On our latest podcast we discussed whether Christian Benteke was good enough to captain a team of Liverpool youngsters past Exeter in the FA Cup. Here, @Real_LFC_Fan wonders whether the Belgian is good enough for the club at all.
The month of December was quite a rough one for Liverpool Football Club and the fans altogether. Performances and results were average to poor and frustrating in all competitions. When asked which player I’d like to see sold immediately, I realized that it was quite hard to pick just one. There has been a shocking decrease in individual performances across the festive season. Two specific games have stood out to me the most: Leicester at Anfield and Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. Although both fixtures were won 1-0 and both goals were scored by Benteke, I feel like he has been the biggest liability to the team.
You often hear that a team is built from the back: a strong defense allows the others to be
creative and drive forward. But when there is no movement in the “forward”, it can have a massive impact on the rest of the team. Honestly, I have not been Benteke’s biggest fan since his signing with the club, but I’ve slowly warmed up to him. And then it happened… Benteke managed to miss two one-on-one clear goal scoring opportunities two games in a row! Against Leicester, disregarding the fact that he was offside (and play was not stopped), Benteke should still be hitting the target in a one-on-one situation with a defender. At Sunderland, he (onside this time) then managed to shoot straight at the goalkeeper under the same circumstances.
There is nothing more infuriating than watching a £32.5 million player looking lost in games where the team is clearly struggling to beat the defenders. The lack of goals by this Liverpool team is quite worrying (GD of -2 after 20 games played in the PL) and brushing off these misses can be quite costly, especially during the dying minutes of the game when players are struggling to focus.
Apart from these massive gaffes, Benteke, in my opinion, has not been giving 100% on the pitch in general. His lack of mobility (the key to attacking) creates a problem for his team mates and limits their opportunities and potential. This is of course, not disregarding that fact that the Reds themselves have had an overall decline in performance, but it has become obvious that he does not fit in the system that Klopp wants to establish at Liverpool.
It is extremely hard to judge an overpriced Liverpool team that was built by Rodgers. We, the fans, must be patient and see which players of calibre Klopp can really bring to the club. Could it be too hard for Klopp to impose his style on English football or is it just an issue with the current squad (and their injuries)?