Liverpool Defense – The Major Concern

The theory is very simple, “you do not concede, you do not lose”. Under Rafael Benitez, the team had a very solid defensive record but in the last two seasons that has completely changed. The main problem behind Liverpool’s downfall has been their defense. Yes, Defense and not Attack.

Attacking and Defensive Record:


  • Goals Scored: 57
  • Goals Conceded: 25
  • Clean Sheets: 22
  • League Position: 3rd


  • Goals Scored: 57
  • Goals Conceded: 27
  • Clean Sheets: 20
  • League Position: 3rd


  • Goals Scored: 67
  • Goals Conceded: 28
  • Clean Sheets: 18
  • League Position: 4th


  • Goals Scored: 77
  • Goals Conceded: 27
  • Clean Sheets: 20
  • League Position: 2nd


  • Goals Scored: 61
  • Goals Conceded: 35
  • Clean Sheets: 17
  • League Position: 7th


  • Goals Scored: 59
  • Goals Conceded: 44
  • Clean Sheets: 14
  • League Position: 6th

The stats show that the difference in goal scoring has not been much and Liverpool have been able to finish in the top 4 positions by scoring less goals than last two seasons as well. The fact is that it is the drastic change in the defensive record that has halted the progress of Liverpool and is the main cause why a club who’s supposed to fight for the title have been struggling to attain 4th place. Now what were the defensive problems in the last 2 campaigns and what needs to be done?

Center Back:

Firstly, releasing the legend Sami Hyppia and not finding any experience replacement instead relying on Skrtel and Agger. Daniel Agger, considered a very good defender but has been fighting against injuries instead of strikers therefore have not made any strong impact recently. Carragher has been the leader but in his absence Skrtel has not been able to deal with the attacking threats being not as equipped as the veteran defender. Kyrgiakos, he is just backup defender, he does well in the air but makes mistakes in the defensive third not able to stop quality oppositions. Awarded the captaincy recently in a friendly against Galatasaray and perhaps was the flop of the match on the day. Liverpool need to sign a reliable and consistent center back as in case of Carragher’s injury, the central defense is very weak.

Right Back:

Alvaro Arbeloa was strong and very consistent in defense, however his replacement expensive Glen Johnson has normally been good attacking. Johnson needs to improve his defensive abilities as he has been exposed a number of times in the past two seasons. Martin Kelly has been the finding of the season and if he maintains his fitness then he can be really fruitful for the club. Johnson has been decent at left back but I would prefer to use him as a right winger unless he improves himself in the defensive department.

Left Back:

Paul Konchesky has been sold for good as he was even worse than Andrea Dossena. Insua is a good left back but still needs to learn and can be used as a substitute. The left back problem still needs to be solved after the departure of John Arne Riise in 2009.

Liverpool have let 12 goals in 4 friendly matches in pre-season. This shows that without their first team defense lineup, the defending is bizarre and the depth is worse. A number of defenders have been linked with the club. In your opinion, which defensive positions Liverpool need to strengthen and who are the players they must sign?

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