Does Liverpool's defence really need major changes?

Agger And Skrtel

50 goals conceded in the Premier League isn't good enough, but do that many changes really need to take place for them to improve?

A lot has been written about Liverpool’s defence this season, some have pointed to it being one of the main reasons they missed out agonisingly on the Premier League title having conceded 50 goals this season.

Some have suggested the need for a defensive overhaul if Liverpool are to go one better on the domestic front and have a relatively successful campaign on their return to the Champions League next season.

But this was a defence that, in all honesty, underwent massive change last summer. Jamie Carragher retired and Kolo Toure came in – seemingly to play the role as the experienced defender – Mamadou Sakho arrived from Paris Saint Germain in a big money deadline day move along with youngster Tiago Ilori from Sporting Lisbon, and there was of course the change in goalkeeper with Simon Mignolet taking the place of Pepe Reina.

It is also worth noting that Aly Cissokho came in as a covering left-back and was called upon on several occasions because of the absence of Jose Enrique for much of the season, whilst Jon Flanagan saw a lot more first team action.

Enrique hasn’t been the only injury. Daniel Agger, Mamadou Sakho, Jon Flanagan and Glen Johnson have all had significant spells on the sidelines at different points in the season so there was bound to be some change to the back line.

Combine that with earlier on in the season that Brendan Rodgers was experimenting with a back three, and then changed to a back four, there was bound to be an element of uncertainty, which may not have helped the team in the short term even if it did work on their versatility.

There has been talk that Rodgers wants more defensive reinforcements, and they of course would be welcome with Liverpool trying to step up to the next level, but whether the back line needs major surgery is another issue.

This is a side that has brought in a couple of players defensively who may have taken time to adapt, plus Ilori has been on loan at La Liga side Granada for much of the second half of the season. For all we know, Rodgers may think he could do a job in the first team next season.

But what Brendan Rodgers may need to do is try and play as much of a settled back line in the early stages of the season as possible. This is probably where playing more games will help his side rather than hinder them.

If the defence can be settled, and be confident with everybody around them, then maybe it will be that more solid as the next season goes on.

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch