Has Victor Moses Reached the End of the Road at Liverpool?

Max MuntonLiverpool CorrespondentJanuary 6, 2014


When Brendan Rodgers hauled off Victor Moses at half-time during Liverpool’s FA Cup victory over Oldham on Sunday, the sound of "ship him back to Chelsea" grumbled around Anfield. 

It was the latest in a long line of dismal performances from the Nigerian for Liverpool since his August loan switch from Chelsea. 


The Decision To Sign Moses

NAPLES, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 18: Henrikh Mkhitaryan of Borussia Dortmund in action during the Uefa Champions League Group F match between Napoli and Borussia Dortmund at Stadio San Paolo on September 18, 2013 in Naples, Italy.  (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Im
Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

In the summer, the transfer deadline-day signing of Moses seemed like a logical move for Rodgers, who was in need of an injection of dynamic attacking play in his team.

Moses had been outcast at Chelsea from early on but had previously been a consistent performer at Wigan. After all, his form at the DW Stadium in 2011/12 had landed him a lucrative contract at Stamford Bridge.

What Rodgers ended up with was a case of the wrong player. Having seen transfer bids for Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Willian fail miserably to the riches of Champions League clubs, Moses was essentially third choice—if that.

Moses arrived at Liverpool with high expectations—a second chance for the strong, quick and tricky player whose career was beginning to stray.



Consistently Poor

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 23:  Gareth Barry of Everton competes with Victor Moses of Liverpool during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park on November 23, 2013 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunski
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Unfortunately, Moses’ debut for the Reds at Swansea in September is still, to date, his best performance in a Liverpool shirt.

According to Squawka, since that first game in South Wales, Moses hasn’t scored in 12 Premier League games, has created just five chances, has a 50 percent shot accuracy and won just 38 percent of duels. In the air, he’s miserably won just 14 percent of headed duels.



Lack Of Desire

NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19: Cheick Tiote (R) of Newcastle in action with Victor Moses of Liverpool during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Liverpool at St James' Park on October 19, 2013 in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne,
Paul Thomas/Getty Images

Patience is beginning to wear thin with Moses. Not because he’s yet to find his rhythm, as other summer signings are yet to do either, but because he genuinely looks disinterested in turning his season around.

There seems to be no desire to win himself either a permanent contract at Liverpool or an open door back to Chelsea.

It is because of this apparent attitude problem that it would be hard to justify giving him the game time to prove himself.

Furthermore, the argument that Moses has been played out of position at Liverpool is difficult to agree with.

Although he has been played in a role behind the strikers, rather than on the wing, he was always going to have to adapt to a different playing style from Rafa Benitez's to that of Rodgers. A certain degree of versatility has to be expected at the highest level of football.

With the Blues’ other loanee, Romelu Lukaku, firing on all cylinders for Everton, both Liverpool and Chelsea could be forgiven for not including Moses in their plans for the summer and beyond.


The Last Straw?

SWANSEA, WALES - SEPTEMBER 16:  Liverpool striker Victor Moses (r) celebrates after scoring the second Liverpool goal with manager Brendan Rodgers during the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Liverpool at Liberty Stadium on September
Stu Forster/Getty Images

Even against League One opposition at the weekend, Moses struggled to get out of first gear.

His first touch was frankly shocking, constantly losing the momentum of attacks.

At other times, he kept himself out of the game completely and Liverpool looked thin on the ground going forward.

In his post-match comments, quoted by Chris Bascombe in the Telegraph, Rodgers hinted at his frustrations at the slow first-half performance, forcing him to replace Moses and Luis Alberto with first-team players when he would rather have rested them: 

I had to do it, We needed more speed and intensity to our game.

You can either wait for it to happen or do something about it because the last thing we wanted was a replay. 

Coutinho and Lucas added intensity and purpose to our game. It was a difficult game and you have to give Oldham a lot of credit for making it that way. We were nowhere near the speed of our game and in the second half we were a lot better.

Liverpool found deep-lying problems against Oldham in terms of a lack of squad depth and team cohesion, perhaps due to the lack of playing time this season for fringe players.

The biggest problem, however, may be deciding what to do with Moses before he goes down in Liverpool flop folklore.