Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool debut was anything but successful. The Northern Irishman found himself at the bottom of a 3-0 scoreline against West Bromwich Albion, a side that his Swansea squad happily dispatched home and away last season.
There are a number of inadequacies one could point at from the season opener ranging from squad selection, positioning and a reluctance to turn to a “Plan B” until the match was already well out of hand. Much has been written about Liverpool's poor display last Saturday, and much more will be written before Manchester City visits Merseyside this Sunday.
Whether one blames the questionable penalties or the sending off of Daniel Agger, the fact remains that Liverpool was unable to score.
One particular inefficiency that was apparent in the season opener, as well as all of last season, was less-than-stellar wing play. The lack of pacy and creative wingers directly contributed to the unacceptable amount of goals scored last season. Not scoring enough goals found Liverpool looking up at Merseyside rivals Everton on the EPL table by season's end. Forget about comparing the side to top clubs like Manchester City and United.
To put things in perspective, Liverpool scored only 47 goals, compared to 93 and 89 for City and United, respectively. Liverpool has no right being in the same breath as those two clubs this season, especially when its goal scoring was nearly doubled by the league's top two sides. The club will have to earn back that right this season. The best way to do that is upgrade the wing play, which has been woeful at best recently.
Luis Suarez is a world-class footballer whose natural position is on the wing. Unfortunately, Suarez also happens to be the only realistic option as a center forward in Rodgers' system, so that is where he is likely to remain until a new signing can be made or Rodgers lightens his stance on playing Andy Carroll front and center.
The recent acquisition of Fabio Borini from Roma isn't enough to make up for Stewart Downing's poor showings week in and week out. There are options on the market, but now more than ever, Liverpool has pressure to make more valuable purchases. The last two seasons have been rife with overpaying for players who have proven unworthy of such princely sums.
The young Spanish winger, Cristian Tello, is perhaps one of the best available on the market for Rodgers' system. Rodgers has been in pursuit of the 21-year-old since early June, according to Dailymail.co.uk. Let's take a look at what Liverpool has now and what they need to be pursuing in order to make this season remotely relevant.