John Aldridge: Liverpool may need to be more nasty

Brendan Rogers Press Conference Smiling - 16/02/2014

Jamie Carragher suggested Liverpool get bullied, John Aldridge's comments don't seem to be too far away from them.

Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge has suggested the team needs to be more nasty as they look to put their dismal form behind them. 

The Reds suffered their fourth consecutive defeat on Sunday against Crystal Palace - making it six defeats from 12 games this season in the Premier League.

But there is a feeling there needs to be some kind of change from Liverpool if they are to improve, and Aldridge thinks that might be the team becoming a bit more nasty.

He wrote in his Liverpool Echo column: "The answer, I feel, may be to readjust his philosophy for the time being. For me, Liverpool are struggling to deal with the fact that they can’t run over teams like they did last year with Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge. They’re trying to do the same old things with lesser players, and teams are wise to them.

"Opponents are happy to let them have the ball, wait for them to lose it, which they invariably do, and then break quickly and test their weak defence. Palace did that to a tee on Sunday with Yannick Bolasie and Dwight Gayle, who are hardly world-beaters let’s be fair.

"It may be that Rodgers needs a period where he just says enough is enough; two banks of four, a compact midfield, keep things tight. Bring in a Lucas Leiva or a Kolo Toure, a bit of experience and a bit of know-how, be a bit more direct, a bit more nasty.

"At the moment, Liverpool are not hard to beat, not hard to play against. Teams will look at the fixture and think ‘we can beat these’."

What does getting 'a bit more nasty' mean, though? More fouls? More yellow cards?

  Total Yel CardAppearances
Arsenal 31 12
Sunderland 28 12
Man City 27 12
Stoke 27 12
Chelsea 26 12
Liverpool 26 12
Burnley 25 12
Hull City 25 12

If we look at the amount of yellow cards sides pick up this season, there isn't a direct correlation between them and a side being successful. Both Chelsea and Manchester City are amongst the sides that have picked up the most yellow cards this season but that could be down to timing and game management. The rest of the sides that feature - including Liverpool - seem to have a problem when it comes to discipline and picking up 'good bookings'.

Rodgers himself thinks his side needs to be 'more tenacious', telling the Liverpool website: "We need to be more tenacious, more aggressive and have a greater capacity to defend better as a team. When there are moments to defend, you have to defend better - and that's something that we'll look to do."

There are multiple problems within the side. The defence is still as vulnerable as last season, but one aspect could be where Liverpool are giving away their fouls. If they give them away up field and not allow the defence to get out, that could be viewed a shrewd defending as the regain their shape. That would come with experience, but Liverpool don't seem to be using a lot of that at the moment. 

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