Five things learned from Liverpool's dour loss in Basel: Sterling, Lambert & Rodgers feature

Brendan Rodgers 2

The Reds need to take their current situation seriously. Things could go very wrong if they don't.

Where's the passion, lads?

On the video game 'Football Manager,' there is an option during your half-time team-talk to utter the words 'where's the passion, lads?'

That's exactly what Brendan Rodgers needs to do right now.

While there is no doubting the quality Liverpool possess within their squad - and no need to single anyone out for ruthless, destructive criticism - there were a lot of Reds players who looked like they didn't care last night. That might explain the poor recent displays.

Before results can come, performances need to improve. But, before that happens, the likes of Lazar Markovic, Mario Balotelli and more have to at least look like they are trying...

There's no point even talking about set-pieces again...

After the 1-0 defeat, Rodgers told Sky Sports:

"We defended very, very poorly on the corner and it's not the first time so it's very, very disappointing we couldn't get something from the game and the game was decided by a poor defensive corner," he told Sky Sports 5.

"I think it (set-piece defending) is something we continue to talk about and look at and analyse but you have to do it on the field and the key to defending is your first contact with the ball and we continually don't do that enough."

Talk is cheap by now, however. It's about time someone actually did something about the situation...

Raheem needs a rest - or stop wasting him down the left

Liverpool boss Rodgers was also right in what he said about something else: Raheem Sterling's current situation.

Indeed, the Northern Irishman admitted he needs a rest. It is perhaps time to give it to him, as his form has taken a worrying dip very similar to last season. No one is blaming the 19-year-old as he shoulders an awful lot of responsibility for one so young.

If his manager does insist on playing him, though, why on earth isn't it in the no.10 role not down the left? The situation is very similar to that of Mesut Ozil's at Arsenal...

Why did Rodgers buy Lambert?

Everything right now seems to go back to Rodgers. That is not to say the Reds boss is the wrong man for the job. He has, however, made mistakes and his current laissez-faire approach makes him look as though he is hoping for change via magic rather than actually trying to change things himself.

A key example is Rickie Lambert. Why did Rodgers buy him if he didn't plan to play him? Now is the time to bring the experienced forward into the fold. Mario Balotelli is no lone striker and Liverpool need options up front.

Change - and real management - is needed

It would be ideal if Liverpool could write this game off, keep the same starting XI, go again and win their next 10 games 3-0 by using the exact same tactics.

Sadly, though, this isn't an ideal world. And change is needed.

No one needs to be sold, banished to the reserves or fined. But Rodgers needs to ring the changes in his starting line-up as the same under-performers are becoming more and more complacent.

Real, firm management is needed. Otherwise, Liverpool could go the way they did in Rafa Benitez's last season in charge at Anfield, limping from one game to the next with no change whatsoever, before years of sheer mediocrity ensued.

To stand by and watch idly would not be the Liverpool way.

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