Hansen’s comments only add to the task facing Rodgers
Working on the principle that it is best to keep your friends close and your enemies closer, Brendan Rodgers should invite Alan Hansen to give a series of coaching masterclasses to Liverpool’s faltering defence.
Hansen would refuse, of course. It would play havoc with his golf handicap, expose his lack of contemporary experience and upset his best mate, who just happened to be sacked as Liverpool manager to make way for Rodgers.
If Rodgers was unaware of the breadth of the problems he must overcome to re-establish Liverpool as title contenders in the aftermath of the Kenny Dalglish farrago, he has no doubts now.
The response to Liverpool’s opening-day defeat by West Brom bordered on hysterical. Hansen’s notably sour assessment highlighted a distinctive local difficulty: the carping chorus of former players who rarely miss a chance to remind us it was better in their day.
The sensible majority of Liverpool fans do not hide from home truths. A top-four finish this season would represent the most admirable of achievements. A scuffle to finish inside the top six and a lunge at one of the cups is the most likely outcome.
The casualties of the transition have still to be cleared. Joe Cole’s 11-minute cameo at the Hawthorns, a substitute appearance ended by a recurrence of his hamstring injury, will surely be his last.
Charlie Adam, a one-club wonder with Blackpool, has never convinced, while Jay Spearing has rarely looked anything other than a decent Championship midfield player.
Andy Carroll’s future lies away from Anfield, assuming a deal can be done to cover Liverpool’s embarrassment in paying £35m for a player who fits into their system like an elephant in a dance troupe.
Shall I go on? Stewart Downing’s career is in danger of being stripped of its last vestiges of credibility. Sentiment apart, there is little reason to continue to select Jamie Carragher. His iconic reputation should be maintained on the coaching staff, rather than in failing to fill holes across Liverpool’s back four.
He has the club at heart. Unlike others you could mention.
Follow Mike Calvin on Twitter @CalvinBook
Follow Life’s A Pitch on Twitter @BTLifesapitch
Watch Liverpool live on BT Vision:
Liverpool v Man City, 3.30pm, 26 August, Sky Sports 1
Liverpool v Arsenal, 1pm, 2 September, Sky Sports 1
Don’t have BT Vision? Find out how to get it