With Luis Suarez' 31 goals moved to Barcelona, Brendan Rodgers insists a by-committee approach to replacing them is in order. Having already spoken of his desire to see Jordan Henderson register a double digit goal tally, the Liverpool manager followed up Sunday's 2-1 victory over Southampton by stressing the need for improved secondary scoring.
"More goals from everyone, that's the objective," said Rodgers when asked by the club's official website about his goals for Liverpool's attack this season. "Everyone will want to improve. Raheem had 10 goals last year. It was a really good finish and that started to open up the game a bit, with a bit more space to work in. But they were dangerous opponents."
Southampton certainly appeared well prepared to counter Liverpool's attack, working to nullify Philippe Coutinho and sitting deep so that Sterling and Sturridge couldn't use their speed to get behind the defence. Despite that, and despite that Coutinho and Sturridge didn't have their best games, Sterling at least made the kind of impact Rodgers would have been hoping to see.
A goal and an assist made him Liverpool's attacking standout, and along with Simon Mignolet in goal, it was Sterling who picked up the slack left in Suarez' wake and who was largely responsible for the hosts taking all three points. Sterling aside, though, Liverpool were a long way from last season's beautiful attacking football on Sunday.
"A lot of games at Anfield we were winning reasonably comfortably last season" added Rodgers. "We know that the expectancy for us was going to be to win the game. We won't always win by playing beautiful football. Sometimes we're going to have to dig in and grind a result out, and that's what we did."
Thanks to Sterling proving the pre-season signs of him being ready to step up were on the money and thanks, as last season in the early going, to Mignolet's shot-stopping prowess. If a few others can step up along with Sterling, though, it may not be long until the results are once again less dependent on Mignolet and more about a bloated goals for column.