Five things learned from Liverpool's 3-1 loss to Crystal Palace: Rodgers, Lallana & Allen feature

Joe Allen Liverpool

Five observations as things just get worse and worse for the Reds...

Seriously, Brendan?

It feels almost cruel to criticise Brendan Rodgers after Liverpool's 3-1 loss at Crystal Palace earlier today - because he has been criticised so much already. Stating the obvious is like kicking a man when he is down. And yet Liverpool are in their current mess because Rodgers, quite simply, is not doing his job at all.

On the training ground, the Northern Irishman is into his third season at Anfield and has not done a single thing about his dire defence. Tactically, Rodgers looks out of his depth and a lot of his current problems all stem back to his woeful transfer business.

It would be wonderful for Liverpool fans and neutrals alike to see Rodgers succeed on Merseyside. But, right now, it is a simple case of a manager performing very poorly indeed.

Poor substitutions

The mistakes extended to specific in-game decisions today. Only three of Rodgers' squad seemed to show any glimpses of quality at Palace - Rickie Lambert, Joe Allen and Adam Lallana. Two of them were taken off.

When the 41-year-old was watching his struggling side, what was it that possessed him to substitute two of the only players that looked like changing anything for the Reds?

Much like Rodgers' transfer business, there are only a handful of occasions one can remember the Liverpool boss ever getting a substitution right.

Confidence is a killer

As Rodgers said after the game, however, the problem right now is confidence. There was no urgency during a miserable Liverpool display and a lot of that came from the players simply being too downhearted.

Just like their home games against Real Madrid and Chelsea, the Reds started brilliantly and then, for some reason, decided to give up. They were their own worst enemy.

In Rodgers' defence, it is hard to manage in that type of situation. The biggest problem will be if the boss himself loses confidence. That could become the beginning of the end for the Northern Irishman.

Three positives

As stated, though, there were three basic positives to come out of Liverpool's 3-1 loss at Palace: the performances of Lambert, Lallana and Allen. Former Southampton striker Lambert scored a fine goal off the back of former Southampton midfielder Lallana's assist and the Reds should persist with the 32-year-old instead of Mario Balotelli.

The man who set Lambert up also showed far more creativity than Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling put together, while Joe Allen's performance was a big plus for the Anfield outfit - even if he still makes too many sideways passes in the final third.

And now for the worst part...

If Liverpool supporters, however, thought this was bad, how about the prospect of being all but knocked out of the Champions League on Wednesday night?

That is exactly the situation facing the Reds ahead of a trip to Ludogorets in midweek. If Rodgers' charges can't handle a rainy day in east London, what about a fierce night atmosphere in Bulgaria?

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