Southampton 3-1 Liverpool – Consistently Inconsistent

Photo courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

By Jonathan Carroll

Heading into Saturdays game against Southampton at Saint Marys, Liverpool looked to extend their good run of form against a side struggling for points. Brendan Rodgers made some changes to the team that beat Tottenham Hotspur last weekend. Martin Skrtel returned for Jamie Carragher and Joe Allen was restored ahead of Lucas Leiva and Jordan Henderson. A perplexing decision given the fact Allen was said to have picked up an injury during the week.

Goals from Morgan Schneiderlin and then a deflected effort from Rickie Lambert put the Saints in the driving seat before Philippe Coutinho helped get Liverpool back in the game. It was a much needed lifeline. Unfortunately for the traveling support the reds never showed up for this game. Skrtel was a liability, the need to change a winning line up should be questioned by the Anfield faithful. Joe Allen struggled to get a foothold in midfield. With Henderson and Lucas on the bench, the game screamed out for an earlier intervention than the forty-sixth minute substitution of Allen for Lucas.

Photo courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

Jay Rodriguez sealed a valuable three points for Southampton when he tapped home after an initial save by Brad Jones in the Liverpool goal. Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez and Coutinho were all kept in check by the Saints in an effort to nullify the main threat from Liverpool. Playing a high line and pressurizing the Liverpool player in possession worked well for the home side. Liverpool were ineffective for large parts of the game and looked out of sorts all game long.

Photo courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

The exclusion of Carragher, Lucas and Henderson was perplexing. The 2012-2013 season has seen Brendan Rodgers’ side continually set new highs of inconsistency. A growing frustration among reds supporters is the fact that when the side seems to have finally turned the corner (beating Spurs) Liverpool then take two steps back (losing to relegation threatened Southampton).

Photo courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

Liverpool need investment, a lot more than the twenty-million rumoured to be on offer to Rodgers in the summer. Otherwise fourth position and Champions League football will continue to be absent from Anfield for years to come. The longer the club remains on the outside looking in, the further the club falls behind the top clubs in England.

Southampton

  • 31 Boruc – 7
  • 02 Clyne – 6
  • 03 Yoshida – 6
  • 05 Hooiveld – 4 (Fonte – 31′ ) – 6
  • 23 Shaw – 6
  • 04 Schneiderlin – 7
  • 10 Ramirez – 7 (S Davis – 55′ )
  • 18 Cork – 6
  • 20 Lallana- 7  (Guly – 84′ )
  • 07 Lambert – 8
  • 09 Rodriguez – 7

Substitutes

  • 01 K Davis
  • 06 Fonte
  • 15 Forren
  • 08 S Davis
  • 16 Ward-Prowse
  • 21 Guly
  • 42 Puncheon

Liverpool

  • 01 Jones – 5
  • 02 Johnson – 6
  • 03 Jose Enrique – 6
  • 05 Agger – 5
  • 37 Skrtel – 5
  • 08 Gerrard – 5
  • 10 Phillippe Coutinho – 6
  • 19 Downing – 5
  • 24 Allen – 3 (Lucas – 46′ ) – 5
  • 07 Suarez – 5 (Booked)
  • 15 Sturridge – 5 (Henderson – 83′ )

Substitutes

  • 42 Gulacsi
  • 47 Wisdom
  • 14 Henderson
  • 21 Lucas
  • 33 Shelvey
  • 44 Ibe
  • 30 Suso
Referee: Phil Dowd
Attendance: 32,070
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3 thoughts on “Southampton 3-1 Liverpool – Consistently Inconsistent

  1. BR needs to learn to adapt his game plan to suit the conditions. Its ok playing tika taka in Spain but not away at southampton in the pouring rain. Same as oldham away on that muddy pitch. Sometimes you need to play a long ball game in the premier league and sometimes you need players who can roll their sleeves up and battle for the points. Andy Carroll, Bellamy, Kuyt all shown the door by BR and replaced by small, skinny injury prone types. We will always be bullied by bigger hardworking teams like stoke, WBA, unless BR gets the balance right and gives us a plan B for the physical games

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  2. I definitely believe Carragher’s absence played a role in Saturdays defeat. No leadership of note. Not sure Andy Carroll is the answer but we are a soft touch against the more direct teams in the league. Squad needs more than twenty million investment in the summer. In todays market thats maybe two new players.Not enough based on current league position.

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  3. Consistently inconsistent as the article says. Whenever we seem to be moving forward we have a result like this – very much like Stoke away on Boxing Day. Both of these performances are neck and neck as the worst performance of the season.

    One of the frustrating things is that we always seem to say that we have learned from this defeat or that defeat. I can’t remember hearing that comment after this Southampton defeat though. Unfortunately though it looks like these results are the “norm” in as much as our good performances are the “norm” when they occur. In other words, better than average sides, but not top four quality sides, have the type of ups and downs as we experience.

    We are consistent in that every 5 games we will win 2. Of the other 3 games, we will either lose 2 and draw 1, or vice versa, lose 1 and draw 2. This type of results pattern is consistent with where we currently stand in the league in respect of actual placing in the table and quality of football and results over a span of games. We have won 12 games out of 30. This represents 2 wins from every 5 games on average.

    To get to the next level of consistency – ie the top four, we will need to be winning 3 or 4 of a run of five games and, as the article suggests, we will need to be investing more than the reported £20m summer transfer kitty to achieve this. There are plenty of youngsters coming through, some of course have already played a fair few first team games, so we really need to spend whatever money we have on real quality. Rafa Benitez used to sign quite a few £4m-£6m type players to pack the squad, but that was mainly out of necessity as there wasn’t much, if anything, coming through from the Academy. I think that we have already seen enough of the youngsters to know who we can trust and rely on in the future. So, we really need to look at top quality, experienced players and not be too pre-occupied with their age. Rumours are abound that Xabi Alonso wants to leave Real Madrid. He clearly still loves Liverpool as his posting of Istanbul 2005 photos on his Instagram account recently as well as his regular comments will testify. Now how good would that be if we could Xabi back.

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