Due to the fact that there is no definitive level of performance that guarantees success, there is always a need for more. In sport, very little can be described as adequate in terms of an overall effort. Ability and commitment vary constantly and no matter how one applies themselves in a specific area, there will always be someone wanting extra.
The very idea of giving any more than a hundred percent is the very basis of trying to squeeze every last drop of effort for there is no way of telling just how much will be required. When the resources and personnel that are expected to bear that burden are unavailable, it often falls upon the most unlikely of shoulders.
In these times of difficulty, that is when you need the most. It’s often looked for in the places you would expect it the least.
Last week Fabio Borini went off to play for the Italy Under 21 team and returned with a broken bone in his foot. Like many an international break before it, someone has returned to Anfield with an injury that will force them to miss an extended period of time. In addition to that, Luis Suarez has traveled a ridiculous amount of miles and played in a ground so high up above sea level, FIFA had once banned Bolivia from playing games there. To say the attack might be a little light is an understatement.
The circumstances surrounding the issue as to why the club finds itself with only one recognized and fit striker are for the time being irrelevant. It’s not a situation that anyone will be particularly happy with but the reality is that for now very little can be done other than the steps already being taken. There are those who have potentially waited all their lives for this chance. To show the world exactly what they’re capable of and in the process make themselves a star.
On the start of a journey that they hope will lead to their wildest dreams coming true, only a handful of players are guaranteed anything. There’s a certain element of luck in having the opportunity to start your career at this level in the first place.
That being said, with the culture of football being the way it is right now, it only takes forty five minutes for a career to be written off completely. Men in their early twenties or even younger these days have such a pressure and the last thing you could want as a player is a club the size of Liverpool adding to that.
First and foremost these players should not come into the team with any expectation over their shoulder but rather a completely clean slate. If they were to come off the bench and score then that would be perfect for everyone but no-one should be looking at laying any blame at the feet of a player who has barely had the chance to hone his own game yet, let alone be thrown in at the deep end.
Sink or swim football – when it comes to youth development – is incredibly dangerous. Some obviously have the natural talent to thrive in even the most competitive of environments but those that don’t should not be discarded completely. The important thing to remember is that even though Rodgers will have some idea of what the younger players are capable of, even they have no real idea until they’re put to the test. Without taking that initial plunge, nobody ever gets there.
For the next few weeks, the resources that the manager has at his disposal will be stretched as far as they can possibly go. Trying to compete on three separate fronts, which includes the Merseyside derby, Rodgers’ first encounter with his former employer and a complete trip into the unknown as far as Anzhi Makhachkala.
The sheer amount of games will mean that even those who play on the periphery will still get their fair share of playing time. Because of the shortages in the striking department one or two of them may be used more often than they would have ever thought. For Samed Yeşil and Adam Morgan, the next few months could be the start of something.
Having scored the first ever goal for Liverpool under Brendan Rodgers, it would be rather fitting if eighteen year old Adam Morgan became the missing piece in the jigsaw.
He’s been progressing through the age groups ever since joining at the tender age of ten. Scoring enough goals at reserve level to earn himself comparisons with Robbie Fowler of all people. Certainly the goal he scored against Toronto as well as the effort that was disallowed in the Europa League suggest that there is something in the predatory nature of his finishing, a quality that has been severely lacking in the squad for some time.
Morgan is nowhere near the finished article as of yet but – much like he does on the pitch – could quite have found himself in the right place at the right time.
Samed Yeşil is something of an unknown quantity. When he had signed for Liverpool at the end of August, very few had even heard his name. He does however boast a goal record that would be the envy of pretty much all his contemporaries with a remarkable ratio while playing for Leverkusen at youth level (57 in 71). The forward who represents Germany has also been able to replicate it on an international level.
Yeşil has represented Germany at U16, 17, 18 and 19 level in a total of 32 games and in that time has racked up 31 goals. Whatever the length of talent that he possesses is not yet clear. What is clear is that if Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool can harness it, they will have some player on their hands.
In an area of the pitch where the goals – quite literally – could not be any more clearly defined, it’s clear that help is needed. The players that come in to do a job, whether they be the ones mentioned or even the likes of Jerome Sinclair, Dani Pacheco or Michael Ngoo will all be looking to take their chance.
Given the need to rest players ahead of what has now become a vital run in the league all of them will feature at some point in the coming weeks and it may only take a couple of scrappy goals in the League Cup to really kick start a young forward’s career. Brendan Rodgers may not have all the weapons at his disposal that he would like, but he hasn’t run out of bullets just yet.