Former Liverpool midfielder Patrick Berger has admitted his fears that the Anfield outfit will struggle to regain their dominance in English football unless they restructure the playing staff.
Once regarded as a dominant figurehead of the English game, the Reds have failed to retain any consistency throughout recent Premier League seasons and will begin their third season in a row under new management.
Despite under going a huge transition last summer under former manager Kenny Dalglish, which saw a number of home-grown players arrive at Anfield including Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson, Liverpool finished in 8th place and Scotsman Dalglish was ultimately relieved of his duties.
With former Swansea City manager Brendan Rodgers now in charge of emulating the success that Dalglish brought to the club in his first spell, Berger, who spent seven years in Liverpool, believes house-hold names need to arrive at Anfield before the club considers a title challenge.
"They are far away from challenging, nowhere near in my opinion," Berger told Sky Sports.
"Hopefully I'll be wrong and they'll push the top teams for the Premier League title but I can't see it happening any time soon.
"A couple of years back they had (Fernando) Torres up front, then players like Peter Crouch and Robbie Keane in reserve, Craig Bellamy too.
"They used to have a big squad with quality players. Now they just have a big squad.
"These days when I see who is the on bench for Liverpool, I don't know who some of these guys are. It has to be different."
After having experienced managers in charge in recent seasons including Dalglish and Rafael Benitez, there are question marks over Rodgers’ credentials and Berger believes he will need transfer funds and more importantly time to make an impact on a depleted squad.
"I think you need a special type of manager to be in charge at Liverpool but I wouldn't want to judge Rodgers as I don't know too much about him and the job he is going to do," he concluded.
"I was happy that Kenny Dalglish came back and initially he did quite well but at the end of the season the board have obviously made their decision. If this will prove to be the right decision, or not, will unfold next season.
"The board believe Rodgers is the right man for the job and I suspect they'll give him money to spend, and time. That's the key thing, time."
By Matt Maltbycomments