After five games, Liverpool have only managed to score three goals, one of which was offside and unfairly allowed to stand. To suggest this is a team that hasn't created enough should go without saying. In their most recent game, an utterly disappointing 3-1 loss to Manchester United on Saturday, Liverpool stepped onto the pitch looking for a 0-0 and had no reply once United had scored. It's the third loss in a row to their rivals in less than a year, and that is unacceptable.
Regarding the result, Rodgers said in his post-match comments:
"We’re disappointed with the result and the performance. I thought in the first half we were fairly organised but technically could have been much better with the ball.
"We didn’t keep the ball for long enough to create opportunities, but we didn’t give away too much either in the first half – it was only really when we gave the ball cheaply and put ourselves under pressure. So it was 0-0 at half-time, we’re okay and looking to play better in the second half.
"We’re disappointed with the free-kick. I thought both players were tangling for the ball, both had their arms up and Ashley Young jumps on the player’s [Clyne] back and gets a free-kick. But they worked it well and get the goal and we then gave away the penalty.
"At 2-0 you’re up against it. We then got on the front-foot, Christian scored an incredible goal with a high-level of technique, so we were back in the game at 2-1 and looking at maybe getting something. But we then conceded within a minute and at 3-1 the game is dead."
This seems confirmation enough that they had intended to stay organized and tight in the back to try to limit the damage. This was always likely to be difficult with a back line that has too often looked shaky and unreliable, however, and which was again punished on Saturday when an unmarked Daley Blind scored a simple goal off of a set piece. The second goal was caused by the inexperienced Joe Gomez, who looks increasingly lost playing out of position. The third came when debutante Anthony Martial humiliated veteran center back Martin Skrtel.
Rodgers went on to acknowledge his team's shortcomings, saying:
"We’re five games in and we haven’t created anywhere near as much as we would have liked. That’s something I need to go away with the coaches and staff and have a look at and how we can find ways in which to be much more creative.
"This is a team that, certainly for the first couple of years, was very offensive and creative.
"We’re still looking to find that way, with numbers of players coming in, to get that balance and efficiency in the team, but certainly we need to create more opportunities.
"With the players we’ll have coming back – players that are really creative dynamic and have speed - they’ll hopefully offer the team that."
Certainly the returns of Philippe Coutinho, Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana, and Daniel Sturridge will do nothing but help this team. However, it is important to note that most of these players -- bar Sturridge -- have played the majority of the games this season, where Liverpool have looked just as poor, even if results have at times been better. And Sturridge, while physically able to play soon, won't be at anywhere near match fitness for weeks yet and Rodgers would be reckless to expect him to have an immediate impact on games.
While fans may differ on their feelings about Rodgers, one thing they can all agree on is that there needs to be less empty words and more proof on the pitch that Rodgers is taking the right steps to fix his very broken team. Playing his talented players in their natural positions would be a good start. So too would dropping those players who are clearly favored and just as clearly under-performing.
Without that -- if it's just more talk of waiting for injured players to return while those Rodgers does have at hand continue to look lost that Liverpool fans can expect to see in the coming months -- it will be a long, cold winter indeed.