John Barnes optimistic about Liverpool but suggests they need to adapt

Paisley Gateway

The former forward believes, like many, that the Reds will have to alter their approach to get the best out of Christian Benteke.

Speaking to BBC Sport, former Liverpool star John Barnes says he is optimistic about their chances this season.

The Reds had made a solid start to their campaign with wins over Stoke City and Bournemouth and a draw away to Arsenal, before a 3-0 home defeat to West Ham United had people questioning their credentials.

They were busy this summer as manager Brendan Rodgers brought in a whole host of new faces to revamp his squad following a disappointing campaign last year.

And despite the loss before the international break, Barnes says he is pleased by what’s gone on.

“Four games in and I’m pleased with what’s gone on,” he told BBC Sport.

“I’m optimistic for Liverpool, in terms of the effort and determination they showed in the first few games not to concede goals. They seem to be able to win games 1-0 even if they don’t play well, which they couldn’t do in the past, so I’m hopeful.”

Liverpool may need to adapt for Benteke

Despite his optimism, the former forward believes that the Reds may need to adapt their style of play.

With Christian Benteke having joined from Aston Villa, Liverpool have been urged to change their style to suit him, with the forward being one who thrives off of crosses into the box but can struggle with the pass orientated game that suits the likes of Daniel Sturridge.

They are still working out how to adapt to the Belgian, who has thus far struggled to make a serious impact, and Barnes says changing things up may be a solution.

“We’re still finding that way to adapt to him, and he has to adapt to us,” he added.

“We have lots of energy, we’re strong and we’re physical, so maybe we have to change the way we play a little bit, to be a bit more, not necessarily direct but get ball into the box for Benteke.”

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch