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Liverpool Plagued By Consistent Issue That the Transfer Market Cannot Fix

Not simply a problem of personnel, Liverpool have been struggling in similar ways all season

Alisson Becker of Liverpool Dejected during the F.A.Cup at Anfield on January 07, 2023 in Liverpool, England.
Alisson Becker of Liverpool Dejected during the F.A.Cup at Anfield on January 07, 2023 in Liverpool, England.
Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Liverpool have conceded 34 goals in 27 games thus far this season — last season the Reds conceded just 10 more goals in more than double the amount of games (63).

Lots of attention has been drawn all over the pitch, but especially in the midfield. Regardless of tactical issues within that position group, the conceded goals often come from areas with attacking overloads: think of Trent Alexander-Arnold isolated against two defenders vs. Brentford, for instance.

Too often, too, Liverpool concede after deeply avoidable errors: misplaced passes, like Alisson’s to Gonçalo Guedes of Wolves would be the most obvious recent example, but many an opposition attack has come directly from misplaced passes in the central zone of the pitch.

What these two glaring issues have in common is their underlying source: Liverpool, long referred to as “mentality monsters,” have been found lacking in mental preparedness.

Beyond any specific issues around positions, formations, and personnel, top players have been found out via momentary mental lapses. Complacency, switching off positionally or failing to anticipate where the ball will end up, has well and truly punished the Reds this season. Too often it seems like the opposition is better able to predict the bounce of the ball, while Liverpool seem constantly scrambling to react; the shape itself seems confounded if the opponents manage a single pass beyond the first wave of press.

The problem is that this isn’t a “simple” fix; you can’t buy a player to address a malaise that’s affecting nearly everyone. Until the Reds start doing the simple things right again it will be difficult to compete in any of the competitions they remain in for the remainder of this season.

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