Alan Shearer’s harsh words for Liverpool

THE Kop might not want to hear it but the best their club can hope for this
year is fourth place.

And that’s a long shot too. They are in a five-way battle to bring Champions
League football back to Anfield.

It’s 22 years since the Reds last lifted the title and I just don’t see that
drought ending this year. Or next. They are not just going to become
contenders again overnight.

Their target must be getting back in the top four and, sorry Scousers, but
three of those spots are taken.

The two Manchester clubs and Chelsea will occupy them come May. That leaves
Arsenal, Spurs, Newcastle, Liverpool and maybe even Everton to claim the
last one.

The Reds have a chance but they’ll have to improve on a terrible opening-day
performance at West Brom.

I’ll be honest, I was disappointed to see Kenny go, I have an unbelievable
amount of respect for him, I felt he was doing a good job — he won one
trophy and came really close to picking up another.

But the decision was taken to get rid of him and he wouldn’t want people
feeling sorry for him.

Brendan Rodgers deserved the chance. I’ve met him a couple of times at Match
of the Day and I’ve been really impressed by him.

And the job he did at Swansea was first class, he’s had a very encouraging
season in the Premier League. I don’t think it’s too soon for him but
there’s no doubt it’s a huge job for him.

They don’t come much bigger than Liverpool. But I think the owners know their
football and will give him time to get it right.

He may well need it, looking at the way they played against the Baggies.

His defence were all over the place.Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel have been
top defenders but both had nightmares. Liverpool didn’t score enough last
term so when you defend like that, you’ll have no chance.

I’m a great fan of Luis Suarez as a footballer but he didn’t score enough last
season. And new signing Fabio Borini will be under pressure to deliver
because it’s clear Rodgers doesn’t fancy Andy Carroll.

It’s a real shame how it’s worked out for my fellow Geordie and I’d love to
see him back at St James’ Park before the deadline.

But he’s not the only big-money buy who needs to pull their socks up.

Stewart Downing is an England international and he has to do better than he
did last year.

You could say the same about Jordan Henderson. I saw him up in the North East
and I’m a fan of his. As with Downing, he didn’t set the fee but it seems
like it weighed heavily on him.

Rodgers has brought in Borini and Joe Allen. They’ll do well but it will take
more than that to get the Manchester clubs looking over their shoulders.

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