Liverpool have come a long way this decade. From being on the brink of administration in 2010 to entering 2020 as Champions of Europe, the club has seen a rollercoaster of highs and lows.

Seeing as we recently released our LFC team of the decade, we believe its only right to have a look at the opposite end of the spectrum to show just how much has changed.

Here is Merseysportlive’s worst Liverpool team of the last decade:

Karius’ performance in Kiev in 2018 is arguably the worst individual display in Champions League final history. (Credits – Антон Зайцев licensed by creative commons)

Goalkeeper: Loris Karius
Signed from Mainz in the summer of 2016, fans had high hopes for the young German, who was deemed the second-best keeper in the Bundesliga the season prior.

Whilst never a truly awful goalkeeper, his catastrophic display in Liverpool’s Champions League final against Madrid in 2018 cements his place in this side. Although he could do nothing about Gareth Bale’s stunning overhead kick, he was solely at fault for both Karim Benzema’s bizarre opener as well as Bale’s second.

Right-back: Lazar Markovic
I think it’s safe to say Lazar Markovic won’t be happy about his inclusion in this team and even more so about being played at full-back, but he has to make this side. A £20 million signing under Brendan Rodgers, the Serbian was an exciting winger blessed with blistering pace and bags of tricks, at least he was during his time at Benfica.

Never quite making enough of an impression to gain regular football at Anfield, the winger was sent on a series of uninspiring loans before eventually leaving on a free transfer to Fulham in January 2019. Such a waste of great potential.

Centre-back: Sebastian Coates
Plucked from Uruguayan side Nacional by Kenny Dalglish, the 6 ft 5 in defender came to Anfield off the back of picking up the young player of the tournament award at the 2011 Copa America.

Coates never looked comfortable, struggling with the fast pace of the Premier League. The centre-back left Anfield in 2014 for Sunderland, with his only memorable contribution being his admittedly stunning scissor kick against QPR.

A little harsh: Is Dejan Lovren’s inclusion on this list undeserved? (Credits – Kamran Hussain licensed by creative commons)

Centre-back: Dejan Lovren
Definitely a choice that will spark controversy. Dejan Lovren’s inclusion in this team may seem harsh but think about it. Often looking shaky and mistake-prone, no game highlights this better than his error-ridden performance against Tottenham in 2017, a display so bad he was hooked at halftime.

Whilst his worst years are behind him, and he provides a decent enough 4th-choice centre-back, I cringe at the thought of him being a regular starter for any Liverpool side. His inclusion in this current squad serves as a stark reminder of just how far we have come defensively this decade.

Left-back: Aly Cissokho
Signing on loan from Valencia for the 2013/14 season, the Frenchman managed to make a lasting impression on Liverpool fans for all the wrong reasons. Defensively dreadful, with all the coordination of a giraffe in ice, Cissokho was soon dropped after several awful performances, leaving space for a young Jon Flannagan to take up the left-back mantle.

Right Midfield: Joe Cole
It was once claimed by Steven Gerrard that Joe Cole was as technically good as Lionel Messi. Looking back, he must’ve been talking about a different footballer donned the number 10 shirt for Liverpool. Deemed a coup of a signing in Roy Hodgson’s brief stint in charge, the Englishman has impressed for a number of years at Chelsea.

He just never seemed to get going at Anfield. Getting sent off needlessly on his debut against Arsenal set the tone for what would prove to be something Cole admits was a “mistake” of a move. A loan to Lille followed as did an equally unimpressive return to the Reds. What a shame.

Fans became frustrated with Poulsen’s lack of quality in the middle of the park. (Credits – Mattythewhite licensed by creaative commons)

Central Midfield: Christian Poulsen
Roy Hodgson’s tenure as Liverpool manager really was marred with a slew of abysmal signings. Christian Poulsen, however, was arguably his worst. Brimming with European pedigree from his time at Juventus, Sevilla and Schalke, the former two-time Danish player of the year put in some truly abysmal performances in the middle of the park.

Lacking any sort of technical ability you would expect from a holding midfielder, the Dane would eventually lose his place to the equally poor Jay Spearing, a true testament to his woeful time at the club.

Central Midfield: Charlie Adam
The cliché of a ‘big fish in a small pond’ comes to mind when thinking about Charlie Adam. In high demand after a starring role in Blackpool’s exciting 2010/11 season, Liverpool beat off competition from Tottenham to sign the Scottish international. Blessed with a wand of a left foot and known for his set-piece prowess, many fans a replacement for fan favourite Xabi Alonso.

What they got was the bargain bin edition, that rarely looked fit enough to play in the top flight of English football. Often looking lethargic when playing against an energetic midfield, by the end of his time at Liverpool even his dangerous dead-ball delivery started to look dreadful. The step up to play for the Reds proved to be too much and he was moved onto Stoke after two seasons at Anfield.

Left Midfield: Milan Jovanovic
More at home as a forward, Milan Jovanovic had to make this team, and with all the competition up front, he will have to be happy with a place out wide. The Serbian was signed from Standard Liege in 2010 and boasted an admittedly brilliant goal return in Belgium.

He looked out of his depth. The winger looked devoid of any sort of goalscoring prowess or skill, and often looked lost out on the pitch. One moment that sticks out from his time at Liverpool was the comedic mistiming of a diving header, resulting in him connecting with the ground as opposed to the ball.

Striker: Mario Balotelli
With so many to choose from, my front two gave me the biggest selection headache. There were the likes of the goal-shy Fabio Borini, or maybe even Christian Benteke – who was arguably just more disappointing rather than terrible – and who could forget Spanish corner expert, Iago Aspas.

All things considered, my first choice has to be Mario Balotelli. Ever a maverick, Balotelli was one of a number of strikers brought in by Brendan Rodgers trying to fill a Luis Suarez shaped hole upfront. Blessed with all the ability one could ask for, Rodgers failed like those before and after him, to get the best out of the Italian. The forward finished the season with 4 goals in 28 games and was loaned out to A.C. Milan the following season.

Could Carroll have been a success if he was used properly at Anfield? (Credits -Badudoy licensed by creative commons)

Striker: Andy Carroll
If you look up the word “nonsensical” in the dictionary, there will be a picture of Andy Carroll holding a Liverpool shirt. Signed in the wake of Fernando Torres’ big-money move to Chelsea in January 2011, Dalglish splashed £35million on the striker. Ridiculous money for a player that hadn’t even made 20 appearances in the Premier League.

The Englishman did score some important goals for the club. His winner against Everton in the FA Cup semi-final was particularly memorable. However, his horrific injury record and inability to play in a fluid, possession-based team meant he became nothing more than an extremely expensive squad player. He eventually departed for West Ham in 2012 and will go down as arguably the worst signing in the clubs history, so he has to make my team.

Merseysportlive’s Worst Liverpool XI of the decade.
Dishonourable Mentions: Adam Bogdan; Paul Konchesky; Alberto Moreno; Stewart Downing; Jay Spearing; Fabio Borini; Christian Benteke; Iago Aspas

Do you agree? Let us know your thoughts by Tweeting or commenting who you think we missed and who should be included.

Photo credits: Илья Хохлов licensed by creative commons