Rodgers Identifies Need for Clean Sheets

Matthew Lewis

Sebastien Bassong hashtag jokes aside — seriously, put them aside — Liverpool are hurting for a few clean sheets and Brendan Rodgers thinks they can achieve them by buckling down on stupid defensive mistakes.

In spite of the ongoing discussion of Liverpool's centre back richness, questions linger about the club's defensive frailties given the number of goals conceded purely owing to Liverpool error or mental blips.

“We go into every game to play well, to work the ball and work hard when we don’t have it," Brendan Rodgers said of Liverpool's general approach to each match. “You are asked different questions away from home and we just need to cut out the mistakes we make because it hasn’t been a case of teams opening us up — we have conceded disappointing goals or own goals. If we can cut that out, we know we have enough ammunition to get goals.

“We have made mistakes defensively. We own up to that. That has cost us goals, some of them cheap goals. It is swings and roundabouts because we won the first three games of this season 1-0 and people talked about our lack of goals — which I don’t think is something you can level at this team."

Indeed, only Manchester City have scored more goals than Liverpool this season, but while Liverpool's impressive goal tally ensures that they maintain the second best goal differential in the league as well, all potential challengers for a Top Four finish this year have a fewer goals allowed. It's an area Liverpool vastly need to improve in general, as it can often be the difference between taking a single point rather than collecting all three off an opponent.

“Now we are scoring, it is about the clean sheets," Rodgers continued. "In these types of games where it is tight, you have to make sure you don’t make mistakes. It was something last year that cost us in these big games where we were in front and made mistakes.”

It's something Rodgers and his defensive line will need to put right for Sunday's game against Spurs. If you're inclined to believe in curses, superstition, or bad coincidences in general, Liverpool have an uninspiring history of just these types of defensive gaffes against Tottenham: Spurs are joint second as the team Liverpool have conceded the most own goals against (seven goals), with four of those coming at White Hart Lane and one being attributed to our very own Martin Skrtel.

It's a recipe for a defensive clusterfudge of epic proportions, or it could just be an overlapping series of stats that paint a worse picture than the reality is likely to be. Having identified the team's issues as self-inflicted, Rodgers and Co. can work to remedy those problems. A strong demonstration of this self-awareness in a crucial away game would be an excellent showing on the part of the players and would continue the good run of form the club has established in the last two matches.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join The Liverpool Offside

You must be a member of The Liverpool Offside to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Liverpool Offside. You should read them.

Join The Liverpool Offside

You must be a member of The Liverpool Offside to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Liverpool Offside. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9353_tracker