Three players who must leave Liverpool in January

It is time to get tough at Anfield - or the Reds could slip into mid-table mediocrity for years to come.

Glen Johnson

A lot of analysis of Liverpool's current struggles has, quite frankly, been nothing but bland. There's been talk of patience, waiting for things to click, making the odd change. But that kind of talk is exactly why the Reds are in the mess they are currently in.

There has been too much patience - too much willingness to accept the notion that a club who almost won the Premier League last term can perform so badly this season. Both Brendan Rodgers and the players are paid millions. What have they done to show for it?

Action must be taken, starting in January. The dead wood must be scrapped - and the first such instance is Glen Johnson. Rodgers has displayed nothing but arrogance playing the right-back, a defender who simply cannot defend. He is out of contract in the summer and Liverpool must salvage some self-respect as a club by showing him the door in January.

Joe Allen

Next is Joe Allen, who has offered very little since coming to Anfield. There have been individual games where he has made an impact but is that really good enough for a midfielder of the calibre Liverpool Football Club need?

The Reds need a man who can deliver big performances week in, week out and, as Robbie Fowler put it the other night, Allen looks like 'a little boy' at times.

Jogging around, playing a simple pass to someone next to you and hesitating everytime you are in the final third is simply not good enough. It's time for Rodgers to stop wasting everyone's time.

Mario Balotelli

The final player on this list is a destructive presence that Liverpool must rid themselves of before he causes even more damage. It was always a risk to sign Mario Balotelli - the kind that would either prove disastrous or absolutely magical. But there has been no magic and it looks like there never will.

Granted, the Italian looks as though he could be a completely different player alongside Daniel Sturridge but, again, that isn't good enough. A £16 million striker must be good enough to play alongside whoever he has to - while the off-field problems and the absolute dire attitude Balotelli has shown are nothing but a stain on the Anfield outfit's reputation.

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