The bare fact that Liverpool scored just over half as many Premier League goals this season than in 2013/14 has Reds fans and board members alike scouring Europe for new forward options, but boss Brendan Rodgers’ downfall was always likely to come about due to his disdain for defending.
Even when they finished close runners-up in the top flight 12 months ago, Liverpool ended the campaign having conceded more goals than any other top-eight side bar Tottenham, with 11th-placed Crystal Palace letting in two fewer despite being rock bottom a third of the way through the season.
Rodgers’ tactical failings at the back were covered by the Premier League’s top two scorers in that campaign, Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, but the loss of the former to Barcelona, allied with the latter’s seemingly-incurable injury problems, has savagely exposed Liverpool’s frailties.
The Northern Irishman has been heavily criticised for his hit-and-largely-miss record in the transfer market, which was clearly in evidence during the crushing 6-1 defeat at Stoke on the final day of the 2014/15 Premier League campaign.
Emre Can, Alberto Moreno and Joe Allen – each of whom were Rodgers buys – were all culpable as Liverpool conceded three times between the 22nd and 30th minutes.