It's clear that Dejan Lovren is one of Brendan Rodgers' personal favorites. He was pursued for most of the summer, cost a decent fee, and came straight into Liverpool's starting eleven as the Jamie Carragher successor and the reason Daniel Agger was expendable. A vocal, commanding, vocal and commanding central defender that's commanding and vocal, Lovren was seen as the missing piece for a defensive unit that shipped far too many easy goals last season and was roundly viewed as the reason Liverpool failed to win the title.
So far he's failed to live up to the billing, showing a lack of positional discipline and finding himself partially at fault for every goal Liverpool have conceded this season and another they probably should have. He's made two starts on the left side on central defense and two on the right, and on each occasion there's been more cause for concern than there has for celebration.
"Of course, for everyone it hurts, especially for the defence. When you look at the game, they didn't have many chances. But from corners, they were really good, that was the chance for them. We are disappointed. We didn't start the game well and we conceded an easy goal from the corner. Afterwards it was difficult to come back. They were really tight in defence. In the second half it was a little bit better, we were moving the ball a little quicker and we had some chances. But the ball didn't want to go in. We are really disappointed but we need to keep our heads up now because the next game is in the Champions League."
Tuesday will be terrific, no doubt, but it's still hard to get past the 1-0 loss yesterday, in which Lovren was beaten easily by Philippe Senderos on the initial header before Gabby Agbonlahor scrambled in what proved to be the winner. The rest of the day wasn't much better for the Croatian, who seemed content to surge forward on a whim and try to play the Hollywood ball rather than the simple pass. Liverpool only conceded once, and that's often the measure of a defender's day, but it was another subpar day at the office for the summer signing.
He'll improve, of course, but early returns aren't encouraging, and he's going to need to do far better in the coming weeks if he's going to have a starting spot cemented in Liverpool's defense.