Liverpool are struggling but Rodgers needs time – and Owen

 
Trevor Steven
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of recent focus has been placed upon Liverpool’s poor start to the season, their decision to let Andy Carroll go to West Ham, and their inability to sign a replacement.

Brendan Rodgers is an idealist, and this is coming into football more because of the Barcelona effect, but they’ve been doing it for years – I can’t remember a culture coming in to a club that worked overnight. The sport is now about patience and finances, and he needs time. They’ve got a good manager in charge and if he’s their man, he needs to be given five years; it could be three without a trophy.

The owners’ open letter to the fans just highlights the expectation levels at that club and that they felt the need to answer at that point. Liverpool could win their next four matches and life could be beautiful, but the Carroll deal is compounding their problems.

The main striker there, Luis Suarez, needs to calm down. You cannot be a great finisher when you’re that uptight; you’re not cool enough in front of goal, and he looks like he feels the world is against him and that he has to run and be everywhere.

The Carroll decision regardless looks like a huge mistake. Rodgers should have prepared replacements and demanded one of them but the finances obviously dictated their decision over Clint Dempsey.

Liverpool are now being linked with Michael Owen and I would definitely throw him in. For everything he’s achieved, he cannot end his career as a second-rate sub at Manchester United. At Liverpool he’d get games, and that’s all he needs. He’d make sure he’d succeed because his pride would be so at stake.

At the other end, Pepe Reina is a concern. It’s been hard to judge him because of Liverpool’s poor form but I can’t remember anything impressive from him for a while. He’s become more about distribution than about making goalkeeping, and he may have been there too long and need freshening up. Liverpool need him to return to his best, though.

Trevor Steven is a former England footballer who played at two World Cups and two European Championships.