game and earlier this season some Reds fans were questioning the Northern Irishman’s ability to take Liverpool forward.
Aside from poor moves in the transfer market, Rodgers has shown enough in his time at Liverpool to be given a chance to build at Anfield. He is still young in terms of top-flight bosses and does still have things to learn, like when to talk to the media and when to keep his mouth shut.
His football philosophy is an admirable one and he knows exactly how he wants his team to play. That way of playing so very nearly landed Liverpool the Premier League title, despite the fact on paper they had nowhere near the best team or squad of players.
Rodgers is trying to build a team and a philosophy at Anfield. He is not there to provide a quick fix, or to plaster over the cracks. Whether that philosophy will work or not remains to be seen.
Liverpool does not have a squad of world-class players, or oil millions to spend on strengthening the squad. There is still a massive gap in terms of talent compared with league leaders Chelsea and some would argue Manchester City and Arsenal as well.
As an outsider looking in, Liverpool are probably in about the right position for the players at the club. Had Sterling been on fire, or Sturridge had stayed fit all season then maybe the Reds may have been closer to the top teams this season.
To put it simply though, the Reds simply do not have the same level of player compared to the teams above them in the Premier League table.
Chelsea are the prime example, Liverpool do not have a player in the same class as Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas or even Diego Costa, despite spending a fortune last summer. Chelsea purchased Costa and Fabregas for less than what Liverpool spent on the likes of Lazar Markovic, Adam Lallana and Mario Balotelli.
It looks unlikely that the Reds will claim a Champions League spot this season, a position they were expected to challenge for at the beginning of the season. The problem that the Reds have is that six other teams were also expected to challenge for the Champions League places and obviously only four can make it.
Crisis may be too strong a word to describe Liverpool’s current situation, but Brendan Rodgers will know that his team must start producing more convincing displays until the end of the campaign otherwise those questioning his methods may be slightly higher in number.
Is crisis too strong a word to be used about Liverpool?
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